CEDIA Show Report
Oct 3, 2002 12:00 PM, Nat Hecht
With a record attendance of 19,500 this year, the 2002 CEDIA Expowas a huge success by any standard. The show was quite large this year,covering two floors at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and therewere many new products, although not many earth-shattering cutting edgetechnological advances. It seems as though most companies were refiningtheir product offerings; and the area where new product development wasmost apparent was in the range of custom installation products thatwere being shown for the first time. Here are some of the interestingthings we saw at the show.
Genelec (www.genelec.com) announced a new active in-wallspeaker system with features more akin to a studio monitor than atypical in-wall speaker. The AIW26 has a 7" woofer and a _" metal dometweeter in a reflex cabinet. Genelec used their special DirectivityControl Waveguide (DCW) technology matched with their RAM1 remoteamplifier module with 120w available for the woofer and an additional120w for the tweeter. With sound pressure levels of 110 dB @ 1 meterand wide frequency response of 45 Hz — 21 kHz +/- 2.5dB itisn’t hard to see the studio monitor pedigree. Other featuresunique to this model are room response equalizers, RCA and XLR linelevel input connectors, 12-volt trigger, adjustable sensitivity forinterface to all types of decoders, and the ability to mount up tothree units in a 19" equipment rack with the optional 3U high rackadapter.
Extron (www.extron.com) launched their new one-boxsolution, the System 7SC, a seven input dual output configurable videoand computer-video switcher with a built-in video scaler. The System7SC is ideal for rental, staging, and permanent installations usingplasma, CRT, LCD and DLP projectors providing video scaling, RS-232 orIR projector and room control, audio switching capability, anduniversal compatibility with displays.
Integra (www.gspr.com/integra/nettune_intro.html), the newprofessional brand off-shoot from the people who brought us Onkyo havetaken a huge step forward in differentiating themselves as an exclusivebrand of their own. The buzz surrounding these products is their uniquedigital networking capability and their new Net-Tune ™ technologythat allows access to digitally stored PCM and MP3 files via Ethernetconnection. The DTR-7.3 is a 7 x 130w @ 6 ohms THX Select A/V receiverthat integrates network audio distribution with the ability to handleevery major home theater format currently in use. Equipped withNet-Tune ™ capability, high quality 192 kHz/24-bit D/Aconverters, HDTV capable 60 MHz component video switching, sevendigital inputs, and multi-zone/multi source features. The DTR-8.3 is a7 x 145w @ 6 ohms THX Select A/V receiver with all the same features asthe DTR-7.3 with the addition of the CHAD (Custom Home AutomationDevice) programmable LCD touchscreen remote control. This remote is afully customizable learning remote allowing replacement of all otherremotes in the system and can be programmed to perform a series of upto 255 tasks across multiple components with single button functioncontrol. It features 2 MB of memory, programmable macros and timers,and an RS-232 interface for home PC customization. To top everythingoff, the Integra NAC-2.3 Net-Tune Client and NAS-2.3 Net-Tune Serverare clever devices that interface with the receivers to provideEthernet connection for accessing digitally stored PCM and MP3 files.Connection to broadband allows these units to playback internet radioin MP3 or WMA format, with the NAC-2.3 being capable of more than athousand hours of stored audio available instantly accessible overwired or wireless home networks. The NAS-2.3 server can encode hundredsof CDs worth of music and distribute up to a dozen different highquality audio streams at once storing genre, artist, album and tracknames via Gracenote’s online CD Database. Keep an eye out for thereceivers availability in October, the Net-Tune ™ products inNovember of this year.
Crestron (www.crestron.com/CEDIA2002) introduced the ST-1700Ctouchpanel for the residential market. The ST-1700C is the latest in anew line of handheld wireless touchpanels, which is the only oneI’ve seen that is a high resolution active matrix display with theability to produce 64,000 colors compared to 256 colors in conventionaltouchpanels. The panel also has five programmable function keys thatallow for mutiple commands to be excecuted with just one touch.Additionally the buttons are engraveable for custom installations.
