|Volume 13, Issue 18 — September 28, 2016|
|2016 Best of CEDIA Awards|
Welcome to the 2016 Best of CEDIA Awards! This year’s CEDIA Expo, was held in Dallas, TX and attendance topped just over 18,750 attendees this year – it beat the 2015 show by 50 attendees (a measurable feat considering the show was in the exact same place two years in a row). The show hosted over 500 exhibitors, 115 CEDIA training sessions, 13 CEDIA Talks, 6 free CEDIA Panel Sessions, and several events that provided attendees an opportunity to think big for the future of their business.
Each year after the show, our staff gets together to select what we think was the best of the best on the show floor. Here is the list of award winners from rAVe that represent the BEST of this year’s CEDIA EXPO.
Each link below is a video we shot of the product from CEDIA and you can hear each winner describing the product in their own words. If you missed anything from this year’s show, we shot over 700 product videos, over 100 photos and posted more than 110 news stories and blogs. It all lives here on the 2016 CEDIA EXPO MicroSite.Leave a Comment
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|Is the Smart Home Smart Enough?|
By Gary Kayye
A recent Deloitte Consumer Review survey in the UK found that there was nearly zero growth between 2014 and 2015 in consumer purchasing of connected home products. The finding cited that, “UK consumers are aware of the potential benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) but perceived high prices and skepticism about the technology are putting off buying more connected devices.”
In the UK, more than half (52 percent) of consumers own some form of connected device for their home. However, the majority of these are connected entertainment devices such as smart TVs. Penetration of connected appliances and other devices such as smart lighting systems are much lower. Moreover, two- thirds (70 percent) of consumers do not intend to buy an IoT product in the next 12 months, highlighting the challenge that brands and retailers have ahead of them.
Why is this? That’s actually simple to answer: CONFUSION.
The so-called smart home market, once owned by the custom install segment of the HomeAV market, is now owned by, well, no one. Apple has hodgepodged together a strategy that has been all talk and all vaporware. Samsung isn’t trusted ever since its camera-in-a-TV debacle. There are no standards. Consumers are simply confused. And, it’s likely, many or most of them are awaiting Apple’s strategy, CEDIA included.
Ever since Apple launched the iPod, Apple has been the one missing exhibitor at CEDIA who’s gained the most amount of free attention. In 2007, more than 70 booths had iPod-compatible products — and still Apple wasn’t an exhibitor. And, by 2013, there were even a half-dozen control companies showing fully-functional control systems using iOS devices. The irony of this isn’t lost on me — and nearly any other CEDIA member.
Now, Crestron, the HomeAV’s largest custom control system manufacturer, will be a no-show at CEDIA and that will be noticed. Sure, Savant, URC and Control4 will get the limelight, but our survey of the CEDIA members shows that well over 90 percent of them use Crestron control.
But why no standardization?
IP-control was promised as the control equalizer. Yet, nearly nothing has network control — other than through the device’s own iOS or Android App.
And, cost — do I really need to write anything here about that? I didn’t think so. Or, read the Deloitte study if you want to know what homeowners thought of this one.
I think Apple is the key here. Apple will set the bar on how to “standardize” connectivity of these disparate devices. You may not think so, but, when Apple finally debuts a truly organized HomeKit or home app strategy that will determine the direction thousands of other home-device manufacturers go — even Samsung. Don’t think so? See ApplePay and then look at SamsungPay.
But can Apple hurry up already?Leave a Comment
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|Redefining an Industry|
By Mark Coxon
I may be late to the party on this topic but I wanted to give my thoughts on a discussion started by CEDIA’s Vin Bruno when he stated that perhaps it was time we stopped calling ourselves “integrators” and started calling ourselves “technologists.”
There have been several takes on this to date. Some like the idea. Technologist is a fairly modern term that encompasses technology as a whole and could really apply to any discipline or specialty. On the down side, technologist is a broad term that could really apply to any discipline or specialty. Being a “technologist,” someone may approach you to discuss IP security cameras when your business focuses on high end collaboration, and then you would have to explain, “I am not that kind of technologist.”
This begs the question, “Do we need to add some type of descriptor before ‘technologist’?”
Then we get right back into the swamp of acronyms and terms we already use to describe the type of “integrators” we are. Would we have Unified Communication Technologists, Home Theater Technologists, Commercial Cinema Technologists, etc.? If so, is “technologist” really the important part of the term at all? It seems the qualifier is really the important part of that title.
Others like the idea of staying with the term integrator. They say it is a better descriptor of what they do, integrating different products into a complete system that works as an “integrated” whole. I don’t disagree with that sentiment in principle, but there is a growing problem with the term.
More and more, the devices we used to “integrate” are being pre-integrated by manufacturers. It is a common trend right now. Look at QSC creating USB integration for cameras in their DSP products. Look at systems like Mondopad and Surface Hub where the traditional flat panel, touch bezel, PC, microphone, and camera that needed to be “integrated” together now come in one SKU. Perhaps even look at Biamp, a company who has traditionally been known for audio. They are writing whitepapers on video transport and HDCP Pro specifications. Why would they be doing that? Is video being integrated into their DSP and audio distribution products soon? It seems like it’s coming.
The point is, that we actually do less integrating than we used to, and the trend may continue, making the term “integrator” even less descriptive of what we actually do for clients in the future.
