More of what was seen and heard while walking the Expo floor in Denver.
The PowerHouse Alliance’s Dennis Holzer, executive director, updated us on the distributor group’s recent activities, at their CEDIA booth. The Alliance, which marks its tenth anniversary in November, had 11 members at the time of CEDIA occupying 39 locations. Holzer said the membership most values its networking opportunities with one another, as “the best consultant for our guys is the guy sitting next to you.” He reported that despite the uncertainties posed by industry consolidation and the threat of tariffs, “our brands are doing well.” Business is up around 17 percent over 2018 year to date, and the group boosted its A2V house brand with the addition of subwoofers and outdoor speakers. Seven new lines were added to the Alliance roster during 2019, including RTI, MantelMount, PowerShades and KLH speakers and radios. Holzer added that future plans include continuing to “seek out additional commercial products.”
RTI showcased a sound room full of its latest control and automation solutions and A/V distribution products. Among these was the KA11 touchpanels with 11.6-inch widescreen LCD display, the T4x 4-inch capacitive touchscreen – the company’s flagship remote control, marking what the company’s Brett Stokke said was a revisiting of a smaller remote form factor while maintain a generously sized touchscreen, and the U3 weatherproof remote (December availability) – a chlorine-resistant floatable remote that uses inductive charging within its base.
At Control4, client personalization was the buzzword at CEDIA Expo. The brand, now part of the Snap AV family, has added expanded voice control capability via Google Assistant to its Smart Home OS 3 platform, so that homeowners will now be able to use the “OK, Google” command to tweak settings for lights, shading, temperature and more. Additionally, via Intercom Anywhere, integration with third-party smart doorbells has been made possible.
Lenbrook at CEDIA added to its core competencies for the CI channel with numerous introductions, said the company’s Joe DeJesus. DeJesus is shown here with the new nine-channel flagship NAD T 778 Reference AVR (due out by 2020; $2,999) in a low-profile, 3U rack-mount chassis whose front features a graphic user interface (GUI). Its design allows integrators to effect remote diagnostics, and it features improvements in heat management. Also among the new products was the DALI Katch One 10-driver soundbar, with a unique look, placement versatility (wall or tabletop) and the option of two sound modes: wide for movie- and concert-viewing and Focus, suited to viewing news and documentaries.
Multiple introductions were to be seen throughout the Legrand / AV booth. In the QMotion brand, the QIS (QQadvanced Intelligent System) Power and Communication Panel, the control system for its hard-wired shades, was shown in its updated iteration. It has been redesigned to be smaller and simpler to both install and maintain, says the company, and will readily fit into a Vantage Controls enclosure. The company is also expanding its fabric range to include new blackout shade designs, reports Cassie Crawford. For Nuvo, the Pro-Series audio players (NV-P5200, P5100 and P5050) were offered as a direct-dealer exclusive, said the company’s Gerald Willis. Also on view was a new family of eight-inch passive subs and matching digital amplifiers. Spotlighted for smaller installations was the NV-SUBIC8 in-ceiling sub with infinite baffle design, featuring a round magnetic grille with a square grille available as an option.
JL Audio’s Carl Kennedy showed off the Fathom f110v2 10-inch powered subwoofer (October availability, $3,500) – the most compact within the company’s Fathom series. It features an ultra-long-throw W7 10-inch driver and a switching amplifier to provide it with output normally associated with larger sub systems, says the company.
Dynaudio’s Michael Manousselis showed off the Performance Series of in-wall, in-ceiling and LCR speakers. The six models are noteworthy for their simplicity of installation and lifetime warranty. Also on view, the Sub RCC in-wall subwoofer (due in late October), as a complement to the company’s Performance and Studio CI speaker ranges, and designed for either retrofit or new construction. Also, the OW6 and OW8 are the company’s first outdoor speakers and are rated IP65 water-resistant.
GoldenEar Technology trained its focus in its CEDIA sound room on the introduction of the Bookshelf Reference X (BRX) passive bookshelf/stand-mount speaker ($1,400/pair; February availability), shown by company principal Sandy Gross. It packs many familiar and proven GoldenEar signature technologies into its ultra-compact chassis, including a cast-basket bass/midrange driver with a focused-field magnetic structure, and a reference high-velocity folded-ribbon tweeter with a high-gauss Neodymium magnet structure.
FIBBR’s Joe Zhang detailed the company introductions at their CEDIA booth. These included the Pure2 active fiber optic HDMI cable. It is made with glass fiber available exclusively from YOFC, said to be the world’s largers fiber maker, and is said to deliver increased bandwidth with the added benefit of a USB pigtail power supply so that its optical engine won’t run out of power. It also features the company’s BendRobust technology, allowing the fiber to bend 180 degrees when needed in difficult placement scenarios.