Part One here.
As I mentioned last week, I thought CEDIA EXPO in Denver had an abundance of interesting panel discussions; there were topics I wanted to hear presented nearly every hour.
One I made time for was, “Emerging Lighting Trends: Why Intelligent Fixtures Will be Your Next Business Expansion Opportunity”. Lighting fixtures (and circadian lighting, shades, blinds, wellness and more) are and can be, huge growth areas for the CEDIA channel of integrators and dealers.
This panel was moderated by Lutron’s Chief Corporate Brand Ambassador Melissa Andresko, Melissa was joined on the stage by, Ed Blair, co-president Lutron; Shannon Bush, VP Service Tech Inc; Gerry Lynch, president System 7 Solutions; and Matt Emmi from OneButton.
The Emerging Lighting Trends Panel: Ed Blair, co-president Lutron; Shannon Bush, VP Service Tech Inc; Matt Emmi, OneButton; Gerry Lynch, president System 7 Solutions; and moderator Melissa Andresko, Lutron’s Chief Corporate Brand Ambassador.
Home technology professionals are uniquely positioned to understand the technical aspects of making intelligent lighting and control systems work seamlessly. The panel discussed business opportunities in fixtures and what resources are needed to get started.
So many applicable points were made. Here are a few examples: Said Shannon Bush, “Architects are almost undereducated about fixtures. The ones we work with have been thrilled we bring lighting fixtures to the table.”
Said Matt Emmi, “For us Ketra has been a real game changer, we can run a third of a house on a single breaker. Integrators need to live with the lighting products they are installing. We have to take the lead, nothing is more powerful than showing my customers what my own lighting system can do every day.”
A fascinating press conference I attended was the UHD Alliance to announce Filmmaker Mode, a collaboration between the alliance, filmmakers, CE manufacturers, and Hollywood studios that aims to ensure that consumers can enjoy films and episodic television in their homes in the way their creators intended.
In the works for some 18 months, Filmmaker Mode was conceived of by several directors including Martin Scorsese (who calls Filmmaker Mode, “A long overdue and welcome innovation”), and endorsed by other directors such as Ang Lee, James Cameron and Judd Apatow, who reached out to the UHD Alliance with their vision of enabling the faithful reproduction of their cinematic visions in consumers’ homes.
Mike Fidler, president of the UHD Alliance
Said Mike Fidler, president of the UHD Alliance, “This has been a long and arduous process to bring Filmmaker Mode to market. Our mission is to ensure that we help consumers get a premium experience and maintain creative intent. The creators are actually involved in the development process itself.”
Filmmaker Mode preserves the correct aspect ratio, colors, and frame rates when playing back both SDR and HDR content. It sets a white point at D65, and disables post-processing settings that some televisions impose on video. For example overscan, motion interpolation, sharpening, and noise reduction.
Martin Scorsese, Filmmaker Mode is, “A long overdue and welcome innovation”.
For consumers, ease of activation is key. Most consumers don’t want to scroll through settings on their TVs. So, manufacturers must either include a button on their remote to enable it, or allow metadata-based automatic switching.
Currently, manufacturer partners are LG, Vizio, and Panasonic in the European market. Product plans will be forthcoming in the months ahead.
Back to the show floor; I thought RTI took a clever step in taking a sound room and displaying its latest control and automation solutions and A/V distribution products in a seamless flow around the space.
Beginning with the KA8 and KA11 touch panels with an 11.6-inch widescreen LCD display, the T4x 4-inch capacitive touchscreen ( the company’s flagship remote control) and the U3 weatherproof remote. RTI’s Brett Stokke also discussed the next generation of Alexa voice control, AV distribution solutions including the new CP-16i Cool Power amplifier and X-Series HDBaseT video distribution solutions.
RTI’s Brett Stokke and Robert Choate discuss the next generation of Alexa voice control.
Said Brett, “We are showing how dealers can grow their business from the family room, to the whole home, and into commercial projects, all on the same platform.
“There are a million different ways our integrators can create an amazing custom experience for their clients. At RTI we want to be the integrators control system for the future.”
I always look forward to hearing the latest efforts from GoldenEar Technology. This CEDIA EXPO, company principal Sandy Gross and team focussed on the introduction of the Bookshelf Reference X (BRX) passive bookshelf speaker. It is hard to imagine a bookshelf speaker can sound this good. Airy and detailed, yet reproducing solid bass, the imaging was excellent.
Sandy Gross and the Bookshelf Reference X (BRX) passive bookshelf speaker.
The speakers utilize the company’s signature folded-ribbon tweeter with a 6-inch cast-basket woofer and balanced crossover in a foot-tall enclosure with 6.5-inch planar radiators on either side. Listening to the sonic excellence of the BRX bookshelf speakers, it was hard to pull myself away from the booth. Seriously.
As previously mentioned, shades are a huge part of our industry’s growth and profit. I checked out the latest from Hunter Douglas located in the Control4 booth. With over 20 styles that can be automated and customized to basically any installation; typical living room, home theater, vaulted ceilings and large windows can all present opportunity for shading and blind integration.
From Hunter Douglas’ Scott Stephenson,”We can customize for any application with products that present great opportunities for the CEDIA integrator.”
Hunter Douglas has added PowerView, the technology platform that automates and integrates shade control into major smart home systems. For example, the gorgeous Vignette Duolite combines two fabrics into a single shade — one light filtering, the other room darkening –— using just a single motor and roller tube.
As I mentioned at the beginning, wellness continues to be a growth opportunity in the industry. One of the cool new additions to EXPO this year was the CEDIA Expo Wellness Pavilion.
Several manufacturers in one location could showcase how integrators can branch out their businesses to other profit opportunities.
The Delos Wellness space; chill out, power naps, meditate and sooth your soul.
Highlighted was human-centric lighting, indoor air quality and more. The following brands had booths within the CEDIA EXPO Wellness Pavilion: Delos, Broan – Nutone, Aprilaire, RAYVA and Green Builder Media. Delos had a Wellness space where show attendees could chill out and enjoy ambient power naps, meditations, and other soul soothing experiences.
Stay tuned next week as I delve into even more of CEDIA Expo 2019!