Press Release

Product Briefs: Book Celebrates Rega’s History; Audio America’s New Website; D-Tools & TRXio Partner

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.


 

January 17, 2017

The American distributor of Rega, Sound Organisation has announced a historical book from Rega, A Vibration Measuring Machine. Inspired by the audio manufacturer's 43 year history, Rega, with assistance of several contributors and authors, has compiled this limited edition publication that highlights its history with a peek into the future.

Rega Research, founded in the U.K. and based in Essex, continues to grow under the direction of original co-founder Roy Gandy. Today, the company is distributes to more than 40 export markets, and Rega says it builds an average of 2,000 turntables per month, along with its selection of DACs, Phono Stages and Loudspeakers.

The company employs nearly 90 engineers and other employees, and points out the book took nearly five years to complete. The book covers the company's four plus decades of design and manufacturing, and provides insight into the future of the U.K-based company. 


January 13, 2017

Supply chain management provider and CE distributor Audio America has announced the launch of its new website. The new Audio America website provides customers with a more intuitive user interface, real time inventory, faster navigation and improved search. The homepage welcomes visitors with bright colors, a clean, uncluttered design and highlights content focused on quality product from leading vendor partners.

Created with the user experience in mind, the site includes many new features to help users quickly and easily navigate the site and find the product they need. New features include product filters, on-demand spec sheets, rapid response functionality and live chat.

Audio America’s new website will be updated on a regular basis with news of product launches, web-only promotions, corporate events and trainings. Customers are encouraged to explore the website and sign up for direct emails from the company at audioamerica.com.


January 11, 2017

D-Tools, Inc., a global developer of custom installation business software, and TRXio, an inventory management and asset-tracking solution for the A/V industry,announced that an API  integration between the two platforms is officially available. The D-Tools and TRXio API integration includes inventory tracking and management to ensure data integrity throughout project lifecycle and provides a seamless workflow from the initial proposal through the installation. D-Tools explains that not only does this give users the ability to track products from procurement through installation, the San Francisco-based company says they will also be able to better manage inventory, and as a result, improve cash flow and overall profitability.   

When used together, D-Tools' estimation, system design, and project management platform and TRXio’s inventory management and asset-tracking solution enables system integrators to have a comprehensive project workflow that delivers the tools they need, both in the office and in the field, to increase productivity and profitability. 

To introduce and share details of the new API integration, a webinar is being offered on Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. The session called, “Improve Operational Efficiency with D-Tools and TRXio” will teach participants how to execute a seamless workflow from the initial proposal through the install.

To register for the webinar click here


January 10, 2017

VIZIO, Inc. announced new updates to its SmartCast app user experience. VIZIO says the app portal provides users with an expanding library of integrated apps like Vudu, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Crackle, FandangoNow and Google Play Movies & TV1, and other ongoing enhancements to the overall user experience.

Recent enhancements to the VIZIO SmartCast app provide users with larger buttons on the home screen interface to help simplify navigation and ensure key functions are easily accessible. Other updates include access to more TV shows and movies from the home screen, bringing popular entertainment options to the forefront for consumers.  The home screen will  also soon include a Featured section with added content recommendations. 

For new VIZIO SmartCast users, the home screen's Discover section showcases a curated selection of fan favorites such as non-subscription content from Pluto TV and others, along with other top picks from subscription-based apps. With just a tap of any of these selections, users can instantly stream content directly to their big screens.

The VIZIO SmartCast app home screen also now includes a convenient Cast Apps section, featuring popular Chromecast-enabled apps like Netflix, XUMO and Pluto TV for quick accessibility. 


January 4, 2017

AccuWeather, the global company that produces weather information and digital media, has announced it has integrated Samsung's Smart View capabilities into its Android app to allow users to cast detailed, interactive AccuWeather radar and satellite maps from their apps directly onto their Samsung televisions. This additional platform expansion with Samsung gives Android app users additional ways to view the most accurate, most trusted weather information and updates from AccuWeather, personalizing the weather so people can improve their lives.

Users gain access to Samsung Smart View capabilities by entering the map section of their Android AccuWeather flagship app, allowing AccuWeather to search for compatible Samsung televisions. When a compatible Samsung Smart TV is available, a cast icon will appear on the screen of their mobile devices. After tapping the icon, users will see the listing and select the TV to project maps. After connecting with a Samsung TV, the AccuWeather Android app can be used as a remote control for the images on the TV, panning and zooming maps, exploring the radar animation, switching between radar and satellite views, and much more.

The AccuWeather Android smartphone app is available for download at Samsung Galaxy Apps.


Sonos has expanded its distribution partnership with WAVE Electronics in 8 out of 10 locations: Scottsdale, North Houston, South Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. In addition to stocking Sonos in these locations, WAVE will have Sonos speakers installed in their demonstration rooms, provide technical support and offer dealer marketing services to help the dealers promote the brand.

“We are excited to expand our wireless audio category to better support the dealer base with a premium offering," says WAVE VP Ainslie Fukuda. "WAVE Electronics has a passion for sound quality which makes Sonos a perfect fit."


Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor serving the custom integration industry, has announced an agreement with Mantel Mount to distribute its products. The addition of Mantel Mount extends the A/V supplier’s scope of TV mounting and management options.

