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					                           www.residentialsystems.com




January 2010
               PUTTING


                         Energy                         into

               Light Control
                                                                    ™
                                                                          BY JEREMY J. GLOWACKI




                                                                                                                                                                                     EDITORIAL
                    WWW.RESIDENTIALSYSTEMS.COM

                        January 2010
                    Volume 11, Number 1
                               EDITORIAL
                                                                                                  Talking the Talk
                                                                                                    Our industry talks a       of her water usage habits until embarking on this
         Jeremy J. Glowacki Editorial Director
                                                                                                    good game about be-        project 18 months ago. Now, however, her home’s
          Margot Douaihy Contributing Editor
    Jeremy Burkhardt, Sam Cavitt, Mike Detmer,                                                      coming more green in       water consumption is amazingly minimal. On
  Anthony Grimani, Michael Heiss,Richard Millson,                                                   the products that we       the inside, it has low-flow faucets that output
   Karen Mitchell, Randy Stearns, Karen Sussman,                          manufacturer and the services we provide. Some       only a gallon and half of water per minute, and
                Gordon van Zuiden                                         of us, in fact, are just talking, but a growing      power-assisted toilets flush only a gallon of wa-
                              Contributors
                                                                          number are actually walking the walk.                ter each time.
                         SALES & MARKETING                                    I had the pleasure last month of seeing how         I’ve always been a big “yard work” type of
        Phil Holtberg Group Publisher, 212.378.0413                       some of the leaders among us are working hard        guy, so when I had a chance to chat with the
        Gene Kinsella Midwest Sales, 773.857.5944
                                                                          to provide more environmentally friendly             home’s landscape architect, John Carter, I was
     Deborah Rosenthal West Coast Sales, 212.378.0473
                                                                          solutions, when I toured the Green Life Smart        definitely in my element. Carter helped make the
    Zahra Majma Classified Advertising Sales, 212.378.0433
                                                                          Life home in Narragansett, Rhode Island.             property around the home more sustainable by
                          ART & PRODUCTION
                Nicole Cobban Senior Art Director                             Owned by PR and marketing professionals          planting native, drought-tolerant, disease-
                 Annmarie LaScala Art Director                            Kimberly Lancaster and Joe Hageman, the new          resistant grass seed, and native plants and trees.
                  FredVega Production Manager                             home was recently completed and earned the
                                                                          first LEED Gold home certification in the state of
                                                                                                                               Kim and Joe are hoping to




                                                                                                                    ‘
                              CIRCULATION
Anne Drobish Associate Circulation Director, Audience Development         Rhode Island as well as an ENERGY STAR rating.
        Michele Fonville Circulation Coordinator                              LEED certification is something you’ve           help build AWARENESS WITH
                                                                          probably heard about and might be researching
   Telephone: 888-266-5828 (U.S.A. only, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. est)
        978-667-0352 (outside the U.S.) Fax: 978-671-0460                 thoroughly as a potential business opportunity.      ESCS about how they can
 E-mail: newbay@computerfulfillment.com Web: MyRESMag.com
Subscriptions: Residential Systems P.O. Box 1067, Lowell, MA 01853
                                                                          As much as I thought I knew about LEED before
                                                                          my visit, however, I learned so much more after
                                                                                                                               consistently bring three LEED
                     NEWBAY MEDIA CORPORATE
                Steve Palm President & CEO
                                                                          seeing the Rhode Island home in person. The          points to their future projects
                                                                          project gained an impressive 92.5 out of 136
           Paul Mastronardi Chief Financial Officer
         Joe Ferrick Vice President of Web Developemnt                    LEED points.                                         The home also features a rainwater harvesting
          Denise Robbins Group Circulation Director                           By using a combination of ENERGY STAR            system that connects the roof’s gutters with a
                    Greg Topf IT Director                                 appliances and AV, such as their Whirlpool           5,000-gallon tank for outdoor watering.
                   Jack Liedke Controller                                 washing machine and KitchenAid fridge and                Kim says the only person she spent more time
                  Ray Vollmer HR Manager                                  dishwashers (yes, two), as well as Panasonic flat-   with than Carter on the project was her ESC Jeff
                  NEWBAY MEDIA SYSTEMS GROUP                              panel TVs, Control4 automation gear, and Lutron      Mitchell of Robert Saglio Audio Video Design. He
    Adam Goldstein Vice President, Group Publishing Director              lighting control, Kim and Joe were able to satisfy   helped create a green wiring design and provided
               Phil Holtberg Publisher                                    their technical goals while also keeping energy      a relatively minimalist approach to AV integration.
       Anthony Savona Editorial/Creative Director
                                                                          consumption in check. The Control4 system            For him, the entire endeavor was an education in
          Jeremy Glowacki Editorial Director
                                                                          was designed to help manage and monitor              what was possible on project of this kind. He says
               Rob Granger Web Editor
           Ragan Whiteside Web Manager                                    energy, which is an obvious opportunity for          he also discovered simpler green concepts such
       Ashley Vermillion Web Production Specialist                        electronic systems contractors.                      as driveway sensors that turn a home’s lights on
Published by NewBay Media L.L.C.                                              Kim and Joe are hoping to help build awareness   only when you need them on.
810 Seventh Avenue, 27th Floor                                            with ESCs about how they can consistently bring          In the Green Home Smart Home, Mitchell
New York, NY 10019
                                                                          three LEED points to their future projects. “We      tackled a lot of challenges, but now he hopes to
Tel: 212.378.0400 Fax: 212.378.0470
E-mail: jglowacki@nbmedia.com                                             want them to be able to say, ‘You can use these      focus his green services on a few marketable
     Reprints and permissions: For article reprints, please contact our   types of systems—this is how they did it in          ideas. The key is that he has already walked the
          Reprint Coordinator at Wright's Reprints: 877-652-5295          another house—and it is repeatable,’” Lancaster      walk and can now talk the talk with new
   Residential Systems (ISSN# 1528-7858) is published monthly             said during her opening remarks last month.          customers.
                       by NewBay Media L.L.C.                                 Three points might not sound like a lot, but
       810 Seventh Avenue, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10019
               Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY
                                                                          they all add up. Their home gained additional
                    and additional mailing offices.                       points for the types of construction and furniture
          Postmaster: send address changes and inquires to                material that were used and with the way they
       Residential Systems P. O. Box 1067 Lowell, MA 01853.
Subscriptions: US: 1-yr $56, 2-yr $100; Canada: 1-yr $104, 2-yr $196;     are able conserve water.
                    Foreign: 1-yr $156, 2-yr $300.                            Kim admitted that she was relatively unaware                   JGLOWACKI@NBMEDIA.COM
       Back issues are $8. Copyright 2010 by NewBay Media
                      PRINTED IN THE USA.

                                                                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010                                                      3
            TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                    JANUARY 2010

    BEHIND THE BUSINESS Q&A
    Audio Plus Services founder Daniel Jacques
    began his career in the audio-video industry
    in 1975 as a retailer in Canada, then later
    started importing and distributing European
    brands, first via Plurison and later in the U.S.
    with APS. Jacques took a moment recently to
    answer our questions about distribution businesses, and about
    his perspective on the CEDIA channel as a whole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


    COLUMNS
    HOME THEATER Tony Grimani makes his case to manufacturers
    of AV receivers for more simple on-screen menus to set up basic
    critical functions in a standardized order and with a standardized
    language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    INTERNETWORKING Gordon van Zuiden returns to his post
    and argues that professional electronic systems integrators can
    now provide solutions that foster the same level of socially
    connected experiences within the home as social networking
    sites like Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    BACK TO BUSINESS In his monthly column, Richard Millson asks
                                                                                                                           26
    the question: “Are you doing everything you can to present yourself                                                 FEATURES
    and your ESC firm not just as technology experts but as a serious
                                                                                                                        COVER STORY: Putting Energy into Light Control Long before it was fashionable,
    and reputable business run by experienced professionals?” . . . . 50
                                                                                                                        lighting and shades control companies were producing products aimed at giving end
                                                                                                                        users the ability to consciously reduce energy consumption, while bringing pizzazz to
    PEER PRODUCT REVIEWS
                                                                                                                        the homestead. Find out more about some of their latest offerings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
    Paragon Sight and Sound president Larry Marcus says the feature
    set on NuVision’s Lucidium FX5LS Series LCDs is “very good,” and
                                                                                                                        At the Crossroads ”CEDIA, what have you done for me lately?” is more than a
    Dallas Sight and Sound CEO David Rogers rates TRUFIG’s Custom
                                                                                                                        rhetorical question these days, as veterans and newcomers of the 20-year-old
    Installation Kit “at the top of any scale”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
                                                                                                                        association look to recruit younger integrators, elucidate the association’s relevance
                                                                                                                        during challenging times, and to put forth a message that CEDIA and its educational

      DEPARTMENTS                                                                                                       curriculum are essential to the future of the industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
      Editorial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
                                                                                                                        Selling Secondary Surround Most people spend more time watching TV and movies in
          News.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
                                                                                                                        their bedroom, den, or even in the kitchen than in a dedicated home theater. If you are
      Literature Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
      CEDIA Line. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48                            not showing your clients what you can do with those rooms as well, you’re missing out
      Ad/Edit Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49                              on a huge market for high-quality audio systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

                                                                                                                        No Architect, No Designer… No Problem Establishing a unified vision from an
      VISIT US ONLINE AT RESMAGONLINE.COM                                                                               architect, interior designer, and ESC on the same home AV integration project is often
                      indicates that extended coverage for that story is available
                      on our website. There you will also find online-only                                              difficult. Shannon McGinnis and his Home Technology Systems Inc. team in Wichita,
                      BLOGS from the Residential Systems editorial team on                                              Kansas, avoided this potential headache on a recent whole-home project by essen-
                      the latest industry news and new products.
                                                                                                                        tially playing all three roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40



4                                                                              RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
ON THE WEB



             News Digest
             GET THE FULL SCOOP ON THE FOLLOWING NEWS
             STORIES AT WWW.RESIDENTIALSYSTEMS.COM

                                                                    Simply Reliable Partners with Crestron
               Fusion Names Movie Server Winner                     The manufacturer of SmartOffice business               McIntosh, Snell Partner with Dealer
                                                                    process software for integrators is co-developing
                                       David Mills, from                                                                      McIntosh Laboratory and Snell Acoustics
                                                                    a solution to enable dealers to design and pro-
                                       Kraus Hi-Tech &                                                                        teamed up with Ann Arbor, Michigan,
                                       Home Automation              gram systems more quickly and easily.
                                                                                                                              McIntosh dealer Paragon Sight & Sound
                                       Inc. in Long Island
                                                                    JKP Affinity Screen Series Goes Electric                  and other high-performance audio
                                       City, New York, was
                                                                    Da-Lite Screen Company in now offering its new            manufacturers for “The Michigan Home
                                       selected as the winner
                                       of Fusion Research’s         series in two of the company’s most popular               Theater/Audio Road Show” in Grand
                                       CEDIA Studio Movie           electric tab tensioned projection screens. Both           Rapids, Michigan December 4-5.
                                       Server giveaway.             of the new HD Progressive fabrics—0.9 gain and
                                                                    0.6 gain—are available.                              Lutron Adds Tool for GRAFIK Eye QS
                                                                                                                         Compatible with Windows PC or Mac formats,
             ESPA Launches New Website                              QVS Offers Cat-5e Extender Kit                       the flash-based Design Tool is currently available
             Entry-level electronic systems technicians (EST),      The VAS-E provides PC VGA, stereo audio,             at www.lutron.com.
             recent high school graduates, and vocational           RS232, bi-directional IR, and digital S/PDIF audio
             and community schools have a new tool available        and supports VGA resolutions up to 1920x1200         AVAD Sets First Leg of 2010 Tour
             to them with the launch of www.espa.org.               at 60Hz up to 330 meters (1,000ft).                  The early dates for the tour feature six events held
                                                                                                                         at local AVAD branches throughout Arizona,
             CEA Offers Lead-Generation Tools                       URC’s New Platform is Universal                      California, and Florida.
             The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)             Universal Remote Control has officially launched
             has launched a new member program for its              CCP (Complete Control Program), a universal          Control4 in CityCenter Las Vegas
             retailer and integrator members to improve             programming platform for all but one of its          The company’s Suite Systems are being used to
             lead-generation and customer retention through         current professional installation products.          enhance the experience in more than 4,300
             Revenew Systems.                                                                                            guest rooms in the ARIA Resort & Casino and
                                                                    ATM Going International                              Mandarin Oriental hotels.
             Crestron Adds to DigitalMedia Line                     Active Thermal Management has signed on with
             The newest DM output card is now available in          International Sales of San Diego to represent its    MSE Appoints Pro-Vision as NYC Rep
             20 versions, expanding the capabilities of the         AV rack cooling products in all countries except     The rep from Lynbrook, New York, will support
             modular 8x8 and 16x16 DM matrix switchers.             the United States and Canada.                        Induction Dynamics, Phase Technology, and
             The new DM-TX-300N and DM-TX-300N-F are                                                                     SolidDrive products.
             3x1 transmitters that accept and transmit any          M. Rothman to Carry Spectrum Line
             analog or uncompressed digital HD signals long         Rothman, based in Ramsey, New Jersey, has the                     VIDEO CLIP OF
             distance over copper or fiber.                         full assortment of Spectrum HDMI and HD
                                                                    video switching solutions products available
                                                                                                                                      THE MONTH
             NuVision Adds Five New Flat Panels                     for its dealers.                                      Learn more about the
             The line includes three new super slim LED                                                                   benefits are participating
                                                                                                                          in CEDIA Registered
             edge-lit LCD TV models for the consumer                Imerge Appoints Canadian Distributor
                                                                                                                          Outreach Instructor (ROI) program in Jeremy
             market, the Lucidium NVU40FX5LS (40-inch),             The Cambridge-based manufacturer of hard
                                                                                                                          Glowacki’s conversation with CEDIA volunteer
             the NVU46FX5LS (46-inch) and the NVU55FX5LS            disk home media servers will be working with          Matt Carter, from Encore Technology +
             (55-inch), which is also available in a limited edi-   Sound Developments as its exclusive partner           Design in Raleigh, North Carolina.
             tion featuring a silver frame.                         in Canada.



