Over 26,000 home theater dealers traveled to the Mile High City of Denver to learn what is new and improved in our industry. They were not let down. The manufacturers filled the entire convention center with the latest in technology that will make your home completely automated. There were projectors that had such high resolutions that you thought you were looking at a movie screen. Soon the movie theater will go the way of the drive-in.
If you have a large collection of music CDs or DVDs, there are huge selections of media servers, which will store your entire collection in a very small space. Why buy music CD’s when you can down load any album into your server?
Plan for HDTV now. In 2007, all broadcasts will be HD. High definition TV is the new digital standard for enhanced picture quality. Don’t buy a new television unless it will accept high-definition. There is a full-spectrum of flat panel televisions that can handle HD and the costs are dropping. Look for lower prices this fall and even lower prices in 2007. HD pictures and sound are outstanding. Some speaker companies are offering 7:1 surround sound.
Because of the vast number of components that now go into a system, be sure that you shop for equipment that can be integrated seamlessly and operated with an easy to use control system. There are control systems for just about any budget, depending on the equipment that you want to manage.
If you plan to build or buy a new home, have it pre-wired for everything now, even if you do not plan to use the technology until a later date. It will save a lot of headaches and cost in the future. There are control systems for video, audio, lighting, security, window coverings, broken water pipes and lawn maintenance.
Let’s take a walk through the myriad aisles of Home Toys at CEDIA.
Think inside the box. The HD Codex box is a network media player that gives you instantaneous access to all of your movies, videos, music and digital photos. It will support 1080p video and 7.1 surround sound. The HD Codex provides an easy intuitive on-screen user interface. It can also be controlled by an IR remote or RS-232. Codex has three models from 250 Gb to 1.6 terabytes.
CodexNovus, Inc. www.codexnovus.com
The Home Tecor™ control system by Nubu is a solution centered around Nobu’s inwall touch screen. It is 802.11 ready and is capable of controlling virtually any subsystem within the home. The system is preprogrammed and ready to install out of the box. In comes in a ready to use package deal and is very affordable.
Lighting never sounded so good. You read that right. LimeLight audio introduced a line of lamps that are also speakers. You get 360Â° surround sound that can be heard but not seen. The cabinets enclose a 6.5″ woofer and a 1″ tweeter and the speaker is rated at 150 watts. These lamp-speakers come in six colors with the look and feel of granite. The lamps come with a three-way switch. These are perfect for rear channel speakers or as accent lamps for the living or bedroom.
Limelight Audio www.limelightaudio.com
Mirror, mirror on the wall. One of the most unique products at the show is the Magic Message Mirror. It looks and functions like a decorative wall mirror, but when your home automation/security system senses a change in your environment, “Basil of the Mirror” (a somewhat pompous English butler animated personality) magically appears and verbally provides real-time information, such as, “Will someone please greet our guests at the door?” By adding cameras to the system, you can actually see any area in or around your home through the mirror. If you would like to have your own animatronic character, just like Disney, try the talking pirate skull. Don’t miss out on the fun.
Themeaddicts Inc. www.themeaddicts.com
The world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of TV lifts introduced Shadow Trak. You do not have to knock a hole in your wall to accommodate the Shadow Trak System. Your flat panel TV fits into the system, which is wall mounted. You can then hang a picture of your choice in front of the TV. With a push of a button, the painting moves up and reveals your TV. It has never been easier to hide your flat-panel TV and use your own art.
Auton Motorized Systems www.auton.com
Yamaha introduced a multi-channel surround-sound system from a single component. Why have multiple speakers when one will do? The YSP-1000 contains 42 digital amplifiers to power 42 sound drivers, delivering remarkable multi-channel enjoyment from a single component. This system focuses sound into beams, which are reflected off of the room walls. Each channel is given separate direction, which you hear all around you. With IntelliBeam™, the system automatically calibrates the system.
Yamaha Electronics Corp, USA www.yamaha.com/home
Get in touch with your music. Imagine the ultimate music experience with thousands of albums in living color at your fingertips. Music isn’t simply something you hear. It’s the soundtrack to your life. There are no fans or moving parts to take away from the experience. Sooloos delivers the music, bit-for-bit, as it was mastered to the CD. You set the stage.
Sooloos LLC www.sooloos.com
Where are the speakers? Anima Technologies has created the ultimate “WOW” factor with its SoundUnseenÂ® solution. All visual signs of a sound source disappear, yet the audio quality is astounding. The entire room is filled with high definition surround sound, while the interior look of your walls is left to be inspirational. This plastered in-wall or in-ceiling product reproduces high definition sound with zero visual interference to your room’s aesthetics.
Amina Technologies Ltd. www.amina.co.uk
Experience high-definition living with NÅ«Vision. NÅ«Vision has a 52″ LED DLP rear projection HDTV with 1080p resolution. If you prefer LCD, NÅ«Vision has 47″ and 42″ HDTV monitors with 1080p resolution. The video is deep black for outstanding images. Check out their 37,” 32,” 26,” and 23″ monitors as well.
