Press Release

Product Briefs: Roon Labs Partners with HTSA and ProSource; Leviton Lighting Business Unit

Keep checking back for CE Pro's brief product and company news in custom electronics.


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So many product news items come across the CE Pro desks, and we don't want to miss them. Neither do our readers. This is the place where we tell you what's now shipping, which reps and distributors picked up what new products, which products are newly compatible, how public companies are faring, and other briefs in custom electronics.

April 27, 2017

 Roon Labs (Roon), a media streaming and playback application that aims to provide a rich experience for music lovers, has partnered with Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) and ProSource buying groups. 

Roon Labs’ comprehensive application brings both streaming content and personal music files under a single control and management system. Additionally, Roon can stream to and control all Airplay, Sonos and Roon Ready network devices.

“Every day, our members install sophisticated high-end, high-performance networked audio/video solutions that bring tremendous flexibility and capability to their clients,” says Jon Robbins, executive director of Home Technology Specialists of America, Inc. “But one of the challenges they face is how to make controlling and using this system simple and enjoyable. Roon Labs’ digital music player solution is a major step forward as it reduces the number of applications the installer and the consumer needs to learn and operate – offering a simplified and more elegant user experience

Echoing similar sentiments, Dave Workman, CEO and President, ProSource, says the software will enable users to benefit from Roon's high-resolution audio compatibility.

 “We are excited to be partnering with Roon Labs as we see this as another critical piece of the puzzle in delivering the highest quality experience to the consumer looking for hi res streaming audio," adds Workman.


Leviton has announced that it has consolidated its recent lighting acquisitions into one new Leviton Lighting Business Unit. The company says the consolidation positions it to deliver a broad portfolio of high-performance and sustainable lighting solutions and fixtures.

This reorganization strategically aligns Leviton’s recent acquisitions of JCC, Contech Lighting and Intense Lighting under one leadership team. John Ranshaw, former president of Contech Lighting, will serve as vice president and general manager of the newly integrated Leviton Lighting Business Unit, focusing on continuing to expand Leviton’s lighting product offering, sales footprint and continuous improvement in delivering the highest level of customer service.

"As a company, Leviton’s deep bench of lighting knowledge and expertise is now organized to operate efficiently, innovate quickly and maintain its industry leadership position,” says Ranshaw. “We look forward to developing even more comprehensive and exciting lighting solutions for commercial, hospitality, supermarket, retail and residential customers in the future.” 

“We look forward to the opportunities Leviton and our customers will receive as a result of our combined lighting and lighting control expertise,” adds Daryoush Larizadeh, president and chief operating officer for Leviton. “Bringing these entities together under one business unit, leadership and brand will strengthen our offering better positioning Leviton to lead the industry and exceed customer needs.”


April 26, 2017

Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor serving the custom integration industry, has announced an agreement with JVC to distribute its products.

The Midwestern-based distributor explains that JVC is a leading developer and manufacturer of 4K projectors and accessories. 

Skywalker AV Supply says the addition of JVC projectors complements its already comprehensive video and media projection offerings. These projectors are exclusively available for purchase to dealers registered to do business in these states: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa, or New Mexico.

“Our partnership with JVC will provide our dealers with a reputable line of projectors,” says Bob Holliday, national sales manager at Skywalker AV Supply. “This includes the world’s first THX certified 4K projectors.”


April 25, 2017

WyreStorm, a manufacturer of A/V signal management and control over HDBaseT, IP and HDMI, has announced Luxul as the latest in a growing number of networking equipment manufacturers to offer support for its WyreStorm NetworkHD A/V over IP system.

With over three years experience as an AV over IP manufacturer, WyreStorm lead the way as a networked AV solutions provider with their NetworkHD line utilizing JPEG2000 and H.264 platforms for low latency or low bandwidth distribution of both 2K and 4K video, audio and power for commercial and residential applications.

WyreStorm’s addition of Luxul as its latest technology partner not only reflects the rapid growth of the AV over IP platform, but it also illustrates how quickly NetworkHD has been embraced by integrators looking for scalable, reliable networked AV alternatives to fixed matrix distribution.

Luxul switches offering support for WyreStorm NetworkHD include the AMS-2624P, AMS-1208P and AMS-4424P models – all part of Luxul's AV Series of products. These components are purposely built for use with A/V equipment. Luxul’s A/V Series switches feature rear panel ports and front facing LEDs for clean integration with AV rack systems, while also offering user selectable blue/green LEDs that allow for consistency with other rack mount equipment. Also supported is the XMS-2624P, which offers a traditional front-facing port alternative.

“NetworkHD is the most powerful, innovative yet simplest line of AV over IP products on the market today and it is important that our switch manufacturer partners are as well," says James Meredith, networked A/V and Enado product manager, WyreStorm.  "Luxul’s line of AV switches offer the flexibility, simplicity and reliability we value so highly in our own products, with a good example being how their simple web-based tick box configuration enables a system to be set-up in seconds. When integrating with NetworkHD, our auto-discovery function means that for integrators the attachment of all components in a system is almost plug and play and they’re done.”


