It's already daylight saving time where I live. Did your PVR / Media Server / Home Automation Controller know about the change? A minor headache if not ... but a headache none the less. The more spoiled we become ... the more spoiled we want to become and the more dependent we get on technology. I'll leave it to philosophers to decide whether that is a good thing or not.

Editorial Comments

Bob Hetherington | HomeToys

I hope you enjoy the issue. If you would like to participate by contributing an article for the next one please don't hesitate to let me know (news@hometoys.com). If you are not ready yet but want to be reminded of future opportunities then sign up for our Author List.


What a day. I'm looking outside to a pure blue sky and the feeling that spring has arrived after a windy stormy day yesterday. Sorry if you aren't there yet ... but have faith ... it's coming ... soon :-) And it's already daylight saving time where I live. Did your PVR / Media Server / Home Automation Controller know about the change? A minor headache if not ... but a headache none the less. The more spoiled we become ... the more spoiled we want to become and the more dependent we get on technology. I'll leave it to philosophers to decide whether that is a good thing or not. Personally, I like it. Mind you I also thought the slide rule was an incredible convenience when I was at University ... and the microwave ... forgetaboutit!

This month we have a great variety of articles as usual. Regrettably we're almost at the end of Steve Faber's series with Home Theater Design - Part 9. Maybe we can talk him into more.

For those of you into the installation game, George Wilkinson has produced Systems Integration Procedure - Part 4 which goes into the nitty gritty of integrating the hardware and software systems. Before this gig I was in the commercial building commissioning game. The complexity of the systems are not that much different and for sure the time pressures are the same.

Another nice bit of help for installers is A Solution to the NID Nuisance - Tips on how to run cable through the wall to the outside Network Interface Devices by Grayson Evans

Parks Associates has been a HomeToys supporter since day one and they always provide top notch analytical articles for us. For example Managing the Digital Home by Kurt Scherf provides great insight into new opportunities for service companies to expand into the residential technical help market. But I think my favorite Parks article of all is Digital Hell by John Barrett. This could be a biography of Bob ... seriously. John describes his experience with Home Technology ... good and bad. I think I have experience each and every one of the quirks that John has. If you think it won't break ... give it to Bob :-(

Next up, an article by Mark Hazen of Intellon. Back to wires? How did that happen? discusses HomePlug AV. 200-Mbps through the electrical wiring system. I just can't figure out why this technology is so slow to catch on ... or am I missing something? Would it not make sense for all of our electronic equipment to communicate through the home wiring system ... talk about plug and play ... wouldn't that be the ultimate? No wires ... no wireless ... no brainer!

A new guy on the block for us has provided an excellent article About RJ Jacks. Tom Moore dwells in a miserable place that has no springtime weather at all. In fact it has no winter or fall either. Hawaiian Summer all the time :-(  Mahalo Tom ... and thanks for this very informative article. I'm not jealous ... honest.

One of my favorite writers has again given us a bunch of things to think about. THE Insider (who could it be?) sent in 3 new features:

Insider #76 - Digital Rights Mgmt. - Keeping the Treasure Hidden or Opening the Mountain

Insider #78 - Blue is here to stay - Blue is Here to Stay…That's Not Pulp Fiction!

Insider #79 - The Undersea Internet World  - Crisscrossing the underwater land masses are hundreds of puny little fiber optic cables that carry our stuff from one country to another.

But what happened to #77?  Is it an unlucky number? Is it Bob's age? It's a pretty good golf score that's for sure.

More series articles for your pleasure: Classic Home Toys  #9 - Colecovision by James Russo and for those into Programmable Logic Controllers, Eugene Kowch has written us a library over the years and here is his latest PLC - Memory Backup.

With HDTV and beautiful flat screen technologies taking hold, the demand for peripheral equipment to optimize the experience has grown. We have several articles to show for it including:

  • The Shrinking HDTV Antenna - The challenge for most HD antenna manufacturers will be improving antenna performance while making them smaller and less obtrusive. Richard Schneider 

  • Ten Reasons to Buy a Video Processor - Video-processing technologies are essential in order to achieve outstanding picture quality for today's high-resolution video displays. Anchor Bay

  • Power How-To #3 - The amplifiers for today's home theaters are designed to deliver this vast increase in power; however, when the fast dynamic peaks prevalent in music occur, the power supply is momentarily taxed or stunned.

  • Improving Home Theater Performance - Think of the power conditioner as the bloodline. Anything less than the best will only lessen the vitality of your system. John McDonald

Our business is supported by Advertising revenue as you know. I'm an engineer by profession and I've had to learn about it on the run so I always appreciate advice from the pros. Here is some from EVOK - Adjust Your Brand's Halo and Let it Shine. I can't emphasize enough to our clients how important branding is these days. The CE marketplace is huge and it's easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Lastly, we have a bunch of product reviews in this issue from various sources:

I hope you enjoy the issue. If you would like to participate by contributing an article for the next one please don't hesitate to let me know (news@hometoys.com). If you are not ready yet but want to be reminded of future opportunities then sign up for our Author List.
 

Bob Hetherington


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