CE Pro News and Product Briefs: January 2017

Keep checking back for CE Pro’s brief product and company news in custom electronics. (January 2017)


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


January 31, 2017

Jetbuilt, a provider of web-based Mac and PC A/V proposal and estimation software, has announced a partnership with VidCAD Phoenix, a provider of cutting-edge solutions to address the design and documentation needs of engineers, designers and installers, to provide valued Jetbuilt  users with more solutions. 

“VidCAD Phoenix provides powerful automation to design and document facilities that include equipment and cable installations, and is geared towards a/v integrators, broadcasters, consultants and more,” says Janine Sotelo, chief executive officer for VidCAD Phoenix. “The ability to import data from Jetbuilt into VidCAD is further automation of the design and documentation processes, reducing redundancy in workflow, and ultimately savings in both time and costs .” We look forward to continuing the integration process so that data can flow easily between VidCAD Phoenix and Jetbuilt.”

Ihiji will launch its new Vendor Insights Program (VIP), VIP Plus (VIP+), Device Visibility Protocol (DVP), and Device Visibility Service (DVS) at ISE 2017. The company says that together these four closely intertwined offerings provide device manufacturers with insights that provides detail as to how their products perform and are being used throughout their lifecycle.

Moreover, these programs are said to also provide valuable insights into recurring issues and may help expedite resolution and prevent recurrence, according to ihiji.  The company also states this two-way feedback gives manufacturers the missing link, and it provides integrators with needed information to defend their position when issues are not of their doing or in their scope. 

“We are pleased to announce the VIP program and to welcome our inaugural VIP partners,” says Stuart Rench, CEO of Ihiji. “These companies are leading the industry in their quest for data-driven product insights to benefit their organization, dealers, consumers, and the industry as a whole. By taking the time to analyze important remote monitoring analytics, these companies are pushing themselves closer towards the ultimate goal of leveraging Big Data, Machine Learning, and contextual awareness to provide better customer experiences.”

In addition, Ihiji will also be announcing a new integration option with the power management and surge protection manufacturer Panamax. 

Domotz, a provider of network monitoring and remote tech support systems for integration companies and IT professionals, and D-Tools, a manufacturer of data-driven system integration software, announced an integration between the two platforms.

D-Tools points out the partnership will facilitate the on-going monitoring and maintenance of systems designed in its D-Tools SI software tool, and the integration streamlines the process of setting up a new network for remote management with Domotz PRO.

“Acknowledging that the installation phase of a project is typically the beginning of a long-term customer relationship,” says Randy Stearns, CEO of D-Tools, “The integration with Domotz enables D-Tools users to plan for ongoing service and monitoring from the outset of every client engagement.”

Domenico Crapanzano, CEO and founder of Domotz, points out the integration of the two platforms will make electronics professionals' processess more efficient, which will save them money. 

“Even though setting up Domotz PRO is already easy, our partnership with D-Tools will make this process much quicker and even more seamless,” adds Crapanzano. “By working with D-Tools we’re able to reduce the new network set-up time down to merely minutes, which will save our integrators a lot of time and equip them for wide scale roll-out of the technology.”

January 30

Capitol, an electronics distribution source for residential systems and light commercial contractors, is set to launch its third social media promotion, offering an American Express gift card worth $50 to one winner in each of the six drawings scheduled through mid-Q2 2017.

“We find that holding regular giveaways on social media is a proven way to build a qualified following and generate leads,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol Sales. “Typically, we offer a product or discount, so we thought we’d mix it up with a gift card winners can use any way they like.”

The first giveaway will kick off on Monday, Jan. 30 and it will end on Feb. 10. Subsequent giveaways will take place the weeks of February 13, February 27, March 20, April 3, and April 17. In each case, Capitol will post a unique link to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Access Networks, a provider of enterprise-grade networking solutions for residential applications, has reached an agreement to distribute SurgeX professional grade surge elimination and power conditioning products to professional integrators in the U.S. effective immediately.

SurgeX products have been engineered to protect vital networking components from surges and electrical transients that can degrade performance and reliability resulting in unwanted downtime. SurgeX is the only manufacturer of power conditioning products to offer Advanced Series Mode technology, completely eliminating damaging energy peaks of up to 6,000 volts without the ground contamination or common-mode disturbances that can degrade equipment performance. SurgeX power protection and energy intelligence solutions give integrators the most stable power platform for all smart home devices.