6                                                          RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
             JANUARY 2010

         NEWS
    CEDIA EXPO
    Headed Back
    to Indianapolis
    CEDIA EXPO is cutting short its stay in Atlanta by
    one year in response to negative attendee feedback
    about last September’s trade show there. Instead
    of three years in Atlanta, CEDIA will be bringing its
    annual convention back to Indianapolis for 2010
    and 2011.
        After one more year in Atlanta, September 22-
    26, 2010, EXPO will be held in Indianapolis Sep-
    tember 7-11, 2011, and September 5-9, 2012
        Originally CEDIA had planned on a three-year           CEDIA EXPO will be held in Indianapolis September 7-11, 2011, and September 5-9, 2012.
    EXPO run in Atlanta followed by at least two years in
    Dallas. Atlanta, however, proved to be an unpopular        With the expansion of the Indiana Convention Cen-     vide the membership with a host city they are
    location after just one year, making a similarly de-       ter and new hotels, Indianapolis is once again able   familiar with and one that provides an accessi-
    signed Dallas venue an unappealing answer as well.         to provide CEDIA EXPO with a platform to grow.”       ble, affordable, and CEDIA-like atmosphere.”
        Exhibitor contraction and hotel and convention             Indianapolis, which is also the home of CEDIA’s      Registration for CEDIA EXPO 2010 in Atlanta
    center expansion in Indianapolis made that mid-            worldwide headquarters, hosted CEDIA EXPO             will open June 1. More information may be found
    western city viable again.                                 from 1999-2001 and again from 2003-2005. The          at www.cedia.org/expo.
        “After listening to members’ feedback and closely      expansion of the Indiana Convention Center
    monitoring the trend of exhibitors’ booths, CEDIA          includes the addition of more than 250,000 square
    leadership performed extensive research on the
    viability of bringing EXPO back to a city that not only
    is cost-effective for our exhibitors but accommo-
                                                               feet of exhibit/meeting space and a new Marriott
                                                               Place hotel complex adds more than 1,300 rooms.
                                                                   “Indianapolis was a growth city for CEDIA EXPO
                                                                                                                     Nortek
    dates the needs of our attendees and members
    across the globe,” CEDIA chairman Ken Erdmann
                                                               in the beginning,” CEDIA CEO Utz Baldwin said.
                                                               “In light of the recent economic climate, it is the
                                                                                                                     Emerges From
    said. “Our members are very fond of Indianapolis.          right time for us to get back to our roots and pro-   Bankruptcy
                                                                                                                     Nortek Inc. and its affiliated domestic have complet-
          RESI SYSTEMS PARENT COMPANY ACQUIRES TWICE                                                                 ed their financial restructuring and emerged from
                                                                                                                     bankruptcy.
     NewBay Media, the parent company of Resi-                ing the market with a website and a bi-week-               The emergence, which came only 57 days after
     dential Systems, has acquired This Week in Con-          ly print publication, as well as daily and week-       the filing of a prepackaged plan of reorganization,
     sumer Electronics (TWICE), from Reed Busi-               ly e-newsletters.                                      follows confirmation of the plan on December 4,
     ness Information-U.S. Each title will continue               “This acquisition further demonstrates             2009 by Judge Kevin J. Carey of the United States
     to be published separately as part of NewBay’s           NewBay’s commitment to our goal of deliver-            Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. As
     line of print, online, and in-person products            ing value to our advertisers, readers, and part-       a result of the reorganization, approximately $1.3
     and services. The addition of the brand, as well         ners in these critical markets,” NewBay Media          billion of debt has been eliminated.
     as Reed’s Broadcasting & Cable and Multichan-            CEO Steve Palm stated. “With this acquisition              “This reorganization process has clearly made
     nel News titles, extends NewBay Media’s reach            NewBay adds significant depth and breadth to           Nortek a financially healthier and stronger com-
     in the broadcast television and consumer elec-           its existing portfolio of broadcast properties, in-    pany that is better positioned for the future,”
     tronics markets.                                         cluding TV Technology and Television Broad-            Nortek chairman and CEO Richard L. Bready said.
         TWICE is the leading business trade period-          cast, and consumer electronic properties, in-          Throughout the restructuring process Nortek was
     ical for retailers of consumer electronics, serv-        cluding Residential Systems.”                          able to operate in the normal course of business,
                                                                                                                     according to the company.




8                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
NEWS


       ›› CAREER TRACK…                                                                                           Krell Industries has appointed Walt Schnei-
                                                                                                                der as president and Todd Eichenbaum as di-
       Russound’s                                                                                               rector of engineering on the same day that
                                                                                                                the company announced plans to unveil its

       Zerbe                                                                                                    next-generation of products.

                                                                                                                   A l B u r d e t t has rejoined
       Receives                                                                                                 Niles Audio as vice president,
                                                                                                                products. In his new position,

       CEA Award                                                                                                Burdett will be responsible for
                                                                                                                strategic planning, product
                                                                                                                marketing, and program
       Russound product manager Walt Zerbe has been                                                             management.
       honored by the Consumer Electronics Associa-       Russound’s Walt Zerbe accepts the 2009 CEA
       tion (CEA) with the 2009 CEA Technology Achieve-   Technology Achievement Award from Brian                   Sonos has hired Mark Crandell to the
       ment for the creation of the Multiroom Audio       Markwalter, VP of technology and standards,           AMPAC sales team as U.S. director of sales. He
       Standard (ANSI/CEA-2030).                          Consumer Electronics Association.                     will report directly to managing director of
          The CEA award honors an individual’s contri-                                                          sales Bob Spaner and will oversee U.S. region-
       butions to new technologies or significant im-     mittee, where he currently serves as co-chair. He     al retail, online, and integrator sales channels.
       provements made to existing technologies and       also previously served as co-chair of the R3 Audio
                                                                                                                   Premier Mounts has hired
       participation and leadership in CEA’s Technology   Systems Committee, chair of R3 WG7 Multi-room
                                                                                                                Bill Wildman as national sales
       and Standards program.                             audio, co-chair of Multi-Room Audio Video Coun-       manager in charge of all deal-
          Zerbe was a key leader in the creation of the   cil (MRAV), and board member of the TechHome          er, distribution, OEM, and
       joint CEA/CEDIA R10 Residential Systems Com-       Council.                                              hospitality channels.

                                                                                                                   Stampede, the distributor of presentation
                                                                                                                and home theater technology, has hired three
                                                                                                                more former Electrograph staffers, Kevin
                                                                                                                Welling, Karen Meneghetti, and Alex Ivani.
                                                                                                                Overall the company has hired 12 of Electro-
                                                                                                                graph’s former employees since its liquidation
                                                                                                                last summer.

                                                                                                                  Xantech has added industry
                                                                                                                veteran T o m H a r v e y to its
                                                                                                                senior management team, as
                                                                                                                director of sales.


                                                                                                               HTSA Names New
                                                                                                               Board of Directors
                                                                                                               Home Theater Specialists of
                                                                                                               America (HTSA) has elected
                                                                                                               new officers to its board of
                                                                                                               directors for 2010, including
                                                                                                               Leon Shaw as president and
                                                                                                               Bob Gullo as vice president.
                                                                                                               Rounding out the new positions
                                                                                                                                                 Brad Whitehead
                                                                                                               is Brad Whitehead, principal
                                                                                                               of Paragon Technology Group, who won a board
                                                                                                               seat. Shaw is chairman and founder of Audio Advice
                                                                                                               in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Gullo is founder and
                                                                                                               president of EDG in Piscataway, New Jersey.
NEWS


       Four Questions for…
       Dave Chace, Training Allies
       The need for high-quality technical training in        The e-learning industry has really taken off over the
       our industry despite reduced travel budgets has        last few years, and there’s some incredible technol-
       made online training programs more critical than       ogy available to make the learning really interac-
       ever. David Chace, owner of Training Allies, has cut   tive and engaging.
       out an appropriate niche in this area, serving as a
       consultant in the design of several e-learning pro-
       grams now offered in the CEDIA channel. Among
       his attributes are a thorough understanding of
                                                              2   Can you discuss what sort of influ-
                                                                  ence you have had on e-learning
                                                              programs that CEDIA channel ESCs might
       the CE marketplace and its evolving technologies,      have experienced recently?
       as well as a keen knowledge of eLearning design        Part of our influence is bringing more awareness
       and technologies and proven adult learning prac-       to web-based training throughout our industry,
       tices. Chace took a moment to answer four ques-        and educating people to what it is and what it
       tions about his vital behind-the-scenes role in in-    offers. Many people associate WBT only with
       dustry education programs.                             webinars or courses that you have to pay to see.
                                                              We’re helping to expand awareness around the

       1   How did you become an expert in
           training techniques, specifically e-
       learning?
                                                              industry to the capabilities and benefits of self-
                                                              paced online learning. Nowadays, more and
                                                              more industry organizations are looking to get
       Like many of the veterans in our industry, I began     started with an online training program, or want
       my career selling AV way back in the mid-80s. Lat-     to enhance their existing program; and in both
       er, I moved into management and started teach-         cases we’re working with them to achieve their          formation dictates a 60-minute curriculum, it’s
       ing others how the technology works and how to         objectives. For instance, we build online training      better to break it into four or five individual seg-
                                                              for a variety of manufacturers like NuVo and            ments than to create a single hour-long course.
                                                              Marantz that can range from brief product tuto-




‘
       Nowadays, more and more                                rials to complete certification-based online
                                                              programs. We’re also able to help them track            4    In general, how do you make e-
                                                                                                                           learning more fun?
       industry organizations are                             who is taking their courses, and provide a              The key word is “participate.” Good e-learning
                                                              variety of data about the individual results of         means the learner is an active participant, not
       looking to GET STARTED WITH                            the participants.                                       just an observer. E-learning shouldn’t mean being
                                                                                                                      trapped in front of computer for hours, reading
       an online training program, or
       want to ENHANCE THEIR                                  3  What are the most typical mistakes
                                                                 that you see companies making
                                                              when trying to train their dealers online?
                                                                                                                      page after page of text. It should be a visually stim-
                                                                                                                      ulating and interactive process, with the learner
                                                                                                                      able to explore different options, or influence var-
       EXISTING PROGRAM                                       A frequent mistake companies make is to not             ious outcomes. It can also provide for a variety of
                                                              properly understand the objective of the train-         scenarios or challenges that keep the learner in-
       sell it. In the late ’90s I made the formal move to    ing. They believe that the priority is to deliver as    terested and engaged. Additionally, today’s tech-
       training when I became a director of product train-    much information as possible (often in the form         nology can make online learning really fun and in-
       ing for Tweeter, a company that was renowned           of written text), when in fact the objective should     teresting by using programs like 3D modeling and
       for the quality of its training program. A key part    be to engage the learners, and help them to under-      virtual-world environments that actually put the
       of my job was learning about what makes for great      stand and remember the information so they can          learner in a simulated space and let them interact
       training, and how to create engaging and com-          effectively apply the lessons later when they’re on     with their surroundings. In short, eLearning can be
       pelling training programs for a wide and diverse       the job. Another common mistake is that they            enormously effective and cost efficient when de-
       audience. I started working with web-based train-      make the courses too long. It’s not uncommon to         signed properly. Our understanding of CE technol-
       ing (WBT) back then, but since leaving Tweeter         see online training courses that are over an hour       ogy along with our expertise in adult learning
       several years ago, I’ve become much more deeply        long, or even several hours in length. However,         principles and instructional design allow us to
       involved with it. As a teaching tool, WBT provides     research has proven that online learning is most        create engaging and effective online programs,
       enormous capabilities. In fact, in many situations     effective when kept to manageable “chunks,” ide-        thus providing a tremendous value to a wide va-
       it can be much more effective than live training.      ally no more than 15 minutes in length. If the in-      riety of CE organizations.




