CEDIA EXPO 2001, to be held September 5-9, in Indianapolis, Indiana, promises to be this year’s hot spot for custom electronics integrators, designers and business owners from around the world. A relatively small, upstart event only 12 years ago, EXPO’s impressive growth now places it among the top 200 trade shows in the country. Hundreds of manufacturers and dealers will be on the show floor again this year to share information about their current technologies and provide new product launches to an anticipated record number of attendees.
With diverse programs and educational events, CEDIA hopes to cater to a wide variety of industry members, from the seasoned veteran to newly initiated custom installers. During the convention, attendees will have the option of enrolling in educational programs designed especially for custom integrators, such as CEDIA Boot Camp, CEDIA Gateway and Installer Essentials. These programs, led by industry experts, offer workshops, lectures and training in all areas of the installation industry. Special presentations such as Certification Review Courses and Exams will enhance installers’ skills and expand knowledge through intensive seminars for various levels of certification.
Another highly anticipated event is the Garden of High Definition Delight, which will be making its third appearance at the EXPO. The Garden of High Definition Delight III is an unique opportunity for designers and custom electronic installers to assess and evaluate every type of high-definition display product available on the market.
Originally conceived by members of the industry, including Fredrick J. Ampel and Michael Heiss, the Garden is not a contest or a “Shoot-Out,” but rather, neutral territory for show attendees to evaluate CRT devices, flat-panel devices, including plasma displays and rear-projection systems.
“This is unique because there are no winners or losers,” said Ampel, president of the Overland Park-based consultancy Technology Visions SA. “This appeals to both sides of the coins–manufacturers and show attendees. ”
Ampel asserted that this forum provides a rare opportunity for manufacturers to display their products in a tightly controlled physical environment. The attendees, in turn, get the chance to look at the wide variety of devices grouped by category, not by price.
Each relevant CEDIA EXPO exhibitor has been given the opportunity to present up to three of their company’s products, though they are limited to presenting only one product per technology category.
According to CEDIA, attendees will be able to choose various content sources, including feeds supplied by all Indianapolis local television stations (ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS and FOX). In addition to receiving the off-air HDTV signal from local stations, attendees will be able to select from several high-definition satellite feeds. A full set of test patterns at all three resolutions (480i and 480p, 720p and 1080i) will be available at all times through a Sencore hard drive. The devices in the Garden are all controlled by an Extron router; every set is connected to the router with equal-length cables ensuring identical signals. The Garden will present all of the available high-definition display technologies with multiple “real-world” signal sources. Also supplied for the attendees are AMX touch panels to control their source selections.
Ampel pointed out that manufacturers will calibrate their own sets, to their satisfaction. “What we essentially provide is a DMZ [de-militarized zone],” Ampel said. “There is complete neutrality, and there are no sales people. No one will push people to leave, letting attendees come and go at their leisure.”
In other events, Gian Luigi Longinott-Buitoni, president of Ferrari North America, will be on hand to address convention attendees at the opening keynote breakfast.
Toward the end of EXPO, CEDIA’s Awards Ceremony will honor the winners of the Electronic Lifestyles Awards, as well as the recipient of the prestigious CEDIA Lifetime Achievement prize, among others.
And while all of the CEDIA EXPO 2001 activities are highly anticipated by everyone in the business, no event can beat the fervor surrounding the private concert with Bonnie Rait, to take place on September 8, 2001, in the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center.
Among the manufacturers and exhibitors preparing to share their new product developments and conduct product training sessions at CEDIA will be Lutron, who will lead workshops on motorized window treatments and wireless retrofittable lighting control with the company’s RadioRA products.
Electrograph Systems Inc. will be debuting a 42-inch direct digital plasma display monitor model DTS42DDGB and a Serial Digital DVD Player, the Electrograph DVD-SDI200. When the Electrograph Direct Digital Plasma Display is coupled with an Electrograph DVD-SDI200 DVD player, according to the company, DVD software can be viewed in its true digital format.
Lexicon hopes to impress CEDIA attendees with its two new preamp/processors; the MC-12 Balanced and MC-12. In addition to a new look, the products include: component video switching, 5.1-channel analog input, DTS-ES, Dolby ProLogic II, and balanced audio outputs on the MC-12 Balanced. For the custom installer, both units include RS-232 control and software upgrades facilitating easier system integration and updates. The units also include a back panel IR data input.
Aiming to expand the market for multi-zone home audio systems, Niles Audio will unveil the ZR-4630, a six-zone audio receiver capable of distributing signals from its built-in AM/FM tuner and three additional sources throughout a home. Incorporating an AM/FM stereo tuner and a 12-channel amplifier, the ZR-4630 will also feature new Niles control technology that eliminates the need to program remote keypads.
“By incorporating more capability and features into a single component, we are reducing the equipment, installation and set up costs of multi-zone, home audio systems,” said Ivan Zuckerman, Niles president and founder. “The ZR-4630 delivers the right combination of value, automation, and simplicity that the majority of our customers are looking to purchase.” The amplifier section of the ZR-4630 will deliver up to 30 watts per channel in any zone. For expansion, up to three ZR-4630s can be combined in a single system, providing up to 18 zones. The ZR-4630 will ship in the fall of 2001.
Stewart Filmscreen will use CEDIA EXPO to promote its new GrayHawk, a gray-based flexible screen material designed solely to enhance black levels, shadow detailing, and overall color saturation. Stewart Filmscreen claims that the material’s translucent optical coating combined with the gray-based undercoating maximizes image fidelity for LCD, DLP and D-ILA projection technologies.
