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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

The Top ECI Stories for 2017

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2017As 2017 comes to a close it is as good a time as any to take a look back at the times in custom install that have been, from smart speakers going mainstream to any number of company acquisitions and mergers.

  • Voice Control Hit the Mainstream: Speakers with built-in voice controlled assistants were all the rage at IFA 2017, with just about every company worth their salt showing off such a product at the show. Even Apple got in the game, as seen at WWDC 2017's reveal of the HomePod, the Siri-powered take on the Amazon Echo.
  • Samsung's Harman Buys Arcam: Famous British hifi maker Arcam found a buyer in July 2017 in Samsung-owned Harman International Industries, owner of audio brands such as AKG, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levison. Samsung bought Harman late in 2016 for $8 billion, the biggest deal in the Korean giant's history.
  • Smart Home Grows Bigger, Faster: Smart home continued becoming part of mainstream in 2017 as according to analysts it is now one of the fastest growing CE categories of the year. Futuresource Consulting says 2017 global revenues total $6 billion, proof such devices help customers with daily tasks, security and energy savings.
  • Panasonic Still Believes in 3DTV: Is 3DTV dead? The most obvious answer is yes, but some companies still release TVs with such capabilities. One example is Panasonic, who in March 2017 released the EX780, a flagship 4K LED TV compatible with all 3D Blu-ray players. It is also the only 2017 TV from the company with 3D support, and possibly the last.
  • Samsung and Amazon Join HDR Forces: Samsung and Amazon added another HDR standard in the video mixed with HDR10+, an option the two giants insist is better than the Dolby Vision competition through a free and open nature. It is (obviously) an update on the HDR10 standard, if with added Dynamic Tone Mapping allowing TVs to adjust brightness on a frame-by-frame basis.
  • Control4 Buys Triad Speakers: Control4 buys more audio capabilities in March 2017 with Triad Speakers, maker of advanced audio technology with customisable speaker solutions. The price? Approximately €9.07 million.  The acquisition makes a strategic addition to the Control4 portfolio, since includes the programmable Control4 EA-series controllers with native high-resolution streaming music services, multi-room audio matrix switches and amplifiers, and ultra-HD 4K video matrix switches with audio down-mixing capabilities.
  • Sony Touches With Xperia Touch: Mobile World Congress 2017 had Sony unveil a something of a surprise device. The Xperia Touch is an Android-powered projector able to turn any surface into a touchscreen while acting as a digital hub of sorts. It also carries a 13MP camera and speakers, allowing it to handle Skype video chats, while SXRD projection technology detects gestures and taps.