Regardless of your preference and the reasons behind it, I have one reason that I think both terms fall severely short.
They both fail the Google test.
When people need help with VTC or their home theater they don’t google the word “integrator” or “technologist.”
I did a rudimentary poll of friends and family that work outside our industry. I asked them what they would search for online if they needed help setting up a system in their conference room or help with their TV and audio system set up. Overwhelmingly they said they would search for conference room or home theater “installation.”
I can FEEL you all bristling at me right now. How dare we be relegated to being installers? We do design and programming and extension of signals and UX design that an “installer” could never do. However, that doesn’t really matter. What matters most is how people who want to buy your services start searching for them when they need you.
Now when I asked the same people what they would search for when they were looking for someone to help select technology, the word “designer” came up almost every time. A lot of integrators describe themselves as “design-build” so it seems at least in part they are on the right track. I think the genesis of that comes from adopting the vernacular of construction companies that are design-build. It works, but most people don’t think of an AV system as being “built.” It seems design-install may be a better term just based on what people’s existing ideas of our services are.
Now is there an organization that uses Design and Installation in their title? It seems that CEDIA may be farther ahead than they thought when it comes to creating a description of our industry that our end users themselves understand. CEDIA is after all the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association.
I have also seen people suggest terms like “Communication Partner,” which could work as well and may be closer, but I’m not sure I’d search for one online when I need my speakers adjusted.
Now some of you are saying we shouldn’t let others define what we do and we should define it for them. That is fine, but know that this type of effort requires us to educate the market on the terminology that we want them to use. That takes a marketing effort and marketing dollars.
If we think of programs like CTS, we know that the initials are seldom recognized outside the AV beltway. Marketing that to end users has been slow, and I don’t expect redefining our industry would be any easier, especially if we don’t want to jump on the “design” and “installation” word associations that already exist in our clients minds. According to their reports, InfoComm spends between $400,000 and $500,000 on marketing each year, and some of that is marketing the organization internally to the members. It will take a larger commitment to redefine ourselves as an industry to the masses and I’m not sure the funds exist to do it.
It seems CEDIA may be on board to invest in that as well.
Remember it’s not cheap, so we really need to be sold on the term we pick. After all, we are paying to promote it at that point.
So do we need to redefine the industry as a whole or is it enough to just tackle the “What is an integrator?” question every time that it’s asked like we’ve done for the last decade?
I doubt we’ll get consensus on the matter as it would mean we have to agree on a standard term we all use, and as you know if you’ve been around AV for a while, standards really aren’t our thing…
Chime in below! What should we call ourselves and why? I’d love to hear your opinions.
Check out these other pieces to get more background on the conversation as well and some additional thoughts.
MHO:10 What’s In a Name?Leave a Comment
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|rAVe 2015 Best of CEDIA Show Award Winner Slateplan Partners with CEDIACEDIA has announced a new partnership with Slateplan that will provide CEDIA members with access to their customer-facing sales software at a reduced price of $49 a month. Slateplan’s software, normally offered at a price point of $249 a month, is a sales tool that helps home technology professionals and their customers collaborate and develop project scope and budget in real time.|
“When consumers are thinking about purchasing a new car, they can research, build and price the car online.They can see pictures, learn about and choose various upgrade options, and see their budget change in real time” said Vin Bruno CEDIA CEO. “Sales professionals in our industry should be able to offer their customers a similar design and budgeting experience. Slateplan accomplishes this, and in the process helps establish the salesperson as the trusted technology expert.”
Scott Marchand, Slateplan co-founder adds, “Partnering with CEDIA is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that all home technology sales professionals have affordable access to Slateplan software.”
Slateplan is here.Leave a Comment
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|We Shot Over 700 Videos from CEDIA 2016!We literally went to every single booth at CEDIA and offered for each manufacturers there to shoot a 1-2 minute video on each of their new products launched at the annual HomeAV show. And, even though there were only 500 exhibitors, we shot 700+ videos.|
And, to simplify everything for you, we’ve built a dedicated CEDIA 2016 website that houses all our videos, the 22 CEDIA-related podcasts we recorded (another record) and every news story and blog we wrote about the show – it’s here.Leave a Comment
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|CEDIA Research Finds Home Technology Professionals Expect Growth in 2016As adoption of home technology increases among consumers, home technology professionals are anticipating a strong year in 2016, according to a new report issued today by CEDIA at its annual trade show, the global showcase of the biggest thinking, innovations and connections in home technology.|
Each year CEDIA conducts its Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Industry Survey to analyze the size of the industry and identify market trends. In 2016, the average system integrator is projecting 17 percent growth with estimated revenues at $2.5 million; CEDIA and research partner Parks Associates takes a more conservative view, estimating a 7-10 percent rate of growth in 2016, equating to revenues of $2.3 million.
Dave Pedigo, Sr. Director of Emerging Technologies explains, “We are now seeing a stabilization of the marketplace; 2014 was an exceptional year with an unsustainable 56 percent year over year increase in annual gross revenue. This market explosion was due to years of pent up demand and a healthier economy. While 2015 continued to be a solid year, revenues leveled off slightly, but is still an impressive 48 percent increase in annual gross revenue from 2013. While 2015 revenues are 5 percent lower than 2014, CEDIA believes the numbers are accurate and should be viewed optimistically, as market conditions have returned to a state of normalcy. While most of that pent up demand was released by the end of 2014, CEDIA expects growth for home technology professional’s annual gross revenue in 2016.”
