Sunday, September 9, 2012

CEDIA Expo: Woofers, tweeters and high-tech racks!

I’ve just returned from a huge AV expo in Indianapolis and can now reveal that I’ve gotten an up close and personal look at the future. I’m not at all certain what I’ve seen, but I think I can report that it’s pretty darn impressive and headed in our direction.

The price of admission was simply being willing to leave my comfy home in the Land of Cotton and travel to Indiana with my son-in-law Josh to something called the CEDIA Expo, a massive trade show featuring 400 exhibitors from around the world focusing on hot and new stuff for the home automation market.
Josh, fortunately, speaks the lingo and helped me understand all the magical new products that will be spilling onto the market in coming months. For instance, a major manufacturer of entertainment systems and other such stuff, and a high-tech outfit that manufactures, ah, high-tech control systems, offered me all the free booze I wanted before announcing they’ve partnered up on a new audio video receiver featuring a complete home automation system. I’m thinking this is a good thing!

At a lavish, pre-expo gathering, honchoes from the two companies explained that the STR-DA5800ES and STR-DA2800ES both contain the full software suite offered up by one group and differ only by their levels of AV performance. I haven’t a clue what any of that means. Meanwhile, I also learned that the 5800, the ultimate home theater, will feature 180 watts per channel, 9.2 channels, wideband amplification, a new circuit board grounding system and new DSP technology. Fortunately, I also learned that there were brownies and lemon squares for dessert and that the open bar would, ah, remain open after the presentation!
After a good night’s rest, Josh and I joined with a few thousand other AV specialists from across the country, and were greeted at the doors of the convention center by a bevy of really tall women in really tight dresses showing off their woofers and tweeters! They, and a bunch of guys in color-coordinated polo shirts, also showed off the latest in flat screen TVs, speakers, control pads, home entertainment systems, remote control units, keypads, touch screens, home control eco-systems, projectors and dimmers. That pretty much got us through the first of a dozen or so showrooms! I did mention there was booze, right?

On the last evening of the show I started to believe that I could understand some of the high-tech talk that was spilling about me. For instance, I learned that Xantech (I’m not making this up) was planning to introduce Xtranet, its next generation of wired and wireless products for integration into commercial and home AV systems. I actually understood the words wireless and commercial in that annoucement. Truth to tell, I was just happy to hang out with the tall babes at the free bars. As I recall, we spent most of our time chatting about their new, easy to mount racks!

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