Mantel Mount is a unique mounting solution that lets the installer hang the TV above the fireplace, while allowing the user to simply pull it down off-the-wall and position it at eye level. This eliminates uncomfortable viewing angles, which can lead to neck pain and have lasting effects such as chronic headaches. The mount design installs easy and features solid construction with state-of- the-art technology.

“I'm genuinely impressed with Mantel Mount,” says Randy Criebaum, President of Skywalker AV Supply. “The line is very well thought out for both the installer and the end-user. Their innovative mount design makes positioning the television a breeze and allows installers to mount the screen in places no other TV mount can handle.”


The wireless whole-house audio company Bluesound has a firmware update and further validated its commitment to high-resolution audio. 

At CES 2017 the company has announced a new firmware upgrade for its product line. The newly announced BluOS 2.10 supports a number of new performance upgrades according to the company that are highlighted by a Dolby Digital 2.1 downmix for its PULSE Soundbar. 

Bluesound states other features included in the BluOS 2.10 upgrade include the integration of the KKBOX music streaming service, as well as the addition of the Roon music management platform, and a new setup process that is said to make the installation process easier. 

Elaborating on these upgrades Bluesound says with Dolby Digital supported by the PULSE soundbar, the speaker will utilize the company's advanced DSPs to decode and downmix surround sound content into discrete left and right channels.

Explaining the addition of the Roon platform, Bluesound points out that homeowners will be able to stream high-resolution content up to 24-bit/192kHz throughout their homes when paired with compatible Roon-enabled products, which include solutions from its sister brand NAD. 

In addition to adding more ways to play high-resolution audio content, Bluesound is also promoting the format through its participation in the Digital Entertainment Group's (DEG) Hi-Res Audio Pavillion at CES 2017. 

The Hi-Res Audio Pavillion is located in Central Hall (booth #14546), and Bluesound points out the booth, which features Bluesound components is setup to highlight the benefits of high-resolution audio music. 

"Bluesound's roots are in Hi-Fi and so taking an end-to-end approach to acoustic design has always been our goal. The music that plays from a Bluesound player needs to sound as close as possible to what was recorded because that is the sound that the artist and the producers intended for the end user to hear," says Greg Stidsen, director of technology and product planning, Bluesound. "We understand—we design for and optimize the signal path that music takes from source to speaker to create the truest possible sound reproduction for our customers to enjoy from home—every time."


Metra Home Theater Group, a provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, has announced a partnership with DataComm  Electronics to supply low-voltage installation products to Metra Home Theater Group customers. DataComm  solutions will be on display at Metra Home Theater Group’s booth at CES 2017 (Booth #11127), in Las Vegas from January 5–8, 2017 and ISE 2017 in Amsterdam from February 7–10, 2017.

DataComm has been recognized as a top manufacturer of structured wiring products since 1998, and Metra points out that for nearly 20 years DataComm has helped integrators to boost their efficiency, reduce costs and meet the demands of an evolving marketplace.

"We’re pleased to provide our dealers with versatile, high-quality solutions for low voltage installations through our partnership with DataComm Electronics,” says Jessy Crabb, general manager of Metra Home Theater Group. “We believe we are the best in HDMI solutions and DataComm is the best in low-voltage products. DataComm holds patents on each of the DataComm products we’re providing through Metra Home.” 


Ihiji has launched the APP-750 network monitoring appliance, which replaces the discontinued APP-500. The APP-750 features an upgraded chipset for improved performance and a network bus that allows it to more accurately test modern ISP speeds from 100Mbps to nearly 1Gbps. The APP-750 can be paired with Ihiji's Invision licensing plans for remote network diagnostics.


December 30

 AVAD LLC announces the additions of several new vendors, including iDevices, TRENDnet and August Home.

“We are extremely excited about our new partnerships with iDevices, August Home, and TRENDnet,” says Jeff Neilson, vendor business manager for AVAD LLC. “As the future of the Connected Home continues to evolve, products that can seamlessly integrate with each other, as well as other physical or voice-activated control solutions, will be invaluable to the custom integrator. AVAD is committed to providing world-class solutions to our customers and these vendors are perfect examples of those commitments.”

TRENDnet provides reliable SMB and consumer networking solutions. TRENDnet offers a diverse product line for the CI channel including reliable solutions in SMB wireless, Powerline, network switches, and PoE. Additionally, TRENDnet offers integrators complimentary pre-sales and technical phone support for project assistance.

August Home builds smart home access products and services to securely manage a front door from anywhere using a smartphone. Users can control access by issuing virtual keys, monitor access with real-time notifications and see and speak to people at their front door and review access with a 24/7 activity log. August Pro, a division of August Home, is dedicated to serving professional smart home installers and security dealers with easy-to-install August Smart Home Access Solution products including the award-winning August Smart Lock, August Doorbell Cam and August Smart Keypad.

iDevices manufactures home automation products. The iDevices Switch, Outdoor Switch, Socket, and Thermostat create a fully connected environment that can be controlled and monitored from anywhere. In 2017, iDevices will be adding to its robust line of smart home solutions with the Wall Switch, Wall Dimmer and Wall Outlet. These Wi-Fi enabled in-wall products will be the only HomeKit- and Alexa-compatible switches and outlets available that don't require a central hub or gateway. 


