Known for connecting the CI channel with designers and construction professionals, this year’s edition of CEDIA Expo was more than a strong return. The show — which took place over three days, from September 28 – October 1 in Dallas, Texas — boasted more than 350 exhibiting brands and more than 150,000 square feet of exhibits, live audio demo rooms and seminar areas. Even the last morning was buzzing with activity, and especially considering the hushed quiet of last year’s show as a result of the pandemic, this showed how ready the industry was to get back to business.

The Connected Design staff searched the show floor for the coolest, latest and most relevant products integrators, designers and specifiers need to know this year. Here is what we found.

The LiquidView Window

Does your client have an ugly basement office or a dining room facing a concrete block? The LiquidView Virtual Window offers a solution with a window-mimicking screen with views that can be changed at any time from a selection of original content in the LiquidView library. The variety of views has been captured by cinematographers with feature film cameras and lenses in from locations all over the world. All views are shot for 24 hours and synchronize to the time of day of the location of the installed Window. For example, if a LiquidView Virtual Window with views of Paris is installed in a home in New York, during sunset in New York the Window instead displays the sunset in Paris. All views shift automatically sync with sunrise and sunset of the chosen geographic location and are controllable via an iPhone App.

Four New Additions from Crestron

Crestron Electronics had a massive and busy booth at the show. It’s hard to focus on just one product from this smart home giant, but so we’ve made it four. At the show, they announced an expansion of their audio portfolio with four new products, including three additions to the Crestron Speakers made by Origin Acoustics Ultimate Series line as well as an all-weather model of Crestron’s Saros Surface Mount Speakers. The Crestron Ultimate Active Subwoofer made by Origin Acoustics delivers deep, impactful sound for extremely low frequencies, ideal for home theaters or game rooms. Constructed from premium carbon fiber materials with a unique design, this 10-in. 400W subwoofer can be mounted on its side, upright, or on the wall. Crestron’s new 3-in. Ultimate In-Ceiling speaker is designed to deliver equally impressive sound from a much smaller footprint, while the Dual-Tweeter version of the Ultimate In-Ceiling 8-in. speakers provides peak stereo output from a single speaker. Lastly, Crestron’s Saros Surface Mount Speakers are now built with an all-weather IPX6-rated construction, perfect for outdoor applications including gardens, bathrooms, saunas or on yacht decks.

Connect Any HVAC with AirZone

HVAC might not seem like a game-changer, but Airzone might just change your mind. While this Spanish company has been around for a few years, they are making strides in the North American market. At the show, the company announced certified drivers for the industry’s leading whole-home automation platforms, ensuring compatibility between systems from Crestron, Control4, ELAN, Lutron and Savant with Airzone’s exclusive smart control solution for HVAC inverter systems. The Airzone solution allows integrators, for the first time, to fully incorporate inverter HVAC control into home automation. Airzone’s Aidoo Pro is a simple-to-install system add-on that acts as the bridge between proprietary HVAC inverter and mini-split manufacturers’ protocols and home automation systems.

Control4 Vibrant Linear Lighting

Lighting was huge at the show, which was evident by Control4 Vibrant Linear Lighting, which provides partners with a complete product line, offering LED tape in a full selection of white, tunable white, color, and color + tunable white options, and providing all the accessories needed, to create sophisticated lighting experiences. Partners can design scenes that can be activated with the press of a button, a voice command, or through automation to provide a more immersive experience and enrich a customers’ lifestyle and well-being. The line also supports circadian health, a growing wellness concern that mimics nature with bright, cool light during the day that slowly dims and warms in the evening.

Solo 3 Outdoor Entertainment Pavilion

Solo 3 from Screen Innovations is a re-envisioned line of design-centric motorized projection screen cassettes that discreetly blends into surrounding environments. The sharp lines of the self-contained Solo 3 cassette complement trending contemporary and minimalist home designs. Unlike most other motorized projection screen cassettes, Solo 3 is manufactured as a visually flawless unit without demarcations of the end caps. Units come powder-coated in white, black or painted to match the surrounding surface. Alternatively, when mounted above the ceiling, the entire cassette beautifully vanishes into the structure of the room. The new Solo 3—available in 375, 575, and 675 cassette sizes—replaces SI’s legacy 3 and 5 Series motorized projection screen lines. The stylish design attributes of Solo 3 help systems integrators appeal to the discerning tastes of clients who want to enjoy an immersive, dynamic entertainment experience on a big screen without compromising room aesthetics.

FOCAL’s 100-T Series

Entertaining and living outside is huge for clients, which is why Focal introduced the 100-T Series, a range of in-ceiling and outdoor loudspeakers designed for large residential and professional spaces. The products are direct descendants of Focal’s 100 Series, with new features to meet the requirements of large-scale integrated systems. 100-T Series includes five loudspeakers to cover all bases: three in-ceiling products (100 ICW5-T, 100 ICW6-T, 100 ICW8-T) as well as two IP66-certified outdoor loudspeakers (100 OD6-T and 100 OD8-T), rated for their guaranteed protection against dust and water. These loudspeakers are compact, slimline and have magnetic, ready-to-paint grilles, which makes them easy to fit and discreet.

Subscribe with Savant

Savant is ushering in a new era of smart home innovation with their Software as a Service subscription business model. Savant’s base subscription, Savant Essentials, delivers access to the latest smart home features and advanced integrations, plus enhanced support, and serviceability with the Savant Home Back-Up & Restore feature. This fall, Savant is providing additional value to their subscription model by introducing new features such as homeowner management tools, a software-based Intercom service, enhanced private voice control, and smart networking. One of these highlights is the Savant Home Back-Up & Restore feature, which leverages secure cloud-based capability to store key parameters and settings of the smart home so that vital client personalization features can be restored when hardware is updated.

AudioControl 8K Home Theater Products

New versions of AudioControl‘s lineup of X-Series immersive processors and receivers feature HDMI 2.1 with HDCP2.3 support and accept 8K signals. These ultra-premium 16-channel immersive audio preamp/processors and AVRs enable home theater specialists and A/V integrators to create systems that deliver new levels of precision, power, and control. They also support immersive surround formats and advanced room correction to accommodate every project and the most discerning enthusiasts.