News / Media

Best New Home Theater Projectors from CEDIA 2011

Trends include 4K, 3D and 2:35

September 12, 2011 by Grant Clauser

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CES may be a gadget-lover’s dream event, but CEDIA is the golden ticket if you’re into the best home theater gear. This is place with the world’s top electronics companies show of their newest technology. Most readers will get their first chance to experience these products in dealer showrooms a few months from now, so let me share some of the highlights in big picture projectors.

Overall, there were two new(ish) trends in home theater projectors at the expo. The first was 4K. Several companies made a big deal showing off projectors that feature resolution previously only found on professional projectors meant for saurus-sized screens. Now you can get a projector in your home that throws 4096 x 2160 pixels on your basement theater screen. The only problem with that is you’ll find no 4K material to show on it. That doesn’t mean all those extra pixels are wasted. Plain old 1080p will be scaled to 4K by the projector’s video processor, making it nearly impossible to see any pixel structure on the screen.

The second trend is in projectors that have a native CinemaScope setting for a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. HDTV is in 16:9 aspect ratio, as are a lot of Blu-ray movies (or 1.78:1, or 1.85:1 …), but many are in the much wider 2.35:1 format. With conventional projectors, you needed an anamorphic lens and a mechanism for applying it to take full advantage of the wider aspect ratio. The new projectors eliminate that need (you’ll still need a screen masking system to make it look it’s best).

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Posted by chantal Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:06:00 GMT

2011 Custom Retailer Excite Awards Winner: APC by Schneider Electric J Type Power Conditioning Battery Backup Model #J35B

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The J35B power conditioner is the first power conditioner of its kind to address the various power protection needs of consumers by combining battery backup, multi-stage surge protection, Electromagnetic/Radio Frequency Interference (EMI/RFI), noise filtering, a dual-color LCD display, Auto Voltage Regulation (AVR) and power saving master and controlled outlets. This unit is ideal for protecting and backing up televisions, home theater surround sound systems, gaming systems, routers, modems and additional home entertainment and office equipment.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 29 Sep 2011 16:10:00 GMT

The Future of Home Technologies

CEDIA offers a sneak peek of what’s available and what’s coming.

September 07, 2011 by Lisa Montgomery

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What does the home of the future look like? In the garage there might be a charging station for your car. In the kitchen your blender might work without requiring a power cord, deriving power instead from the countertop. And in the living room your windows might tint automatically when the sun hits high noon so that the video on your 104-inch tall screen is crystal clear.

These were some of the up-and-coming technologies demonstrated today at the Future Technology Pavilion at the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. The Pavilion, which was designed to resemble a typical home, included innovative products from more than two dozen different manufacturers.

Wireless Charger

Wireless charging station from Leggett and Platt in the home office is built into surface of the desk. Instead of docking your smartphone into a charging station, in the future, you might be able to charge it by just laying on the top of your office desk—or some other surface. Leggett and Platt is developing wireless power technology that can be embedded into all type of furniture.

Eaton EV charger

Electric car charging station in the garage from Eaton. Electric cars are making inroads, so Eaton has developed a 240-volt charging station designed for use in residential garages. An Eaton spokesperson says the device can fully charge an electric car in six hours.


Automated RX Tender medication dispenser on the bedroom nightstand from iCare. Although it’s designed for the elderly, we all forget to take our medication sometimes. This automated pill dispenser can be programmed to emit an audible reminder and can communicate with a GrandCare monitoring system. If the door of the RX Tender isn’t opened after the alarm sounds, the GrandCare system can instantly notify a caregiver.

Living Room

244 x 104 inch screen in the living room from Stewart Filmscreen. This larger-than-life screen takes home entertainment to a whole new level. Six dvision video projectors from Digital Projection are positioned behind the screen so that multiple images can be displayed simultaneously. For example, while checking out the sports scores and video conferencing, you can watch a movie. And with the proper calibration, the screen can blend with the color of the wall so it’s less apparent.

Searura TV

Mirror TV in the bathroom from Seura. The LCD TV appears in the portion of the mirror, which is framed in LED lighting which can change color to suit your mood. In addition a wireless scale in the bathroom feeds data to a computer in the home or to your health care provider. It’s an easy, effective way to manage your weight and overall health.

