Product Briefs

November 3, 2021 · Epson Partners with ADI and Herman Pro AV Distributors

Epson America, Inc., has announced the addition of ADI Global Distribution and the company’s Herman Pro AV business, as new distributor partners selling Epson’s 3LCD PowerLite projectors.

The collaboration will help amplify the reach of Epson’s PowerLite projector lineup, expanding availability to professional, value-added resellers and offering a wider range of projection solutions to meet more customer needs.

“ADI and Herman Pro AV come stacked with a unique dealer base, exceptional customer service and highly trained sales reps and engineers, making them an ideal partner for Epson,” says Tom Kettell, director, commercial channel sales, Epson America, Inc.

“Their expertise and knowledge of the projector market will allow more customers to access Epson’s leading PowerLite technology, which brings bright, flexible display solutions to businesses of all sizes.”

Leveraging proprietary 3-chip, 3LCD technology, Epson’s PowerLite projectors are designed to empower laser-focused learning. Designed to meet virtually any display needs, the Epson PowerLite lineup ranges from powerful laser solutions for signage, entertainment and education, to lamp-based budget-friendly classroom and meeting room projectors. Combining high-quality visuals with flexible display capabilities, creative tools and intuitive software options, Epson PowerLite projectors enhance student engagement and optimize existing spaces, without the worry of size and location constraints.

“Epson’s vast projector line is a valuable addition to our product offering,” comments Cynthia Menna, vice president and general manager, Herman Pro AV.

“Recognized as a market leader in the professional AV space, Epson has a solid reputation for developing innovative, flexible and reliable display solutions and we’re excited to bring their products to our customers to help round out their AV ecosystems.”

More news from Epson: Epson EF-100 Smart Streaming Laser Projectors

November 3, 2021 · SDVoE Alliance Introduces 8K AV over IP Solutions

The SDVoE Alliance has announced the world’s first 8K AV-over-IP transport solution. Soon-to-be-released SDVoE transmitters and receivers deliver 8K video across a standard network and are entirely backward compatible with 4K SDVoE systems. 

HDMI 2.1 defines many 8K formats with varying bit depth, chroma subsampling, frame rate and color space. SDVoE 8K supports all of them without adding any compression or latency. Four independent links on an off-the-shelf 10G Ethernet switch provide 40Gb per 8K endpoint, no special or unusual switches are required. 

“The InfoComm crowd would have loved to see 8K AV over IP in person, but at least we got a sneak peak in the lab,” states Chris Chinnock, president of Insight Media and executive director of the 8K Association.

There are huge potential markets for 8K systems in the pro AV space starting with live events that feature massive screens and outdoor signage where we are seeing bigger and bigger canvases.  People will also want to use 8K displays in corporate environments, for smaller video walls, in museums and of course medical applications – they actually have 8K endoscopes now.” 

See the 8K SDVoE products and watch the technical discussion between Chris Chinnock and Stéphane Tremblay, CTO of AptoVision products in Semtech’s Signal Integrity Products Group, at 8K for pro AV with SDVoE

“We really are the first AVoIP to do 8K at all – and the fact that it’s totally compatible with existing SDVoE systems is important,” adds Justin Kennington, president of the SDVoE Alliance.

“Your existing 4K 10G SDVoE transmitter can send signals to your new 8K 4x10G SDVoE receiver. The opposite is also true, assuming you’re sending 4K from the 8K transmitter (obviously you can’t send an 8K signal to a 4K RX) … what comes in, goes out without compromise – no added compression or latency.”

More news from the SDVoE: SDVoE Augments its SDVoE Academy Training Platform

Lowe's Pro Toy Catalog

November 2, 2021 · Lowe’s Survey Predicts Big Year for Home Contractors in 2022

Lowe’s has announced the key findings from its recent “Pro Pulse” survey of 1,000 home improvement professionals about the current state of the industry and expectations for winter and 2022. According to Pros, 2021 was a strong year—and looking ahead, the retailer estimates there’s no slowdown in sight.  

“As part of our commitment to better understand what pros want and need, we’re using methods like the Pro Pulse Survey to hear directly from pros,” states Fred Stokes, senior vice president, pro sales and service, Lowe’s.

“Pros say they have been working harder than ever to keep cup with the demand for home improvement projects, so we’ve rolled up our sleeves to help them restock and resupply with events like PROember and special deals all holiday season long.”

