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QUARTER 3 2019


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EXPO KEYNOTE PREVIEW Luke Williams on handling business disruption

BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT Get all the updates on the EMEA CEDIA Awards

30 YEARS OF TECH: PART 2 More on the 30 big advances in home tech since CEDIA’s founding

I AM CEDIA: JOOLS BROWNING Meet the brains behind Britain’s BrownHen Solutions

ECO-LUXE COUNTRY ESTATE Tour this CEDIA award-winning project from Environ

5G Geoff Meads asks, “Will It Kill The LAN?”

BUSINESS ADVICE Two long-time volunteers weigh in on accounting and sales

DESIGNING SHOWROOMS Why collaboration is important on showroom projects




WELCOME… To the Q3 issue of CEDIA Communicates. We have a pair of project profiles in this issue. We feature a project that won no less than three CEDIA Awards in the Americas Region: Best Integrated Home (Level II), Technology Meets Design, and Life Lived Best at Home. The other award winner picked up the trophy for Best Lighting System in the EMEA region last year. Our celebration of CEDIA’s 30th anniversary continues in this issue. You’ll find part two of our series on the 30 big advances in tech that have affected our industry since CEDIA’s inception in 1989. Items 11-20 covers compression tech, the rise of smart security, and the explosion of the IoT. We look ahead to the EMEA awards celebration in September by listing the finalists and announcing our evening presenter, we interview an interior designer who discusses the importance of partnerships when designing a showroom, and we dive into a current hot topic, 5G. One last thought: I hope you and I have the chance to chat face-to-face in Denver at the 2019 edition of CEDIA Expo. I’ll be present on the CEDIA booth for the duration, and the CEDIA staff and I welcome your feedback, your input, and your ideas to help us make the association even better. Stop by for a visit. We can’t wait to see you again. All the best,

Tabatha O’Connor CEDIA Global President and CEO


8475 Nightfall Lane, Fishers, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46037, USA Email: Telephone: +1 800.669.5329

Front cover image: Environ, Unit 1 Chester House, Kennington Park Business Centre, 1-3 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6DE, UK

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Unit 2, Phoenix Park, St Neots Cambridgeshire, PE19 8EP, UK Email: Telephone: +44 (0)1480 213744

All material in Communicates is the copyright of CEDIA and any reproduction of said material would require written permission from the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content published, CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for any factual errors that may occur. CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors.


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NEWS IN BRIEF ROBERT KEELER JOINS CEDIA Robert Keeler has joined the CEDIA staff as Senior Director of Sales, Sponsorships, and Partnerships. In this role, Robert will be responsible for facilitating the achievement of current and long-term sales plans and positioning of CEDIA's industry relationships. Robert brings extensive industry sales experience to this role having spent two decades in the consumer electronics and custom integration channels, most recently as Vice President of Sales at Stewart Filmscreen. He has also held roles at Screen Innovations, Pioneer Electronics, BDI, Hitachi, and others.

"I am thrilled that Robert has joined our team; he has a proven track record and is incredibly well-respected in the channel. I know he will do a fantastic job of engaging with members and understanding how CEDIA can better fulfil its role of connecting the industry," says Giles Sutton, Senior Vice President of Industry Engagement. Robert adds, "I am incredibly passionate about this industry and I look forward to this next chapter and taking a wider look at the entire channel to see how CEDIA can continue to support growth for members and for the industry a whole."

UK SIZE AND SCOPE RESULTS Following a four-month market research programme that involved participation from technology integrators, CEDIA can now reveal the results of the survey to provide a greater understanding of the UK home technology market. The extensive research project was carried out by market research firm, The Farnsworth Group from September 2018 to January 2019. It defines the historical, current, and forecasted size of the UK market for residential technology systems including home cinemas, media rooms, outdoor entertainment systems, whole home integrated control systems, audio systems, home networking products, and security systems. The research shows that the UK home technology market is sized as being worth just under £700m and includes 1,600 active companies. Confidence is high among the participants of this survey, with 80% expecting to continue to grow their revenue over the next 12 months. The market is continuing to mature, with both company age and company staff size showing stable development. The volume of projects is also showing steady growth, with the increase of home cinema installs resulting in a revenue surge of 9%. The full report is free to CEDIA member companies and priced at £499 to non-members. To download or purchase your copy, please visit


The Infrastructure Cabling for Voice, Data, and Video white paper explores the ever-changing universe of cabling for home technology professionals, taking a deep dive into applications, standards, and recommendations for uses of a variety of cable families. "This white paper takes care to break down — in great detail — the various media and their potential use cases — important information that integrators need to know," CEDIA Senior Director of Technology and Standards Walt Zerbe says. "Infrastructure Cabling for Voice,


CEDIA GEARS UP FOR CHARITY CYCLE CEDIA is preparing to host its second charity cycle ride on Saturday 7th September, raising money for mental health charity, Mind.


“Following our successful cycling sportive in 2017, we wanted to repeat this charitable event,” comments Matt Nimmons, Managing Director of CEDIA EMEA. “Mental health is such an important issue. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week*. As a community, we have seen first-hand the unfortunate affects of mental health, so we want to raise awareness within our industry, as well as directly helping those who are affected. We’re hoping to see our members donning their cycling gear once again and joining us for what is set to be another fantastic and fun event.”

Nominations for the 2020-2021 CEDIA Board of Directors are open. CEDIA's Board of Directors influences the direction of the industry, governs the association's activities, and represents the residential technology profession to the outside world.

The cycle ride will begin at AWE HQ in Epsom with two route options — an advanced 60-mile ride for more experienced cyclists, and an intermediate 30-mile ride. Participants and supporters will be able to celebrate together at the end and share their tales from the day.

Elected Directors: CEDIA members will vote to fill four elected positions. Home Technology Professional members who are employees of a member company may be nominated, vetted by the Governance Committee, and proposed as candidates for the global membership vote. The vacancies this election cycle may be filled by one CEDIA member in the EMEA region and three from the rest of the global membership.

To take part in the cycling, attendees will be charged £50, which will include a free commemorative shirt. All money raised from participants will be donated to the charity. For those who would like to get involved with the charity, but are unable to attend the event, CEDIA has set up a JustGiving page for donations to Mind: www. To sign up for the event, visit For further information, please contact Amy Bates on

*McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult psychiatric morbidity survey 2014. Leeds: NHS digital.

Data, and Video aims to demystify infrastructure cabling in all manner of residential projects. From the history and properties of each medium to advice on futureproofing, this paper is broad-reaching." Focus areas include cable geometry, shielding, power, applications, and certification. Three cable families — balanced twisted pair, optical fibre, and coaxial cable families — are examined. The white paper also includes a supplemental

overview of cable jacket fire ratings. The Integrator's Guide to Video: Colorimetry, which updates a 2017 white paper on the wide-ranging topic of video colour, provides background on cinematic colour and explores topics including: colour perception, colour gamut, colour space, chroma subsampling, colour bit depth, high dynamic range, and calibration. "Colorimetry is complicated and understanding its full scope,

There are seven open board positions for the 2020-2021 term. Positions will be filled in two ways:

Appointed Directors: All other member types and additional Home Technology Professionals are eligible for appointment to the Board of Directors. There are three open appointed positions for the 2020-2021 term; one to be filled from the EMEA region and two from the rest of the global membership. The CEDIA Governance Committee reviews the candidates based on the skills needed and makes a recommendation to the Board, who vote to approve the appointment. Voting will be open from Tuesday 10th September to Tuesday 22nd October 2019.

from the creator's vision to its final presentation on a home display, can be a lot to digest," said CEDIA Director of Technical Research, David Meyer. "A truly-immersive experience demands integrators grasp the art and science of colorimetry and this white paper will help break down complex concepts so CEDIA pros can continue to deliver the best results for their customers."