12                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
NEWS


       [SITE VISIT]
       An Inside Look at Runco’s Line Change
       Editor’s Note: This report is an excerpt from                                                                          ly define a solution for that space,” Chris-
       a blog published this past November at                                                                                 tensen said. “It’s no longer one size fits all.
       www.residentialsystems.com.                                                                                            In a high-light kitchen or bathroom area
                                                                                                                              where you’re watching a lot of sports, or
       After a relatively long transition period                                                                              CNBC where there’s a ticker along the bot-
       following its May 2007 acquisition of Runco,                                                                           tom, you can now say, ‘That sounds like a
       Planar finally seems to have turned the corner                                                                         55-inch LCD with OPAL technology.’ It’s a
       with the brand. At CEDIA EXPO this past                                                                                full-bright environment, and you want an
       fall, Planar’s Runco team showcased an 80-                                                                             LCD because there’s no burn in.”
       percent overhaul of its projection line based                                                                             On the projection side, Runco wants its
       on a new lampless InfiniLight LED tech-                                                                                QuantumColor lampless LED projection
       nology platform, as well as a completely                                                                               system to be a game changer like the com-
       new flat-panel product line featuring am-                                                                              pany’s CinemaWide lense option was a few
       bient-light-resistant OPAL technology for                                                                              years ago.
       LCD and plasma.                                                                                                                          Designed specifically for
           The following month, Adam Schmidt                                                                                                home theater. The InfiniLight-
       was promoted to general manager of the                                                                                               branded technology features
       Runco team at Planar. The fresh-faced and                                                                                            solid-state illumination with
       enthusiastic Schmidt most recently served                                                                                            individual RGB LEDs that nev-
       the brand as director of inside sales and                                                                                            er need replacing. There are no
       customer support, where he was the front-                                                                                            moving parts in the light en-
       lines learning what dealers liked and didn’t                                                                                         gine, no color wheel, and no
       like about his products.                        Three members of Team Runco (from                                                    mechanical pieces. Apparent-
                                                       left, senior product marketing manag-
           If Schmidt’s enthusiasm for Runco is                                                                                             ly there also is no color drift or
                                                       er Matt Christensen, general manager Adam Schmidt, and worldwide director of
       contagious, then “the Q” might replace                                                                                               degradation over the life of the
                                                       marketing Pippa Edelen) inside their Portland, Oregon, production facility (inset).
       H1N1 as the virus of the year… at least in                                                                                           product, like in a lamp-based
       the CEDIA channel. “When this opportunity came the VideoXtreme line more attainable; and the system, because the LEDs don’t burn out.
       along, I was thrilled because I really dig thismarket new ultra-bright VX-33 projector for large screens          Color is automatically calibrated at every start-
       and these customers and products,” he said. “To in more challenging environments.                               up, (a speedy 20-second process to reach full
       have the opportunity to play such a substantial              In an effort to provide dealers with a higher- brightness) and the projector turns off as fast as a
       leadership role at a time when we need strong margin flat-panel display (LCD or plasma) op- TV. For us “greenies” the projector contains no
       leadership it was very rewarding, and I was and still tion, Runco’s Beaverton engineering team devel- mercury or lead and uses 70 percent less power
       am very excited to be in this position that I’m in.” oped a proprietary process called Optical Path than a lamp-based system, exceeding all new
           Schmidt’s enthusiasm felt authentic, and it ALignment Technology (OPAL).                                    EnergySTAR requirements even the California’s
       comes from a foundation of very strong new prod-             In a nutshell, the process adds a layer within the new stringent rules for video products.
       ucts. The new Runco team also includes senior panel itself (not a film layer on the glass) that “re-              Runco wanted to create a color space that had
       product marketing manager Matt Christenson, jects” and diffuses ambient light to hold onto black never been seen before. Within the QuantumColor
       chief product architect Bob Williams, and world- levels, provide deeper contrast, and offer better col- Series, instead of 71 percent NTSC colors, they’re
       wide director of marketing Pippa Edelen.                  or structure. The company’s engineers are able to using 135 percent, and there’s 12-bit color repro-
           During my visit to Beaverton, the Runco team measure a 20-times increase in usable contrast duction to reduce dithering, color banding, and
       ran through the company’s refreshed line of LCD in high-bright environments as a result of OPAL. smearing, according to the company. For calibra-
       and plasma flat panels, which feature OPAL as an A demo proves the point for dealers who want to tion pros, included presets include the cinema-
       option for high-ambient light environments and remove “price” from a flat-panel sales discussion. standard REC-709, SMPTE C, sRGB, DCI, and
       new sizes and price points; the QuantumColor                 “We’re allowing the dealer to maintain their “Native,” which is Runco’s proprietary color space
       demo (Q-750i and Q-750d), featuring no lamp mode of luxury selling and solution selling, and I designed to look great for most consumers.
       and the broadest colors; the new “value-priced” LS- think that through all of the platforms that we               To create custom settings, an internal software
       7, LS-5, and LS-3 projectors, which give Runco a have now, our dealers are now able to do a specif- tool called the “Personal Color Equalizer” (PCE)
       more entry-level option; the VX-3000, which makes ic needs analysis with their customers and clear- provides a six-axis (RGBCYM) individual color ad-




14                                                     RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      NEWS
justment for hue, saturation, gain, and white point.    ry, I’ll mention that the 3 is offered at $4,995 vs.   ries. First was the VX-33, a very bright projector
A calibration “tweak” or dealer can set and save        $6,995 for the 5. The $15,495 “7” is similar to the    (146.8 ft-Lamberts; 7,125 ANSI Lumens), which
multiple custom settings by source, including ISF       Runco VX-8 offering, but without DHD processor         was designed for large screens in very large rooms.
Day and ISF Night modes, dialing the color to a         or CineWide options.                                   It’s two-and-a-half-times brighter than VX-22.
client’s exacting preferences.                              All three projectors break away from the tradi-         It also offers CineWide and AutoScope, an in-
    Runco SmartColor (RSC) also offers a propri-        tional, boxy black metal Runco industrial design       tegrated or outboard DHD controller, and DLP-
etary advanced hue-compensation curve and col-          with stylish, rounded, plastic housing that is meant   based SuperOnyx three-chip light engine.
or gamut mapping system that allows for inde-                                                                       As great as all of these new products may look,
pendent color correction. This, the company                                                                    the key to the future of Runco is better reliability




                                            ‘
demonstrated to me, increases color saturation                                                                 and service for the brand. It’s a goal echoed by
while maintaining accurate flesh tones. There’s         We’re allowing the dealer to                           Christensen and the entire team.
no longer that sunburned look or gray flesh tones                                                                   “As we’ve gone through the transition from the
after trying to get other colors to pop more.
                                                        maintain their mode of                                 old Runco to the new Runco, the biggest benefit
    On a new platform home grown by Runco’s             LUXURY SELLING and                                     we’ve seen from the new portfolio and platform is
chief product architect Bob Williams and the team                                                              driving to world-class reliability and the service,”
at Planar is a “lite-style” projection line meant to    SOLUTION SELLING                                       he said. “It doesn’t diminish anything that Runco
combat “bottom feeders” on the entry level, with                                                               has done in the past, because it was a fantastic
image quality that customers have never seen be-                                                               company and it was truly amazing what that team
fore for the price.                                     to be more of a design complement to a multipur-       had done. But now it’s based on what we can pro-
    The line features the LS-3, LS-5, and a three-      pose room. The ID isn’t a future plan for Runco, but   vide and the organization in which we can provide
chip 720p LS-7. The difference between the 3 and        keeps the price down in this particular line and       it. I think that our customers will now see big dif-
the 5 is installation flexibility and contrast. The 5   makes the projector’s more flexible for a designer.    ferences in what we can provide now with our
has horizontal and vertical lense shift, while the 3       The final topic during my Oregon visit involved     new portfolio and platform.”
only has vertical. Because price is part of this sto-   the additions to the company’s Video Xtreme Se-                                         —Jeremy J. Glowacki
NEWS


       [ON LOCATION]
       Impressions of the Green
       Life Smart Life Home
       You might have heard about this               second completed LEED-H project in
       strangely named home construction             the entire state.                       The Control4 system helps the home-
       project in Rhode Island called Green              As a veteran of the CEDIA chan-     owners monitor and adjust energy
       Life Smart Life. We’ve run articles           nel, what hit me first during my vis-   consumption in the Green Life Smart
                                                                                             Life house.
       about it a bit over the past year, most       it was that the home of Joe Hageman
       recently in regards to the challenges         and Kimberly Lancaster Hageman             That’s not to say it’s an Amish farm
       of using “green” wiring in a smart            does not “scream” technology. For       house, by any means.
       home. But last month was the first            two people who have made their liv-        Yes, they have a couple of big
       time I got to see the place in person.        ing in writing, marketing, and pro-     Panasonic TVs (ENERGY STAR), a
       Let me tell you, it’s an amazing place.       moting techie stuff for many years,     NuVo Essentia E6G multiroom au-
           It did, afterall, earn an official rat-   what they’ve accomplished is rela-      dio system (also ENERGY STAR),
       ing by the US Green Building Coun-            tively minimalist in terms of gear.     Control4 for overall home control,         percent more efficient than a tradi-
       cil as a GOLD certified LEED for              That a compliment, by the way.          Lutron lighting control, Paradigm          tional home of its size. Lutron’s light-
       Homes Project. The 4529 sq/ft home                I guess that’s the whole point      speakers, H-P Products VACUFLO             ing control helps contribute to this
       scored an impressive 92.5 out of 136          when you build a green home. You        central vac system, Niveus Media’s         efficiency, as do LED lights and the
       points. The Narragansett, Rhode Is-           can blend green and tech, but tech      Pro Series n9 media server, a Kalei-       ENERGY STAR products I already
       land, home is the first LEED-H Gold           has to complement green and not         descape server, and a triple rack of       mentioned. So does the Control4 sys-
       home in Rhode Island and only the             dominate the space.                     gear in the basement, but none of it       tem, which helps the homeowners
                                                                                             overwhelms you like many of the            monitor and adjust their energy con-
                                                                                             home theater-centric homes we’re           sumption. The LEED certification
                                                                                             used to seeing. Thanks to the home-        goes well beyond energy, however,
                                                                                             owners themselves and the savvy of         taking into account water consump-
                                                                                             Robert Saglio Audio Video Design           tion, type of paints used, and indoor




                                                                                  ‘
                                                                                             LEED CERTIFICATION goes well beyond energy,
                                                                                             taking into account water consumption, type of
                                                                                             paints used, and indoor air quality, and even the
                                                                                             type of carpeting, furniture, and construction
                                                                                             materials used.

                                                                                             you really only see a couple of TVs        air quality, and even the type of car-
                                                                                             with subtle speakers below them,           peting, furniture, and construction
                                                                                             some Win7 thin clients and Control4        materials used.
                                                                                             panels, and Lutron dimmer switch-              For me the whole project was
                                                                                             es, but not much else to detract from      thoroughly amazing, and like I said,
                                                                                             the beautiful New England coastal          it’s a beautiful home. Maybe most
                                                                                             interior design aesthetic.                 fascinating to me was the use of a
                                                                                                 The bigger story is stuff that might   five-zone geothermal HVAC system
                                                                                             integrate with the AV controllers to       (controlled by Control4). I hadn’t
                                                                                             make the house more efficient. With        known much about geothermal be-
                                                                                             a HERS rating of 58, the home has          fore and I know a little bit more now.
                                                                                             been ENERGY STAR rated as being 42         It’s a fascinating concept where the




                                                                                                         RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
      For a video highlights of my visit to the Green Life
      Smart Life home, visit residentialsystems.com.




                                                                                                                                                                  NEWS
Thanks to the homeowners, Joe Hageman and Kimberly Lancaster Hageman (left) and the savvy of Jeff Mitchell (right) of Robert Saglio Audio Video Design,
the technology in Green Life Smart Life is relatively subtle.

Earth’s consistent temperature (about 50 degrees     uses electrically driven compressors and heat          Oh and I loved the power-assisted toilets from
F) is tapped utilizing a standing-column well        exchangers in a vapor compression cycle to con-     Kohler, which use only 1.0 gallons per flush. Now
systems installed far below the surface of the       centrate the Earth’s energy and release it inside   every time I flush a toilet at home, I worry about all
ground, in a water well that is 1,000 feet deep.     the home at a higher temperature. In the summer,    of the water I’m wasting. For more information
Water circulating in the loop carries this heat to   the process is reversed to cool the home. See       about the project, visit www.greenlifesmartlife.com.
the home. A geothermal heat pump system then         what I mean? Fun stuff.                                                              —Jeremy J. Glowacki
                                                                                                                                                     BY ANTHONY GRIMANI
 HOME THEATER




                Simplifying the Setup
                WE DON’T NEED A MILLION AVR FEATURES THAT NO ONE’S GOING TO USE
                It’s Friday night and here I am battling with the PC-                                                           it should be straightforward to configure, set-up,
                based setup menus of a surround processor instead                                                               and calibrate.




                                                            ‘
                of going out for a good dinner paired with the finest   A simple on-screen menu for                                 How do you figure all this out? I suppose that
                Malbec at the latest trendy Los Angeles restaurant.                                                             you can ask your engineers and technicians what
                     Configuring a surround processor should be         the BASIC CRITICAL                                      they think. You can try to use it yourself for a few
                pretty straight forward. You set up the inputs, pre-                                                            days. You could also ask a consultant that special-
                program the surround modes for each digital or
                                                                        FUNCTIONS in a standardized                             izes in engineering issues for AV environments
                analog type, set up the speaker configuration and       order and with standardized                             what he thinks. This person will need to charge you
                bass management, set the channel level calibra-                                                                 for his work, but you will save that money on the
                tion, and set up the speaker distances. End of sto-     language would be sufficient                            first installation.
                ry. On some units, there is also an auto-EQ/room
                compensation process, and that should be a mat-                                                                 A MESSAGE FOR MANUFACTURERS
                ter of a few simple button pushes.                      discs, and several workarounds, I got the config-       I encourage product manufacturers that are read-
                     The particular unit that I was wrestling to the    urations, the levels, the delays, and the room EQ       ing this to KISS (Keep It Simple, Sir). Ultimately
                ground last week cost in excess of $10k, comes          set. The latter ended up being done manually be-        there is no need to provide a million setup features
                with great reputation and pedigree, and no doubt        cause the automatic routine failed to properly          and options that no one is going to use. A simple
                has superb sounding electronics. However, the           load the coefficients to the memory slots, even         on-screen menu for the basic critical functions
                user interface for both the installer and the end       after eight attempts. This was OK by me, because        in a standardized order and with standardized
                user were just plain unwieldy. The instruction          at least this manufacturer offered a way to set up      language would be sufficient.
                manual was no real help, although very pretty,          several EQ filters manually and store them to the          The reason all of this is important is that a sys-
                and the USB PC interface lost connection on a           unit’s processor DSP engine. I often find that the      tem with an incorrectly configured and calibrat-
                regular basis, needing to be reset through power        automated processes for room correction lack fi-        ed surround decoder will just not sound good. I
                cycles and application restarts. A process that         nesse in fully tuning equalization, so some amount      don’t care how expensive or sonically pristine the
                should take one hour, took five hours, much to the      of manual intervention is good.                         product is, the soundfield balance will be out, the
                chagrin of the homeowner who was hoping to en-              Oh, and by the way, this high-end product           spectral balance will be wrong, and the overall
                joy his new theater that Friday evening.                comes with no test microphone. The dealer is ex-        experience will be broken.
                     In the end, through endurance, much manip-         pected supply the acoustic measurement through
                ulation, many verifications using external test         an external SPL meter, which would have a micro-        THE SILVER LINING
                                                                                   phone pre-amplifier output fed to one of     At the end of my lengthy set-up session, the client
                                                                                   the analog line inputs on the rear pan-      took a listen to the short demonstration clips I
                                                                                   el of processor. In comparison, even the     played, and with great emotion said “This sounds
                                                                                   most basic receiver at one-tenth the cost    miles better than it ever has; thank you.” He then
                                                                                   provides a reasonable microphone.            paid the fee for having me there five hours and
                                                                                                                                thanked me for coming over. He could easily see
                                                                                  THE LESSON LEARNED                            the value of having me there. I just think it would
                                                                                  I won’t be naming names in this article,      have been much easier if the basic structure of
                                                                                  even if you bribe me with a bottle of         this product had been kept simpler.
                                                                                  Malbec. What I will tell you is that as an
                                                                                  integrator you must think clearly when
                                                                                                                                   Anthony Grimani (agrimani@
                                                                                  specifying products into your clients’
                                                                                                                                   pmiltd.com) is president of
                                                                                  projects. The product should provide
                                                                                                                                   Performance Media Industries, a
                                                                                  good sound and picture and offer the
                                                                                                                                   California-based acoustical engi-
                                                                                  right features. It should be stable and          neering firm specializing in home
                Anthem has the right idea with this set-up menu for its           reliable and easy to integrate to industry-      theater design and calibration.
                Statement D2v AV preamplifier/processor.
                                                                                  standard automation controllers. And




