There were lots of impressive demos to be found on the ISE show floor this year, including a DTS:X home cinema experience provided by JBL Synthesis.

JBL used the demo to showcase several new products including the Synthesis SCL-3 in-wall/ceiling speakers for LCR and 10 x SCL-4 speakers for side/rear/height channels, arranged in a 9.4.4 configuration. The cinema also featured the new SDP-75 Surround processor, SDA 4600/SDA8300 amplifiers, SDEC5500 and 4 x S1S-EX 18in subwoofers.

The SDP-75 (due for a summer launch) benefits from a new partnership with Trinnov to offer object-based decoding of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D, based on Trinnov’s Altitude32 platform, in either a 16 or 32 channel configuration.

JBL will also introduce a companion SDEC-5500 digital equaliser to provide Adaptive Room Correction and Optimisation System (ARCOS) calibration technology and Harman’s own BLU link connectivity. The new speakers featured will receive an April launch.

Another high-end home theatre demo room was showcasing Auro Technologies’ immersive audio solution, playing back multiple types of content in both Auro-3D and Dolby Atmos, over a single system, using an Auro 13.1 setup as well as a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 install.

Auro Technologies’ Home Entertainment and Luxury Audio Product division introduced its hardware product lines, GalaxisAudio and StormAudio, as well as 24/7 worldwide technical support to distributors and custom installers during ISE.

Accomplished with TRIAD speakers, the dual-format configuration found within the demo room was powered by GalaxisAudio’s MENSA sound processor and the StormAudio Class D PA14.200 and PA8.200 multi-channel power amplifier.

The GalaxisAudio product line provides high-end
 audio solutions for the residential market, with a specific focus on ‘luxury design,’ while the StormAudio product range for home theatre and multi-room distribution will focus on audio quality, easy integration and high reliability.

“For Auro, ISE was a huge success and the perfect place for us to debut our new dedicated hardware product division,” Yves Trélohan, vice president of Auro’s home entertainment and luxury audio product division told CE Pro Eu.

“The highly engaged and knowledgeable attendees and exhibitors made for a great show and perfect audience to demo our GalaxisAudio and StormAudio hardware. Overall, we’re feeling very excited about the positive feedback.”

Inside Barco Residential’s demo room, CE Pro Eu was treated to a demo of a pre-production version of Barco’s new Loki 4K projector, the first 9” 4K DLP laser phosphor projector in the world available later this year, the company also featured the Thor 6P laser 4K projector.

Billed as the ‘the ultimate Home Theatre experience on the planet’, the dedicated cinema at home room did not disappoint, garnering rave reviews throughout the show.

In addition to Thor, the room boasted an in-wall sound system by Steinway Lyngdorf, Acoustic treatment from CATS and a screen by Stewart Filmscreen.

Content included first run DCI cinema content with Barco Residential partner Bel Air Cinema, as well as 4K UHD content from the new Kaleidescape 4K UHD Strato Movie Player, with Cheena Srinivasan, Kaleidescape’s CEO calling it a “giant, gorgeous screen; impeccable picture quality and excellence in immersive sound – the demo achieved a stunning cinema experience delivered through a meticulous integration of fine high-end brands.”

 

 

Tim Sinnaeve, director, Barco High End Residential, told CE Pro Eu that: “ISE is the main tradeshow in Europe for us and the opportunity to share what Barco Residential is about with the residential custom integration channel. We wanted to set the benchmark for our brand and what the custom integration channel can expect of us by bringing what we believe is the ultimate home theatre experience on the planet to ISE, powered by our unique Thor 6P laser 4K projector.

“The sheer number of visitors and people that told us this was the best home theatre they had ever experienced suggests that we succeeded in our aim! In the theatre we also introduced for the first time our new Loki 4K laser phosphor projector that will set a new benchmark in its class and will start shipping later this year. In addition to home theatre projection, custom integrators also showed great interest in our innovative packaged solutions such as the Custom Rear Projection TV, the Ultimate Media Solution and the direct LED wall solutions, which further enhance our unique value proposition to the custom integration channel.