JVC Professional (http://pro.jvc.com/pro/cedia) announced the releaseof their latest DILA projector, the DLA-SX21 for upscale home theaters.Some features include 1400 x 1050 native resolution (1400 x 788 in 16:9mode), three 0.7" D-ILA devices, 800:1 contrast ratio, 1500 ANSIlumens, and user friendly design allowing easy installation at only 12lbs. Also introduced was their newest 42" Plasma display monitor, theGM-P420UG featuring a 1500:1 contrast ratio, 160 degree viewing angle,fan-less design for quiet operation, 256 levels of RGB allowing for16.77 million colors, PAL and NTSC compatibility, HDTV compatibility,and RS-232C interface.
SIM2 (www.sim2usa.com) announced their latest DLPprojector the HT-300 Plus with their new HD2 chipset, making SIM2 thefirst to market with a DLP product using the update Texas Instrumentchip. and replaces the HT-300 as the new top of the line adding a 72%increase in contrast (1800:1 ratio), 20% increase in brightness, a DVIinput, and all new cabinet colors. HD Resolution is the same as theolder chipset at 1280 by 720, but this chipset has a micromirrortilting angle of 12-degrees instead of the previous 10-degrees.TheHT-300 plus also has RS-232 software upgrade capability.
Ivie Technologies, Inc. (www.ivie.com) is well known for their excellentprofessional audio products, but now they have entered the customresidential foray with their new E-Series universal remote controls.The system is make up of three components, the E-16 universal remote,the PI-8 in-line power supply, and the ET-100 Universal IntelligentTranslator. The E-16 is disarmingly simple with six pushbuttons withLED indicators and one rotary knob. The PI-8 is the power module forthe E-16 remotes. The ET-100 is a combination translator andcontroller. It translates a simple pushbutton or rotary knob event onthe E-16 universal remote control into commands that are then sent tothe device under control via Ethernet or serial output ports utilizingRS-232, RS-422, or RS-485. Intuitive programming is accomplished via auser-friendly software application. Signals are sent via CAT-5connection between the E-16 and the E-100.
Runco (www.runco.com) added a new plasma monitor to theirline, the PL-50cx with a contrast ratio of 1500:1 and black levels thatrival CRT projectors. Its native resolution is 1366 x 768 and includesRunco’s 10-bit PFP Controller handling NTSC and PAL scaling downto native resolution without contouring effects and solarization thatis often found in other plasma monitors.
Belden Electronics Division (www.belden.com) introduced their new CAT 5ecomposite cable called Homechoice ™ Banana Peel ™. Thiscable is very unique in that it is a jacketless design that allows forfaster and easier installation. The patent pending design affixes theindividual cables to a center spline eliminating the need for an outerjacket. With no overall jacket to strip off and instantindentifiability of the individual data, coax, and fiber cablecomponents, installation is a snap once the cable is peeled off thespline. Without the overall jacket the Banana Peel cable is smallerthan traditional composite cables improving the overall bend radiusmaking it easier to handle. The cable is available in twoconfigurations: two 2x2 versions offering two Cat 5e UTP data cablesand two coaxes and two 2x2x2 versions with two fiber optic cables addedto the 2x2 design. All cables are on standard 500-ft. and 1000-ftreels.
Xantech Corporation (www.xantech.com) Following on the heels of theirsuccess with the MRC44 at last year’s CEDIA Expo, This yearXantech bowed their new MRC-88 multi-room entertainment system, aneight zone, eight source device with audio and VIDEO switching, sixzones have 35w/ch amplifiers, all zones have pre-amp out, and isexpandable 16-zones. Other features are audio and video loop-throughsfor all sources, RS-232 communication for control of lighting, HVAC,and others, eight-zone music server inputs, and two zones withoutamplification for interfacing with external amplifiers. Also introducedwas their new plasma-friendly Micro Link ™ IR receiver. This IRwindow rejects interference form plasma displays, direct sunlight, andfluorescent tube lights, often a huge problem in all kinds ofinstallations whether residential or commercial.