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Posted by chantal Wed, 28 Sep 2011 16:08:00 GMT

2011 Custom Retailer Excite Awards Winner: Da-Lite HD Progressive 1.1 Perf

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Designed for applications where a more realistic soundstage is desired, this fabric allows for the installation of speakers to be placed behind the surface. With virtually no sound loss and excellent image quality, this fabric provides the same optical characteristics as the HD Progressive 1.1 screen surface with specially designed perforations to allow sound to pass through the material. The material has a gain of 1.1 and a viewing half angle of 85 degrees.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:08:00 GMT

Your Next Home Will Be A Robot

BY KIT EATONThu Aug 18, 2011

Your next home may be more rammed with servos, sensors, and wireless than the average android. Bonus: As well as being more sci-fi, it will save you energy and money. The home automation field is about to explode.

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New research from ABI says 1.8 million home automation systems will ship around the entire world this year. Given the number of homes in the world, that’s really not that many. Things are about to change, though–ABI’s five-year prediction sees the figure rising to 12 million. It’s all about new providers enabling the tech, the rise in smartphones and tablets, and the push to save energy by wiring our homes into the smart grid.

Phone companies, looking for regular subscriber income, see home automation technology as a natural fit for the future of their business: Smart homes are all about remote control, and now that we’re all carrying smartphones and tablets, the phone companies want to be the channel for that data. Communications tech makers see an avenue to build their tech throughout your home, in a totally new market–it’s why Cisco, better known for making routers and wireless tech, has invested over $10 million in Control4 (which automates heating, air conditioning, and lighting) this year, and also made a deal with maker Zigbee to sell its home automation gear around the world.

Verizon is also pushing the technology–back at the end of 2010 it announced its Verizon Home Monitoring and Control service, then demonstrated it at CES2011. It lets you access IP cameras scanning your property when you’re not there, switch on and off lights, lock doors, turn appliances on and off and so on. The entry level costs you $9.99 a month, though you have to pay for and install all the individual pieces of smart electrical gear yourself. Verizon’s system is powered by Motorola’s technology, the product of acquiring 4Home–an expert in home automation engines–in 2010. Equipping your home with the technology also doesn’t come cheap: A single X10 light dimmer switch via retailer, for example, can cost upward of $45 compared to only a handful of dollars for a regular dimmer from your local hardware store.

But the tech is actually capable of saving you money. That dimmer switch will consume a tiny amount more electricity than a regular one, to power its own electronics, but the ability to turn the lights off by remote control could save you money if you check in from your iPhone later and find you left them on. Home automation experts Symbrant also note that a Control4 dimmer actually flicks your lights on and off at a rate higher than the human eye can see, rather than controlling the current like regular dimmers, and that actually means it burns less energy. They quote the American Lighting Association’s study saying lighting is about 12-15% of home energy bills, and that 50% of lighting is wasted on empty rooms–a problem home automation quickly fixes.

Google has also looked into the tech, and as part of an experiment a Google employee in this video notes that by better controlling his home electrical uses, he’s saved over $3,000 in a single year.

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Posted by chantal Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:32:00 GMT

Sony Unveils 4K Home Projector, ES AV Receivers

Products designed to differentiate CEDIA channel

By Jeff O’Heir, September 8th 2011

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Sony unveiled its first 4K home projector at CEDIA Expo, along with two new AV receivers from its high-end ES line, a Personal 3D Viewer and a wireless network speaker.

Mike Fasulo , Sony Electronics executive vice president of sales, said the overriding theme of the new products was “quality and innovation,” as well as a solid commitment to specialty dealers and custom installers. The products unveiled at Expo will all have limited distribution. “Only the CEDIA channel can represent products of such high quality,” he said.

One product that received extra attention from Sony execs was the VPL-VW1000ES 4K home theater projector. A firm price has not been established, although some insiders said the unit, scheduled for a December release, would be under $25,000.