According to Lowe’s, there is a high demand for home improvement projects with 80% of those who took part in the survey saying there is a need for home-improvement professionals.

Some of the other data revealed in the survey include:  

  • 75% of Pros expect to have more work in 2022 than they did in 2021 (with an expected 45% project growth) 
  • Pros expect an increased demand in 2022 for projects aimed at functionality, with the top project expected to be updates for energy efficiency 
  • Eight out of 10 pros say the holiday season is a time to reward their teams for their hard work, and 77% of pros plan to upgrade their tools this winter (expecting to spend an average amount of $3,100 on tools and hardware products). 
  • Using a scale of zero to 10, professionals in the home improvement category rate their optimism regarding their professional as a nine out of 10
  • In addition, the survey finds that 92% of home-improvement professionals are satisfied in their jobs 

To help the national retailer meet the demands of the home improvement market over the 2021 holiday season and in 2022, the company is introducing its “Pro Toy” catalog. This publication will serve professionals as a guide and it will provide product savings.

In addition, Lowe’s points out it will hold its top PROvember deals that includes store demos, welcome kits for new Pro Loyalty program members, and it will offer professional product and service tips from its Pro Ambassadors.

More news from CE Pro: Senate Passes Secure Equipment Act to Protect US Telecomm Industry

Snap One Partners Store logo

November 2, 2021 · Snap One Opens Partner Store in Hollywood, Fla.

Snap One has unveiled its 30th Partner Store with the grand opening of a new Allnet-operated location in Hollywood, Florida.

This new Southeast region location is the ninth new Snap One Partner Store to open in 2021, demonstrating the company’s commitment to providing partners local access to products and customer service.

According to Snap One VP of sales Bill Zidek, numerous dealer and vendor partners in the Hollywood, Florida area were on site to experience the 15,000-square-foot, warehouse-style store where all products are in stock and easily accessible.

“It was encouraging to see many of our dealer and vendor Partners attend the event, and it was very fulfilling to mingle in person after a long hiatus away from events of any type,” says Zidek.

“We’re thrilled to see such a warm reception to our market expansion and are excited to continue increasing Partners’ same-day access to a wide assortment of brands and products, with a current total of 30 locations nationwide.”   

The grand opening connected more than 130 Partners with the latest products from 20 manufacturers, including Samsung, Sony, Sonos, Sound United, Klipsch, KEF, Legrand and more. Snap One also showed off some of its in-house brands with an “Outdoor Solutions” station, an OvrC-enabled demo rack and a “Tower of Power,” including a multitude of WattBox power control products. Attendees enjoyed the local-favorite World Famous Food Truck, sponsored by Samsung, and were all entered into drawings for two new 65-inch Sony and Samsung TVs.

“It’s worth recognizing that our dedicated teams across the country were able to successfully launch nine new stores in 2021, regardless of complications from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” comments Zidek.

“Through this initiative we are helping Partners and end users move forward with projects to improve their homes and businesses with leading technologies that deliver comfort, resilience and reliability.”

The company also announced the return of live in-store events with the launch of a 13-city tour of one-day dealer education sessions focusing on OvrC-enabled solutions. These remote system monitoring and management solutions have proven to eliminate non-billable truck rolls while providing enhanced levels of customer service to our Partners’ clients. Interested Partners can visit here to sign up for a local live education session to learn how OvrC products can open new revenue channels, raise efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction.

In addition to the convenience of local same-day product availability, the Snap One Partner Store in Hollywood provides 24-hour order will-call with self pickup, spacious training facilities and a dealer refreshment area. These spaces are often used to host educational programs on new products and services as well as business education events.

The next event occurring on November 4 at the Atlanta Partner Store location.

Other upcoming events are as follows:

  • Atlanta, Ga.: Nov. 4
  • Nashville, Tenn.:Dec. 2
  • Kirkland, Wash.: Dec. 9
  • Scottsdale, Ariz.: Jan. 11
  • Austin, Texas: Jan. 13
  • Houston, Texas: Jan. 20
  • Tampa, Fla.: Feb. 3
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: Feb. 8
  • Rockville, Md.: Feb. 17
  • Dallas, Texas: March 3
  • San Diego, Calif.: March 10

Additionally, the company will unveil newly expanded stores in Elk Grove, Ill.; Plainview, N.Y.; and Norwalk, Conn., in January, followed by similar expansions at the Van Nuys, Calif., and Simi Valley, Calif. locations.

