Trak Kit, Artcoustic Demo Decor-Friendly Mount & Speaker

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Prices start at $5,000 for a manual 10-foot Trak Kit system.

Glide your TV to any spot in the room with this flat-panel mounting system.


Oct. 23, 2008 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Imagine this dilemma: You have a view of Central Park through an oversized window in your living room. The sofa, naturally, faces the view. So what happens when you want to watch “Mad Men?” If you own a Trak Kit flat-panel mounting system, you can have ‘em both. Scoot the flat panel in front of the movie when you want to watch TV. Then send it back to its storage location when you’re through. You no longer have to position yourself for the sweet spot. The sweet spot comes to you.

The tracks that hold the TV install in the ceiling and come in 5-, 8- and 10-foot lengths with smaller custom lengths available as well. TVs move along the track and move from one location to another. They can even rotate if you want multiple viewing spots. The track systems can be motorized, too. You can manage all the movements using your controller from AMX, Crestron, Control4 and others to direct the TV to precise stopping points along the track.

The clever mounting solution is the product of Trak Kit, a New York-based company that specializes in what it calls mobile architecture. The company has been testing the system with architects over the past few years and is now building a dealer network to make the system available to residential customers.

Prices start at $5,000 for a manual 10-foot system. Add a motor and the price doubles. Two motors for rotating a TV tallies to $15,000. Speakers can also be mounted to the TV or to a specially designed backing. According to the company, the solution is an alternative to articulating mounts “with ugly hardware.”

Trak Kit demonstrated the system recently at a New York hotel in the same suite with products from Artcoustic, D-Box and Cinema Design Group. The event was sponsored by Castell Marketing, the manufacturer rep for the various brands on display.

Artcoustic was on hand with a new single-enclosure on-wall speaker called SuperStar (see below). The full-range stereo speaker has a small ledge that pulls down on the side for connection to an iPod. Built into the enclosure is a 150-watt-per-channel amplifier, along with a pair of 5.5-inch midrange drivers, 2 dome tweeters and a 10-inch subwoofer.

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Like all Artcoustic speakers, SuperStar is offered with custom grilles. Consumers can choose from Artcoustic’s catalog of 1,500 images or they can provide their own content. In addition, you can purchase an image from the Corbis catalog of professional photography.

Frames for the Artcoustic speaker are available in black, silver or white. Retail price for the speakers is $2,995-$3,495. Toss in another $600 for artwork.

D-Box also put on convincing demos of its Motion Code system at the mini expo. Using clips from animated movies, the demo showed the synchronization between select movie scenes and the motion controller used to trigger movement in D-Box motion platforms placed beneath theater seats. A freefall roller coaster drop in “Polar Express” produced a shaking sensation. Clips from “Happy Feet” brought out bumps and thumps.

“When you add motion, you bring a whole other dimension to the movie experience,” according to Michel Paquette, D-Box’s North American sales director. He noted that a popular misconception is that motion cues are a constant running through the course of a movie. Instead, a typical D-Box-encoded movie contains 15-20 minutes of motion cues. “We only add motion when it’s justified,” according to Paquette.

Currently, about 900 movies from Disney, Sony, Lion’s Gate and Fox are encoded with D-Box motion tracks. You can see if a movie has D-Box encoding by locating the logo on the back of the jewel case along with other brands such as Dolby and dts.

The next frontier? Video games. The challenge for engineers with video games is that action takes place in real time. Look for D-Box video game announcements at CES. Paquette says the company is working very hard on content from Xbox, PS3 and Wii. “Hopefully next year we’ll have titles,” he says.



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