18                                                             RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
                                                                                                                                               BY GORDON VAN ZUIDEN
 INTERNETWORKING



                   Digital Family Dynamics
                   HOW SOCIAL COMPUTING CAN BRING YOUR CLIENT’S FAMILY TOGETHER
                   By now we are all familiar with the explosive pop-         ■ In the family room, the com-
                   ularity of social networking sites like Facebook,      puter provides the large screen inter-
                   Linked In, and Twitter. All of these sites share the   face and surround sound capabili-
                   common benefit of bringing people and experi-          ties needed for a variety of
                   ences closer together. Lately, I have been observ-     captivating computer-based multi-
                   ing that we, as professional electronic systems in-    person games.
                   tegrators, can now provide solutions that foster the       ■ Our HP Touchscreen in the
                   same level of socially connected experiences with-     kitchen is used as one of the audio
                   in the home.                                           sources for our Russound whole-
                       While adding a computer to every bedroom can       house music system. Bring up mu-
                   often transform shared family time into pods of        sic in Microsoft Media Center, and
                   isolation in a home, adding a computer in the          you have a multi-touch interface for
                   kitchen area and an AV-style computer to the fam-      bringing up all the album art in your
                   ily room TV can actually stimulate the social dynam-   collection that anyone can easily
                   ics of the home. Specifically, placing these com-      scroll through to choose the next Adding a computer in the kitchen area and an AV-style computer
                   puting devices in the kitchen and the family room      song. Or call up the Sonos Desktop to the family room TV can actually stimulate the social dynamics
                   can enable the following social behaviors to occur:    Controller and bring all your Pando- of the home.
                                                                          ra or Rhapsody songs to life throughout the home. I wrote about in the August 2009 issue of Residen-
                                                                              ■ The HP Touchscreen also has a built-in ATSC tial Systems).




‘
                   Don’t just sell your client a TV                       tuner, which enables live TV to be viewed or            The point is clear. Bringing an engaging com-
                                                                          recorded. If ATSC doesn’t offer a large channel se- puting platform into an area of the home where
                   in the kitchen or the family                           lection in your area, then consider the new USB- people congregate (like the kitchen or family room)
                   room, sell them an                                     attached ATI CableCard tuners that now will work can significantly enhance the social interactivity
                                                                          will almost any Windows7 computer for viewing of family and friends inside the home.
                   INTERACTIVE COMPUTING                                  and recording HDTV content.                             As custom electronic integrators we can make
                                                                              ■ If live or recorded TV content isn’t what you that magic happen by properly setting up the net-
                   EXPERIENCE                                             want to watch, then these computing platforms are work that allows for connectivity to digital enter-
                                                                          the perfect gateway for downloading a Netflix tainment streams, photos, video conferencing,
                       ■ In the kitchen the large size of a computer      movie or watching the latest Seinfeld episode from cameras, and other AV sources. It is our ability to
                   touchscreen (23 to 25 inches) and the proximity of     sites like Boxee, Hulu, or Clicker.                  specify and install the correct wiring infrastructure,
                   people standing or sitting near the screen make it         ■ Over the course of the years we have digitized networking products, and data directory struc-
                   a perfect location for sharing video moments from      all of our family videos from the ’90s, many of tures that allows these experiences to come to life
                   a site like YouTube or photo experiences from a        them showing Christmas gatherings over the years. reliably and easily.
                   service like Flickr.                                   Could there be a better way to embarrass your           Don’t just sell your client a TV in the kitchen or
                       ■ Adding Skype (or a similar videoconferenc-       son or daughter than showing these videos over the family room, sell them an interactive com-
                   ing software) enables full two-way video confer-       dinner to their current friends?                     puting experience in each of these areas that en-
                   encing with friends and relatives. In my own, for          ■ Adding control software to the kitchen gage them to enjoy their personal AV content and
                   instance, in the family room or next to our touch-     touchscreen computing platform makes this site the content they can easily subscribe to and con-
                   screen computer, we can call our children (one is      an ideal location to view and control cameras trol from the Internet.
                   in Boston, the other is in Sacramento) and they can    around the home or adjust thermostats, lighting,
                   still join us live for dinner when we Skype video      or any other touchscreen-based control interface.       Gordon van Zuiden
                   conference them into our conversation.                     ■ We can now easily monitor our home’s elec-        (gordon@cybermanor.com) is
                       ■ Working on dinner and looking for recipes        trical consumption by viewing real-time kilowatt        president of cyberManor, in
                   on the kitchen computer is a common group ac-          usage in the window of the Internet browser soft-       Los Gatos, California.
                   tivity in the kitchen area                             ware (we use the Energy Detective solution, which




20                                                               RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
                       QA
                        &                                                                                                                              BY JEREMY J. GLOWACKI
 BEHIND THE BUSINESS



                                A EUROPEAN SENSIBILITY
                                 AN INTERVIEW WITH AUDIO PLUS SERVICES PRESIDENT DANIEL JACQUES
                       Daniel Jacques began his career in the audio-video                                                                 We get Blu-ray and full HD AV receivers from
                       industry in 1975 as a retailer in Canada, then be-                                                             Cambridge Audio, a specialty brand based in
                       gan importing and distributing European brands                                                                 London. Cambridge Audio provides both in-
                       in the early ’80s; initially only for Canada through                                                           stallers and consumers with products that
                       my first company, Plurison. It was in 1990 that                                                                maximize performance while avoiding stratos-
                       Audio Plus Services was created to serve the U.S.                                                              pheric prices.
                       market. Between Audio Plus Services and Plurison,                                                                  One of the most exciting products we just re-
                       more than 19 high-performance brands are now                                                                   ceived comes from the French engineering spe-
                       available to retail and custom installation part-                                                              cialist Micromega. Their WM10 Airstream is the
                       ners in the two countries. Jacques took a moment                                                               world’s first high-performance Wi-Fi DAC that
                       recently to answer our questions about his distri-                                                             seamlessly links your PC or Mac with Apple’s
                       bution companies and his perspective on the                                                                    iTunes library. Musical digital files have become
                       channel as a whole.                                                                                            part of our life and the Micromega Airstream al-
                                                                                                                                      lows you to tap into these files and bring them to
                       Tell us a little bit about your current                                                                        life effortlessly.
                       product mix?
                       One of our key brands is the French acoustic en-                                                               As a specialty importer and distributor,
                                                                                “Even the greatest products, when
                       gineering juggernaut Focal, which offers a broad                                                               how do you differentiate APS from other
                       range of in-ceiling and in-wall loudspeakers, as         supported by ineffective people, stand                suppliers?
                       well as some stunningly beautiful floorstanding,         little chance to last in a marketplace                   There are plenty of good products and good
                       bookshelf and lifestyle sub/sat systems. The             where there are more products and                     brands around but far fewer good people. Busi-
                       sound quality as well as fit and finish surpass                                                                ness has always been more about people than
                                                                                brands than dealers to sell them.”
                       consumers’ expectations. While they look great,                                                                products. Products by themselves are incapable
                       it’s their sonic performance that sets them apart                       —Daniel Jacques, President,            of feedback or finding creative solutions to is-
                       from the competition.                                                              Audio Plus Services         sues. Even the greatest products, when support-
                           From the French projector manufacturer, we                                                                 ed by ineffective people, stand little chance to
                       offer Dream Vision and their new front firing                                                                  last in a marketplace where there are more prod-
                       LCoS projector named Dream`E. This award-              only part of Dream Vision’s line of exceptional         ucts and brands than dealers to sell them. This is
                       winning high-performance/high-value projec-            projectors and scalers.                                 why we only have direct relationships, avoid sub-
                       tor sells for $5k and has captured many positive                                                               distribution, and only use our own corporate
                       reviews this past year, but is                                                                                           sales staff at Audio Plus Services. We strive
                                                                                                                                                            to make sure that the commu-
                                                                                                                                                                       nication paths be-
                                                                                                                                                                       tween dealers and
                                                                                                                                                                       us are as short as
                                                                                                                                                                       possible.
                                                                                                                                                                           From order pro-
                                                                                                                                                                       cessing to service
                                                                                                                                                                       related situations
                                                                                                                                                                       we are keeping
                                                                                                                                                          things as simple as possible. As
                                                                                                                     Micromega’s      an example, we have a custom-designed secure
                                                                                                 AirStream WM-10 Airstream is the     dealer extranet that allows our partners to create
                                                                                    world’s first high-performance Wi-Fi DAC that     and track RAs as well as to view their entire ac-
                                                                       seamlessly links your PC or Mac with Apple’s iTunes library.   count statements. This allows them to interface




22                                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
                                                                                                                                                                       BEHIND THE BUSINESS
with us on their timetable. We also employ a ful-        nies of medium size such as APS and Plurison,              In the short term, since money and business
ly staffed service department to cover repairs for       with all the modern communication tools, are ex-       are not flowing like they used to, many special-
everything we sell, and we have a customer serv-         tremely well positioned and inherently more            ist retailers and custom installers are taking a
ice department whose sole goal is to provide in-         flexible and more capable of adapting to rapid         fresh look at their partners and their product
formation and follow-up on issues of concern to          changes than larger companies whose structur-          mix. Over the last 12 months, we have seen quite
our accounts. Our entire orientation is customer                                                                a few new opportunities for us and I trust we will
first; we feel there is no better incentive to encour-                                                          continue to see more because any smart business
age business with us.                                                                                           person will tell you that status quo, or the way
    And, every single dealer is unique and has spe-      In our way of doing business                           things were, won’t necessarily be the way they’ll




                                             ‘
cific needs and limitations to which we must                                                                    stay. This is an exciting time to be in the con-
adapt. To that extent, in our way of doing business
                                                         we tend to CUSTOMIZE                                   sumer electronics industry; end-user paradigms
we tend to customize programs for individual             PROGRAMS for individual                                are shifting, economies of scale and sophisticat-
dealers rather than trying to fit them into pre-                                                                ed engineering and manufacturing methods are
designed concepts.                                       dealers rather than trying to fit                      delivering better and better quality for less and
                                                                                                                less money. The trick is to employ the best peo-
What is in your crystal ball for 2010 and
                                                         them into predesigned concepts                         ple you can find, align yourself with vendor part-
beyond with regards of business forecast                                                                        ners who deliver added value in the form of ex-
as well as products and technology?                                                                             ceptional products and personal and corporate
Obviously technology will continue to evolve;            al inertia prevents them from quickly respond-         integrity, and then listen very closely to the needs
change is everywhere and within change lies              ing to the needs of retailers and custom installers.   and wants of your clients and customers. We’re
opportunity. The way we store and access our             We’re large enough to be powerful, small enough        very grateful to all those who have helped us suc-
movies and music will continue to change and             to react quickly, and smart enough to listen close-    ceed thus far, and look forward to providing years
will move toward increased ease of use. Compa-           ly before we act.                                      of continued, enthusiastic service.               ■
     FEATURE                                                                                                                              BY LLANOR ALLEYNE




               PUTTING
                             Energy                                                                                                  into

      Light Control
     How Lighting and Shades Control
     Manufacturers are Keeping
     Ahead of the Green Curve
     To the custom integration industry’s credit, former Vice President Al Gore’s nightmarish
     scenario as played out in his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, needn’t become a re-
     ality; at least not on its watch.
         Long before it was fashionable, lighting control companies like Lutron, Crestron,
     and Colorado vNet were putting out products aimed at giving end users the ability to con-
     sciously reduce energy consumption, while bringing pizzazz to the homestead.
         “There’s no question that one of the biggest impacts on lighting control in the near fu-
     ture will come from the green movement and the increased use of high-efficiency light
     sources such as compact fluorescents and LEDs,” said Scott Stephenson, director of
     marketing and product development for Colorado vNet. “Even when cost isn’t a factor,
     people have a strong desire to be energy efficient for social responsibility reasons. This
     is both an opportunity and a challenge for the lighting control industry.”
         Coming into the second decade of the 21st century that industry meme—energy ef-
     ficient, easy to use, good-looking products—continues to be the driving force behind the
     delivery of innovation to match ambition.
                                                                                                    Crestron’s Green Light line of environmental controls were
     PRODUCTS LIGHTING THE WAY                                                                      designed to contribute toward LEED certification. Homeowners
     “Lighting control is just one part of an intelligent environmental control system,” Cre-       can graphically and quantitatively view precisely how much ener-
     stron’s director of marketing communications, Jeff Singer, noted. “The home is a delicate      gy they are using, allowing them to predict future usage and
     ecosystem, balancing lighting, shades, temperature, and all the entertainment equipment,       savings over time.




