Press Release

Product Briefs: WyreStorm 5-Year Warranty; Maverick AV, Crestron SR; D-Tools, Cinema Designer

CE Pro new products - home automation, audio, video, IoT, motorized shades, lighting control, energy management, home theater, networking and more.


Product Briefs: WyreStorm 5-Year Warranty; Maverick AV, Crestron SR; D-Tools, Cinema Designer
CE Pro Editors · February 20, 2018

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.


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Feb. 20

WyreStorm, a global manufacturer of AV distribution and control products that use AV over IP, HDBaseT, fiber and HDMI technologies, has announced it has extended its worldwide limited standard manufacturer’s warranty to a full 5 years.


Effective from Jan.1 2018, the new 5-Year warranty increases on the company’s previous  3-year limited liability warranty and covers all WyreStorm products, with the exception of its WyreStorm
Express line, which retains its 1-year warranty.


Illustrating both the company’s confidence in its products and its continued dedication to providing
exceptional customer support, WyreStorm’s new 5-year warranty automatically applies to all products
in its Installer Solutions and Pro AV Solutions lines purchased from Jan. 1 onwards.
 

The company has also backdated the new warranty to include previously purchased products still within their original 3-year warranty; effectively adding a further 2 years to all existing warranty periods.
 

"The warranty extension from three- to five years clearly demonstrates our commitment to both our partners and end users," states Vincent Philippo, vice president of international sales, WyreStorm. "It means our customers now have one of the highest possible levels of protection and ultimate peace of mind."


Feb. 19

Maverick AV Solutions, a specialized solution business of Tech Data, has announced an extended partnership with Crestron Electronics, a global manufacturer of enterprise control and automation technology, to distribute Crestron SR, its next-generation Skype Room (SR) system offering, in the U.S. following its launch across Europe last year.

Designed in partnership with Microsoft, Crestron SR is a powerful, professional solution built for Skype for Business, which brings a simple-to-use, high-definition audio-visual (AV) experience to meeting rooms and can be easily deployed and managed on a network.

“In the last six months, the Creston SR product has bridged the gap between AV and IT perfectly, delivering a product that brings video conferencing seamlessly into the meeting space,” says Jon Sidwick, vice president, Maverick AV Solutions, at Tech Data. “We see opportunities both in Europe and the U.S. for integrators merging AV and IT products, enabling further control systems and automation.”

Crestron SR is engineered to easily integrate with a wide range of meeting rooms—from small and midsize spaces to larger conference rooms—making it possible to easily join meetings, make calls and instantly share content in-room and remotely, all from a touch-screen device that manages the Skype meeting. Additional key features include HDMI inputs and outputs, six USB ports to connect audio devices and a port to add an occupancy sensor for automation and room usage reporting. With a suite of complementary products, Maverick’s collaboration team will spearhead the rollout of the product to the U.S. channel.


Feb. 16

D-Tools Inc., a developer of system integration software, and The Cinema Designer (TCD), a cloud-based cinema design software company, have announced the official integration between the two platforms.

System Integrators using the platforms will benefit from the ability to seamlessly use TCD’s home cinema design tool with D-Tools’ System Integrator (SI) platform for a timesaving, all-in-one cinema design and documentation solution. Available now, these powerful software tools can streamline an integration firm’s process from initial cinema concept and design, through to calculating local area pricing for products and labor.

“The integration with The Cinema Designer will greatly benefit our customers who are designing dedicated cinemas and media rooms, providing a connected workflow from conception through installation—helping them confidently deliver projects of the highest quality to their customers,” states Tim Bigoness, CMO of D-Tools.


Smart home control maker Qolsys has announced Guardian Protection Services is adopting its IQ Panel 2 as its smart home platform for new installations. Guardian Protection, based in Warrendale, Pa., is the No. 6 company on the CE Pro 100 with $30.8 million in custom installation revenues and $198 million in total revenues in 2016, performing more than 24,000 residential smart home installations that year.

Overall, Guardian has more than 300,000 clients throughout the nation and has been in operation for more than 65 years. The company has been using Honeywell control panels as its platform, along with Alarm.com. 

“We are honored to bring the IQ Panel 2 to Guardian’s customers and dealers,” says Mike Hackett, Qolsys senior vice president of sales and marketing. “As security and IoT converge, Guardian is perfectly placed to deliver this best-in-class, connected home solution to Residential, Builder and Small Business segments.”

“The IQ Panel 2 represents a great opportunity for Guardian to deliver more value to our customers,” states Kevin Bish, Guardian’s vice president of marketing. “It’s beautiful, intuitive and feature-rich; we think it will create more desire for our customers to engage and use with their smart home. As a result, it’s a better experience overall, one that helps to solidify our relationship with that customer for the long term.”

The “all-in-one” IQ Panel 2 is a tablet-like control panel with a 7-inch HD capacitive touchscreen with a swipe-based user interface, LTE and Wi-Fi dual path connectivity, 5MP panel camera, software updates via the cloud and Z-Wave Plus.  Qolsys also has proprietary encrypted sensor technology and built-in applications such as Bluetooth Touchless Disarming, glass break detection, Z-Wave and SRF diagnostics, and remote diagnostic tools for troubleshooting and adjusting settings and features.

The Qolsys IQ Panel is powered by Android and is tightly integrated with Alarm.com’s connected home services platform, supporting interactive security, video monitoring, energy management and home automation. For integrators, the aim is to increase conversion when a home changes hands, boost end-user satisfaction, and reduce dealer truck rolls. 

The IQ Panel 2 has end-to-end encryption, including cloud token authentication, encrypted Qolsys S-Line sensors with backward compatibility to the 319.5Mhz frequency, Z-Wave Plus, and dual path communication over cellular and Wi-Fi. 