Now SurgeX products can be purchased through Access Networks, making them available to integrators more quickly in all regions of the U.S. Access Networks is based in California and is scheduled to open an East Coast location in Easton, Pa., later this year.

“Our agreement with Access Networks will help us get SurgeX products to our customers in a timely manner, while also ensuring a consistently high level of customer service”, says Jimmy Paschke, sales manager for SurgeX Residential. “SurgeX has shared a synergistic relationship with Access Networks for years by providing the finest power products that compliment Access Networks’ systems in the field. The two brands, when used together, have certainly helped minimize network and power related issues in the field.”

Bryce Nordstrand, CSO, Access Networks, points out that Access Networks has noticed an advantage when integrators specify its networking solutions with SurgeX products, and the goal with this partnership is to extend those advantages.

“It has been our experience that whenever SurgeX is used in conjunction with Access Networks solutions, integrators see a significant drop in service call-backs to the site,” explains Nordstrand. “We are excited to make SurgeX products available to integrators and offer the enhanced efficiency of logistics on both coasts once we open our Easton, PA location this summer.”

January 26, 2017

Legrand has expanded its On-Q Digital Audio System, the multizone, multisource whole-house music solution with the integration of Spotify. The popular streaming service is pre-installed all new On-Q Digital Audio Systems, and the service is also available on existing systems via an automatic software update. This new capability combines listeners’ favorite songs and playlists with the exceptional listening experience provided by the On-Q Digital Audio System (DAS).

Since on-Q DAS also serves as the modular music solution for Legrand Intuity, the home automation system that is designed for production home builders, Intuity owners with the DAS option can also benefit from this major new feature enhancement.

January 25

Skywalker AV Supply, a national distributor that serves the custom integration industry, has announced an agreement with Metra Home Theater to distribute its products.

The national distributor states that by adding Metra to its product line-up it is extending the choices available to dealers offering home theater services to their clientele. The distribution deal gives them access to everything from HDMI cables and mounting solutions, to a variety of power products and more.

Metra Home Theater Group is a 65-year-old manufacturer of installation accessories for home theater and integration. 

“Part of our focus at Skywalker AV Supply is to partner with the industries very best,” says Randy Criebaum, president of Skywalker AV Supply. “With Metra Home Theater, we know we’re supplying another quality solution to our dealers. The fascinating thing about Metra Home Theater is the thought, care, and creativity that gets put into their branding and product offerings,” adds Criebaum, “and we’re extremely happy to be working with them.”

Metra Home Theater products are now in all Skywalker AV branches.

Leviton Vizia RF+ products are now compatible with the Compass Control System, which is a control system built from the ground up to use iOS & Android devices – as its backbone.

Compass Control system enables Leviton Vizia RF + users with access to “smart” lighting control with the ability to adjust light controls, faders, and other HomeConnect devices wirelessly, using Z-Wave radio frequency technology, while having an integrated control system under their fingertips with additional video, audio, security, and automation controls.

January 24, 2017

Capitol, an electronics distribution source for residential systems and light commercial contractors, has announced that it now offers the complete line of RTI control systems. 

“For nearly 25 years, RTI has lead the market with control and automation solutions that perform Herculean tasks while remaining simple and intuitive for the end-user,” says Curt Hayes, president and CFO, Capitol. “Custom pros have long revered RTI’s product selection, which consistently represents the best of current technologies taken to the extreme, in terms of both value and reliability.”

Mike Everett, vice president of sales and marketing, Americas for RTI, adds Capitol's wealth of resources will aid dealers, and the company will complement its distribution network.

“Capitol is founded on a commitment to stellar customer service and technical expertise,” says Everett. “This level of support will be a great value-add for our dealers in the Midwest while strengthening our elite network of distribution partners.”

January 23, 2017

Honeywell has partnered with WAVE Electronics to distribute its security offerings nationwide throughout WAVE’s 10 locations. This is the first time since 1964 that Honeywell has expanded its distribution outside of their current partner.

