CEA?s Mark of Excellence Awards honors the most innovative custom home electronics products, services and installation technologies. They will be handed out at the Electronic House Expo (EHX) in Orlando Florida next week. Among the 25 categories up for recognition as best of the year are: Audio Product, Green Product, Human Interface Product, Media Server, Security Product, Video Product, Multi Room Audio Video, Luxury Home, and Retrofit Project.

Two contenders for the Wireless Product award are Crestron Electronics with the PTX3 Prodigy Handheld Touch panel, and Wilson Electronics with the AG Pro 75. The AG Pro 75 is a dual band, cellular signal booster for a stronger cellular signal and larger coverage for large buildings, touted to be installer friendly. It can be configured with several Wilson cellular antennas to fit most building installations. It sells for $999. The PTX3 from Crestron controls music, TV, lights, and temperature wirelessly from its crisp color display together with the Prodigy Media Controller.

Custom GUI's for the iPad by Mobile Pro G
Custom GUI’s for the iPad by Mobile Pro G

Crestron Electronics is sure to come home with one or more awards, as the company is named in at least 10 of the 25 different categories. It is also vying for the Software Application award with its Mobile Pro G which works on the iPad to select movies, music and TV in any room or adjust volume, light levels and room temperature by simply touching the screen. It has a standard GUI design with selectable backgrounds or you can customize the interface to suit yourself. Crestron won Platinum last year with its WorldSearch which quickly locates and plays a movie, song, Internet TV show or on-line video from your media library and on-line media content providers. Last year, in the Wireless Product category, Crestron fell to second behind Platinum Winner LG Electronics which won for its Network Blu-ray Disc Player.

System Integrator 5.5 - SI5.5 by D-ToolsOther companies in the running this year for best software application are D-Tools with System Integrator 5.5 (SI5.5), and Remote Technologies (RTI) for a Virtual Panel. System Integrator 5.5 is aimed at companies involved in system integration. It generates proposals and system designs, and includes project management and reporting tools. The RTI product lets you control and monitor your electronics with a control processor from a PC running Microsoft Windows. Their interface is also customizable with full two-way feedback from electronics and IP security cameras from either a local or remote networked PC with an Internet connection.

This year, a couple sure-fire first place winners sit alone as nominees in the categories of Specialty Projects, Integrated Security, and Universal Design. Respectively they are: Home Entertainment for a Vegas Style Sports Bar/Game Room; Link Your House for the Dixon Estate; and Futuristic Home for the Zinberg Project.

Electronic House Expo, is a Tradeshow Week magazine that has sponsored the event for the past five years. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is a trade association that promotes growth in the US consumer electronics industry and sponsors the well-known and popular CES International gathering in Las Vegas.