HEOS has issued a new update that it says improves the user experience. 

The update includes new product support for the Marantz ND8006 Networked CD Player. 

According to HEOS, the ND8006 is built to meet the requirements of today's music consumer by bringing together network music and CD playback capabilities, along with offering users a built-in DAC and HEOS support. 

In addition, the update improves the functionality of the volume control of any HEOS device in a group directly from the "Now Playing" page of the HEOS app. 

Other improvements made to the wireless whole-house audio system include improved Wi-Fi security. 


Feb. 15

The power management company Eaton has announced a collaboration with the global safety science organization UL to advance cybersecurity for power management technologies across industries. The collaboration is helping to establish measurable cybersecurity criteria for network-connected power management products and systems. In addition, Eaton’s cybersecurity research and testing facility in Pittsburgh is the first lab approved to participate in UL’s Data Acceptance Program for cybersecurity. The program, which is in development and available on a limited basis, aligns Eaton’s testing methodologies and data generation with the UL Cybersecurity Assurance Program for UL Standards 2900-1 and UL 2900-2-2.  

Eaton’s cybersecurity research and testing facility in Pittsburgh now has the capability to test Eaton products with intelligence or embedded logic to key aspects of the UL 2900-1 and 2900-2-2 Standards.Through this environment and Eaton’s rigorous cybersecurity process, Eaton is developing a growing portfolio of products to meet stringent specifications, regulations and consumer expectations for safe, secure power management.


Nativ has announced a software update for its Nativ Vita High-Resolution Music Server and Touchscreen control center.

The new software update 1.3.0 adds a wide range of new features and improvements:

  • Remote Control Apps: The Nativ Vita can now be controlled by popular smartphone control apps from BubbleUPnP (Android) and 8Player (iOS). Sit back, kick your feet up and play your favorite tunes from the comfort of your couch.
  • Design Update: Key interface screens like the Play Screen, Play Queue and Playlists now feature high-resolution album artwork that spans across the 11.6-inch Touchscreen.
  • Favorites: Users can now conveniently access their favorite music services, artists and playlists in one screen. At the touch of one simple buttonNew CD Ripping Features: In combination with the Nativ Disc CD Ripper the Nativ Vita now supports automatic ripping. Simply insert the CD into the Nativ Disc and it will be tagged with detailed album information and beautiful album artwork, and stored in bit-perfect quality on the Nativ Vita. Once ripped it will be automatically ejected.

Feb. 14

ProSource, a national buying group, has announced the addition of OneVision Resources and Parasol as two new vendors that support members' adoption of an RMR service provider business model.

ProSource made the selections based upon research conducted over the course of a year by a dealer advisory board comprised of members working with an expert advisor. The group's top priority was to evaluate the best solutions that match the needs of the majority of ProSource's member profiles.

"ProSource members are enthusiastic about developing profitable RMR solutions that provide a much needed service to homeowners, while making their businesses more valuable," says Dave Workman, CEO and president of ProSource. "The available offerings from OneVision Resources and Parasol streamline the process for members to adopt a 24/7/365 service-oriented business model. Business models are constantly evolving, and we are keeping our ear to the ground for services and solutions that ensure our members remain competitive."


Feb. 13

VIZIO, Inc., has announced the introduction of the VIZIO SmartCast skill for Amazon Alexa, enabling easy voice control of 2017 and 2016 SmartCast P-, M- and E-Series 4K display collections. VIZIO 4K Ultra HD display users with an Alexa-enabled device can now conveniently control volume, channel and input settings, as well as turn their VIZIO display on and off using only their voice1. The new VIZIO SmartCast skill for Alexa will also be available to 2018 VIZIO SmartCast Full HD and HD display customers in the coming weeks. 

"VIZIO SmartCast is an industry leader with voice control and mobile device integration, in addition to a traditional remote and SmartCast TV interface," says Bill Baxter, chief technology officer, VIZIO. "With the introduction of the VIZIO SmartCast skill for Alexa, we're excited to expand voice controls, giving users with Alexa-enabled products a convenient way to control key features on their VIZIO SmartCast TVs and displays."


Coherent Source Service has opened its doors to provide service for all THIEL loudspeakers manufactured by the company between 1977 and 2012. Founder Rob Gillum, who has been an employee of THIEL for over 30 years, has stocked Coherent Source Service (CSS) with nearly all relevant parts for legacy THIEL speakers.

Gillum was originally hired by Tom Thiel in 1988 and worked in several positions at the Lexington, Ken.-based factory. In addition to working under Jim Thiel for many years, Gillum was cross-trained on every aspect of service and manufacturing including driver build, crossover build and cabinet finishing. Gillum had served as director of manufacturing prior to the company’s acquisition in 2012. 

Coherent Source Service will provide THIEL warranty and non-warranty service for customers worldwide. Full speaker and cabinet restoration services are available as well, with prices quoted based on condition. Additionally, THIEL CS2.4 performance upgrade kits are available as well, including boutique capacitors for the passive networks along with outriggers and stabilizer pins from the 2.4SE series.

“THIEL loudspeakers are a big part of my life—I am passionate about the brand and the care that went in to the design and manufacturing of these fine speakers,” says Gillum. “I look forward to working with all of the THIEL customers out there who love music and helped make the brand such a success.” 


Feb. 7

DISH has announced that it will deliver NBCUniversal’s 4K HDR coverage of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. 

DISH will also offer several other features to help viewers get the most out of the Winter Games:

Exclusive sports hub on channel 147: DISH will offer an exclusive sports hub, labeled in the guide as “2018 Winter Olympics Channels,” for easy navigation of NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage across five networks.

