Product Briefs: New TI DLP 4K Chip; Channel Master Adds Sling TV; Roon Labs Networked Audio
Keep checking back for CE Pro's brief product and company news in custom electronics.
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.
Looking for news from 2016 and beyond? See our new 2016 Product Briefs roundup here.
Dec. 31, 2015
Fusion Research has updated its Amazon Fire drivers for Control4, RTI and URC to now include the 4K versions of Amazon Fire TV. The developer of mulitroom audio systems launched its first version of the software in January 2015 for the then-new Fire TV.
"The Amazon Fire driver program has been tremendously successful since its launch." Said Alex Fanti, CTO of Fusion Research. "We’ve had a lot of requests to support the 4K model and are very happy to now provide this solution for custom integrators.” The new driver supports both the standard and 4K models of the Amazon Fire and is available through the Fusion web store for $49.99 per project. Users can use the driver to control multiple Fires throughout a single project. It features two-way feedback between the Amazon unit and the automation controller, including knowing when the Fire TV is in Awake, Sleep or Hibernate mode and responding accordingly.
Dec. 29, 2015
Cloud-based business process software providers Simply Reliable, Inc. has released QuickBooks Online integration as part of its SmartOffice Online Business Edition.
“Business owners need an ecosystem that works together easily,” says Tom Coffin, vice president of business development at Simply Reliable. “Setting up QuickBooks Online integration with SmartOffice literally takes about a minute. Once it is setup, the integration happens in the background without your having to touch it. Create a proposal, when it is accepted it will automatically appear in QuickBooks Online as an Estimate. And, of course it brings with it all the necessary data such as items, vendors, customers, etc.”
SmartOffice Online is cloud-based software designed by custom integrators for custom integrators. It is available in multiple editions including The Sales Edition, The Core Edition, The Business Edition and The Field Edition. The Field Edition is free with a subscription to The Core or Business Editions.
Dec. 23, 2015
Powerline Control Systems (PCS) has updated its PulseWorx control app. Available through Apple's iTunes App Store for iOS devices, some of the app's new features include new keypad icons; users can now use the app to change current schedules, and improved error messages on connection problems.
Explaining the error messages, PCS adds that it has resolved app issues, including if the IP address was correctly entered and the gateway wasn't powered on or connected to the network, the app would present a error message. Now with app version 1.05 the user is now prompted to fix the issue. It also says if the wrong IP address was entered, an error message that says "can't connect" will prompt the user to fix the issue and try again.
Dec. 21, 2015
Avid has announced a new software update for its popular Avid Pro Tools audio production software. Available to Pro Tools 12 customers with Avid All Access plans, the company says the product's latest enhancements make the collaborative and production processes more efficient.
The company says the new Pro Tools 12.4 will be available at the end of December and its upgrades include:
- Track Freeze: This option quickly frees up DSP resources on the fly to keep the creative process moving, and jump back to make a quick tweak if needed.
- Track Commit: Another way to free up DSP resources, but users can also edit and make changes to the newly created clip. In addition, this allows users to choose what happens to the original track.
- Track Bounce: Typically used for making final output renders or stems of tracks for archiving or workflows involving moving audio files to other software platforms.
Dec. 18, 2015
Lowell Manufacturing Company, a U.S. manufacturer of professional AV products, announces the release of a new color catalog for its expanding product line. The new catalog for power products joins the other two catalogs—for rack and audio products—released earlier this year.
“Many of our customers have gone to an all digital format which is why we offer downloadable material and an interactive Customer Center on our website,” says Kathy Lane, marketing communications manager, Lowell Manufacturing Company. “The demand for printed resources remains; however, so we continue to provide printed versions of catalogs and price schedules for those who prefer hard copies as quick reference material.”
Honeywell, a manufacturer of home control and security products has announced a new channel on IFTTT – the widely-used software application – to help consumers better control their homes and keep them feeling comfortable.
Through the Honeywell and IFTTT integration, consumers can now automatically link and manage their Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostats using IFTTT’s simple, DIY (do it yourself) “recipes.” A recipe is a simple formula built around the idea that “if this” happens, “then that” occurs. Consumers can now visit the Honeywell Connected Thermostat Channel on IFTTT and begin adding recipes that will activate custom features and scenarios for free that include:
- Geofencing: If someone enters or leaves a designated location, then the thermostat can set a certain temperature.
- Smart responses: If the temperature outside reaches a specific point then your thermostat turns off the cooling system.
- Time-based programming: If a homeowner's digital calendar shows they are traveling then the thermostat lowers the temperature.
“We know that 90 percent of Americans* have a desire to automate their homes in some way and are clamoring for new ways to be in control of and in sync with everything that happens with their homes,” says Jeremy Eaton, president, Honeywell Connected Home. “With Honeywell Recipes on IFTTT, consumers can now use and connect with their thermostats even more easily, however and whenever they want.”
