New Smart Home Technology: CEDIA Highlights

If you missed this year’s CEDIA Expo (“CEDIA” is short for Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) on October 14-17 in Dallas, you missed some exciting news. For starters, after 26 years with the same name, the residential audio-visual industry’s leading trade show is now called the “CEDIA Future Home Experience.” The name change reflects a shift in focus from the traditional trade show to a showcase of how residential AV technology will shape the homes of tomorrow. With smart home technology rapidly gaining adoption, residential AV equipment is no longer just about entertainment — it’s about how we’ll be interacting with our homes in the future. Along with exciting developments in entertainment technology, this year’s CEDIA show gave attendees a preview of how residents will control their smart homes in the years to come.

Ultra HD Projectors

Ultra HD grabbed CEDIA attendees’ attention this year with new ultra-HD projector innovations. Digital Projection demonstrated its Insight 4K Laser and LED projectors, which both hit the marketover the past year. The $120,000 laser projector delivers the same Rec. 709 color range as Blu-ray, with enough brightness and contrast to show up in highly lit rooms. The $150,000 LED projector delivers Rec. 2020 Ultra HDTV color. Both models use millions of tilting microscopic mirrors about one-fifth the width of a human hair to create light or dark pixels, a cutting-edge technology known as digital light processing.

Meanwhile, Sony also unveiled its own 4K projector, the VPL-VW5000ES, described as the first projector specifically designed for home 4K users. The $59,999 projector delivers 5,000 lumens of brightness in Rec. 2020 color and uses high-dynamic-range imaging to simulate the luminous intensity the eye normally sees in everyday life. The VPL-VW5000ES was one of several 4K models Sony introduced at CEDIA.

No More Standing in Movie Lines

Did you ever wish that instead of waiting in line for the midnight showing of the premiere of the next “Star Wars” prequel, you could just watch it at home? Soon you can, according to Prima Cinema, which debuted its Prima 4K Movie Player at this year’s CEDIA. The $35,000 theatrical release movie server lets you download movies that are still playing in theaters, delivering them in 4K with 10-bit color for encrypted 1080p movies. Each movie costs $500 to download, with downloads continuously transmitted and stored to avoid buffering delays. The model is due out next year.

Remote Control: Not Just for TVs Anymore

With smart homes, your remote control doesn’t just control your television set anymore: now it controls your house. DISH Network’s CEDIA booth demonstrated how its Hopper DVR and 4K Joey boxes can now integrate with your home automation network. DISH announced that the Hopper and 4K Joey’s 4K streaming capabilities now work in partnership with Key Digital’s Compass Alliance Partner Program, which lets users control their TV, lights, shade, heating and air conditioning from a single remote. Key Digital customers can now use their mobile devices to access Hopper programming guides, TV and movie information, recorded content and general remote functions.

DISH also announced that the Hopper now connects with Logitech Harmony’s hub-based remotes, which can control home entertainment centers as well as lights, blinds, thermostats and locks. With a push of a single button, you can now turn your whole house on when you come home or off when it’s time for bed.

Smart Home Security Surveillance

Home security applications of residential AV equipment were also featured prominently at this year’s CEDIA. SnapAV introduced its Luma line, which lets you use a DVR-style setup to review home security video footage and interface with motion detection sensors. Stampede and Unmanned Vehicle University demonstrated how drone video systems can serve home security surveillance.