Other key findings include:
- Assuming 2016 dealer expectations are met, system integrators will have maintained or increased the number of average projects per year every year from 2014 to 2016. For 2015, the average number of residential installations projects for a system integrator/AV installer is 56 and is estimated to reach 63 in 2016.
- Control system installations are on the rise. Eighty-eight percent of system integrators/AV installers report installing whole-house controls. This same group reports an average of 25 whole-house control systems in 2015, and expectations for the full-year 2016 are 30 whole-house control installations.
- Annual home networking installations have increased over the last four years with system integrators/AV installers reporting an average of 30 completed projects in 2015 and an estimated 39 in 2016.
- Due to rapid innovation in home theater, such as 4K/Ultra HD and immersive video, the average and median prices of home theaters grew for the fifth consecutive year. The average total revenue year-over-year for a home theater was up 4% from 2014 to $35,233 while the median grew 17.5% to $19,582.
- An increase in median annual gross revenue of just over $13,500, a positive indicator for the smaller dealer.
- Categories most likely to be added to system integrator/AV installer portfolios over the next 24 months include voice control and IP monitoring. 47 percent of system integrators not currently offering voice control plan to add this capability and 42 percent plan to add IP remote monitoring.
CEDIA surveyed 653 respondents between June 22 and August 22, 2016 who qualified to participate because their firms install at least one of the relevant residential product categories including home theater/media rooms, distributed audio/video, systems integration/control, climate control and video surveillance.
The full report will be available in Q4 of 2016 and is $1,000 for non-members and free to members here.Leave a Comment
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|Sony’s New Pico Projector Never Needs to be FocusedSony’s new MP-CL1 projector is a Bluetooth-based projector that uses Laser Beam Scanning (LBS) technology to produce a native HD resolution (1920x720p) image that’s always in focus. The 7.4 oz compact short-throw projector is 80,000:1 contrast ratio and can display a screen size of up to 120 inches at a distance of approximately 12 feet and a 40 inch screen from nearly 4 feet away. In addition to connecting via Bluetooth, it has MHL and HDMI inputs port as well as USB 3.0 for content delivery.|
Another highlight of the MP-CL1A is keystone correction which enables vertical and horizontal adjustments to maintain screen uniformity. In addition, the projector boasts intuitive auto focus and focus-free projection, allowing for seamless viewing on uneven surfaces — sort of like built-in image-mapping.
The MP-CL1A includes a USB cable and features a built-in 3400mAh battery, which can charge a cell phone or tablet via the USB port.
- Compact and super slim (7.4 oz., 5.9x3x0.5 inches)
- 1920×720 HD resolution
- Up to 120 inch screen size from approximately 12 feet
- High contrast ratio of 80,000:1
- Automatic focus projection from Sony’s Laser Beam Scanning (LBS)
- Wi-Fi (with phone or tablet) or HDMI/MHL connectivity (for phone, tablet, laptop and gaming devices)
- Bluetooth connection with wireless speakers or wireless headphones
- Built-in 3400mAh Li-ion battery for two hours of play
- Gold or gray color options
The MP-CL1A mobile projector is planned to be available in October 2016 and will list for $399. Here are all the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Epson Debuts Three 3,000-Lumen 1080p Living Room Projectors|
Epson today unveiled three Home Cinema projectors designed for home theater enthusiasts as well as custom installers who serve the CEDIA channel. Designed for a variety of lighting conditions, the Home Cinema 3100, Home Cinema 3700 and Home Cinema 3900 feature up to 3,000 lumens of color brightness and 3,000 lumens of white brightness. All three are native 1080p with up to a 120,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and includes Epson Image Enhancement Technology.
The new projectors feature horizontal and vertical lens shift, which allows positioning flexibility with an incredible range of up to ± 60 percent on the vertical axis and up to ± 24 percent on the horizontal axis. In addition, the projectors’ 1.6x zoom ensures easy installation in virtually any room, even on tight shelf spaces. For example, users can project a 110-inch image from just 10.5 feet away – the wide vertical lens shift and zoom lens make positioning easy for a range of environments.
All three projectors support HDMI, plus MHL2 and the Home Cinema 3100, 3700 and 3900 all feature:
- Built-in Color Modes – Multiple color modes ensure the best possible image quality and color
- Full HD 1080p, Widescreen 2D/3D performance – Movies, games and more, up to 300 inches
- Deep Black Levels: Up to 1200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
- Frame Interpolation Technology – Motion appears smoother, sharper and more realistic
- ISF Calibration Tools4 – Designed for CEDIA and custom installers, the Home Cinema 3900 meets ISF Certification standards, including specific ISF picture memory modes
- Color Brightness Specification – Brilliant Image quality requires high color brightness; Epson projectors utilize 3LCD, 3-chip technology and offer up to 3x higher color brightness than leading competitive projectors5, with no possibility of color break-up or “rainbow effect”
The Home Cinema 3100 ($1,299) and Home Cinema 3700 ($1,499) are available now and the Home Cinema 3900 ($1,999) will ship later this month. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|BenQ’s HT6050 Becomes First Single-Chip Home Theater Projector to Earn THX HD Display Certification|
BenQ America today announced that the HT6050 home theater projector has achieved the THX HD Display certification. The first single-chip projector to achieve certification, the Colorific HT6050 delivers Rec. 709 color fidelity. BenQ says that getting the HT6050 is the result of over 18 months of engineering development comprising 200 THX laboratory tests of more than 500 data points to ensure that the projector meets the certification’s Rec. 709 color accuracy, precise gamma, ideal color temperature, enhanced uniformity and super high native contrast ratio requirements. Originally developed by Lucasfilm engineers to distinguish only best-in-class audio and video systems, THX certification ensures that the device can precisely deliver content as the director originally intended. THX engineers also pre-calibrated the HT6050’s THX Mode, enabling distribution of the most accurate out-of-the-box picture quality possible.
