EDITORS CHOICE 17.05.16

Product Spotlight: Outdoor AV Solutions

Outdoor AV is becoming a growing sector in EMEA and custom integration manufacturers across the region have taken note. Here's a look at a selection of solutions that have found success with both integrators and home owners.

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Crestron's AIR Landscape Speaker System
Crestron’s AIR Landscape speaker system is a great way of taking Crestron outside with you onto your outdoor terrace, pool or entertainment space. The speakers offer uncompromising audio quality with additional sub for those looking for some depth. Unimposing and weatherproof, the two-way speakers (available as 4in. and 6.5in.) provide sound quality to rival any indoor speaker. Designed as a pair, they are adaptable and can be either wall-mounted or staked into the ground with fully adjustable positioning.
Made of durable metal and including an underground security plate to deter theft, the speakers come in a dark bronze textured finish but are customisable and can be painted to blend in with surrounding landscape or architecture depending on the end-users requirements.
Each speaker can be operated at 8 Ohms, 70 or 100 volts. Also known as ‘constant voltage’, 70V and 100V speaker systems allow for long wire runs using small gauge wire, and provide the potential for connecting numerous speakers per circuit.
The Crestron AIR IGS82T In-Ground Subwoofer completes the package by providing rich deep bass. Its compact, watertight enclosure sits below the surface of the ground, keeping it hidden from site with just the port tube visible. The port tube is topped with a dome-shaped cap in the same dark bronze textured finish as the speakers which again can be painted to fit the style of the outdoor space.
The AIR IGS82T is a passive in-ground subwoofer, employing dual 8in. woofers for tight, controlled bass. Power handling is 200W (program) at 8 Ohms, with a frequency response of 38Hz to 150Hz (±3 dB) and usable low-end range down to 25Hz. Its built-in 150Hz low-pass filter allows the AIR IGS82T to be driven by a full range power amplifier without requiring a separate external crossover.
Using its internal transformer, the AIR IGS82T may be operated at 70V or 100V, allowing multiple subwoofers to be connected in parallel and driven by a single high-powered 70- or 100-volt power amplifier.
In addition the speakers and subwoofer all include a short length of direct-burial wire that is permanently attached and routed through the mounting base for a clean, reliable installation. Crestron


 

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Monitor Audio's AWC All-Weather Speakers
Monitor Audio’s new AWC all-weather speakers have been designed to perform in the most demanding of environments. Rated to IP55, each speaker is impervious to water and salt spray with the rear encased to resist the ingress of fine particles. All of the materials used in their construction are designed to operate and to be stable throughout an extremely wide temperature range.
The black speaker cone features Monitor Audio’s C-Cam (Ceramic-Coated Aluminium/Magnesium) technology and produces the highest levels of audio performance. EPDM (an extremely durable synthetic rubber membrane) barriers are applied to ensure a waterproof seal is made between the speaker and the wall or ceiling. The low profile (trimless) grilles are made from high-grade stainless steel and fixed using special non-corroding rare earth magnets, providing simple installation and a clean appearance. Gold-plated push terminals, protected by a silicon rubber guard, enable a quick connection.
There are four models in the range and two driver sizes  — 6.5in. and 8in.  — both complemented by ‘single speaker stereo’ (T2) variants. The 1in. (25mm) Gold C-CAM tweeters provide incredible levels of resolution, reminiscent of the best-in-class Monitor Audio home audio products. Single speaker stereo options can be used where the setting doesn’t allow for proper stereo or space is at a premium. Monitor Audio


Stealth Acoustics Patio theater movie
Stealth Acoustics’ Patio Theater
Launched to the European custom installation market at Integrated Systems Europe 2016, the Stealth Patio Theater is a complete weatherised outdoor cinematic system. Fully protected from outdoor elements, the Patio Theater combines a large high resolution, high-brightness, LED screen with Stealth Acoustics’ award-winning outdoor speaker and amplifier technology. Via a silent lift automation, the screen rises from the custom designed enclosure.
The Stealth Patio Theater provides a new market opportunity for European custom installers. End users can enjoy watching live TV, sports and films outdoors during the daytime or in the evenings. Unlike re-purposed and often delicate indoor projectors and screens, SPT systems are specifically designed to cope with the unpredictable nature of the European climate and still deliver a reliable performance.
The Stealth Patio Theatre reproduces vibrantly bright and colourful images, even in broad daylight. Combined with its dynamic, full-range, multi-channel surround sound, it recreates a full movie theatre experience in the customer’s own back garden.
There are various options available for the enclosure. Custom built units are available to match any outdoor furniture the customer already has, allowing custom installers to specify an entertainment system that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is powerful. Stealth Acoustics