Dec. 17, 2015
Marantz, a manufacturer of audio products and technologies, has announced the availability of a free-of-charge DTS:X update for four Network A/V components from its 2015 home theater lineup. The SR7010 and SR6010 A/V Receivers, as well as the AV8802A (AV8802) and AV7702mkII Preamplifiers are already include audio and video processing technologies and wireless connectivity. Now, Marantz new firmware update delivers on its promise to upgrade the DTS:X-ready devices with full DTS:X capability to enable them to run an Audyssey-equalized DTS:X setup with 9.2 or even 11.2 channels for a fully enveloping home theater experience.
To learn more about Marantz's DTS:X firmware updates click here.
Sono Luminus and Auro Technologies have announced the upcoming release of the new Spektral Quartet album called "Serious Business." The album is recorded in Auro-3D and will soon be released with an Auro-3D mix alongside traditional Stereo and 5.1 mixes. The Auro-3D mix creates a three-dimensional soundscape thanks to the addition of a height layer above and around the listener.
Dec. 15, 2015
With the number of Internet-connected things installed by 2020 expected to reach 50 billion, Clare Controls is expanding its efforts to provide an open platform with flexibility. Clare is collaborating with three leading manufacturers — Honeywell, Yale, and Linear — to create native integration and resale opportunities for a selection of products providing integrators with a one-stop shop to implement these products into installed ClareHome systems.
“Homeowners do not want to be limited to using one brand for all of their lifestyle needs,” says Brett Price, Clare Controls, CEO. “They want to easily control trusted brand name products to regulate temperature, secure entry points to their homes, and simplify entertainment systems. Enabling communication between different brands was step one, now installers can simply purchase the most popular third party SKUs, along with their control hub, directly from Clare to give their customers what they want.”
Denon, a manufacturer of home entertainment products is now offering the object-based surround sound format DTS:X, free-of-charge to its first line of Network A/V Receivers. Part of the new 2015 AVR X Series the AVR-X7200WA, AVR-X7200W, AVR-X6200W and AVR-X4200W will be the first models to get a firmware update that adds full DTS:X capabilities. After updating the firmware the A/V receivers will be able to run an Audyssey room-equalized DTS:X setup of up to 9.2 or even 11.2 channels, delivering a surround sound experience from literally all directions.
Anuva Automation, the Florida-based manufacturer of TiO (Turn it On) brand automation products, announces a major update to its TiO Home App, TiO version 3.1, with major software updates and phone app capabilities for both Android and Apple users.
For the first time, the TiO Home App allows users to control their TiO system with any device on an Android or Apple iOS platform, including phones. The software update features a new menu navigation scheme that streamlines operation and maintains consistency for users controlling their system from multiple devices.
The release of TiO 3.1 comes just weeks after the release of TiO 3.0, which adds expanded TiO Connect capabilities including contact closure functionality (i.e. garage door operation), complete IR control functionality, IP camera management, and numerous audio updates.
Apple Music is coming to Sonos in early 2016—but anyone can start listening now says Sonos. The popular wireless whole-house audio company says that public beta is now available, and that anyone interested in participating in the beta can sign up on its website.
StreamUnlimited, a provider of software solutions and modules for connected audio products, has announced that TIDAL has certified its StreamSDK, a streaming and multiroom audio integration solution from StreamUnlimited, as an approved product module for companies who incorporate the service into its products.
TIDAL’s certification of the StreamSDK platform will allow audio manufacturers to bring products with the TIDAL streaming feature to market much easier and faster. StreamUnlimited multiroom audio streaming solutions are compatible with many common devices, including UPnP/DLNA, Google Cast, USB, wireless and Ethernet, Android, Apple iOS and more.
The whole-house audio company adds that its products are available in 46 countries with a library of over 40 million songs and 90,000 high quality videos.
Dec. 14, 2015
The service provider Dish Network through its DISH Anywhere web portal and mobile app is offering parental control options. The new feature, “Kids’ Profiles,” gives users the ability to build unique profiles by entering a child’s age (up to 13) to filter content and ensure that the TV shows and movies available for them to watch are age friendly. Within each profile children can access DVR and on-demand content without accidentally accessing inappropriate content.
The Kids’ Profiles feature applies independent age ratings from Common Sense Media, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization. The feature is available on DISHAnywhere.com, as well as in the DISH Anywhere app for Android tablets and smart phones as well as Kindle Fire HDX. The feature will be available on iOS tablets and smart phones in the coming weeks.
DISH Anywhere allows you to create up to five individual profiles within the app, for both kids and adults, meaning you can activate up to four Kids’ Profiles with individual age filters for each. At least one profile must be an administrator profile, which provides control over all settings in the app.
Dec. 11, 2015
Bluebird Music has been appointed exclusive distributor of Vienna Acoustics for the U.S. and Canada.
Bluebird Music points out that Vienna Acoustics' loudspeakers have been hand-built in Vienna, Austria since 1989. The company's new distributor adds that Vienna loudspeakers are known for their authentic, natural, musical sound; outstanding fit and finish, and exceptional value.
"Since 1999, Bluebird Music has imported high-quality two-channel audio products that truly bring something special and unique to a crowded audio marketplace. We are thrilled to now be working with Vienna Acoustics; a highly respected and prestigious brand, and we have exciting plans to further raise the profile of the brand in USA," says Jay Rein, president of Bluebird Music.
