Massachusetts Bans Certain Shades Due to Toxic Chemicals

The state of Massachusetts has banned the sale of certain shades materials due to alleged toxic chemicals used as flame retardants on the shade fabrics. The move took some New England-area integrators and even some manufacturers by surprise, as dealers were reportedly still able to purchase and subsequently install the banned products, possibly opening themselves up for liability of $100 per shade and up to $50,000 in penalties.

Back on November 17, 2021, Gov. Charlie Baker signed Massachusetts General Law Chapter 21A, Section 28 dubbed the “Act to Protect Children, Families, and Firefighters from Harmful Flame Retardants.” The law took effect on January 1, 2022, and banned the sale by retailers and manufacturers of materials that included in excess of 1,000 parts per million of any of 11 specific flame retardant chemicals. if the product was in inventory prior to December 31, 2021, then it was exempt.

The term flame retardant refers to a diverse set of chemicals added to various products to decrease ignitability and inhibit the combustion process. According to MassDEP, test data and monitoring studies in humans and the environment have demonstrated that certain flame-retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in people and animals, and have been shown to cause adverse developmental effects in animals.

The banned list is:

1. Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) (Chemical Abstracts Service number

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2. Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 115–96–8);

3. Antimony trioxide (Chemical Abstracts Service number 1309–64–4);

4. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 25637–99–4);

5. Bis (2-Ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6- tetrabromophthalate (TBPH) (Chemical Abstracts Service

number 26040–51–7);

6. 2-EthylhexYl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) (Chemical Abstracts Service number

183658– 27–7);

7. Chlorinated paraffins (Chemical Abstracts Service number 85535–84–8);

8. Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 13674–


9. PentaBDE (Chemical Abstracts Service number 32534-81-9);

10. OctaBDE (Chemical Abstracts Service number 32536-52-0);

11. Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 79-94-7)

12. Any other chemical flame retardants specified by the department pursuant to subsection


The Mass Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recommends integrators contact their suppliers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers to make arrangements to ensure that products they purchase were manufactured after December 31, 2021 and theyare in compliance with this law.

The law specifically calls out window treatments, as well as bedding, carpeting, children’s products, and residential upholstered furniture.

The law specifically calls out window treatments, as well as bedding, carpeting, children’s products, and residential upholstered furniture.

CE Pro reached out to multiple manufacturers of shading products for the custom electronics industry, none of which wanted to go on the record regarding this situation. Many of these well-known manufacturers source their fabrics from the same small group of suppliers, which are the entities that would be applying the now-banned flame retardants in question.

The companies tell CE Pro they are complying with the new ban in the state after exhausting their inventories. Several admitted the ban caught several of them by surprise. Some companies now have indicators in their ordering portals that certain shade solutions cannot be sold in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The consensus among several suppliers is that this ban is likely to spread to other states; therefore, it is something for integrators to be on the lookout for. Several integrators in Massachusetts that were contacted by CE Pro said they had only recently become aware of the ban, which apparently was initiated in the state because the manufacturer of the chemicals themselves is based in the Commonwealth. However, a handful of dealers reported they had purchased and installed motorized shade solutions after the January 1 ban took effect. Presumably, they were installing inventory from suppliers that still have the questionable chemicals.

For violators, the penalties can add up. For the first violation, a fine is imposed of not more than $100 per product, not to exceed a total of $5,000. For the second violation, a fine of not more than $250 per product, not to exceed a total of $25,000; and for the third or subsequent violation, a fine of not more than $1,000 per product, not to exceed a total of $50,000.

Products that are sold in a set shall be constituted as a single product.

According to the law, a manufacturer, retailer or integrator who knowingly violates the law shall be subject to a civil penalty equal to three times the amount of the fine imposed for such violation. A civil penalty for a violation shall be waived if the department determines that a

Manufacturer, retailer or integrator acted in good faith to be in compliance, pursued compliance with due diligence and promptly corrected any noncompliance after discovery of the violation.

