Advancements in high-definition technology have consumers, movie studios, and cable and satellite service providers raving — and wondering what other new tools can boost the home theater experience. Electronics manufacturers are offering new products to help end-users view HD channels in ever more impressive ways. Distributed audio and video are also popular, creating a true “surround sound” experience.
Sonance. Created for audio enthusiasts with an eye for design, Architectural Series in-wall and in-ceiling loudspeakers offer a true flush mounting and a broad range of finishes. The 8-, 6-, or 4-inch speakers are available in rectangular, square, or round layouts. Finish options include trimless with no flange, trim with a microflange, or a grilleless fascia. For the trim and trimless styles, choose from cloth or nano-perforated metal grilles. 800.582.0771. www.sonance.com.
Schneider Electric. The maker's Square D Clipsal lighting control system has been expanded with the addition of the Multi Room Audio product line. The new functionality begins with the Matrix Switcher, installed in a central location with audio sources, such as a radio tuner, CD player, or iPod. Connections are made to amplifiers throughout the home via the Clipsal C-Bus network. To control the system, the popular Saturn and Neo keypads now accommodate editable text or graphics to indicate the room and custom-designed lighting scenes or audio levels it controls. 888.778.2733. www.squaredlightingcontrol.com.
Sony. Meeting a growing demand for whole-house video distribution, the CAV-CVS12ES HD video distribution system brings 12 zones of high-definition video to the home. The single-box setup incorporates eight HD component video inputs up to 1080p, and four composite video inputs. CAT5e wiring delivers the video through a component adapter connected to the display. 800.222.7669. www.sony.com.
InterSource Specialties Co. Outfit a home theater with black Cinetile fiberglass ceiling panels. The professional-grade sound-absorbing ceiling tiles offer high thermal insulation, improving in-room sound quality, the maker says. Made from medium-density fiberglass, the panels are flexible, dimensionally stable, and resist moisture, stains, and odors. Available in 1-, 2-, and 3-inch thicknesses, the Class-A fire-resistant panels come in standard sizes of 2 feet by 2 feet, 2 feet by 4 feet, or 4 feet by 4 feet, fitting 15/16-inch or 9/16-inch ISC T-bar suspended ceiling systems. 920.892.8822. www.iscsupply.com.
Auton. Though often more aesthetically appealing than bulky television sets, flat-panel TVs need not be the center of attention. The Plasma Lift & Swivel measures just 9 inches deep and can fit into the smallest cabinet or space, allowing users to retract the TV when it's not needed, or swivel it up to 180 degrees when it's out in the open. The unit is operated by remote control. All of the maker's lifts use a customized rack-and-pinion drive system to ensure smooth and quiet operation for a variety of loads. 661.257.9282. www.auton.com.
Panasonic. Ten new HDTV plasma televisions join the maker's current 65- and 103-inch models. New 42-, 50-, and 58-inch 1080p flat-panel models offer picture improvements that include blacker blacks, more vivid colors, and faster response time with no motion artifacts. The PZ700U series has a 1920x1080p resolution. The PZ750U series is distinguished by a Studio Reference Mode, which provides the user with the exact color reproduction as seen on monitors used in film editing studios. 800.405.0652. www.panasonic.com.
Rotel Electronics. The RSX-1058 receiver is a one-product solution for whole-house entertainment, the maker says. Offering 5x57 watts per channel, the unit features a high-performance video scaler to optimize all video sources (satellite, cable, DVD players, and more) for 1080i resolution. Four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output offer advanced connections for newer source components. Multiroom audio capability lets users add music in up to four rooms. Optional keypads are available to remotely access the most-used features. 978.664.3820. www.rotel.com.
Pass & Seymour/Legrand. Don't let wall outlets constrain where electronics can be placed. Floor Boxes are compatible with a wide range of flooring surfaces and offer convenient outlet access, rugged construction, and support for both line- and low-voltage connections. Several round and rectangular styles are available, including single-gang, two-gang, or single-gang/dual-voltage. The extra-deep design leaves plenty of wiring room, with four knock-out wire entries and two auto-clamp entries for wiring flexibility. A built-in ground terminal makes ground bonding easy when required by code. 800.611.7277. www.passandseymour.com.