December 27, 2016

Azione Unlimited (AU) has added the Almo Professional AV division of Almo Corporation to its lineup of vendor partners. The group has already had a long-term relationship with Almo distribution, which has been its supplier of Samsung CE products. Realizing that dealer members are doing a significant amount of commercial business, 15 percent to 25 percent on average, Azione has partnered with Almo’s Professional AV division to address the applications of varying markets. Almo Pro AV provides comprehensive AV solutions for bars/restaurants, government, houses of worship, hospitality, education and corporate facilities in the areas of digital signage, rental and staging and unified communications. 

According to Sam Taylor, executive vice president and COO for Almo Professional A/V, “It is a privilege to work with the Azione members and be able to provide them with not only the commercial A/V products they need, but also access to the technical and design support offered from our Business Development Manager team. As the largest distributor in the professional audio visual industry, we are able to offer our partners ongoing ways to grow their businesses, such as free training and education, and third party services that provide recurring revenue."

“Azione is all about focus”, says Richard Glikes, president of Azione Unlimited. “Azione members have been buying products for commercial applications from a number of different sources. This new relationship fits right into our model of focused partnering and will provide our members with one fantastic supplier. Members moving business to Almo Pro AV will be a ‘win, win’ for everyone”.


December 22, 2016

RAYVA, provider of turnkey home theaters for integrators, has joined Azione Unlimited. RAYVA was launched in September by industry veterans George Walter, Theo Kalomirakis and David Rodarte. The company designs theaters using premium brands such as Barco, Digital Projection, Epson, Fortress Seating, Kinetics, Meridian Audio, Sony, Stewart Filmscreen, Torus Power and Triad Speakers.


The California-based custom installation company Audio High has announced its collaboration with pianist Robert Silverman and Bob Stuart’s MQA, to release one of the first original content produced for MQA encoding. The set of 23 Beethoven piano sonatas is now available in MQA, high-resolution, CD-quality, and MP3 formats. The MP3 files are available for free, and the other recordings are available with a small donation to Silver Linings, Audio High’s non-profit organization with 100 percent of the proceeds funding its projects.

“MQA offers listeners the original performance, as the artist intended it,” says Michael Silver, owner, Audio High. “MQA is simply awesome and we are excited about this technology. We are proud to offer consumers the opportunity to hear Beethoven’s Sonatas in MQA while supporting our charity dedicated to enriching lives through the arts."

Canadian pianist Robert Silverman took on the challenge to perform and record the music for the second time, and Silver, who is a trained concert pianist himself, produced the concert series. The sonatas were recorded and mastered by Mark Willsher (audio producer and engineer whose credits include the soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, as well many other important films and albums). Zach Miley did the final editing.

All proceeds from the concerts and recordings go to Audio High’s non-profit organization, Silver Linings. Silver Linings is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enhance people’s lives through music, film, and art and which has contributed to many causes, including cystic fibrosis research, Stanford Hospital, and local music programs for kids.

To download the recording click here


December 21, 2016

Portrait Displays has partnered with Rohde & Schwarz, global manufacturer of video test pattern generators and analyzers, to provide test pattern support for HDR-10 High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays.  

The company explains that high dynamic range (HDR) is a technological advancement that makes the home theater experience more intensive and more realistic. This technology matches the picture's luminance dynamic range to the perception of the human eye. 

But, Portrait Displays points out that HDR also presents technical challenges at every step of the video chain, from capture through post production to the final viewing platform.

“The need for accurate, objective measures of video performance has never been greater,” says Harald Ibl, product management and application, Rohde & Schwarz.

Since the acquisition of SpectraCal, Inc., Portrait Displays has become a leading vendor of video calibration software.  SpectraCal’s CalMAN software is the video calibration solution chosen by nearly every professional video calibrator, and by most end users in broadcast, production, and post-production.


December 20, 2016

Denon Electronics, a global manufacturer of home and personal audio products, is partnering with Mood Media to make Mood Mix available on the HEOS wireless multiroom sound system. Moving beyond home use, HEOS now brings its popular wireless music experience to businesses with Mood’s commercially licensed streaming music service called Mood Mix. Through the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android and Fire devices, HEOS users can easily access the Mood music service. 

“Our partnership with Mood Media is a clear signal that Denon is committed to making HEOS a staple in businesses across the country,” says Don Freeman, global vice president for marketing and training, D+M. “By combining the services Mood Mix provides along with the many outstanding features that make HEOS products so popular, we are giving businesses the opportunity to provide a sound rich environment to suit any brand and any need.” 


The wireless audio manufacturer RIVA Audio, has announced a new partnership with Azione Unlimited, the business networking, education, and buying group for integrators. This partnership will provide Azione's members access to RIVA's product line, including the new WAND series of multi-room "+" speakers, and RIVA says the partnership provides it with a cohesive, well-trained and supported national network of dealers to help it grow its product line. The partnership will also provide platforms that facilitate and encourage the sharing of ideas, group interaction, and ongoing education. 

"This is an important partnership for RIVA as we get ready to launch the WAND series of products globally", says Michael Gleason vice president, Sales for RIVA Audio. "Azione represents a solid group of dealers who are some of the largest integrators in the CEDIA channel. We are excited to get in front of them and share our enthusiasm with these new wireless products."