After 52 years, why now and why WAVE Electronics?

“WAVE Electronics has proven to evolve beyond just a distributor and services their dealers with unique value-adds that no one else offers. Besides excellent customer service and product knowledge, WAVE can provide dealers with custom designed marketing materials like security yard signs, brochures, shirts, hats and even vehicle wraps,” says Honeywell.

PowerHouse Alliance distributor members have a strong slate of training planned for the end of January and February. URC MX HomePro trainings continue to be in demand and dealers can take them in January with Sierra Select Distributors for a lunch and learn in California on January 24 and 25 or join CED in their New Berlin, Wis. location on January 26 or Elk Grove Village, Ill. on January 31. In February, dealers will also have the opportunity to take URC MX HomePro trainings from member Mountain West Distributors at their Colorado and Utah locations.

In January, member MRI is promoting IC Realtime, Luxul, NAPCO and Nuvo webinars, and member Mountain West Distributors hosts RTI Advanced training on January 24 and PRO Control training on January 26 in Salt Lake City, UT. ECD is offering dealers Clare Controls Fusion training on January 24 and 25 in Houston, and CED will give dealers the opportunity to complete a two-day Clare Controls Fusion certification on January 31– February 1 in Northbrook, Ill. Volutone is also hosting Zigen and Primacoustic new vendor training at each of their seven locations from January 17 – 26.

In February, Audio America will hold its 2017 Miami Dealer Show. On February 2, from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., dealers can stop by their Miami location to see demos of the latest technologies including 12 Volt, home A/V and security products, enjoy food and music, enter to win giveaways, and get face-to-face time with manufacturer representatives. Also in February, dealers can take RTI accelerated hands-on training from EDI on February 7, HikVision training from Autco on February 15, or one of seven Networking trainings from member Volutone in California and Nevada. ECD is also celebrating Tough Dog and Rack-a-tiers Vendor Days as well as offering a number of Luxul Network trainings throughout the month of February.

For the full list of member trainings in January and February, please see below or check the PowerHouse Alliance event calendar.

January 20, 2017

ProSource, a national audio, video and integration buying group, announced the addition of Acoustic Innovations to their vendor lineup. Acoustic Innovations manufactures reclining home theater seating and other products in its Thomasville, N.C factory.

Andy Orozco, director of business development for ProSource, states the addition of Acoustic Innovations to its product line up complements the products and services its members offer.

“Acoustic Innovations was the natural choice for our group as voted and selected by our CI Committee,” notes Orozco. “They were selected for their technology, approach to the market, and most importantly their ability to support the efforts of our ProSource members. In addition to home theater seating, they offer theater design/fabrication/installation, fiber-optic star ceiling products, acoustic panels, and residential noise control solutions.”

January 19, 2017

VIZIO, Inc., has announced that VIZIOSmartCast devices, including TVs, displays, sound bars and speakers are now compatible with Google Home. The Google Home platform is Google's new voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. With Chromecast built-in, VIZIO SmartCast devices allow Google Home users to use their voice to control their entertainment. Using simple voice commands, Google Home users can adjust volume up and down, play, stop and skip music tracks on any Google Home supported services.

Google Home users can also power on their displays by asking to play entertainment on the big screen when the “Quick Start Power Mode” function is enabled on their VIZIO SmartCast TV/display1. 

“Controlling VIZIO SmartCast devices from Google Home is a significant milestone for consumers and their ability to manage their entertainment experience,” says Matt McRae, chief technology officer, VIZIO.  “Using a simple voice command to stream a movie from Netflix to a VIZIO display or stream music from Spotify to a group of VIZIO speakers is an eye-opening experience and shows off the power of VIZIO SmartCast.”

RTI, a manufacturer of control and automation solutions for residential and commercial settings, announced a new two-way driver for the full portfolio of BluOS-enabled devices from Bluesound and NAD Electronics. Developed by Lenbrook, the parent company of Bluesound and NAD, the new driver seamlessly incorporates the BluOS sonic streaming experience into RTI's automation and control ecosystem.

“We are very pleased to announce the integration of the BluOS wireless audio solution into the RTI ecosystem,” says Mike Everett, vice president of sales and marketing, Americas, RTI. “This combination allows RTI dealers to give their clients a true high-resolution audio experience in every room, but also makes it easy and accessible enough for every member of the family to use.”

