Here’s the Coolest CEDIA Gear You’ll Want for Your Home

Home theater cabinetry modular units designed for whatever equipment you need to house in finishes that will complement the rest of the room.

Entertainment cabinetry can perfectly house your gear — and complement the rest of your house, too. Photo courtesy of Salamander Designs. Second photo: Your bathroom mirror can now deliver smart phone functionality while keeping your vanity top clear. Photo courtesy of Séura.

There was much to ogle at CEDIA, the home technology professionals’ annual convention — even if you’re not a techie.

Yes, they were there, too, and the latest innovations ruled the San Diego Convention Center’s show floor in September 2017, but there were offerings for those who just want to relax and enjoy the latest devices, too.

TV Talk

There are more than 119 million households in the United States with televisions, but those sets look vastly different than the ones you might have grown up with. The differences were evident at CEDIA, as were the means for displaying them.

You’re no longer limited to watching your favorite shows in a dark room. Séura offers a vibrant TV that can be viewed in a shaded outdoor setting. Its Storm series features anti-glare glass and a crisp picture (including 4K ultra-high definition in the larger sizes) on 42- to 84-inch screens, for covered decks or pool houses.

Maybe you want to watch TV in your living room or bedroom, but you don’t want the set to dominate the room. The Frame TV from Samsung could be your top choice. It looks like framed artwork when not in use as a television and comes with a collection of images to display. You can upload your own family or vacation photos, too. When you do want to watch a show, use The Frame’s simple remote (or your smartphone) to switch to your preferred entertainment mode, be it Netflix, live TV, Prime or YouTube. There are two sizes, 55 inches and 65 inches, including the walnut, beige wood or white frames, sold separately.

It’s not uncommon to see TVs mounted over fireplaces these days. The challenge is that viewing can be uncomfortable. There are systems that will let you move the TV down when it’s in use, but that can be awkward and inconvenient. MantelMount has solved those problems with its new MM850 automated system. It will handle a TV up to 130 pounds and 100 inches and, with the use of home automation systems, can be programmed for six positions. That means if you’re watching alone on the couch, you can click one button to move it to that position, or if you’re watching while you cook dinner in the next room, you can move it to watch from that angle, too.

Tech inspirations

Your bathroom mirror can now deliver smart phone functionality while keeping your vanity top clear.Since technology is becoming a growing part of our daily lives, some of the tech-inspired gear at CEDIA aims to make life more stylish and convenient might appeal to you.

If you’re an Amazon Echo Dot user, you might appreciate Origin Acoustics’ Valet Amplifier. It takes the device off your table, countertop or bookshelf and mounts it unobtrusively in the ceiling, built into a speaker, amplifying its signal for easy and invisible voice control. So, you can walk into your room and tell Alexa to play your favorite track, which it will mute while you give “her” a new command, or instruct Amazon to order your favorite brand of tea. The Valet Amp ties into your home AV system and de-clutters your space.

Josh is another tech tool that ties into the voice control trend. It will execute a compound command, like lowering the shades, dimming the lights and putting on your favorite music with a simple instruction like “dinner time.” It can tie into your phone, home automation systems or its own Micro device.

Séura takes technology into the bathroom with its Smart Mirrors. This company has been incorporating television into bathroom mirrors for years, along with making outdoor sets. The Smart Mirror adds calendar, weather, email, streaming music and numerous other apps into the glass. It lets users keep their countertops clear and protect their smartphones and tablets from potential water damage, while still enjoying their functionality.

Style Statements

You don’t have to sacrifice style to get high tech into your space, so banish the singular idea that you have of last-century home entertainment rooms.

Salamander Designs has created home theater cabinetry, like the new Zurich series, stylish enough to go into your living area. There are modular units designed for whatever equipment you need to house in finishes that will complement the rest of the room. If you remodel later, you can reface them, as well, keeping more material out of landfills and lowering your costs.

Meljac takes a basic component of everyday life, outlets and switches, and elevates it with customizable design. There are metals, like champagne brass and black gloss nickel, as well as transparent glass in a full range of RAL colors. The results are sleek, stylish and a definite improvement over the ordinary.

Last Words

If you’re not a tech expert, but want to choose the best options for your home and fully enjoy their benefits, you might want to call in a technology consultant to help.
Jamie Gold is a certified kitchen designer in San Diego and the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work (Taunton Press). She is currently writing the New Bathroom Idea Book.

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