AudioControl, a manufacturer of audio solutions for the residential, commercial and automotive markets, has announced that Nuvo has been added to its Sound Partners Program (SPP). The AudioControl SPP was established as a cooperative initiative with industry-leading architectural speaker manufacturers in order to implement optimized performance profiles as defined by each brand’s engineers. These profiles, when stored in the DSP onboard the AudioControl Director M-Series of high-performance eight and 16-channel amplifiers, creates an optimized whole-house entertainment/commercial audio platform for professional integrators.

As part of this collaboration, DSP profiles for Nuvo’s in-ceiling and in-wall loudspeakers—the Series Two, Series Four and Series Six models have all become available for upload into the AudioControl Director M-Series amplifiers. 


December 19, 2016

Anuva Automation, the Florida-based manufacturer of TiO (Turn it On) brand of home automation products, has announced that its software update 4.1.0, is now available for download from the Google Play or Apple Store.

TiO 4.1.0 includes enhancements and updates to Touch Lite 4, Master Coordinator 2 and StealthStream 1, as well as Android and iOS TiO Home apps. Button assignments on lighting will now default to load control upon the loss of a network connection in the new update and the StealthStream 1 now features an updated Spotify library for an enhanced user listening experience. Both Android and iOS apps provide users with the option to create a PIN code for additional security of their TiO system. In addition, TiO 4.1.0 for iOS includes Remote Access, providing TiO customers the ability to access their TiO system from anywhere and can control functions, such as lighting, climate, security, garage doors and more.

“We’re pleased to launch TiO 4.1.0 to provide our users with strengthened security and additional features,” says Sanjay Patel, president and chief executive officer of TiO. “The PIN feature allows our users to have control over their system, while having the ability to share their Wi-Fi network with guests. We previously launched Remote Access for Android and we’re now able to provide our iOS users with the same features to enhance their home automation experience.”


Primacoustic has announced the launch of a new website. The Canadian acoustic product manufacturer states the newly redesigned site features a streamlined user experience that customizes to the individual user's needs, and it offers a new blog section that includes new product news, applications and an extensive library of educational resources. The site retains the online room calculator/quote feature from the previous site to provide users with an easy-to-use tool to help calculate accurate acoustical system solutions.  

"The markets and applications for acoustic treatment continue to snowball year after year and we decided we needed to restructure our website to provide the optimal user experience. We know when a potential customer lands on our site, they need to find their application quickly and be walked through potential solution scenarios with as little fuss and distraction as possible," explains Steve Dickson, business development, Primacoustic. "Users also have immediate access to case studies and stories about installations that relate closely to their own situation. As always, a free quote feature allows users to submit their room specifics and measurements to learn more about their solution and the associated cost of materials."

The user experience begins with a simple menu of possible applications, including professional audio, house of worship, education, food and beverage, home entertainment, large space, office, entertainment venue, industrial, communication, kids & kats, commercial, medical, municipal, sports and transportation. From there the user has access to further sub-categories that make it easy to identify with their specific situation.

"The idea of treating acoustics can be a daunting situation for people who are unfamiliar with the subject but know they need to address sound issues," adds Dickson. "This new site not only takes the mystery out of acoustic treatment, it walks the user easily and logically through the information they need."


December 16, 2016

D+M Group, a global A/V company, has announced an upcoming upgrade to support the Auro-3D Immersive Sound format from Auro Technologies, which adds an additional height sound layer to 3D immersive sound experience at home. Expected to be available on Jan. 5, 2017, the upgrade will be available on three recently introduced home theater A/V receivers and one AV preamplifier/processor.  Customers can purchase an Auro-3D firmware upgrade for $199 for the Denon AVR-X6300H, Denon AVR-X4300H, Marantz SR7011 AV receivers and Marantz AV7703 AV preprocessor.

Once upgraded with the Auro-Codec Decoder, all four models can decode the original Auro-3D mixes from available content. The decoder allows seamless playback on an Auro 9.1 or 10.1 speaker configuration, both of which incorporate Auro Technologies’ approach to create an immersive home entertainment experience. An extra amplifier is needed for the AVR-X4300H and the SR7011 to drive the top surround channel for 10.1 configurations, while the 11.2 channel AVR-X6300H supports a 10.1 channel configuration without extra amplification. The AV7703 preamplifier/processor will need external amplifiers. 

D+M explains once the height information is captured in recording or created during the mixing process it is mixed into a standard 5.1 PCM stream that comes with a regular Blu-ray. Moreover, according to the company, Auro's proprietary AuroMatic algorithm enables seamless playback and upmixing of legacy mono, stereo, 5.1 surround formats, and creates a natural 3D immersive sound experience with audio quality on par to native mixed versions, allowing consumers to have an all-encompassing home entertainment system with full compatibility across all formats.
 
“D+M Group is all about innovation, and we’re always on the lookout for improvements to our hardware to offer a cutting-edge audio experience,” says Yoshinori Yamada, global business team leader for the company’s A/V receiver category. “This is our third year of offering the Auro-3D firmware upgrade to our Denon and Marantz AVR lineup.  We are having more and more customers asking for the upgrade. We are happy to be able to continue to deliver this technology and share the excitement with our customers.” 