Pioneer's addition of Chromecast built-in and voice control increases the amount of wireless audio streaming technologies already integrated within Pioneer components and speakers.  A new firmware update supporting the company's wireless technologies is now available for these Pioneer products:

  • Pioneer Elite: SC-LX901, SC-LX801, SC-LX701, SC-LX501, VSX-LX301, VSX-LX101, SX-S30 and FS-EB70
  • Pioneer: VSX-1131, VSX-832, VSX-831, VSX-S520, XC-HM86, X-HM76 and MRX-3.

The built-in Chromecast connects compatible apps on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android phones and tablets; Chromebook, and Chrome browsers on Mac, as well as Windows, and Linux PCs to Pioneer components over 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi.  Users can stream music, Internet radio, and podcasts from the most popular online services for a smooth and convenient wireless playback experience.

Pioneer adds the update will allow owners to request music and audio content by voice for streaming playback on their supported Pioneer components when used in conjunction with Google Home or other to-be-released devices featuring Google Assistant. Listeners can select a streaming service, specific song or album, adjust volume, and perform other playback operations using voice commands.


Legrand, a global manufacturer electrical and digital building solutions, and Domotz, a provider of network monitoring and remote tech support systems for integration companies and IT professionals, announced that Legrand’s Nuvo Player Portfolio whole home music system is now supported by Domotz Pro remote network management software.

Domotz Pro software adds remote management features to the Nuvo Player Portfolio system that enable integrators and Legrand tech support to work together in real-time to quickly troubleshoot configuration and performance issues, saving all parties time and money. The Domotz-Nuvo pairing is an expansion of the technology partnership announced earlier this year to provide Domotz Pro support for networking products under Legrand’s Luxul brand.

Among the key features the software makes available is the ability to automatically identify and remotely reboot Player Portfolio devices and systems. Integrators can also quickly launch support sessions with Legrand, providing the manufacturer’s tech team temporary remote access to customers’ Player Portfolio systems. In addition, Domotz Pro offers remote monitoring of Nuvo Player Portfolio zone status, networking status and connection history, as well as network status alerts when devices are offline and when new devices are found.

“Domotz Pro for Player Portfolio is important to our customer support strategy because it creates a direct line of communication between our tech team and the integrator for faster real-time troubleshooting that can be carried out remotely,” says Fritz Werder, vice president/general manager, Legrand, On-Q and Nuvo. “We are pleased our relationship with Domotz is expanding in ways that create real value for integrators.”

 


April 20, 2017

Nielsen announced it is adopting Gracenote IDs as the standard content identifier across its audience measurement solutions. Standardization of Gracenote IDs within Nielsen’s measurement products will tie together all related media and power more effective cross platform buying and planning.

Gracenote’s IDs link together video, music and sports content across television, digital and radio, and help power advanced search and intuitive user experiences. These unique alphanumeric content identifiers for linear TV, VOD and OTT underpin the national and local programming guides used by viewers everyday.

Nielsen’s standardization of the Gracenote ID will provide greater automation for media clients who will be able to use one single identifier for their program titling processes.  By binding the Gracenote IDs to all watermarks and signatures within its measurement, Nielsen will help clients more effectively map and measure content wherever it lives, fueling the cross media linking of metadata across all platforms for Nielsen’s Total Audience Products. 

“Implementing Gracenote IDs as standard identifiers is a vital step forward toward creating a more automated, efficient, and accurate measurement process regardless of where the content or ad is consumed,” says Kelly Abcarian, senior vice president of product leadership, Nielsen. “Weaving Gracenote IDs through all Nielsen audience measurement services is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering products that provide tangible benefit to our clients and the market at large.”

Back in December 2016 Nielsen acquired Gracenote from Tribune Media Company, and at the time the deal was estimated to close sometime during the first quarter of 2017. 

Gracenote delivers information for over 12 million movie and television listings and 200 million music tracks, and it supports the interfaces of the major streaming digital media services, as well as the connected technology systems in over 75 million automobiles.


April 18, 2017

MoFi Distribution, has announced the addition of Dr. Feickert Analogue to its product lineup. 


Known for the highly regarded “Universal Protractor” to assist with turntable setup, Dr, Feickert Analogue's current product lineup features three turntables: the Woodpecker ($4,995), the Blackbird ($6,995) and Firebird ($19,995), and MoFi states the company, which is based in the Black Forest region nearFreiburg, Germany, was founded in 2002 by Dr. Christian Feickert, a music lover and choir singer with a PhD in Physics/Chemistry.


WAVE Electronics has partnered with Samsung to distribute its line of audio and video products.

"WAVE Electronics is committed to stock just-in-time Samsung inventory in all 10 locations and showcase the newest in Samsung QLED technology," says WAVE in a release. "In addition to exceptional dealer service, WAVE Electronics also offers free freight programs and delivery service, in-house tech support and the award winning platinum 9/3 Rebate Program that can earn a dealer up to 3 percent off various products including Samsung."


April 14, 2017

ProjX360 has launched its new work order and invoicing updates.

The company points out that in its software it has a “Feature Request” section for our customers to request enhancements. Those suggestions are posted for other customers to vote on and based on the voting those enhancements are added to the company's development schedule.

With the new work order enhancement, users can create work orders for service, projects and clients, users can assign these tasks to multiple technicians. Users can create custom task lists for technicians; they can push product from the proposal, attach a custom checklist from their checklist library, track time, add attachments per line item and make notes per line item, get electronic signatures and much more, according to the Ariz.-based software company.