EDIA has chosen innovator, inventor, disruptor, and bestselling author, Luke Williams, as the keynote speaker for 2019. He is the inventor of 30-plus U.S. patents and has designed more than 100 products in industries ranging from transportation to finance and healthcare to consumer electronics. “Companies need to be consistently making bold moves,” says Luke. “It is an essential skill for anyone in business with the desire to transform organisational processes and behaviours — from a small start-up to a global corporation. Ask yourself: ‘Why hadn’t we ever thought about our business and industry this way before?’" Luke notes that a big part of training one’s brain for this task requires a business owner in the CEDIA universe to achieve a kind of heightened sensitivity. Luke says, “One’s success in this field used to be about making reasonable predictions on what you think is going to happen in the home technology market. Now, we’re into needing to make it more of getting into the habit of making provocations that almost seem unreasonable, and then using those to accelerate a change in their thinking, accelerate their learning, so they can start to think about their future in a different way. “I'm a strong believer that the best way to learn this type of thinking is for people to start doing it in their everyday lives. “I actually work to get people out of their comfort zone, thinking about their

own industry, and starting to notice stuff in their everyday lives: the next time they're in a hotel or catching a plane or in a meeting or whatever it is — what do you note about those experiences? What would make that experience better for the end user? They start to build a habit of mind around thinking disruptively.” But by the same token, Luke understands that one can’t abandon the day-to-day operations of their business to focus on the next big thing. “It's a balance between delivering today, keeping your business running, keeping your best customers happy, all that. But the capabilities they're going to need in the next decade might be incomplete; sometimes those new ones will be in direct conflict with capabilities that are currently making them successful.” “It’s not about destroying what you're currently doing. You’re going to need a portfolio of unconventional ideas and unconventional strategies to really balance all the incremental options that any home technology professional faces right now.” “I call it the difference between maintaining continuity, expecting things to continue exactly the way they have been in the past, and the way they are now. Knowing that it's your job, it's your role, to make sure you're also introducing deliberate discontinuity into your business.” And what does Luke mean by “deliberate discontinuity?” “It means you're coming up with ideas, with scheduled changes, with capabilities that would not naturally develop as part of the current movement, the current industry trends.”


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Appointment CEDIA has named the EMEA region finalists for the Home Technology Professional categories of the 2019 CEDIA Awards competition. The awards recognise the very best projects CEDIA members have completed during the last year.

CEDIA EMEA MEMBER COMPANIES NAMED 2019 FINALISTS INCLUDE: Archimedia, UAE AVTCS, India BNC, South Africa Finite Solutions, UK Henri, France Hi-Concept, France Homeplay, UK Intuitive Homes, UK Knektd, UK Labiib Solutions, Saudi Arabia New Wave AV, UK NGC Systems, UK Perfect Integration, UK SMC, UK Sound Sense, India The Pyramid Group, UK TwentyTwo Integration, UK Ultamation, UK Woelf, Belgium



Sally Philli ps

PRESENTER CEDIA is honoured to announce Sally Phillips as the presenter for the CEDIA Awards ceremony, taking place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Thursday 26th September. Sally Phillips is an English comedy actress, writer, and television presenter, popular for co-creating the sketch comedy show Smack the Pony, and famous for her portrayal as Shazza in the box office hit Bridget Jones’s Diary. To name only a few, Sally Phillips is also well-known for her main role in Miranda as Tilly, I'm Alan Partridge as Sophie, Parents as Jenny Pope, and Veep as Minna Häkkinen. Sally’s impressive résumé, creative genius, and of course, comedic brilliance, makes her ideal for hosting such a prestigious event. With an extensive background in film and TV, Sally will be sure to capture the audience with her razor-sharp wit and infectious personality as the industry gathers together to celebrate outstanding projects in the EMEA region.




SPONSORS ABB is the Headline sponsor for this year’s event, with Monitor Audio as Drinks Reception sponsor and Sonos as the after party sponsor. They are joined by Associate sponsors, Blustream, Bowers & Wilkins, Meridian Audio, and Samsung.

TRADE SUPPLIER CATEGORIES CEDIA is inviting its Trade Supplier members to submit entries into the Best Training Course category. Education courses that are run by manufacturers and distributors are designed to help integrators learn, grow, and master the skills needed to be competitive in the home technology field. It is for this reason that CEDIA runs a Best Training Course category in the CEDIA Awards, as it provides the association with the opportunity to reward its trade supplier members for developing and running high quality education sessions. The Best Training Course category is open to CEDIA members; both manufacturers and distributors. Celebrating the best in practical and theoretical education in the industry, the shortlist and winners for this category will be awarded by a panel of CEDIA staff and volunteers from the education team. Integrators in the EMEA region will also be asked to vote for their best trade supplier. Open to member distributors and manufacturers, the Best Trade Supplier category honours the best professional service, training, and technical support provided to integrators. The entry deadline for the Best Training Course is 16th August. Trade suppliers can complete the submission at HTPs can vote for the best trade supplier at cedia. net/best-trade-supplier.









Growth, Awareness, and Credibility in the Design/Build Environment Imogen Dent

Industry Relations Coordinator

Designing the Connected Home Event We were excited to create a new programme of events this year that are targeted towards architects, interior designers, and property developers. The CEDIA Designing the Connected Home events provide this audience with the opportunity to explore how cuttingedge smart home technology can work together with expert interior design. Since its launch in May 2019, we have hosted two events — one at Homeplay’s showroom facility in Sunbury-OnThames and the other at the Cornflake showroom in Fitzrovia, London. Consisting of a CEDIA CPD presentation, a home cinema demo, and a tour of the showroom facilities, attendees were given a clear insight into how to create a modern, comfortable, and entertaining home for their clients, as well as how to collaborate with a technology integrator to maximise the benefits of the connected home. The next event will take place on Thursday 19th September at the Ideaworks showroom on Great Portland Street, London. To find out more about the event and to book your place, visit

Inviting Media on Property Tours As well as reaching out to the design build audience directly, we have also been engaging more with the press that is targeted at this audience. Thanks to

support from ARP Smart Homes and EAB Homes, we were able to gain access to their recently completed project in Beaconsfield and set up a property tour for the editor of Studio Magazine. A stunning six-bedroom property that showcases just how smart home technology can be seamlessly integrated into the home, without impacting on the interior design, was the backdrop for a conversation between the editor, developer, and integrator, and as a result, has provided us with the opportunity to have a presence in this interior design publication. We also worked with Prime Resi Magazine to secure editorial coverage for The Next Level project that won the MDU category at the 2018 EMEA CEDIA Awards. Check out to read the article. We are keen to host more of these events, so if you have a project that we can have access to and invite press to visit, please get in touch.

New Home Cinema and Media Room CPD Earlier this year, we launched a new CPD training course called Designing Home Cinemas and Media Rooms. This CPD is tailored to help design and build professionals understand how to help clients choose and specify rooms, as well as the design principles needed for


a dedicated entertainment space. Accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), this CPD identifies the key principles of how to design and implement these entertainment spaces. We have also completed a major refresh of the Designing Integrated Future Ready Homes course, giving it a more modern look and feel and making a number of changes to the content to bring this course up to date. This course is newly titled Designing the Connected Home and has achieved RIBA and BIID accreditation. With these two accreditations under our belts, we are focussing on building up our CPD portfolio; spotlighting on subjects such as lighting, hidden tech, and refreshing the Smart Home Cabling Requirements CPD. Watch this space for more information.

