Product Briefs

October 10, 2019 · Hubbell’s iDevices Included in Shea Homes

iDevices, the smart home division of Hubbell Incorporated, has announced a partnership with U.S. homebuilder Shea Homes, to provide smart lighting control in all SheaConnect homes built nationwide.

SheaConnect is a suite of smart home features now included in most new homes built by Shea Homes across the country, designed to improve and ease the daily lives of homeowners. The iDevices Wall Switch will be installed in all SheaConnect homes, giving homeowners the power to schedule and control lighting from anywhere.

“We’re proud to partner with Shea Homes, a highly respected national homebuilder, to help make their SheaConnect homes smart from the start,” says Brian Hoddy, director of sales for iDevices. “For builders like Shea Homes, our integrated smart home products are simple to install and provide homeowners with the freedom to select the smart home platform of their choice once they move in.”

iDevices’ product line is compatible with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and the Google Assistant — meaning homeowners can control Wall Switch with simple voice commands. The iDevices Connected app, available on iOS and Android devices, allows homeowners to create custom scenes and schedules and provides lighting control anytime, anywhere.

Related: Powershades Debuts PoE Motorized Shades

October 8, 2019 · CasaTunes Supports AudioControl Amplifiers

CasaTunes, a manufacturer of streaming multi-room music solutions, has announced support for the complete line of AudioControl Network Amplifiers, including the Director ‘D’ network DSP amplifiers and ‘M’ Series network DSP matrix amplifiers, the D2800, D4600, M4800, M4840, M6400 and M6800 models.  CasaTunes says that as a manufacturer that offers a standalone music server with whole house control and intelligent support for AudioControl network amplifiers it is eliminating the purchase, configuration and maintenance of a whole house automation and control system for audio-only installations.

“Our mission is to provide customers the best “music by the roomful” experience, and the flexibility to install the system that best meets their needs,” says David Krinker, president of CasaTunes. “Partnering with AudioControl allows us to provide customers with powerful high-end solutions, offering an array of features and the capacity to deliver unrivaled whole house audio performance.”

CasaTunes Music Servers offer both music and intelligent matrix amplifier control, native apps for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, voice control, premium Internet radio and music, built-in disc for personal music collections, AV receiver integration, room grouping, waking and sleeping to music. 

In addition, CasaTunes’ products provide seamless SONOS support and integration. CasaTunes emphasizes that SONOS devices work with CasaTunes music servers, both as a music source and as speakers.

CasaTunes points out that by using the CasaTunes App the customer can seamlessly control SONOS, AudioControl and CasaTunes.

Related: Bob Archer’s Top CEDIA Expo 2019 Products: AudioControl Amps

October 7, 2019 · BlackWire Designs to Distribute AVPro Edge HDMI/HDBaseT Matrix Switch

 BlackWire Designs, a distributor in the custom installation market, has announced that the company will distribute AVPro Edge’s new AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-CHASSIS, which is a customizable, card-based HDMI/HDBaseT matrix switch.

For multizone video distribution systems requiring the downmixing of Dolby Atmos/DTS-HD Master Audio, two-channel PCM audio, or both, the flexible unit allows integrators to deliver custom-tailored solutions designed to meet the specific requirements of any installation, without the added cost of unneeded functionality. AVPro Edge named BlackWire as the only distributor authorized to customize the product in-house, offering its signature design services and support to customers. 

“When it comes to video distribution, one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why AVPro Edge’s new customizable matrix switch is a complete game-changer for the residential and commercial markets,” says Kevin Luther, owner of BlackWire Designs. “With fixed matrices, integrators are often paying for more than they need — whether it’s too many inputs and outputs or advanced functionality that will go unused. Unfortunately, they may have to pass these costs on to their clients. The switch is a truly forward-thinking solution, and we are thrilled to bring its unique benefits to our customers.”

Available with a total of 16 inputs and 16 outputs, the AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT is offered with two HDMI input card options, each of which features two inputs and is capable of 4K60 4:4:4. The AVDM card decodes Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio for devices such as streaming media players. AVPro Edge is the only switch manufacturer that provides this capability. For security cameras, on-screen controllers for automation systems, and similar devices, the AUHD card converts two-channel PCM audio into analog. The AUHD-HDBT output card features two zoned HDBaseT outputs, one of which has an HDMI mirror.