“Our European distribution partner Genesis Technologies was also very happy with our showing and the response of our Custom Integration partners. We are confident ISE 2016 will prove to be a pivotal event in further building our high end custom integration channel in Europe.”

 

One of the key new products launched at the show came from Screen Innovations, which used a demo room on its booth to wow attendees with its Transformer screen, a motorised screen that unfurls horizontally to create the perfect-sized area for the image – whether that be 2.35:1 ultra-wide, 6:9 or any aspect ratio in between.

Unlike today’s masking systems, it isn’t a black frame that moves across a fixed screen. The screen itself actually does the moving.

The screen material wraps around rollers at either side, and those rollers extend or contract at the press of a button, or automatically based on aspect-ratio metadata.

During ISE, the screen was framed in blue LED lighting to highlight the motion. But the screen wasn’t the only magic in the demo. Video was provided by a Wolf Cinema projector, audio from Audio Design Associates (ADA) and Leon Speakers, while the comfy recliners were courtesy of Fortress Seating.

 

 

Although that wasn’t all from the manufacturer, with it also introducing ZERO-G, a new motorised projection screen that, when deployed, literally appears to be floating in mid-air. 

“By removing the unnecessary masking material between the case and the viewing area on motorised projection screens, SI has created a ‘rollable television’ that is suspended in mid-air,” enthused Ryan Gustafson, CEO and founder of SI.

“With ZERO-G, owners can place a television where it should go, not where it has to go. And with a maximum available viewing area of 160-inches and award-winning ambient-light-rejecting screen materials, ZERO-G is unlike any motorised screen you have ever seen before. This is the future of television.”

SI also turned things upside down by rolling the material from the bottom up, nesting within an upper wing. The entire assembly then moves into an external or flush case; the TV completely disappears when not in use.

 

 

Meanwhile over on the Stewart Filmscreen stand, the manufacturer debuted Harmony, its latest entry in the woven acoustically transparent screen material category.

Visitors to ISE were the first to experience the visual and audio performance of Harmony as part of a 4.875m wide VistaScope Jumbo variable masking system that served as the centrepiece of an impressive multi-brand 21-channel Dolby Atmos-enhanced dedicated theatre showcase.

Harmony can be specified up to 2,895mm image height, which supports a 6,947mm image width when presented in a 2.4:1 native aspect ratio. This is more than a 25% increase in the maximum size over its predecessor, Tela 80.

Harmony is available now for specification in Stewart’s classic AT1.5 fixed frame wall screen as well as the VistaScope Jumbo system shown at ISE. Later this spring, Stewart will release Harmony for inclusion in its flagship Director’s Choice four-way variable masking system.

“Some ISE visitors have never seen home cinemas this large and this sophisticated,” Vijita U.G, marketing manager, Stewart Filmscreen told CE Pro Eu on the show floor.

“Audiences experiencing the Refining Home Theatre demo noted it was both immersive and entertaining, and that the image fidelity provided by our new Harmony woven acoustically transparent screen material was impressive. Based on the show’s record-breaking attendance and standing room only demonstrations all week, I have to say it was a fantastic event. As a first-time attendee myself, I was thoroughly impressed and am eager to return in 2017.”

BenQ underlined its ambitions in the home cinema market with its W11000 4K UHD reference-grade home theatre projector.

Equipped with big zoom and extreme H/V lens shift capabilities, the projector is designed to offer installation flexibility as well as high-performance. Also showed was the new entry in BenQ’s Home Entertainment series. The W8000 is engineered, built and individually calibrated for an authentic movie-going experience, says the maker.

Draper was also making itself known, showcasing new, larger sizes for its TecVision Engineered Surface Technology line, which are now available up to 23 feet high.