Niles Audio Corporation (www.nilesaudio.com) offered their new DirectSoundfield (DS) line of in ceiling speakers featuring an a pivotingspeaker baffle allowing for unique aiming of the speaker to compensatefor less than desireable installation locations. The DS6500AT is thetop of the line with power handling up to 200w using a carbon and glassfiber woofer with one-inch aluminum dome tweeter. There are 4 othermodels in the line.
Proficient Audio Systems (www.proficientaudio.com) started out strong withtheir two excellent sounding ceiling speakers back at CES, and theyfollowed up that success with another winner, the AW500TT 5 _" twintweeter indoor/outdoor single point speaker system. With a dual voicecoil woofer and two 1" soft dome tweeters the system allows a singlespeaker installation point with wide, even stereo sound. The systemwill handle 100w @ 4 ohms with a sensitivity of 89dB 1w, 1m and afrequency response of 38 Hz — 20 kHz +/- 3dB. A 10-year limitedwarranty comes along with this and the other Proficient speakersystems, the longest warranty for an outdoor speaker I have everseen.
LiteTouch, Inc. (www.litetouch.com) introduced their new HomeTouchretrofit lighting control system that is both easy to use and perfectfor existing homes since it uses the home’s existing wiring tocommunicate and can be easily integrated with security, HVAC,audio/video and window treatments allowing total home control. Thisunique approach opens up one of the fastest growing segments of thecustom home market to the remodeling market, greatly expanding thepossibilities for new business.
Russound (www.russound.com) unveiled their new single chassissolution to the A/V controller market by introducing the CAV 6.6 A/Vcontroller amplifier and UNO-S2 user interface. The CAV 6.6 distributessix audio/video sources to six listening zones simultaneously withadditional expansion of up to 4 A-Bus sub zones. Other key features aresix zones with 20w per channel, variable or fixed line outputs,adjustable bass, treble, balance and loudness for each zone, built inIR learner and pre-programmed IR Library with thousands of IR codes,Serial computer programming, paging and doorbell support with audio andvideo inputs, front panel RS-232, keypad port and IR eye forprogramming, and front panel aux A/V input with IR flasher port. TheUNO-S2 user interface is a high performance double-gang keypad that isbacklit and highly intuitive, with unique status feedback of vitaloperating parameters which provides the user near foolproof operation.The panel also offers IR control.
Pioneer’s Home Entertainment Division (www.pioneerelectronics.com) seems to be the firstto announce a product using 1 Unlimited’s unique design for asingle source 5.1 channel surround speaker, called the PDAP-1 DigitalSound Projector. This device utilizes 256 tweeters that areindividually powered and phase controlled via an extensively researchedsoftware algorithm that "steers" the response of these mutually coupledtweeters to produce left, center, right and surround channels from theforward position in a space about as large as an average plasmadisplay. The product will be available early next year, and having beenlucky enough to be the only editor allowed tohear this product inaction way back at CES I can testify that it must be heard to bebelieved.
Vantage (www.vantagecontrols.com) introduced the RadiolinkRS-232 station which allows wireless control of any RS-232 device via900 MHz frequency agile signal transmission between the radiolinkdimmer, enabler, and accentpoint relay and the C-Box controller. Thestation can be located up to 100 feet from a radiolink enable vantagecontroller, providing a communication area of over 4,000,000 cubicfeet. This unique product is great for the retrofit market or anyinstallation where using conventional wires are not possible.
Channel Vision (www.channelvision.com) announced two new additionsto their ARIA Soprano Series of whole house audio distributionproducts. The IW601 in-wall and the IC602 in-ceiling speaker bothfeature adjustable tweeters, 6.5" woofers, 20w RMS and 150w peak powerhandling at 8 ohms, and they include a mounting template and paintshield.
