Alexa and the Amazon Echo are the current darlings of the consumer smart home market – but it’s a device that is increasingly being adopted by custom installers. The latest manufacturer to support the Amazon Echo is WyreStorm, which announced support for voice control to its Enado v4 control system at ISE 2016. The company will again be showing off the functionality at CEDIA 2016, fitting given the Echo is currently only available in the US.
Compatible with WyreStorm’s entire product line, Enado v4 integration with Amazon’s Echo and FireTV voice assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT.com (If This Then That) offers vast possibilities for using voice commands to trigger all kinds of Enado functions. These can be as simple as turning on or off a TV in a room, or as complex as huge macros combining hundreds of commands, including AV, lighting or even actions based on the end user’s lifestyle, such as when they wake up, leave the house, get home or go to sleep – instantly recalling AV lighting and environmental presets.
WyreStorm’s Enado product manager, James Meredith notes: “For an installer, the ability to create a communication process of Enado receiving an IFTTT command to trigger ‘preset 1’, which is a macro including turning on the TV, set top box and AVR, and switching the matrix to the appropriate input and changing the channel to, say, CNN is powerful.
“But for an end user, reducing all that to the simple voice command, ‘Alexa, trigger CNN’ is absolutely priceless. A user could even add preset lighting or environmental conditions to enhance their viewing experience of their favorite show – for example, “Alexa, trigger Game of Thrones” could carry out all AV operations as well as selecting mood lighting and a suitably epic setting on their AVR.”
CEDIA 2016 is expected to feature the Amazon Echo heavily, with Amazon director of Alexa Smart Home, Charlie Kindel, set to host the Friday morning keynote at the show. He is expected to discuss voice control in general, as well as the benefits of using the Alexa voice control system in the custom installation market. Amazon will also have a small stand at the show where it will be showing off the Echo and other Alexa-compatible products.
WyreStorm is not just going to be concentrating on the Amazon Echo however, with the company promising to focus its presence at CEDIA 2016 on ‘the right technology for the application’ with the latest in 4K over HDMI and HDBaseT, and 4K over IP at 1GB and 10GB.
Evolving WyreStorm’s ‘4K HQ’ CEDIA message from last year, the manufacturer’s 2016 product line of HDMI and HDBaseT extenders, matrix switchers and splitters fully support HDMI 2.0 video standards and UltraHD standards as set out by the Blu-ray Disc Association, as well as HDCP 2.2 content encryption and HDR, ensuring total compatibility with the very latest 4K UHD content, source and display devices.
Hal Truax, WyreStorm VP of sales and marketing, states that now, more than ever, understanding the technology used to transmit 4K UHD signals is vital in its successful application.
“These new standards continue add complexities regarding 4K UHD specification and its transmission. At CEDIA, WyreStorm will cut through the clutter with clear, with informative demonstrations of the various technologies currently available, and the various refresh rate, chroma subsampling and color depth decisions required to get the content where it needs to go within the bandwidth available for each technology,” he notes.
WyreStorm’s CEDIA booth will feature a side-by-side comparison of WyreStorm’s signal distribution technologies, including 4K over HDMI and HDBaseT and newly announced 4K over 10GB and 1GB over IP solutions showcased for the first time at the show, for attendees to decide for themselves which technology they prefer for residential AV applications.
New for CEDIA 2016, WyreStorm is showcasing the latest additions to its full line of 4K HDBaseT extender products for residential and commercial use, with new 35m/114ft and 70m/230ft models offering HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 support including the HDBaseT 5Play and ARC to free audio from on-demand content and SmartTV. All new WyreStorm extender products also include internal re-clocking for improved compatibility with certain 4K source devices the company found experience clock-stretching issues that affect communication between devices.
WyreStorm’s splitter and matrix switcher lines also get a shot of adrenaline, supporting HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 and HDR, including new 16×16 and 10×10 HDBaseT 5Play models adding extensive independent audio matrix functionality to de-embed HDMI source audio, manage and output ARC from all zones or take audio-only sources, mix and switch to zones. Accompanied by new scaling receivers to scale signals per zone, Hal sees this new addition to the HDBaseT matrix line as significant step up for WyreStorm:
“As our first foray into audio routing, we’re excited at the addition of an audio matrix within a WyreStorm HDBaseT video matrix device. With HDBaseT distribution, signals can be transmitted to one zone, but the audio output on that transmission module can potentially be from another zone, with an audio device such as Sonos routed to it, which really adds another layer of functionality to AV signal distribution for the home.”
WyreStorm will be presenting all of its solutions on stand #1705 at CEDIA 2016 in Dallas, Texas.