December 15, 2016

ELK Products, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of customized home and business security, energy management and convenience solutions, has received product certification for the ELK M1 Security and Automation Control driver, from Control4 Corporation. This new driver provides simple and quick integration with Control4 via RS-232 or an IP address. It provides greater control for integrators and provides more detailed system information that results in an enhanced user experience.

"It is ELK's pleasure to respond to the numerous requests for a new driver from the Control4 integrator community using our M1 Controls. We collaborated with Control4 integrator HouseLogix to ensure that the new driver met the high level of quality and usability that dealers and their customers expect from Control4 and ELK Products” says Kirk Phillips, CEO of ELK Products.


RTI, a manufacturer of control and automation manufacturer for residential and commercial settings, has announced the availability of a two-way driver for the MOBOTIX T25 IP Video Door Station. The new driver, developed by MOBOTIX, permits powerful two-way audio and video communication with RTI's intercom-enabled user interfaces without requiring any downloads.

"With the integration of MOBOTIX, RTI dealers can incorporate the video and voice capabilities of MOBOTIX's door stations into their customer's control and automation experience," says Mike Everett, vice president of sales and marketing, Americas, RTI. "The ability to easily see and respond to visitors at the door is a great feature to offer clients, providing them with additional security and convenience."

The MOBOTIX T25 IP Video Door Station provides two-way video from anywhere in the world with no blind spots, recording with sound, keyless access, an integrated message function, and door release via peripheral devices. The new two-way driver seamlessly integrates the T25's audio via SIP-based VoIP, and video via MJPEG streaming with RTI's video-intercom-enabled user interfaces, including the KX3, KX7, and KX10 in-wall touchpanels; CX7 countertop/under-cabinet touchpanel; and T3x remote control. The result is convenient monitoring and interaction via video intercom with the MOBOTIX T25 door station from one sleek device.


Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor serving the custom installation industry, has announced two new speakers that feature its SpeedLock technology.

SpeedLock technology is the newest addition to the company’s proprietary Saga Luxury Edition line, and Skywalker explains the patented technology makes installation fast and simple for integrators. Equipped with spring loaded dog-ears that lock the speaker into place, the installation process is as simple as cutting the hole, setting the SpeedLock tabs, connecting the wires, and pushing the speaker in.

Skywalker AV emphasizes no drill or screwdriver is required for the installation. The speakers feature a bezel-less magnetic grille, and they incorporate carbon fiber woofers, easy-aim swiveling tweeters, and spring loaded gold-plated terminals.


December 14, 2016

Dirac Research, a global developer of optimized sound enhancement technologies states that it has removed a major barrier to a truly immersive AR/VR experience with the introduction of its "Dynamic 3D Audio" AR/VR platform. The company states the technology features patent-pending dynamic HRTFs (head-related transfer functions) that consider the isolated movements of the head in relation to the human torso. 

“Simultaneous visual and aural immersion is the linchpin of a true virtual reality experience,” explains Dr. Mathias Johansson, founder and CEO of Dirac Research. “It’s what separates reality, experienced virtually, from an obvious representation of such. Until today, the limitations of the 3D audio technology used in VR/ AR programming have prevented this true immersion from being created, rendering a gaming, entertainment, or educational VR experience that is fundamentally flawed, with too many reminders that true reality exists elsewhere. With Dynamic 3D Audio, these limitations no longer exist. True simultaneous visual and aural immersion is now a certain reality within the virtual experience.”

Dirac points out the Dynamic 3D Audio platform will be demonstrated at CES 2017 in Venetian hotel in suite 31-215, between January 5-8, 2017.


With the addition of four new signal boosters and various antennas, SnapAV now offers a complete line of SureCall signal boosters.

SureCall is a top manufacturer of cell phone signal booster products, and SnapAV states the company's wide range of products allow for amplified voice, text and 4G LTE in various environments.

“This line expansion allows dealers to get into this growing category,” says Andras Balassy, product manager for distributed products, SnapAV. “Now they have more options, which makes it easy to match the booster kit to the application. And because SureCall is part of SnapAV’s One-Stop program, dealers benefit from our award-winning website and support.” 

SnapAV adds the products are built for small to medium installs, and the 4G Plug-and-Play booster requires no drilling, while covering up to 2,000 square feet. SureCall's Fusion4Home can handle a space up to 4,000 square feet, and it supports 10 simultaneous users.


December 12, 2016

AudioControl, a Wash.-based manufacturer of high-performance audio solutions for the residential, commercial and automotive markets has announced the availability of DTS:X and DTS Neural Surround for its Concert AVR-7 and AVR-9 home theater receivers, as well as its Maestro M9 theater processor. These surround formats are available now and can be added in the field via firmware update. 

DTS:X is an immersive surround format that delivers a lifelike sense of dimensionality and accomplishes this without dictating any specific speaker layout. DTS:X enables integrators to deliver a visceral cinematic experience to their clients using loudspeaker locations that suit décor. AudioControl’s advanced auto-calibration and object-based surround processor will determine proper levels and placement for dialogue and sound effects, and integrators can bring added value by fine-tuning critical parameters for the finest entertainment experience possible.