More news from CE Pro: Snap One Announces Several Upgrades to OvrC Platform

Dolby Atmos music

November 1, 2021 · New Content from Dolby Atmos and Filmrise now Available

Dolby has announced the latest music titles to offer Dolby Atmos immersive, object-based surround sound.

New music from Ed Sheeran, Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, Coldplay, Lorde and others headline the latest Dolby Atmos music releases.

Over on the video side of the home entertainment market, the streaming service Filmrise points out that November is a big month for its users. Providing users with free streaming content that captures all of festiveness of November and the start of the holiday season, the service is providing users with a choice of video entertainment.

The company has also announced a new app: FilmRise Español, to offer free Spanish-language movies and TV titles with no subscription needed. FilmRise Español joins the service’s suite of nearly two-dozen free apps covering a variety of genres like Action, True Crime, Western, Sci-Fi and more.

On the marathon front the streaming service states, it will kick off its Slow-Mo-Vember Marathon on FilmRise Action that features action stars like Samuel L. Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, and Jason Statham. Offering family-friendly content, Filmrise’s Family Classics Marathon on FilmRise Classic TV will feature favorites like The Danny Thomas ShowThat Girl and Highway to Heaven

Additionally, the service’s Most Haunted Marathon on FilmRise Horror follows a team of paranormal investigators who lock themselves in haunted venues for 24 hours.

Moreover, Filmrise is offering a marathon of the fan favorite Heartland, which follows the travails of a multigenerational Canadian family.

More news from CE Pro: Beale Street Audio Helps Bring Tunes and TVs to Chicago Bears Tailgating Experience

OneVision ProVision software

November 1, 2021 · OneVision Launches ProVision Software Solution

OneVision, a provider of business services for the custom integration channel, has introduced ProVision, a software solution that acts as a central hub for service operations.

The company states that ProVision brings together everything integrators need to manage client-service relationships, providing tools designed to educate clients about service, market and sell premium recurring memberships, drive internal accountability, promote repeatable processes, and drive consistent execution. Part of OneVision’s ongoing efforts to bring innovative solutions to service, ProVision complements the company’s award-winning support and RMR generation platform. The software has been rolled out to OneVision Partners at no additional cost. 

“ProVision was built exclusively to accelerate our partners’ success with service,” says Jason Griffing, director of product, OneVision.

“This release is a major milestone in our ongoing effort to move the industry beyond piecemeal service solutions and to provide our partners with an end-to-end tool aimed at transforming service into a thriving and profitable part of the business.” 

OneVision ProVision Software Improves Client Support

According to OneVision, for years integrators have struggled to keep up with increasing client service demands. Many integrators, the company continues have handled this demand in ad hoc fashion. OneVision estimates this results in an inconsistent and frustrating ownership experience for clients, a chaotic and unsustainable operating environment for team members, and a significant drain on the company’s bottom line. This realization is what led OneVision to develop ProVision. 

OneVision asserts that its new ProVision helps orchestrate the efforts of teams from the earliest phases of the client relationship, paving the way for an improved client experience. The company boasts that sales teams gain the confidence needed to effectively present service and position premium memberships. Project managers are empowered to transition clients cleanly into the service relationship. All team members also get peace-of-mind knowing they can operate out of a consistent service playbook, and perhaps most importantly, OneVision stresses—clients are better educated and equipped to make the best decisions for their unique home technology support needs.

“ProVision has been a game changer in our organization. We now have all the tools and information we need to effectively manage the process from the start to finish in one place,” says Randy Schram, owner of Smart Home Systems, Inc.

“We are more confident than ever that our clients receive the best experience possible.”

More news from OneVision: OneVision Resources Launches Regional Rep Network

October 28, 2021 · Roon Announces new Partners and Tested Devices

Roon, a music management, discovery and streaming platform, boasts that it continues to deliver an digital music experience to a wide range of audio devices.

According to the company, it has had a busy quarter with an array of over 25 new Roon Ready and Roon Tested devices from companies such as Arcam, Astell&Kern, Bluesound, JBL, Mission, Rotel and more.