The Midwest-based national distributor Skywalker AV has entered into an agreement with the Memphis-based audio company Beale Street Audio to distribute Beale Street's Xpress line of products.
Skywalker AV points out the Xpress line of products incorporates Beale Street's Sonic Vortex technology, and the product line meets the market need for architectural loudspeakers that are able to create an immersive listening experience.
"We weren't looking for just any additional speaker line. Beale Xpress brought us something completely new and different," notes Craig Perreault, vice president of business development, Skywalker AV.
Honeywell has announced that its VISTA series of security alarm panels are compatible with Key Digital's Apple iOS-based automation system. Key Digital states the combination of VISTA with its Compass Control System gives dealers and integrators more options to create “connected homes and businesses” for their customers.
Dec. 10, 2015
Innovative Technology, a manufacturer of consumer electronics, announces the acquisition of the legacy trademark Victrola.
Innovative Technology will add the 110-year-old Victrola Brand to its lines of nostalgic turntables and audio products, which have become 60 percent of sales for the company. According to the electronics manufacturer, those sales this year add up to $45 million.
Victrola was first introduced to the American public in 1906 by The Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, N.J., and produced over eight million units of distinctive records players and radios. The “Victrola” brand name, remembered by parents, grandparents and stories told, conjures bygone memories, warmth and happiness states Innovative Technology in a press release.
“The nostalgic collection is my personal favorite to work on because people have a strong emotional response to the experience these products create for them,” says Corey Lieblein, Innovative Technology’s owner and CEO. “What’s incredible about the Victrola name is that, like music, it transcends time and has endured the evolution of technology; that’s something that can be appreciated by people of all ages.”
Screen Innovations (SI), has announced the release of its first in a series of high quality digital videos created to showcase the incredible experiences one can have with a really big screen.
SI’s The Big Screen Experience video, is available for free in UltraHD 4K resolution here, and the Texas-based manufacturer says the video showcases several ways in which the big screen experience can completely change how we video chat, play video games, watch movies or even shop online.
Blake Vackar, vice president of sales for SI, says the company developed the content to help installers communicate the impact of 4K video to their clients.
“Screen Innovations has created 'The Big Screen Experience' video for dealers to share with potential customers the many benefits of owning a big screen," explains Vackar. "When you imagine the screen in your living room as the window into our media rich lifestyles, Bigger is definitely better.”
Dec. 9, 2015
Leviton announced the availability of its Snap-Link Mobile application app for use on Windows 10 devices, including Surface tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and smartphones. This new Leviton control app monitors and controls Leviton automation systems either remotely or locally and is offered without monthly fees or device licenses. Users can download the app via the Windows Store on a Windows 10 device and use it on as many connected Windows 10 devices as they wish.
Dec. 8, 2015
Anuva Automation, the Florida-based manufacturer of TiO (Turn it On) brand automation products, announces the release of the full TiO Ninja Orange Belt Training module – the third level of the TiO Ninja Training Program.
The Ninja Orange Belt Training module is comprised of a one-hour course highlighting the features of TiO where skilled installers (ninjas) will study more about TiO’s outside-in philosophy and making TiO intuitive to use for homeowners. Prerequisites for the Ninja Orange Belt Training entail the ninja to have previously completed the Ninja White Belt Training (TiO Introduction) and Ninja Yellow Belt Training (TiO Essentials). The Ninja Orange Belt Training will further explain how to capture moods, create experiences and alter both aspects at any point while delivering systems that will empower the end user to be in control.
“We are excited to unveil the third of five modules of the TiO Ninja Training Program to provide our dealers with the know how to efficiently program a system,” says Sanjay Patel, president of Anuva Automation. “While our system is easy to configure and integrate into any home, the Ninja Training provides valuable tips and tricks to get the most out of the system.”
The California-based technology company Fusion Research has added the lossless-audio streaming service Tidal to its Ovation and Play-Fi music server products.
The addition of the well known streaming service provides installers with a quality audio option that complements their whole-house audio installations.
"Ever since signing our agreement with Tidal last summer, we have looked forward to bringing this service to our dealers," states Ingo Schmoldt, vice president of sales, Fusion Research. "Especially with the focus on high-resolution audio and adding DTS Play-Fi to our product lineup, Tidal should be a very attractive option for our customers."
Denon Electronics, a manufacturer of home and personal audio products, announces that Amazon Prime Music is available through Denon’s HEOS wireless multiroom sound system. Through the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android and Fire devices, Prime members can access and listen to Prime Music’s catalog of more than one million songs and thousands of curated playlists and stations in the luxury of their homes.
For HEOS users, the addition of Prime Music adds a new streaming ability just in time for the holidays when listening to music in the home adds so much to the holiday season.
“We are excited to bring Prime Music to Denon’s HEOS sound system to give listeners even more ways to access all of their favorite music available as part of the Prime membership,” says Steve Boom, vice president of digital music for Amazon. “We are always looking for new innovative ways to ensure our Prime members have the best music experience and we think they will love listening on Denon’s high-quality wireless sound system.”