  • “Olympic Winter Games” app: Available on internet-connected Hopper, Hopper Duo, Joey and Wally set-top boxes, the app features updated medal counts, and showcases the complete Olympics roster by schedule and network.
  • Olympics on-demand: DISH will offer customers more than 150 hours of NBCUniversal’s on-demand Olympics programming.
  • Sports Bar Mode: Available on Hopper 3, Sports Bar Mode allows viewers to watch up to four Olympic programs simultaneously. This mode divides an HD or 4K TV into quadrants, each with the ability to play a different channel.
  • NBCOlympics.com & NBC Sports app: NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will feature 1,800 hours of live steaming of Olympic events. Customers can easily verify their DISH subscriptions to access this content.

The smart home control and automation manufacturer ELAN, a Nortek Security & Control (NSC) brand, has announced that Chowmain, a driver developer that specializes in home automation, are teaming up to bolster the ELAN platform. Eight new drivers are now available through the ELAN 8.2 software release. The new software is now on display at ISE 2018 in Amsterdam in the RAI Convention Center in Nortek Security & Control Stand 1-N50.

“Over the past year, the ELAN team has helped us hone in on where to focus our energy, and which specific drivers to develop that will have an impact on dealers’ business,” says Alan Chow, managing director, Chowmain. “As a result, our new drivers extend ELAN’s platform into a new realm of online control and consumer-friendly devices.”


Feb. 6

MSolutions, a global media distribution solutions provider for the AV industry, has announced at the opening of the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show in Amsterdam, new analysis and certification capabilities for its MS-TestPro HDBaseT tester. The MS-TestPro is capable of validating the retransmission capabilities that are inherent to HDBaseT Spec. 2.0 systems. In addition, MSolutions introduced a new rechargeable battery pack for the MS-TestPro that provides many hours of wireless, continuous use with each charge, allowing installers to work anywhere and everywhere without the necessity of a physical power connection.


ProSource, a national buying group, has announced the addition of Coastal Source and Colorbeam North America as vendors that strengthen the opportunities for members in the lighting category.

Coastal Source manufactures landscape lighting and outdoor audio product lines that feature a patented Plug+Play connection. The products are engineered to meet the challenges installation specialists face with dedicated support for certified dealers, 

Colorbeam North America manufactures a low-voltage lighting system that allows integrators to serve residential, commercial, hospitality, and retail applications. Colorbeam's low voltage infrastructure, tunable white and RGB fixtures, proprietary patent-pending GATEway processor, and flicker-free dimming offer all the essentials for a superior lighting solution.

"The lighting category is poised to be the number one growth category for our members," says Dave Workman, CEO and president of ProSource. "ProSource is dedicated to enriching our members' portfolio of robust lighting solutions that deliver lifestyle and wellness enhancements for their customers. The available options anchored by Coastal Source, Colorbeam, and Vantage lay the foundation for additional growth, with new products to be added in the future."


Nuvyyo, the maker of Tablo Over-the- Air (OTA) DVRs for cord cutters, has announced the release of a native Tablo app for Samsung Smart TVs.

With this new app, Tablo OTA DVRs now offer support for all major Smart TV operating systems, including Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, LG webOS, and Samsung TIZEN. The Tablo Samsung TIZEN Smart TV app is fully optimized for lean-back viewing and will enable users to discover, schedule, record, and stream both live and recorded broadcast television programs on their big screen using their TV’s own remote.

“Tablo offers the widest breadth of fully-functional DVR app support of any Over-the- Air TV solution on the market,” says Grant Hall, CEO at Nuvyyo. “Now more than ever, Tablo gives cord cutters the opportunity to enjoy their favorite TV programs including network dramas, comedies, news, and sports like the Olympics from channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox, on any screen, anytime, anywhere - including Samsung TIZEN Smart TVs.”

The native Tablo app for Samsung Smart TVs powered by the TIZEN operating system provides access to Tablo’s content discovery, live playback, and DVR functions including pause, rewind, fast forward, and series recording in a format designed specifically for big screen TVs. Consumers in the U.S. with Samsung Smart TVs with model years starting in 2015, and running the TIZEN operating system, will be able to benefit from the full Tablo experience.


AVAD LLC, a national provider of solutions for the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has announced its new Interactive Catalog – 2018 Audio Edition. The latest interactive catalog from AVAD provides dealers with videos, spec sheets, installation details, tools and other product information, accessible to dealers through their computers, tablets and mobile devices.

The Audio Edition joins the Video Edition, which was updated in December sets the platform to update the existing Home Automation and Accessories Editions in the coming months. AVAD’s comprehensive digital catalogs, which debuted in 2015, provides dealers with more product details than ever before while highlighting the top audio manufacturers and vendors in the industry, including AKG, Artison, Bose, BSS, Crown by Harman, DBX, Denon, Energy, Jamo, JBL Professional, Klipsch, Marantz, MartinLogan, Niles, Onkyo, Parasound, Polk, Stealth Acoustics, and Sunfire. The Interactive Catalogs includes a robust amount of audio and video components for dealers to pair solutions for any need, ranging from a commercial office or hospital to a residence or hotel. Dealers have access to product information, details, specs and more at their fingertips to provide the best on-the-job tools.


ELAN – from Nortek Security & Control – has introduced the 8.2 software update to enhance the intuitive ELAN UI and reaffirm the brand’s “your world, made simple” value proposition. 

“This update introduces several new enhancements that streamline installation for custom installers and elevate the personalized smart home experience for homeowners,” says Mike Jordan, vice president of product management, Elan. “ELAN 8.2 adds support for the new ELAN Remote, and includes new Alarm, Views Theme, IR Library management updates and AVR Refresh features, along with several performance improvements.”

According to Jordan, there are also several other newly added features to the updated software.

