Blog Mobster Bjorn Jensen: 6 Most Exciting Products at CEDIA Expo

AMX touchscreen, Yale Real Living locks, Savant SmartView video tiling, Key Digital Compass Control, SurgeX Axess Elite make Bjorn's list of top products at CEDIA Expo 2012

As CEDIA Expo 2012 came to an end, I decided to prepare a short round-up of what I saw as new and exciting to our industry.

There were so many products shown this year, it’s hard to focus on only a few; I managed narrow it down to just these six.

1. Savant SmartView Tiling software
This new SmartView video-tiling application from Savant Systems was so exciting for me, CE Pro gave it its own story. You can read about it here.

2. Universal Remote Control’s DMS-AV Receiver with Home Automation Inside
image Like the amazing new receivers from Sony that incorporate Control4 home automation — which have already been extensively covered (story here, review here) — this product merges the two worlds of AV/Receivers and control processors.

With 7.2 channels of surround sound, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and URC’s multichannel stereo and surround modes this piece has sound capabilities you wouldn’t normally expect from a company that has forever made its way as a control company.

When adding other URC DMS products you can actually listen to up to 44 audio inputs from everything from a turntable or a tape deck, to an MP3 player or a CD Player.

This thing houses 5 HDMI 1.4a inputs, 2 component inputs, 4 composite inputs, 1 HDMI Output, does 1080p upscaling, etc. etc. Of course that’s not all. This works with URC’s Total Control system as a full blown processor so that you have one less box to buy and install to clutter up your clients rack or lowboy.

As has been mentioned with the Sony/Control4 receiver, this product gives the integrator the chance to start a client off with a product that will give them the chance to add almost limitless control as soon as their client realizes they can add more and more functionality once they get hooked on something simple.

This is a turnkey solution that will undoubtedly bring more folk into the world of home automation.

3. AMX MXD-2000XL-PAN Modero X Touchscreen
image What can I say about this touchscreen other than it is just pure sexy and gorgeous!

Unlike most touchscreens that have been stuck in the same 4:3 or 16:9 form factor for so many years, AMX has broken out of the mold with this 20.3” panoramic screen that is just a beauty to behold. Because of its wide length this panel can have many pages of control at a user’s fingertips without having to scroll around pages back and forth for simple tasks.

You can have the floor plan of the house on one side where you can drill down into individual rooms, see door lock status, etc. while at the same time control the music currently playing on the other side.

Incorporating features like near field communication (NFC), an HD camera for video calls, and Bluetooth this is a feature-packed panel that packs everything I love about this industry into one beautiful piece of machinery.

But wait it gets even better. As part of the AMX Unity program, if you purchase a video switcher and one of these panels, AMX will provide FREE programming and touchpanel design along with high quality support to go with it.

This makes it easy for somebody to get started selling higher-end gear to their clients and getting a taste of what it’s like to step up to one of the top dogs in control.

4. Yale Real Living Home Locking Solution
The Yale Real Living Cylinderless Deadbolt is my favorite new keyless entry lock of choice.

For years I used a competitor’s lock that worked really well but had some major drawbacks. It seems that Yale has addressed every single issue I had with my previous lock and gone two steps further.

First of all, the quality of the build is top notch. Just touching it and turning the deadbolt lets you know that this is going to last a long long time.

The first thing that catches your eye is the black face where normally three-dimensional numbers would appear. With a touch of the screen the keypad appears. If you don’t press anything the numbers disappear one by one like something out of a sci-fi movie. Really cool!

It has too many features to mention in this short article but I’m going to list the problems I had with my old lock and then explain how Yale overcame them.

a) My old lock batteries would run out without any warning making it necessary to always have a key JUST in case.

Yale monitors the level of the batteries and will warn you 30 days before the batteries die, and then two more times after that. If for some reason you didn’t get the message or were too lazy to change the batteries you’re not out of luck. At the bottom of the lock is a connection for a nine-volt square battery that can be connected up to give the lock enough boost to open the door. How cool is that?

image b) The numbers on my old lock would wear off over time. For me it wasn’t a problem because I had entered the code so many times that I had the sequence memorized, but I didn’t realize until I had to have someone watch my dog while I was away that they had no idea which number was which. Well, there’s nothing to wear off on this thing. The smooth screen houses LED numbers below it that have no way of wearing off.

c) My old lock gave me the ability to create only two key codes — one for myself and one for guests that I could change more regularly. This lock gives you the ability to create up to 250 codes. Did I mention that it also has control capabilities? This way you can actually keep tabs of who is coming in with their own individual code. A friend of mine mentioned they use a similar lock by Yale and they give a different code to each of their delivery people (UPS, FedEx). This way they know when they’ve dropped off a package because they receive an email alert as soon as they walk through the door.

The control and connectivity features of this thing are where it really shines. There are modules for both ZigBee and Z-Wave so you get to choose your poison. There’s even NFC. What can I say, I just bought a new house with tons of door locks all over the place and this is what I want to use to manage them all.

5. Key Digital Compass Control
image I’m sure everybody who walked by the Key Digital booth saw the woman in the blue outfit and funny hat luring people in. Now if you’ve seen any of the members of the Blog Mob you’d ask, “What gives this guy the right to criticize other people’s hats?”

What I guess they were trying to make obvious with the hat is that Key Digital is no longer just about video/audio distribution, switchers, baluns, etc. They’re now a full-blown control company.

The reason this is high on my list is not necessarily because I think their app is the coolest or even works the best (I wouldn’t know).

It’s because I think it’s a revolution in the way of looking at control in general. Of course I could be wrong and somebody else could be doing this already but from what I can tell this is the first time any company has eliminated the control processor and embedded the appropriate apps and software in its own switchers and iOS devices.

 

This article originally appeared in: CEPro.com

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