CEDIA 2014

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 16, 2014  |  1 comments
The big Blue Bear, the “mascot” for the Denver Convention Center, is sad. Another cycle of CEDIA Expos in Denver has ended; next year we head to Big D A double L AS (that spells Dallas, my, oh yes).

But this latest two-year run in in Denver ended with a bang. It was...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
There’s a good chance that you’ve never hear of Core Brands. On the other hand, there’s an even better chance that you know of at least one - if not most - of the brands that are part of the Core Brands group: SpeakerCraft, ELAN, Furman, Panamax, Xantech, Sunfire, and Niles. Although the press conference began almost 25 minutes late and it was difficult to hear the presentation due to all of the commotion on the show floor, several interesting announcements were made...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Lutron’s President, Michael Pessina, began the company’s CEDIA EXPO 2014 press conference by noting that this was Lutron’s 21st CEDIA attendance. Twenty years ago, lighting control mostly consisted of “lot of products hand-wired together.” Today, of course, the overwhelming trend in lighting control and home automation is to use digital, wireless products. To maintain the company’s prominence in the lighting control industry, Pessina said that Lutron spends approximately ten-percent of its sales on research and development. Almost all of that R&D, Pessina added, was in the areas of digital control and wireless connectivity. It’s one reason why there will be a Lutron Caseta Wireless lighting control app available for the Apple Watch when it becomes available in early 2015. (Lutron was even part of the Apple Watch announcement during the Keynote.)

Moving on to...

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  1 comments
Starting this November, the new Home Entertainment Motion Controller (HEMC) from D-BOX will bring the company’s advanced motion coding experience to far more than just movies on Blu-ray and DVD disc. D-BOX will now be delivering its proprietary excitement of the fourth dimension of motion from any source, including movies streamed from services like Netflix, Vudu, and Apple TV and even from movies viewed on cable and satellite.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
At Crestron’s CEDIA press conference, the company spent time explaining how Crestron Pyng is going to save time for integrators when programming Crestron both small and large home automation systems. According to Crestron, home automation apps have traditionally been “add-ons to control systems that are programmed using computers.” With Crestron Pyng, on the other hand, “you are not adding an app to your automation system. The app is your automation system.” Pyng uses a compact hub to connect accessories - such as Crestron’s wireless lighting controls, various window treatments, thermostats, Yale wireless door locks, and security systems - and runs scenes and events with or without the presence of a smart device. It also continuously backs up all the home settings to a cloud server, which provides a way to restore the system to a previous configuration if the homeowner makes changes to the system that need to be reversed.

Crestron also introduced...

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Sonance showed a massive redo of its amplifier line-up, reducing offerings from 29 amp models down to a lean-and-mean five! At the same time, the company made significant improvements throughout the line, making significant feature upgrades and going from a traditional inefficient, heat producing, analog design to new digital models.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Looming just outside the PRO Audio Technology booth are speakers that literally dwarf my 6-foot 4-inch self. These speakers weigh upwards of 300 pounds, feature massive horns and woofers and are driven by 10,000 watts of amplification to deliver organ pulverizing SPLs in even the largest rooms. So when I went into the PRO Audio demo, I certainly expected to be blown away by big sound. What I didn’t expect was what I saw when the demo was over and the company revealed what was actually playing!

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
One of the big announcements from Sony’s CEDIA keynote address was that the company’s FMP-X10 4K media player would be updated later in the year to work with other companies TVs, meaning Sony is going to partially unlock its proprietary connection. This is great news for Ultra HD content starved viewers, however it will likely still require a separate HDMI cable for audio from the media player to the processor and for video to the TV. Lame. Fortunately, Krell figured out a way around this.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Controlling an automation system with an iPhone/Android device is great, but can become a little more tricky as you move about in a large home. The way systems are typically programmed, a home/project is divided into rooms or areas, and then you need to select which room you are in to control it. As you walk around, however, you might find yourself needing to scroll through lists of rooms trying to find the right one to control. This can become a real issue in large homes with many room. Crestron’s new PinPoint proximity detection beacon will simply solve this problem, making sure that your device opens up ready to control the room you’re in!

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Just when we mastered sending 1080p HDMI signals around the house over Cat5 cabling, much larger and more bandwidth intensive 4K video looms darkly on the horizon. And according to some cable tests I’ve seen, the current cable distribution scheme might not work for your 3840x2160 video streams, especially as distances increase. Instead of black screens of “No Signal” or drop-outs and sparklies, Celerity offers a fiber solution that will support 4K runs up to 1000 feet!

John Sciacca  |  Sep 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Soundbars are one of the hottest growing market segments, letting people add significantly better sound to the mediocre garbage that spews out of the “speakers” included with most flat panel TVs. While most sound bars talk about sound quality and surround immersion – both important traits, of course – the new Yamaha YSP-2500 has a “Target” feature that addresses a completely different issue!

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 14, 2014  |  1 comments
Great Britain’s Monitor Audio introduced the sleek and uniquely styled A100 music streamer/amplifier at CEDIA Expo 2014. The unit packs a 50-watt Class AB amplifier and high-resolution digital-to-analog converter intro a compact, curved chassis that is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 14, 2014  |  1 comments
Wilfried Van Baelan talks about the Auro-3D surround sound format he invented before the demo clips roll.

Belgium-based Auro Technologies dazzled CEDIA Expo showgoers with an 11.1-channel “immersive sound” demo of the Auro-3D surround format it introduced in theaters in 2011 and is now bringing to home theaters.

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 14, 2014  |  0 comments
Soundbar pioneer Zvox demonstrated its new Platinum Series SoundBase systems designed to support TVs as large as 80 inches. The line includes three low-profile models: the 30-inch-wide model 570 ($400), 36-inch model 670 ($500), and 42-inch model 770 ($700).
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 13, 2014  |  0 comments
I have always been impressed by the look and feel of Salamander Designs’ cabinets and furniture. As with most quality furnishings, however, the price tag has always been commensurate with the quality of the furniture. There are a variety of factors for this, most especially the fact that the majority of what Salamander Design makes is highly customizable and built-to-order in Hartford, CT. Sal Carrabba, founder of Salamander Designs, explained that the company’s AV Basics products are “focused on providing simplicity by offering a carefully curated product line that is in stock and ready to ship.” In addition to adding more cabinets to the AV Basics line, Salamander Designs unveiled the new AV Basics theater seat, the Model TC3, at CEDIA.

The TC3 is upholstered in black bonded leather, which Salamander Designs says is...