Press Release

Product Briefs: Crestron, LG, Pyng; New CEDIA App; Nextivity, Alliance Corp.

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


Product Briefs: Crestron, LG, Pyng; New CEDIA App; Nextivity, Alliance Corp.
CE Pro Editors · April 25, 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.


SEE MORE NEW-PRODUCT BRIEFS, PAST & PRESENT

April 25

 

Crestron, a global manufacturer of enterprise control and automation solutions, has announced it will enhance its Crestron Pyng home automation platform to now include support for third-party A/V devices. Crestron has once again partnered with LG Electronics to extend IP control of its displays into the residential market for LG's 2017 and 2018 series consumer OLED, SUPER UHD and UHD TV’s.  LG’s TVs are the first displays to be included in this release. Support for Pyng video is scheduled to release in the summer.

“Choosing LG as a launch partner for this enhancement was a no-brainer.” LG and Crestron have partnered to provide IP control of their displays for several years with great success in the Enterprise market, and when we were looking to extend that into the residential market, the decision to launch with LG was immediate,” says Bob Bavolacco, partnerships manager for Crestron.


CEDIA members can now connect to the CEDIA Online Community on-the-go with the all-new CEDIA mobile app. The app provides a space for CEDIA members to engage with their peers and participate in lively discussions.  

This development is part of CEDIA’s ongoing commitment to offer programs that make it easier for members to connect with one another, both in their own region and worldwide. Following the launch of the CEDIA Online Community in 2016, the online platform has grown extensively, allowing members to engage with one another year-round. 

The online forum gives members a platform to freely discuss industry news, share ideas, and provide advice to their peers. Members also have access to a variety of downloadable resources available on the CEDIA Online Community. All CEDIA members are automatically added to the online community and are given a unique profile that can be personalized. Similar to other social media communities, this makes it easy for members to search and connect with those they have previously met or would like to meet. 

“CEDIA puts its members in the center of a thriving community where connections are formed and new opportunities for growth can be tapped into,” says Jenny Scott, director of member engagement, CEDIA. “The mobile app offers greater accessibility to this thriving community, and we’re pleased to make this available to our members worldwide.”   

CEDIA members can download the app by searching for “Membercentric” in the app store. Once membercentric has been downloaded, the member will simply need to search for CEDIA and log into their community profile to access the app version of the online community. The CEDIA app is available for mobile devices, including iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices.


April 24

Nextivity Inc., has announced that Alliance Corporation is the newest master distributor for its Cel-Fi QUATRA in-building enterprise cellular system. As a full-service distributor of products to the wireless telecommunications industry, Alliance will leverage its partnerships with telecommunications contractors, in-building wireless VARs, and integrators in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to extend the reach of Nextivity’s Cel-Fi QUATRA Active DAS Hybrid in the middleprise.

“Cel-Fi QUATRA is consistently acknowledged by our channel partners as a disruptive in-building wireless solution and emerging category leader in the middleprise market,” says Werner Sievers, CEO of Nextivity. “To continue this momentum, expand our distribution, and capture an even greater share of the market, we are partnering with Alliance – a top wireless distributor in Canada with a rapidly growing US network of resellers and integrators.”


April 23

BrandSource has announced a partnership with STORIS, a provider of software solutions for the appliance, bedding, furniture and electronics industries.

“This partnership can benefit members in many different ways, but perhaps the most important is to be able to provide a fully comprehensive solution to help a dealer manage their business,” says Chad Evans, general manager of Merchandising for BrandSource. “This adds to efficiency, which in turn adds to profitability and success.”

STORIS, based in New Jersey, provides commerce solutions such as serial tracking, integrated customer services, in-store and mobile POS, inventory management, merchandising tools eCommerce, in-store kiosk and business intelligence.

“STORIS is happy to partner with BrandSource to bring technology solutions to the group,” said Doug Culmone, chief operating officer, STORIS. “We know our clients have found value in what BrandSource delivers and we look to leverage our technology platform to give them a competitive edge.”


Just Add Power (J+P), a manufacturer of Ultra HD over IP solutions, has announced that its 3G Ultra HD Over IP series of solutions now deliver Ultra HD video signals over IP with just 16 ms of latency from source to screen. The company explains that its products leverage a common IP infrastructure to allow integrators to choose the model that best meet their clients' hardware and budget requirements.

"We recognize that integrators have a lot of options when it comes to latency and making the best decision to support 4K installations," saysTaft Stricklin, sales team manager, Just Add Power. "We strive to educate our customers about the technology and be totally transparent in our solutions. While it's impossible for any video distribution system to achieve zero latency, J+P stands by our impressive 16-millisecond latency. It's so low, it's undetectable to the human eye. This meets end users' expectation of high-quality video and expands the value of our 3G Ultra HD Over IP platform."


April 20

Since the introduction of its Multi-Room Music Systems in 2016, CasaTunes states that the popularity of the product has enabled it to streamline its product line. 

The Multi-Room Music Systems are easy to install and scale to as many as 36 zones, and as a result of the products ease of use and features, the company is discontinuing its CT8+, CT-12, CT-16, CT-20, & CT-24 multizone audio products. 

CasaTunes emphasizes that it will continue to service and support the soon-to-be-discontinued music servers, and it will continue to manufacture its CT-1,2,3 & 4+ music server products. 


April 19

DISH customers can enjoy a free preview of HBO this weekend (April 20-23), just in time for the return of Westworld. Season 2 premieres at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 22 on DISH channel 300.

 


Providing a single solution that supports, sales and technicians for using multiple management platforms is Connect ONE from Connected Technologies, LLC.

