March 25, 2016

Stereo East Home Theater Hosts Sony Executive Team

Filed under: Showroom News — Tags: , , , , , , — Stereo East @ 9:27 am

Recently, Stereo East Home Theater welcomed an executive leadership team from Sony Electronics to their showroom located in Frisco, Texas. Stereo East was honored to have key Sony personnel in attendance, including Deputy President Toshifumi Okuda, Vice President Frank Sterns, and National Sales Manager Kevin O’Loughlin.

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Sony Deputy President Toshifumi Okuda and Stereo East President Gary Montagna

Sony has spent the last several years developing new and innovative technologies such as 4K Ultra HD projectors and televisions as well as High-Resolution Audio, both of which are strongly focused on the specialty channel. In order to further enhance their market penetration, Sony visited Stereo East to discover how their products and strategies were received by both consumers and dealers. Stereo East Home Theater has been a Sony CIS Diamond Dealer for the past three years.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to spend time with the Sony executive team,” said Gary Montagna, President of Stereo East. “We thank Mr. Okuda, Mr. Sterns, and Mr. O’Loughlin for their commitment to and support of our business and the entire specialty channel!”

Stereo East Home Theater has been ranked as a top 100 custom installation and systems integration firm for the past nine years by CE Pro Magazine, and the company is a Power CI member of the ProSource buying group. Stereo East has proudly served the DFW metroplex for over three decades.

January 16, 2015

Stereo East Recaps CES 2015

Every January, Stereo East travels to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to preview the latest developments in technology. This year did not disappoint, and we’re excited about new audio/video products debuting in 2015!

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Sony’s XBR-X900C 4K Ultra HD TV

Sony 4K Continues to Dominate

As expected, 4K Ultra HD was a focal point for TV manufacturers from LG to Samsung to Sony. Ultimately, Sony stole the show with the thinnest LCD TV to date. Measuring just 0.2-inch thick in the top corner, the new Sony XBR-X900C is thinner than an iPhone 6. The screen appears to be almost all picture, thanks to an extremely thin bezel and cabinet. Of course, the 4K resolution, Sony’s latest processing, and their exclusive TRILUMINOUS color all contribute to the spectacular picture quality. The X900C series will be available in 55”, 65”, and 75” screen sizes.

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Extremely Thin 4K Ultra HD TV from Sony

Sony also announced the VPL-HW350ES native 4K Ultra HD home cinema projector. Priced at just $9,999, the projector is the most affordable Sony 4K projector for home theaters. By leveraging their 10 years of experience with 4K, Sony is able to offer high-performance, native Ultra HD projectors at unbelievable price points.

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GoldenEar’s Triton Five Demo at CES

GoldenEar Wows Audiophiles Again

In terms of new audio products, we were most impressed with GoldenEar Technology’s new addition to their award-winning Triton loudspeaker series, the Triton Five. This unpowered speaker is equipped with a quartet of side-mounted eight-inch sub-bass radiators and a pair of six-inch high-definition cast-basket drivers above and below the tweeter. The new speaker also utilizes the crossover network originally developed for the flagship model, the Triton One. The Triton Five produces dynamic, engaging sound, all while maintaining detail, even at high levels of loudness. The Triton Five is already receiving rave reviews from industry critics and publications.

A New Video Platform from IC Realtime

Video recording, whether for surveillance, creative pursuits, or just for fun, is garnering more and more interest from the industry and end-users alike. Florida-based company IC Realtime unveiled a new video platform, the Allie, allowing users to record 720-degree video with real-time playback on mobile devices. A dual-lens configuration records both horizontally and vertically, and after the recordings are stitched into a single feed, users view the results via the Allie app. The Allie will be available in three options, the Allie Pro for businesses, the Allie Home for consumers, and the Allie Play for children.

New Products Expected to Release Later This Year

All of these exciting new products and technologies are expected to hit stores later this year. As we receive more information on pricing and availability, we’ll certainly share that with our clients. Visit Stereo East Home Theater’s showroom in Frisco if you’d like to chat with our knowledgeable design consultants about the best products for your objectives and budget. Stereo East has served Dallas, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Prosper, Plano, and surrounding communities for over three decades.

October 3, 2013

Stereo East Shares Secrets from the CEDIA Show

Filed under: 4K,HDTV,Home Theater,Industry News — Tags: , , , , , , — Stereo East @ 12:33 pm
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Denver Convention Center

Every September, the team at Stereo East travels to the annual CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) show. Many of you may already be familiar with CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) which features a large spectrum of consumer electronics, but at CEDIA, the focus is narrowed to custom installation and systems integration of home technologies.

One of the main draws for us is technical education. Industry leaders and experts gather at CEDIA to provide extensive training and certification classes to help keep us on the cutting edge of our craft. They also offer panels and forums to talk about new technologies and showcase their latest products. Best of all, we can use this information to help our clients truly design systems that offer the greatest value and make the most sense for their lifestyle, all while providing a highly qualified technical staff to deliver on our clients’ expectations.