26                                                RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
      Putting Energy into Light Control
     FEATURE

               which often consumes just as much energy as the         a high standard with its                                     The “designer flair” of Colorado vNet’s TS1 fam-
               lights. All these systems must be managed in a          RadioRA 2 lighting con-                                                 ily of in-wall touchscreens is a
               way that optimizes overall energy efficiency and        trol system. Programma-                                                 bonus to their ability to provide
               personal comfort. This takes much more than just        ble via a PC, RadioRA 2                                                 control of not only a home’s cli-
               a simple dimmer or switch on the wall.”                 controls lights, shades,                                                                mate and lighting fea-
                   Crestron speaks truth to power with several of      AV devices, and temper-                                                                 tures, but music and
               its products, most notably its Green Light line of      ature via the company’s                                                                             security
               environmental controls that contribute toward           own Clear Connect Radio Frequency                                                                   systems as
                                                                                                                                                                           well.
               LEED certification. Homeowners can graphically          technology and is expandable and
               and quantitatively view precisely how much ener-        scalable for retrofits and new construction alike.
               gy they are using, allowing them to predict future          The “designer flair” of Colorado vNet’s TS1
               usage and savings over time.                            family of in-wall touchscreens is a bonus to their
                   Lutron Electronics, with its dizzying array of      ability to provide control of not only a home’s cli-
               products geared toward giving end users ultimate        mate and lighting features, but music and securi-
               control of their environment, continues to deliver to   ty systems as well. Available in 20 faceplate vari-        SunDialer Window-
                                                                       ations, the TS1 is notable for its ease of use, which      Management System, which tracks the position of
                                                                       extends to the creation of scenes—one of the many          the sun and sky conditions in real time, calcu-
                                                                       ways homeowners can monitor energy consump-                lates the BTU load on the glass, and adjusts the
                                                                       tion even while away from home.                            shades accordingly. The system includes an event
                                                                           Sticking to a four-point principle list (affordable,   scheduler, generates a user log that allows for fine-
                                                                       scalable, easy installation, and feature richness)         tuning of its settings, and features remote sup-
                                                                       when it comes to creating lighting products,               port and network control via the SunDialer IP in-
                                                                       Control4’s Wireless and Wireless Outlet Dimmers            terface.
                                                                       extend the company’s integration with more ener-               LiteTouch has designed all of its products, in-
                                                                       gy-efficient lighting, such as compact fluorescent         cluding the new Hybrid Wall Box Dimmer, to be
                                                                       and LED lights utilizing low-voltage transformers.         backwards compatible with existing field installa-
                                                                           For Somfy Systems, the manufacturer of motors          tions and upgradeable with the latest technology,
                                                                       for shading systems, the goal is enabling a balanced       including those geared toward energy savings. In-
                                                                       lighting control system composed of artificial and         stalled like a traditional wall dimmer, the Hybrid
                                                                       natural light management. The company has added            includes dip-switch settings for selection between
                                                                       its Sonesse 30 RS485 and Sonesse 50 ILT motors, as         either wireless RF or wired Cat-5 communication,
               LiteTouch has designed all of its products, includ-     well as the ILT Z-Wave Interface for integration of        as well as the flexibility to choose between dim-
               ing the new Hybrid Wall Box Dimmer, to be back-         natural lighting control with other home systems.          ming or switching functionality.
               wards compatible with existing field installations          “Somfy is committed to providing dealers, in-              Vantage Controls has improved the features of its
               and upgradeable with the latest technology,             tegrators, and end users with products that en-            traditional lighting control offering, but also has
               including those geared toward energy savings            hance the control and integration of motorized             energy management in mind with another new
                                                                       window coverings with various control system so-           product. The company’s RP Touch Keypad is the
                                                                       lutions,” Somby marketing project specialist Amy           first of its new button styles and offers several aes-
                                                                       Passarella said.                                           thetical improvements over previous models, like
                                                                           MechoShade Home Systems,                               laser engraving, LED back lighting, true-type fonts,
                                                                       also a stand out for its focus                                      and new faceplates. Additionally, the compa-
                                                                       on motorized shading                                                          ny’s Energy Management System
                                                                       systems that integrate                                                            enables consumers to take a
                                                                       with most lighting and                                                            pro-active approach to saving
                                                                       home-automation sys-                                                              energy and understanding the
                                                                       tems, has designed the                                                          exact savings they are earning,
                                                                                                                                                    enabling homeowners to see how
                                                                                                                                                        much energy they are using,
                                                                       MechoShade Home
                                                                                                                                                         make changes, and see the im-
                                                                       Systems has designed
               Vantage Controls’ Energy Management                     the SunDialer                                                                     pact of the changes in usage.
               System enables consumers to take a pro-active           WindowManagement System to                                                          “The EMS dashboard pro-
               approach to saving energy and understanding             track the position of the sun and sky                                         vides a crystal clear view of ener-
               the exact savings they are earning.                     conditions in real time.                                                   gy and costs savings, down to the



28                                                            RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
      Putting Energy into Light Control
     FEATURE

               kilowatt and cent,” Vantage Controls product man-                      Control4’s Wireless and Wireless                                       PCS Lighting’s RFI-E
               ager Reid Cram said                                                    Outlet Dimmers extend the                                              EnOcean Radio
                   Having had success with its Vizia RF+, Levi-                        company’s integration with more                                      Frequency Interface
               ton has expanded the line with combination                                 energy efficient lighting, such                                   and battery-less RF
               devices that allow installers to replace ex-                               as compact fluorescent and                                       Switches and Remotes
               isting switches with a four-button zone                                   LED lights that utilize electronic                               allow homeowners to
                                                                                        low-voltage transformers.                                        put a switch anywhere
               controller, four-button scene controller,
                                                                                                                                                        by utilizing existing
               or a two-button scene controller with
                                                                                                                                                       power lines.
               switches. With an eye on rapid develop-
               ments in energy efficient products, Pamela
               Winikoff, PR manager for the company not-                                                                       to automatically shut down a room when it is
               ed that Leviton’s research and development                                                                      unoccupied, turning down or off the
               unit is focused on creating controls and sys-                                                                   heating/cooling system, televisions, lights,
               tems that can support LED technology.                                                                           and any appliances,” said Control4 CTO Eric
                   PCS Lighting’s RFI-E EnOcean Radio Fre-                                                                     Smith. “In addition, green settings on the re-
               quency Interface and battery-less RF Switches                                                                   mote control allow guests to voluntarily ‘green
               and Remotes allows homeowners to put a                                                                          their stay,’ selecting their preferences for light
               switch anywhere in the home without running                                                                     level, room temperature, and the frequency of
               wires by utilizing existing power lines. The EnO-                                                               linen changes. After a guest has checked out,
               cean RF switch sends out a radio frequency com-          get a hands-on feel                                    a room can quickly be put in “unoccupied”
               mand to the RFI-E. The RFI receives this signal          of its products. “In                                   mode, which shuts off the lights, heating or
               from as far away as 50 feet and then turns that into     addition to featur-                                    cooling, entertainment systems, and any oth-
               a UPB signal, thus transmitting it on the power line     ing these new prod-                                    er electronic device in the room. Control4
               to one of the company’s devices.                         ucts in our booth, Programmable via a PC, Lutron’s     Suite Systems contributed to CityCenter’s
                                                                        we have been tak- RadioRA 2 controls lights, shades,   achievements in LEED certification.”
               SPOTLIGHT ON MARKETING                                                           AV devices, and temperature via
                                                                        ing the show on the
                                                                                                the company’s own Clear Connect
               With so many lighting products on the market, how road, per se, with                                                ILLUMINATING THE FUTURE
                                                                                                Radio Frequency technology.
               all of these companies gain the spotlight has be- intensive, hands-on                                               It is easy to emphasis the impact that the
               come as challenging as developing the products training programs designed to teach installers green movement has had on the lighting con-
               themselves. While the tradeshow calendar has always everything they need to know to successfully de- trol industry, but there is still much more that can
               provided regular intervals for new product unveil- sign, install, program and integrate these new be done. Like Stephenson pointed out, “We’ve
               ings, manufacturers also have been increasing their products,” said Phil Scheetz, Lutron’s home sys-
               exposure to the market in innovative ways.               tems marketing manager.
                   For much of last year, Lutron took many of its          Lutron also hosted numerous specifier events
               new products on the road, in an RV no less at one and posted interactive demos and videos on its
               point, to allow both its dealers and customers to website to help customers experience the magic
                                                                          of these new products online.
                                                                              Road shows underscore a trump card that
                                                                          lighting manufacturers have with both its dealer
                                                                          base and conscientious consumers. It’s their pow-
                                                                          er to educate. And, its not just dealers and con- Somfy Systems has added the ILT Z-Wave Interface
                                                                          sumers that need schooling. Colorado vNet, like for integration of natural lighting control with
                                                                          Lutron and many others in the field are well aware other home systems.
                                                                          that gaining the trust of architects and designers
                                                                          can open up entire avenues of revenue and inno- gotten the word out that dimming a light by 10
                                                                          vation for their companies.                          percent saves energy by one percent, but that’s
                                                                              Control4, which also caters to the commer- only a small part of the story. Innovation is still
                                                                          cial market, has benefited from this broader needed to make dimmable fluorescent lighting
               Having had success with its Vizia RF+, Leviton has         outlook. The company’s Suite System has been acceptable to our trained senses and LEDs, her-
               expanded the line with combination devices that            installed in all of the guest rooms and suites at alded as the future more than 10 years ago, are
               allow installers to replace existing switches with a       the ARIA Resort & Casino and the Mandarin still too expensive.”
               four-button zone controller, four-button scene con-        Oriental at CityCenter, in Las Vegas.
               troller, or a two-button scene controller with switches.       “Control4 Suite Systems can be programmed Llanor Alleyne is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY.




30                                                           RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
     FEATURE                                                                                                                                  BY KAREN MITCHELL




     At the                                      Crossroads
     CEDIA COURTS NEXT GENERATION WITH EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY
     ”CEDIA, what have you done for me lately?” is             For example, CEDIA has                                               CEDIA chairman Ken Erdmann
     more than a rhetorical question these days, as        stepped in to fight legislation lim-                                     (pictured here during the CEDIA
     veterans and newcomers of the 20-year-old asso-       iting a low-voltage contractor’s                                         EXPO 2009 banquet dinner, finds it
     ciation look to recruit younger integrators, eluci-   access to lighting control work.                                         challenging to overcome the
     date the association’s relevance during challenging   “We’ve been successful in edu-                                           criticisms of those who accuse the
     times, and to put forth a message that CEDIA and      cating legislatures on the true                                          organization of always having its
                                                                                                                                    hand out.
     its educational curriculum are essential to the fu-   impact of these measures and in
     ture of the industry.                                 reframing bills so they don’t put
         The delivery is impassioned, designed to          anyone out of business,” Erd-                                            A CALL TO ACTION
     demonstrate how the heavy lifting CEDIA did in        mann explained. “CEDIA also has                                           For Mike Creeden, CEDIA Educa-
     the 1990s has benefited many who may be               a public policy director, Darren                                          tion Council chair, the clarion call
     unaware of the gift.                                  Reaman, on staff.”                                                        must focus on the younger incom-
         CEDIA’s major initiatives, such as government         The efforts benefit everyone in                                       ing generation.
     affairs and industry outreach, often fly below the    the trades, Erdmann adds, includ-                                            “There is a generational gap in
     radar, says CEDIA chair Ken Erdmann, president        ing some non-members who don’t                                            which 25- to 35-year olds are disen-
     of Erdmann Electric, in Springville, Utah.            understand that CEDIA, through grassroots                chanted with CEDIA leadership,” he said. “They feel
         “A lot of members don’t realize the amount of timeefforts, was able to get a law reframed in Texas         as if they have no voice or opportunity to serve this
     and money that goes into these efforts,” he said.     earlier this year that would have limited lighting       organization in any leadership capacity. There is
     “CEDIA is active as a consultant and, to a very lim-  and integration work. Hundreds of e-mails went           no forum or mentoring program to hand off the
     ited extent, in a lobbying role on behalf of the low- out in an afternoon to the legislator who then           industry to them as time goes on.”
     voltage industry as a whole. Our grassroots effort is started a study of the issue.                                Creeden, who is 34, has owned his business,
     aimed at places where there are issues that are detri-    Erdmann, who also serves as a CEDIA Univer-          M&R Digital Innovations, in Spring Grove, Illinois,
     mental to our industry, such as legislative efforts   sity instructor, finds it challenging to overcome the    for 15 years. With plans to step down as chair af-
     that may limit the work of a CEDIA-type company.      criticisms of those who accuse the organization of       ter the next EXPO, he says reconnecting with
                                                                             always having its hand out.            younger companies and members was his goal
                                                                                “There are anti-CEDIA voices        during the past year.
                                                                             on blogs, and we’ve tried to re-           “We built our education volunteer teams with
                                                                             spond to them, to tell them what       new blood, new ideas, new energy, and new am-
                                                                             their dues really accomplish,” he      bition,” Creeden said. “We also re-enlisted the
                                                                             said. “The criticism is unfounded      services of members who haven’t been recently in-
                                                                             given what I know about how            volved in CEDIA education, who can help guide
                                                                             CEDIA spends. For example, we          this new generation, by providing the history of CE-
                                                                             have a seat before the California      DIA’s educational offerings.”
                                                                             Energy Commission, which is                For the second time last year, CEDIA Universi-
                                                                             tasked with writing energy-saving      ty’s Learning Labs offered technicians a more
                                                                             ordinances. As a board, we’re giving   hands-on experience, he noted. “Through our
                                                                             membership the floor to make sure      partnership with ADI we were able to offer just
                                                                             we address their needs and hear        that. ADI has recommitted for a third year at EXPO
                                                                             their concerns. We want to over-       2010, and we will bring back the Installer Olympics,
                                                                             come the perception that CEDIA’s       furthering our goals to engage the younger gener-
     Leaders of CEDIA are looking to recruit younger integrators and to volunteer leadership is detached            ation of professionals.”
     put forth a message that CEDIA and its educational curriculum are       and aloof. We’ve made strides and          Creeden’s proudest moment came at this past
     essential to the future of the industry.                                we’re open and available.”             October’s post-EXPO meeting in Indianapolis,