Additionally, Roon says that it has welcomed five new partners into the family, including the British loudspeaker company Mission, whose new LX Connect all-in-one hi-fi system is Roon Tested. Other new partners include Argon Audio, Avik, Silent Angel and Zidoo (featuring three 4K UHD media players that are Roon Ready).

New devices that are Roon Ready include: 

  • Astell&Kern SE200, SE180 DAP and KANN ALPHA portable audio players – Astell&Kern now have seven Roon-compatible devices
  • Arcam ST60 is the company’s first-ever dedicated hi-resolution audio streamer with MQA
  • Bluesound Soundbar+ is an audiophile-grade soundbar with Roon Ready
  • For JBL’s 75th anniversary, the JBL SA750 is a modern-retro Class G amplifier with streaming capabilities.
  •  

For the full list of Roon partner brands and every Roon Ready and Roon Tested device available, visit: roonlabs.com/partners

To learn the difference between Roon Ready and Roon Tested, visit: https://roonlabs.com/roon-partner-programs


Emphasizing its 1.8v software, Roon says new updates include a completely redesigned “Versions” view, making it easier to compare different editions of users’ favorite albums within their music libraries, Qobuz and Tidal.

Also new is one of the most requested features from the Roon community is Native control of Roon from a smartphone, even when the screen is locked. Users can now access essential controls (play, skip, pause, volume control) natively from their Android or iOS device without going into the Roon Remote app. Gesture controls for iOS users have also been implemented.

Other updates released over the summer include its Daily Mixes, which offers six new personalized daily playlists based on users’ TIDAL and Qobuz listening history. Additionally, the platform is offering a redesigned TIDAL experience featuring top charts and staff picks; and improved search interface with predictive auto-complete (across artists, albums, tracks, genres, composers and compositions) to make it even easier and faster to find music.

More news from Roon: Roon Labs Adds Roon Ready Certified Products and Partners

October 27, 2021 · Schneider Electric Announces a Remote Relay Control

Schneider Electric, a manufacturer of energy management and automation products, has announced development of a remote control relay for launch in Q1 2022.

When wired to the QO Plug-On Neutral breaker, this offer will provide monitoring and control of the homeowner’s power loads, including configurations to maximize back up power in the event of an outage. This solution, designed in partnership with Savant Power, adds a new level of control at the branch level to address quickly evolving customer needs while enhancing safety.

The connected remote relay control device will enable homeowners to see, monitor and control their home energy at the individual circuit level, all from the Wiser Energy app. With more granular insights on home activity, homeowners will have the ability to take action from anywhere with a richer automation experience. The relays will optimize backup source capacity, notably providing flexibility for homeowners when navigating outages. 

“With home energy use constantly on the rise, managing demand is more important to potential homebuyers than ever before, in turn giving builders an opportunity to increase the value of their new builds by offering energy management technology,” says Richard Korthauer, vice president, home & distribution, Schneider Electric.

“Incorporating this technology at the building stage offers a new step up in load level control to distinguish new homes that minimize energy costs for homeowners in this dynamic energy market and provide new level of energy resiliency and safety at the breaker level.”

The remote relay control product will also help optimize non-utility home energy resources, including solar power, energy storage and generators in the event of an outage. By creating a virtual configurable critical load panel for each backup power source, available power can be maximized by sending it to only a few priority circuits until the utility power is restored. Automated through the Wiser Energy app, these configurations provide true smart energy management for today’s homeowner.  

“Savant Power, a division of Savant Systems, Inc. enables consumers to monitor, control and optimize energy usage, reducing costs and lessening their dependence on an aging grid system,” notes Robert Madonna CEO, Savant Systems Inc.

“We are excited to partner with Schneider Electric, bringing sustainability and efficiency to every homeowner through intelligent load management. Savant has been leading the smart home industry for over 15 years by automating all pillars of the home including climate, lighting, entertainment, security and now energy all driven by our award-winning software platform.”

More news from Schneider Electric: Schneider Electric Offers ‘Grid to Plug’ Smart Energy Ecosystem

PowerShades Hotel Marcel

October 27, 2021 · PowerShades Products Installed in Net Zero Hotel Marcel

 PowerShades, a provider of manual and automated window shades for residential, commercial and hospitality applications, has announces that it has been selected to outfit the new Hotel Marcel in New Haven, Conn., with over 900 industry-first PoE (Power over Ethernet) automated roller window shades. 