“All new ELAN devices will include ELAN Discovery, making it easier than ever to install an ELAN system,” states Jordan. “And devices like the upcoming ELAN Surveillance NVR/Cameras and  ELAN Thermostat, which may be on a separate IP range from the controller, can be simply configured within ELAN Discovery by selecting the ‘Install’ button next to the device. It has never been easier for the integrator to set up an ELAN system.” 


Klipsch and Jamo audio companies and wholly-owned subsidiaries of VOXX International Corporation, have announced IP Ethernet network control drivers from Control4, Crestron, and RTI now communicate with and command their powerful DSP amplifiers for seamless control and sound.

The new control driver provides two-way communication between the Klipsch or Jamo brand DSP amplifiers and the control system, allowing command issuance for full control of input/output routing and selection through the control system, as well as channel gain setting and muting. Feedback from the amplifier can be visualized on the control system’s display, giving the end user a convenient way to fully control and optimize their audio experience. Additionally, the driver allows programmed automation events to control the amplifier and react to audio commands, all via the Klipsch or Jamo amplifer's RJ-45 port.

The Klipsch KDA-1000 and KDA-500 DSP, and Jamo JDA-500 amplifiers offer class G power and performance in a one rack unit solution for any residential or commercial installation. Sound optimized EQ presents for most Klipsch and Jamo commercial and residential speakers, low impedance and 70V/100V compatibility with distributed line applications, and balanced and unbalanced I/O that can be matrixed make the Klipsch and Jamo DSP amplifiers flexible for a variety of installations. 


Global Caché, a manufacturer of IP, WiFi, and HTTP enabling connectivity products for control and automation, and Luxul, a manufacturer of IP networking solutions for CEDIA professionals, announced they have formed an alliance to ensure their combined products provide hassle-free integration.

By employing Domotz technology, built-in to the award winning Epic series of wired and wireless routers, Luxul products instantly recognize Global Caché devices, allowing seamless remote monitoring and management capability.


Feb. 5

Crestron, a global manufacturer of enterprise control and automation technologies, has announced the upcoming release of its Pyng platform's support of video control integration and all the benefits of Crestron DigitalMedia. The update makes it simple to configure and control the full Crestron smart home experience, including control of lights, shades, audio, door locks, security systems, thermostats, and now video. 

“The addition of video and DM support elevates the power of Crestron Pyng to an entirely new level for homeowners and Crestron integrators, alike, making it possible to modify scenes, schedules, TV presets, and much more,” says Michael Short, global residential marketing manager, Crestron.The new release will support display and source control, room and source selection, volume control for groups and other rooms, video routing via DM and DM NVX Series, audio and video grouping, user profiles, and TV presets based on zip code and provider.


RTI, a global control and automation manufacturer for residential and commercial settings, has announced a new integrated remote monitoring solution. RTiQ is a complete remote management solution for RTI systems that makes it simple for dealers to monitor their clients' AV installations.

Available for free to RTI dealers, RTiQ can be configured to monitor components controlled by an RTI XP control processor. Dealers can monitor the status of these devices via a dashboard from anywhere in the world and receive email and text notifications that alert them if a failure occurs. They can then remotely trigger an action to restore the failed system or component. Customizable actions include anything the control system is capable of, whether t's rebooting devices, running macros, or sending commands.


Russound, a manufacturer of multiroom audio systems, has recently added a new service to its Russound Certified Installer (RCI) program. RCI professionals now have access to a dedicated status page on the company’s site that provides regular updates on any issues concerning streaming services, connected devices and drivers, and Russound cloud services.

“As more technologies and products converge under one roof, compatibility issues can arise at any time,” says Charlie Porritt, CEO, Russound. “Our new status page ensures that our installers will be aware of the current status of Russound products and connected services without having to first call the company, saving valuable time on the job site.” The new site allows Russound Certified Installers to not only find out about any issues that may be affecting their customers, but also lets them sign up for notifications when a status should change or a fix become available for any known issues, minimizing any time needed for troubleshooting or tech support for known issues.


Feb. 2

Primephonic, the CD-quality streaming service dedicated to classical music, has agreed to a deal which will see the platform made available on the BluOS operating system this Spring, in both the United Kingdom and United States.

BluOS, developed by Lenbrook International, is a high-resolution multiroom audio ecosystem that allows enabled devices from NAD, Bluesound, and soon Dali Loudspeakers, to stream from a range of music services. As the latest service to announce compatability, Primephonic will join the likes of Spotify, Tidal and Amazon Music on the platform.

Via the BluOS app, US and UK listeners will be able to stream 16-bit FLAC (CD) quality classical music from one place across one or multiple devices to help deliver the ultimate classical listening experience in the home.

The partnership will also extend the BluOS experience for classical music lovers by integrating Primephonic’s unique metadata system, tailored to the specific needs of the classical music genre.

“Since our launch last year we have been committed to finding as many wonderfully digital ways as possible to listen to classical music, so we are naturally very excited to team up with BluOS," says Thomas Steffens, CEO of Primephonic. "We want to deliver an unbeatable solution and multi-room listening is becoming increasingly pivotal to the way we consume music at home.”


Feb. 1

Capitol, a distributor serving the residential and light commercial integrators, has announced that D-Link home and office networking products are now available to customers throughout the country.

"D-Link is, quite literally, all things networking,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “They offer some of the most reliable networking products in the business, making it a reliable go-to brand for integration specialists in the field.”


Luxul has announced new firmware updates that include improved Domotz functionality. 

These products now offer firmware updates:

  • Luxul Epic 3 wireless router firmware release 6.1.2
  • Luxul ABR-4500 router firmware update 6.1.2
  • Luxul XBR-4500 router firmware update 6.1.2

Luxul firmware updates can be found here.