Integrators can also create service repair tickets for work orders if a product needs to go in for service. Reminders concerning these service repair tickets can be setup if the product isn't needed back in a certain time to remind dealers about the status of the product's repair schedule. If dealers need to create an invoice for that work order they can do so right from that work order and they can also see all associated invoices with that work order. ProjX360 says it offers a work order history, which allows users to see all work orders related to that client or project.

The new invoicing enhancement allows users to create invoices for service calls and for projects. ProjX360 states that dealers can bring items in from the product manager or portal. When users bring a product in from the product manager it will also bring in the labor phase and hours associated with it and the pricing of that product. Adding labor, users select the labor phase and it will bring over the labor rate assigned to that labor phase so technicians don’t have to remember all the different labor rates. The invoices can be exported to QuickBooks Online and Xero emailed to clients and it enables electronic signatures.


The Kwikset brand of Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware and Home Improvement Division, has announced that homeowners using Samsung SmartThings or Wink to control their Kwikset SmartCode 910, 912, 914 and 916 electronic locks can now ask Alexa-enabled devices to lock their deadbolts.  This feature is a result of a new API launch from Amazon that allows the control of smart locks through the SmartThings and Wink hubs.

“The integration between Kwikset and Alexa greatly simplifies the way that homeowners can interact with their locks,” says Ashton Good, senior product manager, Kwikset, Spectrum Brands.  “Homeowners can now say, ‘Alexa, lock my door,’ instead of having to open an app.  We’re excited for Kwikset to work in cooperation with SmartThings, Wink and Amazon to greatly improve and simplify the homeowner’s smart home experience, whether they are at home or away from home.”

“As the demand for voice control and smart home devices continues to rise, consumers are looking for products that will work seamlessly together to make their lives more convenient,” adds Brett Worthington, vice president of global business development, Samsung Smart Things.  “Our open platform and integration with Kwikset and Amazon Alexa will deliver just that – an experience that brings ease and simplicity to our customers’ daily lives.” 


April 13, 2017

Legrand, the global manufacturer of electrical and digital building infrastructures, has announced the integration of KNX, the worldwide communications protocol for smart home devices, into its Nuvo Player Portfolio of whole-home audio system products. The update is available via a free and automatic firmware update, and with it, Legrand says that system owners will be able to control their NuVo products using the KNX platform.

All connected Player Portfolio products will automatically implement the v4.2.0 software update to support this integration. The corresponding app update for iOS and Android devices will also be available for download from iTunes and the Google Play Store.

“Our integration of the KNX protocol is very important to our dealers across Europe.  It greatly multiplies the opportunities for them to recommend the Player Portfolio as a part of larger home systems,” says Desirée Webster, senior marketing communications manager, Legrand North America.


April 12, 2017

Hikvision, a manufacturer of video surveillance products and solutions, announced that it has joined the HDBaseT Alliance as an Adopter member.  The HDBaseT Alliance was established in 2010 by LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens to promote and standardize HDBaseT for the transmission of ultra-high-division multimedia content.

“HDBaseT expands the technological possibilities we can offer our customers, allowing for more bandwidth and longer distances without compromising on quality and performance. We are happy to join the HDBaseT Alliance and contribute the Hikvision technology to this important environment,” says Qian Xuefeng, general manager of display and transmission BU, Hikvision.

HDBaseT technology, powered by Valens, enables all-in-one connectivity between high-definition video sources and remote displays, through a single cable for up to 100 meters with category cable, or kilometers with fiber, including the transmission of ultra-high-definition video & audio, Ethernet, USB, control signals, and up to 100W of power.


April 11, 2017

TiO, the Florida-based provider of home automation products, announced its latest software update: Version 4.2.0. the update includes enhancements to Master Coordinator 2, StealthStream 1 and TiO Home for iOS and Android devices. In addition, TiO users can now connect their Honeywell Total Connect Comfort devices and software to their TiO ecosystem.

The company explains that software suite 4.2.0 is a mid-level update, which fixes minor bugs and includes new features to the Master Coordinator, such as support for Honeywell Total Connect Comfort and minor system updates for enhanced user experience.

With Software Suite 4.2.0, users will be able to update their TiO software via USB to ensure customers will always have access to the latest updates, even without internet access. TiO Home for Android and iOS now features improved GUI and Remove Access and allows up to 12 StealthStream 1s to connect to the TiO Home App. The second generation TouchLite 2, a load agnostic touchpad controller, is set to release this quarter with added features for lighting control in Software Suite 4.2.0, available now for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.


April 10, 2017

In a statement LeEco Global and VIZIO Inc., have announced the merger agreement to acquire VIZIO will not proceed due to regulatory issues.

The companies state that moving forward there is still synergy between the two, and they are pleased to announce that LeEco and VIZIO have reached an agreement is a win for both companies.

Under the new agreement, LeEco and VIZIO will continue to explore opportunities to incorporate the Le app and content within the VIZIO connected CE platform, and engage in a collaborative partnership to leverage LeEco’s EUI (Ecosystem User Interface) platform, along with the brand’s exclusive content and distribution channels, to bring VIZIO products to the China market.


