ISE 2020 Highlights
Hot on the heels of last month’s CES show in Vegas, was the annual ISE show for technology integrators in Amsterdam. We take our annual look at some of the highlights from a smart home and home cinema point of view.
We’ve completed a number of high-specification home cinema rooms using Meridian’s unique active DSP speaker technology (see case studies coming later in the year). This was the first opportunity to see and hear their new top-of-the range DSP750 in-wall speaker for premium cinema rooms where there’s no compromise on power on performance. Five drive-units are powered by a bridged pair of Dynamic Hi-Res amplifiers—each pair capable of delivering over 100W into 8 Ohms. Combined with their CLASS-M DSP technology and Enhanced Bass Alignment (EBA) these are certainly a speaker to be reckoned with.
New Savant Soundbar
Soundbars are increasingly popular as a way of significantly enhancing the audio capabilities of the built-in speakers of a large TV; especially in living rooms, bedrooms or media rooms that can’t accommodate a full surround sound speaker array. The new 55-inch wide 3-channel LCR (left, centre, right) from Savant is also a smart speaker; it integrates Savant’s on-screen user interface allowing easy control of the home’s lighting, energy management, climate control and other smart devices when used as part of a Savant Pro system.
Control4 meets Neeo
The Neeo all-on-one AV remote was launched a few years ago to critical acclaim, and that didn’t go unnoticed by the folks at Control4. Control4 acquired Neeo and have quietly re-purposed it to be a fully-fledged remote for their Control4 home automation platform. Neeo is the first Control4 handheld remote to combine the benefits of hard buttons and a touchscreen and offers faster access to the things customers use most, such as favourite streaming services, most-watched TV stations, playlists and room-level/household-level smart home scenes. The remote also offers voice control via both Alexa and Google Assistant, but rather than always listening, which some customers aren’t comfortable with, it is only activated when the voice control button is pressed.
“Neeo is as easy to use as it is beautiful. It’s nice to have all our favourite stations just right there on the main screen and easily accessible. And, unlike the pile of remotes we’ve accumulated, it’s certainly not an eyesore—it’s actually a piece of technology that I don’t mind lying around for guests to see. I’m sure it will even be a conversation starter for many of our friends and family when they come to visit,” said Jennifer Reed, Control4 beta customer.
Control for very large homes
Control4 also showcased their new CA-10 controller designed for large installations where redundancy and high-availability are required to meet customer expectations. The CA-10 controller delivers four times the processing power and memory of the EA-5 controller for consistent performance, even when controlling thousands of devices.
James and Sonance Collaboration
Again, James Loudspeaker are a popular choice at Cyberhomes for our high-end projects. The acquisition of James by Sonance was celebrated at ISE with general enthusiasm for the opportunity to bring a complete range of performance speakers (both indoor and outdoor) to the custom installation market.
PMC completes its in-wall range
The other speaker brand that caught or eye (or was it ear) is PMC. They introduced new on-wall and in-wall custom installation speakers, the ci30, ci45, ci65 and ci90slim; these, along with the existing ci140,and ci140sub means PMC are now able to offer a complete range of slimline, high-performance on-wall and in-wall speakers. Installer-friendly features like the Qikfire spring-loaded mounting system ensure the speakers are simple and quick to install using a screwdriver and also allows micro adjustments post-installation.
So perhaps no major revolution at this year’s ISE; but definitely some exciting evolution that we’re keen to bring to our clients’ projects.