Roku Inc., and YouTube have announced the availability of YouTube TV on select Roku devices. YouTube TV allows Roku users to stream live sports, local and national news, and TV shows the moment they air on live TV.

For $35/month following a free trial, users will get access to live TV from nearly 50 networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, Telemundo and more. Sports and premium networks like SHOWTIME, Shudder, Sundance Now and Fox Soccer Plus are also available for an additional monthly charge.

“We are thrilled to bring YouTube TV to our customers,” states Tedd Cittadine, vice president, content distribution, Roku. “YouTube TV connects Roku users with great live TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks in a channel built specifically for TVs.”

“We love TV—from the shows to live sports to the can’t miss events. We built YouTube TV to give consumers a better way to experience this great content,” adds Christian Oestlien, product management director, YouTube TV. “The way people watch TV is ever-evolving, and expanding our reach through the Roku platform was a great fit.”

Roku dealers and users can go here to add the channel. 


Jan. 31

Amazon has announced that its Alexa device will now have the capability to send texts via voice commands.

Commenting on the newly added service, Luke Starbuck, vice president of marketing, Linc, says the text option provides the ability for more manufacturers to integrate their products and services into people's lives. 

“Alexa’s new capability allowing consumers to send SMS messages to contacts using their voice will only accelerate regular usage and additional sales of voice devices. This announcement also demonstrates, yet again, the unrelenting increase in the utility value of voice devices. The growing functionality from Alexa and additional voice-assistants will mean there will be more devices in shoppers’ kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms moving forward, creating an opportunity for brands to be a real part of consumers’ daily home lives," states Starbuck.

"Brands that capitalize on delivering momentary touchpoints and interactions with voice devices throughout the shopping journey will benefit by increasing the frequency of engagement along with customer satisfaction and shopping frequency.” 


Valens, the company that developed the HDBaseT format, has announced the availability of the VS200 and VS210 chips to its Colligo family of products. 

The company says the VS200 enables the distribution of HD video, audio and control over a single Cat-6 cable for up to 70 meters, or 4K video as far as 40 meters. The chip is also compliant with HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 with HDCP copyright protection. 

Valens' VS210 chip offers the same features as the VS200 chip, and it provides additional support for USB 2.0. 


Jan. 30

ProSource, a national audio, video, and integration buying group, has announced the addition of Herman Integration Services and iPoint Business Management Software to the ProSource member suite of services designed for the AV industry.

Herman Integration Services specializes in providing install labor for AV systems integrators nationwide, driving more business by eliminating the time and expense of hiring installers directly. By hiring just the labor resources needed, when needed, Herman can lower overall payroll expense, cut down on unutilized labor hours, reduce the hours spent hiring new employees, and eliminate the time spent on training.

iPoint is a full-service business management solution that provides the most comprehensive toolset available to create processes and procedures guaranteed to streamline business operations and deliver better business results. Areas of expertise include workflow process, cash flow management, marketing, inventory, communication automation, business process management, and documentation.

"The addition of Herman Integration Services and iPoint Business Management Software to the ProSource suite of services rounds out the variety of assets that support a member's financial, marketing, and business processes and operations," says Dave Workman, CEO and president of ProSource. "We encourage our members to sharpen their focus on running their businesses with tools that provide a measurement of their success."


Jan. 29

AudioControl, a manufacturer of audio solutions for the residential, commercial and automotive markets has announced that European speaker manufacturer GRAY 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 high-performance 8 and 16-channel amplifiers, as well as the new D-Series D2800 and D4600 that will become available during the first quarter of 2018 help integrators create state-of-the-art whole-house entertainment/commercial audio systems.

DSP profiles are now available for the GRAY C40, C50 and S80 architectural loudspeakers and subwoofer. Integrators using both AudioControl DSP-enabled Director M-Series amplifiers with any of these Graysound loudspeaker models will be able to take advantage of the profiles, as well as the fine-tuning capabilities of these amplifiers to deliver a superlative entertainment experience for their clients states AudioControl. 


Jan. 26

DTS, a global developer of high-definition audio solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation, has announced the integration of DTS Virtual:X post-processing technology in a wide range of MStar Semiconductor’s smart TV system-on-chip (SOC) platforms. MStar’s adoption of DTS Virtual:X technology allows TV vendors to deliver stunning virtualized immersive sound to consumers from any content. Televisions with DTS Virtual:X technology are expected to be available in early 2018.

“We are excited to partner with the number one TV SOC provider, MStar, to allow TV vendors to include DTS Virtual:X technology in their products through MStar’s SOC chipsets,” says Joanna Skrdlant, general manager, home audio, Xperi. “DTS Virtual:X technology continues to be adopted by leading brands who wish to provide consumers an immersive sound experience through sound bars, A/V receivers, and now, TVs. We look forward to continuing this collaboration and working with TV OEM partners to deliver the DTS Virtual:X experience to consumers.”


Jan. 25

Tablo Over-the-Air DVRs, including its two-Tuner, four-Tuner and Tablo DUAL will be eligible for a firmware update (2.2.18) rolling out over the coming week which brings more flexible scheduling and recording management capabilities to its Tablo apps.

The Tablo firmware release adds some customer requested advanced recording management features such the ability to set recordings on episodes or full series to start up to 10 mins early and end as much as three hours after the scheduled program end-time.

Tablo’s new advanced recording features can be applied to single airings, or to an entire series and, as part of Tablo’s continually expanding advanced feature set, are available to all customers with an active Tablo subscription. 

“Industry experts have already singled Tablo out as the best OTA DVR for most cord cutters, yet we remain focused on making our Tablo app experience even better through performance and feature-set improvements,” says Grant Hall, CEO at Nuvyyo, the makers of Tablo. “With these powerful advanced recording features, we believe Tablo now offers best mix of feature set, ease-of-use, and cross-device support of any antenna DVR solution.”