Engaging With Designers at 100% Design We will once again be partnering with 100% Design this year to build awareness of home technology amongst this audience. We will takeover the show’s CPD Hub on the third day, providing a series of training sessions to visitors. 100% Design is the destination for architects and designers to discover interior design trends and emerging talent during London Design Festival. On Friday 20th September, we will be hosting a number of thought-provoking sessions in the 100% Build London CPD Hub from 11:30 to 16:30 This platform will allow CEDIA to build awareness and create demand for CEDIA members’ services with this audience. The CPD hub is open to all visitors, with BIID and RIBA members receiving CPD points to further their professional development. • 11:30 – 12:30 | Designing the Connected Home (CEDIA) • 12:30 – 13:30 | Understanding and Specifying Invisible Sound Solutions (Amina) • 13:30 – 14:30 | Transforming Light and Space (Lutron) • 14:30 – 15:30 | Integrating Technology with Residential Design (Crestron) • 15:30 – 16:30 | Designing Home Cinemas and Media Rooms (CEDIA)

COI Success Ranked as one of our most valuable member benefits, the CEDIA Outreach Instructor Programme (COI) enables

members to provide continuing education to industry partners, helping establish vital business-to-business networking contacts, and raising the awareness of CEDIA, its members, and the home technology industry. COIs have attended and passed the “Train the Trainer” course with a peerevaluated presentation session. After passing this comprehensive course, we supply these members with the tools needed to successfully leverage this benefit in your local market. In order to maintain this CEDIA designation, COIs are required to follow strict guidelines that include meeting deadlines for registering upcoming classes, reporting participant attendance, registering upcoming classes, and reporting participant attendance. Since the beginning of the year, over 80 CPD sessions have been delivered to 500 people across EMEA, and we now have 33 new COIs. Manojkumar Soni from AV4U is an experienced COI having joined the programme last year. I recently spoke to him about his experience. “Architects and interior designers are the most important stakeholders in any residential project. Most of the clients listen to them, so we want them to be well connected with our company and, through CEDIA CPD training, they start respecting our company as one of the best in the industry. We have delivered four CPDs now and have plans to be more aggressive in presenting the course to more and more influencers. These sessions give us the opportunity to develop relationships. By doing that, we have received more leads from mid-size architects and interior designers as well as from the teams at larger architectural firms.” The CEDIA Outreach Instructor Programme is a fantastic benefit, so if you haven’t already, I would encourage you to get in touch to begin your journey on becoming a COI instructor.








To discuss any of these opportunities, please contact me on or 01480 585466



New Educational Offering at

CEDIA Expo 2019 Advanced Video Calibration and Setup including HDR Certification by the Professional Video Alliance (PVA) Tuesday 10th September, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gregg Loewen | THX Ltd. As technology evolves, your approach to setup and calibration must also evolve to achieve maximum performance from these new high-tech systems. Explore the emerging technologies, 4K and HDR. Dive deep into the setup, standards, and new calibration techniques. Current best practices are discussed and provide the foundation of the advanced techniques discussed. This class goes one step further and discusses where these technologies are likely to head in the next few years. Note: This session is excluded from the CEDIA Training Pass.

Save Money, Make More Profit, and Satisfy More Customers Through Process Improvement Tuesday 10th Sept, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Jason Sayen | LK & Associates

Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Standardizing the Design and Engineering Process Wednesday 11th September, 8-10 a.m. Ron Callis, Jr. | One Firefly Standardising your business procedures with a welldocumented, repeatable process saves time, reduces errors, adds profit, and decreases stress. This class focusses on the design and engineering documentation process. It will take a detailed look at ways to streamline and customise these critical elements to meet the needs of a home technology firm of any size.

Wednesday 11th September, 8:30-10 a.m. Leslie Shiner | The Shiner Group Why is it that when you suddenly double your sales, your profit is cut in half? The industry is tiered with companies of specific sizes, and there are wide gaps between growth stages. This session will discuss why, as a home technology professional, you can’t grow slowly and steadily, but have to make incremental jumps. Discover the cause of the industry’s growth plateau and why it occurs.

Growing Your Business to the Right Size with Sales and Marketing Thursday 12th September, 3:30-5 p.m. Paul Self | Merlin Software This course will first address which business sizes tend to be successful and why. It will explore organisational overviews and how to build a client-centric operation and marketing and sales tools to rapidly grow a company. An intentional, accelerated growth plan can help businesses spend as little time as possible at an inefficient size.

How to Hold Your Team Accountable Friday 13th September, 8:30-10 a.m. Lynn Zettler | Core Impact Coaching It seems that no matter how hard you try, some team members fall short and still don’t make positive changes after you’ve spoken to them. How can you hold them accountable? This workshop will examine the required elements of accountability, as well as the costs and benefits involved in the process of holding people accountable, and provide leadership tips, dos and don’ts, and role plays to put the learning to practice immediately.

Advanced Networking Practical Troubleshooting Learning Lab Friday 13th September, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mike Maniscalco | Pytheas This hands-on, practical networking troubleshooting class creates a solid foundation to practice skills using the correct tools. Participants must have a deep, working knowledge of intermediate and advanced computing skills: Less-experienced students should not attend. Topics will include Wi-Spy, Wireshark, Nmap, Netstat, Traceroute, and DNS tests, all focussed on real-world scenarios

Photo courtesy of PWP Studio Staff

This class will focus on Lean Six Sigma tools that CEDIA integrators can apply to their businesses immediately to eliminate waste and increase profitability. It will take an indepth look at the most common processes used on a daily basis and analyse two to help spot areas for improvement.

Growing Your Business Without Growing Out of Business: Making Major Steps While Maintaining Your Margins





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As we told you in the Q2 issue of Communicates, we’re moving through the list 10 at a time. In our last issue, we covered the transition of the TV from a CRT to a flat-screen device, the incredible shrinking computer, and the ever-expanding internet. The CEDIA Technology Council — the group that helps identify trends that will shape CEDIA members’ businesses in decades yet to come — helped identify the advances that impacted our business since CEDIA’s founding in 1989. Here are 10 more, with the last 10 coming to you in the Q4 2019 edition of Communicates. The quality of distribution has gone up as the audio and video it delivers has improved. In the early days of CEDIA, some smart folks had taken to adapting car audio components to bring audio to multiple rooms in the home. Tech Council member, Eddie Shapiro (SmartTouch USA) recalls the progression from there: “We’ve gone from big multi-room amps to active speakers that let you stream anything you want at any moment you want. On the video side, I’d say the biggest change occurred when video over IP arrived.”

