Review: Habitech NWDC 2016 CI dealer event & Photo Gallery

posted on Monday, 7th November 2016 by David Slater

Habitech  Trade show 

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Time to hit the road again with a trip to North West Design Centre in Oldham for a preview of all things new from Habitech. Winston Williams, Northern Sales Manager for Habitech, has been working closely with NWDC for the last couple of years to bring design and technology closer together, and the result is now a must-visit calendar event of the area. The centre is part of the Dawnville Group, responsible for some of the most stunning commercial bars and club interiors in the country.

The one day event is designed to show Northern dealers what’s available from Habitech, without them having to trek further down the country to Habitech HQ in Basingstoke - and there was plenty to see!

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Integrators were introduced to Wyrestorm’s new 4K H2X matrix with 10 x 10 video and, thanks to new dedicated audio matrix switching, 30 x 10 audio capabilities. This is leading edge hardware. Offering full-range 4K UHD HDMI 2.0 inputs, the matrix supports the latest 4K source devices with HDR content at 2160p up to 60Hz plus full 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. HDBaseT outputs distribute 2160p at 4:2:0 8-bit at 60hz or 4:2:0  10-bit HDR (BT.2020) at 24Hz for full compatibility with the latest 4K sources and display devices. Alongside Wyrestorm’s HDBaseT solution, integrators had another opportunity to learn about the company’s superbly versatile and scalable AV-over-IP offering Network-HD, which is optimised for large-scale hospitality applications.

The NWDC also staged a stunning demonstration of the Ultrawide cinema aspect ratio, via a Panamorph UltraWide lens. The majority of feature films are made in this format, so being able to show them in a home cinema environment at the best possible resolution is a really attractive proposition. Not only does this optional lens allow the installation of large UltraWide screens within the normal ceiling height of UK rooms, its panoramic picture avoids the letterboxing of UW on 16:9 screens, restoring full pixel resolution and light output from the projector. 4K Blu-ray looks sensational. The Panamorph lens can be used with a wide variety of projectors, including JVC’s e-shift range. The team also demonstrated the dramatic improvement in quality to be enjoyed when projecting on a custom-designed Projecta UHD screen as opposed to a standard vinyl surface.

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Networking and security was also a hot topic at the showcase. Habitech’s technical manager Justin Martin-Lawrence introduced a new range of Planet switches at the event, demonstrating the features that will ease the pressure on stressed networks and their designers from the demands, for instance, of CCTV and 4K transmission.

The Habitech team also revealed the power of Dahua’s intelligent video analytics to establish ‘cordons’ around valuable objects or to define high security areas, with breaches automatically triggering smart phone alerts and household alarms in conjunction with easy Control4 integration.

And while attendees lapped up all the information from the Habitech team, dealers could experience the comfort of Palladio’s new modular seating range, which offers luxury features and levels of comfort at real-world prices. Very nice.

Commenting, Habitech Sales Manager Timmi Thorsen said “It is always great to come North at the NWDC, because the dealers here are very supportive and responsive. We’re consistently delighted with the turnout and the event is always worthwhile.”

Habitech has been working hard on producing some new guides which help to simplify speaker installations and the new Sonance brochure is just one of them. The guide shows options of installing speakers that fit more aesthetically within the home environment. The brochure is very graphically driven. Big companies have already adopted the Sonance way, with the likes of Gucci, Prada, Dior, miu miu and Fendi all having installations in their boutiques.

All in all, we rate Habitech’s NWDC event a great day out. There’s easy access for parking and a full blown cinema with Sonance sound system throughout. If you are a northern dealer looking to impress your customer, get in touch with Habitech and they will be more than happy to arrange a personalised visit to the centre. By the way… awesome coffee as well.

For more from NWDC, fire up our Photo Gallery below...

For more on Habitech’s product portfolio and services, visit our partner page here.

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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