Once updated to the latest firmware (2.2.18), owners of Tablo products can access advanced recording settings via the Tablo Channel on Roku and Tablo apps for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, NVIDIA SHIELD TV, PC/MAC, and mobile devices. Over the coming months, these features will be made available on additional Tablo-supported devices and Tablo platforms including the Tablo DVR ENGINE for NVIDIA SHIELD TV.


Jan. 24

Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), a hybrid retail and custom integration buying group, has partnered with Plantation, Fla.-based RoseWater Energy Group (RoseWater) to offer its members a special program on the company’s residential power management hub solutions. 


Azione Unlimited buying group announces the addtion of Atlona as a new vendor partner. Atlona is a global manufacturer of A/V and IT distribution and connectivity solutions. Atlona provides products that can help Azione dealers stay ahead of the curve, delivering simple yet robust solutions for any residential or light commercial application. The company’s award-winning line of matrix switchers, converters, and extenders pair easily with any control system, giving Azione dealers more options for whole-home AV connectivity, smart home systems, and more.


Jan. 23

Intelligent Audio Products (IAP), makers of branded and OEM indoor and outdoor speakers, speaker cabinets and audio furniture has taken on a new project for VPI Industries of New Jersey, producing rosewood bases for its Prime Signature turntables.

“Our family-owned business producing these Rosewood bases in our U.S. factory for another family-owned high-end U.S. audio manufacturer just feels right, and adds another dimension to the ultra-premium Prime Signature turntable,” says Art Powers, president of Intelligent Audio Products. “This is a perfect project for IAP, and the kind of assignment we’re now taking on.”


RTI, a control and automation manufacturer for residential and commercial settings, has announced a two-way driver for the Yamaha MusicCast wireless multiroom audio system. Developed by RTI, the new driver allows dealers to easily integrate the complete lineup of MusicCast-enabled audio components into RTI automation and control systems, providing customers with convenient control over their home audio experience.

The driver can now control all MusicCast products introduced since 2015 — more than 50 models in total. In addition to wireless speakers that can be used as standalone streaming audio systems, the MusicCast platform includes AV receivers, a wide range of soundbars, wireless streaming amps, Hi-Fi receivers, and powered network speakers. With the new driver, users can select rooms and sources, and browse their music library and streaming services, all from the RTI interface of their choice. For integrators, the driver makes it easy to provide this functionality with the auto programming capabilities of Integration Designer® APEX software.

"Yamaha has long been a favorite brand for RTI integrators, and with MusicCast, the company has brought high-end media player functionality into a new range of products," says Mike Everett, vice president of global sales, RTI. 


Jan. 18

ProSource, a national audio, video, and integration buying group, has announced the addition of a new program available to ProSource members that features remote monitoring, networking, power and surveillance solutions from the Araknis, Luma, OvrC, Visualint, and WattBox SnapAV brands. Each of these categories represents growth for ProSource group members, and the buying group will cover the news during its upcoming ProSource Summit in March.

"All of these brands are best-in-class assets that put our members out front in a competitive marketplace. Systems monitoring and surveillance are projected to be two of our highest growth categories in 2018," says Dave Workman, CEO and president of ProSource.


Jan. 17

Fusion Research has added U.S.-based iHeartRadio stations to its Summit Music Servers.  This brings back many of the local radio stations that used to be available through the TuneIn service that Fusion also supports. 

To get the service, dealers need to download the latest configuration utility, which will be available shortly from Fusion’s website.  

“We are excited to have this service available for our client’s customers who want to listen to US based radio stations”, says Robert Lew, audio product manager, Fusion Research, “this is just the first of several new services we will be adding in this first quarter of 2018.”


ADT revealed at CES 2018 that it will expand its voice control offering of ADT Pulse to Google Home. This means customers will be able to utilize Google Voice Assistant to integrate ADT security automation skills on the platform. Functions that customers can perform through the ADT Pulse app include arming and disarming their alarm system as well as control 
of lighting, locks, thermostats and cameras.


Jan. 16

Custom AV Distribution is now offering its dealer network JVC projectors to complete a total home cinema package. 


EnGenius Technologies, Inc., a provider of networking solutions for residential and small to mid-size businesses has introduced its new Wi-Fi planning tool: ezWiFi Planner.

The latest offering from EnGenius allows users to design, analyze, and optimize their wireless networks. This intuitive and easy-to-use site-design tool is offered license-free to EnGenius partners, setting it apart from comparable industry tools.

"We are thrilled to offer this exciting new tool to our valued business partners," states MC Leo, general manager at EnGenius Technologies. "This complimentary tool will increase efficiency and boost business results, at no cost to registered partners."

The ezWiFi Planner is ideal for designing optimal performance with indoor and outdoor projects. The ezWiFi Planners algorithms intelligently calculates optimal coverage area with ideal access point choice and placement. The ezWiFi Planner offers color coded heatmaps to visualize signal strength and coverage of your deployment. 


Jan. 10

DISH has announced that its customers will have the ability to watch Hands-Free TV using the Google Assistant in the coming months. This marks the first time that DISH customers with a Hopper, Joey or Wally can use voice to control their TV in multiple languages, including English and Spanish.

“Throughout 2017, DISH took major strides toward building a suite of voice control options for our customers, including a new DISH voice remote,” says Niraj Desai, vice president of product management, Dish. “We’re pleased to be working with the Google Assistant to offer our customers the ability to control Hopper’s video experiences through the Assistant on speakers and phones.”