Stampede, a value-added distributor of ProAV solutions, has announced that it has been appointed to serve as a distribution partner for FIREFX, a IoT security appliance and professional grade high-performance media system developer. According to Stampede president and COO Kevin Kelly, the distribution partnership is effective immediately and covers the United States, Canada and Latin America.

“We are pleased to provide our growing reseller network with FIREFX’s award-winning technology, led by the revolutionary Network Guardian cyber-security system,” says Kelly. “FIREFX is changing the integration industry by challenging conventional paradigms with its revolutionary IoT technology. The Network Guardian is a ‘must have’ component of any networked system solution. It delivers superior and reliable enterprise-level network security and robust performance at a very reasonable price that makes it an easy add-on to any system being designed today.”


April 7, 2017

BitWise, the home-automation and A/V company acquired by Leviton in 2014, has added several new device drivers to its portfolio:

• Lightwave RF
• Gefen Video over IP
• Kodi (XBMC)
• SpeakerCraft MRA
• Triax 4K Matrix Switchers
• Zektor Audio Matrix
• Zektor Palladia 6x4
• Zektor Palladia 8x8
• Zektor Palladia 16x16
• Gefen Toolbox 8x8 HDMI Matrix
• Gefen Toolbox 4x1 Switcher for HDMI
• Windows Media Center


April 6, 2017

Leviton is now shipping the Decora Smart line of Wi-Fi lighting with support for Apple HomeKit, allowing for customizable lighting control using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch or Siri. This new family of products features three devices including 600 Watt and 1000 Watt in-wall dimmers, as well as a 15 Amp switch with multi-way capability. These dimmers and switches are all wireless and individually HomeKit-enabled, requiring no centralized hub or bridge to coordinate the accessories throughout the home.


Luxul has announced firmware updates for its ABR-4400/XBR-4400 routers. This firmware release includes Router Limits support for Multi-WAN and VLANs and several other improvements. This update is recommended for installations running Router Limits.

Upgrades from version 4.x will require a factory reset and reconfiguration. This firmware upgrade is optional for any installations not using Router Limits.

The company adds for more information visit its download page, and it exlains how to execute the firmware updates:

To manually update an ABR/XBR-4400:
1. Download the firmware to your computer from the Firmware update page.
2. In the router web interface, navigate to Administration > Firmware Update.
3. Select Choose File, browse for the firmware file you saved, then select Update.


HomeGrid Forum, has announced that MaxLinear has joined AT&T, BT, CenturyLink, Marvell and Sigma Designs on the board of directors to help support the deployment of G.hn technology. MaxLinear recently acquired Marvell’s G.hn business unit. LeonardDauphinee, Ph.D., MaxLinear vice president and chief technology officer, Broadband Group, will represent the company on the board.

“We are pleased to be joining the HomeGrid Forum Board to help advance G.hn technology,” says Kishore Seendripu, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of MaxLinear. “Our company is broadening its portfolio of network connectivity solutions.  Adding G.hn to ourexisting MoCA technology offerings will allow us to provide a full range of connectivity options for both the operator and retail markets.”

HomeGrid Forum (HGF) is an industry alliance that brings together silicon vendors, system manufacturers and service providers to promote G.hn, a globally recognized gigabit home networking technology based on ITU-T standards. Over 70 members promote the global adoption of G.hn, a single unified, multi-sourced networking technology—over coax, copper pairs, powerline and plastic optical fiber—while continuing to support HomePNA deployments and their transition to G.hn.


April 5, 2017

Capitol, a distribution source for residential systems and light commercial contractors, has announced that it is a distributor of record for products from August Home, a provider of smart locks and smart home access products.

Specifically, Capitol added six August Home products to its selection: AB01M01G01 August Doorbell Cam (silver and dark gray color options), AK01M01G01 August Smart Keypad, AC02 August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, and SL02M02S02 August Smart Lock (pictured left; available in silver and dark gray color options).

“The August Smart Lock is a perfect example of how IoT is presenting new opportunities for the CE and custom channels alike,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “All of the August Home products give consumers cost-effective and intuitive ways to manage their front door from wherever they happen to be. The August products are an easy impulse purchase at retail, and the perfect security products for new construction and retrofit upgrades that tap into the potential of a robust home network.” 


April 4, 2017

Crestron, a manufacturer of control and automation technology, announced its exclusive Color Match service that facilitates Crestron motorized roller shades in any color that customers desire by simply providing a Pantone color code or physical color sample.

The N.J.-based company points out that choosing the right color for shades can be a cumbersome because the colors and patterns may not visually work for homes design schemes. With Color Match, Crestron says homeowners can personalize their shades to either match, compliment, or define their décor.

“The technology behind our motorized shades is obviously important, but too often people lose sight of the key role that aesthetics play,” says Charlie Derk, technology manager, Crestron. “Making a product one decibel quieter or 10 percent faster doesn’t always resonate with the end-users who ultimately purchase our shading solutions. But with Crestron Color Match, our shades can now seamlessly integrate with any décor.”           


AVAD LLC, a national distributor serving the custom-installation residential and commercial markets, has announced an alliance with LG Electronics USA Business Solutions, to provide AVAD dealers LG commercial displays. Groundbreaking new displays, led by new LG OLED commercial models, will be available to AVAD dealers across North America for the first time.

