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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

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2008 EMEA+InAVation Award Winners

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The second annual 2008 EMEA+InAVation Awards were announced at ISE in a Gala Dinner just before the show opened.
Lead by InAVate magazine and supported by significant media (including us), the industry voted for those vendors and installers) most deserving to be recognized.

  • Audio Product for Residential Use (Non-Loudspeaker)
    Escient Fireball FP-1

  • Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product for Residential Use
    Kramer Electronics VS-42 HDMI

  • Loudspeaker Product for Residential Use
    Genelec AOW312

  • Display Product for Residential Use
    Mitsubishi HC6000

  • Control Product for Residential Use
    Stardraw Control 2007

  • AV Accessory (Commercial & Residential)
    NTI Minirator MP Pro

  • Residential Project (Small – Medium)
    Dark Side of the Room – Marmonier - France solutions –  Bristol Cinema - UK
    IAV (India) Pvt Ltd - Prakash Residence - India

    Winner: Smart Business - Alberto Aguilera - Spain

    Winner: Smart Business - Alberto Aguilera - Spain

  • Residential Project (Large)
    AVI Pro – Grand Cinema – Spain
    Design Logistics – Hertfordshire – UK
    DSE Digital – Heathfield – UK
    Global Technology & Control Solutions – Quinta Verde – Portugal
    Marmann Bau GmbH – Niedrigenergihaus – Germany

    Winner: SmartCom – Villa Oasis – France

    Winner: SmartCom – Villa Oasis – France

NVidia Buys Ageia

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Computer graphics board maker NVidia buys the dedicated Physics Processing Unit (PPU) maker.

The industry leader in gaming physics technology, AGEIA's PhysX® software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software has more than 10,000 registered and active users of the PhysX SDK.

Go NVidia Buys A PPU

ISE Success Highlights Residential Systems

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Record numbers of attendees, the euphoric show-floor atmosphere and the sold out exhibit space distinguished this year’s Integrated Systems Europe 2008.

A total of 22,199 attendees (up from 16,269 in 2007) were drawn to 481 exhibiting companies (up from 363 last year). Many noted the significance of the custom home install market in Amsterdam..

Collaborative conferencing, lighting control, and home automation technologies are all expected to be drivers for expansion in 2009, say the organizers.

Sister publication RAVE EUROPE did their bit to make ISE an even more exciting event by demonstrating a virtual studio with live streaming, direct from the show floor.

There was no glass booth, no hermetically sealed environment. They were in an island stand, open on three sides with a rock band playing behind (one aisle away), a very large wall-mounted LED flashing onto the stand from the front, and a constant flow of passers-by (who became the audience).
Interviewees sat in front of a green sheet and used technology from Darim Technology to do live interviews on the show floor.

Want to see how they did? Listen to Wendy Griffiths, Director of CEDIA Region 1(that’s us in EMEA), distributor BMB Electronics, Waterfall Audio, display specialist PSCo, …and even more.

Go Virtual Studio

End of the DVD Wars as Toshiba Yields

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The war has ended: Toshiba says it will no longer develop, make or market HD DVD. Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida told reporters in Tokyo, "We concluded that a swift decision would be best."

This makes Blu-ray (backed by Sony & Panasonic and five major Hollywood movie studios) the winner in the battle over high-def.

Nishida cites the decision by Warner Bros. to release movie discs only in the Blu-ray as the pivotal battle. WalMart’s decision to go exclusively with BluRay and Netflix (the US rental king) also piled on the layers of inevitability.

Both HD DVD and Blu-ray deliver high-definition and many think the conservative Toshiba mainly lost to the Blu-Ray camp because of superior marketing (which includes alliances).

Toshiba says shipments of HD DVD to retailers will stop by end of March. But every war has victims: an estimated 1 million people already bought HD DVD machines and videos. Toshiba will continue to provide product support for the technology but these consumers now own phased-out technology.

While these consumers will need to re-invest in their high def future, pulling out will improve Toshiba's profitability between $370-$460 million a year.

The HD DVD camp included Microsoft, Intel Corp and NEC Corp. So you could also conclude the consumer electronics boys outmaneuvered the IT guys that in this war.

Read The Surrender Document

The Resurgence of Powerline

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Running the network across inexpensive electrical wiring instead of cable, fiber or copper was such a simple idea that I.T. executives sniffed it away. Now “PowerLine” is back and its commercial “voltage” is simply humming.

PowerLine is gaining ground because utility companies are developing "smart grids" to meet regional mandates to conserve on energy. In some parts of the world, these utility grids already support streaming to home devices through a mix of Broadband-over-powerline on large utility power lines and low-speed communications on standard electrical wiring in and around the house.

At both Connected Home Europe and at CES, you could see the sparks from PowerLine. IO Gear, GigaFast, Tatung, and Russound -- each showed their own new PowerLine audio systems.

And, at CES 2008, Sharp became the first company to prototype a product that can stream two simultaneous HD feeds and internet content over existing power lines.

Sharp’s Network AQUOS uses PowerLine Communication modems to connect the TV and PC, and transmit high-quality audio, video and online content over Homeplug AV, a high-speed networking standard. At its booth, Sharp showed  how you can watch NASCAR, for example, on an AQUOS high-def LCD TV, and simultaneously download ticket information and directions (via Yahoo! Maps) through the computer and view it in the living room, without getting up off the couch--all through power lines.

Go Sharp’s Network AQUOS