What Was Hot at CEDIA EXPO 2013

Randy Blanchard

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On October 4th In Audio/Video, Events
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This year’s CEDIA EXPO was a huge success! With more than 470 exhibitors and over 17,000 attendees, the show offered the perfect venue to share and experience the latest technologies. There were so many cool new products on the showfloor, and what is even more exciting is these products will all be available at ADI. Here are details on some of the products that really caught my attention.

Proficient launched their new Protege Series line of thin bezel speakers. The entire Proficient product line will be moving to the new thin bezel design with magnetic grills. The nice thing about this is that they did not change the size of the speakers, so if dealers have pre-construction brackets installed or holes already cut they can install the new thin bezel designs where they were planning on installing the older, thick bezel design. Proficient will still continue to offer a thicker bezel speaker for those existing installations where the customer wants to keep a consistent look.

Russound used CEDIA EXPO 2013 to launch their new wireless products, called Xstream. The key feature of these wireless products is that can be controlled by an app or a keypad, unlike some of the competition that only allows control by an app. Additionally the wireless products can be added to their existing wired systems to offer more opportunities. These wireless products will be sold only through the installer channel, which means dealers won’t have to compete with Target and Walmart like they do with some of the competitors’ products.

Sony launched a new curved LED TV at CEDIA and showed new versions of their Ultra HD TVs with hidden speakers, which can be more appropriate for the installer channel. Sony also demonstrated their Ultra HD media player and soon to launched Ultra HD download service. The media player comes with ten Ultra HD movies loaded, and customers will soon be able to choose from a library of Ultra HD movies from Universal Studios and others. Consumers will have the option of either renting movies or buying them, and having them stored on the player.

KEF entered the popular sound bar market with two models, the V700 and V720, they are the same unit but the V720 includes a wireless subwoofer. What makes these sound bars so unique is that they use the audio return channel on any HDMI 1.4 connection to get their content. This means that the remote on your TV will control the volume on the soundbar. No need for a second remote control.  For TVs that are not HDMI 1.4 compliant, KEF also offers an optical input as well. KEF also showed a pair of powered speakers using the same technology. The speaker comes from their T-series line, which means they match up nicely with any thin TV. They also incorporate the same connection as the soundbars, so there is no need for a second remote.

Onkyo launched their new flagship receiver the TX-NR929, which is loaded with technology and connectivity to transform a home into a high-resolution entertainment haven. The receiver includes built-in Wi-Fi for app-controllable multizone network audio streaming, built-in Bluetooth wireless audio technology, zone 2 HDMI Out, and an expanded selection of online media streaming services. This powerful 135 Watts-per-channel THX Select2 Plus certified solution can power audio in up to three zones, including Whole House mode for synchronized house-wide audio. It plays back files over the wireless home network, all controllable by the Onkyo Remote App for iPod touch/iPhone, Android and Kindle devices.  It offers 9 HDMI inputs for movie, gaming and other sources, and 2 HDMI outputs for a second TV or projector. All this for $1399 MSRP.

At the show, ADI also joined together with some of our leading manufacturers to host our 8th annual customer appreciation event. Hosted at the City Hall, located near the Denver Capitol building and one of the city’s best live music venues, the event featured a night of entertainment from the famous rock band The Wallflowers. More than 1300 customers were invited to the event, and enjoyed the evening of food, refreshments, live entertainment and networking.

We look forward to CEDIA EXPO 2014!

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