The US is still mired in a recession, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the busy CEDIA Expo show floor, writes Margot Douaihy. Numerous residential control platforms debuted at CEDIA promising simpler operation, better product interoperability, and affordability.
Prodigy is a new line of home control products from Crestron - not yet available in Europe - that the company says that is simple to install with no special wiring, programming, or expensive custom installation required. Prodigy is scalable, so the system can grow at any time.
Crestron also introduced an omni-directional WiFi Touch Panel, the TPMC-3X with integrated 802.11a/b/g and a more ergonomic design (29 tactile buttons, five-way navigation thumbpad, three configurable 'softkeys', and a pushbutton on the side).
Another scalable system is from SpeakerCraft, a manufacturer with a strong European presence, which has introduced an AV distribution and control system called Nirv (pictured).
Built on a modular architecture rather than a central hub design, dealers only need to buy the Nirv pieces necessary for the specific system they've designed. On-screen programming is so easy and intuitive it can be accomplished on site by virtually anyone on the project team. Media, data, control, and communication signals are distributed through one Cat5 cable. Beyond standard AV distribution, the system also integrates theatre surround sound, home automation, and intercom into one package.
SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt said that during CEDIA he was excited by the large international attendance: "[It was the] highest international attendance at our trainings, booth education, and evening dinners. A very high percentage were from Europe and the UK where the business is developing quickly."
Burkhardt said that the investment of these international customers to travel and learn more about growing their businesses was inspiring. "We are looking forward to a record year in Europe and the UK," he said. "Our local team members are available through Europe to train and support this industry. 2010 will be a great year and we look forward to supporting the market with revolutionary new products."