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Origin Acoustics’ AcoustaScape
The first offering in Origin Acoustics’ new outdoor living brand, AcoustaScape, is the AS41 Hi-Fi Landscape Audio System that provides integrators in the EMEA a modern full-frequency outdoor music option that is just as flexible in price as it is in system design and performance.  With an affordable price tag slightly higher than hi-fi bookshelf speakers and its ability to perform in yards small or large and in any climate, the AS41 opens the sliding glass door for high-resolution audio in every outdoor environment.  Whether it’s 5-square-meter terrace constantly being pummeled with rainfall or a full 230-square-meter desert oasis facing 46˚C temperature, AcoustaScape has a use case for every job.
The AS41 system is just the right size for the average backyard in the EMEA, starting off with four 2-way speakers complete with stake mounts and a bass augmenting 8in. in-ground subwoofer.  Additional pairs of speakers are sold separately to accommodate larger spaces.  The flexibility allows for increased affordability when a full layout of eight speakers is not needed on a job.   
The AS41 is planted around the perimeter of large spaces, normalizing the output regardless of the listener’s position in the yard.  Two-way drivers on the stake-mountable speakers are complemented with an 8in. burial subwoofer fulfill a variety of musical tonics with pleasant bass.
Finished with a camouflage weather-proof coating, the plantable garden speakers and in-ground subwoofer embed themselves right into a variety of landscape settings, leaving a “mistakable” shrouded impression in garden foliage.  AcoustaScape


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James Loudspeaker’s AT Series Satellite Speakers
Based on feedback from EMEA (and US) integrators serving clients in extreme hot/cold climates such as Dubai and Norway, the James Loudspeaker AT Series (All-Terrain) outdoor satellite speakers were engineered using aircraft-grade aluminum grilles mated to aircraft-grade aluminum enclosures, structural frames, woofer cones and dust caps. The woofer surrounds employ Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV), a costly material which has proven to be dependable for flexible engineered parts that require long-term performance in extreme climates. These are extreme measures compared to conventional plastic outdoor loudspeaker solutions, however the AT Series has proven reliable in extreme cold and heat where competitive products have cracked or failed mechanically. For further longevity, James Loudspeaker employs a proprietary extreme powder coating to the exterior of the AT Series satellites, making them the most rugged outdoor product offering available in this market segment.
James Loudspeaker AT satellites come in both 70V and low impedance mode (4/8 ohm) for seamless integration into any outdoor system. Regardless of scale and application, James Loudspeaker offers a durable, superb sounding landscape audio system. Heavy-gauge aluminum 12in. and 18in. in-ground spikes as well as tree mounts are also available separately.
AT Series speakers are available in an array of 15 standard colors to match the tree line, house finishes, decking, or the various garden colors. James Loudspeaker also offers custom colors that are available at an additional charge. James Loudspeaker


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Garvan Acoustic’s SA210 Speaker
The SA210 Speaker has been designed to provide installers with a stylish solution which is also extremely flexible thanks to the advanced technical features, and it doesn’t need to be installed in-ground so it may be placed as well on solid surfaces like pool decks, hard floors, terraces, etc.
The SA210 is equipped with the Garvan-developed G-Bass technology, which involves the use of a waveguide, operating two speakers optimised over a specific frequency range. This allows for a linear response over the entire sound spectrum. Furthermore, this technology offers enhanced bass response while maintaining a very compact body (28 x 25 x 25 cm) and with no need for an additional subwoofer.
The acoustic lens placed at the base ensures a 360-degree sound diffusion. This, combined with a 100W RMS and 200W MAX power rate, enables installers to get a wider sound coverage with respect to traditional speakers, also reducing the number of parts to be used, especially for medium- to large-size installations.
The round lines and chamfered corners of the SA210 Speaker make it an object of design to be highlighted and not hidden, as it usually happens with garden speakers. Because of this, it is available in various standard colours (white, green and grey), with COR-TEN effect finish or lacquered in any RAL colour. Garvan Acoustic


