CEDIA 2016 Product Review
This year’s CEDIA theme was “Think Big” and the companies certainly delivered! The technology and attention to detail was impressive! While we can’t cover everything we saw while at CEDIA, here’s a review of some of our favorites.
The BIG story at CEDIA this year was Alexa. Don’t know her yet? Meet Alexa and you won’t remember how you did life before her! Alexa is the voice behind Amazon’s Echo that provides whole house voice control. Alexa integrates with Lutron, Sonos, and URC Total Control. This means you can walk into your house and control all of these devices with just your voice. You can code Alexa to do just about anything you want; from controlling your audio, video, thermostat, lighting, or even ordering your dinner.
As you have heard from us before, Home Automation is the future…and the present. We write customized Apps for our customers so they can access lighting, security, cameras, audio, video and thermostat from their smart phone for total control. Today you can take home automation one step further by adding voice control. Consider this scenario: You come home from work, walk into your house and when you say “Hello” SONOS turns on your playlist, lights and shades by accessing a RadioRA scene. This is not a scene from the Jetson’s, but this is actually today’s reality. If you talk to Alexa and tell her “Good morning” she can turn on your television, the designated morning lights, turn off any outside lights, and adjust the scenes that have been pre-programmed. If you tell her “I’m too hot” she can adjust the thermostat accordingly to help fix this problem. Alexa serves as a wealth of knowledge in addition to controlling your devices. She can answer questions, play music, read a book, order your dinner and so much more!
The Amazon Dot is also a voice controlled multi-tasking device that will be available in October 2016 starting at $49.99. The Dot uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more! The Dot includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer.
As an authorized SONY Dealer, we know that SONY has a long history of being an industry leader in high quality products. SONY’s new Z Series TV’s put color, contrast and the raw reality of the picture into a whole different ballgame. The picture is absolutely stunning! SONY is also the industry leader in 4K projection. Speaking of 4K, SONY is coming out with a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player in March 2017. This Blu-Ray is capable of full 4K HDR playback, dual HDMI output, universal disc playback and 4K streaming from Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. SONY also has BIG changes coming to their AVR lineup. The 4 new models of receivers have some great features including supporting Dolby Atmos and one model that has bluetooth capability!
The big story for Sonos is integration! Sonos now has direct integration with Amazon Echo and companies like Lutron, Crestron, and Control:4. This means the Sonos app can run within their interface. The company also announced a new integration with Spotify Connect, which will allow a Sonos system to be controlled directly from the Spotify app. This includes the play controls and the grouping and ungrouping of rooms for the consumer. Sonos will be partnering with more companies in 2017 to provide consumers the best way to access their favorite music in all rooms of their home. As a side note, the Sonos sub is now available in white!
SunBrite has a new Veranda line which is extremely affordable! The Veranda line is made specifically for covered areas, as opposed to areas of direct, bright sun light. The 4K UHD Veranda TV’s have built-in down-firing speakers. This series is very reasonably priced, and available in 43″, 55″ and 65″ screens. The Veranda line will be available soon, and is starting at an unbelievable price of $1,500!
SunBrite’s best selling Signature Series has never looked better! They have announced a highly enabled 4K UHD resolution, built-in HDBaseT, brighter screens and OpiView upgrades for this popular line. The new Signature Series models are available in 43″, 55″ and 65″ in black, silver and white colored options. These TV’s are designed for partial sun install locations and are guaranteed to perform in temperatures from -24° to 122°F. This new Signature Series line will launch November 2016.
Stewart Filmscreen is unveiling the new Phantom HALR. This screen is made of a high ambient light rejecting projection screen material that can be mounted in a fixed-frame wall screen or on an electric roller. The seamless custom made screen is available in sizes up to 40′ x 90′. The new Phantom HALR is designed for both day and night applications.
This screen has full ambient light rejection and zero color shift…something you really have to experience to fully appreciate! To have a film screen displayed at CEDIA, with so much ambient light around it, and to still be able to appreciate it’s ability to display such full, rich colors is nothing short of amazing! Now just imagine how incredible the experience will be under ideal viewing conditions!
This is just a preview of some of the many products and technology innovations we saw at CEDIA16. We will continue to bring cutting edge products and technology recommendations to our customers. Our policy is to thoroughly test and educate ourselves on each product we sell before making it available to our customers. It is important to us that we provide only the highest quality products available. In 40 years of being in the electronic business, we have seen technology grow in leaps and bounds. CEDIA is a great place to expand on ideas, training and product lines. It is always a great adventure as it allows us to experience a “hands on” environment for all the new devices in the market. We love what we do, and we are very fortunate to be able to share what we love with our customers!