Have you ever left the house wondering if you unplugged an appliance? Do you keep your fingers crossed that the washer doesn’t blow a hose? Heartbeat™ by Eaton is one of the coolest products at Cedia. Heartbeat™ is a wireless home awareness system that monitors open/closed doors, windows, water-leaks, and appliances, which draw power. The system installs in 10 â€“ 15 minutes and the starter-pack costs an unbelievably low $169.99 for the greatest peace of mind. If you own a home, you have to see this system.
Eaton Electrical www.homeheartbeat.com
It’s wireless. It’s musical. It works! Send music files from your PC, Mac or MP3 player to your audio sound system, wirelessly. The Soundcast engineering team has refined their wireless technology to the point where the microwave oven, or the cordless phone will not effect the quality of your listening experience anywhere in your house. No buzzes, no dropouts, no distortion.
Soundcast Systems www.soundcastsystems.com
Starry, starry nights. iSky brings the night sky into your home theater. You attach the sky panels to your ceiling and interconnect the cables. Your room fills with stars. You can even adjust the star-brightness. iSky panels are made with fiberglass acoustic material. Each panel is structured to enhance any audio system â€“ even a little night music.
Take the old and make it new. That is what Cambridge Soundworks did with radios. Their Radio 705 is a simple AM/FM radio, which sells for $119.99, but you can progress all the way to their CD 745. The CD 745 features an AM/FM tuner with a display of RDS information, 24 presets and dual alarms. It plays standard CDs or MP3-encoded CDs. It has a dock for iPod users and a remote to control the radio and the iPod. The radio has Soundcraft’s 2.1 speaker design, including a built-in powered subwoofer.
Cambridge Soundworks www.cambridgesoundworks.com
Press a button and create a safe path of light to, through and around your house. AuroRa gives you remote control of your lights from outside of your house. Or, from the comfort of your bed, press one button to control the lights in and around your house â€“ no need to walk from room to room to control each light. The AuroRa system comes complete, ready to use with no programming. It can be plugged into a standard wall outlet and placed discreetly in a closet or under the bed.
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. www.lutron.com
Dock it and rock it with Channelvision’s iPod wall dock. With support for both standard and A-BUS whole-house audio systems, you can listen to your favorite iPod tunes in one room, while others listen to theirs, in separate rooms, through the same system. Fits in a single gang box for a stylish look.
Channel Vision www.channelvision.com
It may be Imerge’s forth generation hard disk audio system but it might be your first choice. You can record and play music in uncompressed WAV, MP3 and WQMA formats. You can create a play list rapidly for parties or themed music moods. You can navigate by colorful cover art. And if you want to expand the 80 Gb drive, you can link several servers. The system is compatible with Amx, Crestron Xantech, NetStreams and other controllers.
Imerge America www.imergeamerica.com
Us old timers remember the Crosley name. Well, the name is back and you can buy a Crosley jukebox for your rec room or home theater. The CR12-Di is designed with a robust music server, which combines functionality and form, reminiscent of the 1950’s jukebox. It can hold up to 1500 hours of content. Ready for that dance marathon? The iJuke uses an integrated dock for iPod. Watch the perculating bubble tubes, the colorful neon lighting and dream about the days gone by.
Crosley Radio www.crosleyradio.com
If you are a true audiophile, you’ll love HIVI’s ultra high-end home theater system, the Swans 2.2 HT. You will think that you are sitting in a movie theater instead of your own home. The Swans 2.2 HT contains 104 drivers, 16 mid-range tweeters and 4 robust 8″ woofers. The cabinets are beautifully finished in Rosewood and piano black. If you want to get lost in the movie, these speakers will do it for you.
HIVI, Inc. www.hivi.com
Have you ever watched a movie with a great car chase and wanted to be part of the action? Now, you can with the D-BOX™ Integrated Motion System. When a movie is played in your DVD player, the controller recognizes the movie and loads the appropriate D-BOX motion code. The signal is then transferred to the actuators under your chair, which respond to the commands. Your seat then becomes part of the action. D-BOX currently offers over 650 encoded movies and TV series.
D-BOX Technologies, Inc. www.d-box.com
Athena Technologies introduced the iVoice iPod sound dock. The iVoice is wall mountable. The iVoice charges your iPod while it is operating. It comes with a remote control. Using a USB interface, you can connect to iTunes without removing your iPod from the dock. The iVoice plays loud and clear.
Athena Technologies www.athenaspeakers.com
Home theater addiction starts with total visual immersion into a new video dimension. One of the most neglected segments of the home theater is the screen. Screen Innovations will change that for you. Screen Innovations is a premium video projection screen company that creates luxurious screen solutions for your home theater. Their VisÃ¡ge screen uses breakthrough technology, which allows you to view video images with the lights on or off. Optical filters absorb ambient light while the projected light is displayed clear and bright. This screen is ideal for your home theater, game room, and recreation room.
Screen Innovations www.screeninnovations.com