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CEDIA Manufacturer Excellence Awards Honor the Industry’s Finest Work

THIS SEPTEMBER, CUSTOM electronics professionals flocked to the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, to see the latest developments in the technology

CEDIA Manufacturer Excellence Awards Honor the Industry’s Finest Work

Nov 1, 2001 12:00 PM,
Compiled by Daniel Ari

THIS SEPTEMBER, CUSTOM electronics professionals flocked to the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, to see the latest developments in the technology that they use. Manufacturers from around the world unveiled their latest and greatest innovations in audio, video, networking, interfacing, lighting and more.

One highlight was the Electronic Lifestyle Awards ceremony. At this banquet, the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association recognized companies that had broken the mold in designing installations or inventing products that will define the leading edge. The purpose behind the Manufacturer Excellence Awards, a subset of the entire award showcase, is to recognize manufacturers for the resources they provide the industry.

Award Guidelines

All manufacturer members of CEDIA who exhibited at Expo 2001 were eligible to participate. Entries were in essay form with photographs, manuals and catalogs attached. A non-partial jury of professionals judged all products and made decisions regarding finalists and winners. Fifty-three manufacturers entered this year.

According to the submission guidelines, “Winners of this award demonstrate outstanding value or innovation for the benefit of the CEDIA dealer and/or their clients.”


The judges viewed products on the Expo show floor on Thursday, September 6, 2001. Only one representative of each company was allowed to demonstrate the product and answer the judges’ questions, for no more than 10 minutes.

Three finalists in each category were announced on Friday, September 7 at the press opening at 10:00 a.m.; winners were recognized at the awards banquet on Saturday. Winners received a 2001 Electronic Lifestyles Award logo sheet and other items to help publicize their groundbreaking products.

After the awards ceremony, the festivities escalated with a live performance by blues singer Bonnie Raitt and her band.


CEDIA was founded in 1989 and represents more than 2000 member companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems. CEDIA Expo was created to meet the specialized needs of the residential custom electronics industry. For more information, visit CEDIA’s Web site,, or call 1-800/669-5329.

Mark Your Calendars! CEDIA Expo 2002 will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 25-29.

Bonnie Raitt Rocks Awards Celebration

Proceeds Benefit the American Cancer Society

The darling of rhythm and blues performed for CEDIA Expo attendees after the annual awards presentation. All proceeds from the concert went to the American Cancer Society. “Not only does the concert support a good cause, the new program line-up provides a more conducive environment for fun and networking,” said Billilynne Keller, CEDIA’s executive director. “We are proud to bring such a talented performer to entertain our members.” Concertgoers were enthusiastic about the show. Director of communications, Brittany Nims reports: “Bonnie Raitt was amazing… The crowd loved her!”

Since her musical debut, Raitt has not only written rootsy rock and blues, she’s also demonstrated concern about issues such as nuclear power, environmental protection and human rights. The Rhythm and Blues Foundation and The Bonnie Raitt Guitar Project — a charity program designed to encourage inner-city girls to play the guitar — are just two of the charitable causes that she supports.

Award Winners


Best User Interface

The interface customers use to operate their equipment is, in their eyes, the system itself. Any user interface is eligible, from a simple remote to an advanced touchscreen. They are judged on applicability to custom installation, ease of use, value and merit.

The Winner

Philips Consumer Electronics’ Pronto Pro TSU6000 is a color touchscreen remote control that improves upon prior Pronto models with feedback from installers and customers alike. With 8MB memory and IR/RF capability with an optional RF extender, the Pronto Pro contains a database with onscreen graphical setup, and a sensor that activates the screen when the unit is handled. An elegant new design and docking station round out the upgrades. Browse the unit’s features at Philips’ Web site.
Philips Consumer 140 on Reader Service Card

Best Custom Installation Product

Products in this category must be designed specifically for custom installation. These include audio- or video-only control systems, built-in speakers, volume controls, lighting control systems, motorized lifts and specialized tools. Products are judged on innovation, performance, ease of use or installation, overall value, and additional merit.

The Winner

This year’s winner is a small device that saves installers a lot of time. The Niles Audio No-Strip Wire Connector accepts 12- to 20-gauge wire without stripping and ensures optimal electrical conductivity and maximum charge transfer. Wiring a set of stereo speakers takes at least eight connections (L/R and +/- at both the speakers and the amplifier). If this connector saves two minutes per connection, imagine the time savings for larger projects with dozens or hundred of connections! The connector can conduct more than 600 watts over 96 hours. Included with many Niles products, they retail for under $9 each.
Niles Audio Corporationwww.nilesaudio.comCircle 139 on Reader Service Card

Best Home Networking Product

Integration control systems, Internet products, structured wiring systems, lighting or music control systems, and computer networking products are judged on ease of programming/installation, ease of integration, ease of use, value and additional merit.

The Winner

What if an integrated control system could provide wireless connectivity? Vantage Controls’ Vantage Radio Network can. This wireless controller guarantees transmission within a 100-foot radius and controls audio and video, HVAC, security, drapes and blinds, lights and even sprinklers. The Vantage Radio Network incorporates and integrates existing structures by communicating to any device that can be controlled by RS-232, IR, DMX, high or low voltage, electronic or mechanical relays or variable voltage output. Vantage Q-Link software is used to program the system.
Vantage Controlswww.vantagecontrols.comCircle 141 on Reader Service Card

Best Video Product

Televisions, VCRs, DVD players, line processors, projectors, screens, satellite products, antennas and video routers are judged on applicability to custom installation, performance, ease of use, overall value and additional merit.

The Winner

The Runco PFP-7 video processor adds a new level of flexibility to fixed-pixel displays, producing brighter images and allowing displays to toggle between 16:9 or 4:3 screens regardless of their native aspect ratios. ViViX scaling technology produces an output that matches the native resolution of the display precisely, thereby preventing the display from trying to process the video signal itself. The PFP-7 converts NTSC and PAL video to VESA standard output that matches the fixed-pixel display it will be driving. Designed for home theater, it greatly improves image quality regardless of display technology.
Runco Internationalwww.runco.comCircle 135 on Reader Service Card

Best Audio Product

Surround receivers, stereo receivers, audio sources, Internet audio equipment, floor-standing and bookshelf speakers, home theater speakers, amplifiers, and surround-sound processors are judged on applicability to custom installation, performance, ease of use, overall value and additional merit.

The Winner

The MP3 Jukebox System is a modular digital audio source that stores, organizes and accesses more than 450 hours of music. It serves multiple zones and includes a VGA/video interface where users can create play lists and organize music collections. AudioReQuest is accessible from any networked PC, enabling remote control, uploading and downloading of MP3s and firmware updates. With integration support from many audio and video manufacturers, the possibilities of integrating this system with other audio and video components are great. For product specifications and details, visit ReQuests’ Web site.
ReQuest Multimediawww.request.comCircle 137 on Reader Service Card

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