The cable’s changed a lot when it comes to AV connectivity. When physical connections are involved between all of those components, the Tech Council’s Michael Heiss (M Heiss Consulting) thinks about two converging lines: “You’ve got the audio side and the video side, and all these different kinds of cables delivering one or the other — and then everything converged a while back at HDMI.” CEDIA’s David Meyer adds, “It came on as part of the transition to all-digital AV. Perfect timing actually, which is part of the reason for it becoming ubiquitous (to many integrators’ frustration).” The problem then becomes one of distance, and solutions like HDBaseT and fibre help to solve those issues. Lossy or lossless, a lot of what we hear and see has been compressed. The range of compression options has changed wildly since a Dolby Digital soundtrack was first added to a flick at the local cineplex (Batman Returns, 1992). Michael: “On the audio side, we’ve got MP3, FLACC, .wav — with video, we had MPEG-2, then MPEG-4 (MPEG-3 wound up in the witness protection programme) … and now, it’s all merged into H.265. That’ll likely remain viable for a while.” David: “The next big thing (8K content anyone?) might be called H.266 — which, by the way, is under development as Versatile Video Coding (VVC). Who knows? The bottom line is that codecs keep getting more

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Window coverings got “smart.” Lighting experts often speak about the use of natural light in addition to artificial illumination: “bringing the outside in.” As soon as motors were attached to shades, integrators started getting bright ideas (pun intended) regarding automating these coverings for both light and climate control. Add smart glass that can turn from transparent to opaque, and the modern range of options is staggering.

Locks and alarms have turned into “access control.” What’s the primary function of a front door lock: Is it to keep the wrong people out, or let the right people in? The notion of a keyless entry that can even be geo-fenced for a client when his or her arms are full of groceries is a concept one could barely have conjured at CEDIA’s birth. Alarm systems have grown in complexity and reliability, too, and the need for monitoring gave the CEDIA channel its first entrée into the concept of “recurring monthly revenue” (RMR).

Video games aren’t really “toys” anymore. In 1989, Nintendo introduced the Game Boy, which featured a little app called “Tetris.” The handheld device, with its wondrous colour palette of — well, every hue of green you’d find in creamed spinach — was a smash. It also signalled that gaming was pushing a lot of other technologies forward (in the Game Boy’s case, it was battery life). As handheld games developed, the consoleand-controller setup was also roaring ahead, with advances in video imaging taking players from controlling avatars in what was essentially a flat, two-dimensional looking space into more of a window-into-another-world. (It won’t be much longer before the graphics are so slick that the average “first-person-shooter” game will be indistinguishable from a Hollywood action film.) Soon, the consoles became multi-media players in their own right, and connected boxes allowed gamers to compete with other players via the internet, and not just face-to-face. More recently, the viral success of the game “Pokemon Go!” has proven that AR gaming is much more than a passing novelty.

efficient, which means more data in a relatively smaller package with higher performance. Keep in mind that exponentially rising bandwidth availability and improving compression codecs is the dynamic duo for delivering bigger, better, and faster AV.”

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The set top box can bring in much more than cable TV. “When I first started working in the cable industry, the cable set top box was simply a clickity, clickity, clickity analogue tuner. It was a knob that's turned or buttons that you pushed,” remembers Michael. “But as compression and digital came into play, then you had the need to fit more channels down the same pipe,” continues Michael, who’s been a long-time member of the Tech Council. “So, it starts to get more compressed and then eventually it led to digital. The set top box changed in order to accommodate digital technology and digital compression.” Soon, coaxial connections to the TV were replaced by DMI cables, but “that is now going to change over the next couple of years as things turn to IP.” And, of course, there’s now the ability to build everything right into the television set.

Things have their own internet. Seven years before the birth of CEDIA, a grad student at Carnegie-Mellon University got sick of finding the Coke machine in his building on campus devoid of drinks. He figured out a way to link it to the “ARPANET,” the internet’s forerunner, and created what was likely the world’s first connected device to alert him that the machine was empty. The Internet of Things, or IoT (the term itself wasn’t coined until 2002), is today defined as the universe of connected stuff beyond personal computers or mobile devices. From the Nest thermostat to the Ring doorbell to “smart” TVs and connected fridges, CEDIA’s Walt Zerbe gives the numbers: “100 new devices are connected every second, which means 27 billion devices will be connected by 2020. As broadband speeds increase (2.7 times per year) and technology — including sensors — shrinks (by 100-fold every decade), the home will become a living, breathing thing, managed and controlled by sophisticated IoT devices.” Oh, what a wire can do! (Apologies to Dr. Seuss.) Tech Council member, Christiaan Beukes (Sphere Custom Design) weighs in on the wires that are coming into our homes: “Thirty years ago, structured wiring didn't really exist in the way that we currently think about it.” Christiaan notes that all the cables coming into a residence had their own specialised function. That’s changed. “Video, electricity, lighting, all of those things work on a structured network of types of cables. The internet as we know it only came into being 30 years ago, and it’s the primary example of structured wiring. It's one node connecting to many nodes and having a decentralised connectivity hub. The progression of those physical cables changed from a single cable —

single purpose that usually operated a single item — to more complicated cables made up of multiple strands of copper and/or fibre, or both, and one cable has become ubiquitous for many things — the Category cable. Today, it can effectively do video, it can do audio, it can do PoE, it can do lighting. And that's going to continue changing as technology develops. The cable isn’t going to go away because of ‘wireless’.”

And those wires developed hand-in-hand with the evolution of operating systems. Christiaan sees these last two items as being connected (literally and figuratively), and he notes, “They're two very different things but intrinsically linked.” Back in the old days of the creeping dial-up browser, operating systems were limited mostly to the family’s (probably single) PC. Now, says Christiaan, “There is an operating system embedded in your phone, there's an operating system embedded in your fridge. And that's come a very, very long way because of the connectivity that's been enabled by the wiring side of things.” From mainframes to microcomputers, from OS/2 and Unix to today’s Windows, Android, and iOS, the impact is tremendous: “If it weren't for an OS, Uber would not exist. If it weren't for an OS, Airbnb would not exist. If it weren't for an OS, Amazon wouldn't be where they are. And where are we going to see it going? The smaller the chips get, and the more powerful they get, the less energy they'll use, the more flexible they’ll be for putting into any and every device that we can think of. Ten years ago, we couldn't imagine the power that was in today’s iPhone. Twenty years ago, we couldn't imagine the power that was in yesterday’s laptop. Thirty years ago, we couldn't imagine the power that was in last week’s desktop. Tomorrow, all of that will be condensed into a chip the size of your fingernail that's embedded underneath your skin. Where will it take us? Will we be hacked into — or onto — a HumanOS …?”

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Patented GB 2548668


I AM CEDIA JOOLS BROWNING, BROWNHEN SOLUTIONS LTD. What’s your company and where is it based? BrownHen Solutions is an awardwinning technology integration company specialising in solutions that are discreet and integrate sensitively with the customer’s home environment and lifestyle. Based in Bath, UK, we have been making buildings smarter since 2013 when co-director, Dave Henderson and I founded BrownHen Solutions. We deliver solutions for all aspects of home technology, including intelligent lighting, shading, heating, security, audio visual, data, Wi-Fi, and much more. BrownHen Solutions typically provides a full end-to-end service from concept to completion, although we are equally happy tackling minor work while we are working on a full house renovation or new project. We also offer

support and maintenance as well as a consultancy service where we might, for example, prepare tender documents for the home technology element of a project build. How did you get into the industry? After many years working as a senior manager in Vodafone’s technology division, I spent five years working as a service management consultant helping companies align their technology services to better meet the needs of their customer. It was during this time that I moved to a new house and, as it required a full renovation, I took the opportunity to start my journey into custom installation. I have always been passionate about engineering, technology, and AV, and this renovation confirmed to me that custom installation was the industry for me. I waited

for an opportunity which came when Dave, a long-standing friend from university (and subsequent colleague at Vodafone), was in the market for a new challenge. Using the foundation of electronic engineering from our university degrees — along with our combined industry knowledge of programming, data networks, and project management, and a passion for helping people make better use of technology — we were ready to launch BrownHen Solutions Ltd. What’s your favourite project and why? One of the aspects that I love about the job is that, by the very nature of custom installation, every project brings a different set of requirements and challenges to solve. This allows every project we undertake to become a potential favourite. Our recent




