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Favorites from CEDIA Expo 2013

Oct 3 '13

Favorites from CEDIA Expo 2013


 Some  of our favorites and highlights from our visit to CEDIA ‘s 2013 Expo in Denver Last Week.

Paul Wilkinson and I started off the show on Thursday at Crestron‘s enormous booth. Mats, one of Creston’s knowledgable marketing mavens gave us a tour of everything Crestron. Since Crestron is one A&E’s favorite suppliers we were familiar with most of the products on display but Mats showed us some new tricks too. The big move is towards Wireless controls and switches, now everything can be controlled without the need to run wires, this is especially useful in retrofitting existing homes where running wires may not be practical. Crestron infiniNET® provide a simple retrofit solution. Their new Window Shading Systems were very nicely done too. From Roller, Skylight and Roman Shades to Drapery Tracks, Creston’s has the perfect solution for every room. For more information about Creston’s automated Window shading products click here: Crestron Shades


Next to Creston’s booth was James Loudspeakers with a full range of speaker choices. We’ve always liked James Loudspeakers and they didn’t disappoint. James Loudspeakers provide incredible audio reproduction in beautiful enclosures for both indoor, outdoor and marine applications. Some of our favorites are there Landscape speaker systems with buried subwoofers.

James Landscape

They also had on display some of their custom speaker enclosures, Wine Barrel Speakers. These would be a very nice addition to a wine cellar or tasting room.

James winebarrel

Another Speaker company, Stealth Acoustics impressed us with their line of totally waterproof speakers, the “Sting Ray”.

Sting Ray Blk   Sting Ray wht

While you may not know it you can put speakers in your pool and the Sting Rays look like the ones to use. The Sting Ray are also a very good choice for a totally weatherproof speaker solution where the environment is extremely wet, humid and or dirty. We’re excited to give them a try in Paul’s pool. You’ve never experienced Pink Floyd until you’ve listened to DARK  SIDE of the MOON underwater!

Next on my hit list was DataSat‘s sound room.   DataSat RS20i  Teaming up with other industry heavyweights to show off their latest Audio Processor the RS20i in a specially built sound room on the show floor is was a very impressive performance. Later we experienced the DataSat RS20i teamed with Wisdom Audio’s Line Source speaker systems and that was phenomenal! To give you an idea of just how High HiFI can go here’s what tWisdom Audio’s dedicated listening room was equipped with: New Wisdom Series LS3i planar magnetic LCR channels, stacked as 10-foot line sources behind a 21-ft wide 2:40 screen, Six Sage Series L75 line source surround channels, Six STS Regenerative Transmission Line® subwoofers, with over 60,000 watts of amplification. Yea baby!  It was a sonic experience to be remembered, I kid you not. Both of these rooms used Digital Projection Systems DLP LCD projection systems and Stewart Filmscreens for a picture that rivaled the sound. If you demand audio performance that “rocks your world” do we ever have some ideas for you. For a good explanation of Line Source speakers vs. the traditional Point Source speakers click here: Line vs. Point

Moving along we were told that we couldn’t miss seeing what HydraConnect had to offer so when we stumbled across their booth we stopped in for a tour. In Greek mythology a Hydra was a gigantic, nine-headed water-serpent in this instance HydraConnect is a very compact HDMI Matrix switch for Whole House A/V systems with many intriguing features.


The standout feature that we are most excited about is the HydraConnect system’s ability to speak each components own native control language. As you may or may or know the High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) interconnect standard carries not only HiDef Audio (5.1) and Video (now unto 4K) but also control signals (CEC). The promise was that a single cable would not only connect your devices and carry the proper signals but would also allow centralized control of all the devices in your system. Well all the manufactures developed their own CEC versions  for their components so if  every component in your system is say Denon they can all be controlled by the Denon A’V receiver unit. That’s great but Denon doesn’t make Video monitors so your TV doesn’t go on with the touch of your Denon remote, you have to find the TV’s remote and hit that ON button too. This is why most of us still have a plethora of remotes on our coffee tables or we’ve bough some kind of “universal” remote and gone through the tedious process of setting it up. That’s a solution for single room A/V systems but it doesn’t pan out well for multi-room distributed A/V systems like we deal with. HydraConnect’s systems take in whatever the component “says” and “translates” it to the others via the HDMI cables making everything actually work the way God and HDMI intended.  Very slick. We look forward to trying this system out at Paul’s place where failure is an option before using it in one of our customer’s systems but if it does we will be singing HydraConnect’s praise far and wide.