Lionsgate and DTS have announced the upcoming release of the Blu-ray title "The Last Witch Hunter" on Jan. 12, 2016 will feature the object-based surround sound format DTS:X. DTS states its X format is an immersive audio technology that replicates and conveys the fluid movement of sound by accurately matching sounds to what is visually occurring on - and off - the screen to create a richer soundscape than has previously been possible.
The Blu-ray release features Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious and Riddick franchises) who battles to protect mankind from the ultimate evil in packages that include Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital), and On Demand on February 2. The movie from Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE company, stars Diesel as the heroic Kaulder, a legendary warrior sworn to protect the modern world from treacherous black magic and prevent the Queen Witch from returning. With stunning special effects, the film also features Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings trilogy), Rose Leslie (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), Julie Engelbrecht (Before the Fall ), and two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor, The Cider House Rules, 1999; The Dark Knight franchise), who assist in his quest to save our civilization.
Bluesound has announced the release of its new BluOS version 1.20.0 software. New features includes a 30-day trial offer on either Tidal Premium (standard sound quality) or Tidal Lossless, as well as a new option for those who have favorite radio stations, playlists, or an external source that they access regularly, Bluesound now allows users to program up to 40 presets in their mobile apps. Presets can be accessed through an IR remote control, the five top-mounted buttons on the PULSE FLEX, or directly from the mobile app.
Some of the other features of the new operating system include the ability to stream audio via Bluetooth, browse and search via the system's "composer" category, and the company adds that Bluesound now supports the new Denon and Panasonic IR remote controls that use non-standard library codes.
Augmenting its On-Q Digital Audio System, Legrand has announced the addition of iHeartRadio to the system's list of features.
The service comes with its new 3.0 firmware update, and it provides features such as favorite song recall, as well as other enhancements that make the audio system more user friendly. Users can update their iOS and Android apps, and Legrand points out the update will be a part of newly shipped systems.
HARMAN International Industries, a company that develops products and technologies for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and Dirac Research AB, an audio technology company specializing in high-performance digital sound optimization, have announced a strategic partnership to extend Dirac’s digital audio solutions to HARMAN’s automotive audio and infotainment system applications. Through this partnership, HARMAN will also become a worldwide distributor of Dirac’s sound technologies to automotive sound system suppliers and car manufacturers, bringing together HARMAN's legacy of premium audio and Dirac’s mission to develop technologies for the ultimate sound experience.
“Dirac continues to be a leader in the development of audio quality optimization technologies, and we are pleased to integrate their exceptional solutions with HARMAN’s superior audio systems to bring best-in-class audio to our automotive partners around the world,” says Michael Mauser, executive vice president and president, lifestyle audio at HARMAN. “Integrating Dirac technologies into HARMAN’s products will further create great lifestyle experiences for today's connected generation through premium automotive audio and infotainment systems.”
This collaboration builds on HARMAN’s existing partnership with Dirac that provides the Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) premium in-car surround system for the Volvo XC90 with Dirac’s advanced sound optimization technology Dirac Unison. HARMAN will implement Dirac’s advanced digital audio technologies to enhance the in-car entertainment experience for consumers and enable automakers to further differentiate and elevate their sound systems across brands and car lines.
The custom installation group HTSN (Home Technology Specialists Nationwide) has redesigned its website.
HTSN says the new site includes improved graphics of what the group offers, higher levels of detail concerning the group's services, and a list of vendors.
Hank Alexander, director of HTSN, says the site is redesigned to better help the group communicate to its clients. "Our primary goal of the new site is to help independents in the CI space better understand the benefits of partnering with a buying group, and demonstrating to vendors the reach our group has," he says. "Our focus is to continue expanding with new vendor partners in the months to come."
Swann announces broadened functionality of its customizable connected home system SwannOne with the addition of new partner brands Nest, Yale, Lockwood, Phillips Hue and more. In addition to features such as home and away modules, scheduling, remote control of devices and professional monitoring, dealers can now easily integrate existing smart home appliances and access their home functions from just one app.
The SwannOne app enables users to access home devices from anywhere. Dealers or users can create specific rules and schedules, monitor home and control security devices, adjust the thermostat, dim or change the color of lights, create custom functions and notifications for locks and more, all from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
SpringDeck is launching a free “SpringDeck Lite” version of its app for dealers to use when presenting products from the SpringDeck Store. This will give dealers the capability to use the SpringDeck platform to quickly organize and seamlessly present products from featured vendors during sales meetings.
“SpringDeck users are experiencing great results in time management, sales activities, marketing effectiveness and growth, and we want others to experience the SpringDeck platform too,” says Ryan Sullivan, CEO of SpringDeck.
Dealers can use SpringDeck Lite on their iPad and through an online browser, but it can only be accessed with an exclusive SpringDeck Lite promo code direct from a featured vendor. Once dealers use the promo code, SpringDeck will automatically download the featured product libraries, so dealers can get to work presenting products right away.
Kevin Kelly, president and COO of Stampede, points out the alliance between the companies will help Stampede meet its clients' needs to fulfill the growing demand for waterproof televisions in the residential and commercial A/V markets.