The HT6050 is also ISFccc-certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), providing two custom-calibrated modes, ISF Day and ISF Night, to give integrators additional customization options. Along with MHL connectivity for streaming content from smart devices, the HT6050 offers an optional full HD wireless kit, which is the perfect add-on to stream uncompressed 1080p content from a central location to the projector.
You can see the projector’s specs here.Leave a Comment
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|Epson Intros Elite 3LCD Reflective Laser Home Theater Projector with 4K Enhancement and HDR SupportEpson today announced its next-generation Pro Cinema LS10500 Reflective Laser Projector. Featuring 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatibility with 3LCD Reflective laser technology, this new flagship projector accepts a 4K UHD input (up to 3840×2160) and projects 1,500 lumens of color brightness and 1,500 lumens of white brightness. The LS10500 features an Absolute Black contrast ratio and an advanced suite of calibration tools.|
Featuring a dual laser light source, the Epson Pro Cinema LS10500 delivers a range of performance capabilities such as displaying the full sRGB color gamut, even in the brightest mode, as well as the entire DCI color gamut, the digital cinema standard. The use of a laser light source provides a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours and high-speed contrast control for both bright and dark scenes. The projector has an incredible range of up to ± 90 percent on the vertical axis and ± 40 on the horizontal axis, as well as up to 10 presets for zoom, focus and lens shift for both standard projection and wide cinema ratios. The Pro Cinema LS10500 projects 2.40, 2.35, 1.85, and 1.78 aspect ratios on the same screen, without an anamorphic lens, and no downtime switching between aspect ratios.
Pro Cinema LS10500 Key Features:
- 4K Enhancement Technology – Accepts 4K input and supports HDCP2.2 for truly immersive 4K UHD content
- HDR Compatible – Displays an expanded range of contrast and color for images bursting with real-life detail for truly immersive entertainment
- Expansive Color Gamut – Brilliant, color-rich performance that displays the entire DCI color space, the digital cinema standard
- High-Performance Pro Cinema Lens – Optimized for 4K performance and precision
- Instant on and Instant Off – The LS10500 reaches maximum brightness and turns off nearly instantly
- ISF Calibration Tools – ISF Certified calibration tools and lockable memory modes ensure accurate performance and provides lockable memory modes
- 3LCD Technology – Provides vivid images with high Color Light Output and fast performance for smoother, crisper pictures
The Pro Cinema LS10500 ($7,999 list) will be available this fall through CEDIA and specialty dealers and here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Vivitek’s Qumi Q3 Is a 500-Lumen, 720p Pico Home Theater Projector That Runs Two Hours on One ChargeThe Qumi Q3 Plus is an ultra-portable LED smart projector with an Android OS. Despite being only slightly bigger than a smartphone in size and weighing just 460 grams, the Qumi Q3 Plus can project a large widescreen image up to 100” diagonal that’s 720p resolution and it claims 500 lumen brightness with a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. Using a 30,000 hours LED light-source lifetime and a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU running the Android v.4.42 OS, the Qumi Q3 Plus uses a 8,000mAh rechargeable battery which delivers up to two hours of projection time.|
By providing cable-free projection of content from iOS or Android mobile phones and tablets, the Wi-Fi functionality enables users to connect to a web browser. Easy access to preloaded online streaming content provider apps enables users to watch movies or TV programs via services like Netflix and YouTube, without having to use a mobile phone or set-top box.
Available in four colors (white, black, red, gold), the Q3 Plus offers Bluetooth connectivity enabling sound to be transmitted from the projector to a compatible headphone or an external speaker for increased volume.
Here are all the specs on the £429 projector.Leave a Comment
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|Sony Announces Addition to its 4K HDR Home Theater Projector Line-UpToday, Sony Electronics is expanding its home theater line-up with the announcement of the VPL-VW675ES, a new, compact native 4K resolution Home Cinema projector supporting the latest 4K standards and compatible with HDR to get the very best out of today’s content.|
The VPL-VW675ES will be among the industry’s first home cinema projectors to support Hybrid Log-Gamma (HyLG) for HDR broadcasting services and user generated content – through a firmware update to be provided soon after the new HDMI specification is standardized. Sony’s newest home projector joins the existing ES line-up with home cinema standard HDR 10 support and is compatible with streamed HDR content from Amazon, Netflix and video streaming services, as well as Ultra HD Blu-ray players. HDR offers an extremely wide range of brightness levels allowing for a tremendous increase in the volume of displayable colors to deliver images that match the director’s intentions and vision. VPL- VW675ES also includes a feature which enables customers to adjust the average screen brightness, depending on their environments or preferences, while maintaining HDR reproduction.
