Reviewed: Essential Install Live South 2014

posted on Saturday, 14th June 2014 by David Slater

Trade show  AWE Europe  Habitech  Marata Vision 


Now into its third year, trade show Essential Install Live South 2014 returned to Sandown Park with a slightly different format; it now runs over two days and includes live training events. The technology expo seems to have the right mix: reasonable costs for the companies exhibiting, plenty of free parking and a venue that's easy to get to. Inside CI turned up on the first day and found it as busy as last year's event.  Our mission was to get around the show in 6 hours (yes we do like to push the boundaries).  It was going to be touch and go...

All the usual big players had new kit on display. AWE presented a selection of spectacular screens (pictured below), including LG's curved OLED 55EA980V, which is a stunning piece of design. In addition to a distinctive concave screen, the 55-inch Full HD display and fast refresh rate should make OLED a firm choice for those with clients who are sports fans. 



Nearby, HD Connectivity (above) had its royal blue (made in the UK) 8 x 8 modular unit working its magic. The HDanywhere Modular matrix uses a neat system of interchangeable input/output modules that allow custom installers to create truly bespoke HD distribution systems. Depending on the project requirements, different signal transmission technology can be used in various TV locations. The system also features a proprietary web-based OS that opens up a variety of powerful system and management tools. IP drivers are provided free of charge for URC, Control4, AMX, Crestron, RTI and iRule system integration

Elsewhere, WyreStorm had its new HDBaseT 4x4 matrix package with ultra slim receivers. The MX-0404-PP-KIT Pro Plus HD system comprises matrix and four extremely slim receivers designed to convey Full HD video at 60Hz, audio and two-way control via IR and RS232 up to 70m using unshielded or shielded Cat5e/6 cable.

Marata Vision throws the spotlight on Sony 4K
One highlight of the show was the Marata Vision demo room, which had on display the spectacular Sony Ultra HD VPL-VW1100ES. The new projector builds on the strengths of the world's first 4K Home Cinema projector, VPL VW1000ES, and more than confrims Sony's years of experience in the Digital Cinema business. The 1100ES can generate 2,000 ANSI-lumens of brightness and uses an SXRD 4K panel, which in combination with the brand's latest auto-iris tech, achieves a dynamic contrast claimed to be around 1,000,000:1. If the VW1100ES is outside your budget, its smaller brother, the VPL-VW500ES was on display in the impressive Arcam cinema room, and looking stunningly good for the price.

One key product announcement at the show came from Amina Technologies; its plaster over speakers now come with a fire hood option from Hoddy which will help keep the fire officers happy on any of your commercial jobs. The company also displayed the new iQ2 dual channel 'vibrational surface' loudspeaker, the latest edition to Amina's iQ developer range. The iQ2 is designed specifically for residential and commercial audio applications and is intended to perform as part of a stereo deployment in bathrooms and secondary rooms, as well as a multi-room solution.



While at the show, we tracked down organizer David Kitchener, for an insight into what he's planning next. "It's our plan to grow the show for 2015 by adding the commercial side of the install business," he confided. "We have already negotiated a bigger space at this same venue and are very excited to be building on the success of previous shows. It is very important to us to keep the foot fall high as the event is now over two days".

Looking at the six hours we spent at the show and chatting to all our friends from the CI business, we think the format has broad appeal. It was also good to see installers getting actively involved. Guys from the #Liveinstall community manned a couple of booths and offered social network training in conjunction with other install companies. For more on the show and exhibitors, view the exclusive video posts on our TV channel, and fire up the image gallery below.

Also read:
Essential Install live show to embrace the commercial sector in 2015

Reviewed: Invision Home technology showcase

Reviewed: Essential Install Live South 2013

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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