BluOS is the operating system that powers select NAD devices and all Bluesound Players. The proprietary system allows any BluOS-enabled device to connect to a home Wi-Fi network to access many popular streaming music services or a networked library of music. The music can then be “sent” to one or many BluOS devices, even if the devices are located in different rooms of a home. The two-way driver allows integrators to connect, manage, and control an entire BluOS networked music system in a connected home through a single RTI user interface. The driver supports automatic discovery of players; presets, queue, and individual streaming service browsing; metadata retrieval; analog and optical inputs; music player controls; switching between the RTiPanel and BluOS Controller Apps; and player grouping.

At ISE 2017 in Amsterdam, February 7-10, founding members of the SDVoE Alliance will present a series of training sessions focusing on Ethernet as the transport for A/V signals in professional AV environments and the ecosystem around the SDVoE platform which allows software to define AV applications.

Deploying zero-latency AV-over-IP systems using SDVoE technology

Attendees will learn what they need to know to get started – how to configure SDVoE endpoints and networks, and how to use them to impress clients. These sessions will be co-presented by Justin Kennington of AptoVision, Laurent Masia of NETGEAR and Art Weeks of ZeeVee.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 12:30, 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Room F002

InfoComm MasterClass: Deploying AV Over Ethernet: The New Matrix Switch

Attendees will have the opportunity to get their hands on SDVoE systems and have all their questions answered. This session will be co-presented by Justin Kennington of AptoVision and Matt Dodd of Clavia.

Friday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Room D204 

Course attendees will be registered in a drawing to win a NETGEAR ProSAFE 8-Port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switch to use in their own SDVoE system.{pagebreak}

January 18, 2017, 2017

Azione Unlimited (AU), a buying group for integrators, has welcomed Meyer Sound to its lineup of vendor partners.

For over 37 years, Meyer Sound has been designing and manufacturing the finest vertically-integrated audio products and supplying systems for theaters, arenas, stadiums, cinemas, theme parks, convention centers, houses of worship, and touring concert sound rental operations worldwide.  

For the last eight years Meyer Sound as been providing exceptionally high-performance audio systems for both premium screens at commercial movie theaters and at the world’s most prestigious cinema post-production studios. These products have now become a natural fit for residential private cinema. Meyer Sound officially entered the private cinema and high-performance residential channel in 2016.  

Meyer Sound has developed advances such as IntelligentDC technology, which provides distributed power for full-range, self-powered loudspeaker systems. Meyer explains this technology eliminates the need for high-voltage power and multiple rack systems for power amplification.  

Post-production facilities using Meyer Sound systems include  Skywalker Sound, Pixar Animation Studios, Dolby World Headquarters in San Francisco, Warner Bros. Studios  (L.A., New York City and London), NBC Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox, among others. Some of Meyer's upscale commercial exhibition installations includes Cinerama Theatre  (Seattle), Arclight Cinemas (California, Illinois, Maryland), and Cinetopia (Oregon, Washington, Kansas).

Meyer Sound systems also can be found in venues such as The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, most Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.  Meyer Sound systems tour with top-grossing artists ranging from Celine Dion and Metallica to Justin Bieber and Dave Matthews, and supply the sound for hit musicals on Broadway and London’s West End.

Richard Glikes, president of Azione Unlimited, points out with the addition of Meyer Sound Azione now has 48 vendor partners and 176 members.

“Our vendor partners are carefully selected for the quality of their products, a dominant position in their product niche, high-level customer support, and innovative leadership in this technology driven industry,” states Glikes. “Meyer Sound is ‘the new big kid on the block’ with power and precision like no other speaker manufacturer. The best theaters will now incorporate Meyer Sound speakers and our superb dealers will sell and install them flawlessly.  It is also a pleasure to be working with Andy Willcox who leads the residential sales for Meyer Sound. ”

January 17, 2017, 2017

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

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

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

January 13, 2017

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

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

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

January 11, 2017

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

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

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

To register for the webinar click here

January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

January 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 30

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

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

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

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

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

December 27, 2016

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

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

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

December 22, 2016

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