DTS Neural Surround up-converts conventional stereo sources such as streaming content, TV broadcasts gaming soundtracks and others into captivating 5.1 or 7.1 surround as well as a 7.1.4 immersive format. 


December 8, 2016

S1Digital has partnered with ickStream for backend support implementation. 
Going forward, all streaming provider protocols will be handled through the ickStream server engine that enables native streaming from services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Soundcloud. S1Digital states that it is committed to signing with more streaming service providers to expand its product line. The squeezebox (LMS) based architecture in S1Digital players remains however supported. 

IckStream's online music streaming platform provides intuitive access to various online music services, radios and music collections. SI Digital states the service allows listening to streaming content on home audio systems and any connected devices, including audio players, smart phones, tablets or computers using the ickStream platform.  The platform offers access to streaming content providers through one unified API, allowing easier, faster integration and updates of streaming content for audio systems. 


BTX, a value-added distributor and manufacturer of integration essentials, signal processing products and emerging technologies, announced that has been designated by Neutrik, a manufacturer of audio connectors and receptacles, as a Certified opticalCON Cable Assembler (COCA) for its opticalCON LITE line of fiber-optic connection systems. 

Neutrik’s opticalCON LITE is a semi-rugged fiber optic connection for a wide variety of applications. Its lightweight, compact design and high mating cycles provide a safe and cost-effective connection, according to BTX. Employing a novel fiber structure, the cable used with opticalCON LITE is designed to meet the sometimes difficult conditions of the entertainment industry. The cable offers excellent bending performance and extreme flexibility that far exceeds the mechanical strength of conventional patch cables. Assemblies made with opticalCON LITE can only be sold through Neutrik Certified opticalCON Cable Assemblers (COCAS), such as BTX, who have completed the required training process.


TOA has announced that its VM-3000 Series Voice Evacuation System—currently the only UL2572 certified/listed Voice Evacuation system from an audio manufacturer—has achieved UL864 certification/listing for Fire Alarm audible notification. The company states the certification/listing is an important step forward to achieving a truly unified, full range (50Hz to 20kHz) audio head end, and it says the VM-3000 Series Voice Evacuation System can provide quality background music/paging/noise masking to a facility with both live and pre-recorded Emergency messages (UL2572), and Fire Alarm (UL864) temporal and voice audible notification available at any time over the same set of loudspeakers.


QSC, LLC, has announced that its Q-SYS Platform will support AES67, an interoperability standard for audio-over-IP between various networking solutions. This new feature will be added to the Q-SYS Platform as part of the upcoming Q-SYS Designer v5.3 software release, further supporting its market position as a software-based audio/video/control platform. 

AES67 allows high performance audio streaming between Q-SYS and third-party products supporting different native networked audio technology such as Dante, RAVENNA and Livewire without requiring any additional hardware or license costs.

AES67 is a standard for audio-over-IP interoperability and was published by the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in 2013. AES67 is a Layer-3 protocol suite and is designed to allow audio interoperability between any networked audio solution based on Layer-3 technology. Owing to its base on Layer-3 technology, AES67 is fully routable and scalable, like any common modern IT network.


Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor, has announced an agreement with Peerless-AV to distribute its product line. The deal with Peerless-AV extends the A/V supplier’s reach for TV installation and multimedia management selection of products to round out its TV mount and accessory offerings.

“Beyond making great television mounts, Peerless AV manufactures outdoor televisions, wireless HDMI devices, and a killer outdoor rated soundbar!” says Craig Perreault vice president of business development at Skywalker AV Supply. “Their solutions help Skywalker achieve our goal and that's to be a one-stop shop for our dealers."

Peerless-AV products are now in stock at all Skywalker U.S. branches.


December 6, 2016

Sonos states that listeners can now play music from Spotify to Sonos. Sonos points out that currently, it is the only home sound system that lets users fully control their services from the Spotify app, including easy access to grouping and ungrouping of rooms.  

The wireless whole-house audio company adds this update comes in time for the holidays, and to help homeowners celebrete, it is introducing Playlist Potluck, which is a partnership with Spotify that encourages people to invite guests to RSVP to their holiday parties with a track suggestion. Our latest research confirms that music is not only more important to your guests than décor and booze – it even makes the food and drinks taste better according to 62 percent of respondants to a recent poll.

In addition, as part of the free software update, Trueplay tuning is now available for home theater. Dealers can use an iOS device to analyze the room with Trueplay adjusting how each woofer and tweeter produces sound. 


VIZIO, Inc., has announced the addition of XUMO, a live and video-on-demand (VOD) over-the-top (OTT) service to the VIZIO SmartCast app experience. The service joins other top VIZIO SmartCast-enabled apps like Vudu, Crackle, Hulu, Pluto TV, iHeartRadio, FandangoNOW and Google Play Movies & TV. Users can search these content catalogs via the VIZIO SmartCast app1. Users can look for their favorite shows, movies and more across multiple apps, and then simply tap to stream from their mobile device to a VIZIO SmartCast display.

In addition, the VIZIO SmartCast app also allows users to adjust settings and control displays from any room in the home.


December 5, 2016

Almo Professional A/V, a national professional audio visual distributor, has announced it has expanded its distribution partnership with Milestone AV Technologies to include the Vaddio brand of PTZ cameras, professional A,V solutions, and full suite of communication and collaboration products for the audio visual, videoconference, and broadcast markets.