"Televisions are becoming a staple in more and more environments where they are exposed to the elements, both in consumer and commercial applications," he says. "The growing consumer demand to incorporate outdoor living areas into their homes, along with the need for hotels, schools, restaurants and bars to feature more and more televisions in their indoor and outdoor environments is going to drive category sales for years to come. The addition of the award-winning Aquavision line of in-wall/waterproof televisions to our brand portfolio is going to provide our resellers with an exciting new solution for their commercial and consumer customers."
Helping to promote the partnership AquaVision CEO Larry White adds that his company's products will be featured in the latest Stampede Big Book of AV, and Aquavision will also participate in Stampede's AV Tour and Series events, as well as other consumer and commercial trade events throughout 2016.
"We are very excited to partner with Stampede, a company with the ability to significantly drive our long-term North American sales programs," states White. "Our products appeal to both the luxury residential, as well as the hospitality and commercial markets. Stampede has a reseller network that understands and appreciates the unique combination of design, performance and reliability that have made the Aquavision brand a leader around the world."
Aquavision has been manufacturing outdoor and waterproof televisions since 1997, and today it offers a range of products ranging from 16 inches to 86 inches, including waterproof 4K models.
Nov. 30, 2015
Kwikset, a manufacturer of residential security solutions, has announced that its line of SmartCode deadbolt locks is now compatible with Legrand’s Intuity home automation platform. Intuity is part of the On-Q line, and Kwikset explains that now with its SmartCode locks with Home Connect, dealers can integrate into Legrand's user friendly home automation line to provide homeowners, builders and dealers with flexible and cost-effective security and home automation systems.
Explaining in greater detail, Kwikset says Legrand’s Intuity System brings together a wide array of stand-alone home technologies and devices into a unified ecosystem that provides simple home control of lighting, security, temperature, multiroom audio, and more. The system facilitates the use of Z-Wave-based products that include SmartCode locks from Kwikset, HVAC thermostats from Honeywell and Trane, and home security systems from Honeywell and GE/Interlogix.
This free service invites users to fill out a series of questions that will be used to determine the acoustic issues with the space. The questions cover topics such as the purpose of the room, the size of the room, wall surface measurements, and existing floor and ceiling materials. A description of the way in which the room will be used, as well as an explanation of the acoustical issues that need to be resolved in the space also form part of the information required for the analysis. Once filled out, the form is sent to an acoustic specialist who will engage with the user to review requirements and then provide a room analysis along with suggested materials and estimated budget for the installation.
Primacoustic market development manager Steve Dickson explains the service takes the guesswork out of designing a space that is conducive to audio playback.
"Most people realize that they have a problem in their room, but do not know how to identify it or come up with a solution. For instance, they may have a restaurant that is so noisy patrons are unable to converse during a meal. Another example could be a boardroom with a video conferencing setup where the echo in the room is so pronounced that you cannot clearly understand the orator at the receive end of the transmission," he states. "By enabling the user to go online [and] prompting them for the required information along the way, we can quickly identify the problem and come up with a suggested fix."
Nov. 25, 2015
Lutron is recalling Roman shades it sold between 2009 and 2015 due to potential strangulation hazards. No injuries have been reported. According to the recall notice:
This recall involves hobbled-style, motorized or manual, custom-made Roman shades. They were made out of fabric mounted on a metal frame, manufactured between December 17, 2009 and July 23, 2015. Each shade has two to six vertical mesh lift bands that are 8 inches wide, secured by lift band clamps at the bottom of the shade, and a 1-inch wide vertical hobble tape running the length of the shade. Lutron Electronics Inc. and the manufacture date appear on a white label on the shade tube at the top of the shade; which can be located when the shade is fully extended. Consumers should contact Lutron Electronics if the label cannot be located.
Nov. 24, 2015
QSC redesigned its website with enhanced features, navigation and content structure. With growing demand for QSC products tailored to its Live Sound, Systems and Cinema customers, QSC revamped its site to cater to the unique needs of each customer group.
“As our worldwide business grows and our customers’ needs become more diverse, we felt it was time to refresh our web presence to reflect our strong market position in each of the industries we serve, the benefits we bring to each customer, and where we’re going as a company,” says Joe Pham, president and CEO of QSC. “We’ve created a site that allows our customers to explore QSC solutions in an image and content rich environment, with friendly navigation for our many mobile and tablet users.”
The new responsive site’s key features include specific product and solution information nested under each segment section that include "Live Sound," "Systems" and "Cinema," and an enhanced search function. Other features include an updated support section featuring easy to find resources along with self-help content.
Nov. 20, 2015
Control4 Corporation, a manufacturer of smart home solutions, has announced the availability of dozens of Denon A/V entertainment products to Control4 authorized dealers in the United States through its Online Store. This relationship allows Control4 dealers the opportunity to order Denon products along with the many other smart home solutions offered by Control4 all on a single website.