Cloud-hosted Connect ONE provides a complete package—and an enabling technology for managed services and new monthly recurring revenue streams. It lets security dealers offer security, access control, mobile credential access, video and critical environmental monitoring and more from one simplified user interface. The company emphasizes there are no upfront costs or software to install and maintain and dealers only pay for the services they use.

Connect One provides functionality and user features that include:

  •  Connect ONE interfaces with the complete line of Bosch Security, DMP, Elk Products and Honeywell Turbo controls and provides an easy way to add managed services through the cloud.
  •  DoorBird Video Doorbell integration for residential and commercial customers to notify users' smartphones when an entrance button is pressed. Using the app, they can view live video, open doors and even initiate two-way-audio.
  • The Connect ONE Ticket Module streamlines the tracking of critical event responses, incidents and repair tickets at one or multiple locations. It interfaces directly with the Connect ONE security system application or can be deployed as a standalone service, with no control or on-site equipment.
  • ScanPass Mobile Credential convenience application provides quick access control in a barcode-sticker solution that doesn’t require card readers or door controller hardware. Any smartphone, tablet or other connected device provides entrance accessibility.
  • Connect ONE also supports popular Nest indoor and outdoor cameras, allowing users to view and control all cameras from the single interface, even multiple locations at the same time.
  • The Connect ONE Gateway Module gets security dealers entrenched in the growing internet of Things. The module lets dealers track temperature, humidity and critical environmental devices for agricultural, hospitality and other vertical markets. Emails and reports sent in real time alert managers with information about out-of-normal ranges or levels.

Silicon Labs and Sigma Designs, Inc., have announced the completion of Silicon Labs’ acquisition of Sigma Designs’ Z-Wave business, including a team of approximately 100 employees for $240 million in an all-cash transaction.

Z-Wave is a developer of mesh networking technology for the smart home. More than 2,400 certified, interoperable Z-Wave devices are available from the Z-Wave Alliance of more than 700 manufacturers and service providers worldwide.

“Adding Z-Wave to Silicon Labs’ extensive IoT connectivity portfolio allows us to deliver a unified vision for the wireless technologies underpinning the smart home market,” says Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs. “A secure, interoperable customer experience is at the heart of how smart home products are designed, deployed and managed. Our smart home vision is one where multiple technologies work securely together, where any device using any of our connectivity options easily joins the home network, and where security updates and feature upgrades occur automatically.”


April 18

Tributaries' UHDT TITAN-10 passive, all-copper 10-meter HDMI cable has been certified by DPL Labs and now the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) to support 18Gbps data rates. 

Through its ability to support data rates as high as 18Gbps, the UHDT-10 HDMI cable enables integrators to setup AV systems capable of delivering 4K at 60Hz video, along with high dynamic range (HDR) content to provide homeowners with a state-of-the-art AV experience. 

The passive cable employs a new metallurgical design that minimizes signal loss for distances as far as 10 meters (32 feet) to allow integrators to employ the cable between AV receivers and projectors or displays.


April 17

Capitol, a national consumer electronics distribution source for light commercial and residential system integrators, has announced that it is now offering a selection of TVs from Haier America’s Digital Products Group.

“Haier TVs are among the most popular in the market, and certainly one of the most requested by our customers,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “In particular, Haier’s UHD models achieve a level of performance and intuitive usability that we typically associate with higher priced products. With 4K sales increasing at a rapid pace, Haier TVs are poised to add to our customers’ profitability throughout the year.”


Cosemi Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of high-speed connectivity solutions, has announced that its HDMI 2.0 active optical cables (AOCs) have been certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for 18Gb/s performance. Dedicated to improving the quality of electronic imaging, the ISF conducts extensive field and lab testing to ensure visually superior, color-rich images and stunning clarity.

According to Dr. Nguyen X. Nguyen, CEO for Cosemi, achieving ISF certification for its HDMI 2.0 AOCs up to 20 meters in length brings an even higher level of confidence to users.

“Our goal is to bring the unparalleled benefits of fiber optics to a broader audience with our best-in-class AOCs,” notes Nguyen. “Being tested and certified by an independent third-party lab not only underscores the fact that our technology makes true 4K 60 4:4:4 UHD resolution a reality, but it brings further assurance that our AOCs remain reliable under intense conditions.”

Increased bandwidth capacity, faster speeds (up to 6 Gbp lane/18 Gb/s aggregate), longer distances (up to 100 meters), are supported by Cosemi’s HDMI 2.0 AOCs. 


The SDVoE Alliance has announced that Canare Electric Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of cables, connectors, assemblies, converters and related products for the professional audio and video industry, has joined the alliance as an adopting member.

"AV over IP is the way of the future and we are proud to join the SDVoE Alliance as a member of the group proactively working toward standards and interoperability in pro AV,” says Yoshiki Chigusa, general manager at Canare. "We look forward to introducing this latest technology to our customers in our ever-expanding product portfolio.”


April 16

Qualcomm Incorporated through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has announced the Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform, featuring the Company’s first family of system-on-chips (SoCs) purpose-built for the Internet of Things (IoT) using advanced 10nm FinFET process
technology.

The QCS605 and QCS603 SoCs are engineered to deliver powerful computing for on-device camera processing and machine learning, with exceptional power and thermal efficiency, across a wide range of IoT applications. The SoCs integrate Qualcomm Technologies’ most advanced image signal processor (ISP) to date and the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, along with a heterogeneous compute architecture including a cutting-edge ARM-based multicore CPU, vector processor and GPU. The Vision Intelligence Platform also includes Qualcomm Technologies’ advanced camera processing software, machine learning and computer vision software development kits (SDKs), as well as proven Qualcomm Technologies connectivity and security technologies.

