ISE 2024 review: anniversary show a milestone edition

posted on Sunday, 11th February 2024 by Steve May

home cinema  Trade  High-end  ISE 2024 


Integrated Systems Europe 2024 marked its 20th anniversary with unprecedented success at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue. Attracting a record-breaking 73,891 attendees from 162 countries, up 27 per cent from 2023, and boasting 1,408 exhibitors across a sprawling 82,000 sqm net of show floor space, the event was a formidable showcase for CI and pro AV.

ISE always impresses, but those who toured this year’s show can’t fail to have been blown away by this edition's scope and scale. With a total of 172,627 visits over four days, and a Friday attendance record of 24,528, the event underscored its status as the global hub for the professional AV and systems integration community.

ISE 2024 show highlights were many and various.

Display behemoth Vestel Visual Solutions took centre stage, unveiling groundbreaking advancements in eco-display and interactive technologies. Its Eco Display category, reducing power consumption by up to 80 per cent, promises to revolutionise affordable commercial displays.

A series of new interactive screens for the UK market, featuring Google EDLA approved Android 13 SoC core, was also unveiled, along with the latest zero-bonded screen construction, enhancing touch-screen accuracy and visual quality. In zero-bonded displays, the layers of the screen, including the LCD panel, touch-sensitive layer, and protective glass, are bonded together without any air gaps.

Monitor Audio had multiroom and home theatre covered, showcasing its Creator Series of architectural speakers along with the THX Ultra-certified Cinergy Series. The brand’s new Anthra subwoofers series was also on show, while high-performance passive soundbars like SoundFrame garnered attention, providing flexibility for installations where integrated speakers face constraints.

For those looking more to the high-end, Monitor Audio's Platinum Series 3G and Hyphn statement speakers added the finishing touch to an impressive lineup.

Display behemoth Vestel Visual Solutions took centre stage at ISE 2024, unveiling groundbreaking advancements in eco-display and interactive technologies..

Meridian surprised with an all new on-wall solution for its loudspeaker line, due to go on sale later this year. Unifying screen and audio in a simple to install enclosure, the On-Wall Media Mounting Solution is an elegant, eye-catching solution many integrators will appreciate. 

Featuring an acoustically optimised slated wood grille, the frame was shown at ISE in solid walnut, but will also be available in light oak, or a painted finish. The TV itself  is actually on an articulated mount, allowing easy access to the rear of the panel.  

As the speaker is wall mounted, there’s no need for a backbox. The unit will come flat-packed, to reduce shipping costs. 

“What we’re trying to do is create more user cases for our architectural loudspeakers. We recognise not everyone wants to hack into walls. This is custom made for Meridian loudspeakers,” we were told.

 Expect more later this year. Meridian also showcased its stunning DSP9 high-end active floorstander.

Elsewhere, the K Array Group promised a radical transformation in home and marine audio experiences, majoring on aesthetic finesse, exceptional performance, and seamless control. With stylish, compact speakers designed to seamlessly blend into any interior, the brand is one to watch. Strategic partnerships with industry leaders like Samsung and compatibility with various control platforms flook certain to go down well with integrators.

Sony wowed attendees with its latest Crystal LED solutions, including an immersive 220-inch CH-series display, but all eyes were on its new Crystal LED Flux, an easily movable stand exclusively available in Europe, designed to encourage Crystal LED takeup in commercial establishments. It also introduced new fibre Optic Extenders, ZRA-T1, and ZRA-R1, a long-distance signal transmission solution for Crystal LED, enabling a transmission distance of 300 metres.

There was also a Virtual Production booth, highlighting the versatility of Sony's Crystal LED offering, ehich is now spanning industries from corporate to retail. Sony told Inside CI that the technology is increasingly finding a role in corporate and retail. By way of example, it showed how Honda used Virtual production to help launch its latest motorcycle. Providing the background for this demo was the impressive new Crystal LED Verona display, with Deep Black and Anti-Reflection Surface technologies.

Sony also brought its DBNG (Deep Black Non Glare) technology to the show. Debuting on its BZ40L Series, it offers 47 per cent Haze, for superior anti-reflection (58 per cent on the largest 85-inch model). Traditionally Haze impacts black level, which goes a little light, but Sony says it's countered here by an additional low reflection coating. Designed for 24/7 usage, the BZ40L is available in four screen sizes from 55- to 85-inches, and is essentially the same as its no-haze stablemates from an engineering point of view. The model claims 700 nits brightness.

Sony wowed attendees with its latest Crystal LED solutions, including an immersive 220-inch CH-series display

At ISE, L-Acoustics introduced both a subtle logo rebranding, along with its new Xi Series loudspeakers, a line aimed at the residential market. With IP55 certification, and single assembly coaxial technology, the X8i and X6i models impressed with their vocal clarity and presence.

Sonos Professional also stressed its home cinema credentials with an 8-inch in-ceiling speaker, expanding its architectural family. A full home theatre system demonstration, featuring the Sonos Arc, Sub (Gen 3), and ERA 300’s, showcased an immersive listening experience suitable for virtually any room size.

Finally, Waterfall, the high-end French audio brand, unveiled the Niagara XT1 floorstander. With a high-density glass construction, wooden horn tweeters, and a single-block aluminium base wrapped in Nappa leather, an on-booth demo of the Niagara XT1 delivered exceptional detail and clarity.

Almost before ISE 2024 bid farewell to Barcelona, the anticipation for ISE 2025 had already begun. The show returns to Barcelona 4 - 7 February 2025. We’ll see you there.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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