AWE Expo 2023 Highlights New Smart Home Technologies

AWE welcomed over 150 industry professionals to its AWE Expo event on May 16-17.

Held at the recently updated show apartment in Epsom, attendees not only had the chance to explore AWE’s recently revamped Reference and Performance Cinemas, but they also had an exclusive preview of the new music room. Additionally, visitors got an in-depth overview of the latest innovations from AWE’s portfolio of brands and tuck into the legendary hog-roast lunch.

Each year, AWE Expo provides installers with an opportunity to see, hear and experience new, high-end smart home technologies as well as getting facetime with the experts from leading brands. The Show Apartment in Epsom includes a living room, games area and music room, as well as two dedicated home cinemas to showcase wow-factor installations at differing price points.

Notable Cinema Upgrades

AWE ran continuous demos throughout Expo to highlight its newly upgraded reference and performance cinemas, allowing attendees to experience their enhanced audio-visual capabilities. With significant improvements made, both cinemas offer an extra level of movie immersion, creating high-performance viewing experiences at differing price points.

Reference Cinema – Visitors able to fully appreciate the improvements made to the visuals and audio. The equipment, which retails from around £95k upwards, includes a 15.4.6 channel audio system with five Bowers & Wilkins CWM8.3D Diamond Series in-wall speakers for the front soundstage, all angled towards the reference seating positions. An additional ten CI800 Diamond Series speakers complete the surround and height channels, resulting in sound that offers strong clarity and balance. The power behind the bass is massive, but precisely controlled, with four B&W CDA-2HD DSP amps,  each one dedicated to powering a CT SW15 15in sub with up to 1000W. Processing is provided by the new high-end Marantz AV 10, a 15-channel AV processor featuring DIRAC live calibration. For the picture, AWE has all three of Sony’s latest native 4K laser projectors installed, including the 10,000-lumen GTZ-380. A  notable upgrade to the room is the ADEO MovieMask LR, a 4m wide side masking screen capable of aspect ratios from 2.4:1 down to 16:9. AWE says ADEO screens can be tailored to suit every project, with a myriad of screen types, projection surfaces and aspect ratios all available to be specified on the configurator.

Performance Cinema – This room is specified for the equipment to hit a price point of around £45k, with simple configuration options to hit either higher or lower price points. The full 7.4.4 configuration on demo shows what’s possible for a smaller room at a realistic budget. The cinema has four new B&W ISW-8 12in in-wall subwoofers, powered by B&W CDA-2HD DSP amplifiers, delivering strong bass performance. Additionally, the new Marantz Cinema 50 provides upgraded processing with DIRAC LIVE calibration and powers the height speakers, with additional amplification coming from the new Marantz AMP 10. The room has also been upgraded with a 3.34m wide Adeo FramePro acoustically transparent screen. This provides a bigger, brighter, and more detailed wall-to-wall image from the Epson EH-LS12000B true 4K laser projector without compromising sound quality.

Audio Mastery in the AWE Music Room

In this recently introduced space to highlight the opportunities of two channel, guests had the opportunity to listen to a range of Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers offering clarity and detail to suit different room sizes and price points. These included the 803 D4 and 804 D4 800 Diamond Series speakers and the 705 S3 stand-mount speakers. Amplification came from Michi and Marantz. Installers were also able to experience the different performance levels available with a choice of Denon HOME multi-room speakers in this room, all of which could be operated stand-alone, or fully integrated via HEOS.

Turned Heads in the Living Room

Guests could also experience the preview of the brand new 2023 Hisense 120L9 Laser TV, with its 120in ambient light-rejecting screen. For a big screen experience in any lighting condition, the Hisense L9 Laser TVs are a strong option for those on a modest budget for such a large screen. The Kinetik UST Projector AV Cabinets (KLIF-UST1CS), an AWE exclusive, provide a stylish solution to support many UST projector installations. The cabinet comes in a variety of finishes and accommodates the projector, a soundbar or centre speaker, and has optional matching ventilated equipment cabinets too.

Elsewhere in the main AWE apartment, the world’s largest OLED TV, LG’s OLED97G29, was showcased along with the 2023 G Series and C Series TVs. With the new Brightness Booster Max, the self-illuminating LG OLED pixels are now even more expressive. It takes the picture enhancements of the α9 Gen AI processor to the next level and provides up to 30% more luminosity. Thanks to superior light efficiency, the images now look even more brilliant even in full daylight.

All Under Control

The show apartment and cinemas are all automated with URC, an easy to install and high-performance control platform. AWE Expo visitors saw the first UK showing of the new URC TDC-5100 handheld tabletop controller, a gaming-inspired UI with hard and digital buttons and fast response processing that combines tactile button convenience with the flexibility that only comes from a touch-panel.

Missed It? Then Book a Visit!

AWE Expo gave installers a glimpse into what’s possible for the year ahead. As well as the new releases, visitors saw the latest reference amplifiers from Michi, Rotel’s powerful amps and multi-channel DT-6000 DAC, as well as HDAnywhere’s brand new MHUBS stackable matrix. There were also live demonstrations from smart home security solution Ring and automated window shading with Silent Gliss – and an opportunity to beat your best lap time in the Base Performance Simulators Blade Racing Simulator.

Stuart Tickle, Managing Director at AWE says,“Weare hugely grateful to all those who attended Expo this year for an exciting two days of previews and demos. We have worked really hard to ensure our show apartment and cinemas are the absolutely best place for installers and their clients to discover the best custom install solutions from AWE’s exceptional portfolio and the amazing feedback was truly rewarding to the whole team at AWE. If you missed AWE Expo, book a private visit as the show apartment is here for you and your invited customers!”

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