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Look, Listen, Learn: Must-Have Gadgets Abound at 2008 CEDIA Expo

Imagine a fantastic, outsized home-entertainment toy store, although nothing is for sale-that’s the CEDIA Expo, the Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association tradeshow, where manufacturers exhibit their newest, most cutting-edge audio, video, home theater and custom electronics products. In 2008 the show floor covered over 500,000 square feet of exhibits, including demonstrations of the aforementioned products plus demos of entire home audio/video distribution systems-even central vacuum and home security systems. CEDIA is somewhat like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas every January, but considerably smaller and more focused on custom home electronics.

CEDIA Expo attendance was approximately 25,000, down slightly from 29,000 last year, and much less than the typical 125,000 attendees at CES. Still, it seemed as if all 25,000 people were on the show floor at the same time; it was a zoo, difficult to walk in a straight line without stumbling into someone. But if you want to be dazzled with the latest and greatest home electronics, CEDIA is the place to be. The event started in the late 1980s as a small show dedicated to custom electronics and has since grown to include almost any home entertainment product or electronic accessory that plugs into the wall. This year’s edition was held Sept. 4-7 at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.

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