The platform is optimized to support industrial and consumer smart security cameras, sports cameras, wearable cameras, virtual reality (VR) 360 and 180 cameras, robotics, smart displays, and more.


D-Tools, Inc., a global developer of integration software, and Domotz, a provider of remote network monitoring and management software, have announced the two platforms are now more tightly integrated and that beneficial enhancements are available for immediate use.

Through this tighter integration, systems integrators, technology managers, and IT professionals will be able to seamlessly implement the DomotzPro platform to facilitate the monitoring and maintenance of systems designed in D-Tools System Integrator (SI) to bridge the gap between system design and on-going service and support.

As the AV and IT industries continue to converge, both are experiencing a rapid increase in the implementation of service-first business models and the adoption of RSM (remote systems management) technologies. To harness the power of these opportunities, integration firms, systems designers, technology managers, and IT professionals are utilizing D-Tools for estimation, design and project management capabilities, and Domotz for remote monitoring and management capabilities. 


April 13

WhyReboot—a commercial-grade networks specification company has announced that it will offer a free year of WaaS (WiFi-as-a-Service) with the purchase of select Ruckus Wave 2 Access Points (APs). 

The company states the offer provides a savings of $150 on average per AP, and it says that doesn’t include the savings from the cost of the controller or additional support licenses.

This offer also includes WhyReboot Ruckus Gold Support, now available to WhyReboot customers via WhyReboot’s status as a Ruckus Gold Support Partner (GSP).

“Whereas most other WaaS providers render their APs useless should the customer not renew service, WhyReboot’s solution is much more user-friendly,” says Bjørn Jensen, president, WhyReboot. “Customers can still use their APs should they choose not to renew WhyReboot WaaS.”

According to the company, here are a few benefits of WaaS:

  • Dashboard Provides ‘single pane of glass’ view for management: Every site is managed from a portal within a single portal, no disparate sites or VPN required
  • Full Ruckus Controller Capabilities: Based off the Ruckus Virtual Smartzone, WhyReboot WaaS features a High Scale (vSZ- H) carrier-grade WLAN controller that provides the flexibility to manage complex network architectures for networks of practically any scale
  • Low Hassle Factor: No hardware to install, no hardware to fail
  • Automatically Updated: The latest stable code is always running on APs
  • Green: No hardware means zero power consumption
  • Built-in heat maps and spectrum analysis
  • Adaptive Band Balancing: For a better end-user experience

April 10

AVidea Group (AViG), a consumer electronics manufacturer, has announced the introduction of iminate to the professional installation market. iminate will be shown for the first time in booth N3227 at InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In a move that is all too infrequent in the industry, iminate is being launched only after the products are in production with shipping set for June 2018. With more than a century in the home automation industry, the AVidea team wanted to create a smart home solution that would be easy, affordable and set up quickly.

Manufactured in Vietnam, iminate’s full suite of 14 products include electronic dimmers and motor controllers, door and window sensors, occupancy sensors, user interface devices, third party system interfaces, smart phone apps and a browser-based management dashboard. The system provides a host of unique features with the primary function of simplifying energy management and automation. All the control devices report energy usage in real-time. iminate requires no hub, meaning one product works by itself as well as it does as part of a system – so the system is easily scalable. 

“We are excited to finally announce the launch of iminate,” notes Joseph Howell, the chief executive officer of AVidea Group. “After three years in development, the mission with iminate is to provide robust, reliable automation products that simplify everything, all while being the low-cost provider in the market allowing dealers to increase profitability. While many OEM customers are taking advantage of our technology around the world, this is the first time it’s being offered to the installation community.”


Capitol, a national distribution source for residential systems and light commercial contractors, now offers a selection of Polk Audio sound bars, wireless subwoofers and Signature Series home theater speakers to its customers nationwide.

“Since the beginning, Polk Audio has stood for exceptional performance at reasonable prices,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “Their sound bars, in particular, are considered must-carry items by custom pros who sometimes need to cover a small room outside a larger whole-house installation. The sonic output of their sound bar-and-sub systems is light years ahead of what you expect from the category.”


IC Realtime, a developer of digital surveillance and security technologies, has announced the launch of a new portal designed to give security dealers tools and setup guides to add the company’s video search engine, Ella, to any job. Launched at the beginning of the year, Ella is a video search platform that uses deep learning and natural language processing to make every second of recorded surveillance video searchable via an easy to user interface. The Ella dealer portal empowers dealers deploying the Ella software with full management over Ella monthly plan creation, customer creation and enrollment, services offered, and customer payments.

“We know Ella is going to add much needed video search and advanced capabilities to surveillance projects for dealers across this industry and this portal was built to help them deploy the platform as easily as possible,” says Matt Sailor, CEO for IC Realtime. “Not only does Ella give dealers a powerful offering to upsell to new and existing customers but it also enables a direct route to RMR. We’ve looked at all the industry use cases for Ella and through the Ella portal, we’ve given the dealer full management over the plans they create, the services offered within those packages and customer payments.”


The Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of leading global companies deploying Z-Wave, has announced a new program with IoT services provider PlumChoice to deliver an exclusive level of support options for Alliance members. The program will give members access to US-based trained and certified technicians who can assist their customers with the integration, installation and support of their smart home products.

The ConnectedHome Expert program for Z-Wave Alliance members delivers an exclusive choice of three-level support options, including benefits such as access to technicians who can understand and fix issues remotely, connectivity options to fit unique customer needs and weekly or monthly standardized reports. 

