Held over four successive days at the end of September, Habitech’s TechFest offered integrators the first chance to experience the latest CEDIA product intros, network with manufacturers and brand specialists, and explore Habitech’s new suite of training and demo spaces.
Unveiling a significant investment in its service-led, value-added trade ethos, the leading UK CI distributor showcased a new suite of demo spaces, each created to demonstrate to the max the high-performance of its growing range of products and design services in a choice of environments. TechFest guests became the first to encounter a complete CinemaTech-designed theatre room, as well as an enhanced flagship cinema and an acoustically-optimised TV-oriented media space, giving Habitech’s integration partners and their clients the best possible experience of discreet AV systems in familiar home settings.
COMPLETE CINEMA DESIGN SERVICE
Designed by CinemaTech in the US and built by Habitech’s contractors, the state-of-the-art Sonance Reference Theatre is a completely bespoke cinema environment comprising AV, acoustics and décor, created to be as comfortable, natural and unique a part of the home as any other living space. According to a bespoke design, CinemaTech’s reflecting, absorbing and diffusing panels are arranged on a sub-frame to generate optimal acoustics, and then decorated with a custom mix of design features and finishes.
Within the lush carpeted interior, Habitech has installed a completely discreet 7.2.2 Sonance Cinema Reference speaker system, driven by ARCAM processing and Sonance amplifiers. The Projecta HD Progressive 1.1 Contrast Perf acoustically transparent vinyl projection screen, which has been developed with microscopically smooth surface consistency for resolutions up to 16K, is the ideal target for JVC’s sensational 8K e-shift DLA-NX9 projector – appearing for the first time at a UK CI trade event.
Generating a completely immersive combination of stunning ultra-high-definition video and audio in a precision-tuned acoustic environment, Habitech’s brand new Sonance Reference Theatre is the most powerful advert for state-of-the-art cinema design, built to the client’s requirements and supplied via Habitech’s trade partners. In a further development Habitech revealed that it’s working with a London integrator to create a showcase cinema in the capital.
TAILORED TO SPACE & BUDGET
Stepping up in scale, Habitech has refurbished its 14-seat flagship theatre with CinemaTech treatment and recalibrated the systems, including the resident fully-discreet Wisdom 9.4.4 system to demonstrate compelling home cinema detail and dynamics in the largest luxury spaces. And for those with designs on media room conversions, Habitech’s TechFest unveiled yet another custom demo space, which showcases CinemaTech’s custom wall panels surrounding Sonance VP 46/66/86 in-walls.
Around the TV, the LCR channels of a discreet Sonance Soundbar – soon to be available in 55-, 65-, 75- and 80-inch widths – were accompanied by rear in-ceilings, making great sounding low-profile AV a synch to install. And with absolutely no profile at all, the rather magical IS4 3-way Invisible speakers generated awesome full-range audio detail from behind a thin layer of plaster on the back wall. Completing the media room options, Wisdom’s classy new P2M and P4M point-source on-wall speakers were joined by the new super-slender S10 sub design, which at only 4.5-inchs (116mm) deep can be used in freestanding upright, down-firing or up-firing positions, sliding discreetly under sofas for instance.
Elsewhere, and reflecting the sheer breadth of Habitech’s product offering, TechFest guests were introduced to Legrand’s MyHome_Up plug-and-play automation system.
Aimed primarily at MDU developers, it delivers control over lights, heating, security, AV, blinds etc without specialist AV programming and installs using standard wiring techniques and DIN-rail modules. Although MyHome_Up is designed with app control in mind, it’s from Legrand, so on display at TechFest was a selection of complementary wired fittings and styles, available from a vast range to help customise control around the home and buildings.
WYRED FOR AV
Around the corner, a full panoply of 10G-and-up networking technologies was displayed on the WyreStorm wall, created as a walk-through step-up guide, starting at HDBT (via its latest H2X matrix), through AVoIP via WyreStorm’s NHD400/600 tech, to its CAB HAOC-10 18Gbps Active Optical HDMI links. And on the wall opposite, all the bass options from Sonance in the form of discreet in-wall and in-room models. The prize for the most colourful display downstairs had to go to the Yamaha MusicCast wall, showcasing the design and integration versatility, as well as the famous audio quality of this established alternative to the S-word.
Upstairs, Dahua’s new facial recognition software for its 5000 series NVRs was being trained on the TechFest reception area with fascinating results. Designed to bring exceptional new capability to the current range of Dahua cameras, the new algorithms not only distinguish between known individuals (VIPs) and strangers, they log their facial expression as well!
And adding to the latest network tech on offer, Habitech introduced the next-gen Ruckus R730 802.11ax Wi-Fi Access Point together with the ICX 7150 range of switches.
Available in 12, 24 and 48 port 10/100/1000 Mbps models with 1/10 GbE dual-purpose uplink/stacking ports, and full PoE/PoE+ support, the new switch line-up will unite all wired and wireless network infrastructure under the proven Ruckus name to deliver the fastest and most reliable networks to UK integrators. Also trailed for availability in 2019, the Ruckus Cloud and Virtual Smartzone services allowing fully-remote network management.
In manageable groups and during an energetic day of product displays, dems, and refreshments, TechFest guests and were also invited to join Habitech and CinemaTech specialists in the flagship theatre and in the two new seminar rooms upstairs for all the latest intel on HDR, the IoT and from Cinematech, how to sell luxury cinema.
Commenting on TechFest, Habitech’s Jonathan Pengilley said: “With the new training and demo rooms revealed at Techfest we aim to maximise the value of the time you spend with us. I’m proud of everyone who has worked so hard to create a brilliant new platform for our value-added service to CI and I’m absolutely delighted with the turnout at TechFest; we’ve seen the right people and given all their feedback, created the best impression.”
Hot on the heels of Habitech’s well-deserved show success, also came fresh honours from CEDIA, as the Association crowned the company Best Trade Supplier at this year’s CEDIA Awards under the glass roof of the British Museum’s Great Court. So, all in all, a September to celebrate for the distinguished distributor!