CEDIA Expo 2012: An Incomplete Account of Some Trends

The real story of CEDIA Expo 2012, in my opinion, was the way in which the traditional forces of custom integration and installation continue to respond to the flood of ever-more-capable products coming out of the consumer electronics sector, from wireless video and audio to cheap-and-cheerful iOS and Android propelled appliances. But intriguing accomodations continue to be made, calling into question the inevitability of the demise of custom install that some have foretold.

The announcement of Sony's collaboration with Control 4 on a range of home-automation-endowed AVRs set the tone for the show. The embrace of soundbars as a legitimate element of home theater by just about everybody making speakers and the emergence of a new category, the "TV speaker" (we were all struggling for a moniker: "post-soundbar" "supersoundbar") drove the point home.

The show was all about connections between traditional consumer gear and traditional custom territory, and it seemed like everyone was getting along surprisingly well, all things considered. Emerging standards - wireless in-room audio from WiSA, Silicon Images chipsets for wireless video, mobile HDMI connectivity, and HDMI switching, HDBaseT, MHL, and so forth and so on - all aim at making it simpler than ever to make connections. The next few years should be very, very interesting.

But for now, follow along on my random walk thorugh the Indianapolis Convention Center.