“One of our biggest goals as a member organization is to provide resources to help our ecosystem succeed in its markets,” states Mitchell Klein, Z-Wave Alliance Executive Director, “This new effort with PlumChoice will give our members access to something the entire smart home industry needs more of: technical support for our end users.”


DISH Network Corp., has introduced the DISH Alliance Group, a business unit dedicated to supporting internet service providers (ISPs) interested in marketing their broadband services through DISH’s call centers. Additionally, the group provides ISPs access to DISH’s best-in-class residential and commercial video offerings, including the company’s flagship satellite television, and its live streaming and over-the-air solutions,Sling TV and AirTV.

“DISH provides ISPs with an economical path to delivering video and other value-add services to their customers,” says Perry Crider, manager of DISH Alliance Group. “By working with the DISH Alliance Group, our partners can focus on selling broadband internet with help from DISH’s marketing and sales channels, and rely on our video expertise to bring an outstanding TV experience to customers.”

In addition to connecting partners with video services, the DISH Alliance Group provides access to these programs:

  • Marketing: DISH Alliance Group creates co-marketing opportunities for partners, giving ISPs the ability to further monetize their broadband-only customer base and meet customer demand for leading video programming and technology.
  • Sales: Through its call centers, DISH markets broadband services from DISH Alliance Group partners to video customers looking for the best internet options in their area.
  • In-Home Services: DISH operates a national installation workforce, which is comprised of professionally trained and certified technicians using the latest tools and equipment. DISH In-Home Services reaches virtually any home or business in the United States.
  • DISH Business: ISP partners have the flexibility to market DISH video services to commercial enterprises, including bars, restaurants, offices, hotels, hospitals, apartments and condos.

VIZIO, Inc., has unveiled its 2018 SmartCast OS, providing everyday users, cord-cutters and smart home enthusiasts with a new smart TV experience. SmartCast OS brings popular apps to the TV screen for easy access, serves as the ideal smart home companion with voice support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and grants access to thousands of Google Chromecast-enabled apps. The 2018 SmartCast OS debuts today on all 2018 VIZIO smart TVs and will continue to roll out via free cloud-based updates to all 2016 and 2017 VIZIO SmartCast 4K Ultra HD models. 

"The 2018 SmartCast OS truly enables smart TV for all. Whether you seek simplicity, are looking for value and endless content options or are in search of a smart home entertainment centerpiece, SmartCast is the answer," says Bill Baxter, chief technology officer, VIZIO. "The versatility of SmartCast is complemented by our ability to push out free, cloud-based updates to users at any time. So regardless of when a user purchased their SmartCast product, they will be able to enjoy the latest apps, features and enhancements without having to wait on downloads."


April 9

DTS, a global audio company and wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation, has announced that London’s world famous Abbey Road Studios has added DTS:X mixing tools to its state-of- the-art mix stage facility. The installation is fully operational and available for professional content creators to mix both feature films and music in immersive DTS audio formats.

“Since 1931, Abbey Road Studios has been technically ahead of the curve. Not only did The Beatles record their iconic albums at Abbey Road, but Pink Floyd, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran and so many more artists have recorded in the studios,” says Bill Neighbors, general manager of cinema, digital media and streaming solutions at Xperi. “DTS is proud to be integrated into this world-renowned mixing studio and provide a comprehensive software solution for content creators.”

Abbey Road Studios’ new mix stage now features a complete DTS:X chain for all immersive audio formats. Professionals can record a film’s music, create the immersive audio mix and encode it into DTS:X for cinema; create the immersive near-field mix and encode it into DTS:X for home entertainment content; and encode it into DTS Headphone:X for mobile applications.


April 6

Telguard, Telular’s flagship IoT Security and Automation brand, has introduced theTelguard FlexHub Z-Wave Controller that includes integration with Alexa – Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. Telguard will be conducting live demonstrations in Telguard’s booth # 18109 at ISC West 2018 in Las Vegas, next week April 10-13.

Telguard’s FlexHub enables security dealers to increase recurring monthly revenue by offering home and security automation features through Telguard’s HomeControl Flex app. The addition of smart home devices is fast and simple with FlexHub and Telguard’s HomeControl Flex app makes it easy to enable smart home services for new customers, account takeovers or upgrades for existing customers.

“The popularity of voice control services has grown exponentially over the past few years with homeowners wanting Alexa to do more,” says Shawn Welsh, senior vice president marketing and product line management, Telular Corporation. “By integrating the Telguard FlexHub with Amazon’s Alexa, security dealers have more opportunities for increased revenues though up sales and recurring monthly service and support.”


April 5

Yale Locks & Hardware has announced an expanded selection of smart locks for the Amazon Key Home Kit, which provides homeowners with keyless entry, allows them to lock and unlock their door from anywhere, and provides Amazon Prime members in select locations the ability to receive in-home deliveries.

Yale now offers a total of three model options for the Amazon Key Home Kit – touchscreen and pushbutton deadbolts with a key override, and a slim, key free model. New to the Amazon Key Home Kit is the Yale Assure Lock Pushbutton Deadbolt (YRD216) with key override, and the slim, key free Yale Assure Lock SL (YRD256) electronic deadbolt that includes an edge-to-edge touchscreen keypad. These join the Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen (YRD226-AZ), a touchscreen deadbolt with a key override, which was available since Amazon Key was announced in October 2017.

Amazon Key allows homeowners to easily manage and monitor their door from anywhere using the Amazon Key App. Lock and unlock the door remotely, and check on the front door at any time via a live stream or by viewing video clips to see who entered and exited and when. 


The completely redesigned BluOS Desktop app for Windows and macOS makes listening to music on a computer easier than ever before. The update features an improved layout for both the Navigation Drawer and Player Drawer, and desktopers can quickly access features such as Player Settings, as well as all of their BluOS enabled devices.