LG Business Solutions offers a broad selection of commercial display portfolio, including an expanded line-up of LG OLED products. The OLED products include the  86-inch LG “Ultra Stretch” displays, 4K Ultra HD monitors, outdoor signage systems and video wall displays. The addition of products from LG Business Solutions enable AVAD dealers to service applications that range from retail stores, restaurants and hotels, to airports, schools, churches, sports arenas and more.

“LG is dedicated to providing solutions that create incredible end-user experiences, while helping commercial customers improve their businesses and bottom lines. And AVAD’s customer-focused dealer network will play a key role in supporting LG’s rapidly expanding digital signage business in the United States,” says Clark Brown, vice president, digital signage, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions.


Séura confirmed that its products are compliant with the new California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The standards are designed to ensure new and existing buildings achieve energy efficiency and preserve environmental quality. Effective this year, the Title 24 Residential Standards have JA8 requirements that all luminaries must be high-efficacy. These regulations affect construction of a new buildings, as well as alterations made to existing buildings including residential homes and hotel guestrooms.

“We are pleased that our Lighted Mirrors meet or exceed the requirements set out by Title 24,” says Keegan Coulter, Séura vice president of sales and marketing, Seura. “Making energy efficient technology is a longstanding focus of our company, and we strive to engineer green solutions for our customers and our planet.”

Séura’s engineering team ran through a number of tests to ensure its lighted mirrors complied with the new energy efficacy standards. These mirrors use a select group of approved dimmable drivers, precise wattages and specific strip lengths of Séura Brilliant LED Technology to guarantee compliance.


The Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of global companies deploying the Z-Wave smart home standard will now require uniform adoption of a new security protocol for all Z-Wave devices receiving certification. The Alliance Board of Directors voted unanimously in November 2016 to require mandatory implementation of the new Security 2 (S2) framework, which is said to be the most advanced security for smart home devices and controllers, gateways and hubs in the market today.

Citing data from a 2016 AT&T study, the Z-Wave Alliance points out that 58 percent of companies reported they were not confident in the security of connected devices. Z-Wave adds that other consumer studies have shown that security and privacy are major concerns among those looking to adopt smart home.

“We are absolutely committed to making Z-Wave the safest, most secure ecosystem of smart devices on the global market,” comments Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance. “Our work, in conjunction with the entire Alliance membership will ensure that developers, service providers, manufacturers and consumers alike will look to Z-Wave as the most trusted solution with the highest levels of protection.”

Z-Wave’s technical certification program, which is administered through third-party test facilities in Europe, U.S. and Asia, will check that all S2 security solutions, which contain rules for command classes, timers and device types are correctly implemented in every new certified device. S2 devices will also be backwards compatible with existing devices on the market.


SnapAV, a manufacturer and exclusive source of A/V, CCTV and networking products for professional integrators, has partnered with the SpringDeck app to deliver updated product content for its brands, including Episode, Luma Surveillance, WattBox, Araknis Networks, SunBriteTV, and OvrC remote management. SnapAV dealers can now take advantage of a free exclusive download for a SpringDeck account, and they can use these extra sales tools to present products on the go from an iPad, an online browser or from any connected device.  

“We want our dealers to have the best tools available to make them successful,” says Adam Levy, President of SnapAV. “The SpringDeck app puts our latest brand content in customers’ hands in a really innovative way, and we’re excited to partner with them."

Through an exclusive download code, the SpringDeck app is automatically hardcoded for SnapAV’s extensive product library, which is divided into two categories: brands and solutions. In the brands category, dealers can find content organized by SnapAV’s brand line, to see an overview of products specific to top names such as Luma, Araknis, or OvrC. The solutions category takes a more conversational approach to the sales process, and is where dealers can browse content based on the specific solution their customer may want: outdoor audio, surveillance, networking, and more.


March 31, 2017

Fusion Research, a Control4 manufacturing partner, has announced that its latest music server driver built to support their new Summit operating system has been officially certified by Control4. This driver includes mini-driver support for Fusion’s streaming apps which gives Control4 dealers immediate access to those apps from the Listen screen on the Control4 interface.

Now available directly in Control4’s Composer, this latest driver was designed with input from Control4 engineers and makes the Fusion line a rich third-party music server line available for Control4 installation applications. Fusion says the driver takes advantage of all the new features available in the new Summit line of music servers, including all of its popular streaming apps. In addition, Fusion’s multiple iTunes account synchronization and back-up make it ideal for client’s who want to be able to play all their own music without keeping the host iTunes computer turned on.

“We worked hard to make this driver similar to the former driver that Extra Vegetables employed for Control4 that was such a dealer favorite”, states Alex Fanti, CTO of Fusion Research, “In this way, dealers can ensure that the product installation and consumer feel will be close to what they used to be able to achieve with that now defunct driver.”


March 30, 2017

Logitech has announced that its Logitech Harmony hub-based products now work with the Google Assistant on Google Home, expanding the possibilities of in-home voice control. Now integrators can set their clients' homes up with Logitech Harmony remotes that control via traditional methods and voice control.