The VPL-VW1000ES features 2,000 lumens of brightness, nearly twice the output of Sony’s previous Sony home theater projectors, making it suitable for screen sizes up to 200 inches, said Mike Abary , senior vice president of Sony’s Home Division. The unit uses a new SXRD 4K panel, which is designed to produce deep black levels, and can achieve an 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast. The VW1000ES also features a 4K upscaler that’s designed to enhance SD or HD, 2D or 3D content, allowing viewers to see 4K playback from their existing media libraries. It can also display Full HD 3D movies, as well as 2D and 3D anamorphic films.

Another theme represented in some of the products was networking. The two ES AV receivers feature a new activity-based user interface that includes a set-up wizard. The STR-DA5700ES ($1,999) and STR-DA3700ES ($1,099) use Faroujda 1080p upscaling and include a variety of networking options, including built-in apps for iOS and Android devices. The receivers, due in November, are also Sony’s first to offer a full range of BRAVIA Internet video and audio streaming services, including options from Sony Entertainment Network, Netflix, YouTube and Pandora.

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Posted by chantal Fri, 23 Sep 2011 16:14:00 GMT

New Crestron DigitalMedia Distribution Centers Provide Easy and Affordable Way to Enjoy Stunning High-Definition Content Throughout the Home

Crestron Expands its DigitalMedia™ Line to Serve Residential Market

September 8th, 2011

Crestron today introduced its new DigitalMedia™ Distribution Centers, the latest addition to its revolutionary one wire DigitalMedia 8G+™ solutions that deliver pure high-definition audio and video signals to multiple rooms. DigitalMedia Distribution Centers distribute pure uncompressed digital and analog audio/video content, plus Ethernet, control signals and more over long distances to up to six rooms, all over a single wire. Featuring next generation DigitalMedia 8G+ technology, DM-MD6X4 and DM-MD6X6 deliver reliable, analog and 1080p signal routing over any choice of wire including standard CAT5e, DM 8G® Cable or CresFiber® 8G. Now, it’s easy and affordable to enjoy the magic of high-definition digital content throughout the home from HDTV receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ players, media servers, computers, and other HD digital sources.

“Our new DM Distribution Centers now make the DigitalMedia™ experience accessible to every size home and budget,” said Crestron VP of Technology, Fred Bargetzi. “DigitalMedia is the only solution that brings all of your content together so you can enjoy it throughout the house. We make it easy.”

DigitalMedia Distribution Centers accept, manage and distribute virtually any signal type, plus control and Ethernet, over distances up to 300 feet using standard CAT5e cable. Homeowners with existing Crestron CNX-PVID systems can upgrade to Crestron DigitalMedia 8G+ systems without rewiring. Revolutionary at the time, the wildly popular Crestron PVID was the first video over CAT5 solution and became the standard in thousands of homes worldwide. DigitalMedia provides an easy, seamless transition from analog to digital using existing wires.

“DM Distribution Centers provide the simplest connectivity for high-definition home entertainment throughout the house, while supporting the highest quality HD digital video formats and flawless HDMI switching to each room,” adds Bargetzi.

Posted by chantal Thu, 22 Sep 2011 16:15:00 GMT

SpeakerCraft to Expand No-Flange Speakers

By Joseph Palenchar, TWICE, August 12, 2011

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SpeakerCraft will go to next month’s CEDIA EXPO with an expanded selection of flangeless (or bezel-less) in-wall and in-ceiling speakers with magnet-mount grilles to deliver a less-obtrusive look.

The first eight models in the Profile selection were shown at last year’s CEDIA, and another 14 will ship before CEDIA, the company said. By the end of the fourth quarter, the company expects to ship most of its core speakers, or 43 models, with the flangeless design at prices ranging from $370-$2,000/pair.

The Profile series adopts the audio technologies of the company’s AIM and CRS speaker series. AIM speakers feature pivoting tweeters and woofers to direct sound to the main listening position. CRS speakers feature pivoting tweeters and WavePlane baffle to broaden high-frequency dispersion. The Profile versions of the speakers feature driver complements that match their corresponding flanged models to deliver identical performance characteristics, the company said.

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Posted by chantal Wed, 21 Sep 2011 16:51:00 GMT

Lutron Offers Affordable Motorized Shades

Sivoia cellular shade options start at just $299.