CEDIA Award submission is probably my favourite project so far, as it presented many complex challenges for us to solve. It involved the installation of technology into both an existing manor house, as well as a significant new-build extension. We needed to introduce many new technologies, but at the same time, integrate a number of existing technologies that the customer wanted to retain. The outdoor technology integration, which we are finding is an increasingly popular area, was particularly rewarding and needed to support a seamless transition between the garden room extension and the surrounding outside entertaining area. This alone included multizone audio, intelligent lighting, CCTV, and control of an awning and the fountain. Which aspect of home technology do you consider the most important today and why? The data network. While it is not the most exciting technology for the customer, virtually every installation we do (however basic) needs a robust and reliable network. Even customers who have no interest in home automation and intelligent control welcome the benefits that come from a properly engineered data network with dependable Wi-Fi. It will no doubt become more evident to customers as services become increasingly dependent on the internet. What do you consider your biggest achievement as a CEDIA member? My biggest achievement so far, without doubt, is our double award-winning project at the 2017 EMEA CEDIA Awards. Being recognised for our installation quality by a set of independent judging experts to win the Best Integrated Home Level I award felt massively rewarding, but to walk away with the Best Documentation award as well was just fantastic. Which CEDIA benefits do you take advantage of the most, and why? Being a CEDIA Outreach Instructor

is probably most beneficial as it provides us with a constructive way to engage with architects and interior designers to raise awareness of the industry and the value that BrownHen Solutions can bring to a project. Do you regularly attend CEDIA education and make use of CEDIA resources? If so, which courses and resources? I utilise a variety of CEDIA resources including training and certification, downloading white papers, and attending Tech Summits. These help to support our continuous development, which is essential in such a fastmoving industry, and is a great way to stay connected with other members. What was the primary reason for engaging with the new Member of Excellence programme? What do you see as the key benefits? The Member of Excellence programme allows us to increase our profile and demonstrate our exceptional quality, which is just fantastic. In the past, as a standard member, we have benefitted from leads by customers using the CEDIA finder service; being a Member of Excellence will maximise this opportunity. What’s the biggest issue for home technology businesses today, and how can they deal with it? I would say that being able to demonstrate the value of a welldesigned and installed home technology solution is an ongoing challenge for all CEDIA members. Manufacturers and integrators alike need to ensure that reliability is a priority so that our relevance is

not undermined. Rogue integrators and the proliferation of DIY solutions have the potential to leave customers disillusioned. Don’t get me wrong, DIY solutions offer a great opportunity in helping to raise the awareness of what’s possible. However, this needs to come with the understanding of their limitations and the benefits of a professionally installed system. If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be? The focus on providing services in residential construction has been increasing for many years. Central heating, once considered a luxury, is now a standard feature in almost all new homes. Integrating some level of home technology should be considered for all builds and renovations in the same way that other services such as electrical and plumbing are included. I recently authored a new chapter in the latest edition of the popular “Architect’s Pocket Book” exposing home technology integration and CEDIA to a whole new audience of architects that I hope will contribute, albeit in a very small way, to driving these changes. If you weren’t in the home technology sector, what would you like to be doing and why? I feel very fortunate that my job is doing something that I really enjoy, and it’s currently difficult to see myself doing anything different.









hen it comes to this award-winning integration from La Scala (Best Integrated Home Level II, Americas, 2018), CEDIA’s technical judges are succinct: “Everything in this project is outstanding.” This urban project occupies two floors of an iconic luxury apartment building with views of a nearby beach. The client connected the two floors with a spiral staircase, then began the tech integration. The ask: “The homeowners love to entertain but made it clear that the interior look and quality of finish must not be

compromised with the introduction of technology. Sound was expected in all rooms of the home, but not to be seen,” according to the La Scala team. Hidden speakers bring audio to 16 zones, James subwoofers are integrated into the millwork, and all three bedrooms have televisions on motorised lifts that raise and lower from custom cabinetry. The home features 90 loads of Lutron lighting, nearly 80 different shades, eight zones of HVAC control, and a number of well-designed scenes that are accessed via a single button and can be



easily adjusted by the homeowner, including a “clean” scene that lights up the residence, raises all the TVs, and brings pre-selected music into eight zones. Automated functions are at work here too — if rooms become too warm, shades are lowered, for example. This home also picked up CEDIA Awards for “Technology Meets Design” and “Life Lived Best at Home,” which are determined by a panel of architects and interior designers. The “Technology Meets Design” award celebrates the best integration of technology that complements the design scheme for the room or home and demonstrates a successful working partnership with the integrator and design and build industry partners. The “Life Lived Best at Home” award honours the project that uses technology to maximise and enhance the client’s lifestyle, providing functionality, safety, entertainment, convenience, aesthetics, and efficiency.

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La Scala 1385 Boundary Road Vancouver, BC V5K 4T9 Canada +1 604.606.1888 CEDIA Member Since 1993 INDUSTRY PARTNERS Aaron MacKenzie-Moore Mitchell Freedland Design Role: Interior Designer Jamie Weatherbie Role: General Contractor













n this CEDIA award winning project for Best Lighting System (EMEA 2018), Environ delivered an innovative, detailed, and class-leading lighting design. The lighting control is discreet, as it has been intelligently hidden in unusual spaces and is all-encompassing. Working with the lighting designer, Environ created a stunning lighting system both internally and externally. The team programmed pre-sets for each lighting zone — taking away any complicated or time-consuming elements from the user. One of the standout features is the astronomical lighting system on the first floor, which sees the colour temperature change depending on the time of day. The centrepiece lighting effect consists of multiple LED strips that are individually addressed along their lengths in multiple locations. The other key feature is the starlight ceiling above the swimming pool, which has been designed to replicate the stars on the day that the owner was born. The interior designer had requirements on the look and feel of the light switches, while the client had requests for the operation of these switches. Working together with both, Environ opted for a Meljac spring-toggle solution and modified each switch plate to include a Crestron interface behind the faceplate with a specifically sourced deep back box. The lighting design encompassed all the most common control protocols, including phase dimming, 0-10V, DALI, DMX, relay, and high load relay. This resulted in the lighting control system being highly complex. The installation of mixed enclosures and the programming of mixed load types presented technical challenges that needed to be overcome by careful planning and meticulous attention to detail.

Environ Unit 1 Chester House, Kennington Park Business Centre, 1-3 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6DE, UK +44 (0)20 7223 0808 CEDIA Member Since 2018

INDUSTRY PARTNERS PRS Architects Role: Architects MBJ Interiors Role: Builder State of Craft Role: Interior Designer





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Spider-Man™ : Homecoming now available on 4K Ultra HD™




Disruption in the World of

Category Cables and HDMI


David Meyer

CEDIA Director of Technical Research


The organisation that defined Cat5e and Cat6 is now declaring that they no longer recognise these cables in residential infrastructure cabling and “Ultra High Speed” HDMI cables are on the horizon. International technology standards always evolve: New standards are developed to corral and manage new technologies, and existing standards are updated to cater for inevitable changes as things get bigger, better, faster. A notable area of such change is that of bandwidth or speed, and there are two existing standards that technology integrators really need to keep a keen eye on as things change — TIA-570 and developments in HDMI.