The ban leaves several unanswered questions. What sort of flame retardant is now being used on window treatments sold in Massachusetts, if any? Are shades installed in the state now more flammable? Do integrators have any liability should those fabrics ignite in their clients’ homes?

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Pulse-Eight Group Acquires Gallo Acoustics

Pulse-Eight, a UK-based manufacturer of AV distribution products, has announced the acquisition of loudspeaker producer Gallo Acoustics. Terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Lanark, Scotland, Gallo Acoustics is an innovator in the field of loudspeaker design, with a product range that spans applications in the custom install, smart home, commercial and HiFi spaces. Its spherical design language and range of colors and finishes make the brand instantly recognizable, and its focus on customer care and support has garnered successive Best Trade Supplier accolades and a nomination for a third at the upcoming CEDIA EMEA Awards in October.

Pulse-Eight has been designing and manufacturing its own products in the UK since. 2010 and has created multiple HDBaseT and HDMI products including matrices, splitters and extender sets alongside video and audio accessories to assist integrators.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Gallo Acoustics into the fold. I’ve long held a desire to add a speaker brand to our portfolio, enhancing our pro-audio credentials and further boosting our investment in UK-based engineering,” says Martin Ellis, Pulse-Eight CEO. “The acquisition of a dynamic, industry recognized speaker brand and engineering team will help fuel our growth and expertise.”

Gallo Acoustics CEO, David Baxter comments, “From our very earliest discussions with Pulse-Eight we were impressed by the laser-focussed commitment to quality and engineering excellence exhibited by Martin and his team.”

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He continues, “Joining the Pulse-Eight family provides Gallo Acoustics with the perfect platform from which to expand our product range and meet the global aspirations we have always had for our brand, we couldn’t be more excited.”

Following the announcement, Gallo Acoustics CEO David Baxter becomes Design Director of the expanded Pulse-Eight group, with Gallo Commercial Director Colin Urie taking up the role of Group Commercial Director. Gallo Acoustics will continue to operate from its current Lanark HQ.

Gallo Acoustics makes unique speakers such as the Micro in 11 different colors.

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HAA Introduces new Calibration Wizard App

During the recently completed CEDIA Expo show in Dallas, the Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA) announced its new Calibration Wizard App.

HAA points out that many integrators are already using the newly introduced calibration app, and it stresses that through its partnership with the CEDIA trade organization, all planned HAA/CEDIA Audio Calibration workshops will be using the new dealer audio calibration tool.

“We’ve been working with Andrew Smith at Studio Six Digital for the last two years developing this app,” comments Gerry Lemay, director of the Home Acoustics Alliance.

“I’m so pleased and satisfied with his attention to detail and getting the mission of a professional calibration suite right. In the last few HAA workshops, the beta version of the app has transformed the training. Instead of taking extra time to explain how to use the analysis tools, we have more time to discuss acoustics and practical audio problem solving. I can’t say enough about how it has changed and expedited the HAA calibration method. I highly recommend it.”

HAA Calibration Wizard App Suite Available within AudioTools

The Home Acoustics Alliance explains the HAA Calibration Wizard App can be purchased by integrators from an iPad as an option with the popular digital audio measurement app AudioTools.

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HAA says that all integrators need to do is install the AudioTools suite of measurement tools on their iPads. The HAA Wizard App requires an in-app purchase to facilitate access to the newly announced Calibration Wizard App, which resides within AudioTools. HAA adds the AudioTools app and the newly announced wizard are now available for download from the Apple App Store.

“I can’t believe how much faster the calibration and report writing is with the new app,” emphasizes Adam Pelz of Bespoke Cinemas.

“And, I love the automated report writing.”

More news from the Home Acoustics Alliance: CEDIA Expo 2021 Training Spotlights Acoustics and HDMI

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CE Pro 2022 Home of the Year Award Winners Named

Greatness was certainly on display at CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas during the CE Pro 2022 Home of the Year Awards. Integrators from around the world were recognized for their superb installation and design skills in creating masterpieces for their clients.