Sonance will debut new products at CEDIA 2001 in both the loudspeaker and electronics categories. Several new in-wall powered woofer solutions will be unveiled; a new series of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers will be introduced; and there will be application-based additions to existing speaker lines, as well as new outdoor speaker offerings. Additions are also expected to the Sonamp line of amplifiers.
Sonance’s line of specialized installation solutions, Audio/Video Automation products, has been redesigned and will be showcased, as well. All Sonance’s new products will be available in late 2001.
Sony is expected to feature various products that are already shipping, including its KP-65XBR10W 65-inch rear projection high definition capable television with a 16:9 ratio wide screen. The company will also spotlight its STRDA777ES A/V receiver, Sony DVPC-650D DVD player, Sony SLVR1000 Super VHS VCR, and a Sony SATHD100 high definition satellite receiver. The Sony PFM-510A2WU, which will also be on display, doubles as a television and computer monitor.
At CEDIA, Leviton will be expanding its Leviton Integrated Network structured wiring line with two new products. The DSL/Cable Broadband Router is a plug-and-play firewall-based Internet sharing device that permits up to 253 computers to securely connect to the Internet via a single shared high-speed DSL, cable modem, ISDN, Satellite or T1 line at up to 10Mbps.
Leviton’s second new product, the Stereo Modulator, works with A/V components such as DVD players and home theater receivers. It combines audio and video signals from DVDs, DSS receivers or VCRs and converts the signals to radio frequency. It then creates a television channel which can be broadcast over a whole-house coaxial network to multiple televisions on one unused cable channel, effectively setting up an in-home entertainment channel.
With the increasing interest in high-end home acoustics, Acoustics First will use CEDIA to modify the company’s existing products from professional studio configurations into new products for residential use. The company is adapting noise control materials, such as the Vib-X pad, originally developed for silencing submarines, to isolate home theater from the house and household noise, such as air conditioning compressors, from the theater.
Linn, the Scotland-based audio company, will present its Knekt product additions and enhancements. Since the introduction of Knekt in 1994, Linn has developed The Knekt System to provide custom integrators an upgradable product range. Recent developments include the new version of the Linn Classik, a stand-alone hi-fi system and self-contained for multiple-room audio and Knekt multi-room distribution, and the Linn Sizmik 10.25 Kustom Bass Reinforcement Loudspeaker Kit for bass reinforcement for custom home theater and audio installations.
In addition to its new RF-7 flagship model, Klipsch Worldwide will introduce the new Reference Series RF-5 floorstanding loudspeaker, RB-3 bookshelf model, RC-7 center channel, RS-7 surround speakers, and three new matching subwoofers: RSW-15, RSW-12 and RSW-10.
According to Paul Jacobs, COO of the Klipsch Worldwide Products Group, the Reference Series is different from the current “smaller, less content” trend in commodity market loudspeakers. “At a time when most manufacturers are focusing on making speakers smaller regardless of the impact on performance, we are introducing new full-size, specialty market models made with real wood,” Jacobs said.
AMX will display its new CV6 6-inch Video Wall Panel, a bright 6-inch active-matrix LCD with adjustable video window new touch icons, simplified user menus and compact design. The company will also showcase the CP4 4-inch Color Touch Panels, which integrate touch control and instant-access PDA-style pushbuttons with smart sensor-controlled operation. These panels are available in wall-mount and tabletop enclosures.
IntelliNet Controls will feature its RS IntelliServer at the EXPO. According to the company, this technology provides users with real-time control and status of all RS1000 System functions through the user’s standard web browsers. Web browsers can include webpads, PDAs, and other wireless web access devices to provide all the functionality of high-end proprietary wired and wireless touch screens for less than the price of proprietary systems. The RS IntelliServer is now shipping.
Russound will be launching the DPA-4.8 multi-channel amplifier to its line of residential systems products. With a suggested retail price of $999 and weighing only 32 lbs, the DPA-4.8 is a versatile and powerful amplifier is targetted at home theater as well as professional multi-zone installations. The amplifier delivers 50 watts per channel stereo into each of eight channels, at an 8 ohm impedance. The DPA-4.8 can be bridged via the units’ built-in Stereo/Bridge-Mono selector. In this bridged mode, the amplifier then delivers four mono channels at 100 watts each.
Satellite Accessories will introduce STARLinx Satellite Telephone Access Receiver, which combines satellite signal, off-air antenna signal and telephone over a single coax. This new product is designed for use in retrofitting installations. STARLinx will ship in the first quarter of 2002.
Elan will use the unique opportunities at CEDIA to advance its current VIA! and Elite product lines. “We had 70 percent growth in 2000 with steady increases from our HD and Z Series System products, but we received a lot of attention from the new award-winners: the VIA! Touch Panel, VIA!Music Management and the Elite Series speakers,” said Paul Starkey, Elan’s executive vice president. “At CEDIA, we’ll continue to expand the VIA! line with the SC-4 system controller, a home networking interface that allows up to 30 VIA! touch panels to control up to four RS-232 systems such as security, lighting and temperature.”
At CEDIA, Liberty Wire will unveil a new composite cable, the AUDIOCAT. This jacketed composite cable has an enhanced Category 5 cable swept tested to 350 MHz and 4 conductors of high strand count 14 AWG or 16 AWG speaker cable. According to the company, AUDIOCAT is ideal for every keypad and volume control needed to “pull to.” Liberty will introduce M-lead and S-lead breakout cables for Meridian systems. These new cables are designed to simplify the installation process. Using a broadcast quality female BNC and high quality 5 pin connector, these Meridian approved cables, used in conjunction with Liberty’s Cable Pro termination system and serial digital coax, make for a high quality solder-free Meridian installation.