CUSTOM INSTALLATION EQUIPMENT REVIEWS

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 23, 2009  |  1 comments
So Many Rooms, So Few Wires

My home began as a tiny two-room house on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere back in the late 1800s. A century later, I’m sitting in a cubbyhole office in the original upstairs section. Old and new sections butt up against one another. Some of the home’s old elements have been remade to look new, while its new parts have a patina of old. Straight lines and level floors are few and far between. With two totally separate (in both location and age) upstairs areas, it almost qualifies as a human Habitrail. As they say in the real estate business, it has character.

David Vaughn  |  Jun 10, 2015  |  5 comments

NEAR IG 6/IGS 12 Outdoor Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

NEAR 6XL Amplifier
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $4,656 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
In-ground installation allows the speakers to almost disappear
Incredibly clear audio at high, and low, volume levels
Designed to last in any type of weather
Minus
Expensive
Back-breaking work to install permanently

THE VERDICT
A speaker system designed for the rigors of outdoors with the performance of high-end indoor loudspeakers.

As a home theater die-hard, I spend way too much time indoors, regardless of the season. But my wife encourages me to get my vitamin D whenever the weather is nice, and there’s nothing like spending a leisurely Saturday afternoon lying by the pool while listening to music or some San Francisco Giants baseball. I’ve had an outdoor speaker system installed for the last 15 years. I think those speakers cost me under $1,000 (including amplification), and whereas they sounded great when new, they’ve gotten progressively worse as the years have gone on—even though I uninstall them in the winter to keep them from getting waterlogged when the rainy season hits. This isn’t a knock on the unnamed company that made my outdoor speakers; it’s just an acknowledgement of what happens when drivers bake in the California sun and have cheap “all weather” plastic enclosures.

Kim Wilson  |  Sep 02, 2010  |  2 comments

Yesterday, Apple announced the next generation Apple TV, a product line that has been unchanged and virtually ignored by the company for several years. With this newest product introduction, our imagination is re-ignited with possibilities. Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, has been eluding to the magic "cloud" as the future of content distribution and management for some time and the new Apple TV delivers on that vision.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 09, 2007  |  1 comments

NAD is bringing a new preamp-tuner-processor and two new multichannel power amps to CEDIA.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 02, 2016  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE Nexia Bridge, $87; Trane XL824, $334

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Nexia Diagnostics monitors real-time HVAC performance
Z-Wave-supported Nexia Bridge built into thermostat
Minus
$9.99/month subscription fee
Cloud-based automation works slower than local systems

THE VERDICT
The Nexia system is unique in that it appeals to both do-it-yourselfers and those who want it done for them. Its combination of a simple programming structure with an assortment of welcoming and intuitive user interfaces makes it a system you’ll actually enjoy using.

I was beginning to worry that we’d run out of acronyms. After all, what would we do if we had to speak or write actual words instead of just using three- or four-letter shorthand? Saying “do-it-yourself” is so much more time-consuming than “DIY.” Thank goodness there’s a new acronym making the rounds: DIFM, which stands for do-it-forme. Although people have always wanted to have things done for them, the appearance of the acronym DIFM is the result of the wicked hangover that the DIY smart-home industry is suffering, after a couple of years when rapacious startup enthusiasm sucked all of the rational oxygen out of the air. The fact is that there are plenty of rooms in the smart home to accommodate the yourselfers, the for-me-ers, and the dedicated custom installers.

John Sciacca  |  Jun 02, 2015  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,070 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Incredibly simple setup
Terrific home theater integration
Easily handles both analog and IP sources
Minus
No native sources
Typical Class D sound quality

THE VERDICT
Auriel is a breeze to set up, provides control over legacy and modern sources, and offers home theater integration along with a variety of easy-to-use interfaces.

Housewide audio distribution systems varied little in their design and feature set for many years. Whether they were from Niles, Elan, SpeakerCraft, NuVo, or Russound, you could essentially count on them offering six analog audio source inputs, onboard amplification for six stereo zones, and connections for a variety of controllers, usually including an in-wall keypad.

Kim Wilson  |  Mar 31, 2011  |  0 comments
A unique mounting system that adds some extra dimension and style to your living room theater.
Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 26, 2016  |  0 comments
As more and more devices become wireless, it seems that it should be easier to connect together all the TVs in the house without the mess of cables. Truth is that it’s not as simple as it seems. The new Nyrius WS54 (MSRP: $170) makes it about as simple as it can be. Plus, it works in a challenging situation where many other systems have failed.

Debbie Stampfli  |  Apr 13, 2010  |  0 comments

Acoustic treatments don’t need to be bland to make your sound stand out.
In the past, acoustic panels were primarily utilitarian. They could absorb and diffuse sound, but they did little to reinforce your room’s style. Thankfully, times have changed. Now companies offer practical acoustic panels in stylish and up-to-date colors and fabrics; some even incorporate patterns and lighting. Since you’re no longer doomed to using big black rectangles, it’s time to add a splash of color or design to your walls and ceilings with the latest acoustic panels. Acoustic treatments don’t need to be eyesores in your beautiful home theater.

Kim Wilson  |  Aug 07, 2009  |  0 comments

Digeo, makers of the Moxi HD-DVR set-top box (only available to digital cable subscribers) has released the Moxi Mate, as a companion piece. The Moxi Mate enables multi-room access to video content from a connected Moxi HD-DVR as well as PCs and other devices connected on a wired or wireless in-home network. The unit will carry an MSRP of $399, though for a limited time you can purchase it for $199.

Kim Wilson  |  Oct 15, 2009  |  1 comments

if you thought you couldn't afford a high quality 1080p projector– think again. Panasonic's new PT-AE4000U just lowered the bar, on price, but not quality. This LCD projector retails for $2499, though some say it can be found for less, even from authorized dealers for hundreds less. Consciously designed for smaller home theaters, the PT-AE1000U can project a 120-inch image from as little as 11 to as much as 24 feet away. You sure can't get that in a flat panel display for a mere $2.5k.

Adrienne Maxwell  |  Sep 14, 2006  |  0 comments
Wholehouse audio for the real world.

Everyone likes the idea of wholehouse audio. Who doesn't want the ability to access their music library in any room of their home? It's in the implementation that things get tricky. Do you invest a couple of grand in a dedicated audio server for your gear rack, plus amplification and speakers for each room and all that wire you'll have to run through the walls to connect everything? Or do you opt instead for the $150 digital media player that taps into your PC's music library? Of course, you'd need one for each room. . .and several audio systems, too. Oh, and knowledge of home networking is kind of important. For many, neither path is a realistic or desirable option.

Kim Wilson  |  Oct 15, 2008  |  2 comments

Offering up one of the more unique solutions for concealing a projection screen, Beamax has introduced the X-series Dellegno, which allows an 80-inch screen to ascend vertically from the stylish and contemporary cabinet, transforming a room-friendly piece of furniture into a large screen experience.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 09, 2007  |  1 comments

CEDIA saw the introduction by PSB of an all-new flagship line of speakers plus a pair of new subwoofers. The top-of-the-line Synchrony series speakers include two floorstanding towers, two bookshelf models, two center channels, and a tri-mode surround speaker. PSB says it's the company's "most significant introduction in a decade."

Kim Wilson  |  Jul 24, 2009  |  0 comments

PSB, the highly respected Canadian speaker manufacturer, has redesigned their highly acclaimed Image Series. Based on trickle down technology and styling from their flagship Synchrony series and the follow up Imagine series, PSB's Image series has been completely remodeled and equipped with the company's most current features and enhancements for an entirely new auditory experience.

Pages

X