The new agreement is effective immediately, and Sam Taylor, executive vice president and COO of Almo Professional A/V, the deal strengthen an already strong relationship. 

“Almo already has a strong relationship with Milestone AV Technologies as we are one of the largest distributors of the Chief and Da-lite commercial brands,” according to Taylor. “But the true advantage of accessing Vaddio through Almo is the expertise of our Business Development Managers [BDMs], some of whom have technical backgrounds in broadcast, VTC and security. Their design assistance is uniquely positioned to help our partners turn Vaddio’s offerings into solutions that will help win more projects throughout the design and integration process. When combined with Almo’s Managed Services portfolio, our resellers and integrators can be more competitive and ultimately more profitable.”


December 2, 2016

Capitol, a national distributor, will present a technology showcase on Panasonic’s KX-NS700/700G Hybrid PBX unified communications platform. The program will take place at Capitol’s Eagan, Minn., headquarters on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The KX-NS700/700G is a smart hybrid communications system, featuring IP networking, call center capability, and support for up to 288 extensions. It is continually cited for bringing a seamless IP telecommunications system solution to light commercial installation specialists whose clients demand complete mobile integration and wireless connectivity for offices and other facilities, of every size.

“Panasonic is leading the charge to bring future-proof IP telecommunications solutions to commercial integrators at every level, and the KX-NS700 is one of their smartest and most popular innovations to date,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “We’re so thrilled about its prospects for our customers that we are holding a special Technology Showcase that will spell out its benefits and offer special perks for anybody who invests the time to join us.”


December 1, 2016

Monitor Audio has announced the acquisition of ROKSAN AUDIO, a respected British manufacturer of amplifiers, loudspeakers and streaming source products.

The U.K.-based global consumer electronics manufacturer made the announcement on its Facebook page, and it states that Roksan is a company committed to audio performance.

Monitor Audio adds the brands share a synergy between their product lines and business cultures, and it says more information about that acquisiton will be announced at a later date. 


November 30, 2016

To support its growing momentum in the custom install space, Meridian Audio has established a new distribution partnership with Cinema–ATS, a supplier of acoustic treatment solutions for home cinemas, and DT Screens, a projection screen supplier based in the U.K.

Meridian states that dealers will now be able to specify and deliver both product lines as part of its growing home cinema product portfolio, which also includes Barco Residential. Designed to create the ultimate home cinema experience, these new arrangements are part of a strategic plan to establish a complementary high-performance network of brands that make their products available to dealers around the world. 


Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor serving the custom integration industry, has announced an agreement with Linksys to distribute its products. Skywalker states the deal with Linksys gives dealers access to a greater array of A/V solutions for wireless connectivity.

“With home automation taking the industry by storm, we’ve watched the demand for high-speed networking increase,” says Bob Holliday, national sales manager at Skywalker AV Supply. “We’re really excited to have Linksys,” adds Holliday. “The line allows our dealers to offer their customers a well-rounded selection of some of the best consumer-grade networking solutions on the market.”

Linksys products are now in stock at all Skywalker U.S. branches.


Key Digital has developed a driver and a pre-configured GUI template for its Compass Control system to interface with SurgeX Axess Elite System.

Compass Control module enables seamless integration of Axess Elite in the Compass Control environment while reducing the installation time for integrators. The module provides system users outlet-level control, monitoring and management of a system’s energy and power usage with additional temperature, voltage, and current draw measurements, while having access to a fully integrated control system with additional video, audio, lighting, climate, security, and automation controls.


November 23, 2016

One Firefly has announced a free trial promotion for its Lead Concierge service, which is a personalized live chat service aimed at helping integrators engage with website visitors in a thoughtful, intelligent manner. The service aids technology integration professionals to capture the attention of visitors to their website, provide customers with instant answers to their questions, and increase conversions by engaging qualified leads.

“This promotion will allow technology integrators to experience the benefits of Lead Concierge free of charge for 30 days with no contract or setup fees required,” says Ron Callis, CEO of One Firefly, “We are extremely confident they will see the value of the service during that time.”

Interested parties can sign up for the limited time promotion via One Firefly’s website utilizing the coupon code LCFREETRIAL.  Both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 options of the service are covered under the promotion. 


Skywalker AV Supply has announced an agreement with Savant to distribute its products. 

“We are extremely excited to bring our customers a remote that’s easy to use, offers voice control, and a beautiful touch screen display,” says Randy Criebaum, president of Skywalker AV Supply. “Beyond that, this remote integrates seamlessly with Apple TVs, Sonos, and more."

Savant products are now in stock at all Skywalker U.S. branches.


November 22, 2016

As part of a new sales initiative, TiO is partnering with builders by offering standard packages including lighting, thermostat and security control included in each home, with the opportunity to add more features, such as additional lighting, door locks, garage door and/or audio, to their home. 

Through the partnership with Shenandoah Homes, TiO will be included in 75 percent of homes constructed in the upcoming year, totalling approximately 150 new TiO Systems.

“After researching many feasible solutions to include, TiO has a feature rich solution that is cost effective and reliable. Featuring compatibility with many major players in home-automation, TiO can be paired with other solutions, which allows our customers to add to their system at any time and customize it to their expectations,” says David Stallings, president and owner of Shenandoah Homes.