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NEAR’s NEARSCAPES Outdoor Speaker Systems
NEARSCAPES 4.1 and 2.1 systems both eature small (14cm W x 26cm H x 16cm D) satellite speakers (four in the 4.1 system and two in the 2.1 system) and a subwoofer. The satellites can be either surface mounted with the supplied ball and socket style brackets or mounted to the ground with supplied ground stakes. The NEARSCAPES components are dark brown “mulch” color, allowing them to nearly disappear when installed in mulched gardens and wooded areas. The subwoofer mounts in-ground for minimum visibility and maximum bass performance.
To satisfy the need for sound in more areas and to increase installation efficiency, NEARSCAPES’ system dispersion is 120-degrees, twice that of “spotlight” style speakers. The NEARSCAPES 4.1 system covers 280 square meters while the NEARSCAPES 2.1 system covers 140 square meters. Fewer speakers mean lower visibility as well as less wire, less labor and less installation time.
Each system can be either a low-impedance or 70/100 Volt amplifier. When run in 70/100V mode, each speaker and subwoofer can be set to a different power setting using the built-in multi-tap transformers. This feature allows Integrators to “sculpt” the sound to put the right amount of sound in each area to fit the client’s needs.
For maximum audio performance the satellites use 10cm metal alloy diaphragm woofer and 25mm metal diaphragm tweeter, both mounted flush with the baffle; the subwoofer is 25cm for superior bass output. All NEAR models are designed to meet or exceed the stringent Mil-Std-810 (Humidity, Salt Air, Heat, Cold, Immersion); and IEC IP X5 durability standards, making them totally weatherproof not just “weather resistant.” Near Loudspeakers


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Apollo Enclosures’ Outdoor TV Solution
Apollo offers outdoor enclosures that give the appearance of an outdoor TV rather than a big bulky box or plastic container.  Apollo currently offers four popular model sizes that will fit most LED/LCD TV’s from 39in.  To 65in. and will look and perform like an integrated outdoor TV, yet provides the flexibility of an enclosure.
Built to house and protect slim line LED/LCD TVs and signage displays, this enclosure is designed with Apollo’s proprietary outdoor feature-set that protects the customer’s TV from the daunting forces of nature. The enclosures are designed combining a powder coated lightweight aluminum body with anti-reflective safety glass that protects the customers LED/LCD TV and improves contrast while significantly reducing ambient reflection. Apollo’s TightSeal technology securely seals and protects the customers LED/LCD TV from rain, snow, dirt, insects and other outdoor elements. The down firing sound ports, sported at the base of the enclosure, effectively maximize the audio capabilities of the TV.  The 9ft. outdoor rated power cord provides the necessary safety for power in the outdoor environment and the included 3ft. high-speed HDMI cable and coupler provides a convenient patch cable to for easy connection when attaching to the mount, where cables are ready to connect. The water-tight cable cover secures the proper seal against all cables. The internal climate of the enclosure is stabilized with a thermostatically controlled air circulation system that keeps the housing cool in temperatures up to 122° F (50° C). An internal power bank has three outlets for the TV, fan control and optional accessories (such as baluns, heater modules, media boxes, etc.). Included with each enclosure is a choice of a weather-proof mounting solution (articulating, non-articulating or adjustable height ceiling mount) for a complete environmental package. er the option to choose the best TV or display for their application.
Available accessories include a thermostatically controlled heater module for areas of high humidity or where temperatures dip below 0°F (-18° C), modesty frames for framing in the smaller size TV’s in the enclosures for a more custom fit appearance and dust covers to preserve the aesthetics of your enclosure for years.
Apollo Enclosures are sold exclusively through its dealer and distributor resellers.  Apollo Enclosures


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Duratek’s Professional Outdoor Screen Enclosure
Constructed using a high-density polyethylene and featuring a 6mm polycarbonate viewing screen, Duratek’s Professional Outdoor Screen Enclosure protects expensive screen equipment from weather damage, vandalism and theft.
The molecular structure of the polyethylene enclosure gives it protective properties capable of withstanding extreme heat and extreme cold, enabling it to be used in any climate. Meanwhile, the viewing screen offers protection that’s up to 10 times stronger than glass, and aids crystal clear screen viewing from almost every angle.  
The Professional Outdoor Screen Enclosure allows for greater flexibility for integrators and end-users. Available in three size formats – 42in., 42-55in., and 55-72in. – the enclosure can accommodate almost any screen currently available on the market, greatly increasing the screen options available.
Equally, in the event that a screen comes to the end of its usable life, the easy-access design of the enclosure means that screens can simply be swapped out and replaced, minimizing screen downtime and cutting costs long-term, a value-added feature when factoring in return on investment (ROI).
On a practical level, the enclosure can be self-installed, which saves times and money. For integrators and end users, this removes the hassle of having to coordinate with suppliers for installation. The enclosure is delivered ready to use, which for integrators means reduced lead times and for end users, screens are up and running on schedule.
Duratek’s Professional Outdoor Screen Enclosure can be shipped in bulk and promptly, an advantage for projects with tight deadlines and requiring the installation of multiple screens. Duratek