The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced the winners of the 2011 Mark of Excellence Awards, presented by CEA’s TechHome Division. Winners were honored at an awards reception at the Electronic House Expo (EHX) 2011 in Orlando, Florida. CEA is the nation’s largest trade association representing the consumer electronics industry and CEA member companies include more than 500 installers and integrators of home technology. CEA’s Mark of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding achievement and innovation in custom home electronics products, services and installation. Award entries were reviewed and judged by an independent panel of industry experts in Supplier, Systems Integrator and Training and Support categories. Click here for the full list of winners.
Marchon3D™ today announced the new Marchon3D Ultraclips, an expansion of the M3D™ collection, which features a clip-on glass for prescription wearers. Prescription-wearers will have the ability to clip-on Marchon3D Ultraclips, which work simultaneously and smoothly with their prescription lenses for the ultimate 3D viewing experience. Using micro-magnets soldered directly onto the clips, Marchon3D's patented Ultraclips provide a superior fit with the patented, polarized M3D lenses. Marchon3D will launch the Autoflex line with the flagship Flexon® memory metal frame technology in six styles.
Panamax/Furman today announced that the company will be combining LiteTouch(R), a leading manufacturer of lighting control products, with its operations. Both companies are subsidiaries of the Home Technology Group of Linear, LLC. An industry leader for more than 35 years, Panamax delivers cutting-edge power management, monitoring, and control solutions engineered for professional custom electronics integrators. The Furman brand provides a wide range of power management solutions for musicians, audio professionals, and commercial A/V integrators, and it offers a line of high-performance power conditioners for audiophile-grade A/V systems and 220V-240V power management solutions for use outside of North America. Together, Panamax and Furman products give A/V systems the pure, noise-free power they need for superlative performance, providing longevity to the components connected by protecting them from damage caused by power surges and lightning. LiteTouch, a 30-year leader in the residential custom installation market, delivers robust lighting control solutions designed to be installed and custom-programmed by authorized dealers, certified installers, and distributors worldwide. LiteTouch lighting control systems are engineered for both new construction and retrofit applications, with features such as remote access, conditional event and custom programming, daylight harvesting, and a host of other energy-saving features. Both companies are increasingly focused on providing energy efficiency and energy management solutions. As a combined entity, LiteTouch and Panamax/Furman will move forward under the leadership of Panamax/Furman President Bill Pollock, located in Petaluma, Calif.
Microsoft's Kinect has become quite the hacking hotbed -- the fields of medicine, music, and even shadow puppeteering have all benefitted from the peripheral's incredible versatility. And now, to the delight of home automation nerds everywhere, an enterprising young hacker has rigged a Kinect to automate the lighting in his home. By positioning the camera bar in a corner to track his movements, connecting it to the automation controller, and coding on / off commands, he's able to control the lights throughout his geektastic domicile. The automation logic then turns on the lights when entering the room, localizes them according to location, and turns them off upon leaving.
Pioneer is building more bridges to Apple products in its mainstream A/V receiver (AVR) series. Four new mainstream-series A/V receivers include the company's first three AVRs certified by Apple to connect and charge an iPad (starting at $349), first A/V receiver with Apple's Air Play wireless audio-streaming technology (starting at $549), and first model (at $549) compatible with the new iControlAV2 app, which turns iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches into full-function remotes that control all features of the company's networked A/V receivers and Blu-ray players. The company promises to include the new Apple features in the rest of the A/V receivers that it will launch in the spring and summer, citing the high percentage of Pioneer AVR owners who own Apple products. More than 62 percent of Pioneer AVR owners own an Apple product, with 49 percent owning at least three Apple products, the company said. Twenty-six percent own an iPhone.
Facebook took some air out of the Netflix balloon when it announced its own movie streaming media service Tuesday. Working with Warner Brothers Digital Distribution, Facebook is testing a video service that will let users rent movies for $3, or 30 Facebook credits. The first installment of the trial is the 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight, and users can have access to the rental for 48 hours. The move was not welcomed by Netflix investors who see Facebook's 600 million-member social media site as a formidable challenge to company's $8-a-month video streaming efforts. Netflix shares fell more than 4% to $199.30 in early trading Tuesday. Given Facebook's immense reach and the apparent ease at which it can keep users on the site while they watch movies, the move certainly threatens the Netflix model. Not only does Facebook give the studios access to its vast membership, it can also deliver advertisers a big group of consumers with shared interests.