The manufacturer also welcomed Freya as the newest addition to its Valhalla family. Freya It is a recessed projection screen designed for hidden installations in large venues and is available in a large range of standard sizes and screen surfaces, even as Tab Tension.

Visitors to Draper’s stand also had the opportunity to use the company’s projection planning tool, which walks the designer through a series of precise questions – including seating distance, image size, the type of information being projected; ambient light levels at the screen and in the room; and the projector’s format, lumens, contrast ratio, and throw distance, to build a complete system profile.

 

Drawing attention to its very own industry tool was Ihiji, which launched its new Software as a Service (SaaS) tool, Ihiji ServiceManager to an International audience at the show.

Designed to help systems integrators, security monitoring firms and other companies and trades make their businesses more productive and profitable, Ihiji ServiceManager gives professionals the tools they need to set up and maintain bottom-line-boosting recurring revenue service plans.

Specifically, Ihiji ServiceManager allows integrators to set up and store service-plan information and data on all clients and sites and access it through a single, cloud-based system, as well as allowing integrators with existing service businesses to streamline their efforts.

 

 

Bringing its own software innovation to the industry was Jetbuilt, which announced the official launch of purchase order integration to its domestic and international software, enabling dealers to order the items in their projects with a simple click.

Once the proposal is converted to a job, the option to send purchase orders for the initial project phase is offered.

This added feature is included in the dealer’s subscription and will remain a free feature for all dealers who subscribe to Jetbuilt software before the in-application project management tools are released later this year.

 

 

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) had a neat demo running showing its stylish approach to AV as well as its home automation credentials.

The BeoLink SmartHome platform is an open, cloud-based architecture that allows the company’s products to connect with those from the likes of Crestron, Control4 and Savant as well as IoT devices.

Using the BeoRemote or BeoLink App installers can now integrate the brand into a mixed whole home system and the company has already started adding brands such as Nest and Amazon Echo. Remote access to systems also provides another level of service and flexibility.

For control of IoT products the brand can now also offer a ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT) enabled channel. There is no official news as the company is currently remaining tight lipped, but there were also strong rumours at the show that access to the brand for installers without a retail deal with the company is also under review making it easier to get involved.

 

 

Meanwhile, Sonance introduced its C6R in-ceiling speaker and its single stereo version the C6R SST. This 6.5in speaker is designed to deliver performance and aesthetics as the market calls for more high performance integrated speakers.

The C6R offers shallow mounting depth, low-profile edgeless steel mesh grille, high power handling and sensitivity and accurate bass and HF response from a pivoting tweeter and polypropylene woofer.

Origin Acoustics has had a whirlwind introduction to the market since its launch into the European market at the last ISE. Taking a high-quality approach to the sector, the brand has grown strongly and introduced several new concepts at the show.

However, company supremo Jeremy Burkhardt was most keen to focus on the company’s new outdoor living brand, AcoustaScape Landscape Audio.

Outdoor music systems have become a real success story in Europe and Origin’s first offering here will be the AS41 Hi-Fi Landscape Audio System package. which includes four satellite speakers and one in-ground subwoofer to achieve even coverage for garden or patio audio set ups.

The AS41 System leverages four 4in camouflage enclosed satellite speakers and a bass-boosting 8in in-ground subwoofer as well as featuring livery designed to allow it to merge into the foliage.

Origin Acoustics says the system projects perfectly even sound coverage directly into the listening area with equal volume, turning the whole outdoor space into a sweet spot without causing any disturbance to neighbours. Installers can also expand the system by adding up to four additional satellite speakers, model AS4SAT extension packs for even greater coverage up to 2,500sq-f.

The two-way satellite speakers deliver a wider dispersion and require no separate amplifier – simply power from any source component zone two output.

Jeremy explains: “We designed the AS41 Hi-Fi Landscape Audio System especially for Invision (UK distributor). Outside you lose bass real fast, our buried subs take care of this and the systems (this is just the first in a whole array of exterior solutions) can really scale up, basic systems for smaller gardens, right up to really large ones for people with more space.”

