I came to Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in Amsterdam, this year, so that I could get a taste of what was happening in the international systems integration market and reconnect with old friends in an environment where I had fewer distractions (panel moderating, awards presentations, Show Daily managing).
ISE isn’t nearly the product introduction show that InfoComm is for the commercial market or CEDIA EXPO is for the resi channel, yet I haven’t been disappointed with the show’s quality or the upbeat attitude of exhibitors and attendees.
We started the day with statistics from Integrated Systems Events managing director, Mike Blackman, who stated that the 826 total exhibitors was up 15 percent over last year and pre-registration for the show was up 21 percent over last year with 36,702 attendees (more than the total for last year’s event).
Throughout the day I learned some interesting anecdotes, and received updates on products I saw at CEDIA. Here are some of the highlights:
Steve Olszewski noted that Stealth Acoustics, which manufactures those cool flat-panel speakers with silk-screened grilles, is experiencing the most international growth in Israel.
Nick Cottiss at Digital Projection Inc. explained that it has become his company’s goal to create a few core projector chassis designs with interchangeable lenses, lamps, and color wheels to cater to specific commercial and residential applications. I also saw one of the best example of warp and blending technology, where a single projected image maintained focus, even though it was aimed at a right-angled corner.
Early in the afternoon I had my first face-to-face chat with new Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn, when I learned a little more about his visits with 22 dealers in Utah, New York, and Houston, that he said offered useful advice to help his company make improvements to products and business policies. One of the results was Control4’s policy to ship a product replacement when in the event of a failure, instead of having the dealer remove the product first and send it in, before receiving the replacement and installing it. The policy puts a new product back in a client’s home 10 days quicker than before. The meetings also may convince Control4 to rethink the way it supports light commercial projects as well.
Control4's new video intercom solution incudes a 7-inch in-wall touchscreen with a camera.
Also, at the center of Control4’s updated line of controllers is the new HC-800, a, flexible, multi-zone controller designed to serve as the cornerstone of any Control4 installation. The HC-800’s much faster 1.8 GHz dual-core processor delivers instantaneous, interactive on-screen control and browsing of even the largest media libraries. Control4 also announced the global release of its MyHome application for Android mobile devices in 19 languages. Non-English speaking Control4 customers can now use Android-based devices in addition to iPad and iPhone devices to control lighting, temperature, security, music, movies, and so much more from anywhere and at any time. Finally, the company introduced its new video intercom solutions (shown at CES), which include the Control4 7-inch portable touchscreen with camera, the Control4 7-inch in-wall touchscreen with camera, and the Control4 door station.
During my conversation with NuVo, CEO David Rodarte told me that his company's wireless multi-room audio product was getting closer a reality with only software and firmware adjustments holding up its 2012 ship date. As the company finishes development and testing, it is revealing its latest in-wall amplifier for the education market, the WA40. The WA40 brings easy and convenient amplification to the classroom setting. With touch-button controls for source selection, power and volume, as well as an upgraded 40-watt amplifier, the new generation wall amplifier offers a simple-to-use solution, with ample power. It also offers the option of two hard-wired rear source inputs and two additional source inputs on the unit’s front for easy additions to the system. The WA-40 also offers extremely low power consumption and has been Energy Star qualified in recognition of its energy efficient performance.
NuVo's WA40 in-wall amplifier brings easy and convenient amplification to the classroom setting.
After unveiling its new LinkCast Wireless HD audio/video system at CES, it is showcasing that product again at ISE and introducing the new AT-PRO3HD44M high-speed 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher featuring HDBaseT technology.
Atlona's AT-PRO3HD44M 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher extends HDMI sources up to 60 meters over Cat-5e/6/7 cables at 1080p or 1,920x1,200.
Atlona’s LinkCast Wireless HD audio/video system allows home theater enthusiasts, gamers, laptop users, and more to connect multiple HDMI-based devices wirelessly to an HDTV or projector wirelessly up to 40 feet away. The AT-PRO3HD44M 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher extends HDMI sources up to 60 meters over Cat-5e/6/7 cables at 1080p or 1,920x1,200. The unit offers control of up to eight components through a variety of options, including the front panel, bidirectional control via the switcher’s IR and RS-232 ports, and integration with third-part control boxes for zone displays. Offering a built-in source S/PDIF loop out, audio can be sent to an AVR or amplifier for simple distribution. The unit is compatible with LPCM 2 channel, Dolby 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS 5.1 Programmable memory presets, loadable to any source connected to the matrix, ensure that any display can receive audio and video. Taking advantage of the Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) abilities of HDBaseT technology, this switcher provides more options for low-voltage installations and lends itself to the integration of multi-room AV systems in single-family homes. The AT-PRO3HD44M will be available early Q2.
Last but not least, the big new out of the RTI booth was that it’s Pro Control line is finally shipping after a two-year delay. This line, which features a sleek high-gloss black industrial design, caters to MDU and hotel applications, as well as security installers looking for an entry-level price point for single-room, one-way RF (and IR) control and two-way Zigbee control.