“Voice has a powerful role in simplifying the connected home experience and people absolutely love it,” says Renee Niemi, vice president and general manager of Logitech Smart Home. “Controlling entertainment is an important activity within the smart home and Logitech Harmony has been focused on optimizing the ways people can enjoy this. By working with Google, we are now able to make home entertainment even more seamless and fun.”


March 29, 2017

Microsoft has announced new features for its Xbox One gaming console that includes Blu-ray player bitstream passthrough support for DTS:X. This update allows the receiver to decode DTS:X audio natively, which replicates and conveys the fluid movement of sound to create a richer experience than previously possible by moving sound to precisely where the mixer placed it. 


"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" are now available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc. The Harry Potter home video releases feature 4K resolutions with HDR and DTS:X immersive audio to provide users with a state-of-the-art A/V experience.

DTS explains that its DTS:X replicates and conveys the fluid movement of sound to create a richer experience than previously possible by moving sound to precisely where the mixer placed it. 

Additionally, the audio company points out that DTS:X immersive audio technology adapts to the speaker layout to best fit the individual viewing space by seamlessly transporting sound to and through specific locations within the viewing environment – in front of, behind, above and beside the audience. 


March 28, 2017

Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), a hybrid retail and custom integration buying group, has announced that it has added several new brands through several new manufacturer agreements. 

HTSA new brands are as follows:

  • European Audio Team
  • Peachtree Audio
  • Roon Labs
  • SurgeX
  • Luxul

The buying group states that each of these brands address different product and service segments, and have a common thread running through them: Each represents a high-performance alternative when compared to other brands.


Legrand's NuVo brand announced that its Nuvo Player Portfolio whole-home audio system is now supported by HomeSeer, a third-party home control platform. No updating of Nuvo software is required.

“This creates new selling opportunities for dealers whose customers have HomeSeer and want a home audio system that will run seamlessly as part of that platform,” says Desirée Webster, senior marketing communications manager, Legrand. “For existing Nuvo customers, it expands their options for adding a home automation system.”

Webster points out the Player Portfolio support is enabled by the latest operating system release by HomeSeer.  She explains that it allows the home controller to automatically discover the Nuvo music system on the home’s network and operate features, including individual zone control of music selection and volume.


Capitol, a national distribution source for residential systems and light commercial contractors, is expanding its selection to include products that are Works with Nest certified.

The Works with Nest program is designed that once users identify the Works with Nest integration they’d like to use, they can go to the Works with Nest section of the product’s app and login with their Nest account to authorize the connection. Capitol currently offers dealers and resellers 31 Works with Nest products.

Among the Works with Nest products Capitol distributes is SkyBell HD, a smart doorbell camera that sends a live video feed to the owner’s smartphone or tablet. Users can turn Nest Cam on or off through the SkyBell app and if Nest Cam detects sound or motion while in Away mode, it will tell SkyBell HD to turn on and start recording. Additionally, if Nest Protect detects smoke or carbon monoxide, SkyBell HD will blink red to indicate it is not safe to enter the house.

“Works with Nest is the most comprehensive and compelling connected home platform today,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “All the developments in smart home technologies don’t mean anything if consumers find it frustrating to sync their connected devices. Works with Nest is an important key in alleviating these challenges with products that play well together as they become essential to consumers’ lifestyles.”


March 24, 2017

AVAD LLC, a national distributor serving the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has announced a partnership with the video manufacturer BenQ.  

BenQ offers a full line of display and presentation solutions that incorporate the very latest technologies. The global manufacturer's range of products includes digital projectors, professional monitors, interactive large-format displays, digital signage solutions, mobile computing devices, and LED lighting solutions that address just about any application. Some the applications BenQ's products cover range from education, home, gaming, enterprise, government, house of worship, to digital signage, A/V and IT.

“Our partnership with AVAD provides real value to our customers,” says Terry Ramahi, director of distribution sales at BenQ America Corp. “For home cinema, our new 4K HT8050 projector will complement AVAD’s residential product line. Combined with AVAD’s expert technical support, we’re certain integrators will be equipped to deliver the best end-user experience possible.”


Core Brands has launched the Elan Builder Program to help builders sell more homes. The program offers builders aggressively priced base packages, direct manufacturer support and project oversight, and model home and incentive programs. 

“Elan offers builders the best home automation standard to help sell more homes,” emphasized Core Brands director of builder sales Bret Jacob.  “Today’s homeowners demand home technology and entertainment options in their new homes, and they want their technology and entertainment to be easy and personal. The Elan Builder Program takes the confusion out of offering and delivering home automation standards. ELAN has been innovating home technology solutions for three decades with a philosophy of ‘Your World Made Simple.’  Most recently, Elan was recognized for offering the best user interface by the CTA Tech Home Mark of Excellence Award Committee. We are now making it easier than ever for our dealers to bring ELAN solutions to their builders, and we are certain that this program will generate new builder leads for our dealers.”

Dealers can learn more about the Elan Builder Program by attending one of the Selling More Homes with Personalized Home Automation dealer workshop webinars. These webinars will feature homebuilding authority Mike Moore. The first two webinars will be held on March 28 and March 30, 2017.  Registration for the webinars is now open.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern
Thursday, March 30, 2017 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

The presentation will include a program overview from Jacob, and a summary from Mike Moore on the best practices for selling new homes faster and for more money by personalizing them with technology. Jacob and Moore will then launch a series of webinars and in-person presentations directly to builders.