Oxmoor (www.zonaudio.com) is known for excellent broadcastquality products for the professional audio market, but at CEDIA theylaunched their first consumer line of whole-house digital audioproducts with the ZON (pronounced "zone") product line. Disarminglysimple, the ZON audio controller/amplifier ZAC-60 features a superefficient, full bandwidth 60w all digital amplifier and onboard DSP toprovide tone control, balance, loudness, and EQ settings. Elegant andsimple in appearance, the ZAC-60 is reminiscent of the old styleHoneywell thermostat with a big pushbutton rotary knob in the center ofthe wall mount panel that is detent lighted to indicate dial position.Above it is a viewing screen that displays programmable informationabout what is being controlled. Speakers are directly connected to thisin-wall control panel in each zone that needs sound and signals arecarried to the ZAC-60 via CAT 5e or CAT 6 wire connection from the ZONRouter ZR-98. Decoding occurs in the wall mount controller. The ZR-98is a nine source, four zone, four sub zone control system that controlsand organizes the head-end functions of the distributed audio systemand provides power, audio, control, and communications for the entiresystem. It features a 24 bit digital audio path for unsurpassed audioquality and performance. There is an optional on-board web server forfast and easy set-up and firmware updates, and multiple units can belinked together for expansion. An event interface can be used to adddiverse features such as doorbells, telephone systems, and drivewaysensors. There is a paging input, and built in RS-232c port tointerface other home control systems.
Furman Sound, Inc. (www.furmansound.com) debuted their new IT-ReferenceDiscrete Symmetrical line of power regulators and conditioners designedfor the home theater market. The RA-1210 (10 amp) and 1220 (20 amp) arestable power AC line voltage regulators and the RI-1210 and 1220 andisolated symmetrical AC power conditioners. These units provide a 24 dBor greater noise reduction of AC line-induced noise. Symmetricalbalancing of AC power virtually eliminates common-mode line noise, inaddition to digital noise, power supply "backwash" from neighboringcomponents, while still maintaining a low magnetic field leakage due toa highly refined toroidal transformer which allows placement of theunit next to other sensitive equipment without any interference.
CorAcess (www.coraccess.com) introduced the AudioMate, a newplug and play music management component for the CorAcess Companion 6and 10 home management interfaces at CEDIA. AudioMate is fullyintegrated with ReQuest Multimedia Audio ReQuest (ARQ) with noprogramming required. ARQ lets users create, store, and experiencedigital media content through their home management system and theInternet. With AudioMate users can play over 700 continuous hours oftheir favorite music automatically organized by artist, album, andcustomized play lists for instant access in a convenient centrallocation.
Sencore (www.sencore.com) announced their new CP5000All-Display ColorPro Color Analyzer and the SA1501 Spectrum Analyzer.The CP5000 allows users to align all video displays (LCD, DLP, Plasma,CRT) to match industry specifications for peak performance. Unique tothis affordable unit is the ability to align color tracking andluminance with continuously updated readings, a feature not found onfield spectroradiometers. Custom software allows storage of calibrationinformation and allows printing of reports for easy interpretation. TheSA1501 portable spectrum analyzer has a range of 100 kHz to 1 GHz andis perfect for troubleshooting and field installations, analyzing TVantenna, reception, CATV or MATV signals, cellular, two-way radio,pager, FM broadcast, telemetry, RF Generators, RF transmitters, RFspectrum for spurious signals, harmonics and noise that are interferingwith desired signal, in short virtually any signals in the RF spectrumto 1GHz.
