New York - This year's CEDIA Expo brings an opportunity for accessories suppliers to further enhance the use and set up of the monster displays, screens, home-theater and home-control systems that will surround them on the show floor.
In particular, A/V furniture and mounting solutions, 3D enhancement products and power-management components will be on display in a vastly broad spectrum of price levels and sophistication.
At least three companies, including XpanD and Monster, will be showing universal 3D glasses that are said to work with all brands of active-shutter 3D displays. With 3D TV sales lagging behind expectations so far (see p. 28), the custom-install channel will be watching closely for any announcements of new bundling agreements or new price points.
XpanD debuted its X103 universal 3D glasses at the recently concluded IFA show in Germany. The glasses are compatible with 3D LCD TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG and Philips; 3D DLP TVs from Mitsubishi; Pansonic and Samsung 3D plasma TVs; and active-shutter PC monitors and any movie theater using XpanD Cinema technology for projection.
Pricing for the U.S. market is expected to be announced at the show in addition to a line of glasses accessories, including X-wipes sanitizing wipes and X-straps lanyards.
Monster will be displaying its own universal 3D glasses, Monster Vision Max 3D glasses, first announced in June. Head monster Noel Lee at the time said an expanded line of the glasses, in various colors and styles "designed by some of the most famous designers in the eyewear industry," were on the horizon. An announcement to that end is expected at CEDIA.
Motorized mounting solutions will continue to hit new low price points while offering healthy margins. Among the exhibitors showing expanded motorized options, CLO Systems' Wallwizard brand, Premier Mounts and Ergotech will announce new innovative control technologies and sharper price points.
Among other mounting exhibitors, China-based E-Mount will make its CEDIA debut with a line of more than 400 SKUs of flush, tilt, cantilever, projector and ceiling mounts for the integrator channel.
Another CEDIA newcomer, PLD Studios, the California-based design studio founded last year by industrial designer Chen Lien "Nick" Dong, will display its line of "intelligently conceived, cleverly designed" mounting solutions that "balance efficient function with a touch of whimsy." According to Dong, most of PLD's off-the-shelf products can also be customized in the company's studio for mounting TVs on or in any surface or piece of furniture in any living or work space. PLD stands for Postmodern Living Products, and most of the line is remote controlled.
Turkish supplier Sonorous will be on hand with a broad range of highly stylized A/V furniture, as well as modular storage systems, flat-panel wall mounts, cables and screen-cleaning solutions. The 6-year-old company is intent on growing its distribution in the U.S. and is looking to CEDIA Expo as an opportunity to make a splash, the company said.
Mainstream consumer mounting brands such as Chief, Elexa, Optoma, Premier and Video Mount Products will also debut new lines of manual mounts.
Dozens of A/V furniture companies will have new lines on display with a wider variety of motorized cabinets and lifts expected to be shown by exhibitors including Draper, California House, CDGi and CEDIA newcomer Ergotech.
China-based Ergotech will also exhibit a variety of universal manual mounts as well as cables and two home-theater projection screens. The manual wall-mounted screens come in diagonal sizes of 50 inches and 120 inches in aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3 and 16:9.
CDGi will display new additions to first CinemaScape acoustical screen products for use in home-theater interiors. The screens and individual wall panels can display detailed images on acoustically transparent (-1db) fabric, resulting in what the company calls "a perfect blend of aesthetics and acoustical performance."
SnapAV is adding what it calls a zero-clearance mount to its StrongT line of flat-TV mounts. The Razor Fixed Zero-Clearance Mounts are designed for today's ultra-thin flat-screen TVs and sits 5 mm off the wall. SnapAV claims it to be the lowest-profile fixed mount available on the market.
The mounts support up to 125 pounds and are VESA-compliant. Two sizes are available, and all hardware is included.
In addition to its broad line of mounting solutions, Premier Mounts will be exhibiting its CPA-50 compact power amplifier for use with its Uni series of short-throw projection mounts.
The stand-alone product features three stereo inputs and a discrete microphone input with mixer, along with separate line and microphone gain adjustments. It also has a control port for an optional external volume control box, the WP-50, which can be located up to 100 feet away from the CPA-50.
The CPA-50 "consumes little power," according to the company, and automatically goes into standby mode if no input signal is detected for 20 minutes, dropping power consumption to 0.8 watts.
The CPA-50 is also sold as an audio kit with speakers (UNI-AUDIO), an audio system with GearBox (UNI-GB+AUDIO), and as part of the UNI series of projector arm mounts (UNI-STA+AUDIO, UNI-EXT+AUDIO and UNI-DS+AUDIO).
It will retail for $349 and is shipping now.