 

 

Another manufacturer with lots to offer the installer market was Genelec, which – in addition to having a Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D and DTS:X demo room on its stand – was generating lots of interest due to its new AIW26B active in-wall loudspeaker system.

The system sports a new frameless enclosure grille, ensuring the loudspeaker can blend into almost any environment, while its precision design works to provide ‘superior’ bass reproduction as well as precise mid and high frequencies imaging for state-of-the art audio installations.

“We have built in the features the customers want,” Sami Mäkinen, business manager, AV installation, Genelec, told CE Pro Eu. “This system has a wide variety of applications, and would be ideal for installation in a home theatre, a restaurant, art gallery, or a variety of commercial applications.

“There has been a great atmosphere at ISE; people are looking for new things. It’s been a really good show.”

Genelec also announced that its 4020, 4030 and 4040 installations speakers are now available in a choice of over 120 RAL classic colour finishes.

 

Basalte introduced a server and amplifier to complete its networked Asano multi-room audio solution, a native KNX system.

The Asano S4 music server and the M4 multi-room amplifier join the family aiming to offer strong styling and performance in a virtually unlimited number of rooms due to its KNX partnership.

Room management tools and user profile options have also been increased and users can stream local content from an iOS device to individual or multiple rooms.

The unit also provides access to Internet radio and separate NAS drives.

The M4 multi-room audio amplifier works with the server to deliver very large installation possibilities and integrated 80W ICE Power amplifiers by Bang & Olufsen add to the level of quality.

A dedicated Asano App wraps up all the functionality.

 

 

Amina enjoyed the show, highlighting the aesthetic and performance advantages of its invisible speaker options, reporting a very busy stand right throughout the show.

Babs Moore told CE Pro Eu that “the show has been incredibly busy; here we are at the very end of day four and we are still talking to people on our stand – we thought it would be winding down by now but it has been crammed full of people throughout.”

No details were available at the event, but the company promises some major announcements in April of this year to add to its current line-up.

The Legrand booth was a hive of activity, with the company announcing the integration of Spotify into its Nuvo Player Portfolio multi-room audio system, which is now available to Player Portfolio owners through a download of Player Software version 3.1.

Designed with custom audio installers in mind, the Nuvo Player Portfolio offers both wireless and hard-wired capabilities for delivering audio content from online streaming services, as well as content residing on your home network, to as many as 16 zones throughout a home. 

“This has been the most requested upgrade to the Player Portfolio from both installers and end-users, and we are excited to deliver on those desires,” commented Fritz Werder, VP/GM for the company’s Nuvo and On-Q product lines.

 

Moving over to Middle Atlantic, the manufacturer was experiencing great interest in its brand new UTB Series Universal TechBox, a low-profile solution for discreetly mounting AV equipment underneath a table surface within meeting spaces.

The UTB Series Universal TechBox is ideal for mounting equipment such as the Crestron 3-Series 4K DigitalMedia Presentation System 150 and other streaming solutions, as well as small devices, switchers, and interface accessories for audio, video, and/or HDMI.

The manufacturer also today unveiled phase two of Configurator, its Web-based configuration tool, which gives users access to additional features and capabilities that have been implemented to improve the personalised experience available to registered users on Middle Atlantic’s website.

Engineered to facilitate the easy selection, configuration, quote and purchase process for customer projects, the tool is part of the extensive resources available on the site, which now boasts more than 10,000 registered users since its launch one year ago.

 

 

Vantage – also under the Legrand umbrella – was showcasing its custom solution, released in response to the discontinuation of the Savant LiteTouch business. The release consists of an insert panel (part # LT2VA); a kit with controller and enclosure (part # LT2VA-Kit); and custom Capri replacement keypads.

Vantage’s InFusion LiteTouch Retrofit Insert is UL listed and specially designed to fit into a LiteTouch/Savant enclosure right out of the box. Using existing LiteTouch wiring, customers can easily replace LiteTouch keypads with Vantage keypads through their current electrical boxes and wiring.