QSC Audio Products Inc. (www.qscaudio.com) introduced their entry into theresidential install market with their new ACE-500 series compositeloudspeakers. The enclosures are composed of carbon fiber and arelightweight and highly water resistant. The QSC ACE-500 and ACE-540 aretwo-way systems with 5.25" woofers and one-inch dome tweeters, in aninfinite baffle enclosure (500) and ported enclosure (540)respectively. The 570 has a 7" woofer with the same 1" tweeter in aported enclosure. The trap shaped enclosures are available in a rangeof different colors and have a nice line of mounting accessoriesdesigned for them. Another QSC introduction at CEDIA was the StudioReference Series (SRA) amplifier line with three models, the 1222 at200w/ch. @ 8 ohms, the 2422 at 425w/ch. @ 8 ohms, and the 3622 at725w/ch. @ 8 ohms. These amplifiers are not just a rehash of older QSCmodels, they are unique in that they are designed for the recordingstudio environment which also makes them perfect for home theater andhome music applications. The line has some great features such as HFswitching power supplies allowing for quiet operation with no fannoise, active inrush limiting to avoid turn-on transcients that canblow circuit breakers, optional DSP modules, tamper proof gain controlsecurity cover, detachable rack ears, selectable subsonic filters at20Hz and 50Hz, and a three year warranty plus optional 3-yearextension.
Tannoy’s (www.tannoy.com) new FX5.1 self-powered subwoofer istheir newest residential entry with a 200mm driver and 100w RMSamplifier and is designed to match up with their FX5.1 satellitespeakers, but can of course be used without them.
Sonance (www.sonance.com) introduced their newest entry inthe in-ceiling speaker format, a unique elliptical speaker system withan angled baffle design that is recessed into the ceiling. The Ellipse1.0 LCR uses what Sonance calls "Sonic Eye Technology", their uniqueenclosed driver array with controlled dispersion allowing thetweeter/midrange array to pivot up to 20 degrees. This design can helpcompensate for less than desireable speaker locations, and also allowsa the left, center, and right speakers in a home theater system to bemounted in the ceiling and still be positioned correctly for accurateimaging. The system contains a _" cloth dome tweeter, 4" polypromidrange, and 6 _" glass fiber cone woofer with rubber surround.Frequency response is 50 Hz — 20 kHz +/- 3dB with SPL of 89 dB @1w, 1m. Peak power is 125w @ 8 ohms with a minimum power handling specof 5w @ 8 ohms.
CSI/SPECO (www.csi-speco.com) introduces their new SP seriesline of in-wall speaker systems that include a back box enclosure withevery model. For in-wall models they have the SP-525BB with a 5 _"woofer, the SP-626BB with a 6 _" woofer, and the SP-828BB with an 8"woofer, and for in-ceiling they have the SP-6ECS and SP-8ECS with a 6_" and 8" woofer respectively. All models have a titanium moveable dometweeter.
Fujitsu (www.fujitsu.com) announced their latestPlasmavision slim screen monitor, the 50" PDS-5004 is a high definition16:9 monitor with on-board stereo amplifier is now their most advancedmodel. With a 3000:1 contrast ratio, 1366 x 768 resolution and highbrightness (500 cd/m(squared) this device can display output fromnearly any source including true 1080i and 720p HDTV and 480p signalsfrom a DTV set-top box as well as component, composite, S-video, analogRGB, and DVI-D. Add RS-232C controllability and the ability to acceptvideo output from a computer up to UXGA resolution and you have one ofthe most versatile plasmas available.
AudioControl Industrial (www.audiocontrol.com) newestproducts are the BVD-10 source-end and the BVR-10 destination-endbalanced video drivers, are small easily mountable devices that aredesigned to send video and audio over CAT-5 wiring. These devices cansend high quality composite, S-Video, or component video along withstereo audio signals up to 1000 feet over CAT-5 twisted pair. Thedevices accept two RCA composite/component video or one S-videomini-DIN input along with stereo audio RCA input, sending them to astandard CAT-5 RJ-45 output jack.
Acoustical Solutions (www.acousticalsolutions.com) announced theirSoundSuede fabric wrapped wall panels, available in 45 colors and awide variety of sizes and shapes. These unique sound absorbing panelsare wrapped in the company’s SoundSuede fabric resulting in anelegant appearance making them ideal for home theaters, houses ofworship, corporate boardrooms, or any other application that requires aunique aesthetic. They are available in thicknesses ranging from _" to4" and standard or custom sizes up to 4’ x 10’. SoundSuedepanels are Class 1 fire-rated and also have different edge details andinstallation options.