BluOS Desktop app users can now easily pair two PULSE speakers together for stereo playback, or create a fixed multi-Player group with just a few simple steps. Experience multi-room like never before.

Aside from listening to tracks through the streaming service of your choice, desktop users can now access music stored directly on their computer thanks to BluOS' Local Share feature. Simply go into your Settings via the Navigation Drawer and start curating your BluOS music library.

With its new and improved layout, the BluOS Desktop app gives users quick and easy access to music controls. Play, pause or skip tracks at your own discretion and hear music the way they want, according to the company. 


The new Trinnov Audio web site is now easier to navigate, and the company says it better focuses on what the customer needs.

With the addition of the User case section the site features Trinnov partners, showcasing their work using Trinnov products.

Other elements of the redesigned website include new product information features, and how its products benefit homeowners. 


CalMAN now supports 2018 LG OLED and SUPER UHD TVs. Support includes 1D and 3D LUTs in both SDR and HDR. Additionally, two new workflows have been added to CalMAN 2018 which include HDR calibration and SDR calibration for LG TVs.


CalMAN 2018 adds support for VideoForge PRO Firmware v1.04, with a wealth of new features and functions, including 50Hz resolutions and the following new patterns:
·  Geometry
·  PLUGE Contrast
·  PLUGE Brightness
·  Moving Gray Ramp
·  Colorbars 75 percent
·  CCRA L20 C100 (Corner Contrast)

CalMAN has multiple methods for creating a 3D LUT. The newest and fastest is the "Matrix LUT" which can generate a 3D LUT for gamut remapping in as little as 30 seconds or less. The resulting accuracy is equivalent to a CMS calibration, but much faster. 

BT.2390 is the ITU’s latest contribution to the fleshing out of HDR standards, and adds specifications that were lacking in previous EOTFs.  BT.2390 is particularly important in calibrating HDR projectors, and the addition of BT.2390 makes CalMAN a more useful tool for calibrating HDR projectors.
 

The increasingly aged Delta E metrics the industry relies on were designed in a Standard Dynamic Range world, and they definitely show their weakness in an HDR age. The best metric to emerge so far for meaningfully describing color differences in HDR is Delta ICtCp. 
 
Calman's new hardware support includes:

  • Teledyne LeCroy Quantum Data 280 pattern generator 
  • Updated Konica Minolta CA-410 Colorimeter
  • Updated JETI 1511 spectroradiometer

 


April 4

Belden Inc., a global manufacturer of signal transmission solutions, has announced that it has approved MSolutions’ hand-held tester, MS-TestPro, as one of the first authorized devices for testing Belden’s new 4K Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) Media Cables, 2183P (plenum) and 2183R (riser).

Certified PartnerAlliance AV Integrators who install Belden HDBaseT Systems can measure
system performance with MS-TestPro’s Cable Certification Report. Passing test results enable integrators to apply for an extended 25-year component warranty and a Lifetime Application Assurance Program.


Savant and Luxul have joined WAVE Electronics’ 9/3 Kickback Program.  Dealers can now earn up to 9 percent rebate on Savant control systems (available in Texas and Louisiana) and Luxul networking products at WAVE Electronics.

“No one is giving a 9 percent rebate on a control brand. No one is giving a 9 percent rebate on Luxul. This is, without a doubt, the strongest A/V dealer program,” says Ainslie Fukuda, vice president of purchasing at WAVE.

The 9/3 Kickback Program works simply. Integrators who purchase any qualifying MSTR Brand products, including Savant and Luxul, and meet any of the quarterly achievement levels, will receive a rebate each quarter for the combined MSTR Brand and WAVE Electronics purchases.

MSTR Brand is WAVE’s in-house A/V product line including TV mounts, speakers, HDMI cables, A/V racks, surveillance cameras and more. All MSTR Brand products are  profitable, not sold online, and have a dedicated tech support department open five days a week. 

“When a dealer purchases $30,000 quarterly in MSTR brand products and $100,000 in 'A-branded' products, they receive a $5,700 quarterly rebate which can influence buying habits. Now that your Luxul and Savant purchases count towards the MSTR brand quarterly number, we are expecting dealers to embrace these additions and capitalize on larger rebates immediately,” says vice president of sales Bryan Stewart.

March 29

Johnson Controls has announced that its VideoEdge network video recording platform from American Dynamics is the first product to be officially certified as meeting the highest level of third-party cybersecurity standards from UL (Underwriters Laboratories) for Life Safety and Security, UL2900-2-3. 

UL’s Cybersecurity Assurance Program (UL CAP) tests network-connectable products and systems against established criteria from the UL 2900 series of cybersecurity standards. The UL CAP program also assesses a manufacturer’s processes for cybersecure product development, incident response and internal ongoing testing and evaluation of security vulnerabilities of products. To garner the Level 3 certification, the highest UL CAP designation, the VideoEdge NVR platform underwent a series of evaluations based on UL 2900-2-3, a standard developed specifically for the electronic physical security industry, which assesses a product’s software vulnerabilities and weaknesses and reviews its exposure to exploitation and known malware.

“The development of standardized, testable cybersecurity criteria by an organization such as UL, the preeminent security and life safety certification organization, provides a level playing field for end users and systems designers, who can now trust that a UL CAP certified product meets robust cybersecurity standards,” says William Brown, senior engineering manager, Cyber Protection Program, Building Technologies & Solutions, Johnson Controls.