In all, CE Pro Home of the Years recognizes projects in 20 categories. Winners are judged by an esteemed panel that is led by the team from Bluesalve Partners, an industry consultancy with more than 150 years of combined experience in the custom electronics field. In Dallas at CEDIA Expo 2022, Bluesalve’s Avi Rosenthal, David Kaplan and Lew Brown announced the winners chosen from 72 entries.

The Home of the Year awards offer the most exposure of any industry recognition program with winners being part of a Facebook social media campaign to high-value end users.

See All Entries Here

The Home of the Year entries are judged on criteria that include ability to overcome challenges, uniqueness, scope, and design. The winners are:

Best Before/After Project

Gold: (tie) TSP Smart Spaces – Boston Mansion Music Room

Gold: (tie) Elite AV – 1 Big Makeover

Gold: (tie) DSI – Family Room Transformation

Silver: Frayednot – Never Left Stranded – High Garden Project

Bronze: Frayednot – Never Left Stranded — 1782 Project

Best Budget-Compromise Project

Gold: SmartXp – Lake House at Conroe, Texas

Silver: Premium Digital Control & Automation – Luxury Residence in Sunny Isles

Bronze: Mozaic Audio Video Integration – Simple Elegance

Best Combo Design + Tech Project

Gold: Rich AV Design – Taconic Lodge

Silver: Lelch Audio Video – Lake of the Isles Architect Home

Bronze: Admit One Home Systems – Swedish Country Home

Best Health & Wellness Project

Gold: Audio Impact Inc. – Sea Ridge

Best Lighting Control Project

Gold: Audio Impact Inc. – Clear View

Silver: Maxicon LLC – Illuminated Reign

Bronze: Elite AV – Specialized Lighting

Best New Technologies Project

Gold: KoKast – Infinity Screen Beverly Hills

Silver: Digital Automation – User Experience

Best Shade Control Project

Gold: System 7 – Rhode Island Retreat

Silver: Advanced Integrated Controls – Seamless Shading System

Bronze: Mozaic Audio Video Integration – Elegant Privacy

Best Sound / Audio Project

Gold: Audio Breakthroughs – A Trip to the Cinema

Silver: Jeff Williams, Inc. — Serenity

Bronze: SAV Digital Environments – A Rustic-Modern Mountain Dwelling

Best Home Office/Gaming Space

Gold: Horner Networks LLC – Game Room

Silver: Domotek – Fish Residence

Best Home Theater Between $25K-$100K

Gold: Theater Advice – Modern Elegance

Silver: Lifestyle Solutions LLC – Stafford Home Theater

Bronze: Lifestyle Solutions LLC – Classy Brown Theater

Best Home Theater Over $100K

Gold: Innovative Sight & Sound – 30A Custom Home Theater Room

Silver: RevampIT Audio Video – Hope Theater

Bronze: DSI – Fight Club Home Theater

Best Primary Suite

Gold: Maxicon LLC – Grand Suite

Best Media Room / Den / Multipurpose Room

Gold: Gramophone Ltd. – Urban Escape Modern Open-Concept Sports Den

Silver: Advanced Integrated Controls – The Great Room

Bronze: Elite AV – Entertainment Paradise

Best Outdoor Entertainment Area

Gold: Mozaic Audio Video Integration – Mountainside Outdoor Oasis

Best Rack / Equipment Room

Gold: Elite AV – AV Room Rebuild

Best Showroom

Gold: TSP Smart Spaces Experience Lab

Best Strange & Specialty Area

Gold: Horner Networks LLC – Game Room

Best Whole-House Smart Home Project Over $1M

Gold: Innovative Sight & Sound – 30A Smart Home & Custom Media Room

Silver: Jeff Williams, Inc. — Serenity

Best Whole-House Smart Home Project $150K to $1M

Gold: ListenUp – The Mountain Standard

Silver: ETC Palm Beach – Integrated Private Residence

Bronze: Audio Impact, Inc. – Sea Ridge

Best Whole-House Smart Home Project Under $150K

Gold: Theater Advice – High Functionality Beauty

Silver: ETC Palm Beach – Home System Integration

Bronze: Sentiment Electronic Technology Co. – A Vivid Apartment


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Leon Speakers Partners with LiquidView Virtual Window