Denon products available through Control4 include: HEOS, which is a family of multiroom music streaming solutions, as well as A/V receivers, record players and Blu-ray players. These Denon products address a range of homeowner needs from easy-to-use family room entertainment, to whole-home wireless audio distribution for a fun and diverse audio and video experience in the home.
Denon is one of the earliest adopters of Control4 Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) technology, and is an active participant in the Control4 Driver Certification program, which according to Control4, creates easily integrated solutions that deliver incredible entertainment experiences and helps solve challenging installation problems.
Nov. 19, 2015
SpringDeck has announced two new content management and sales consultant packages, and it has cut the cost in half for vendors wishing to use SpringDeck to manage and monitor their product content and sales pipeline.
“The value proposition SpringDeck offers manufacturers has modified significantly since we launched,” notes Ryan Sullivan, CEO of SpringDeck. “We understand that quality product content is extremely important, but implementing the management side of your sales delivery process is time consuming. Everyone has the best of intentions, but life happens, and taking time out of your schedule to work with your product content and sales analytics often goes overlooked.”
SpringDeck now offers monthly and quarterly package options to help vendors save thousands of hours managing product content, and effectively engage their dealer network and target customers. Both packages include a dedicated SpringDeck expert who handles the vendor’s product content updates, distributes the fresh content to the vendor’s dealer network through the SpringDeck app, and analyzes the sales activity and product marketing insights in live monthly or quarterly sessions.
Rosewater Energy Group, a provider of integrated energy management products, has announced its new floor planning program to provide dealers selling RoseWater’s Energy Management Hub with a display model to demonstrate and power their showroom and servers.
With this financing option, dealers purchasing the RoseWater Energy Management Hub can apply for a one year interest-free loan through RoseWater Energy Group and Padco Financial Services, Inc.
Nov. 18, 2015
Anuva Automation, the Florida-based manufacturer of TiO (Turn it On) brand automation products, announces that a major update is now available for its TiO Home app —TiO 3.0 — as free downloads in the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.
According to the company, the TiO 3.0 app is a major software update that allows control of the expanded TiO Connect capabilities announced last month. The new app's features include contact closure functionality, IR control functionality and IP camera management. This recent update also improves integration for audio, the MC-2 master coordinator and lighting controls for both Android and Apple iOS platforms.
WDLabs, a business division of Western Digital Corp., a manufacturer of storage solutions, has introduced a new software platform to simplify and speed up the creation and deployment of VIDITY enabled products and services. VIDITY gives consumers the freedom and flexibility to download and store their movies on a wide range of devices and delivers the highest quality playback of content, including 4K Ultra HD movies with high dynamic range (HDR).
"Deploying VIDITY 2.0 specification-enabled products and services requires a broad range of technologies, skills, time, and expense by each adopter in order to bring solutions to market," states Richard E. Rutledge, senior vice president of marketing, WDLabs. "Our VIDITY software platform will make it easier, faster, and less expensive to develop products by offering mature VIDITY building blocks for their next generation premium video products that support 4K Ultra HD HDR content. The VIDITY Software Platform demonstrates our commitment as a Founder of the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA), which developed the VIDITY program, and is built from earlier demo releases shown at CES 2014 and CES 2015."
Extron Electronics has announced its Vector 4K solution, which the company says is its latest generation scaling engine. Specifically engineered for critical-quality 4K signal processing and the most demanding 4K applications, Extron for more than two decades has been engineering scaling and signal processing solutions that deliver the highest levels of performance.
The Vector 4K scaling engine delivers the power and precision required to manage the high pixel counts of today's 4K displays and content, whether providing clean, upscaled images when integrating legacy sources with 4K displays, or faithfully rendering a source's detail and integrity when downscaling 4K content to HD displays.
"Delivering the best customer support always begins with having the right products for our customers, engineered by Extron from the ground up to meet our standards for the best possible quality and performance," says Andrew Edwards, president of Extron. "Our no-compromise approach to engineering extends to the scaling engines and video processing algorithms we've developed over the years leading up to Vector 4K, which delivers the highest level of image quality for 4K applications."
Nov. 11, 2015
SpectraCal, Inc. announced support for the high dynamic range (HDR) standard HDR-10 in a new version of its flagship monitor calibration CalMAN software.
CalMAN Version 5.6.1 creates the HDR-10 metadata information to test, measure and calibrate currently shipping HDR-10 televisions.
Previous versions of CalMAN already fully supported Dolby Vision, the first shipping HDR standard, and SpectraCal has also announced that it is working to add support for the HLG version of HDR proposed by the BBC and NHK.
“We thought HDR-10 support would be a long time coming because of the abstruse signaling requirements to support HDR-10 metadata over HDMI,” says Stacey Spears, head color scientist, SpectraCal.
Spears adds the company has also collaborated with hardware partners Quantum Data and AstroDesign to allow it to implement HDR-10 metadata support more quickly than anticipated. “
You can use a Quantum Data 780 or AstroDesign VG-877 to send HDR-10 metadata from CalMAN 5.6.1 today,” said Spears.
With SpectraCal already providing the SpectraCal C6-HDR HDR-certified colorimeter, the pattern generation support announced in CalMAN 5.6.1 provides the final piece of the puzzle.