Like Sony’s other 4K HDR home theater projectors, the VPL-VW675ES uses native 4K SXRD panels, with no artificial manipulation of pixels (wobulation).
It offers 4K content services through the latest connectivity options using the latest HDMI standard and HDCP 2.2 on both inputs. The VPL-VW675ES home theater projector will be available in November 2016 and list is $14,999.99. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Leyard Breaks 1-Millimeter Pixel Pitch Barrier — New 0.9-Millimeter Leyard TWA Series LED Video Wall MonitorLeyard just launched a 0.9-millimeter TWA Series LED video wall display. As you likely know, the pixel pitch of an LED display is the distance from the center of an LED cluster to the center of the next LED cluster, measured in millimeters.|
The Leyard TWA Series 0.9mm joins the existing Leyard TWA Series line of fine pitch LED video walls available in 1.2, 1.4, 1.8 and 2.5 millimeter pitches. Leyard TWA Series LED displays are spec’d to use 35 percent less power than conventional LED displays. When the display is in standby mode with a black screen, it consumes up to 60 percent less power than the most power-efficient LED video wall displays on the market today.
The Leyard TWA Series is the first LED video wall solution to feature an innovative “flat panel” design that includes a 16:9 form factor optimized for the most popular high resolution standards. Leyard TWA Series displays are self-contained units with standard HDMI inputs and looping, along with optional redundant configurations. The larger 54-inch cabinet means more of the video wall is factory-aligned, easing the time and cost of installation with fewer displays to align and seams to perfect. The larger units also mean that fewer displays are needed to create a video wall, reducing the potential points-of-service.
The 0.9-mm Leyard TWA Series display specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|LG Intros 77″ OLED at CEDIA|
LG Electronics USA today introduced its newest flagship model in the form of a 77″ OLED TV. Unveiled at CEDIA 2016, the new 77-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV (OLED77G6P) carries a suggested price of $19,999. The 77-inch LG SIGNATURE OLED TV will be supported by the new LG SIGNATURE CONCIERGE service, an exclusive one-on-one customer support and service program.
The 77-inch class (76.7 inches measured diagonally) LG SIGNATURE OLED TV is the flagship of the expansive LG OLED TV portfolio, which includes the previously released 65-inch class (64.5 inches diagonal) LG SIGNATURE OLED TV, as well as the LG OLED E6, B6 and C6 TV series, representing the fastest-growing new category of television in the industry.
In addition to including open-format HDR10, it includes Dolby Vision technology for an enhanced HDR experience. Using dynamic metadata to adjust color, contrast and brightness on a frame-by-frame basis, Dolby Vision content boasts superior color accuracy. And, instead of HDR10’s one-size-fits-all approach, Dolby Vision mapping engine technology ensures that content is optimized to the TV’s capabilities. Already the preferred format for filmmakers and content providers, Dolby Vision is supported by all seven major movie studios and many streaming partners.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|ZVOX Audio Debuts “Smart Speaker” That Uses Hearing Aid Technology to Enhance Dialogue Clarity|
ZVOX Audio will debut its AccuVoice TV Speaker at CEDIA 2016. According to ZVOX, 95 million Americans are over the age of 50. And they are the first generation to grow up listening to LOUD rock music – so many suffer from minor hearing impairment. Combine those rock-impaired ears with the puny sound systems built into flat screen TVs and you get an epidemic of people who are constantly asking “What did he say?” while watching TV shows. Millions of people simply can’t understand dialogue on many shows.
The new AccuVoice TV Speaker from ZVOX is designed for this problem. Only 17” wide, it uses a computer processor that mimics the functionality of a hearing aid. It applies an advanced compression/equalization algorithm that lifts voices out of background sounds to create the clearest dialogue reproduction ever. This proprietary (patent-pending) technology is activated only when voices are detected in a soundtrack.
The AccuVoice TV speaker is enclosed in an elegant aluminum cabinet and uses three high performance full-range speaker drivers to create realistic, room-filling sound.
It will list for $249.99 and here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|SpeakerCraft Ships Dolby Atmos Enabled In-Wall Height Speaker|
Core Brands today announced that it is finally taking orders on the SpeakerCraft AIM Series 2 ATX100, its in-wall height speaker designed specifically for Dolby Atmos and other object-based sound formats. The SpeakerCraft ATX100 reflects sound off the ceiling to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.
The ATX100 is the architectural in-wall solution to the traditional floor-standing or bookshelf height speakers currently available. The design adheres to Dolby’s recommended specifications and requirements for optimal performance.
The ATX100’s dual drivers and tweeter fire upward into the acoustically controlled wave guide that projects the Dolby Atmos height cue information off the ceiling, creating the immersive effect. The ¾” custom titanium dome tweeter with high-energy Neodymium magnet structure boasts frequency response up to 22kHz. With its dual 2½” Kevlar-reinforced pulp mid-bass drivers, the ATX100 can handle up to 125 Watts of amplifier power at 8 ohms.