September 07, 2011 by Steven Castle

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Think motorized shades are too expensive? Not any more. Lutron today announced its Sivoia QS cellular shades, which will be available in October starting a $299.

This is the first time Lutron has offered cellular shades, which are more energy efficient by trapping air between a two layers in a honeycomb pattern, and can as much as double the R-value (insulating value) or a triple-pane window.

The battery-powered Sivoia QS cellular shades use a new, patent-pending Triathlon Battery Life technology that utilizes hybrid drive design plus ultra-efficient standby power to extend battery life to three years. The small motors that fit into the headrail use six standard D batteries. Lutron says the standby power is 1/1000 of a watt, much smaller than the 1-watt standby power (the power used by electronics when they are not is use) touted by many energy-efficient electronics.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 20 Sep 2011 16:17:00 GMT

Crestron 24" V-Panel Combines Separate Touch Screens, TV Displays, and Computer Monitors Into One Extreme High-Definition Display

As DigitalMedia 8G™ Extends to the Touch Screen, V24-C Lets You Control the Home, Lecture Hall and Boardroom, Watch HDTV, Surf the Web and More, All From One Widescreen Panel

September 8th, 2011

Crestron today announced that the V24-C 24” HD Touch Screen Display, the latest addition to its family of high-definition V-Panel touch screens, is now available. The revolutionary V24-C blends full touch screen navigation, high performance graphics and HD video with DigitalMedia 8G+™ connectivity and a spectacular 24” high-definition widescreen display. Bringing all your favorite media, plus control functions together on one screen, V24-C combines separate touch screens, TV displays, and computer monitors into one brilliant HD touch screen display. While simultaneously controlling the home or other facility, V24-C, connected to a Crestron DGE-2 Digital Graphics Engine, provides everything needed to access most popular digital media content, enjoy online videos and music, surf the Web, perform real-time onscreen annotation, and more without requiring a separate computer. Full HDCP support makes V-Panel the only touch screen that enables reliable viewing of content-protected DVD, Blu-ray DiscTM, digital HDTV, streaming video and multimedia computer sources.

With a swipe of the finger, gestures navigation lets you effortlessly browse through music and movie libraries, scroll through TV channels and radio stations, and select any desired control app from an intuitive menu of colorful 3D icons. On-screen keyboard and mouse capabilities enable complete control of the embedded Web browser and other applications. A built-in USB port allows connection of a physical keyboard and mouse, providing the simplicity of traditional computer operation.

The DGE-2 graphics engine (and related AV source wiring) is hidden up to 330 feet away back at the main equipment rack. The V24 features a DM input. The input allows all signals to be transmitted over single CAT5e or DM 8G wire from the rack to the display. The single-wire connectivity, together with V24-C’s slim and sleek design, produces exceptionally clean installations in any room.

In addition to controlling lighting, AV presentation systems, home theaters, thermostats, and other systems, users can view content from multiple HD video sources such as DVD/Blu-ray players, PC and Mac® computers, the Internet, video conferences, security cameras and more, in multiple full motion video windows on V24-C’s huge 24” widescreen.

“Pairing V24-C V-Panel with our DGE-2 graphics engine lets you view virtually any video source you want, both HD digital and analog, using multiple full motion video windows,” said Fred Bargetzi, Crestron VP of Technology. “While having complete Crestron control at your fingertips, now you can also watch TV, DVDs and HD video, browse the Internet, or run a video conference and have plenty of screen space to do multiple things at once.”

Designed with versatility in mind, V24-C is ideal in a wide range of residential and commercial environments. Whether as a home controller and TV display in a kitchen, an annotation and presentation control panel for a university lecture hall, or a video control panel for corporate and government command centers, V24-C combines the highest performance in control and HD display quality available.

Featuring advanced S-PVA display technology, V24-C delivers an incredible high-definition experience with rich colors and superb black depth and contrast. For a flawless picture from any viewpoint, ultra-wide 178 degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles produce consistent high picture quality without the need to be directly in front of the screen. The built-in HD scaler presents razor sharp 1080p60 video in the correct format no matter what source your content comes from.

Posted by chantal Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:22:00 GMT