Raritan was targeting data centres and broadcast control rooms with its flexible Audio Visual (AV) distribution system to support a wide range of small and midsized applications. The new Raritan AV-over-IP (RAV-IP) distribution system provides high-performance video and audio streaming over flexible, low-cost IP networks.

Raritan’s simple encoder- and decoder-based system can be installed in minutes using low-cost Cat5/6 cable, fibre and Gigabit Ethernet switches, supporting both Cat5 and fibre in a single system.

Fresh from StreamUnlimited’s announcement at the end of 2015 that TIDAL has certified StreamSDK – a streaming and multi-room audio integration solution – as an approved product module for companies who incorporate the service into its products, the manufacturer used ISE to announce that Google has enabled StreamUnlimited as a Google Cast partner.

Manufacturers integrating StreamUnlimited’s StreamSDK technology have the ability to add Google Cast to their software through the partnership.

Furthermore, StreamUnlimited can enrich manufacturer’s own hardware and software platforms with Google Cast.

Meanwhile, new on the URC front is that there is a new driver to partner the Denon Heos multi-room music system as well as one for the Philips Hue intelligent light fittings.

The URC platform now also offers integration with KNX and in a few weeks Z-Wave and CoolMaster HVAC products as well. URC also demoed a new dedicated on-wall controller as well as a new entry level remote, the TRC 820.

Elsewhere, the HDanywhere brand showcased its new m-Hub 8×8 matrix which is ready now, sold as a package complete with its own App.

The new HDanywhere Control App for iOS and Android devices provides direct access to configure rooms and EDID settings directly; homeowners can also gain more control as it provides a simple way to switch between and control HDMI source devices at each TV from their tablet or phone being designed for homes which don’t require or don’t have the budget for full whole-home automation control.

The App will be available later in 2016 to download free with every mHub matrix package and the company is also planning to have the App work with its earlier modular matrixes.

 

Torus Power used the exhibition to showcase its Automatic Voltage Regulation series models.

Utilising Plitron’s toroidal isolation transformers to provide high instantaneous power and protect connected equipment from electrical fluctuations and surges, Torus Power’s AVR2 series is designed for large-scale custom installations such as professional studios, critical listening environments, home theatres, and other high performance applications.

Also debuing at ISE was the new TOT AVR Series of toroidal isolation power transformers, with models available for use in Continental Europe (TOT AVR CE), the United Kingdom (TOT AVR UK), and North America (TOT AVR), as well as Mexico, Japan and Australia.

The new TOT AVR builds upon Torus Power’s TOT Series of Toroidal Isolation Transformer products, but adds Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) to its feature set at a new, lower price point.

TOT AVR continuously monitors incoming voltage to detect high and low voltage conditions and then seamlessly and instantaneously triggers compensating circuitry to ensure the voltage powering equipment is always operating at optimal levels.

 

 

Lastly, the Z-Wave Alliance used ISE to introduce its integrator membership and installer training.

The integrator level membership and installer certification, first introduced at CEDIA EXPO in the US, is available globally to installation companies looking to grow their knowledge base, build relationships with smart home manufacturers and become experts in Z-Wave deployments.

“Integrators play a crucial role in the deployment of the smart home, and we want to ensure they have the necessary background and resources to leave happy customers,” said Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance. “With the installer training and integrator membership option, the Alliance is providing the resources and tools dealers crave while building a community for all our members.”

Membership benefits include access to Z-Wave Alliance integrator forums and working groups, as well as technical resources for deployment, troubleshooting, design and testing of Z-Wave products.

Looking ahead to 2017, exhibitor and stand re-bookings already look promising, with 47,131sq-m of space already being sold just days after the show closed.

The addition of a new hall in 2017 will coincide with a new hall numbering system, which will be introduced into the RAI. ISE will return February 7-10 2017.

Read ISE Show Report: Part 1 here.

 

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