In 1996, Moore co-founded and developed Options Online, an online design studio and operating system for the homebuilding industry, now available as Studio Chateau. Moore has been inspiring, motivating and coaching builders and product suppliers to new home builders ever since. His workshops help sell more homes through personalizing new homes with compelling options.


March 23, 2017

SCP and Current Audio are extremely excited to announce Richard Turner as their new Vice President of Sales for North America. 

Turner brings 20 years of sales, marketing and operational expertise. He was formally with AVAD LLC for 6 years, where he served as director of North American sales in his most recent capacity.


March 21, 2017

Marketing Matters, a strategic integrated public relations, marketing and advertising agency specializing in consumer electronics, custom installation, technology, start-ups and high-end home goods, has announced company president Coleen Sterns Leith’s debut book: Ultra Hi Def Marketing. The ‘5-Step Guide to World Domination in the Tech Industry" is now available for order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

“The days of complacency are over. Your competition is trying everything they can to take your market share,” states Leith. “It’s time to execute strategic marketing efforts. After years of experience in the tech industry, I’ve established proven methods for brands to be successful. Marketing Matters has played an integral role in many successful startups and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with an industry I’m so passionate about.”


StormAudio, a European manufacturer of high-performance home theater equipment, has entered into an agreement with Dirac Research, the global developer of platform optimized sound enhancement technology, to incorporate the company's the Dirac Live room correction solution into its new StormOptimizer suite. StormAudio says that by equipping this powerful tool into its products, professional integrators can effectively and efficiently correct the acoustic behaviors of the room and speakers as a complete system.

The Dirac Live room correction solution, integrated into StormAudio’s product line, will be demonstrated at the High End Show, May 18-21 in Munich and available shortly thereafter.

“At StormAudio, it’s our mission to provide our integrators and end-users with exceptional sound and service, and our agreement with Dirac enables us to achieve both,” says Yves Trélohan, StormAudio’s SVP, Home Entertainment and Luxury Audio Product Division. “Dirac Live has been well recognized as the best room correction solution on the market. Advanced yet simple to use, Dirac Live will be a powerful tool for our integrators – they will deliver a premium listening experience to their customers while spending less time on site.”


The new BoschMeasureOn app is designed to provide users with a clear digital overview of all project details, including floor plans, measurements, photos and notes. These features are all viewable with a smartphone or tablet in one app. MeasureOn is free to download and free to use. The app will be available on March 20 at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

The app works with Bosch's laser measurement devices to speed up the measuring process, improve measurement precision, enhance the organization and reliability of project documents, reduce information transfer mistakes, store project images with measurements and notes, and create floorplans. All data can be instantly transferred to an iOS or Android smart device to make MeasureOn a solution that professional electronics installers, architects, contractors, trade professionals and real estate professionals can use.


March 17, 2017

Apple has launched a new HomeKit website page. The page lists compatible products in categories that include lights, outlets, thermostats, window and shades, HVAC, security products such as door locks and cameras, and network range extenders. 


March 16

Audirvana Plus, the desktop music player for macOS, has released the latest version of its software which now includes integrated MQA audio technology. The MQA Core decoder, contained within the new Audirvana Plus 3 player enables the first origami ‘unfold’ and also authenticates the file using a blue or green light to confirm that the sound is identical to that of the source material.

In addition to optimising sound quality and authenticating file provenance, Audirvana Plus 3

also includes these benefits:​

  • A complete library management system with full metadata and cover art display for all music, whether stored locally or streamed
  • Integration with premium streaming services such as Tidal and Qobuz

The MQA Core decoder’s initial file ‘unfold’ recovers all the direct music-related information and makes it available for either analogue or digital output at 88.2 or 96 kHz. With a non MQA-enabled device, any listener can experience enhanced sound. Teamed with an MQA-enabled device, the listener benefits from the highest possible sound quality, as the music will continue to unfold with precise file and platform-specific DAC compensation and management.

"I am thrilled to work with MQA because our companies both share the same goal to bring the magic of hearing the original live performance to everyone," says Damien Plisson, founder, Audirvana. "The integration of MQA technology is a major step toward enabling all Mac users to hear their favourite artists as if they were right there in front of them."


Genelec, a manufacturer of active monitoring technologies for nearly 40 years, is holding a two-day listening showcase in Nashville, Tenn., at Addiction Sound Studios in the city’s Berry Hill neighborhood (506 East Iris Drive, Nashville TN 37204).

The event is open-house-style, taking place on Monday, March 20, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday, March 21, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

Genelec will have 3-way SAM active monitors on hand to represent its product range, all set up to audition in a controlled listening environment. The lineup will include Genelec’s 1234A SAM, 1237A SAM, 1238A SAM, 8351A SAM and the 8330A SAM with 7360A SAM subwoofer. Guests are encouraged to bring their own playback material.   

No RSVP is required; Genelec says that visitors can stop by anytime during event hours on either day. All attendees will be entered to win a pair of Genelec 8010 monitors.  


RTI, a global manufacturer of control and automation products for the residential and commercial market, and its subdivision, Pro Control, have announced partnerships with Allnet, Capitol, and AVX Wholesale to strengthen product access and dealer support across the U.S. Midwestern and Southwestern territories.

