AV professionals are some of the most devoted big-picture thinkers around. Add this quality to their ambitions to offer the best solutions in organizational digital transformation and it’s understandable that technicians want to stay current in home AV trends.
With CEDIA 2017 having come and gone, now is the perfect time to round up some of the most significant announcements of the expo. For those who might be relatively new to the field, CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) is an international trade association for 3,700 membership companies. CEDIA’s expo then, second only to AVIXA (the association formerly known as InfoComm), boasts a very comprehensive representation of the AV industry.
So, without further ado, let’s look at five of the most exciting home AV announcements from CEDIA 2017.
1. 4K Technology Is More Accessible
We live in the age of wireless entertainment and Netflix—can you blame companies offering AV products for wanting to get in on the action? Even Sony and Epson, the top two global home AV projector manufacturers, decided to launch value-priced 4K or laser projectors. Sony’s native 4K laser-projector, the VPL-VW885ES, is under $5,000 while Epson’s Home Cinema LS100 is even cheaper at just under $3,000.
This announcement is noteworthy for freelance technicians who previously might have avoided home AV. Many clients who couldn’t afford the solutions available on the market can now look forward to hiring freelance technicians to install home theatres with high-quality yet competitively priced technology.
2. More Diverse Options for Home Audio
Whether your clients are looking to match their 4K displays with killer sound systems or want high-definition sound for their outdoor parties, CEDIA 2017 launched several unique audio products that are sure to meet their needs. There are multi-room audio lines like Control4’s Triad, robust outdoor speakers from brands like Bang & Olufsen, and even voice-controlled amplifiers like Origin Acoustics’ The Valet.
Origin Acoustics’ launch for CEDIA 2017 was particularly exciting because the company has designed its audio system to integrate with Amazon Echo Dot. Such a design allows for simple Alexa controls and the ability to access all major music libraries.
3. Home Automation Market Still Going Strong
For those who specialize in smart home technology, 2018 will continue to be fruitful. CEDIA 2017 saw a bevy of smart AV products for everything from light control (Savant’s TrueImage UI for its Bluetooth smart bulbs) and interactive mirrors (Seura’s Smart Mirror) to innovative mounting devices for TV displays (Middle Atlantic’s Sliding Plate). Let’s not forget new and improved home control systems, like URC’s Total Control 2.0.
Although, at one point, the home automation market was seen more as gimmicky than it was sustainable, it appears to be here to stay. This is great news for AV integration, as it takes expertise to ensure a smart home’s ecosystem is running smoothly.
4. AV Integrator Culture Returning to Maker Mentality
On its website, CEDIA noted that AV integrator culture was experiencing a renaissance of a “maker mentality” and a focus on a technician’s inventiveness. While the tools for AV continue to evolve, AV integration is becoming less about who has the greatest hardware and software, and more about innovative design.
Moving forward, both freelance technicians and AV companies should focus on using their expertise to make home AV systems more than the sum of their parts.
5. Aging Tsunami Means Higher Demand
Aging baby boomers are known for preferring to stay in their homes; they aren’t interested in moving into assisted care facilities. That means technicians will see a greater influx of business in the next decade.
Be prepared for the coming years to present a niche that can offer steady work.
We hope you enjoyed these 5 CEDIA 2017 announcements regarding home AV.