To maximize the sound reproduction and minimize sound transmission to adjacent rooms, the ATX100 features a fully integrated acoustic back box. And like other speakers in the AIM Series 2 line, it leverages SpeakerCraft’s Acoustic Isolation Technology to minimize acoustic energy transfer to the mounting and surrounding surfaces. This acoustic decoupling allows listeners to hear more of the actual speaker and less of the sound that normally radiates from the mounting surface.
The ATX100 Height Speaker lists for $349 and will ship in October 2016.
The ATS500 System pairs the ATX100 height speaker with the new Kevlar-woofers based AIM LCR5 FIVE Series 2 behind a single, low profile, magnetic attached grille. The ATS200 System combines the ATX100 height speaker with the glass-fiber woofers based AIM LCR5 TWO Series 2, also behind a single grille. The systems have a list price of $1,329 and $1,199 respectively.
Both the new AIM Series 2 LCR models feature the new Arrayed Point Source (APS) Tweeter Module, the in-wall counterpart to SpeakerCraft’s ARC Tweeter array in the AIM Series 2 in-ceiling line. And to provide dealers with maximum flexibility, a third system option combines the ATX100 with any current SpeakerCraft Profile AIM LCR5 in-wall speaker. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Origin Acoustics and Bang & Olufsen Launch New Range of Passive In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speakers at CEDIA|
Bang & Olufsen announced a new partnership with Origin Acoustics on high-end in-wall and in-ceiling speaker solutions at CEDIA 2016. This partnership extends the Bang & Olufsen acoustic product portfolio of passive in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, providing a multitude of options in terms of both design and performance. The portfolio ranges from speaker solutions for background listening and up to dedicated high-end home theater installations. The two new product ranges include the Celestial in-ceiling speakers and the Palatial in-wall speaker concept offering an extensive range of grills and covers that complement almost any interior design.
The Celestial in-ceiling speakers combine great sound performance and flexibility and simple installation. The Celestial speaker range is designed for discrete background music listening, high performance listening and an involving home theater experience. All the details on this line are here.
The Palatial in-wall speakers are made for active listening, whether it is music or as an invisible home theater in the living room. All the detail on the Palatial line are here.Leave a Comment
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|Savant Adds All-in-One Scalable Music Solution for Pro ChannelToday Savant introduced the Savant Pro Audio 4, the company’s first scalable, wired, all-in-one music solution exclusively for Savant Pro Integrators. Savant Pro Audio 4 features built-in streaming, distribution and amplification for complete audio immersion. With a 50-watt amplifier, integrated audio processing and four zones of high-quality audio that sync automatically between rooms, users can play eight channels of immersive fidelity straight from the Savant Pro App or Pro Remote. The Pro Audio 4 includes a single stream of Savant Music and supports additional streaming through the Savant Smart Host to personalize music in individual rooms.|
Up to three Pro Audio 4 units can be interconnected, expanding the range from four zones to twelve, for a synchronized, whole-home audio experience. Additionally, multiple installation options make it ideal for either new construction or retrofit.
With newly announced software updates, Savant customers can create and schedule personalized scenes with Sonos for the first time. Unique to Savant, this feature gives homeowners the ability to create scenes such as “Relax,” which can turn on a favorite Sonos playlist and dim the lights with a tap when arriving home after work, or be activated automatically at their preferred time of day. New features also include whole-home music distribution from the Savant Pro Remote for convenient control of music throughout the house from one interface, as well as quicker access to volume controls, zone filtering, and more.
Savant Pro 8.1 is scheduled to be released in the coming month, while the Pro Audio 4 is slated for release later in 2016. Pro Audio 4 will be offered for $2,500 MSRP, exclusively through authorized Savant Integrators. Streaming services in the Pro Audio 4 are provided by Autonomic MirageOS.
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|ELAN Intros New 12-Inch Touch Panel at CEDIAExpanding its user interface options, ELAN from Core Brands today introduced the gXP12, a new 12-inch touch panel that is compatible with all ELAN systems.|
The gXP12 has an 11.6” diagonal 16:9 screen offering 1920 x 1080 resolution. With a 5MP camera, the gXP12 is designed for ELAN Intercom. The touch panel provides high-fidelity audio for clearly hearing conversations and notification chimes. The gXP12 also includes a digital MEMS microphone with echo and noise cancellation.
Built on a scalable, multi-core platform, the gXP12 features a Freescale iMX6 dual- and quad-core processor with a NEON SIMD co-processor and 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9. For installers, the touch panel utilizes Power over Ethernet (PoE) and a 24VDC power jack. The gXP12 fits conveniently into a two gang U.S. electrical box. Additionally, the gXP12 is CE, RoHS/WEEE and PoE 802.3af compliant.
ELAN is here.Leave a Comment
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|Sony Updates and Expands Its Line of ES Receivers|
Sony announced today the addition of four new audio-video receivers to join their current ES flagship model, the STR-ZA5000ES. The STR-ZA3100ES, STR-ZA2100ES, and STR-ZA1100ES were designed specifically to meet the needs of custom installers. All of these new models, including the new entry-level STR- ZA810ES, support 4K HDR capability and incorporate both Dolby AtmosTM and DTS:XTM immersive audio.
