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Aug 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jack Kontney

New technologies are making waves at the 2008 CEDIA Expo.


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Internet protocol (IP) has already won the war for control of residential AV installations, and  CEDIA Expo 2008 features many developing IP-related technologies. Broadband delivery and IP control of the entire home experience is now very practical, limited only by the home’s available bandwidth.

Internet protocol (IP) has already won the war for control of residential AV installations, and CEDIA Expo 2008 features many developing IP-related technologies. Broadband delivery and IP control of the entire home experience is now very practical, limited only by the home’s available bandwidth.

As the CEDIA Expo arrives at the Colorado Convention Center in early September, more than 25,000 designers, integrators, architects, and builders are expected to converge on Denver to see the latest products and technologies from 600 manufacturers — including 75 new exhibitors.

In recent years, the show has seen incredible advances in IP control and AV that enable elegant, functional residential installations and integration capabilities far beyond those from a decade ago. What's next? Which technologies and product areas will leap to the forefront of integrator consciousness at this year's expo?

CEDIA Senior Director of Technology Dave Pedigo is staff liaison to the CEDIA Technology Council, which is charged specifically with identifying and tracking the products and technologies that will have a growing impact on the industry. Formed about a year ago as a new association initiative, the Technology Council is driven by a panel of integrators with some manufacturer input. “Our mission is to gather information regarding the state of the industry — trying to predict what technologies are going to make an impact within the next 12 to 18 months and then out to five and 10 years, so that our members can start preparing their business models for future development,” Pedigo says.

Armed with Technology Council data and his own perspective, Pedigo recently discussed with SVC some of the technology areas that are expected to make the biggest impact on the industry heading into this year's CEDIA Expo.

VIDEO DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY

Every year, we see bigger, brighter flatpanel displays. This trend will no doubt continue. LCD designs will soon be available with a depth of 3/4in., with a 50-percent decrease in weight and reduced power consumption. This, in turn, means more creative mounting options without special infrastructure — especially with articulated and motorized designs. On the flip side is the development of even bigger direct-view televisions. With the 100in. barrier only recently broken, it was stunning to see a working 150in. plasma screen with 4K resolution at CES 2008.

Another advance slated for several years down the road is ultra-high-definition video (UHDV), also called Super Hi-vision. Currently under development by NHK in Japan, the proposed format has a resolution of 7680x4320 pixels — four times as wide and high or 16 times the pixel resolution as existing HDTV. Experts are not convinced the format will ever be suitable for home viewing because ultra-large screens must make the increased resolution capabilities discernable to the human eye. Many suggest it is likely to be more practical as a largescreen specialty format for rides, museums, and live events, rather than for home theaters.

Still, home screens are finding ways to grow. In the past couple years, 2.35:1 projection, for instance, has also really taken off — especially with the introduction of anamorphic lenses for home use. As a consequence, product trends include a move to curved screens for a more immersive experience. This means easier integration of bigger screens, to the point where the left-center-right loudspeakers can all be easily hidden behind an acoustically transparent screen.



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