ISE 2013: The installer's viewpoint

posted on Thursday, 7th February 2013 by David Slater

ISE  Events 

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The biggest show on the Inside CI calendar, ISE 2013, promised excitement and it certainly delivered. With this being the 10th anniversary of Integrated Systems Europe, we just knew it was going to be special. With extra halls this year and all the different sectors grouped in a more logic way, it didn't disappoint. 

We like the show for many reasons: it takes you only 45 minutes to fly from Heathrow to Schiphol, everybody who is anybody in this game attends and most of the major manufacturers announce fresh kit for the new season. Wyrestorm had a great new amplifier, the Amp-001-010, which you can connect to a TV to give great sound and control via the Wyrestorm network, a simple product that can do complex things; we at DSE always tried to get a simple solution for TV installs which we fit into furniture and require outboard speakers to be connected - the amp even comes with a subwoofer output. Enado is another interesting development I cannot wait to get my hands on. In essence, it's a powerful and intuitive multi-platform control system comprising of server and encoder hardware, with a browser based user interface that is very simple to program. It will control all your devices and Wyrestorm matrix with ease from iPads, iPhones or other tablets. The software comes with a large database of IR and RS 232 codes.

HDBaseT buzzing at ISE
HDBaseT was the buzzword of Hall 5, with Wyrestorm, HD Connectivity and CYP all within throwing distance of one another. HD Connectivity was proudly showing off its new British made Modular matrix and gorgeously machined Apple-TV style enclosures. Wyrestorm also had a modular version of its Pro range on show, while CYP was showing off new matrices with simplified EDID management as well as new Lite versions of its most popular matrixes. Taking the amplifier one notch further, the new 2 x 30w AU-A300 from CYP is compact in design and can integrate audio from a CYP matrix input, as well as other independent sources. With the shift to Internet ready TVs, this will be a great edition to your  multi room environment, as well offering much needed improvement to TV speaker sound.

Moving further up the hall to the Sonance stand, I discovered its new range of outside speakers; we always struggle to get good sounding, discrete outside speakers. Sonarray, as it is known, is an all in one package with satellite speakers and subwoofer, all priced at around £2,500 SRP. You get eight distinctive satellites and an 8 -inch dual-coil underground sub to add that all important deep bass to outside. The Sonarray SR1 speaker, which incorporates a 3.5-inch anodized aluminum cone, is discrete enough to hide under plants and foliage, so the system should integrate into a garden design very easily without upsetting the landscape gardener.

Awesome home cinema audio
Elsewhere in the same hall, JBL Synthesis and Harmon had a demo cinema room to die for. The sound pressure from this setup was amazing! The scene from Ratatouille, where the old lady with the shotgun takes pot shots at the rats, was still ringing in my ears one week later. Other sexy looking products on its stand included a new range of Revel speakers. The F208 is an 8-inch floor stander with the F206 being the smaller 6-inch; the F208 are priced at £5k per pair and comes in high gloss black and high gloss wood veneer, with the F206 adding high white gloss to the choice. All models are available now from Karma-AV in the UK. 

Lutron opportunities
Another must-see stand to visit was Lutron, where it displayed its latest range of shades and blinds, called Serena, which are RF controlled and powered by internal batteries that last up to 3 years. The blinds can be added into a QS system with ease or independently controlled via iOS devices through Homeworks. One comment I always get back from installers, is the ease of specification of Lutron products, it's a great way to sell. You get your sample books from Lutron, sit down with your client and sell the concept, then measure up and 3-4 weeks later you take delivery of the blinds or shades. Retro fitting is a now massive opportunity, as no longer do you have to get power to the window. Get one foot through the door with blinds and curtain tracks, and the world of possibilities opens for AV and lighting.

The real challenge with ISE was getting around the vast show, but one hall I was determined to visit was Hall 8 where Control4 and its partners were showing some neat kit. Extra Vegetables had a neat new solution in a remote radiator valve which can be controlled via a Control4 system. This is a great cheap solution to controlling zoned heating systems that would normally cost thousands to do. The eQ-3 MAX system enables intelligent control of radiator valves to provide a fully zoned retro fitable heating system. The existing TRV valve heads are replaced with the wireless battery powered MAX! units in a matter of minutes. No plumber is required and the heating system does not need to be drained. The MAX! units then communicate wirelessly with the MAX! Cube, which then connects to the home network. The Control4 driver enables the MAX! system to be represented on the Control4 UIs as individual thermostats for each room. Set points, full scheduling, hold durations and even vacation modes can be set on either system making this a full two way solution.

There was so much more to see, and with sneak peeks at Crestron's 64 x 64 matrices and its new CI speaker range, I needed at least another week to catch up on all stands. Keep an eye out in News for more stories from ISE.

Also read:
ISE 2013: Photo Gallery

 

David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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Posted by Darren Shear on 13rd February 2013, 7:31 PM
A great show really enjoyed all the new kit on show, lots of HDbaseT kit, did like the new modular kit from HD Connectivity and Enado software from Wyrestorm.

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