Starting in the first half of this year, DISH customers with a broadband-connected Hopper DVR (all generations), Joey client (all models) or Wally single-tuner HD receiver can use the Google Assistant to control their TV when paired with the Assistant on speakers like Google Home, Android phones or iPhones.

The Google Assistant will be able to help you navigate, play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and search TV content based on channel, title, actor and genre.


Luxul, has announced that its KRACK firmware updates are now complete and available for its lineup of wireless routers and access points. Security patches that fix this Wi-Fi vulnerability on the following products can be found under Firmware Updates on the company's website.

Wireless routers:
• XWR-3100 
• XWR-1200
• XWR-1750
Wireless access points:
• XAP-1510 
• XAP-1410 
• XAP-310 
• XAP-1240 
• XAP-1500 

• XAP-1210
• XAP-1230
• XAP-810
• XAP-1440
• XWO-BAP1


Luxul explains that KRACK is essentially a weakness in the WPA2 system, which secures the Wi-Fi connection between a router and a computer. KRACK enables attackers to eavesdrop on unencrypted traffic or slip malware into otherwise legitimate websites when the WPA2 system breaks down. For an attack to happen, the attacker would have to physically be within Wi-Fi range to carry it out. Even though nearly every device that uses Wi-Fi is vulnerable, an attack would require a lot of preparation and be targeted very specifically, dramatically reducing the risk for an average person to be affected.

Upon hearing about this vulnerability in early October, Luxul's engineering team held meetings to determine a plan of action and quickly developed a solution to protect its customers. An elite team of Luxul engineers worked on all security patches keeping its dealers informed of all progress.


Klipsch, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corporation, has announced that its wireless speakers and amplifiers will support the Amazon Alexa Connected Speaker APIs (Application Protocol Interfaces), allowing users to control their speakers and multi-room audio systems from any Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo or Dot.

The company has incorporated the latest technologies into its speakers so listeners can access, enjoy, and control their music and movies in one room or throughout the home. Any of the Klipsch DTS Play-Fi equipped speakers in the Klipsch Stream wireless multiroom audio system: Reference RSB-14 and RSB-8 sound bars, Heritage Wireless speaker The Three, RW-1 wireless speaker, and Gate and PowerGate amplifiers. 

Current owners of any products in the Klipsch Stream series will require a free firmware update through the Klipsch Stream app to enable functionality of Alexa voice control. The firmware update will be available early 2018.


Jan. 9

Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is now accepting applications for its first class scheduled to begin this July in Philadelphia. This is a core component of Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs’ mission to cultivate founders and teams who are serious about developing the next generation of media, entertainment, and connectivity companies. Startups from around the world are encouraged to apply by visiting https://techstars.com/comcast.

Startups selected for the 13-week accelerator program will receive one-on-one mentoring from Techstars, a worldwide entrepreneur network that supports entrepreneurs through access to mentorship and capital, and will work directly with mentors and product experts from across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, film studios, cable networks, and Xfinity products and services. Approximately 10 startups will be selected for the program.

“We look forward to bringing some of the world’s brightest entrepreneurs to Philadelphia and working side-by-side with our partners at Techstars, while leveraging Comcast NBCUniversal’s unique set of assets to help take their businesses to the next level,” states Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer, Comcast Cable.

"We are thrilled to pair up Techstars' proven mentor-driven accelerator program and worldwide network with Comcast's deep vertical breadth and expertise,” adds Techstar's Maya Baratz, who serves as the managing director of the accelerator. 

“We believe this unique combination will extend the reach of our ongoing commitment to fueling the growth of the most talented teams around the country and the world who will join us."


Klipsch, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corporation, has
announced that its next generation of Heritage Wireless tabletop speakers will have the Google Assistant built in. New Klipsch Heritage Wireless speakers

The Three and The One with the Google Assistant built in blend nostalgic mid-century modern design, award-winning acoustic performances, and robust connectivity with the addition of a personal, helpful assistant.


The Klipsch Heritage Wireless speakers The Three and The One with the Google Assistant built in are designed to make daily tasks faster and easier. Functionality includes: the ability to ask questions and get information, stream music, hear the news, weather and traffic, add to shopping list, control smart devices, make a phone call, and more. 


Fusion Research has announced that it has a Creston approved free music server driver that utilizes Crestron’s SmartObject Media Player interface as well as their recently released Generic Media Server Symbol.

This driver is available for use on all of Fusion’s line of Summit music servers, which were first introduced in August 2016.  Fusion’s current line-up of audiophile-grade music servers include the Solo, a single source piece with a Burr-Brown DAC for $499 and the Duet and the 1U rackmountable two-source piece at $799.  Music services include Spotify, Pandora, Tune-in, the commercial music service Sound Machine and soon, SiriusXM.  Fusion also features AirPlay and an automatic iTunes integration that synchronizes and backs up client’s iTunes collections onto any USB hard drive attached to the music server.

“Having Fusion’s line of music servers available for easy integration into Crestron systems is great for our dealers,” says Robert Bavolacco, manager, partner programs, Crestron. “their products are sold only through the integration channel and it gives our dealers yet another quality choice when meeting their customer’s music requirements.”


Jan. 8

Sigma Designs, a provider of intelligent system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for smart home IoT, has unveiled its new 700-Series Z-Wave platform, which include numerous performance and technological enhancements in energy-efficiency and RF performance, while being cost-effective, built to power the context-aware smart home.

Z-Wave 700-Series is a long range, low power and future-proof hardware platform with integrated software tools and building blocks enabling a whole new generation of Z-Wave sensor devices. 700-Series will drive the battery-powered device trend, empowering Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems to utilize sensor data and make smart homes smarter, safer, and more connected.