March 28

Capitol, a distributor serving the light commercial and residential systems markets, is expanding its Sony Electronics offerings to include more than two dozen of the company’s products, including professional BRAVIA displays and laser projectors, upping the ante on performance and control, in and out of the boardroom.

Sony’s professional projectors and displays are considered premium solutions for multiple applications, from manufacturing and education to meeting rooms where global video conferences are part of the daily routine.

Similar to other Sony products offered by Capitol, the recently arrived selection of Sony professional models will be available to custom installers in nine states: southern Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the western portion of Wisconsin. As is the policy with Sony products, eligible dealers must first be authorized before having access to the market-leading products offered by the manufacturer.

“Sony is typically considered the best combination of performance and value in any category it’s found, but nowhere is the brand’s reputation more powerful than in the pro video channel,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “Sony professional displays and projectors are in lock-step with the needs of light commercial specialists who need to incorporate seamless, high performance video in any number of environments.”


DISH is offering a free preview of MLB Extra Innings through April 5.

MLB Extra Innings is MLB’s out-of-market package, allowing customers to watch up to 100 games per week from across the country—no matter where they live.

DISH customers can also catch FOX Sport’s live 4K coverage of the Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers game this Saturday (3/31) at 4:05 p.m. ET on DISH channel 540.


LumaStream, makers of low-voltage LED lighting systems for residential and commercial applications, has announced that their 481-485 series architectural downlights used with the Trinity 12 450mA DMX power supply has achieved Energy Star certification. This includes all standard color temperatures (3000k, 3500k, and 4100k), beam angles and trim finishes. Additional fixtures and power supplies are on deck for certification as well.

Energy Star certification can only be accomplished after passing stringent testing, positioning LumaStream as one of the first low-voltage LED lighting suppliers to achieve this distinction. By offering Energy Star certified lighting solutions, both residential and commercial integrators can participate in utility prescriptive rebate programs where applicable, leading to significant cost savings per lighting fixture. 

“Energy Star certification is another valuable tool that LumaStream has provided to our network of integrators,” explains Eric Higgs, founder, LumaStream. “In addition to potential cost savings through rebate programs, Energy Star’s rigorous testing proves that LumaStream is offering leading edge, best-in-class lighting solutions that help conserve energy while enhancing the lighting possibilities for any environment.”


March 27

URC, a manufacturer of smart home control and automation for residential and commercial applications, has announced the release of the certified URC Sonos two-way module for Total Control 2.0.

The module carries the "Works with Sonos" badge, attesting to the quality of the certified integration. It will go live on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. 


This new module allows for simple and reliable Sonos control as part of a fully-integrated Total Control 2.0 system. Features include volume control, grouping of Sonos players, access to Sonos favorites and advanced automation. The module utilizes a new method of integration that expedites the programming process for URC dealers.


"Sonos users will be presented with a simple and elegant onscreen design that puts their music front and center, delivering intuitive control from their URC touchscreen or remote," says Lars Granoe, vice president product development, URC. "Additionally, advanced home automation features offer an even more robust smart home experience for Sonos users." 
 



P&F USA has announced the availability of a Dolby Vision HDR software update for two currently available Philips 4K UHD Blu-ray players. Now users can download the update to their players and enable Dolby Vision playback on any Dolby Vision enabled television, such as the new Philips 69 and 59 Series televisions.

The Philips BDP7502 and BDP7302 plays back content at four times the resolution of current Blu-ray players for a stunningly detailed image. Both players support generic HDR, also known as HDR10, and now with Dolby Vision enabled they take HDR to a new level with spectacular improvements in brightness, color, contrast, detail and dimensionality.

“HDR is a significant advancement in picture technology that delivers tangible improvements in image quality, but Dolby Vision goes further and transforms an HDR picture into something that is truly stunning,” says Peter Swinkels, general manager, product planning, P&F USA, Inc., the exclusive North American license partner for Philips consumer televisions and home video products. “Dolby Vision is not just greater dynamic range and wider color gamut; it is also smarter pixels that deliver the best possible viewing experience for consumers.”


Earlier this year Dish launched the Hopper Duo. The company explains that its latest DVR is designed to deliver a tailored, modern TV experience for households with one or two TVs.

Augmenting the functionality of the Hopper Duo, Dish has integrated Netflix.

Dish says that with Netflix on Hopper Duo, homeowners can watch Netflix originals like The Crown, Bright and Stranger Things within one seamless interface without switching inputs or adding different cords. 

The company points out that all users need to do to access Netflix from the Hopper Duo is press the “Home” button on the remote and select the Netflix icon, or tune to channel 370 in the DISH programming guide.

A subscription to Netflix is required to watch Netflix content.


March 26

Xperi Corporation, has announced that LG Electronics has integrated DTS Virtual:X immersive audio technology into its latest Ultra HD TVs. According to Xperi, these products are the world’s first TVs to feature the DTS Virtual:X audio post-processing solution, which delivers virtual height and surround sound for an immersive home entertainment experience without the need for additional speakers. 

DTS Virtual:X technology also supports any input source, from stereo to 7.1.4 layout (11.1 channels), to enjoy premium content. The flexibility of its architecture enables licensees to utilize one or more features concurrently, including virtual height, virtual surround, bass enhancement, and multi-band hard limiter. The LG Ultra HD TVs with DTS Virtual:X technology are now available in Korea with additional rollouts following in regions around world.

“We are very proud to add TVs to the sound bars and AVRs that already integrate DTS Virtual:X technology, and the first TVs available with this solution are LG’s newest Ultra HD models," says Jea Yoo, president of Xperi’s Korea office. “This audio technology offers consumers a hassle-free, theater-like sound experience at home.”


