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CEDIA Expo (US) – Push for more connectivity

test 25 September 2009

Many manufacturers in the custom electronics sector are creating widget- and Ethernet-enabled TV sets that stream viewers’ favorite web content instantly. Some are making 1080p-cablable Net Sets, writes Margot Douaihy. Sony says that the number of “connected TV sets” will triple in 2010, which is why the next generation of the Sony Bravia will be wired for IP connections and equipped with RS-232.

Sony says that users can enjoy streaming movies and content instantly from sites like Netflix, Slacker, and YouTube.

It’s an appealing scenario, and one that has proven to be popular in the integrated audio market. Many audio solutions stream web radio and subscription services like XM/Sirius, therefore, it was only a matter of time before TV/web convergence caught traction.

NuVo Technologies, a US manufacturer making strong inroads across European install markets, debuted its Music Port Server at CEDIA (pictured) with simultaneous outputs, and is equipped for internet radio featuring Pandora, RadioTime, SIRIUS, and XM. The Music Port client delivers control from any network-connected computer or compatible touch screen. It also offers RS-232 pass-through.

“We’re at the end of the era of hard drives and spinning optical discs. It’s wireless HDMI that’s going to get us into the retrofit market,” CEDIA educator and custom installer Rich Green told the audience at the CEDIA ‘Pre-Game’ session. “Connectivity is more important than ever,” he said. “If a product doesn’t have a network, it’s essentially useless.”

To help deliver more content in HD, HDMI is a good solution. But HDMI is as challenging a connectivity prospect as it is promising. Among many issues integrators still face is how to install the cable, which is why connectivity solutions provider Gefen released its third solution for transmitting HDMI video and audio wirelessly. The GefenTV Wireless for HDMI 60Ghz Extender uses WirelessHD technology to reach outdoor areas, ceiling mounted projectors, and televisions placed over fireplaces without long run cables.

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