32                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
where 80 percent of the participants were new to          by people like Frank White. Learning how to teach        Council and vice chair of the Home Technology
CEDIA volunteerism. A D-Tools blog entry by Ryan          other professionals is a system that has fundamen-       Alliance (HTA) I am able to return to the industry
Brown, in which Brown detailed his satisfying             tally changed my ability to grow any business.”          the value I have received from it through the efforts
experience at the meeting and his CEDIA involve-              When, after that first course in 2006, Carter felt   of many previous CEDIA members.”
ment, is a testament to how passionate the                he wasn’t fully prepared to make a formal presen-           CEDIA University instructors who assume their
upcoming generation can be, Creeden noted.                tation, he penned a two-page document about              assessment forms go right into the trash are mis-
   “We need 10 more Ryan Browns,” he said.                his vision for CEDIA’s Train the Trainer course.         taken, says Robert Ridenour, senior category man-
“That’s our longevity; that’s how we’ll survive go-       From there, he was asked to serve on the ROI Action      ager of integrated solutions for Niles Audio, and a
ing forward.”                                             Team. “In helping to expand the course into a full-day   CEDIA instructor pool chair.
   Matt Carter, president of Encore Technology +          program, we are putting educators on the street             “The assessment impact is substantial,” he said.
Design of Raleigh, North Carolina, took a “Train the      with stronger messages and excellent content,”           “We used to say that a dog could give a class and get
Trainer” CEDIA course three years ago given by            he said. “Now, as chair of the Industry Outreach         a score of three out of four on a review, and a tal-
CEDIA veteran Rich Green, and it changed his pro-
fessional life. The Registered Outreach Instructor
(ROI) course, which is designed to equip CEDIA




‘
As a board, we’re giving
membership the floor to make
sure WE ADDRESS THEIR
NEEDS and hear their concerns
         —Ken Erdmann, CEDIA Chairman

members with the tools and skill sets to reach out to
the residential construction industry, helped con-
vince Carter to get more involved in CEDIA training.
    “The bulk of CEDIA membership is made up of
smaller firms finding it hard to dedicate time to
market what their industry and business are all
about,” Carter said. “They’re busy fighting the dai-
ly battles of getting designs right and making sure
the technology works”.
    Bringing CEDIA members together with the
professional members of other construction trade
associations seems like such a simple concept,
but the energy CEDIA puts into it has increased
dramatically in the past few years, he says. “I’m in-
volved because that course taught me how to pro-
vide the education CEDIA was assembling for the
design community and gave me access to the
CEDIA Industry Outreach program. My prior en-
tre to an architect’s firm was only as a sales person.”
    CEDIA’s approved continuing education cours-
es allow Carter to talk directly to architects as an
industry and association professional, and this
program is available to all members, he says.
“There’s a tremendous amount of value in that. I
wouldn’t be where I am today professionally, if it
hadn’t been for core CEDIA education delivered
      At the Crossroads
     FEATURE

                                                                                                                                 accomplish this is through involvement.”
                                                                                                                                     Although the organization has historically rep-
                                                                                                                                 resented high-end custom installation firms, Bald-
                                                                                                                                 win says, adoption rates have diversified CEDIA’s
                                                                                                                                 channel, and today custom is a level of services.
                                                                                                                                     “The face of CEDIA has changed,” he explained.
                                                                                                                                 “Today, CEDIA represents the professional compa-
                                                                                                                                 nies and individuals that deliver the Electronic
                                                                                                                                 Lifestyle.” However, Baldwin says, high-end inte-
                                                                                                                                 grators, who were once the primary member of the
                                                                                                                                 association, need not fear the future, as innovations
                                                                                                                                 in home health care, energy management, video
                                                                                                                                 conferencing, and virtual reality continue to drive
                                                                                                                                 emerging market business. CEDIA, he explains, will
                                                                                                                                 be the mechanism to provide access to and educa-
                                                                                                                                 tion about these new technologies and markets.
                                                                                                                                     “CEDIA needs critical mass,” Baldwin said. “Ul-
                                                                                                                                 timately the strength in any association is to repre-
                                                                                                                                 sent votes and tax dollars. And if CEDIA is to success-
                                                                                                                                 fully advocate for its members, we need to represent
                                                CEDIA Education Council chair Mike Creeden (left) says that reconnecting         the entire industry, providing value for all who join.”
                                                with younger companies and members was his goal during the past year.
                                                                                                                                 Karen Mitchell is a writer in Boulder, CO.
                                                 ented dog could        WAY UP NORTH
                                                 get a four. But the    “We see ourselves as set apart from American
                                                 reality is that        CEDIA members, with different issues and requiring
                                                                                                                                  UTZ WANTS
                                                 course assess-
                                                 ments are read,
                                                                        different solutions, says Marilyn Sanford, president
                                                                        of La Scala in Vancouver B.C. Sanford founded
                                                                                                                                  YOUR INPUT
                                                                                                                                  One of CEDIA CEO Utz
                                                 and the numbers        and served as president of CEDIA Canada, is a
                                                                                                                                  Baldwin’s primary goals
                                                 vetted to spot         CEDIA Fellow and currently serves on its board.
                                                                                                                                  is to convince both mem-
               trends with comments prioritized. Each year, a               Her viewpoint from working on CEDIA Canada            bers and non-members
               third of our class content is overhauled from minor      before moving onto the North American board is that       of the industry to contact
               changes to complete revamping.”                          more of her countrymen (and women) are needed             the trade association and
                   Ridenour’s commitment to CEDIA education             on the board, which is receptive to the idea.             make their business needs known. It’s that
               draws from personal experience, he says. “When               “I believe Canadian membership has about              feedback and interactive dialogue that has
               I started working in this industry, in 1987, there was   200 CEDIA members, representing approximately             made CEDIA a vital organization over its 20-
               no CEDIA and no ‘industry.’ We all taught our-           10 percent of CEDIA North America membership,”            year history, and one of the only ways the or-
               selves. We were like dentists with pliers in the Old     she noted. “It may not be apparent to Canadian            ganization will continue to thrive and grow.
               West; if it worked you were doing it right.”             dealerships, but we have made more progress by                “If you come from the AV world, security,
                                                                                                                                  electrical, or IT market, there is a home for
                   His advice to those entering the industry re-        having representation on the board.”
                                                                                                                                  you within CEDIA,” Baldwin said. “You have
               volves around education. Learn as much as you                With the U.S. market ahead of Canada by 18 to
                                                                                                                                  a voice, and you can affect the work your as-
               can about what you’re doing, he says, even if you        24 months, Canadians, more conservative in buy-           sociation does for you.”
               don’t think you need it.                                 ing habits and sometimes held back by CRTC                    The organization is looking at new ways to
                   “CEDIA started working on Internet Protocol          (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunica-             develop tangible benefits, he adds. “The
               education five to seven years ago when many did-         tions Commission) approval requirements, have a           board’s goal is to make CEDIA membership
               n’t regard it as important to CEDIA,” Ridenour said.     little lag time, putting them in a great place for ob-    an unquestionable value. In the coming year,
               “Now the future of our industry is in that protocol.     serving, she added.                                       we believe that will become reality.”
               Why do IT professionals need to learn about ampli-                                                                     Baldwin encourages anyone with an idea
               fied systems? Because our industry is one of the         INDUSTRY ADVOCATES                                        or interest in contributing to CEDIA to reach
               most difficult to be a part of, and because it’s so      CEDIA CEO Utz Baldwin is adamant about partic-            out, contribute, and “help create the driving
                                                                                                                                  force that CEDIA was meant to be.”
               broad-based. CEDIA remains the only place to             ipation in the association. “We must go to the
                                                                                                                                      “My e-mail (ubaldwin@cedia.org) is always
               learn about lighting, security, Internet—all the sys-    table and build consensus as to what this indus-
                                                                                                                                  available,” he said.
               tems, all under one roof and one access point.”          try will become,” he said. “The only way to




34                                                             RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
     FEATURE                                                                              BY STEVE FEINSTEIN




     Selling Secondary
     Surround Sound
     INTEGRATING
     MULTI-CHANNEL
     AUDIO IN MORE
     ROOMS OF THE HOUSE
     While there is nothing like a dedicated home the-
     ater room to wow your clients and make movie
     night a memorable experience, the reality is that
     most people spend more time watching TV and
     movies in their bedroom, den, or even in the
     kitchen. If you are not showing your clients what
     you can do with those rooms as well, you’re miss-
     ing out on a huge market for high-quality audio
     systems in these smaller, “secondary” rooms.

     THEATER-QUALITY IN SMALLER SPACES
     Selling secondary systems is fundamentally no
     different than selling a full-scale theater room.
     Getting good video is not the issue; there are stun-
     ning HD video screens available in any size. The
     selling point is your ability to put theater-quality
     audio in smaller spaces.
         First, you’ve got to give your clients an alterna-
     tive to the small single-speaker “virtual surround
     system” that they might otherwise buy from their
     local big-box store. These all-in-one systems typ-
     ically use a single speaker enclosure that contains
     amplifiers and a set of electronic processing algo-
     rithms to trick the listener into thinking they’re
     hearing multi-directional sound.
         These systems can work reasonably well if the
     listener sits directly in front of the screen, looking


            Soundbars, like KEF’s HTF8003, are attractive,
           easy-to-install, and have benefited from some
     really outstanding research and development work
                                  over the past few years.



36                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
directly at it. It’s a very small “sweet spot.” If you
move a couple of feet to the left or turn your head,
then the illusion is broken. The sound collapses to
a not-so-impressive single-point source again.
Point this out to people, and these systems lose
much of their appeal. After all, who wants to be
trapped in a small spot to get good sound in their
bedroom?

IN-CEILING OPTIONS
There are better solutions, and clients will jump at
them once they have had the chance to hear them
in action. In rooms where the entertainment sys-
tem is not the primary function, like a bedroom,
a ceiling-speaker-based audio system makes a lot
of sense. Many manufacturers offer purpose-built
in-ceiling LCRs with midrange/high-frequency



SOUNDBARS and CEILING




‘
SPEAKER-BASED AUDIO
SYSTEMS from reputable
brands will deliver extremely
high-quality sound, and do
so in rooms where a
freestanding speaker system
just wouldn’t fit

drivers that are angled right at the listening area,
providing excellent intelligibility. Similarly, there
are in-ceiling surround speakers that perform
quite well in delivering immersive, non-localizable
surround information. Combine these with any
number of small, affordable, easy-to-hide sub-
woofers, and you have a quality audio system that
integrates nicely into a room that was not “de-
signed” for a theater system.

CONSIDER THE SOUNDBAR
Another way to go, which is even easier to install,
is to use a soundbar. A soundbar is a long, slender
cabinet that contains separate speakers for the
front three Left-Center-Right (LCR) channels, or
even for all five channels of a surround system.
    Mounted under the flat-screen TV (either on
the TV stand or with the TV on its wall-mount
bracket), soundbars are attractive, easy-to-install,
 Selling Secondary Surround Sound
FEATURE

          and have benefited from some really outstanding      pendent speakers instead of five. The point is that
          research and development work over the past          there are a lot of good options. You could even for-
          few years.                                           go the actual surround speakers and just install
                                                               the LCR soundbar.
          A HYBRID APPROACH                                        Even if they skip the surround channels, most
          Finally, a good hybrid alternative is combining a    good LCR speakers will far outplay a small virtu-
          three-channel LCR soundbar with a pair of ceiling-   al surround system where it really counts: in the
          mounted surround speakers (along with that           tonality, wide frequency response (“richness”),
          compact sub). A three-channel bar                             and clarity of the sound. Give a client a
          the same size as a typical five-                                      five-minute A/B demo, and most
          channel model can usually                                                will gladly trade those faux-sur-       The Atlantic Technology FS-7.0 produces seven-
          pack more quality and                                                      round systems for a three-            channel surround sound in a single box with no DSP
          acoustic firepower into                                                      channel front soundstage            trickery needed.
          the same space, be-                                                           that gets it right every time.
          cause that 40-inch                                                                 The key to all of these so-   stallation. Soundbars and ceiling speaker-based
          span is only divided                                                            lutions lies in managing         audio systems from reputable brands will deliver
          up among three inde-                                                            (and by that I mean exceed-      extremely high-quality sound, and do so in rooms
                                                                                         ing) the clients’ expectations    where a freestanding speaker system just would-
          In rooms where the
                                                                                       by blowing them away with a         n’t fit. A demo that closely replicates the size and
          entertainment system is
                                                                                     world-class demo. Many cus-           dimensions of the client’s space is very convinc-
          not the primary function,
          like a bedroom, a ceiling-                                               tomers will be skeptical that true      ing. Hearing is believing.”
          speaker-based audio system, like                                    high-quality surround sound can be
          SnapAV’s new Episode line, makes a                            attained by anything other than tradi-             Steve Feinstein is the director of marketing and product
          lot of sense.                                        tional box speakers or a high-dollar in-wall in-            development for Atlantic Technology.
     FEATURE                                                                                                                          BY JENNIFER HILLMAN


                                                                                                                            With two rows of six chairs on tiered



        No Architect,
                                                                                                                              platforms and a five-foot stage for
                                                                                                                             presentations and games, the home
                                                                                                                      theater room can serve as a multi-purpose
                                                                                                                      entertainment venue for the whole family.