"By strategically expanding our distribution network, we are providing dealers with more access to leading-edge partners who have deep market knowledge and technical expertise," explains Mike Everett, vice president of global sales for RTI and Pro Control. "Along with direct access to our solutions, these companies will broaden service and support while enhancing dealer training in these regions."

As distributors for RTI and Pro Control, Allnet and Capitol will carry the full range of joint in-wall touchpanels, handheld system controllers, central processors, audio distribution systems, and accessories; while AVX Wholesale will distribute Pro Control's complete line of controllers and accessories.


Evolution Digital has announced that it has signed a certified guide renewal agreement with TiVo to deploy eGUIDE, a newly-designed interactive program guide (IPG). eGUIDE, powered by TiVo Metadata, will feature rich graphics and a navigation scheme designed similarly to TiVo’s current i-Guide. The new solution provides cable operators in the United States and Canada with an IP-capable alternative to easily migrate legacy set-top boxes using i-Guide.

eGUIDE is available on Evolution Digital’s IP Hybrid eBOX, which can be configured to support all-IP video including live linear channels, IP video on demand, network DVR and catch-up TV. eGUIDE features a 16:9 HD format, rich graphics as well as navigational features similar to iGuide. eGUIDE is enabled by TiVo’s enhanced metadata services, which helps users easily find their favorite TV shows and movies, as well as discover new content across various channels.

“Evolution Digital joined forces with TiVo to further our mission of offering low-cost solutions for cable operators seeking to transition to IP video distribution,” says Brent Smith, president and chief technology officer at Evolution Digital. “With eGUIDE, operators can easily upgrade customers with legacy set-top boxes and begin offering advanced IP video features, like Video on Demand, while minimizing user confusion by providing a familiar navigation scheme and remote control. It is a win-win for operators and for consumers.”


March 14, 2017

Dirac Research, a global developer of platform-optimized sound enhancement technology, announced an investment of $4.865 million from current and new investors. The capital investment will be used to accelerate Dirac’s expansion into new markets such as virtual and augment reality; it will be used to strengthen its position in the mobile audio optimization technology market, and to further develop its management and engineering teams. The company also announced that Jörgen Lantto,long-time Ericsson executive and former CEO of Fingerprint Cards AB, has joined Dirac’s board of directors, effective immediately.

“Dirac is now the global leader in mobile audio optimization, with a growing customer portfolio that includes Huawei, OPPO, OnePlus, and Xiaomi, as well as new customers to be announced in the coming months,” says Dirac CEO Mathias Johansson. “At the same time, we’ve also established strategic positions in the virtual and augmented reality markets with the recent launch of our Dirac VR audio platform. This new capital infusion, along with the appointment of Jörgen to our board of directors, allows our company to keep pace with the industry’s exploding demand for premium audio in nearly every consumer technology product category – from VR and AR, to mobile, headphones, speakers, home theatre, automotive, and more.”


Cat Toomey, founder and CEO of CATalyzing Communications, announced that her firm aided in the creation of Home Technology Specialists of America's (HTSA) new website, which recently launched. Toomey and her team drove the project, messaging, navigation and visual impact, and the redesign's implementation and software coding was performed by Site On Time, web provider and partner for HTSA and Nationwide Marketing Group. 

“I was thrilled when Jon contacted me to work with HTSA, one of the best in our business. I knew we could create a powerful way for members to connect with HTSA through a reconceived, visually-focused website. The all-new graphics and navigation help members find what they need faster and more efficiently,” says Toomey. “Visitors can immediately glean the many benefits of HTSA, which have been cultivated over decades and recently shifted into high-gear with Jon Robbins’ [HTSA executive director] leadership.” 

Core messaging is focused on HTSA’s major differentiators for members, including the exclusive benefit of being the only member-driven buying group in the industry, unparalleled education and events, partnership with the Nationwide group, and highest performance vendors in the business. Longtime visitors to HTSA.com will find everything they’ve become accustomed to enjoy such as event sign-up and dealer-protected area, with a dramatically enhanced experience. Although designed for dealer and vendor membership, the site remains friendly toward consumers.

“I must say that they exceeded all expectations,” adds Robbins. “I’ve known Cat for over 20 years so I was very optimistic when I first met with CATalyzing to discuss her team driving HTSA’s new website and user experience. Designing a website that presents deeper data and easier access for multiple audiences can be tricky, and she knocked it out of the park. Their responsiveness and great attention to detail, plus the quality of work, make them an absolute joy to work with.”


March 13, 2017

Jetbuilt, a provider of web-based Mac and PC A/V proposal and estimation software, announced customer relations management functionality as a new optional add-on to its platform. For a limited time, existing and new users will be eligible to receive Jetbuilt’s CRM feature for free throughout the life of their account. The added tool, a supplemental module within Jetbuilt, will ultimately be listed as an extra package option for future subscribers.

Jetbuilt’s new CRM functionality allows users to track potential clients while including multiple contacts, including description and contact information. 

“We’re excited to launch our sales CRM within Jetbuilt to provide our dealers with more tools for success,” states Paul Dexter, founder and chief executive officer for Jetbuilt. “Our CRM functionality adds another level of tracking and client management, something many of ou


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