“You can use a Quantum Data 780 or AstroDesign VG-877 to send HDR-10 metadata from CalMAN 5.6.1 today," he explains.
Nov. 9, 2015
URC has announced the availability of two-way control modules to extend integration of Total Control whole-house home automation systems to two popular multiroom audio sources: Denon HEOS and CasaTunes. The new modules provide control features normally expected and extensions beyond, according to the N.Y.-based control, automation and audio manufacturer.
Luxul adds that over the next several weeks it will deliver firmware updates for all of its WAPs.
Nov. 9, 2015
BenQ America Corp., an international manufacturer of professional gaming monitors has announced a new partnership with OurVetSuccess, producer of the Triumph Games. Part of the company's BenQ Cares community outreach program, the agreement provides RL2460HT gaming monitors for the eSports segment of the 2015 Triumph Games. CBS Sports Network will air the one-hour primetime television special on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. EST, with a second showing at 10 p.m. EST. CBS Sports Network's John Schriffen and Patrick Murphy, who were nominated in September by President Barack Obama to serve as Under Secretary of the U.S. Army and is also a contributor on MSNBC, will co-host the show.
The 2015 Triumph Games is dedicated to telling the stories of U.S. military veterans' ability to adapt and succeed no matter the circumstances. In the 2015 Games, 12 veteran athletes earned an invitation to participate after qualifying through a rigorous nomination and selection process. Sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and SoldierStrong nominated each athlete based on honorable military service and athletic achievements, including previously winning national and international medals in their respective sports.
CasaTunes, a manufacturer of streaming multiroom music solutions, has announced its CasaTunes QuickSync feature. This newly added option provides users a new feature that quickly discovers, indexes and plays networked music residing on any PC, Mac or storage device. CasaTunes QuickSync automatically detects changes to iTunes libraries and synchronizes the iTunes music, playlists and cover art. Music files can be copied to the CasaTunes server or played from its original location. CasaTunes QuickSync is a scalable solution that can easily handle large collections, including collections with over 100,000 songs.
“We often find customers music scattered across multiple PCs, Macs and even various network storage devices,” notes David Krinker, president of CasaTunes. “Our customers are searching for a solution which brings order to this chaos. CasaTunes QuickSync quickly and automatically discovers all their music, regardless of where the music is located, and organizes it so they can easily listen to their music.”
Nov. 5, 2015
On Controls, a manufacturer of cloud-enabled smart home and commercial control solutions for professional installers, has announced the addition of Powerline Control Systems (PCS) to its Partners in Control cooperative program. The Partners in Control program has been created to achieve seamless compatibility between the On Controls platform and a vast array of connected device manufacturers from related residential market applications such as audio, video, HVAC, security, lighting control and others. PCS develops lighting and electrical control devices for the residential, commercial and industrial markets.
PCS provides a complete range of products designed to use standard powerlines to communicate control signals without additional wiring, providing integrators with a flexible and efficient lighting control solution.
Nov. 4, 2015
Klipsch, a global speaker and headphone manufacturer, along with its strategic partner the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, are pleased to announce the free live stream of the 20th annual Music Masters series honoring Smokey Robinson. The all-star tribute concert takes place on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 PM EST and will be streamed live here.
The 2015 Annual Music Masters series and tribute concert is presented by Klipsch Audio and will feature Inductees Dennis Edwards, Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson, as well as the Robert Glasper Experiment. Scheduled performers include Avant, Avery*Sunshine, Bilal, JoJo, Eric Roberson, and Michelle Williams. Adam Blackstone (who has worked with artists such as Rihanna, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake) will serve as the tribute concert’s Musical Director.
Nov. 3, 2015
SnapAV has announced that after its acquisition of SunBriteTV outdoor HDTVs, it is now offering the product line on its website. SnapAV dealers can now order SunBriteTV products alongside SnapAV's other products, which ranges from acoustical treatment and speakers, to projection screens, networking solutions and security and power products.
The Miami-based cable manufacturer WireWorld has introduced a new way for users to evaluate headphone cables: The Headphone Cable Polygraph. Company founder and president David Salz says the tester allows users to make direct comparisons, and to do this, the product utilizes custom male-to-male connectors to enable direct connections to the headphones and components. The company will display the Headphone Cable Polygraph at the upcoming 2016 CES show in Las Vegas (Venetian Tower 30-201).
Oct. 27, 2015
Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor serving the custom integration industry, has announced an agreement with the outdoor television brand Séura to distribute the Green Bay, Wisc.-based company's line of outdoor televisions. The addition of Séura products marks another distribution deal for Skywalker AV Supply in 2015. The company has also inked distribution deals with Ubiquiti Networks, Logitech Harmony, Klein Tools, and IC Realtime throughout the course of this year.
Tracking with the rising demand for outdoor entertainment and theater systems, Séura fits Skywalker’s range of outdoor entertainment product brands, which currently includes Apollo TV Enclosures, Atlas Sound, SonArray, and Skywalker's house brand: Saga Sound. The deal provides Skywalker's dealers with access to one of the top lines of outdoor televisions in the market.