        No Designer…
        No Problem



           HOME TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS RELISHES FULL CONTROL OF
            AV INTEGRATION DESIGN PROJECT IN WICHITA, KANSAS
     Establishing a unified vision from an architect,                                                          firm installed structured cabling in the home for
     interior designer, and ESC on the same home AV                                                            telephone, video, and networking, and integrated
     integration project is often difficult. The systems                                                       together an extensive security system, 24-zone
     integration team from Home Technology Systems                                                             audio distribution system, high-definition distri-
     Inc. avoided this potential headache on a recent                                                          bution to all flat-panel displays, a CCTV surveil-
     whole-home project in Wichita, Kansas, by essen-                                                          lance system, and a dedicated home theater room.
     tially playing all three roles. The lack of architect                                                        The system, which includes 16 discreet audio in-
     or interior designer on the project meant that the                                                        puts and nine video inputs, is Crestron-controlled
     Home Technology Systems team could focus more                                                             with two TPS-6X wireless touchpads, three TPS-6L
     on system performance and less on overcoming                                                              in-wall touchpads, five APAD audio control inter-
     aesthetic obstacles.                                                                                      faces, and six ML-600 RF handheld remotes.
         Home Technology Systems, which was founded
                                                             The Home Technology Systems Inc. team includes
     12 years ago by Shannon and Doris McGinnis,             (standing in back) co-owners Doris McGinnis and   THE THEATER
     completed the project in early 2009 for a local         Shannon McGinnis, and front row (from left)       Although Home Technology Systems did use a
     business owner who began building his 10,000-           associates JoNathan Burden, Jerry Cleaton, and    general contractor for the home theater’s extensive
     square foot home two years earlier. The integration     Michael Bruce.                                    woodwork build out, the integrators designed the




40                                                  RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
      No Architect, No Designer… No Problem
     FEATURE

               rest of the dedicated space themselves. With two
               rows of six chairs on tiered platforms and a five-
               foot stage for presentations and games, the room
               can serve as a multi-purpose entertainment ven-
               ue for the whole family.
                    The theater features a 134-inch acoustically
               transparent Screen Excellence Reference Series
               screen matched up to a JVC HD100 DILA 1080p
               projector. Focal Electra IW1000Be in-wall center-
               channel speakers add to the cinematic ambiance,
               but that’s only the beginning when it comes to
               the 7.4-channel audio system. The surround set-
               up combines four Focal Profile 908 left and right
               speakers (two stacked and bi-wired together on
               each side), Focal IW706V sides and rears, dual 11-
               inch Focal front-stage SW904 subwoofers, and
               two SpeakerCraft Sub8 dual subwoofers along the
               sides. An Integra DTR8.9 receiver, Furman power
               conditioner, and URC MX3000 touchscreen RF
               remote round out the system.
                    Having the theater located in a precast con-
               crete structure was beneficial because it helped to
                                                                     The dedicated theater’s source equipment is accessible from two directions in this custom enclosure.
               ensure that sound isolation from the rest of the
               home was not as difficult to achieve. Additional-     five Motorola DVRs, dual AM/FM and Sirius/XM             idence while keeping it within the 16 available
               ly, its placement under the garage eliminated any     tuners, and an Apple TV also was introduced into         within the Crestron control system.
               sort of thumping that might disturb other rooms       the system for both video and iTunes playback.               Additionally, McGinnis wanted to keep graph-
               in the house.                                         Video sources include a Security DVR and a PC,           ical user interface (GUI) options logical and sim-
                    “As we were going for big sound and power to     as well.                                                 ple for his client. The goal was to create a GUI
               match the scale of the room, it was a huge bene-          The client’s bar/lower patio entertaining area       that minimized the number of decisions that need-
               fit that the structure was precast,” McGinnis said.   required thoughtful design of the AV control system.     ed to made to operate the system and one that al-
                                                                     Home Technology Systems was tasked with ensur-           lowed sources to be changed easily.
               AROUND THE HOME                                       ing that each of the six LG flat-panels could provide        As a result, touchpanel control pages were craft-
               The theater isn’t the only room to receive careful    matching audio from the video source, independ-          ed with a Q&A element to guide the user’s selec-
               consideration. Audio source needs were met with       ent audio from an iPod, or terrestrial or satellite      tions. According to McGinnis, ensuring that the
                                                                     radio services controlled by the Crestron system.        number of pages and questions presented by the
                                                                         The design enables the client to stream eight        interface were kept to a minimum was paramount
                                                                     Honeywell HD73 security cameras via a DVR to any         to making the system manageable. The Crestron
                                                                     of those screens. But the fun doesn’t have to stop       ML-600 remote is used in six other rooms and re-
                                                                     at the bar. Various line-level local inputs for MP3      quires only a few local input adjustments for bed-
                                                                     or PC content provide audio in the bedrooms and          rooms. Additionally, the client has two wireless
                                                                     remaining public party areas.                            Crestron TPS-6X six-inch touchpanels and three in-
                                                                         “The availability of most of these same sources      wall TPS-6L six-inch touchpanels that share the
                                                                     throughout the other displays and rooms in the           same GUI design. There are also four Crestron
                                                                     home was the next logical extension of the project       APAD interfaces that provide audio control in two
                                                                     and so, per the client’s guidelines, we routed the ap-   of the bedrooms, the wine room, and the garage.
                                                                     propriate sources to each location,” McGinnis said.          The team also faced a design challenge when it
                                                                                                                              came to integrating the Honeywell Vista 128 secu-
                                                                     TAKING CONTROL                                           rity system. The home’s patio doors collapse and
                                                                     As with any project done on such a grand scale,          slide open to allow an indoor/outdoor flow for
                                                                     Home Technology Systems faced a few hurdles              entertaining on the home’s main level. The prob-
                                                                     before their job was done. Challenges included           lem was establishing a security contact closure
               A URC MX3000 touchscreen RF remote controls           defining the number of AV sources that needed to         point with integrity. The solution was a small, un-
               the theater                                           be controlled and distributed throughout the res-        obtrusive surface-mount system that allows the




42                                                          RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
(Above) Home Technology Systems’ design ensured that each of the six LG flat-panels in the bar/lower
patio entertaining area could provide matching audio from the video source, independent audio from an
iPod, or terrestrial or satellite radio services controlled by the Crestron system. (Right) Systems throughout
the rest of the house are Crestron-controlled with two TPS-6X wireless touchpads, three TPS-6L in-wall
touchpads, five APAD audio control interfaces, and six ML-600 RF handheld remotes.

party to move freely throughout the entertain-          arate low-voltage systems in the home from the AV        lanta. Having completed such a large project with
ment space while still providing security.              sources to the security cameras and even the abil-       success makes it clear that Home Technology Sys-
                                                        ity to expand control of HVAC and lighting all into      tems has come a long way from what it was at its
ON THE RISE                                             one common interface is where we most differen-          inception just a dozen years ago. It is now one of
According to McGinnis there are a few specific          tiate from our competition,” he said.                    the top systems integrators in the Wichita area.
design features of the project that best symbolize          It’s no surprise that the theater portion of this
what Home Technology Systems does best.                 project won the Level III Bronze Award at the 2009       Jennifer Hillman is an editorial intern for Residential
  “We feel that the integration into all of the sep-    CEDIA Electronic Lifestyle Awards ceremony in At-        Systems.




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PEER PRODUCT REVIEW


                      NUVISION

                      Lucidium FX5LS Series LCDs
                                                                                                                                         PRODUCT SPECS
                                                                                                                                Edge-Lite LED, 120HZ 1080p Deep Black
                                                                                                                                 LCD
                                                                                                                                Processor/Format Conversion: NiDO IV
                                                                                                                                 Full 10-Bit
                                                                                                                                Noise Reduction: Motion Adaptive,
                                                                                                                                 User Selectable
                                                                                                                                Film Cadence Detection: Automatic 3:2,
                                                                                                                                 2:2, and 5:5
                                                                                                                                Feature Edge Correction
                                                                                                                                Includes four rear HDMI 1.3 ports
                                                                                                                                Integrates via NuControl (RJ-45/IR
                      How do you rate NuVision’s Lucidium
                                                                                                                                 passthrough/iput (with and without
                      FX5LS Series LCDs?
                      I’d give it a 9.5 out of 10. The quality has been very                                                     carrier), RS232C (bi-directional,
                      good, especially as it relates to performance.                                                             w/polling), discrete IR
                                                                                                                                 input/format/on/off codes
                      For what types of installations is this series
                      of panels best suited?                                                                                    All FX5 sets come with NuVision’s own
                      Pretty much all applications, installation wise.                                                           FX5 and FFM technologies
                      They really look good above fireplaces.                                                                   FX5 eliminates the need for the 3:2 pull
                                                                                                                                 down algorithm found in 60Hz dis-
                      Describe the feature set of the product.                 What features would you like to
                      The feature set is very good. It has very intuitive      see changed or added?                             plays, by recreating each frame five
                      menus.                                                   None at the moment.                               times, thus utilizing the 120Hz and
                                                                                                                                 high refresh rate of the panels

                       THE REVIEWER...                                                                                          FFM helps create flicker-free fast sports
                                                                                                                                 and motion sequences by comparing
                       Larry Marcus is president of Paragon                                   the AV industry in 1997 when
                       Sight and Sound in Ann Arbor, Michi-                                   he purchased Paragon Sight         two consecutive frames and generating
                       gan (734.662.3595; www.paragonsns.                                     and Sound. He considers his        additional interpolated frames
                       com) has been involved with the AV in-                                 specialty, “combining great       Both functions can be shut off
                       dustry since he was a boy. His love for                                surround sound/home theater
                       both the hobby and the industry took                                   installations with great sound     completely to control any latency issues
                       off at age 12 when he received his first                               and picture.”                      that may occur
                       all-in-one player. Marcus also worked in
                                                                                                                                The Series comes with a full, two-year
                       the AV industry while in college and graduate           IN HIS OWN WORDS...
                       school. He practiced law for eight years (two as        When asked what he finds most exciting            manufacturer’s warranty on all parts
                       a prosecutor in Lucas County, Ohio), and spent          about being a custom installation dealer,         and labor.
                       another eight years in the store fixture business.      Marcus said, “Really, quite simple, seeing
                                                                                                                                Available in 40-, 46-, and 55-inch screen
                       During this time he stayed current with audio-          the customer smile when you have delivered
                       video technologies. Marcus achieved his dream           their dream system and it exceeds their           sizes
                       of a successful business model and love for             expectation.”                                   ➧ 200




44                                                                    RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
ADVERTISEMENT




                                                                                                                                                                       PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT
                                                 Cellular Communication Center: 2010 CES Innovation Award Honoree
                                                 Allows remote security monitoring for homes without landlines OR as backup if the existing landline is cut.
                                                 Provides two-way communication. No programming is required, incredibly easy to install! Works with most
                                                 security systems.

                                                 HAI • 800-229-7256 • www.homeauto.com • CES Booth #25510

                                                 Log on to www.resmag.hotims.com for more information.




Baldwin Door Hardware with Home Connect Technology
Baldwin is introducing a smarter way to connect to your home with Home Connect Technology. It works
by allowing your lock to wirelessly talk to other technologies in your house, such as the security system,
lighting, thermostat, and entertainment system.




Baldwin Hardware • 866-863-6584 • www.baldwinhardware.com
E-mail: accesscontrol@bdhhi.com • CES Booth #3409 North Hall

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                                                                            Kwikset’s SmartCode with Home Connect Technology
                                                                            Kwikset is introducing a smarter way to connect to your home with Home Connect
                                                                            Technology. It works by allowing your lock to wirelessly talk to other technologies in
                                                                            your house, such as the security system, lighting, thermostat, and entertainment system.




                                                                            Kwikset • 866-863-6584 • www.kwikset.com/wirelesslocks
                                                                            E-mail: accesscontrol@bdhhi.com • CES Booth #3409 North Hall

                                                                            Log on to www.resmag.hotims.com for more information.




Intelix DIGI-HD-8X8 HDMI Twisted Pair Matrix
Ideal for residential and commercial installations, the Intelix DIGI-HD-8X8 combines a professional-grade
HDMI matrix with Intelix's industry-leading twisted pair extenders. Each system provides eight HDMI
inputs, eight HDMI outputs, and eight twisted pair outputs. A built-in touch screen delivers front panel
setup and control, and third-party control systems integrate via RS232, Ethernet or IR.


