The Best of CEDIA Expo 2012 (Or... why I keep going back to Indy despite the lack of direct flights)
Posted on Oct 15, 2012
Last month, our CEO, Kirk Attoian and I spent about a week in Indianapolis at our industry’s annual trade show called Cedia Expo 2012. Cedia stands for Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (http://www.cedia.org) and is responsible for among other things those fancy letters at the end of my name. Along with about 20,000 of our closet friends, we visit the show each year to see the latest and greatest, newest and coolest, bestest and badest that manufacturers in our industry such as Savant, Totem and others have to offer for the coming year.
So… welcome to my 2nd annual take on our favorites. If you missed last year’s 1st annual entry, you can read all about it here in another blog post.
While this year’s Cedia trade show may not have been brimming over with technological innovation, practical affordability was the name of the game. Taking existing product concepts, making them even more feature rich and pricing them reasonably appeared to be the unofficial motif.
Savant Smart Tiling:
Savant is about to launch a hardware/software update to it’s video distribution systems. This update will enable multiple video sources such as satellite TV, Apple TV, Blu Ray, etc. to be viewed in tiled windows on the same display at the same time. Think conference room applications with pie charts, video conferencing and the latest promo reel or even better, think home theater or media room with 4, 6 or 9 football games all on the screen at once. (Does the NFL actually play 9 games at once?)
While this feature is not unique to Savant, their approach is evolutionary. Instead of requiring an outboard box, Savant has built the functionality in to its existing video distribution systems through the addition of insertable video expansion cards.
What makes this solution even more exciting than just the reduction in components and its flexibility is the way in which it is controlled. Expanding upon its already award winning iPad interface, Savant has added its multi-touch video tiling control. With other systems, providing a simple, easy to use method for our Client’s to decide which video source should show on which window and which audio should play was a challenge. Savant’s system shows a representation of each available video window. Using drag and drop you can quickly and easily re-arrange the video layout. Pinch to zoom and one window expands to full screen. Tap a window and get a list of possible sources. While this type of technology has never been for the feint of wallet, as a card based solution Savant has brought parity to multi-window display vs. the cost of installing multiple displays. It is a great advancement for both conference rooms and media rooms alike. We told Savant how how much we liked it and they made us a beta tester!
Wirepath High Definition IP Surveillance System:
I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for a couple of years now about high definition surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, when an improvement to an existing technology quadruples the price, not many people want to hear about it no matter how enthusiastic I am. That is all about to change. Between now and the end of the year, Wirepath (by SnapAV) is about to launch the first affordable High Definition/IP Surveillance System. Starting with a handful of NVR’s (Network Video Recorders) and 2 Mega-Pixel IP-HD cameras, the line will grow over the next year to include a wide variety of ultra-mega pixel, PTZ and application specific products. High Definition CCTV with its crisp, clear images is finally coming home.
Totem Kin Series:
Totem, the annual purveyors of quality in a sea of cacophony, have found a way to make their big sound, even smaller; the new Kin architectural speaker line. The younger cousin to the amazing Totem Tribe speakers, the new Kin series is comprised of in-wall and in-ceiling models that fit in tiny spaces but maintain Totem’s knack for creating wide-range, dynamic, high fidelity audio. Think Mini-cooper with the power, elegance and luxury of a BMW M5. And, fitting in with this year’s trend, even the price tag got shrinkified. Pair the Kin with a Tribe sub or any other Tribe speaker and they match perfectly to provide an amazing surround sound experience. Watch for more to come next year as the Kin models hit the market and remind us that big things do come in small packages.
What box, you ask? Why, Watt Box of course. Watt Box (another of the SnapAV brand of products) was introduced earlier this year as a line of affordable, high quality power conditioning products. At Cedia, they showed off their latest innovation: Internet controlled and switchable surge protection. While products in this category have existed for several years now, they have either lacked features or affordability. No more. With a WattBox device installed in your equipment rack or behind your TV, we will have the ability to remotely power cycle any device plugged into it. Each outlet may be switched on/off individually from any internet browser anywhere in the world via a secure web portal. Even better, Watt Box is self healing and may be configured to ensure your internet connection is alive and well. If a Wattbox goes for more than its programmed time without being able to reach the outside world, it will automatically reboot the router and/or modem plugged into it. At prices that are a fraction of other companies’ solutions, the new IP controllable Watt Box solution will become a standard in every system.
Wilson Electronics Cell Phone Booster System:
If you have a small amount of cell phone signal inside or outside your home, Wilson Electronics has created a a solution that will finally enable us to repeat that signal around your house without investing in your own cell tower. Using specialized antennas and a unique signal transmission/amplification system, Wilson Electronics is solving a significant problem and fulfilling a need we hear about on almost every project. The system provides multi-band and multi-carrier support whether AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile or Sprint. Unlike super low-priced, limited solutions, Wilson’s flexible and expandable system successfully repeats signals throughout every nook and cranny of your home and property. We are proud to say that Interior Technologies is now factory trained and certified to supply and install this practical and affordable solution.
If you would like to hear about the other great, new products and services we saw at Cedia or for more information about our Favorite Five, become a Fan of Interior Technologies on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter or drop us an email.
See you next year at Cedia 2013 in Denver! (Non-Stop – No Connecting Flights Required!)
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