All of the expanded family of ES Audio-Video Receivers support network updates and include a multi-function Remote Commander that supports a variety of discrete operating codes. Also, all include Sony’s Auto Calibration technology, D.C.A.C. EX with Speaker Relocation. Utilizing a stereo microphone and 31 bands, D.C.A.C. EX compensates for less than ideal listening environments by closely simulating the sound field produced using optimally positioned and angled speakers. And a new feature called Phantom Surround Back provides a 7 channel surround experience with a 5 channel speaker configuration.
The STR-ZA1100ES and above models support ihiji, a cloud-based network management solution, and are compatible with most common controllers, including Crestron Connected. The STR-ZA3100ES and STR-ZA2100ES models can decode up to nine channels.
The STR-ZA3100ES, STR-ZA2100ES and STR-ZA1100ES models include a full range of features that address virtually every system integrator’s premium audio quality requirements. All of the new ES receivers are compatible with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and support a long list of legacy surround formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The receivers incorporate three DSPs, which reduce noise and provide clear sound localization and ambience. These processors are mounted, together with a high-grade electrolytic capacitor, on the receiver’s power line to ensure an ample supply of clean power and optimal performance.
Each of the new ES models includes six HDMI inputs (except the-ZA1100ES, which has five) and two outputs that provide full HDCP 2.2 compliance and supports the latest 4K 60p (4:4:4) Ultra HD content pass-through such as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well as video streaming in full 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR). It can also distribute both 4K video and multichannel audio simultaneously to two different zones. These new ES receivers are compatible with the new BT.2020 wide color gamut standard for future applications. Additionally, the four new ES receivers can upscale video to 4K 24p.
Here is each model:
- STR-ZA5000ES (current model), $2,799.99 MSRP, 9 x 130w, 11ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 8 port switch (2 POE), Pre out, Aluminum panel, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji
- STR-ZA3100ES (new in 2017), $1,699.99 MSRP, 7 x 110w, 9ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 8 port switch (2 POE), Pre out, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji
- STR-ZA2100ES (new in 2017), $1399.99 MSRP, 7 x 105w, 9ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji
- STR-ZA1100ES (new in 2017), $999.99 MSRP, 7 x 100w, 7ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (5/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji
- STR-ZA810ES (new in 2017), $799.99 MSRP, 7 x 100w, 7ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet
Sony will ship them all this spring and here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Middle Atlantic Supports Tech Behind the Display With New Proximity Series In-Wall BoxAs AV systems evolve away from the rack and become more decentralized, Middle Atlantic Products has launched a lineup of storage and mounting options to support these applications. The new Proximity Series In-Wall Box and Mounting Plates provide a convenient means for multiple device integration. The Proximity Series optimizes the space behind the display to conceal equipment, offering greater storage capacity with the flexibility of Middle Atlantic’s patented Lever Lock tool-free mounting system.|
The Proximity Series In-Wall Box is engineered to provide convenient storage of components, power solutions, and cables recessed in the wall behind the display for localized, all-in-one system support. Middle Atlantic says it is the industry’s only in-wall box built for small device mounting flexibility with Middle Atlantic’s tool-less Lever Lock mounting plates included. The in-wall box offers four levels of mounting space for unmatched flexibility and maximum storage optimization. The small in-wall box ships with one 4-inch mounting plate, while the large model ships with two 4-inch mounting plates to accommodate the growing number of small devices needed at the display location. Additional Lever Lock plates are available to accommodate any installation need.
The Proximity Series In-Wall Box also natively accepts Middle Atlantic’s compact power products, including the industry’s fastest-responding, non-degrading patented Series Protection. Top and bottom knockouts provide clean wire management and high-voltage power access. Also included are a J-Box, duplex receptacle and trim ring to ensure a professional, aesthetically pleasing finish.
As part of the series, an optional Proximity Mounting Plate attaches directly to the back of the display for additional localized small-device mounting support. Both the Proximity Series In-Wall Box and Mounting Plates are complementary to the new Middle Atlantic Vision Display Mounts, a lineup of 17 professional-grade display mounts.
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|Luxul Intros Dual-Band Outdoor Wireless Bridge|
Luxul has announced the availability of the XWO-BKT1, a high performance wireless bridge kit. Designed specifically to help professional installers satisfy the ever-increasing demand for better networks, the XWO-BKT1 combines leading-edge dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with high output power to deliver high throughput 5GHz outdoor bridging along with 2.4GHz coverage.
The XWO-BKT1 kit consists of two outdoor bridging APs, along with the necessary installation hardware, including PoE injectors, mounting brackets and water resistant cable glands. The APs can be used for either point-to-point or point-to-multipoint bridging. The reliable and rugged IP-65 rated weather resistant design offers flexible pole or wall mounting options-making it a great choice for delivering superior outdoor wireless bridging and coverage.
