CEDIA: Trade Show Surprises

As members of CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design Integration Association), fall is the time of year for us to attend our industry trade show. As an organization, CEDIA works hard to improve and standardize our industry. This year the show took place in Dallas and was a massive success.

In addition to training and industry meetings, the trade show allows us to spend several days exposed to new products and technology. This year, we experienced a wide variety of new products, some of which are described in more detail below:

Digital Projection

DPI showed us a new eVision laser-based projection system with 4K resolution and 10,000 lumens of light output. Projection options with this type of performance have historically brought an opening price point of just under $100K. This new model is projected to have a price under $25K. This single-chip projector has been very popular in a 1080p version and will undoubtedly be a hot item with 3840 x 2150 resolution and a brightness capable of developing huge images.

eVision projector

Color Beam Lighting

This product is a real game changer in the LED lighting arena. Applicable for new construction and retrofit scenarios, this new product line offers a low-voltage LED lighting system that is tune-able and controllable. Whites to any Kelvin, full RGB color spectrum settings, flicker-free, and compatibility with all major lighting control manufacturers are just some of the features and benefits of Colorbeam North America lighting.

Pro Audio Technology

One of the most impressive home theater sound demonstrations at this show was the demo room of Pro Audio Technology. The brainchild of renowned speaker designer Paul Hales, Pro Audio has become the go-to product for the who’s who of the cinema world. The strategy is straightforward: leading-edge design and professional-grade components with an end-to-end approach. All speakers, processing, and amplification is matched for the job, ensuring the result’s perfection.

in-wall speaker close upPro Audio Technology is known for its monstrously dynamic and huge speakers and subwoofers, but the demo this year in Dallas was truly unique. We have heard the lifelike dynamic range of their systems before, but this year was a “Wizard of Oz” experience for us. After sitting through one of the most lifelike and involving demonstrations of everything from action films to intimate music performances, the curtain was removed. Behind it was the company’s most miniature “in-wall” speakers. With a speaker grill of only 11” x 7.5”, the tiny 5” two-way recessed speakers delivered life-like dynamics and emotionally involving music at a price range that is very affordable for this performance level.

Screen Innovations

Austin-based screen manufacturer Screen Innovations is an appropriately named organization; they are one of the biggest innovators in modern screen design with one of the kind screens. They completely changed the projection technology market with the release of the Black Diamond ambient light rejection screen design in 2008. This unique technology rejects light from peripheral light sources and amplifies the light from the projector. The result is a projection system that can be used in rooms with much higher light levels.

They didn’t stop there but have continued to innovate with “Zero Edge” screens and motorized versions of the Black Diamond screen. They have recently perfected a film for projection on glass and curved surfaces.

Motorized Screen Innovations projection screen

Their latest innovation is a motorized screen suspended by cables and has no black material between its housing and the image. This technology, combined with “Black Diamond” material, makes it possible to have a screen that won’t block the view except for the image itself.