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based audio company, Leon Speakers, has announced new manufacturing and distribution partnership with LiquidView Virtual Window.

Leon Speakers states that LiquidView’s products transform the appearance of any room by displaying outdoor scenery within the frame of a realistic looking window. The Midwestern audio company points out the addition of a LiquidView Virtual Window also contributes to the wellness of home occupants by maintaining a connection with nature throughout the day.

Leon just introduced the LiquidView Virtual Window product line to the residential market at CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

“I believe LiquidView offers an unprecedented solution that can completely transform how you experience a space,” says Noah Kaplan, founder and president of Leon Speakers.

LiquidView has the potential to solve some of the biggest challenges that architects and designers face. Imagine being able to provide a view of anywhere in the world in any space. We are so excited to bring this opportunity to our Leon dealers and representatives.”

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LiquidView Virtual Window Supports Growing Home Wellness Movement

Leon Speakers explains the LiquidView Virtual Window adds an outdoor scenery view to rooms where no windows existed before and the company says the product is capable of replacing a poor view or lack of view with a spectacular scenery view. As part of the LiquidView technology platform, views can be changed at any time from a selection of original content from the LiquidView library. The variety of scenery from the library has been captured by cinematographers with feature film cameras and lenses in from locations all over the world.

Elaborating even further, Leon Speakers says that all scenery views are shot for 24 hours and synchronized to the time of day of the location of the installed window. For example Leon continues, if a LiquidView Virtual Window with views of Paris are installed in a home in New York, during sunset in New York the window will instead display a sunset in Paris. All views also shift automatically to sync with the sunrise and sunset of the chosen geographic location, and these views are controllable from an iPhone App.

“We transform lives,” comments LiquidView CEO Mitch Braff.

“We enable you to wake up and see the most beautiful views in the world, every single day. The demand for our Windows has exceeded our wildest expectations.”

Leon notes that each Virtual Window comes with a trim-ready installation kit that it designed, along with a Sony 4K commercial display and access to LiquidView’s subscription-based Content Library.

The popular custom audio company stresses that Kaplan and the Leon Speakers design team played an important role in the development of the Virtual Window along with the LiquidView team that includes architects, interior designers, and the design team from IDEO.  

“We have been working with Leon on projects with Media Decor frames for years, and it was a natural fit for us to partner with them on this project. We are excited to work together to bring our Windows to the world,” adds Braff.

The LiquidView Virtual Window is available for pre-order and will ship in Q1 2023 with the Panorama—a three-panel window—and a single-panel window.

More news from Leon Speakers: Leon Speakers Intros Terra LuminSound Bollard Outdoor Audio & Lighting Solution

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Nice Showcases New Products Across Portfolio at CEDIA Expo

 On the heels of the announcement of its rebranding to Nice North America, the company unveiled a suite of new products at CEDIA Expo 2022. The new products, now branded Nice, further strengthen the company’s commitment to providing partners the most complete, integrated product ecosystem.

“This latest lineup reinforces our commitment to the region of non-stop innovation, creating products that end-users want with a design that excites,” says Paul Williams, Chief Product Officer at Nice North America. “Partners have even more choices to offer customers, enabling them to meet any homeowner on their smart home journey.” 

