CEDIA’s Best New Product Finalists for 2016, with Commentary from CE Pro

The official winners will be revealed at a press conference on Thursday, September 15 as well as recognized that evening at the CEDIA Celebration, hosted at Gilley’s Club in Dallas.


It's official; CEDIA 2016 is almost here. Our first clue was the news that Amazon would present the Friday morning keynote on September 16. And now CEDIA has announced its Best New Product Award finalists for 2016. 

Each year, winning products are selected by a panel of home technology professional judges for their innovation and value to both the integrator's business and the end user. 

Winners will be revealed at a press conference on Thursday, September 15 at 3:00 p.m. in the CEDIA booth (#4710). Winners will also be recognized that Thursday evening at the CEDIA Celebration, hosted at Gilley's Club in Dallas.

The CEDIA Celebration is open to all CEDIA 2016 attendees. It will recognize the award-winning work of CEDIA members and provide a venue for all attendees to enjoy a true Lone star experience with cocktails, BBQ, live music and a mechanical bull.

More details on each product can be found on CEDIA's website.

The 2016 Best New Product Award finalists are:

Amazon Echo

In this piece, “Amazon Echo at CES 2016 and Beyond: The Next Big Driver for Home Automation,” we noted that the biggest detractors of voice control are the folks who have never tried Echo.

Nano Backpack P5

The P5 was announced last year at CEDIA as the “world's smallest 5.1 system.” It included the emerging wireless WiSA standard for wireless surround, but the company decided not to include WiSA in the first shipping product. At Essential Install Live in England last month, the company says it will ship a WiSA surround product with companion wireless subwoofer later.

eSeries Mirage Audio System MAS-4-2e

Autonomic eSeries MMS-1e Music Streamer

The eSeries is Autonomic's new line of more affordable media streamers. The product has been shown at a handful of tradeshows over the past year but will make its formal debut at CEDIA 2016.

Control4 EA Series Controllers

Control4 set a new standard in home automation products by including high-resolutional audio and built-in Ethernet switches in its new EA line of controllers, starting at $600.


Best known in the commercial world, Dataset entered the residential business a couple years ago with the RS20i preamplifier/processor. Reviewer Bob Archer wrote back then, “Datasat has redefined home theater performance for me.”

DISH Network
Hopper 3 

The massive Hopper 3 takes satellite to new heights with 16 tuners, a split-screen sports bar model, super-fast processor, 2 TB hard drive and new amenities like the Hopper Voice Remote and HopperGo hard drive for taking shows on the road.

Domotz PRO

Domotz has sophisticated IP device discovery technology for its remote network monitoring solution. New services for integrators provide better access and insights into their customers' home systems. Domotz's recent acquisition of Fing adds further intelligence to the cloud-based platform.

Grimani Systems
CinemaOne Home Theater Audio Ensemble

According to the manufacturer, these powered speakers from an icon in home-theater design are the “most refined high SPL loudspeaker package available in the industry to day.” Principal Anthony Grimani told CE Pro back in 2014 that the self-contained design of the speaker/amp/DSP boosts stability and reliability.

IC Realtime
ALLie Home 360×360-Degree Lifestyle Video Camera

Using dual cameras and sophisticated software for de-warping and stitching, IC Realtime packs complete 360-degree views into ALLie. Because processing takes place in the camera itself — and not the cloud — it enables real-time streaming. ALLie is the first 360-degree camera to live-stream to YouTube.

Surface Mount with Buttons

The iPort Surface holds an iPad and features IP-addressable hard buttons. Compatible with major home-control systems, the mount allows direct access to automation features, without having to wake up the tablet.

Lutron Electronics
Sivoia QS Triathlon WIDR Shades

Lutron Lutron's GIANT battery-operated Sivoia QS WIDR maxes out at 12×12 square feet. The company says the product line features the smallest roll-up diameter for any roller shades of this size, with a maximum roll-up of 3 inches for a 144-square-inch shade. The new “Battery Boost” option gives users up to an 80% increase in battery life for a system that can last up to 6 years on batteries.

Lutron Electronics
Lutron Connect Bridge and App

Lutron brought Web connectivity first to the consumer market via Caseta and the Smart Bridge. The new Connect Bridge and App now brings effortless connectivity to HomeWorks and RadioRa 2 for pros.

Middle Atlantic Products
DC Power Distribution

Middle Atlantic calls this solution “the only universal DC power solution in the AV industry that removes messy, space consuming, and unreliable wall warts and other power clutter.” Color-coded screw terminal connectors and polarity labeling, ensures reliability with multi-level protection on both AC input and DC outputs.

Nexus 21 Concealment Systems
CL-65 TV Flip-Down

“We started from scratch and have a built-in-the-USA unit that is faster and quieter than any other flip-down solution on the market,” says Cory Lovett, president, Nexus 21. “The cost of the CL-65 to dealers is about half of what is being paid for older technology, which opens up many more opportunities to spec the product.”

Pakedge by Control4
Pakedge NK-1 Controller (pdf)

The NK-1 suite from Pakedge includes the Wireless Controller and Network Patroller, simplifying device set-up, optimizing wireless networking and providing remote management via the company's cloud-based BakPak service.

RoseWater Energy Group
Residential Energy Management Hub

After a couple of years demonstrating its energy-storage solutions, RoseWater is finding traction among custom integrators. Boca Theater and Automation recently installed a system in its new showroom.

Savant Pro Remote

Home automation company Savant released its first new remote in a long time — the Savant Pro, featuring voice control and a streamlined design.

Screen Innovations

This motorized video projection screen, which appears to float in mid-air, won the Home Theater category for CE Pro's Top New Technology awards at ISE 2016.

Séura Storm Ultra Bright 84″ Outdoor TV

When you must have an 84-inch 4K TV in the direct sunlight, Seura delivers.

OvrC Pro

SnapAV has been building out its ecosystem of OvrC-enabled remote monitoring and control systems, now compatible with the company's power-management, networking and surveillance lines. Stay tuned for more announcements at CEDIA Expo.



As we wrote about Sonos's second-gen Play: 5 last year, “New Sonos Trueplay Software is EQ for Dummies.”

Sony Electronics    
XBR-75X940D 4K HDR Ultra HD TV

Here's what Sony product technology manager Phil Jones says about this 4K TV line:  “There's better upscaling, less noise when you look at content that's film based. Not only can we detect what resolution you're looking at, we can detect what type of source you're looking at, and based on that we triage the patient differently. A 4K Blu-ray looks very different than 4K you shot on your cellphone; the TV knows that and uses different processing based on each one.”

Sony Electronics    
VPL-VW5000ES 4K SXRD Home Cinema Projector

Integrator Dallas Dingle of Supercalibrations says this new laser projector provides the “best images we have ever seen.” And that was before he calibrated unit.

Sony Electronics    
STR-ZA5000ES – 9.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver

This is the next flagship receiver in Sony's vaunted ES line, offering both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as well as full 4K/60p resolution and support for HDR and HDCP 2.2.


WilsonPro 4000R

Wilson says its 4000R solution is the “industry's first rack-mounted signal booster,” for cell phones, with coverage up to 100,000 square feet.