Category Cable Disruptions The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is the organisation that brought us the standards for category cable, RJ45 connectors, and how to configure and apply them in networks. Amongst their many standards is TIA570, titled “Residential Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard.” The first version was published in 2004 and evolved over several iterations to TIA-570-C in 2012, calling for a minimum of 2x Cat5e and 2x RG59/6 coax to every AV point in a star topology, with optical fibre as an option. In July 2018, the latest revision TIA-570-D was published. This is big news and the changes will be disruptive, as the standard no longer recognises twisted pair cable below Cat6e. That’s right — the organisation that defined Cat5e and Cat6 is now declaring that they no longer recognise these cables in residential infrastructure cabling, and that Cat6a represents the entry point. It retains optical fibre as an option but acknowledging the inevitability of fibre does now include a Grade 3 design scheme (there were only Grades 1 and 2 previously) with compulsory inclusion of at least two fibre strands per drop. The changes, repercussions, and recommendations are discussed in the new CEDIA white paper “Infrastructure Cabling for Voice, Data, and Video,” available in the resource library at

HDMI HDMI is ubiquitous, and impacts integrators the world over, day-in and day-out. The 2.1 spec came out way back in November 2016, but we’ve yet to see it in the market to any great extent. The reason is that products can’t be released until compliance can be assured, and for that, a Compliance Test Specification (CTS) is needed. Unlike previous iterations, HDMI 2.1 has had a rolling release of the CTS, to date covering things like eARC, some device functionality and connectors, but not yet cables. Before this year is out, we’ll likely see the release of the HDMI cable CTS, which will be a huge catalyst for a raft of Photo courtesy of Les Kamens




new cables and faster uptake of more HDMI 2.1 features. The new “Ultra High Speed” cables, whether passive or active, will of course need to support 48Gbps data rate, but one of the trickiest parts for a manufacturer is in managing the electromagnetic (EM) implications of such high frequencies. After all, with each channel carrying double the already significant data rate of HDMI 2.0, we’re talking about frequencies of around 6GHz bandwidth! It’s enough to make the 500MHz of Cat6a look like a walk in the park, and EM interference and emissions become a really serious issue. That’s a key reason why the cable CTS is taking so long, as it’s highly complex. When new Ultra High Speed cables hit the market, it will be more important than ever to use high quality, demonstrably certified cables. As an integrator, you may not be able to verify support for 48Gbps or various features, so you’ll be reliant on manufacturers or distributors providing the right information. Also, keep in mind that the ability to re-pull cables in case things go awry onsite may save you time in the future.

Want to help? Speaking of verifying, at CEDIA, we’re continuing to work with the CTA in the joint R10 working group effort to develop several recommended practices or update existing ones. One such effort is CEB28 Verification Methods for Interoperable HDMI Distribution Systems. Although work is progressing well, we’d still like to have more volunteers on board to offer expertise. If you’re interested in helping, please contact CEDIA’s Technology and Standards department by dropping an email to with “Technology and Standards” in the subject line. And if you haven’t already, it’s also important to get familiar with the key features of HDMI 2.1, so you know what to expect and can make the right considerations in system design.







The Importance of Confrontation

for Interpersonal Relationships I used to lead a workshop on CEDIA Senior confrontation that Director of Education was targeted at business owners. One of the first questions I would pose to attendees was “Do any of you enjoy confrontation?” I would typically get a resounding “NO!” This wasn’t surprising to me, and probably isn’t surprising to you, either. Yet these men and women were the leaders in their organisations. I began to wonder; if they weren’t comfortable confronting people, how was conflict at the highest level being dealt with?

Samantha Ventura

Confrontation is defined as, “a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties.” This definition suggests that to confront is to engage in something that will result in an unpleasant exchange between you and someone else. Doesn’t sound like much fun, and in fact, sounds like something most of us would choose to avoid — and we do. However, I want to challenge the view most

of us have about confrontation and shed some light on how confrontation in work and personal relationships can actually be a good thing. Confrontation in our interpersonal relationships has a much different meaning than what we typically associate the term with. In our relationships, when we confront, we are actually choosing to be direct and transparent about how we are feeling. When we choose to actively deal with someone about something, we are acknowledging that we care enough about that other person to take the time to work on whatever has been bothering us. Why is this important? Each time you are willing to openly discuss something with another person, you allow a degree of transparency and intimacy to occur, strengthening the very foundation of the relationship just from the act of simple conversation. Conversely, the longer you avoid talking with someone about something that has been bothering you, the more you solidify misconceptions, hard feelings, and the overall unhappiness within the relationship. In fact, by


not confronting, you often leave yourself feeling much worse than if you had just dealt with the issue from the beginning. So, what are some of the ways you can begin to be better at confronting people in your own life?


Always start with respect. In fact, if you are angry, wait until you have calmed down before addressing a concern. We tend to lead conversations with aggression when we are angry and doing that is counterproductive to making the situation better. Kindness matters, so start with a gentle approach.


The absolute best approach is a one-on-one discussion; if you cannot have the conversation in person, don’t choose to avoid the confrontation altogether. Put a time on your calendar that you will email that person, respectfully, about how you are feeling. Hold yourself accountable to following through with your message.


Confronting someone respectfully and with purpose allows them to explain their thought process or even how they are feeling.

Give someone time to respond when you tell them how you are feeling. After you have brought up the issue, let them have a chance to explain how they are feeling without interrupting or trying to defend yourself. You can always say, “Thank you for bringing that up. I do want to talk about that as well; let’s finish this topic first then come back to that later, or even tomorrow.”


Stick to the issue(s) at hand and never bring in hearsay or problems you have heard about from others. You are sharing the concerns you have and are not there to be the voice for someone else. People tend to feel you are ganging up on them when you bring in other people’s issues, and it is not appropriate when you are confronting someone one-on-one.


Bring a solution with you. Offer what you feel might be a good compromise or solution to help solve the issue. Ask them what they think about it, and if you can’t come to immediate agreement, ask them to mull it over a bit, and let them know that you will follow up in a day or two. At the heart of who we are, we want to belong. The idea that we may say something that causes someone to not like us, view us differently, or might “rock the boat” makes us feel hesitant to bring something up in the first place. Confronting someone respectfully and with purpose allows them to explain their thought process, or even how they are feeling. This moves the relationship in a positive, more openly communicative direction. Mastering the skill of confrontation is very important for your growth as a leader. Likewise, be open to someone approaching you with an issue they have had as well. Your willingness to be approachable is one of the top soft skills you can employ to keep your relationships healthy and successful. Allowing issues to fester is not good for you, or the person you are secretly upset with. When we seek to communicate with others about how we feel, we show them that our relationship with them is valued and worth the time and energy we are putting into it. Leaders, make the commitment to work through your nervousness with confrontation, utilise some of the suggestions here, and I promise you even the most challenging relationships in your life will get better.