Stewart Filmscreen Corporation® is announcing its participation in the RealTime UnReal installation commissioned by the Museum of the Moving Image. The exhibit, RealTime UnReal, designed by Thomas Soetens and Kora Van den Bulcke of Workspace Unlimited, utilizes Stewart Filmscreen's Silver 5D material to demonstrate the pinnacle of modern 3D i capabilities. The installation addresses the fusion of physical and digital space, employing 2 stereoscopic projections on a double-sided projection screen and game engine software customized by the artists, capturing visitors in the physical space and displaying them in an imaginary world. The virtual world seems to occupy physical space like a sculpture in the museum, an alternate reality floating in midair. Walking around the virtual world alters its viewpoint, reveals impossible perspectives and simultaneous occurrences, and disrupts its architecture. Realtime Unreal challenges visitors to bridge the gap between what their eyes perceive and what their minds believe is unreal. "Stewart Filmscreen's Silver 5D screen was a essential component to the exhibit due to its wider viewing cone and increased center to edge brightness uniformity," stated Thomas Soetens, Director/Leading Artist of Workspace Unlimited. "The RealTime UnReal exhibit is an immersive, interactive display that encourages visitors to walk around the screen making the ability to have 3D off-axis viewing a necessity for the success of the project."
Audiovox completed its acquisition of Klipsch Group for $166 million. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Audiovox, Klipsch Group will operate as a stand-alone entity that will continue to be run by its current management team in its current Indianapolis headquarters, Audiovox said. Audiovox expects the addition of Klipsch to generate about $170 million in additional net sales and $25 million in EBITDA in fiscal 2012, which started March 1 of 2011. Revenue for the combined companies in fiscal 2012 will be around $730 million "with potential upside for growth based on market conditions and continued execution of strategic growth initiatives," the company added. Audiovox president/CEO Patrick Lavelle said the acquisition of Klipsch's worldwide properties "gives us entre into the high-end installation market at both the residential and commercial level." In addition to its top market position in the U.S., "Klipsch brands are recognized throughout EMEA, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific region, and we plan to continue expansion into other key international markets." Lavelle continued. He also said Audiovox intends to continue to support Klipsch's R&D capabilities and its quality reputation, both of which he described as "second to none." The purchase was financed through Audiovox cash and a new $175 million asset-based revolving credit facility.
You might say that the world simply doesn't need another streaming media device. And you could be right. But could we use another streaming media device that actually does something different and unique? Yeah, we could get into that. JetStream HD might be that device. Rather than being a software solution, this is actually a software + hardware combination. The product launched this week at DEMO Spring 2011, with a $199 box promising to change the way iPad users think about streamed content. In time, the product will be able to stream to iPhones, iPod touches and maybe even Android phones. The $199 box accepts an Ethernet cable, which is used to link it to a PC/media storage system in your home. From there, it can be connected to a wireless router. Than, any content on a home PC or server can be streamed to the iPad on-the-go, over the Internet. JetStream HD requires that users are authenticated via an iOS app, which ensures that only they can view the media. This enables remote access viewing of the content, and it works well with both Wi-Fi or 3G connections. Of course, 3G viewing will look a bit softer, but that's the nature of the beast.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced the finalists for the 2011 Mark of Excellence Awards. Presented by CEA’s TechHome Division to honor outstanding achievement in custom home electronics, winners will be announced at an awards reception on Friday, March 18, 2011, during the 12th annual Electronic House Expo (EHX). EHX 2011 returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, March 17-19, 2011. CEA’s Mark of Excellence Awards honor the most innovative custom home electronics products, services and installation technologies. Entries are submitted in Supplier and Systems Integrator categories, and reviewed by a panel of independent industry experts. Each category features Platinum and Gold awards for outstanding industry achievement. The Mark of Excellence Awards Reception will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Room W221, on Friday, March 18 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 and can be purchased online. Click to view the finalists for the 2011 Mark of Excellence Awards.
