CEDIA stands for Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association. It’s a trade organization that educates and certifies people who are traditionally referred to as “custom installers.”
If you aren’t of significant means, odds are you won’t have a CEDIA-certified installer visit your home any time soon. These pros service the homes of CEOs, star athletes, hedge fund managers, movie directors… anyone with five figures or more that they’re willing to spend on a kick-ass custom home theater, AV and/or automation system for their home.
So these guys serve the 1%. What’s in it for the rest of us?
Simply put, the CEDIA community regularly comes up with concepts and innovations that eventually make it down the economic slide to the mainstream.
For example, CEDIA pros have been configuring multi-room audio systems for decades, long before Sonos showed up. These systems allow you to listen to any source of music (AM/FM, satellite, PC, CD) in any zone of your home at the touch of a button. They basically invented the concept of “My Music,” and were the first to introduce in-wall and standalone iPod docks into homes that could connect iTunes to living room stereo and multi-room audio systems. Same with video servers.
They also have been pioneers of home control and automation systems that adjust your AV, climate, lighting, security cams and more through a single user interface like an in-wall keypad or touchscreen. Over two decades after CEDIA’s work on this product category started, companies like Comcast are beginning to offer services with similar basic functionality.
Home theater? These cats invented it. Universal remote controls? Same. Kick-ass sound systems for the home? These guys live and breathe high-end speakers, receivers, AV components and acoustical treatments. (Many of them still identify primarily as “audio guys,” with roots in selling ridiculously powerful hi-fi gear through high-end stereo shops.) Flat-panel TVs? They were selling and mounting them back when a 50-inch plasma cost $30,000.
Every year, the CEDIA crowd gathers for its annual trade show and exhibition, where members swap stories, take training courses, check out new products, have a few drinks and enjoy some demos. You’ve never heard so much Steely Dan coming out of $10,000 speakers in your life.
Longtime CEDIA observer and industry expert Dennis Burger will be delivering comprehensive coverage of CEDIA EXPO at our sister site, HomeTechTell. He’ll be on the hunt for more new tech innovations at the show that could eventually change the world of home entertainment and automation for all of us.