October 2021

8 Reconnected and re-energised at EI Live!

The buzz of the show floor, the enjoyment of seeing industry friends, the anticipation of meeting new customers, and the excitement of revealing the very latest innovations that will shape the residential install market… Oh how we missed this! AWE’s Stuart Tickle writes this review for ERT.


t felt great to be back at EI Live! The vibe was one of confidence and positivity, with plenty of opportunity to reconnect with our industry in-person and talk to retailers and integrators about tech trends, what’s new and how they can get further involved in the custom install boom. We felt there were good, high quality visitors during the show,

and the conversations we had were meaningful and proactive – it certainly felt like the retailers who were there were serious about the growth opportunities installation brings. Organisers said it was the event’s “most successful outing to date”, and

that plans are already in place for next year – to create an expanded and enhanced national AV and home automation show for the industry. After a hiatus during the pandemic, we wanted to come back with a bang

so we enhanced the AWE Village to feature four zones and two dedicated projection demo rooms. There were a host of top brand solutions on show, with highlights including exclusive launches for the home cinema market from Epson and Sony. Home cinema is high on the agenda for retailers – it’s a growing market

with heaps of potential to add value. Since the pandemic hit, demand for home cinemas and media rooms has increased dramatically and those retailers with the groundwork done have been making great gains. In a world exclusive, the AWE Village was the launchpad for two high-

end home cinema projectors by Epson – the EH-LS11000W and EH-LS12000B. These stunning new projectors feature a laser light source for high brightness and life, a new 4K image processing chip delivering 4K resolution for amazing detail and image quality, and motorised lens memory options for maximum installation flexibility – setting a high benchmark of performance for the price point. From Sony, visitors were shown world’s most advanced laser projector,

the 10,000 lumen VPL GTZ-380 – its first public outing. The projector also has a native resolution chipset of 4K so displays 4K HDR content with no upscaling or pixel-shifting needed, the finest details are crisp and clear on even the largest screens of up to eight metres.

Another continued growth market is smart home control, with newer entry

level options which offer quick and easy deployment, providing a great opportunity for introducing simple home control to customers. In our Smart Home Systems Zone, we featured a number of smart home brands, including the latest updates to the URC Total Control platform, with its new MRX-5 controller and Accelerator 3 software. The software features a basic “expressway” mode which provides simple

programming of smaller systems (up to eight zones), including straightforward customisation of the user interface using template-based custom graphics and voice service control for devices. Crucially, it requires just one day of training – making it an ideal beginner software solution for retailers. Away from the show floor, the EI Smart Building Awards provided an

evening of socialising and celebration. AWE took home four awards on the night, including the top spot for Best Distributor, as well as wins for Best TV Display Conventional for Sony KD-65AG9 OLED, Best Projector Screen for Euroscreen Frame Vison React 3 Vel-Tex, and Best Mounting Product for Sanus VXF730 B2 Premium Wall Mount. This was the cherry on the cake of a very sweet return to EI Live!

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