"Sigma’s Z-Wave 700-Series chip will completely reshape the meaning of smart home. It solves for many of today’s technological barriers, while being the most flexible, interoperable platform, bringing smart home functionality to a new level,” says Raoul Wijgergangs, vice president of Sigma Designs' Z-Wave Business Unit. “700-Series opens opportunities for new classes of sensors that weren’t possible before, while making remarkable improvements to existing device categories. 700-Series is creating a path to full home installations, moving from tens of Z-Wave devices to hundreds of Z-Wave devices per home. Our new platform assures the environment that will take homes from smart to truly intelligent.”


Funai Electric Co., LTD, the exclusive North American licensee for Philips consumer televisions and home video products, has announced that Technicolor HDR will be integrated into U.S. market 2019 Philips televisions in conjunction with the launch of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard.

HDR technology delivers brighter highlights, deeper blacks and more image detail to provide a more realistic TV image. Currently, HDR content is available via streaming and on some Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Work is underway to include HDR in the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard, expected to be commercially available in late 2018 or early 2019, which will allow over-the-air broadcasters to deliver HDR content, including live events such as sports.


AudioControl, a manufacturer of residential, commercial and automotive markets has announced that Dynaudio 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 high-performance amplifiers, as well as the new D-Series D2800 and D4600 that will become available quarter one (Q1) 2018 create the whole-house entertainment/commercial audio platform for professional integrators.

DSP profiles are now available for Dynaudio Studio Series custom installation products, which include the S4-C65, S4-C80, S4-W65 and S4-W80. New speaker models from Dynaudio, available Q1, 2018, will also be profiled as part of the Sound Partners Program. Integrators using both AudioControl DSP-enabled Director M-Series and D-Series amplifiers with any of these Dynaudio Studio Series loudspeaker models will be able to take advantage of the profiles as well as the fine-tuning capabilities of these amplifiers to deliver a superlative entertainment experience for their clients.

“The fine-tuning potential afforded via the Sound Partners Program and Dynaudio's collaboration with AudioControl will ensure that our incredibly high-performance architectural loudspeakers can realize their utmost performance capabilities in any installation, even in the most challenging environments,” states Michael Manousselis, vice president operations, Dynaudio North & South America.

“We’re simply thrilled to be part of the SPP and to be able to offer this extreme level of engineered system optimization to our dealer and integrator network.”  


Tile, a smart location company, has announced expansions to the Tile Platform with several new partnerships that includes the large consumer and professional audio company Bose

“With the Tile Platform, we’re extending the finding power of Tile and its global community to leading brands spanning audio, travel, transportation and even digital health management,” says Mike Farley, CEO and co-founder of Tile. “Whether it’s a pair of wireless headphones, a suitcase filled with precious memories, or a life-saving connected inhaler, we want to make sure consumers can find their items no matter where they are, whether under the couch or halfway around the world.”

Beginning late spring 2018, Bose SoundSport Wireless and QuietControl headphones will come with Tile technology embedded inside, allowing users to ring their headphones when misplaced or tap into the Tile community when truly lost. 


Jan. 4

DTS, a developer of high-definition audio solutions, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation, has announced the first DTS Play-Fi-enabled wireless speakers to support the Works with Amazon Alexa functionality. Initial products supported include the Pioneer Elite Smart Speaker F4, Onkyo Smart Speaker P3 and the Phorus PS10. Additional DTS Play-Fi-enabled products, including the Klipsch Stream wireless multiroom audio lineup, as well as McIntosh Laboratories, MartinLogan and THIEL Audio, will add the capability by the end of Q1 2018.

Available via a Works with Amazon Alexa over-the-air firmware update, consumers can now control audio playback on select DTS Play-Fi products from another room using an Amazon Echo, Dot or Show. This functionality allows users to verbally ask Alexa to play a song in a specific room, groups of rooms or the whole house, adjust volume, skip the track forward, mute, pause and stop the music.

“We continue to expand our range of Alexa voice control solutions available to licensees, making DTS Play-Fi the first open wireless multi-room audio platform to offer both integrated Alexa Voice Services (AVS) and Works with Amazon Alexa,” says Dannie Lau, general manager, DTS Play-Fi, at Xperi. “We look forward to continuing to forge a strong relationship with Amazon, the most widely recognized and adopted voice service on the market.”


Jan. 3

Hisense, a global manufacturer, has announced that Alexa capabilities will be available on select models of Hisense 4K Smart TVs for the first time. This is part of Hisense’s larger initiative to make interacting with Smart TVs easier and more intuitive than ever before. Alexa will be available on select models of the 2018 Hisense 4K Smart TV lineup, including the Hisense 100-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Laser TV. 

Hisense’s Smart TV platform makes accessing built-in apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, TikiLIVE and others easy, according to the company. In addition, Alexa-enabled Hisense 4K Smart TVs will now offer a wide variety of voice features right out of the box. Alexa will help users control certain primary functions, including voice commands, changing inputs and controlling volume.

Additionally, the Alexa voice service seamlessly connects to music services like iHeartRadio, Pandora, as well as thousands of Alexa skills. Skills allow Alexa-enabled Hisense 4K Smart TV users to do everything from shopping for groceries and gifts to even ordering a pizza. Alexa will also enable users to connect to other smart home products so that they can control the lights, turn off the air conditioner, operate other IoT devices that work with Alexa and more.


Metra Home Theater Group, a provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, has announced a partnership with AiN (Authorized Integrators Network) Group, providing AiN dealers with access to products and technologies from Metra Home Theater Group.

AiN Group will offer Metra Home Theater Group’s line of home theater products and accessories to its valued dealers. AiN Group was built by and currently made up of consumer electronics dealers serving the residential and commercial building industries. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with AiN Group after years of work and development,” says Jessy Crabb, general manager for Metra Home Theater Group. “One of our goals at Metra Home Theater Group was to bec


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