Intelix • 866-4-MATMIX • www.intelix.com • intelix@intelix.com

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                        For advertising opportunities contact Zahra Majma at 212.378.0400 x517, e-mail: zmajma@nbmedia.com.                                                    45
PEER PRODUCT REVIEW


                      TRUFIG

                      Custom Installation Kit
                      How do you rate the TRUFIG Custom Installation Kit?
                      I would rate TRUFIG at the top of any scale. In my 25 years in the industry I can hon-
                      estly say I have never been more excited about a new offering as I am about TRUFIG.
                      It is a serious product at a serious price point, and it will require a very serious com-
                      mitment by the dealer to ensure its’ successful implementation. But it is a serious-
                      ly cool product.

                      For what applications is it best suited?
                      TRUFIG is a product ideally suited for any high-end interior, residential or commer-
                      cial. It will be most easily understood in a modern or contemporary design, howev-
                      er it is also appropriate for any interior where a clean look is desired by the architect,
                      interior designer, or client.

                      Describe its feature set.
                      TRUFIG takes light switches, electrical outlets, TV and data outlets, volume controls,
                      and control touchpanels virtually out of sight within the interior of the spaces it oc-
                      cupies. This is especially important for removing visual intrusions and improving sight-
                      lines in areas where art, architecture, and interior design blend in harmony to cre-
                      ate beautiful spaces.

                      What features would you like to see changed or added to the TRUFIG
                      Custom Installation Kit?
                      I would like to see a wider variety of products available within the product line. I un-
                      derstand the manufacturing challenges and know this will come with time.


                                  PRODUCT SPECS
                          Custom installation kits have been
                          developed to seamlessly integrate
                          common wall fixtures such as light
                          switches, electrical outlets, and
                          audio/video wall plates for a clean,
                          flush-mount installation
                          A variety of single-gang, double-gang,                THE REVIEWER...
                          and touchscreen kits are available                    David Rogers is founder and CEO                                           professionals that his
                          Each kit includes a TRUFIG Mounting                   of Dallas Sight and Sound Inc. in Ad-                                     company works with.
                          Platform, TRUFIG Trim Components,                     dison, Texas (972.392.3202; www.dal-
                                                                                lassightandsound.com). He began                                            IN HIS OWN WORDS...
                          TRUFIG Fascia, and TRUFIG Fascia Re-
                                                                                his career in 1979 and founded his                                         “[I have] a love of how
                          moval Tool.                                           company six years later. A dealer for                                      things work and a pas-
                          Three standard colors are available and               TRUFIG owner Dana Innovations                                              sion for creating an envi-
                                                                                since 1987, Rogers says that the most                                      ronment within which
                          custom color matching instructions are
                                                                                exciting aspects of being a custom                                         people can create
                          provided for on-site modifications                    installation dealer are providing solutions and     unique designs and provide high quality serv-
                        ➧ 201                                                   consistent service for his clients and the design   ice to our clientele.”




46                                                                   RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
 ADVERTISEMENT




                                                                                                                                                    LITERATURE REVIEW
              CHIEF MANUFACTURING                                                                       PREMIER MOUNTS
Chief Manufacturing’s Full Line Catalog                                                                 It’s only as good as the mounting system
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                                                                                                          BTX TECHNOLOGIES
                 LUTRON ELECTRONICS
                                                                                                          BTX celebrated its 41st anniversary
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                                                                                                          with the release of its new 2008
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                                                                                                          catalog. BTX’s 200-page color book
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                            For advertising opportunities contact Zahra Majma at 212.378.0433, e-mail: zmajma@nbmedia.com.                                  47
                                                                                                                                                    BY KEN ERDMANN
CEDIA LINE



             CEDIA Changes in 2010
             HOW THE ASSOCIATION IS WORKING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR YOU
             There is no doubt that 2009 was a challenging year                                                              ■ FREE EDUCATION AT CEDIA EXPO 2010
             for everyone inside and outside of our industry.                                                                   CEDIA University will continue rewarding
             However, it also was a year of great support and                                                                   members for their support with a host of free
             hope for the industry and our association. CEDIA                                                                   education offerings at CEDIA EXPO 2010,
             celebrated its 20th year as an association, CE-                                                                    September 22–26 in Atlanta.
             DIA EXPO continued to be the premier tradeshow                                                                  ■ EXPANDED PUBLICITY OPPORTUNITIES
             of the industry, and CEDIA University expanded                                                                     The PR and marketing team is hosting re-
             its offerings to better meet the needs of every                                                                    gional media tours to promote CEDIA Mem-
             level of professional in the industry.                                                                             bers around the country, making it easier for
                 With the success and challenges of 2009 in                                                                     business to gain media attention and garner
             mind, CEDIA’s leadership has introduced new                                                                        positive publicity.
             and expanded membership benefits in 2010                                                                        ■ NEW TECHNOLOGY WEBINARS
             aimed at helping members grow and prosper as                                                                       CEDIA is launching a new free webinar series
             the economy continues its return to normalcy.                                                                      aimed at educating members on emerging
                                                                CEDIA University will continue rewarding members for
             If you are not a member of CEDIA yet, now is the                                                                   technologies, industry trends, and other im-
                                                                their support with a host of free education offerings at
             best time ever to join and reap the benefits that CEDIA EXPO 2010.                                                 portant technological advancements that
             the association offers. And if you are a member,                                                                   impact member businesses.
             don’t forget to renew your membership to ensure            and improve the performance of current sales
             that you don’t miss out on any of the opportuni-           staff with coaching from top-performing sales         As you can see, CEDIA is dedicated to not only
             ties that it provides you.                                 people in the industry. This sales position as-    making it easier for members to conduct busi-
                                                                        sessment survey is free for CEDIA members          ness, but also to thrive and expand services for in-
                                                                        in 2010, which is a savings of more than $100.     creased profitability in 2010. CEDIA is continual-




‘
             With the success and                                  ■ MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE                                 ly assessing and re-evaluating programs and
                                                                       More affordable registration and housing makes      education, to assure that the association offers
             challenges of 2009 in mind,                               this event for business owners a must attend.       members the most effective and beneficial serv-
             CEDIA’s leadership has                                    Management Conference 2010 will be held
                                                                       March 3-6 in New Orleans, and will feature the
                                                                                                                           ices possible.
                                                                                                                              Now is the time to take advantage of the numer-
             introduced NEW AND                                        popular Registered Outreach Instructor (ROI)        ous opportunities CEDIA membership provides.
                                                                       “Train the Trainer” course at no extra cost.        CEDIA’s mission statement, “To advance our mem-
             EXPANDED MEMBERSHIP                                   ■ EXPANDED E-LEARNING                                   bers’ position in their marketplace and to be a
             BENEFITS in 2010                                          Expanded online education offerings make
                                                                       training your staff even more accessible and af-
                                                                                                                           core component of their prosperity,” has never
                                                                                                                           had greater importance. It will continue to guide
                                                                       fordable, plus free business Survival of the        every initiative the association undertakes.
                Here are some of the things that CEDIA mem-            Fittest webinars monthly.                              For more information on the benefits of CEDIA
             bers can expect out of their membership in 2010:      ■ ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS TECHNICAL                          membership, visit www.cedia.org/membership.
                                                                     REFERENCE MANUAL                                      To join CEDIA or renew your membership today,
             ■ REVAMPED CAREER CENTER                                  Members have access to this comprehensive           visit www.cedia.org/join. To see a full listing of
                CEDIA will unveil a new job-posting site al-           guide for $89, which is a savings of $58 over the   the events CEDIA has planned for 2010, visit
                lowing members to post open positions with-            non-member price.                                   www.cedia.org/calendar.
                in their company and find qualified employees.     ■ REGISTERED OUTREACH INSTRUCTOR
                Postings run for 60 days and cost $275, but in       (ROI) SESSIONS
                2010 members can post an unlimited amount              CEDIA will continue to enable members to be-
                of jobs for free.                                      come part of the popular and well-received            Ken Erdmann is CEDIA chairman
                                                                                                                             and president of Erdmann
             ■ SALES POSITION ASSESSMENT SURVEY                        “Train the Trainer” program, delivering home
                                                                                                                             Electric in Springville, Utah.
                This assessment will help ESC companies iden-          technology education to architects, builders, in-
                tify talented sales staff within their company         terior designers, and related professionals.




48                                                       RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010
                                                                                                             ADVERTISER INDEX
COMPANY NAME                                       PAGE                                TELEPHONE #

Acoustics First                                      10                                  888.765.2900

Arlington Industries                              7,16,21,29                             800.233.4717

Autonomic Controls                                   19                                  914.598.1647

Crestron                                             2,5                                 800.237.2041

Da-Lite Screen                                      24-25                                800.622.3737

Exact Power                                          13                                  800.266.7225

Inca Corporation                                     23                                  310.808.0001

Intelix                                              11                                  608.831.1833

Lutron Electronics Company                           52                                  610.282.3800

MechoShade                                           27                                  718.729.2020

NuVision                                              9                                  877.738.7641

QVS                                                  15                                  702.228.3670

Sanus Systems                                        35                                  800.359.5520

Skywalker Communications                             33                                  800.844.9555

Somfy Systems                                        31                                  877.437.6639

Video Mount Products                                 17                                  410.643.6390

Vutec                                                51                                  800.770.4700




Free Product Information
f ro m R e s i d e n t i a l S y s t e m s A d v e r t i s e r s
              Simply point your Web browser toward www.resmag.hotims.com and select the
              products you are interested in. Plus, if you subscribe to the Residential Systems eNews, you
              can also get monthly alerts that list all the new products found in the latest issue.
                                                                                                                                                          BY RICHARD MILLSON
 BACK TO BUSINESS



                    Fix That First Impression
                    ELEVATING YOUR STATUS FROM SUB-TRADE TO PROJECT PROFESSIONAL
                    “You never get a second chance to make a first          professions and no doubt have developed a cer-           Unless you have a real talent for this type of thing,
                    impression” is an old saying that still contains a      tain set of opinions and expectations around the         hire a design professional to make sure every-
                    great deal of truth today. Unfortunately, many          types of professionals that they choose to hire and      thing has a unified look and feel.
                    members of our industry forget to apply the lesson      engage with. Have you thought about what those
                    inherent in this axiom.                                 expectations might be and how both you and your          YOUR WARDROBE
                       As ESCs, we are always meeting new people            organization measure up to them?                         If you are a company owner or senior manager
                    involved in our projects. Every one of these first          Are you doing everything you can to present          who often meets with clients, then there is neither
                    meetings offers the chance to establish the foun-       yourself and your firm not just as technology ex-        the need nor the expectation that you must dress
                    dation of a relationship, and the first impression      perts but as a serious and reputable business run        like the rest of your team. If you want to be taken
                    that you create should be the best one possible.        by experienced professionals? If not, then I strong-
                                                                            ly recommend taking steps to do just that.




                                                                                                                         ‘
                    WHAT TO START                                                                                                    Are you doing everything you
                    There are many ways to polish how you present           YOUR WEB SITE
                    yourself and your company. The single most impor-       If you don’t have a website, then create one. You are    can to present yourself and
                    tant impression is that you are true professional.      promoting yourself as a technology specialist and
                        I believe that our industry still has a long way    not having a website sends entirely the wrong
                                                                                                                                     your firm not just as technology
                    to go toward raising the level of professionalism ex-   message.                                                 experts but as a SERIOUS AND
                    hibited by the average ESC. The time has come               If you do have a website, then take a good look
                    when ESCs must start behaving like the profession-      at it and consider hiring a professional web de-         REPUTABLE BUSINESS run by
                    als that they are expected to be.                       signer to update it. Check out the websites of oth-
                                                                                     er companies that your clients are likely to
                                                                                                                                     experienced professionals?
                                                                                     visit for luxury automobiles, yachts, fine
                                                                                     jewelry, etc. These sites tend to have a very   as seriously as the architect or other project pro-
                                                                                     clean and elegant look and present less in-     fessionals, then dress like them. And no, wearing
                                                                                     formation, not more. The idea is to offer a     a long-sleeved company logo shirt with your jeans
                                                                                     simple, intuitive, and uncomplicated in-        instead of the polo your techs wear is not enough.
                                                                                     terface that provides enough information to         You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a
                                                                                     get people interested enough to contact         bunch of expensive clothes, but you should be
                                                                                     you. Don’t try to explain every aspect of       dressing professionally, appropriately, and differ-
                                                                                     every service that you can provide, because     ently from your installation crew. Think a little
                                                                                     all the studies indicate that no one will       less “sub-trade” and a little more “consultant”
                                                                                     spend the time to read it.                      when selecting your wardrobe, and you will elevate
                                                                                                                                     yourself and your company in the eyes of others.
                                                                                     BUSINESS COLLATERAL                                 If you want to not just survive but thrive in the
                    If you want to be taken as seriously as the architect or other
                    project professionals, then dress like them.                     Consider your business cards, letterhead,       years ahead, then you will need to focus on rais-
                                                                                     envelopes, your company brochure, and           ing your professionalism in everything that you do.
                       Like it or not, there are certain expectations       anything else you create or print to communicate             Next month I’ll explore areas that you can ad-
                    associated with the term “professional,” and they       with the outside world. Whether you know it or not,      dress inside your business that are equally impor-
                    extend well beyond simply doing something every         this stuff matters a lot. When you hand someone          tant in creating a truly professional organization.
                    day and getting a paid for it. Think about the oth-     your business card, it is one of the first moments in
                    er significant professionals that you encounter         which you have an opportunity to communicate                Richard Millson (richard.
                    on a project. These can include architects and          that you are different. Forget any whacky gimmicks          millson@millson.net) is
                    other design professionals, lawyers, engineers,         and stick to really high-quality paper and a very           president of Vancouver-based
                    and, for that matter, the clients themselves. These     clean layout with your logo and a minimum of text.          Millson Multimedia.
                    people are often senior executives in their own            The same goes for all your printed materials.




50                                                                 RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS • JANUARY 2010

				
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