Sennheiser is now a member of Crestron’s Integrated Partner Program. Both vendors’ products can be integrated seamlessly into a single powerfully combined solution, and some of the products integrators can use as part of this partnership include the TeamConnect family of products, SpeechLine DW and ADN solutions from Sennheiser.

“Integration is the magic word” says Jens Werner, portfolio manager business communication at Sennheiser. "Ensuring that the products made by different manufacturers can communicate with each other is to the customer’s advantage. All important parameters can be accessed and adjusted using one central device. Frequently needed settings can be saved in the form of presets that deliver a desired scenario in the blink of an eye: Projection screens can be lowered in conference rooms, projectors can be activated, blinds shut, lights lowered and the Sennheiser audio conference system switched on ready for the meeting – all with a single touch command.”


Cary Audio has announced a partnership with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated). The North Carolina-based company's DMS-500 network audio player is the first Cary Audio product to be MQA certified.

The company points out the Cary Audio DMS-500 is MQA’s first partner product to use MQA 16x rendering. Cary Audio explains this means all MQA files are decoded within the DMS-500 to 705.6 kHz (44.1 X 16) or 768 kHz (48 x 16). 

All DMS-500 units shipping as of this announcement will have MQA pre-installed.  DMS-500 units in the field with firmware versions 1.27.7 can be updated free of charge using the DMS-500 internet update features. Any DMS-500 with firmware earlier then 1.27.7 can be updated by following the instructions on the DMS-500 product web page.


DTS recently produced and released a video titled “Avant Card” to showcase its DTS Headphone:X immersive audio technology via cardistry, the art of manipulating playing cards.

The technology company explains that Cardistry is inherently visual, and the piece features DTS:X and DTS Headphone:X immersive audio technologies helping to replicate and convey the fluid movement of sound to create a richer listening experience that simulates the 3D environment of the audio’s original mixing stage. DTS asserts that listeners can experience sounds exactly the way the artist intended through ANY headphones/earbuds and from ANY device. 

To see the video click here.


November 18, 2016

The Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of global companies deploying the Z-Wave smart home standard, is adding a security requirement to its long-standing interoperability certification. The consortium states this is an important addition to its certification program that will require manufacturers to adopt the strongest levels of IoT security in the industry.

The Alliance Board of Directors has voted to make the implementation of the new Security 2 (S2) framework mandatory for all products that are Z-Wave certified after April 2, 2017. The security measures in S2 provide the most advanced security for smart home devices and controllers, gateways and hubs in the market today.


OPPO Digital, has announced that Spotify Premium subscribers can now listen to their music on Sonica Wi-Fi speakers.

The electronics company explains that Sonica is an elegant and powerful Wi-Fi speaker designed with state-of-the-art technology that delivers top sound quality in a compact package. With the addition of the Spotify Connect support, customers can transfer and control their listening experience from the Spotify app to Sonica by simply selecting Sonica from the list of available devices within the Spotify app. If homeowners don't have Spotify Premium, new users can try Spotify Premium free for 30 days.  


August Home Inc., a provider of smart locks and smart home access products and services, has announced a partnership with one of the largest home security alarm monitoring companies in the U.S.: MONI Smart Security, a subsidiary of Ascent Capital Group, Inc.

MONI Smart Security selected August as its partner and will now make the August Smart Lock and August Connect available to its expansive residential and commercial customer base.

“With our smart solutions for total control over the front door, we’re helping MONI’s trusted dealer network deliver best-in-class products to their customers as they embrace this new era of security for the connected home,” says Mike Buckingham, director, August Pro for August Home Inc. “Our products are easy to setup and will allow installers to expand their portfolio of smart security solutions.”


November 16

Anuva Automation, the Florida-based manufacturer of TiO (Turn it On) brand of home automation products, announced a partnership with LifeStyle Homes, one of Florida’s leading home builders, and Indian River Sight and Sound, a custom installation provider specializing in home theater, security and automation systems. 

Through the partnerships with LifeStyle Homes and Indian River Sight and Sound, TiO will be a standard feature included in all LifeStyle-built homes in Seville at Addison Village, located in Viera, Fla. The TiO system includes security, lighting, thermostat and cameras with the capability to expand as the homeowner desires. In addition, LifeStyle Homes and Indian River Sight and Sound are offering TiO to LifeStyle’s 14 other communities. 

“We’re pleased to partner with LifeStyle Homes and Indian River Sight and Sound to bring TiO’s common sense home automation to Indian River and Brevard area homeowners,” says Sanjay Patel, president and chief executive officer of TiO. “Being a Melbourne-based company, it’s great to partner with other local companies to create solutions for buyers in the area. LifeStyle Homes understands the growing trend for move-in ready home automation solutions and we’re pleased their buyers will have the opportunity to live with TiO.”


Skywalker AV Supply has announced an agreement with Legrand to distribute its products. The deal with Legrand gives the AV supplier access to NuVo, On-Q, and thousands of other AV solutions. The addition of Legrand marks yet another one of the many distribution deals for Skywalker AV Supply in 2016 as they continue to expand their already illustrious product mix.

“Our mission is to be a one-stop shop” says Randy C


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