Smart Home Control: HR40 Handheld Remote

The Nice HR40 Handheld Remote enables home control from a handheld remote with the push of a button. With a beautiful, modern, and sleek design, the Wi-Fi enabled remote features a responsive touchscreen interface displayed above two hard buttons. The Nice HR40 provides integrators with an easy-to-use, dedicated, handheld remote control they can effortlessly spec into any Nice/ELAN installation. The high-resolution touch screen can be personalized to the end-user, giving them direct access to their most used functional scenes, and complete control of their Nice/ELAN system for video, music, lighting, security, climate, and more with instant feedback.

The Nice HR40 remote includes integrated intercom. With lift to wake functionality built in, the Nice HR40 Handheld Remote is ready to use at a moment’s notice. Shipping Q1 2023 – MSRP $1,200.

Smart Shading: Nice Custom Roller Shades

Custom Roller Shades Powered by Nice Tubular Motors offer more design choices with the same simple, flexible integration installers have come to love. The custom roller shade line offers attractive smart shading solutions with the most advanced electronics, which can be integrated into a project during any stage of the building process. Nice/ELAN Integration is made simple using discovery and setup functionality in the Nice/ELAN Configurator application.

The ultra-quiet Nice tubular motors feature industry-leading uniform hembar alignment performance. Power options include AC, DC, and battery with both wired and RF options.

Highly versatile and customizable with options for indoor and outdoor use (IC rated), the custom roller shade line offers stunning finishes to complete any space, including: Premium fabrics for indoors and outdoors, open roll bracketing, encased bracketing (pocket, cassette, fascia), dual rollers for blackout shades, bottom-up rollers, specialty shapes, and skylight or tensioned rollers. Shipping Q1 2023.

Platform: Elan 8.8 Software

The Nice/ELAN 8.8 Core OS & Management Cloud 1.5 Software, an evolution of the award-winning Nice/ELAN control platform, makes creating scalable, flexible, and decentralized control systems easier than ever. Software paired with multi-purpose hardware provides an easy path for future features while reducing setup and installation time. Nice/ELAN 8.8 Core OS also introduces support for Home Connect, enabling homeowners control of hundreds of smart appliances across several global brands.

The cross-platform Configurator v2 application runs on both PC and Mac, allowing installers access from anywhere at any time. An intuitive interface features “What You See Is What You Get” editing with live elements, like camera feeds, so an installer can refine the actual end-user experience in real-time. Tight integration with Management Cloud 1.5 allows teams to share installation files and templates from within the application. With Management Cloud 1.5 Over-The-Air (OTA) Version Control, controllers can be updated in minutes, safely and securely. OTA Smart Backup & Restore ensures that controller configurations can be stored and recalled quickly and efficiently. Available Q1 2023.

Power Management: Nice DC12-IP

The Nice DC12-IP Power Manager and Conditioner provides installers with space-saving rack-mounted power management and protection which, when integrated with the award-winning Nice/ELAN Control System, includes feature-rich control through intuitive functionality and customization. With the Nice/ELAN Control System, it provides users with seamless control from a smartphone or the Nice/ELAN Intelligent Touch Panel.

The Nice DC12-IP DC Power Conditioner allows installers to remove bulky supplies and wire devices directly using phoenix connectors or USB ports. Remote power management via the BlueBOLT cloud platform allows installers to monitor, control, and program from any location while Nice/Panamax advanced surge protection technology ensures fewer service calls and maximum longevity of connected equipment. Shipping Q1 2023 – MSRP $979

Learn the Art of Landscape Lighting Design

Experts recommend landscape lighting design as an entry point for integrators into the revenue opportunity of home lighting. Check out our new resource for tips and best practices. Download “Learning the Skill and Art of Landscape Lighting Design” today!.

Entertainment: Small Aperture Speaker

The Nice Small Aperture Speaker delivers high-quality sound performance with subtle aesthetics. This architectural in-ceiling speaker enables installers to match any customer décor with two installation methods available – either directly to the sheetrock with a thin bezel-less grille, or a recessed flush mount. No specialized tools are required, enabling rapid, hassle-free installation.