Xabler’s (www.xabler.com) offering of their new XablerDigital Music Server (DMS) allows integration of audio from streaminginternet radio stations and storage of over 800 hours of music. Theserver can connect to any audio input including multi-room audiosystems, audio matrixes, preamps, and amplifiers. Accessed through astandard web interface to control audio playback features, any browsercan control it which makes it truly one of the most versatile devicesavailable; even allowing control from web tablets, PDA’s, anycomputer, and even from web-enable appliances such as telephones withinternet access.
DeCorp Americas, Inc. (www.decorp.com) introduced an unusual paper-thinflat speaker wire they call "FlatWire Ready" speaker wire. This productdisappears behind paint and wallpaper in an install, allowing forretrofit installs without drilling saving walls and ceilings fromextensive havoc. The best part is that the per-foot installed costbasis is less expensive than conventional products that require cuttinginto walls or ceilings and drilling through studs.
Jensen Transformers, Inc. (www.jensentransformers.com)announced their new product line incorporating audio transformers intoa modular rack or wall mountable 35mm DIN Rail system that is widelyavailable in Europe, but new to the U.S. market. Perfect forcontractors, churches and other high level installs, all ofJensen’s most popular audio interface solutions for line inputs,line outputs, mic splitters, direct boxes, and patch bay applications.Up to 12 different interface modules can be mounted on a 3RU rack panelor individually cut to length sections of 35mm DIN Rail mounted onwalls or in wiring closets for custom configurations.
Kramer Electronics US, Inc. (www.kramerelectronics.com) launched their newVP-723DS and VP-720DS combination video/graphics scalers and seamlessswitchers. These devices are true multi-standard video-to-RGBHV scalersthat convert video, S-video, component video, VGA through UXGA and DVIsignals to multiple user-selectable output pixel rates. Both modelshave picture in picture inserters, and can scale, zoom, freeze andlocate the inserted image anywhere on the screen.
If you have made it to the end of this list, bravo! We will becovering more CEDIA announced products in the Spotlight section ofS&VC and in the new section of the magazine called "The BUZZ" overthe next few issues, so keep an eye out for them.
24 CEDIA memberswere honored for excellence in the customelectronics design and installation industry, at the annual CEDIA expoin September.
Lifetime Achievement: Scott Struthers, Sonance
Dealer of the Year: Engineered Environment
Installer of the Year: James Atkins, Sensory Solutions
Sales Representative of the Year: Doug Ferguson, Western MarketingCorp.
Volunteer of the Year, Manufacturer: David Nowak, AMX
Volunteer of the Year, Designer/Installer: Todd Adams, Cutting EdgeSystems Corp.
Best Home Theater $70,000 to $125,000: CHT Systems
Best Home Theater $125,001 to $150,000: Electronics Design Group
Best Home Theater $150,001 to $250,000: Cutting Edge SystemsCorp.
Best Home Theater $250,001 to $400,000: Media Systems
Best Home Theater over $900,000: Genesis Audio and Video
Best Media Room: CHT Systems
Best Integrated Home $130,000 to $300,000: AVL Pro
Best Integrated Home $300,001 to $600,000: Audio Visions
Best Integrated Home over $600,000: American Automation andCommunications
Best Special Project: Audio Video Resource
Best Hidden Installation: AVIA
Best Home Theater Architecture: Theo Kalomirakis Theaters, for thetheater installed by Audio Advisors
Best Dressed System: Engineered Environments.
Best Video Product: InFocus Corp. Screenplay 7200
Best Audio Product: Madrigal Mark Levinson No. 40 media console
Best Custom Insallation Product: Audio Designs Associates Suite-16system
Best Home Networking Product: AMX Design Xpress (DXP)
Best User Interface: CorAccess Companion 6.