The Hilton-branded Hotel Marcel—the nation’s first “net zero” hotel—will feature PowerShades’ automated shades in 165 guest rooms and meeting rooms throughout the building. The sale includes 468 dual shades (468 blackout shades and 468 solar), as well as 14 single blackouts and 14 single solar shades for a total of 964 PoE motors. 

 Powershades boasts that its shades are the industry’s first and only PoE automated shades, and its “True PoE” shades offer all the benefits of the company’s RF automated product, along with additional advantages not found in any other type of motorized shade. The company explains that with PoE automated shades, a single Cat-5 cable provides both power and communications so there is no proprietary hard wiring necessary. Additionally, the PoE motor is low voltage (under 50 volts AC), so it doesn’t require a licensed electrician.

Moreover, with power coming from a single, central source, more information can be transferred on the network cable while improving reliability over traditional RF solutions.

The shades in each Hotel Marcel guest room will be controllable by guests in two locations: A touchscreen located near the room entrance, as well as bedside buttons. A central control located at the Hotel’s front desk will allow hotel staff to pre-program the shades to open and close at set times including check-in and check-out. Shades can also be programmed in common areas and meeting rooms to reduce energy costs, taking advantage of the warmth of the sun during colder days and keeping rooms cool during the heat of the summer.

The Hotel Marcel will be innovative with its design elements inside and out, and its incorporation of “smart” technology like the PoE shades. The Hotel will also generate 100% of its own electricity, heat and hot water with a rooftop solar array and solar parking canopies making it the first “net-zero” hotel in the country, according to PowerShades. 

“We will be creating one of the country’s most sustainable and innovative hotels, notes Bruce Redman Becker, FAIA, LEED AP of Becker & Becker.

“We selected PowerShades because their automated shades featured the most developed PoE capabilities and were the best fit for our vision of bringing beauty, functionality and sustainability to every room in the hotel.”

More news from PowerShades: PowerShades Introduces Quieter Motors

Samsung SmartThings Matter standard

October 27, 2021 · Samsung SmartThings Introduces Matter Compatibility

Samsung SmartThings, a technology platform that enables connected living, has announced the addition of the new protocol—Matter—that allows users to control Matter-enabled devices using their multiple Samsung products.

Announced at the Samsung Developer Conference, the integration of Matter allows Samsung’s Galaxy devices, televisions, and Family Hub appliances to have the most versatile connectivity options through SmartThings. 

Unveiled earlier this year, Matter is a connectivity standard created by more than 180 companies and is transforming the smart home industry. Matter aims to become the de-facto standard in every home, that offers consumers interoperability between devices, flexibility, and more choices when purchasing connected home devices. As an initial founding member, SmartThings is one of the most flexible platforms able to work with multiple protocols including, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and now, Matter, enabling consumers with existing smart homes to seamlessly integrate new devices into their homes. In addition, Matter opens a brand new chapter of innovation for developers around the globe, allowing more time to focus on creativity while reducing time spent on replicating efforts across various ecosystems.

“We truly believe that Matter is the foundation and future of IoT, and we are thrilled that Samsung SmartThings will be embedding it into so many products accelerating smart home adoption and bringing users more convenient connected home experiences wherever they are,” states Michelle Mindala-Freeman, head of marketing for the Connectivity Standards Alliance.

Matter-enabled devices will join numerous products and brands already available within SmartThings’ growing ecosystem, including devices from Google, eve Systems, Honeywell Home by Resideo, Linksys, Nanoleaf, Philips Hue, Schlage, Wemo, Yale, and more. 

“Samsung televisions, appliances, and Galaxy devices are part of everyday life for millions of people around the world and integrating SmartThings hub functionality into these devices will make it easier for users to experience connected living without additional hardware purchase. On top of that, adding Matter support into the SmartThings platform will only broaden the choices of devices to connect as Matter-enabled devices flood into the market next year,” comments Jaeyeon Jung, corporate vice president at Samsung Electronics and Head of SmartThings.

“Matter will help drive a surge in smart home adoption, and with SmartThings, it will be easier for users to gain smart home experiences with seamless device onboarding, customized automation, and a choice of voice assistants. We’re proud to have been leading this standardization initiative since its inception, alongside other industry leaders in an effort to bring the Matter protocol to life.”

More news from Samsung SmartThings: Samsung SmartThings Announces SmartThings Build