In-Wall/Ceiling Speakers Continue to Play a Significant Role in the Evolving Residential Systems Integration Landscape
With lighter televisions (and an increased demand for networked home entertainment) has come smaller components. Subsequently, racks, mounts and enclosures, too, have moved away from their clunky roots to embrace lighter build materials and designs that acknowledge the shrinking of the electronic components they lift, support and hide.
This Integration Guide was sponsored by RTI as a supplement to Residential Systems, August 2017
This Integration Guide was sponsored by Access Networks, Control4, Luxul, and Peerless-AV as a supplement to Residential Systems, May 2017
The growing sophistication of security systems, especially cameras and door locks, is on track to revolutionize custom integration as a whole.
In the custom integration sphere, the slimming down of components has had a knock-on effect on newer models of AV racks, mounts, and enclosures—originally intended to be the nerve centers of once-behemoth components that powered equally complex integrated systems.
Home audio’s evolution in the past five years has been remarkable. Streaming music services, the move from physical media to near-universal digital delivery, and the shrinking of audio components have collectively redefined how we listen to music in our home space.
Arguably, beyond brewing a cup of coffee from the bedroom, IoT has generated the most buzz about the practical possibilities of remote management of lights and interior environments, including the use of voice control to achieve overall home automation.
Over the years, touchpanels, remotes, and more recently, control apps have served as the primary access point to programming and effectively engaging with home automation systems, which are now evolving into and underpinning the broader development of the smart home concept and its corresponding technology girdle, the Internet of Things.
Getting from here to there is a basic aspect of every custom integration business, large and small.
Wireless technology continues to push the boundaries of where consumers can enjoy audio and video entertainment, but in the custom integration world, concerns about cable runs, product and installation durability, and future-proofing projects still dominate the backend conversation.
Head-end rooms, usually a closet-size AV control center, have for years relied on racks and enclosures to discretely serve as the backbone of integrated AV and automation/control systems, in much the same way that mounts have literally supported the evolving frames of televisions and projectors.
User interfaces come in all shapes, sizes and capabilities—conforming to the needs of the often-complex systems behind them.
Working in an industry where the future has always been now, custom integrators know what it is like to thrive in “on the brink” moments.
Recent developments in custom AV distribution have been nothing short of staggering.
Projector-centered home theaters have always been about the bigger, better picture.
The beauty of curtains has always been their simple, yet multifaceted functionality: block out or filter light while adding aesthetically to a space.
There was a time when the ultimate in home audio was a shiny, stackable stereo system—each component acquired after much obsessive research—paired with well-sourced and matched box speakers. Today, consumers have a depth of knowledge underpinned by near blasé expectations of wireless audio distribution systems that was practically unheard of just a few short years ago.
The past few years, with the proliferation of IP networking and the ever-growing dominance of mobile devices, home automation and by extension the role and functionality of remote controls and touchscreens has shifted, though the desire for dedicated control, no matter how it is delivered has not.
In the past, the bulky nature of essential home entertainment components has guided the design of the mounts, lifts, racks, and enclosures that have literally supported them.
Earlier this year, Dave Daniels, head of Aspen, CO-based custom integration firm Xssentials, in addressing a room full of his colleagues at the Azione Unlimited buying group spring conference in Las Vegas, emphasized the need for custom integrators to retool their business models if their roles and the CI channel at large were to stay competitive in the face of the ever blurring lines between custom integration, DIY options, and utilities-driven initiatives.
Beyond bright children’s swings, barbecue grills, and perfectly clipped hedges, the uses of the traditional residential backyard has been undergoing a transformation that reflects larger trends toward more contemporary concepts of living.
The relationship between interior designers and custom integrators has been one of cautious collaboration.
From its infancy, residential distributed audio has sought to do one thing very well: seamlessly deliver high quality audio content to as many spaces within the home as possible.
As a new year approaches, custom integration distributors AVAD and PowerHouse Alliance are answering trends and the expanding needs of CI professionals by providing both tried-and-true and new product solutions to help their partners maintain healthy businesses.