Related: Bob Archer’s Top CEDIA Expo 2019 Products: AudioControl Amps

EPV Screens logo

October 4, 2019 · EPV Screens Logo Represents Company’s New Era

EPV Screens, a provider of home theater projector screens for dedicated custom installers, has launched a new logo, marking the first brand change since it’s 2012 inception.  The new design shows a “Tri-color screen-frame” motif around the original EPV chrome lettering. The logo better reflects the brand as it is today, especially in light of the new products introduced over the past 12 months, according to the company.

“Our new logo more effectively communicates what EPV Screens is all about” says EPV Screens‘ Vice President of Sale, Jeff Klida.  “It coincides with our renewed focus on the changing conditions of the projection screen market and the needs of Custom Installers.  We’ve maintained a visual continuity from the original logo but we’re better highlighting our assets as a brand; a very focused line-up of products, fast logistic turnaround, an unprecedented price-to-performance ratio and industry-best margins for our dealers.”

EPV Screens adds the logo was designed in-house, and its new visual identity also reflects the brand’s continued growth from a niche “start-up” to the “go-to” brand for many of the top distributors and dealers in the custom installation channel.

Related: B&O to Focus on Custom Install Market

October 2, 2019 · iPoint Customer Notifications

iPoint says that communication is key in business, and that includes external and internal communication. According to the company, scheduling technicians for work orders is hard enough, especially when it comes to confirming details with the client or rescheduling when needed. iPoint says it can now help streamline this process through Work Order Customer Notifications. 

iPoint Customer Work Order Notifications automate the process of sending customers event reminders and appointment details. Through this option the customer will receive an email with their appointment details as well as information about the technician being sent to the job.

These notices can be automatically sent a specific number of days before the scheduled appointment at a specified time, or manually sent. Additionally, the customer can confirm, cancel, or request the appointment be rescheduled straight from the email. Notifications will alert staff so they can quickly coordinate with the customer.

Each email notification will show customized branding information and provide details about  the Work Order. The customer will see also information about the technician that is scheduled including their photo, name and bio

Related: Bob Archer’s Top 10 CEDIA Expo 2019 Products: Torus Power AVR Elite

September 30, 2019 · WilsonPro BICSI Credit Provider

 Wilson Electronics, a manufacturer of cellular signal amplifier technologies, has announced its WilsonPro Certified Installer Training program has been recognized as a Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI) Continuing Education Credit (CEC) provider. Successful completion of this two-day course will now provide BICSI members with 16 credits of CEC, as well as certification as a WilsonPro installer.

BICSI is a global professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology community and serves more than 23,000 information technology systems professionals. Its members are globally recognized for their premier expertise in cabling system installation and are required to stay up-to-date with industry standards and maintain their credentials through CECs. The WilsonPro training program CEC accreditation will allow BICSI members to add even more value to their businesses, as the WilsonPro installer certification enables them to include Wilson Electronics’ highly sought-after, market-leading cellular amplifier technology to their product lineup.

“We established our best-in-class installer training program to not only help installers and integrators grow their revenue by offering industry-leading WilsonPro solutions to their customers, but to also ensure end users have access to a large, highly-trained pool of installers they can trust to get the job done,” says Bruce Lancaster, CEO of Wilson Electronics. “As the only cellular signal booster provider with a training program with BICSI CEC accreditation, we’re proud to add even more value to our training while servicing the best and brightest installation professionals in the industry.”

Related: Voting Opens for 2020-2021 CEDIA Board Elected Director Candidates

Roku adds TIDAL

September 26, 2019 · Roku adds TIDAL Streaming

Roku has announced that is now offers users the ability to stream millions of songs through the TIDAL streaming service.

The new TIDAL channel features a custom interface for Roku devices and offers some awesome features for music fans:

  • Over 60 million songs and over 250,000 high-quality music videos
  • Thousands of playlists curated by TIDAL’s expert editorial team, industry experts, artists and more
  • Live and on-demand streams of concerts from some of the world’s biggest artists
  • Exclusive music documentaries, original shows, and podcasts

As part of the streaming service Roku offers two monthly subscription options: 

  • Premium ($9.99/month), which offers a standard sound quality
  • HiFi ($19.99/month), which offers lossless High-Fidelity sound quality, allowing you to experience music as the artists intended it to be heard

Both options offer a 30-day free trial, and you can sign up directly through the TIDAL channel on your Roku device.

Roku points out that with the debut of its new Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Wireless Subwoofer this fall, homeowners will be able to listen to its streaming entertainment platform with content that includes TIDAL’s high-quality catalog.