Managing Director of Presto AV



ou’d have to have been hidden under a rock for the last two years to have not heard about the incoming 5G data network technology. 5G is a big deal, so much so that even the political news is filled with concerns about who’s developing the core technologies and what that might mean for the cyber security of nations. At first glance, 5G could be seen as the next logical development for mobile data, but 5G is designed to be much more than that. Historically, 2G was the first protocol to bring digital service to our phones. 3G brought the Internet to phones and, arguably, the term “smart phone” came into being at this point too. 4G brought streaming to our phones and, in some territories, much better coverage thanks to lower carrier frequencies. So, what does 5G promise? Well faster data to your phone of course, but that’s just the start of it…

5G Wireless Basics Stepping back for a moment, how does 5G work? Well, just like existing mobile networks, a 5G network will consist of a series of geographical “cells,” each with its own wireless transceiver. Each cell is connected back to a central network over wires or fibre optic cables. Again, like existing phone networks, the 5G band will consist of multiple channels, each able to sustain simultaneous conversations. 5G is different though in that it will use much wider channels (up to 100Mhz bandwidth) for faster communication. Physical cell size will be smaller. One of the key factors controlling speed over a wireless network is proximity of the mobile device to the cell transceiver (mast). The closer the device to the mast, the faster the speed. 5G networks will typically use much smaller cells meaning devices will, by nature, be closer to the mast and, therefore, achieve faster speeds. Those who have designed the 5G system are aiming for 20Gb/s download, a huge improvement over 4G and a big improvement over most landline ISPs! When we say “speed,” we generally mean the number of bits per second that can be

sent from the mast to the device or vice versa. However, there is another dimension here — latency. In simple terms, latency is the systemic delay between the time when a request for data is made and when the response starts to be received. 5G systems are aiming for <1ms latency, again far lower than 4G and even wired WAN connections. This will mean a far more “instantaneous” feel to data delivery.

5G Intentions With the above in mind, it’s perhaps obvious that 5G is designed to deliver data to a wider audience than just mobile phones. The ultralow latency targets are, in part, thanks to the demands of autonomous vehicles. If a driverless car must talk to other devices to make a crash / no crash decision, then clearly that conversation needs to happen fast!

Close to The Edge The word “Cloud” has found its way into the public lexicon in recent years. Everything we do seems to be either stored, processed, or streamed from this magic place. In reality, of course, the “Cloud” is a string of data centres spread across the globe with warehouses full of high-spec servers delivering our search results, status updates, and media streams. For these types of services, the relatively slow delivery of data is perfectly acceptable. You’re hardly going to notice a difference of a few milliseconds one way or another when starting your chosen episode of Game of Thrones. But if you’re an autonomous vehicle heading straight for a brick wall, then those few milliseconds might make a life or death difference… Enter “Edge Computing.” Put simply, Edge Computing moves some processing and storage power out of the data centres and pushes it much closer to the user. In some cases, this might be as close as the base of the cell phone tower closest to the consuming device. This move means a much, much faster response time, maximising the chances of a timely decision. All this tech is built into the 5G infrastructure.

5G Issues Of course, you never get something for nothing and 5G will bring a couple of downsides. To get maximum data rate, 5G will need, in some cases, to push carrier frequencies up





as high at 60GHz. This band is often referred to as “millimetre waves” named after the tiny wavelengths of such high frequencies. While these ultra-high frequency carriers can carry huge amounts of data per second, they do have a downside… they don’t travel far. Think “line of sight” and you won't be far wrong. Unless you’re outside, you better be thinking of an access point per room.

5G and the LAN One of the most interesting aspects of 5G for integrators is the very high speeds that could be wirelessly delivered to and around the home. Some commentators have been so bold as to say that 5G will remove the need for a LAN. Rather, all devices will connect directly to the Internet via 5G and it will all be one big network. This was, in many ways, the dream of the Internet of Things. Before this can happen though, there are a huge pile of security issues to overcome.

The ultra-high frequency 60GHz transmissions are unlikely to be useful in the home (they won’t go through walls, at all). What we may see happen is that 5G becomes the carrier of the Internet to the roof of the home with a wired connection taking that signal into the house and on to a conventional LAN. Or something like that…

It Ain’t Over ‘Till… All this is, of course, dependent on licensing from local broadcast authorities. Finding space in the spectrum for any new broadcasts is, at best, hard work and every territory has its own challenges. Just what frequency you’ll see local 5G broadcasts on is still in debate. The 60GHz spectrum is currently unused but limited without huge deployment of small or “micro” cells. For areas with large, sparsely populated geography, it may be a non-starter. For cities though, it could change everything.


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Anand Lulla

Trusted Technologies, UK

AVXellence, India


What made it especially useful in this project?

Andy: We started using The CEDIA Designer in 2017. Anand: We subscribed to the TCD software quite soon after its launch in June 2016.

Why did you think it would help your business? Andy: Designing cinema rooms before this software was a very labour-intensive experience. We are always looking for ways of making this process more efficient — our last spreadsheet had over 20 tabs, so when we first experienced the TCD software, it was like all our Christmases had come at once. Anand: Preparing design quotes has always been very time consuming and since it is just a proposal, there is a chance that we do not land the project. The TCD tool reduces this time drastically and enables our design proposals to look very professional.

How many projects have you used it for? Andy: We have used the tool for 98 projects so far! Anand: We use TCD for dedicated cinema rooms and have used it for approximately 20 proposals so far.

Please describe a home cinema project that it has been used for? Andy: We used it on a dedicated cinema room that features a Sony 4K projector and Triad Speakers to deliver 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Array. Anand: We used TCD on a highperformance theatre room that a client wanted to create in the basement of his villa. The total area was around 800 square feet.

What is the client’s verdict on this cinema? Andy: They were so impressed that they have already given us the order to install a similar room in their second home. Anand: The client was super impressed when we shared our design proposal. He had enquired with a few other AV dealers for this project, but they decided to go with us simply because the quality of our proposal impressed him.

Why should integrators use The CEDIA Designer in your opinion? Andy: It quickly separates the wheat from the chaff. I hear so many comments about “the electricians are doing the cinema.” TCD allows us to demonstrate the difference between an integrator installing a system versus an electrician. TCD corroborates your pitch to the client on why they should use a CEDIA company to install their cinema room Anand: The demand for well-designed home cinema systems is increasing here in India. It is time that integrators take a professional approach to servicing their clients’ needs. TCD helps integrators like us present our solution in superb fashion and eliminates the guesswork.

When we first experienced The CEDIA Designer software, it was like all our Christmases had come at once.

When did you start using The CEDIA Designer (TCD) software in your company?

Andy: The best feature for us is being able to quickly calculate reference audio levels based on the seating position and volume of space.





BUSINESS ADVICE FROM THE TECH SUMMITS A recent podcast from one of CEDIA’s Tech Summits featured two long-time instructors who have been helping members improve their businesses for years. Here’s a recap: Job Costing Right Susan Sipe has identified one of the biggest issues for integrators using QuickBooks: “The software is out of the box, set up for retail applications, not contractors.” Susan, who’s part of multiple companies (including the one most relevant to this material, Salez Toolz []), had 30-odd years in the custom integration business before turning her attention to other ventures. She’s developed a course, “Job-Costing for Integrators Who Don’t Like Accounting (Namely, ALL Integrators).” The fundamental problem: QuickBooks’ default settings are designed for a cash business; Sally works eight hours, sells two dozen t-shirts, hourly labour was fixed, cost to the retailer for the shirts was set — simple stuff. Figure out the sales tax, cost of the physical space, and so on, and you’ve arrived at a fairly simple profit and loss statement. A trade like systems integration has a vastly different set of circumstances. Deposits come in during February, gear is purchased in March — one monthly P&L shows a firm solidly in the black, the next, wildly in the red. By learning how to adjust one’s approach to QuickBooks, Susan shows attendees how to get accurate statements that give an integrator a real picture of how and where they’re making (or losing) money during jobs that can span for weeks or even years.


