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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

What I'm Looking Forward to at CEDIA 2014

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 3:00 PM

With CEDIA EXPO just two short months away, it’s time to start getting excited for this annual spectacle custom installers have come to know and love.

This will by my 16th EXPO and far from familiarity breeding contempt, I think I actually come to look forward to the show a little more each year.

And having been to EXPO in New Orleans, Atlanta, Indy, and Minneapolis, I can definitively say that Denver is my favorite host city and I’m thrilled – THRILLED – that it is once again being held in the uber-clean and friendly mile-high city!

With that, here are the things I’m most looking forward to at this year’s show!

Kaleidescape Post Settlement

This will be the first tradeshow following Kaleidescape settling its decade-long dispute with the DVD CCA. For once the specter of that suit won’t be hanging over the company’s head and Kaleidescape will be free to focus all of its energy and resources on getting back to what they do best: innovating and improving the world’s leading movie server.

I’m looking forward to (hopefully) hearing a lot of exciting announcements regarding the company and developments with its unique movie download store.

Dolby Atmos Demos

If you haven’t heard, Dolby is bringing its new theatrical sound format, Atmos, to the home. I’m a freak for surround sound – my personal system is 9.1-channels – so I’m all for any new developments to home theater audio.

And with Atmos at home supporting up to 34 speakers -24 on the floor and 10 overhead – I’m hoping for some insanely awesome demos! The companies already announcing Atmos support include Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer, Onkyo, Integra, and Definitive Technology, so expect to see me wandering around those booths at EXPO!

The Launch of Origin Acoustics

When an industry icon like Jeremy “SpeakerCraft” Burkhardt says his new company, Origin Acoustics, has some “killer” intellectual property and is looking to “reinvent” the architectural speaker category, how can you NOT take note and be curious?!? Plus, if anyone knows how to put on a great show, it’s Burkhardt. (Remember Lucent Dossier, anyone?) Jeremy, consider this my RSVP for the press event!

New Automation News

Whether you are a dealer for Lutron, Control4, Crestron, Savant, Elan, URC or other, CEDIA is the place where big automation announcements are made. CEDIA is where you discovered that the iPhone and iPad were going to replace touchscreen controls.

CEDIA is where Lutron unveiled battery powered shades and Radio RA2. Where Nest announced Control4 integration. Where Crestron announced Adagio and airConnect and 4K UltraHD ready DM and so much more. CEDIA is the place where the products you will be using next year are going to be introduced. Don’t you want to be there to see it happen?

Networking Know-How

The theme to last year’s EXPO was “Own the Network, Own the Home,” and that has only continued in importance for our industry.

As virtually every new device in the modern connected home is reliant on the network for communication, it’s more important than ever to own the network before it pwns you!

What’s a managed switch do? How do you incorporate multiple WAPs? How do devices communicate across different VLANs? You can get the know-how from experts at EXPO.

What’s Next for Wireless Audio?

More and more companies are getting into the wireless audio space, and being able to install audio throughout a home without difficult and costly retrofitting can open up millions of homes worth of potential new clients.

Whether you like Sonos, Nuvo, Russound, Bluesound, or Denon’s new HEOS wireless distribution is the future and something you need to know about.

Real Home Theater

I don’t care how big flat panel TVs get, to me home theater will always mean a two-piece projection system with a giant screen.

Last year’s CEDIA brought a true 4K projector from Sony for under $16,000 and an improved flagship for under $28,000, had JVC pushing black levels and contrast boundaries even further, had Digital Projection debuting the world’s first 3-chip DLP LED projector, and brought us the incredible performing ,value-priced Epson 6030. Can’t wait to see what this year’s projection announcements are!

Lifting Some Pints

There aren’t too many states as craft beer friendly as Colorado. The state ranks 4th in number of craft breweries (175), 4th in craft breweries per capita, 3rd in barrels of craft beer produced each year and 2nd in gallons of craft beer drank per adult! All that means you can find some amazing beer to drink while enjoying the post-EXPO nightlife.

One of my favorite Denver beers is Upslope’s Imperial IPA. Almost anything from Avery Brewing Co is also wonderful. And while not a Colorado brew, Denver is one of the few places outside of California where you can find Russian River’s Pliny the Elder on draft.

According to Denver resident and craft beer cook extraordinaire, Chelsea Mitchell, some terrific locations for getting your craft beer drink on are Falling Rock Taphouse, Fresh Craft, Euclid Hall, Star Bar and the Breckenridge Tap House and Cheeky Monk.

Demonstrative Demonstrations

It’s not every day you get to listen to a company’s flagship speaker system powered by another company’s flagship amplifier that is connected to another company’s flagship projector.

EXPO offers some of the most awesome A/V demonstrations around, showing you the industry’s current state of the art. To get you excited, here’s a list of my favorite demos from 2013 EXPO.

Whatever your reason, make sure you have plans to attend CEDIA EXPO 2014! Click here and register with code CT1 and you can get in for FREE!

Categories: June 2014, CES/CEDIA, Beer/Liquor/Wine

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