AWE opens doors to new-look showroom
On 7th and 8th November, UK-based distributor AWE opened the doors to its newly renovated ‘smart apartment,’ for its annual Autumn Smart Home Expo.
Hundreds of technology integrators, electricians, aerial installers and retailers travelled to AWE’s headquarters in Epsom, Surrey to see the latest upgrades to the distributor’s facilities and get hands-on with new product offerings from its brand portfolio, new and old.
Throughout the event the expansion of the distributor’s demo spaces attracted a lot of attention, including its compact (5.5 x 3.5m) but impressive new 7.4.4 cinema room. Here one of AWE’s newest signings, US-based loudspeaker manufacturer, Definitive Technology’s in-wall Reference Line Source speakers and in-wall Reference subwoofers took centre stage, driven by a Denon 11 channel AVR-X6400 AV receiver.
The space also features Epson 4K projection, perforated screen technology from Draper and Philips Hue downlighting and LED strips, meaning the total RRP comes in at only £15,000.
During a demo of AWE’s product manager, James Drummie, noted that the space has been welcomed by installers working with client for whom the prospect of creating a space the scale of its larger cinema room may be an overwhelming prospect.
Meanwhile its two-channel ‘Music Room’ expertly demonstrated the power of KEF’s Blade Two speakers (incorporating four 6.5-in drivers) and reference application, in addition to Q-Motion wireless shading.
A highlight amongst offerings from brands on display in the dedicated product area – including Sony, HDanywhere and Sanus – was the 65-in ‘wallpaper-thin’ W7 TV from LG. AWE’s LG specialist noted that after an interim period of trialling curved models, the distributor is now seeing a “phenomenal” response to the manufacturer’s latest TVs like the W7 in the marketplace. For clients looking for even more impact with their TV, Sony’s powerful 100-in ZD9 HDR TV was on display in the main showroom space, and caught the attention of many attendees.
AWE furthermore introduced the high humidity weatherproof technology behind new partner VideoTree’s mirror, bathroom and outdoor TV line – offerings from brand’s three IP66-rated lines include its Hyper-Illusion XT mirror, Picture Frame Mirror TVs and Lifestyle in-walls.
The latest upgrade to URC’s Total Control platform (2.0) had its first UK showing to integrators at the event, following its US debut at CEDIA in September, lining up against the ‘mainstream-targeted’ MX HomePro system. Improvements include a full graphical update, cross-pollination across devices and increasing personalisation of the system by room or scene, as well as enhanced accompanying controllers.