The small footprint of the Nice SC-IC-3 Small Aperture Speaker effortlessly installs into a standard 4-inch opening, yet features a 3.5-inch carbon fiber woofer, and 1-inch ceramic-coated aluminum tweeter for exceptional fidelity. Installers can create a SubSat system by combining the Small Aperture Speaker with the Nice/SpeakerCraft in-ceiling subwoofer and analog filtering amplifier. The SubSat system can be deployed in a single room or throughout the home for seamless sound performance anywhere the user is located. Begins shipping Q2 2023.

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CEDIA Announces Winners of the 2022 CEDIA Awards, Americas

CEDIA announces the winners of the 2022 CEDIA Awards in the Americas region. Eight projects were recognized at CEDIA Expo during the CEDIA Awards ceremony, supported by headline sponsor DISH and associate sponsors Lutron, Ring, and Sound United. Each entry was carefully reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges, which includes Chairperson, Geoff Meads (Presto), Ben Goff (Cinema Lusso), Owen Maddock (CinemaWorks), Angus Murray (New Wave AV), and Michael Sherman (Henri).

The 2022 CEDIA Award winners in the Americas region are:

Best Home Cinema

Level II: Do Over Cinema, Audio Images

Level III: Eagles Nest, Audio Images

Best Integrated Home

Level I: Casa Z, Smartlab

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Level II: Elemental Beauty, Cantara

Level III: Pleasant Lake, Admit One Home Systems

Level IV: Stanley Park, Admit One Home Systems


Excellence in Documentation: Stanley Park, Admit One Home Systems

Excellence in Innovation: Pitch’em the Staircase, La Scala

Excellence in Lighting: Riverfront Resort Paradise, ETC Palm Beach, LLC

Excellence in Rack Building and Design: Stanley Park, Admit One Home Systems

Architectural Categories

Technology Meets Design: Elemental Beauty, Cantara

Life Lived Best at Home: Eagles Nest, Audio Images

Global Winner

Best Integrated Home: Stanley Park, Admit One Home Systems

“This year’s projects embody CEDIA’s forward-thinking spirit and the utmost excellence the smart home industry has to offer,” said CEDIA Global President and CEO Daryl Friedman. “To bear witness to these projects is an honor in itself, but it’s even more exciting to be able to congratulate the winners in person at CEDIA Expo.”

The CEDIA Award winners in the EMEA region will be announced during a celebration at The Brewery London on Oct. 14. Winners in the APAC region will be honored during the CEDIA Tech Summit and Conference on Oct. 19. The remaining Global Winners will be announced following the ceremonies in their respective regions. For more information about the CEDIA Awards and to watch a replay of the ceremony, visit

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CEDIA Expo: LG Rolls Out MAGNIT 4K 136” Micro LED Extreme Home Cinema Display

CEDIA Expo is back in full force and certainly bigger than ever on the video side, especially when it comes to dazzling MicroLED video walls, clearly a theme of this year’s show. Toward that end, LG Electronics USA has unveiled the LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch Micro LED residential display (LSAD Series), offering integrators and end users a massive home cinema, digital art, and entertainment experience.

Complete with LG’s webOS smart TV platform, popular streaming apps, screen sharing and AI-enhanced processing, the new Micro LED Extreme Home Cinema screen is being demonstrated for the first time at the CEDIA Expo 2022 (booth #14041) in Dallas, Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

According to Michael Kosla, vice president, LG Electronics USA, the LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch display contains numerous high-end features that deliver premium home viewing for any type of content in any room environment.

“With its groundbreaking performance, LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch is a luxury residential display offering viewers the cutting-edge color, clarity, and contrast of LG’s Micro LED combined with Alpha 9 AI-enhanced processing designed to present movies, TV shows or pieces of digital art optimally,” said Kosla. “Today’s discerning homeowners expect an increasingly high level of technological sophistication, and LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch delivers with stellar visuals and an air of exclusivity that can’t be replicated in retail stores.”

LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch offers myriad technology highlights including LG’s α (Alpha) 9 AI Processor that uses deep learning to reduce picture noise and optimize saturation and contrast based on room conditions, the company notes. It also is designed to enhance the clarity and legibility of faces and text, while an ambient light sensor adjusts brightness and tone mapping to maintain optimal appearance in varying lighting conditions.

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To help homeowners make the most of the large-scale visuals, LG has included screen share capabilities through AirPlay 2 and Miracast protocols that allow content from any iOS, Android, macOS or Windows 10 device to be wirelessly streamed to LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch.

A dedicated mobile app enables users to load digital art directly onto the display. A collage feature in the app will enable owners to display a wall full of their personal photos that can be sized and adjusted as desired, as the LG MAGNIT becomes a digital canvas.

The LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch display is ideal for home environments ranging from home theaters to media rooms to living rooms, with 2,000 nits of peak brightness helping to deliver excellent performance and visibility even in rooms with higher ambient light, the company adds.

LG Teams with Bang & Olufsen on Audio Bundle

The displays offer connectivity including four HDMI in ports, LAN in, digital out, two USB in and an RS232C port. The 120 Hz frame rate ensures smooth playback of fast-moving visuals such as sports or action content.

LG points out that the MAGNIT 4K 136-inch is the latest luxury LG Micro LED display solution designed specifically for residential installations, following the 2021 introduction of the DVLED Extreme Home Cinema line that features multiple models and sizes including a gigantic 325-inch 8K display.

The new LG Micro LED display is a premium product available in the United States exclusively through specially certified LG distribution partners.

Additionally, LG has collaborated with Danish audio legend Bang & Olufsen to bundle the flagship Beolab 90 home speaker as the preferred sound system for LG MAGNIT 4K 136-inch display when sold through Bang & Olufsen stores.

It also can be paired with Bang & Olufsen’s wider portfolio of home theater loudspeakers including Beolab 50 and 28 models.

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CEDIA Expo Keynoter Outlines History of Streaming Media

The landscape of streaming media is littered with weak decisions from mega companies such as Blockbuster Video, Netflix, CBS/Paramount+, Starz, and others, but the prospects for integrators to simplify and organize streaming media for their clients is strong. That’s the message from Greg Durkin of Enact Insight who was the keynote speaker at CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas. According to Durkin, there have been many poor decisions made by content services that has left several in difficult positions, while others have thrived.

Among the mistakes he cites include Blockbuster could have purchased Netflix for just $50 million but passed on the deal. Also, he says Starz had the first streaming service called Starz Vongo in 2006 but the marketing was too limited and it shut down in 2008.

“Blockbuster was in business 14 years before it developed a subscription model, and that was only done because Netflix came on the scene,” says Durkin, reminding the packed audience that Netflix started out as a mailing service of DVDs, long before adopting a streaming service model.

Durkin also believes Netflix has over-priced its streaming service. He says Disney+ is the most successful streamer because the company has kept its price points modest despite being continually rated as having the best content. Peacock is rated as the worst. HBOMax and Hulu are also seen as strong players. Durkin predicts that Apple will eventually purchase Roku, and that Starz, Peacock and Paramount+ will all eventually merge, fail or be acquired.

But it’s not just the streaming services that have made some compromising decisions, so have the commercial theatrical chains. In general, AMC, Regal and Cinemark have overpriced their tickets, which is leading to a continued decline in moviegoing. That trend boosts home theater.

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Durkin also presented interesting data about high-value customers who tend to spend money on building home theaters. According to the data, that demographic is likely to increase their hours of watching streaming content by 19%, boost their use of gaming consoles by 23%, increase their use of Apple TV by 51%, and elevate their spending on video on demand by 42%. All of that data can help guide integrators as they approach their customers.