Tracking what everyone’s doing — down to how much wire they’re using — is one example. “We were doing three million dollars a year,” Susan says of her old firm in Seattle. “I audited our books, and we realised that change orders we hadn’t tracked properly had cost us $100,000.” “We asked ourselves ‘What are we doing?’ It was like we left the back door open with a sign that said, ‘FREE CABLES.’” Susan has learnt how to adjust her approach to QuickBooks, and the philosophy she’s developed is pretty simple: “Learn how to apply the software to the business, and not the business to the software.”

Are You Getting What You’re Worth? Frank White, a long-time CEDIA volunteer, is working on a new class called “Five Ways to Get What You Are Worth.” Its overriding mantra is best summed up in Frank’s own words: “Your hourly rate is not what people buy; they buy outcomes.” The five principles Frank is laying out — and yes, we’re aware that this particular format only scratches the very top layer of the surface of the material — are:


Always be “trial closing.” Yep, add a “T” to the “ABC” acronym that’s practically a sales cliché. The “trial close” is how you gauge customers through the process. Example: When an initial estimate is given, the follow-up question is the trial close: “Is that what you expected?” As Frank points out, a freakout (“$18 grand? Are you kidding me?”) is better than “We’ll get back to you.” The former is, at least, an engagement.


Control your costs, both fixed and variable. To that end, says Frank, one needs to understand that things like rush-hour drive time chews up billable hours of labour. Once you’ve begun to figure this out, says Frank, “Gear the verticals of your project: What has the best margins? Then bias your business to those parts of the project.” Take care to understand what part of a project will really need the most attention. “That distributed audio gear will last through five TV sets,” says Frank.


Control your control tendencies. Integrators love their control systems — they’re slick, they carry an “Oh, wow!” factor, and they let a good integrator show off his closing skills. But, as Frank notes, it’s easy to get carried away with an aspect of the job that usually only accounts for 15% of the budget.

4 5

Keep the proposal broad. Don’t make it granular. It’s not an engineering document. “I don’t like separating the labour and material costs of a job, either,” says Frank. You’re just giving the client more ways they can ‘work’ you.”

Raise your labour prices. This dovetails back into the second item on our list. You pay each technician for every moment they work. Ask yourself the question: How much is traceable to an actual invoice? “For most firms in the contracting world, that number’s 55%,” says Frank. “I’ve asked some really smart people in this business what the average is in custom integration, and the number they gave me? Around 32%. We can do much better.”

This CEDIA Podcast can be found at as Episode 117 or iTunes number 1917a.





Helen Bygraves

Joint Managing Director, Hill House Interiors Ltd

When London-based CEDIA Member of Excellence, Homeplay, decided to transform unused office space into a customer-facing Experience Centre, they chose to partner with renowned interior design firm, Hill House Interiors, on the project. Helen Bygraves, Joint Managing Director of Hill House Interiors, talks about this partnership and explains how this collaboration benefits not just the two companies but clients as well.


Why do technology integrators need to involve an interior designer in creating their showroom space? What benefits does it bring? Our discerning clients look to us as design professionals to advise them of the most innovative materials, the most luxurious of finishes, and cutting-edge technology thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available, and we are very accustomed to seamlessly integrating all of these elements into a cohesive design scheme. Key for us are the overall objectives: Making the space flow and creating the right atmosphere. To achieve this, we value the collaboration with our specialist suppliers very highly. We want a client to walk into a showroom and see and experience a space they can imagine living in.




What in your experience do integrators not think about enough in the design of a showroom? How can a partnership with an interior designer help the integrator during the design and installation? As interior designers, we work very closely with the client and understand what they want — it’s a very personal experience, and one that a client invests in both emotionally and financially. We want to ensure home technology fits seamlessly into a space and complements the other elements. Thinking about small details such as cabling can make all the difference. For example, does it need to be accessible? If so, can it be discreetly disguised behind a side table for example? Or is building the system into beautiful, handcrafted bespoke cabinetry the answer? Every scenario, like every client, is different, so it’s good to give the client as many innovative options and examples as possible when they enter a showroom. Working together has benefits for both parties — integrators are of course at the top of their game when it comes to the best technology on the market and that’s something the majority of our clients are looking for and want to include within their homes. Equally, many of an integrator’s customers will be looking at how best to incorporate new gadgets into their home, and hopefully the showroom collaboration shows how we can tie all the elements together cohesively.

How did you collaborate so effectively with James on the Homeplay showroom? We were delighted to be asked by Homeplay to work with them on their showroom. Together, we wanted to develop different spaces to both replicate a home and showcase the best tech, whilst also being aesthetically pleasing. While many clients will want to display their top-ofthe-range smart technology, from AV systems to security, others may prefer a more discreet approach. We designed four different scenarios within the Homeplay Experience Centre — a dining and living room, as well as cinema and home bar — and planned the space with James and the team. We had certain parameters to work within, such as beamed ceilings and changes in head height, but because we were involved from an early stage, we were able to plan accordingly. Lighting technology has been showcased throughout, maximising the atmosphere and creating moods for different rooms. It can be programmed according to the day, the week, month — or even seasonally. In true “James Bond” style, we worked with Future Automation to create panelled walls that, at the touch of a button, move to reveal LCD televisions — from behind geometric metal inlays on a feature wall, or a mirrored bar.


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“The toughest part of a job? Sometimes it’s the last 5%.” - ANON

I had a guy say to me, "Yeah, it's all moving to a Star Trek situation. You'll be able to have a little lapel pin and you touch it and you can talk to people," and I said, "Well, yeah, you're right. The Star Trek Enterprise was very wireless, but anytime some photon torpedo hit the bridge and it blew up half the console, did you ever notice how many wires were in there?"


Eric Bodley (Future Ready Solutions and CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, 2017), on the importance of a wired backbone for a home system from the CEDIA podcast “All About Cabling” (Episode 123, No. 1921)

The whole purpose of a home cinema is to provide that full, immersive experience where people can relax, unwind, and enjoy a great movie, so finding the perfect solution for our clients is always a joy. Damien Smith (Custom Sight & Sound, UK) on what makes him happy

Our customers are not just buying a product and having it installed. They’re buying a professional service. Hannah Davies (Inspire AV, UK) on her firm’s approach

If you’re not spending the right amount of time with someone, you may be giving the impression that you’re providing just a “cookiecutter” approach. David Hunt ( on the process he calls “deep-discovery” from the CEDIA podcast “Understanding High-Net-Worth Clients” (Episode 115, No. 1915)

There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer in an interview with USA Today in April 2007

Twelve years after its initial release, altogether about 1.5 billion iPhones have been shipped worldwide, making it one of the most used smartphones in the world. Shanlong Liu, in a post for in May 2019



Every project begins with an idea. With The CEDIA Designer, transform your media room and home theater projects from idea to rendering in a matter of minutes. Developed by renowned designer Guy Singleton, The CEDIA Designer begins with your specifications, and then perfectly calculates every inch of your design, including the top technology brands for seamless integration. 3D CAD model, complete scale rendering, full documentation, technically perfect math—weeks of design work finished as soon as you can imagine it.

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Profile for CEDIA EMEA

CEDIA Communicates - Quarter 3 2019  

This quarter we feature two project profiles, dive in to 5G, discuss cable disruption, and preview the CEDIA Awards.

CEDIA Communicates - Quarter 3 2019  

This quarter we feature two project profiles, dive in to 5G, discuss cable disruption, and preview the CEDIA Awards.