“For the last couple of years Skywalker has put tremendous emphasis on the outdoor space. We’re excited to announce our partnership with Seura,” says Randy Criebaum, president of Skywalker
“Adding Seura Outdoor TV’s was the perfect way to expand in this category. Along with Outdoor TV’s, our dealers can expect to find all-weather mounts, television enclosures, speakers, volume controls and more."
Lode Audio has announced that it has released a new Control4 driver. The driver is available at no cost to dealers and their clients, and Lode says the driver was developed by Janus Technologies. Lode adds the new driver takes full advantage of the new Control4 media proxies and is fully compatible with Control4's 2.8.0 firmware.
Oct. 26, 2015
Klipsch, a global speaker and headphone manufacturer, has announced a 3.5-year extension of its long-term partnership with the Authorized Integrators Network (AiN) Group. The move solidifies Klipsch as the group’s preferred premium speaker provider, and Klipsch points out that its alliance with AiN began more than 12 years ago.
AiN carries the entire line of Klipsch’s world-renowned product lines, including its complete line of custom installation speakers and Reference Premiere component speakers.
“Klipsch speakers offer performance, prestige and profitability to the AiN dealer network. We are proud to build upon this strategic partnership that continues to grow exponentially year after year, even as the consumer electronics landscape evolves,” says Tommy Jacobs, vice president of sales for Klipsch.
The Authorized Integrators Network (AiN) Group/GE Home Technologies was built by and is made up of consumer electronics dealers serving the residential and commercial building industries. Dealers who qualify to join the AiN Group receive increased buying power from AiN's manufacturing partnerships with well-recognized brands, and they also receive continuing education and marketing support.
Sapphire Marketing has announced that it has been appointed as the rep for the company Analog Way effective immediately. Analog Way is manufacturer of top-of-the-line presentation processing products. From mission critical government and corporate applications, to house of worship venues, Analog Way's products can be used for a variety of commercial applications.
Oct. 21, 2015
Kwikset, a residential security product manufacturer has announced that two of its popular SmartCode deadbolt locks are now “Crestron Connected.” This certification makes the products compatible with Crestron control systems that provide wireless home control of lighting, shades, temperature, security and more.
Oct. 20, 2015
Skywalker AV Supply, a nationwide distributor for the custom integration industry, has announced an agreement with tech brand Ubiquiti to distribute the manufacturer's networking products. The addition of Ubiquiti Networks’ products marks another distribution deal for Skywalker AV Supply in 2015. The company has also setup distribution deals with Logitech Harmony, Klein Tools and IC Realtime earlier this year.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide our dealers with the best products from Ubiquiti and offer more solutions in wireless data communications,” says Bob Holliday, national sales manager of Skywalker.
“Ubiquiti produces true results for true professionals.” Ubiquiti Networks products are now in stock at all Skywalker U.S. branches.
The popular audio manufacturer Sonos has added Amazon Prime Music.
Sonos explains that Prime Music is a simple way for any Prime member household to listen to millions of tracks, thousands of curated playlists and hundreds of stations for almost any mood, genre or artists. It points out that all of these options can be played throughout the house on its products to match the need of any musical moment in a home.
During the recently completed 2015 CEDIA Expo DISH announced new integrations with Key Digital and Logitech, as well as partnerships with Middle Atlantic Products and D-Tools.
“DISH’s Hopper DVR is the pre-eminent pay-TV platform for custom installers and their connected-home clients,” says Frank DeFilippis, DISH manager of channel programs. “While we’re committed to the continued development of third-party control integration, we also recognize the importance of offering backend support and the needed tools that help installers perform their jobs and better serve their clients.”
As part of Dish's expansion efforts the company has announced that Key Digital has added DISH to its Compass Alliance Partner program with the development of a two-way driver for the Hopper. The two-way driver delivers real-time program and guide metadata from the Hopper to mobile devices, giving clients a more robust control experience over their DVR. Additionally, DISH’s Hopper now connects with Logitech Harmony hub-based remotes for home entertainment and home control using direct IP integration. This new development speeds installation by using auto-discovery tools to quickly identify Hopper and Joey receivers within a customer’s home network. Once discovered, the receivers can be easily added to a Harmony remote control.
Dish has also worked with Middle Atlantic to develop a set of custom rack shelves for its suite of Hopper products. These units provide clean aesthetics and the necessary air flow management for DISH’s Hopper, Super Joey, Joey and the upcoming 4K Joeytm products. Hopper and Super Joey shelves are sold in single 2U configurations, with Joey and 4K Joey shelves available in single or double side-by-side 1U configurations.
On the business management side of the market, D-Tools has added DISH to its Manufacturer Vantage Point (MVP) program, which will provide D-Tools System Integrator (SI) licensees access to detailed specifications for DISH’s suite of products. This information assists designers, specifiers, integrators and installers with system design, proposal, estimation and installation management tasks.
Core Brands has announced that its brands are now available through a new, user-friendly online dealer portal. The portal also features installation-focused products from Nortek sister companies, including Omnimount, Broan-Nutone and Nortek Security & Control.
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