March 23

OneVision Resources, a provider of service and support solutions for home technology professionals, has introduced live-streaming video tech support enhanced by augmented reality (VR).  OneVision has integrated this new capability into its service platform to improve the service experience for the more than 35,000 homes it currently supports.

OneVision specialists can now utilize this new tool during service and support events to collaboratively identify, analyze, and resolve issues with smart-home owners using the built-in camera on their iOS or Android mobile devices.

“Smart home technologies have evolved rapidly over a relatively short amount of time. Most consumers are not prepared to properly troubleshoot issues and end up frustrated or worse, giving up on the technology altogether. All too often, they can’t tell service specialists exactly what they are experiencing which leads to frustration and wasted time. With the introduction of this video-support tool, our offering has evolved to not just keep pace but lead the pack when it comes to providing world-class technology management in the home,” says Joseph Kolchinsky, founder and CEO OneVision.


March 22

URC, a manufacturer of smart home control and automation solutions for residential and
commercial applications, has announced the imminent release of the URC certified Sonos two-way module for Total Control 2.0.


Luxul, a manufacturer of IP networking solutions for custom installation professionals, has introduced a new initiative to support its growing dealer base: The Luxul Customer Assurance Program, or CAP. With this new program, the company is providing its dealers with certified wired and wireless network designs for residential and commercial applications — complete with tech support — that are guaranteed to meet their customers' reliability and performance requirements relating to Wi-Fi.

There's a new standard for network dependability, and that standard is only going to get higher. Today's integrators are faced with the challenge of installing systems that are expected to work quickly and reliably 100 percent of the time. What end users don't always realize is that there's a strong network running behind their system for connectivity purposes. The best networking equipment isn't the only thing necessary to meet customers' expectations — a reliable install can make or break a network. Luxul's Customer Assurance Program is designed to help ease this responsibility for integrators.

"Honestly, I can't wait to roll this out to our dealers," says Jason Brown, director of sales, Aim High Audio Distributing. "AV dealers have no shortage of manufacturers that are willing to help them lay out a system, design a video wall, or place a subwoofer, but the one thing all of those systems are going to ride on is a shoddy network. By and large, they are scared to admit what they don't know, and this could be the catalyst to change all of that."

 


March 21

AVAD LLC, a national distributor serving the residential and commercial custom installation markets, has announced a Digital Signage Expo partnership with Vivitek, an AVAD vendor and a manufacturer of visual display and presentation products. 

AVAD is collaborating with Vivitek at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas on March 28-29, at booth 1947 where Vivitek will display an array of products, including the DU9800Z WUXGA laser projector that delivers 18,000 ANSI lumens and the DK8500Z 4K laser projector that delivers 7,500 ANSI lumens with an ultra-short throw lens.  The onsite projectors will feature 4Kcontent on 120-inch ambient light rejecting screens in open show lighting. Vivitek will also feature the NovoDS4K, a digital signage solution simulating applications including a restaurant, sports bar and other large venues. 
 

In addition, Vivitek will also display the 86-inch NovoTouch Panel, which is a wireless presentation and collaboration solution capable of connecting up to 64 users simultaneously and displaying four sources at once. 


March 20

Capitol, a national distributor serving the residential and light commercial markets, is now a U.S. distributor of the full line TechLogix Networx solutions. TechLogix is best known for its connectors, hubs, fiber optic cable, and other products necessary for enhancing communication in the boardroom, classroom, and any space where a robust video communications system is essential to day-to-day activities.

“TechLogix Networx employs a unique and highly successful approach to equipment design,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “In fact, the company is very similar to Capitol in that instead of simply marketing a long list of accessories, the company is more of a solutions provider that helps customers assemble the right mix for their clients and their business.”


Simply Reliable, a developer of cloud-based business process management tools, has partnered with Control4 to facilitate efficiencies and productivity for integrators. Using Simply Reliable’s software products, integrators are now able to more efficiently generate and share proposals, then collect deposits, create accurate installation drawings in minutes rather than days, generate fewer errors and benefit from time savings using the preordained job processes.

Simply Reliable’s (SRi) smartOFFICE is tailored to the custom integration industry and offers simple proposal generation and approval with e-commerce for client payment collection, project management, logistic support and business intelligence to integrators.  Combined with designMACHINE, Control4 dealers using SRi’s Ci4C4 Control Integration process can automatically create wiring diagrams, floor plans and cable schedules, and integrators can get two days’ worth of work done in approximately 20 minutes according to the company.

“I’m excited about this partnership and the closer relationship with Control4,” states Tom Coffin, president and CEO of Simply Reliable. “The agreement brings improved efficiency, productivity, and cash flow to Control4 dealers – the trifecta for integrators. Once dealers use our software, they will be amazed at the time saving smartOFFICE and designMACHINE brings them and they will see the benefits immediately.”


CEDIA has released two new white papers covering the topic of HDMI 2. 1. These papers, developed by HDMI subject matter expert and CEDIA director of technical content David Meyer, offer a comprehensive overview of the new HDMI specification and a deeper dive into connectivity under HDMI 2.1.  

“In CEDIA’s newly released three-year strategic plan, we have put a great focus on creating standards, developing best practices and defining guidelines to elevate professionalism and drive member and industry success,” says Tabatha O’Connor, global president and CEO, CEDIA. “Being able to produce white papers like this ensures that CEDIA members have the tools they need to adapt to the latest technologies and deploy those technologies for their clients.”

The first paper, HDMI 2.1 In-Depth, explores these new speeds, formats, features and capabilities, with an insight into the next generation of HDMI system design. The second white paper, HDMI 2.1 Connectivity, explores the requirements for Ultra High Speed HDMI cables in both passive and active form, along with these alternate transports.

