CEDIA Expo 2015

home audio installation ctI’m just back from the CEDIA Expo in Dallas, TX. CEDIA is the industry association for audio/video integrators, of which I am one. Going to this show is like being a kid in a candy store. Aisles and aisles of audio video, automation equipment, and the tools and equipment to put it all together and make it work.

So what’s new? Top of the list has to be 4k television. Take your best current, 1080p television, and sharpen the picture by a factor of four. Four times the resolution of what you have now. Simply outstanding. There has been a death in the industry. Plasma is officially dead. First Pioneer gave it up, then Visio, and Panasonic. The last two holdouts were Samsung and LG. Samsung killed it earlier this year, and LG abruptly dumped it about two weeks before the show. Shame. It was clearly the better video technology vs. LCD/LED. Don’t cry too much. Plasma is being replaced by OLED (Organic light emitting diode). This technology has been in the works for years. About ten years ago, Sony showed the first OLED set with a screen size of 11” diagonal. To round out televisions, a couple of manufactures were showing sets with curved screens.

 cedia bentley electronic systems audio video products ctIn audio, the big deal was Dolby Atmos (short for Atmosphere). This technology adds more speakers overhead to give a more enveloping experience. Existing systems can be upgraded to this technology, so you don’t have to jettison your existing system . Demo rooms from Integra, Yamaha, and more did their best to showcase this new theater technology.

In the lines that I sell, Integra showed their new soundbar, which is awesome. Integra is distributing the Cabasse speaker line in the US. Cabasse is a French company with some different twists on speakers. Sonance has a killer Landscape outdoor audio system with in-ground subwoofer with accompanying gobs of power. I have recently become a Compass by Key Digital dealer. Compass is an automation system that can be run solely by the tremendous processing power built into the Apple iPAD. Sonos showed a new device called the Boost. This will soon replace the BRIDGE, and allows the Sonos system to operate over every day WiFi, and has three times the coverage of the BRIDGE.

I altered my travel plans to attend a special event Control 4 was putting on, and it was worth the change. A new operating system, a mobile version of the programming software (for dealers only), and the acquisition of British driver maker Extra Vegetables (yes, that’s the name of the company. They are British, after all.) rounded out the event. Speaking of British audio, I saw some very interesting equipment from Cambridge Audio. This niche British audio company has some of the best sounding audio components I have ever heard. They have their main line of equipment, and the Minx series features audio streamers and some unique pieces. Stay tuned for more news regarding Cambridge Audio. Lastly in audio, I took a look at Autonomics. Autonomics is an audio streamer with the capability of also being a whole home system, in addition to storing all your music in the cloud, so that if you own another home or two anywhere in the world, you can access your music. Interesting stuff.

This was one of the best CEDIA shows I’ve been to in some time. Please give us a call at (860) 657-8558 or contact us for more information.