Other interesting trends among high-valued clients is a 30% increase in the use of TikTok and a 46% gain in listening to podcasts, but a 7% decline in the use of Facebook.

Durkin also highlighted the importance of “Recommendations” in streaming services platforms. Those are vital to increase viewing time. Why? Because when surveyed, 63% of the general public declare that they have never heard of a particular movie or TV series. Those “unknown” shows can be discovered using the “Recommendations” menus. Amazingly, there were more than 10,000 new movies or TV series released in 2021 alone.

He noted that Netflix in particular has an algorithm built into its system to boost more documentaries to to viewers’ “Recommendations” menu. Why? Because documentaries are the least expensive form of content to create and therefore the least expensive type of content that Netflix buys to put on its streaming platform.

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Lutron to Build New 145,000-Square-Foot Shade Manufacturing Facility

If the custom electronics community needed any indication about how bullish the prospects are for continued growth in the motorized shade market, look no further than Lutron Electronics. The Coopersburg, Pa.-based leader in lighting controls and automated shading solutions announced significant expansion plans for its automated shade manufacturing operations.

The company plans to build an additional state-of-the-art, 145,000-square-foot manufacturing facility to increase capacity and support category growth among the professional installer community. Construction will begin in Ashland, Virginia, in fall 2022, and the new facility will be fully operational by early 2024.

Lutron already has a sizeable shade factory in Ashland, and Lutron President Ed Blair tells CE Pro the new facility will be adjacent to the existing one, enabling the company to build a campus-like environment. Besides the two Ashland facilities, Lutron also owns a factory in Chihuahua, Mexico, that is also dedicated to shades.

When the new facility is online, it will mean Lutron’s shade manufacturing capacity will be 30% to 50% higher than it is today, which will result in reduced lead times for CE pros ordering products, according to Blair.

“We wanted to make sure that we built a factory that was big enough to handle the anticipated growth,” he adds.

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Blair says the new facility will focus on the “center of the road” shading products that are most in demand.

The Chihuahua facility will focus on Lutron’s core commercial and battery-based shade solutions, while the existing Ashland factory will become a specialty shop that can deliver unique solutions for integrators, such as odd-shaped windows or curved drapery solutions. Blair notes that the facility already has a pit that enables the Lutron team to assemble a 40-foot-tall shade if necessary.

Lutron Prepares for Growth

The addition of the new facility comes on the heels of the company’s record growth, continued innovation in battery technology, new shade designs, and growing consumer awareness and demand for Lutron’s automated shading solutions.

Blair says adding another dedicated shade manufacturing facility reinforces Lutron’s commitment to dealers and readies the industry for category growth.

“Lutron’s automated shading solutions offer a significant and sustainable business-building opportunity for the CEDIA community,” he says. “With consumer demand at an all-time high, the opportunity to develop and grow your shade business with Lutron has never been greater. This new state-of-the-art facility, coupled with our steadfast commitment to quality, unrivaled investments in innovation, and world-class training and technical support makes Lutron a strong bet for the future.”

Lutron built the automated shading category and has been offering shading solutions since the 1990s. Since then, the company has substantially grown its global shading business with the Serena, Sivoia QS, Palladiom and Triathlon product lines, solidifying its position as the global leader and creating significant business opportunities within the CEDIA community.

“The opportunity to develop and grow your shade business with Lutron has never been greater.”

– Ed Blair, President, Lutron

Blair, who led Lutron’s shading division and has more than 25 shade-related patents, says he is pleased to see shades be a strong source of revenue and profitability for dealers and is excited for the category’s imminent growth.

“There’s a lot of room to grow,” he said.

“Dealers are just now beginning to scratch the surface. Whether you are new to category or looking to expand your current shades business, dealers can count on Lutron to deliver the high-quality products and design-centric innovations required for their most discerning clients. We are ready to handle the increased demand and will continue to invest significantly in our infrastructure, giving dealers the opportunity to confidently make shades their highest revenue-grossing category.”

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