Another Favorite was Genelec‘s wireless powered speakers. Good looking, great sounding compact book shelf speakers and stand alone sub-woofers with powerful amplifiers built in.

Genelac speakerGenelac speakerGenelac speakerGenelec Sub  Genelec Sub  Genelec Sub

We’ll be using these with the Sonos WiFi audio network controller to provide  a much better wireless HiFi experience. Sonos makes some great products that are easy to install and use but their speakers left us flat but coupled with Genelec’s speakers wireless streaming audio might just win us over.

Buried in a far corner of the exhibit hall was a small table top booth with 3 geeks waving us over. Their brainchild was Infinite Environments. What these guys had was a little model of a theater room and nothing else but we decided to take a look, what the hell. Well were glad we did, these guys are Audio Geeks on par with rocket scientists, in fact Marshall even has the Ph.D to prove it.  They explained their approach to the ultimate Home Theater environment and we immediately hit it off since we spoke the same language. These guys Dave Riddle, Dan Siefert, and Marshall Buck Ph.D between them have been into sound since the first tree fell in the forest, they were there to hear it, no doubt.  They have designed and built what can only be described as the ultimate listening environment including custom line source drivers, and opposed firing sub-woofers in sand filled walls on isolated concrete slab with specially designed acoustical paneling to create a room that is “the” audio sweet spot.  We can’t wit to visit their demonstration theater in Van Nuys to experience it. Of course this kind of thing doesn’t come cheap but for the people that want the very best immersive theater experience money can buy this just might be it and A&E would be glad to help them make it into the ultimate Home Cinema.

Well it was a long trek going around the show and our dogs were barking our backs were aching and there across from Infinite Environment’s boothwere these incredible massage chairs by Cozzia.


They looked futuristic, but judging by the expressions on the occupants very comfortable and cozy, so we circled Cozzia’s booth waiting for an opportunity to try one out. They were a very popular attraction because everyone at a trade show wants a massage. Paul and I finally swooped in and got ourselves each a seat in their top-of-the-line EC618 Zero gravity 3D massage systems (to call these “chairs” is like calling a F1 Car a “fliver”).  This thing starts off by fitting to you as it tilts you back into the zero G position and then measures your spine in 3 dimensions. I have to say at 6’4″ it’s the first such chair that was actually long enough for me. Once its got you mapped, it begins to deliver an wonderful massage that includes everything from neck and shoulders all the way to the bottoms of your feet even your hands and arms, (did I mention heat too?). To make a long story short; they practically  had to call security to get us out of them the massage was everything but the “happy ending”. We are signing up to be Cozzia dealers and can’t wait to show you just how incredible Cozzia’s products are! Warning, once you’ve tried them, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to put it and a schedule for usage with the others in your house because you’re going to get one and everyone will be fighting over who’s turn it is. Check out their video: Cozzia Video

Display Development’s booth featured Christie‘s latest and greatest video projection system on the floor screening THE GREAT GATSBY in ambient light. The Christie CP4230 DLP® Digital Cinema® projector was incredibly bright and clear on a huge screen. Another standout at Display Development’s booth was there innovative in-wall projection system enabling you to hide the video projector in a wall only 11 inches thick. The projector is mounted so that it is projecting the image downward, then bounced off a front-side mirror to the screen,  a very clever solution where space is at a premium.

I could go on and on, the Expo was cram packed with the products we use to bring you the finest in Home Automation and Entertainment but I’m enough is enough.

If you’re interested in how any these professional products might work for you, A&E is an authorized reseller and service provider for all of these suppliers and many more. We would be happy to help you find the products and services to suit your Home Automation and Entertainment desires, just give us a call.


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