There were over 470 exhibitors and more than 20% were new, but several of the big staple vendors were conspicuously absent. LG and Samsung were two of the bigger names that didn’t show at this year’s CEDIA expo.

Automation and Distributed Audio Steal the Show

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Control4’s Smartphone App

An overriding theme at CEDIA 2013 centered on extending control and automation to tablets and smartphones. App-driven control allows the user to operate products or systems without having to buy and incorporate special software. An example of this is the new app available from Universal Remote Control (URC). If you purchased a URC remote from Stereo East, you may purchase an app that will allow you to extend your programmed control to your tablets and phones by enabling them to communicate with the RF base stations. Control4 now includes the app for free for up to fifty of your mobile devices when you purchase a single processor.

Another primary driver at this year’s show was distributed audio. Simply put, there was a plethora of new products designed to effortlessly grab music from network-enabled devices and move them seamlessly around the home. Competitors NuVo and Sonos showed their latest products. Both are extremely capable wireless music systems. The NuVo products offer USB stick capabilities in case your Wi-Fi network goes down, and all processors have a line out and subwoofer output for connections to better audio systems. Sonos was showing their new Play Bar (soundbar), which manages to incorporate some of those features. Sonos offers Spotify, which is not yet available on NuVo. Voco is a new player in the category and will supposedly be the first of these to move video through these streaming devices. There are also countless apps and AirPlay technologies being incorporated directly into the more conventional products like TVs, A/V receivers, and portable audio.

Leading Brands Launch New Projectors and TVs

Epson displayed their new line of projectors, and they are stronger than ever. The new entry level 2030 allows Epson to compete against the poorly-performing, cheap projectors found all over the web and at price clubs, but with Epson’s quality, it should dominate the $1000 price point. Epson will soon debut the new 4030, which will squeeze in between model 3020 at $1599 (a home series projector) and model 6020 / 6030 at $3500 (a professional series projector). The professional series projector includes a mounting bracket, an extra lamp, and a three year warranty.

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Sony 4K Ultra HD

Sony was one of the few power vendors that did make the investment to showcase at CEDIA. Sony was showing their soon-to-be-released new 4K Ultra HD TVs. And yes, you will be able to find these spectacular TVs here at Stereo East Home Theater. We were one of the first to get these ordered for the busy holiday season. Additionally, Sony showed two new remarkable music servers that will store up to a terabyte of music and access it anywhere you have network access. Our vote for the “wake up call” of the year award goes to Sony. Sony has made great strides and is now producing some of the finest projectors and flat panel TVs in the industry. Even their ES line of high performance audio products has taken its rightful place back at the top.

High-Definition Video Distribution Solutions

HD Base T is a connection technology utilizing Cat5 e and Cat6 wiring to distribute video, control, audio, and POE (power over Ethernet) signals. It is so robust that it is now being incorporated directly into receivers and televisions. This is due in part to the failures of HDMI at distances beyond fifty feet, and the cost associated with up and down conversion such as baluns. Integra will be one of the first receivers to offer HD Base T on the back panel of their receivers, and Samsung will be incorporating the technology into at least two models of flat panel TVs. Higher performance products from companies like Leaf offer more reliable distribution of HD video at much lower prices, and all these offerings are substantially less than the previous $20k solution from Crestron.

High-Performance Audio Delivers

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GoldenEar’s Triton 7 Loudspeakers

Audio was also omnipresent, and since it the most fundamentally important form of entertainment, we should give kudos where they are due. Accolades go to Sandy Gross and the team at GoldenEar. This company is spearheaded by one of the founders of Polk Audio and subsequent founder of Definitive Technology. With GoldenEar, he has taken another giant leap. The awe inspiring value-to-performance ratio in these products has made them the second biggest speaker line at Stereo East. At CEDIA this year, GoldenEar demonstrated a complete in-wall and in-ceiling theater system utilizing the new HTR7000, with the Invisa MPX and SuperCenter XL. It was incredible!

PSB showed some new in-ceiling and in-wall speakers with back-box designs that are sure to be ideal matches for the Imagine series of products. NAD joined the digital audio race with the entrance of BlueSound, a high-performance alternative to the type of products available from Sonos and NuVo. Q Motion offered some of the coolest shading and drapery solutions we have ever seen. Not only are they motorized and controllable, but we don’t have to drill through your walls to run wires.

Overwhelmed by Options? Let Stereo East Home Theater Help!

What does all of this mean for our clients? It means there is a wide range of effective, impressive, and affordable solutions available for any lifestyle. If you’re not quite sure where to start, visit our showroom in Frisco. Our design consultants can help with all phases of your project. You’ll also get to see and hear the great new products. If you’d like more information on any of our services, contact us!

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