Related: Amazon Hi Rez Streaming Audio Service

September 26, 2019 · Dirac, RHA Enter into Alliance

The Swedish audio company Dirac has announced a commercial agreement with RHA, a British manufacturer of earphones, to explore the integration of Dirac’s latest audio algorithms into RHA headphones.

According to Dirac, the collaboration marks an important step for Dirac as it establishes itself as a global developer of digital sound optimization solutions for the headphone market. 

Lars Isaksson, general manager of headphone audio, Dirac, notes that RHA’s commitment to excellence in audio and product design makes the company an ideal collaborator as Dirac further expands into this important market.

“Dirac has grown into the globally-recognized leader in digital sound optimization that it is today through both best-in-class technology, but also successful collaborations with premium brands that share its passion for excellence,” states Isaksson. “This is true of our automotive business and its work with Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Volvo; our home theater business and its work with Harman, Datasat, and NAD; our mobile business and its work with OnePlus, Oppo, and Xiaomi; and now our headphone business, thanks to our collaboration with RHA.”

Kyle Hutchison, director of product, RHA, comments that its relationship with Dirac reinforces the company’s mission to deliver the best possible audio quality for customers.

“Dirac shares our vision for the future of personal audio. This collaboration combines our design and engineering experience with Dirac’s award-winning sound optimization software and strong research background. Our shared creative outlook and commitment to the highest standards in audio technology promise to deliver a unique suite of headphone solutions,” said Hutchison. “This collaboration will help us to push the boundaries of audio immersion and develop a new standard for headphone listening.”

Dirac’s suite of headphone optimization solutions includes Dirac 3D Audio and Dirac HD Sound. Both solutions are said to be tailored to a customer’s specific hardware and requirements. 

Dirac 3D Audio allows headphones to achieve more convincing externalization, a realistic sense of space, accurate acoustical characteristics of different audio objects, correct distance and location, and more. Dirac HD Sound corrects headphones’ impulse and frequency response to transform distorted sound stages, feeble bass or poor clarity into a pristine, dynamic sound experience the company boasts.  

Related: TechTalk: How Sound United Enlists AVRs for Remote Management

September 26, 2019 · Powerhouse Alliance adds Niles Audio

Expanding the national distribution footprint for its brands, Nortek Security & Control LLC, a global manufacturer of wireless security, home automation, access control, and health and wellness products, has announced that the complete line of Niles whole home audio solutions is now available through PowerHouse Alliance, which is a national consortium of regional wholesale distributors. 

According to NSC director of channel marketing Randy Logan, Niles dealers now have more options than ever before to purchase the brand nationwide. 

“PowerHouse Alliance has been a strategic partner for over five years and they already support many of our brands, including Panamax, Sunfire, Xantech and 2GIG,” says Logan. “By adding Niles to their product offerings, PowerHouse Alliance distributors make it easier than ever for integrators to leverage the breadth and depth of the Niles line. This partnership truly expands the installation possibilities for our customers.”

Related: Bob Archer’s Top 10 CEDIA Expo 2019 Products: Leon Speakers Ente Soundtile

September 24, 2019 · D-Tools and Savant Team up to Deliver Dealer Pricing Access

D-Tools and Savant, have announced that the two companies have partnered to enable direct access to Savant’s complete product specifications and dealer-specific, real-time pricing, from within the D-Tools Cloud environment.  

Building on 20 years of experience in providing tools and resources that help integrators be more efficient and effective, D-Tools Cloud is a web-based SaaS application that guides users through managing sales prospects, quoting, system design, and procurement. The integration of Savant’s complete product catalog and pricing into D-Tools Cloud allows integrators to deliver quick and accurate quotes and baseline system designs to clients in real-time. Alternatively, D-Tools Cloud users can generate multimedia proposals and browser-based plan view and line connection drawings that enable a level of client engagement like never before.

D-Tools states the collaboration provides benefits that include:

  • Direct access to Savant’s product specifications and real-time, dealer-specific pricing from within the D-Tools Cloud experience
  • The solution streamlines the assembly of proposals, system designs, and purchase orders through a fully integrated workflow
  • D-Tools says the tool delivers a friction-free and efficient sales process with real-time proposal generation, e-sign capabilities, mobile payment processing
  • The tool provides a data-driven, collaborative, system design process for clearer communications across teams and with clients
  • Using the tool provides instantaneously and significantly expands the list of products, along with dealer cost, available to D-Tools Cloud users

Related: Savant Home App for Apple TV