“It is incredibly important for members to understand this new standard as it will affect the systems they design and implement on a day-to-day basis. Most people don’t get to see the HDMI specification document, and even if they do it’s exhaustively complex. These papers distill what’s important to the CEDIA community and make it as easy to understand as possible," adds Meyer.

Both HDMI 2.1 – In-Depth and HDMI 2.1 Connectivity are available for download at no cost to CEDIA members in the resource library and on the CEDIA Community pages. Non-members may purchase each white paper for $99.  


March 19

An invite-only audience in Austin recently experienced the debut of “MQA Live”, a new way for fans to connect to musicians.

Jake Isaac and his band performed from London's Rocket Studios – the first time a live performance has been streamed in real time using MQA's technology. The performance was listened to live in an Austin home on a variety of devices to recreate everyday listening environments.

MQA is launching its “Live” product to enable music fans to connect in studio quality to their favourite artists, wherever and whenever the artists are performing. Fans can listen to a live concert in its original quality, as if they were standing in the venue. 

“MQA Live offers fans the authenticated sound direct from the venue, so conveniently that it can fit into their everyday lifestyle, wherever they are and however they chose to listen," says Mike Jbara, CEO, MQA. "The home environment in Austin, with a variety of playback devices, was a great way to experience Jake’s special performance, and excited those in attendance to imagine a new age of social and appointment listening.”


Roon Labs, a whole-house audio platform, which offers software, licensing and other products states with its new Nucleus and Nucleus+ music servers, it is capable of providing comprehensive automation capabilities. Using its Control4 and Crestron drivers integrators can now choose premium products from over 60 of the most respected brands in audio to create robust whole-home audio systems.

The drivers allow for a variety of user-friendly functions, and Roon Labs adds that dealers interested in learning more about the drivers or its music servers to email the company. 

 


March 15

Dirac Research, the global company that develops digitally optimized sound solutions, has announced new 3D audio processing for virtual and augmented reality.

According to the company, these achievements build on the company’s previous 3D audio breakthroughs and are included in the second-generation Dirac VR solution that debuted at MWC.

“Producing realistic audio experiences in virtual environments is one of the most challenging
projects to be tackled by our industry; yet we, as both an industry and company, understand the
enormous opportunity presented by effective and immersive VR experiences – for which a perfected 3D audio solution is required,” states Mathias Johansson, co-founder & CEO, Dirac Research. “With the second-generation Dirac VR solution, we proudly deliver to our industry the next critically important tool to bringing our virtual dreams to life.”

The second-generation Dirac VR is now equipped with an upgraded 3D audio engine, increased
power and processing efficiency, and a Unity plugin – delivering to manufacturers, Unity content
developers, and end-users, alike, the most sophisticated VR/ AR audio solution to date.


March 14

Control4 Corporation, a global provider of smart home solutions, has announced that its Pakedge Certified Network Administrator (PCNA) training program has surpassed 1,000 registrants.More than a year ago, Control4 identified a major problem within the industry: A broad deficit of network installation and configuration skills. Control4 found more than 30 percent of dealer support problems were related solely to a network issue – and not to hardware deficiencies. After working with their global Control4 and Pakedge dealer base, the company discovered that most dealers got into this industry through AV and control systems, and they were intimidated by the concept of the home network.

Control4’s solution was to launch its PCNA curriculum.

The six-part curriculum combines interactive coursework, online instructional office hours, and a proctored online certification exam to ensure networking competency specifically designed to give custom installers the tools, knowledge, and hands-on skills needed to design, implement, and manage the network needs of today’s connected home.

The curriculum was designed to help technicians design, install, configure, and manage networks that simply work. Since the coursework includes Pakedge hardware -- RK-1 router, SX-8P managed POE switch, WK-1 wireless access point, P2/P2E Power Distribution Unit, and the necessary Cat-6 cabling – the tech will have built a small network using the equipment within the first ten minutes of the first course. The six classes are divided into: “Essentials - Build Your First Network,” “Switches,” “Routers,” “Wireless Access Points,” “Remote Monitoring and Management,” and “Network Design.” The PCNA curriculum is designed to teach networking skills and fundamentals that are applicable across various brands of hardware, but the course is specifically geared toward the custom AV and home automation channel.


James Loudspeaker, designers and manufacturers of entertainment products for both residential and commercial applications, has joined the Azione Unlimited buying group serving audio/video integration professionals. James Loudspeaker is known worldwide for providing quality architectural loudspeakers including customized solutions, enabling integrators to give their clients a truly tailored solution. 

“James Loudspeaker will beautifully address a niche for our members, providing standard and customized architectural speaker solutions,” states Azione president Richard Glikes. “From their Small Aperture speakers to their home theater and landscape products, James Loudspeaker is a welcome addition to the Azione product mix.”


Access Networks, a provider of enterprise-grade network solutions for residential integration, has announced an agreement to bring the Access Networks Live Monitoring service together with the Domotz monitoring solution under a single, intuitive user interface. This initiative will bring significant added value to integrators and their clients, providing both the groundbreaking proactive network health overview of Access Networks Live Monitoring along with the effective device monitoring Domotz has become renowned for. The total package delivers enhanced functionality and greater efficiencies within the luxury residential network monitoring realm.

Domotz offers an effective, affordable network device monitoring solution with client-centric tools such as an intuitive app called Violet and an array of monthly report options. Domotz is an ideal resource for integrators because it is affordable and can be deployed across jobs of any size to enhance service capabilities. When an integrator deploys a project that includes Live Monitoring, the two services combine to create the ultimate comprehensive ne


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