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|Middle Atlantic Targets Peerless-AV, Chief and Sanus with New Display Mounts Called Vision SeriesMiddle Atlantic Products today announced a new category to its wide selection of infrastructure products. The Vision Display Mount (VDM) series is a lineup of 17 professional-grade display mounts providing safe, reliable mounting with professional features that enable efficient installations. Available in a selection of styles and profiles, most models offer integrators the means for reliably supporting technology behind the display right out of the box with the included Proximity Series Integrated Mounting Plate.|
The Vision Display Mounts are available in a range of sizes and in fixed, tilt, motion and low-profile options, accommodating VESA patterns up to 800 mm. The series comes standard with post-install leveling for quick horizontal micro-adjustments of the display, safety features that keep the display securely attached to the mount during and after installation, and all the hardware needed to ensure a professional installation. The series’ motion mounts feature a 15- to 24-inch reach (depending on the model), tilt adjustment, wall plate cover and cable management built into the arms. An integrated kickstand facilitates ease of accessibility for servicing of the low-profile models.
Here are all the specs on all 17.Leave a Comment
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|FIBARO Debuts New Suite of Lighting Control Micro Modules|
FIBARO will debut a suite of lighting modules featuring advanced energy monitoring at CEDIA EXPO 2016. Dimmer 2, an advanced lighting module with unique features, as well as Relay Switch 2, available as a single and double option, will be featured in booth 7800.
One of the first FIBARO lighting control devices in the U.S. market, Dimmer 2 is able to control, switch and dim lights at any time and is the perfect complement to any modern home. Dimmer 2 gives consumers the ability to add enhanced smart features with a behind the scenes module to any light switch without sacrificing aesthetic or design. A Z-Wave Plus certified device, Dimmer 2’s specially designed algorithm allows it to automatically recognize the type of connected light source used and calibrate it to ensure your smart home lights are optimally controlled. The lighting controller is also designed to act as a scene manager, allowing for intuitive activation of scenes within a room with the touch of a light switch. This dual capacity allows Dimmer 2 to turn any dimmer switch into a scene trigger without the need for an additional device or smartphone in the room.
With full UL and Dekra Certification and the latest generation Z-Wave Plus certification, the Relay Switch 2 module can be controlled either through the Z-Wave network or a simple switch. Thanks to its small size, it can be mounted inside junction boxes or device casings and is equipped with larger connecting terminals, allowing larger diameter wires to be connected, thereby simplifying installation. Further simplifying the installation process, the built-in RGB diode indicates whether Relay Switch 2 has been added or removed from the network, and can alert you as to whether a calibration or an update was successful. It also reveals the signal quality of the Z-Wave network and verifies whether the install location is within range. With a built-in scene activation mechanism, Relay Switch 2 allows you to program different scenes for your connected electrical device of choice.
Connecting a Dimmer 2 to your FIBARO Home Center hub also provides you with insight into the power consumption of your lights for either two and three wire connections or any electrical device connected to Relay Switch 2. The power and energy usage measurement feature is aggregated into easy to read charts on your web dashboard or iPad app and can be utilized to conserve and save money on electric bills. With safety features on board, both the Dimmer 2 and Relay Switch 2 are protected from overheating, overload and voltage drops, and give users warning notifications via the mobile app if these events occur.
Dimmer 2 is now shipping and will list for $59.99. Relay Switch 2 will begin shipping early this fall and will list for $59.99.
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|Sony Unveils First 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Aimed at Custom InstallersAt CEDIA, Sony unveiled a new reference standard 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player which will be shipping next spring. The new ES Series model (UBP-X1000ES) offers full Custom Installation (CI) compatibility and incorporates a number of features and technologies that will make it the centerpiece of the most advanced home audio-video systems.|
The X1000ES Universal Player is compatible with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well as video streaming in full 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR), for greater detail, brightness and contrast that fully captures the content creator’s intention. Ultra HD Blu-ray playback with stunning 4K resolution, twice the color range of existing conventional Blu-ray players and HDR technology, up to 100 times dynamic range to enjoy realistic picture quality like never before
In addition to support for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs the X1000ES utilizes a Sony developed Precision HD drive to help maintain consistent performance with virtually every optical disc format, including DVD Video and DVD Audio, CD and SA-CD, Blu-ray 3D and BD-ROM media. The player further incorporates a variety of video codecs that can deliver 4K streaming from video streaming services like Amazon Video, YouTube and others.
A dedicated picture mode for HDR content is provided, along with Sony’s advanced video processing that upscales 1080p content to near 4K 60p resolution. Additionally, when playing 4K HDR content on a 4K SDR television the X1000ES utilizes a unique Sony algorithm to reproduce the proper brightness and color gradations to provide the best picture possible.
The UBP-X1000ES is also a great match to Dolby AtmosTM and DTS:XTM object-oriented audio compatible receivers, for the most immersive home theater experience possible. Plus its 32-bit processing DAC is compatible with both native DSD (at up to 11.2 MHz) and LPCM (at up to 192kHz) Hi-Res Music files, which are available in a number of different formats.
Unlike conventional 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players, Sony plans to have the X1000ES fully certified by such leading home control and automation system vendors as Control4, Crestron, Savant, and others. Furthermore, The UBP-X1000ES provides virtually every connectivity option required for today’s complex custom installations, including IP Control over CAT 5 cable or Wi-Fi networks; RS232C two-way control and IR-IN. A web browser interface is also offered, along with support for ihiji, a cloud-based network management solution used by custom installers for remote maintenance.
The new UBP-X1000ES is being offered exclusively to the custom installer channel and will ship in spring 2017. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HomeAV Edition out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100% opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the high-end HomeAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
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A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV-industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe Publications has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA, launched in February, 2004.
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