Elan has developed an aggressively priced demo system that dealers can use to demonstrate an Elan g! home-control system in their showrooms or in customers' homes. Dealers can also use the system to control all of the systems in a demo room. The system, which ships in preconfigured demo mode, consists of a controller, 7-inch touchscreen, 4-inch tabletop touchpad, HR2 remote, amplifier, two tabletop Sunfire speakers, a Panasonic IP camera, g! Pro Apps, and all parts needed to connect the products except for a TV, which is needed to demonstrate the system's on-screen display. The demo system is sold pre-configured in demo mode, enabling dealers to play music, view and control the IP camera, and demo all other system applications. The standardized icon-based interface runs across TVs, touchscreens, touchpads, PCs, iPhones and iPads. The system's IP backbone enables control from around the world.
Amazon.com said Tuesday morning that it has launched a video-streaming media plan for subscribers to its Prime service - in direct competition with Netflix Inc. "Competition is good for consumers and the studios, bad for Netflix," said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan, who carries a sell rating on Netflix shares. Amazon said it will allow subscribers to its Prime service the ability to stream unlimited, commercial-free movies and TV shows. The company said more than 5,000 titles are available through the service. Prime customers pay $79 a year for access to free, two-day shipping on most orders from the online retail giant. The video streaming service will be available free of additional charge to these subscribers, Amazon said.
Russound has announced, just two months after the Colorado vNet division was to be shuttered for a second time, that the brand has once again been revived. "Colorado vNet is back - stronger than ever! We're moving forward with the product line and have some exciting developments in the works," Charlie Porritt , CEO of both Colorado vNet and Russound, wrote in a letter Friday to dealers. He added that the revived Colorado vNet will add both an IP-based digital music streamer and iPad application.
By Joseph Palenchar -- TWICE, 2/18/2011 New York - Meridian America significantly scaled back its dealer base and product selection beginning in 2009 yet posted a 12 percent sales gain in 2010, CEO Peter Wellikoff told TWICE. Meridian grew by focusing more resources on fewer, more committed dealers and by taking more of a luxury position in the A/V market, he explained. With its greater focus on the luxury market, Meridian brought in new staff with a luxury-market background and opened up its U.S. headquarters here for use as a dealer showroom to demonstrate Meridian's high-end audio and video products to high-level business executives, athletes and actors who don't shop in retail stores, Wellikoff said. The company plans to make this strategy "bi-coastal," he noted. Meridian also began to support dealers whose high-profile customers want a demo in their own homes. For these dealers, Meridian flies out products and staff to set up and demo a system in the potential customer's home and let the homeowner live with it for a day. About 90 percent of the time, Meridian staff makes the presentation to the consumer, but the dealer sets up the appointment and profits from the sale. All home demos to date have closed a sale, Wellikoff noted.
Redbox, whose brick-red DVD vending machines are scattered across the country, is aiming to have a Netflix-like video streaming subscription service up and running by the end of 2011, company executives told investors this week. The development of the service has taken longer than expected because it has involved negotiations with several potential go-to-market partners, according to Coinstar CEO Paul Davis, speaking at a Feb. 16 analyst day. Coinstar is Redbox's parent company. "So we could have moved a lot quicker quite a few months ago had we decided to do this on our own," Davis said, according to a transcript of the presentation. "But we made a conscious decision as a team to not do it on our own because the price tag of doing that was prohibitive. We also didn't feel like we could have an offering working on our own that would distinguish ourselves and be a real winning proposition." Davis did not disclose which companies Redbox has been approaching about a partnernship. Separately, Amazon.com reportedly is readying a service that would stream 5,000 movies and TV shows members of its $79-per-year Prime free-shipping membership program.
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The WaterCop family of products continues to grow! We now offer Z-wave technology that allows remote control of a home's main water supply via phone or internet. It's perfect for people who want peace of mind that they can shut off water in homes from nearly anywhere using Z-wave protocol. Z-wave joins systems WaterCop Pro, LeakStop, WaterCop Classic, Outdoor, and Large Valve (1 ½"-4") Integration. Visit www.watercop.com to learn more.