Content Insider #94 - Creating, Storing Information, Memories Is Easy…Finding It? Dam!

Who's worried about the writers' guild strike? There's more out there than you can shake a stick at...darned stuff is everywhere ! Music...there! Video...there! Movies...there!!! School/market research...there! We know you grab it all. Big problem? Finding the D*** stuff after you've got it -- even your own stuff !!! We need software that keeps track of it all. Then we'll quit making copies...duplicates...copies of copies...

Home Connectivity and Green Energy

Renewable energy will be a significant component of our future energy picture -- distributed generation from PVs to wind turbines and storage systems for electricity and cooling. These systems will increasingly be installed in our homes, together with smart electricity meters. While these can provide useful functions on their own, their true potential will only be realized when all of these devices are connected with each other along with other devices and appliances such as white goods and lifestyle, security and entertainment systems

HomePlug Command & Control (HPCC): A Green Energy Enabler

In simple terms, HPCC creates a command and control network in the home using the existing power lines as a means of communication (PLC). This not only offers the advantages discussed here to utility providers but also allows consumers the ability to control their home, remotely. HPCC's energy efficient applications, such as networking thermostats in homes and demand control, remote management of high power appliances, etc. ensure a more environmentally friendly future. HPCC also provides a consumer the option to allow the utility companies a measure of control to lower your thermostat for you. The result is a more efficient use of resources as well as consumer friendly incentives such as low tariff periods, competitive pricing, more accurate billing, etc.

How to Get Your WiFi Signal Where You Want It

Keep the WAP as centered as possible in the living spaces where remote/portable devices will be located. Keep the antennas vertical! You want the signal to spread horizontally. Also, mount the WAP above eye level. There is just less stuff higher up to absorb the RF. If you put the WAP down low, the signal has to pass through furniture, people, dogs, etc. Keep it away from AC ductwork. This means not mounting it too high.

How to use lighting to increase the value of an HT system

With the addition of some accessory lighting, you can improve the picture quality, see your equipment without turning on annoying room lights and enjoy your system more. In fact, it might look so good you will submit it to the next CEDIA contest and take first place! We've all seen the addition of soft, reflective lighting behind the TV, but why? Beyond the cool effect, is some visual science that says ambient light improves viewing by reducing contrast and eyestrain. Studies show that ambient light helped reduce difficulty in focusing and eye strain. A small amount of soft room lighting, ideally splashed on the wall behind/around the video screen, also goes a long way to improving the picture quality.

Integrating the Old with the New

"Absolutely not." Those were the first words my husband, Blake, uttered when I showed him my "find"; a two-story, ninety-eight year-old house in Sanders Beach. "But Honey, look," I coaxed. "It has the original wainscoting, and check out the columns and the coffered ceilings!" Blake shook his head and pointed at the kitchen cabinets, which, along with the "Harvest Gold" stove, dated from the MacArthur era. Then he turned my attention to a large section of the ceiling that had rotted away to dust. I waved off his concerns. "We can fix all this. Just think how beautiful it could be."

ISE 2008 News Report

Hundreds of product announcements from the Integrated Systems Europe tradeshow.

KEF Five-Two Series Home Theater Speakers

I fired up one of my favorite CD's (which I have listened to hundreds of times). These speakers took the music to another level altogether. I was blown away at how they added an unbelievable depth of sound. I expected a slight tinniness at a high volume but there was nothing of the sort to be heard. All in all I would definitely recommend these speakers to those of you like me who feel intimidated by most speaker technology out there. With these you get all the sound of a complete surround sound system in two very attractive towers. And setup is a breeze.

Moving Beyond the Cineplex: Impactful Home Theater through Tactile Technology

Tactile technology promises to deliver personalised, realistic impact through aesthetically pleasing (hidden) design, and straightforward integration without jeopardising our family's hearing. When choosing between types of tactile device, customers should select products based on discerning need-to-performance analysis. Frequency range, flatness of frequency response and efficiency are all important considerations. Other factors include uniformity of motion, power requirements, gain and level control, interoperability with control systems, and cost.

Professionally Designing and Planning Wireless Networks

New Tools for WLAN Simulation and Installations Not only mature components and new standards, but also modern planning and diagnostic tools make WLANs suitable for industrial use. This in turn permits more efficient mobile working in administration, production and logistics through continuous network availability with sufficient data rates throughout the company. A poorly planned network will suffer from gaps in coverage, areas with poor signal quality, slow response times, poor voice fidelity and disconnected calls in telephony over WLAN, and inadequate throughput capacity overall.

The Camcorder Shopping Crisis

It is harder to pick out the right Camcorder than ever before. In the last couple years, the options have exploded. Now there are all kinds of media capture formats to consider. In addition to the good old digital videotape format, we now have camcorders that record video to solid state flash drives, to tiny spinning hard drives, to optical media like DVD. Confusing. Even worse, they all work well.

The Digital Television Revolution and the Need For Video Processing Technologies

With the emergence of HDTV, there is often a mismatch between the signal received and the aspect ratio and native resolution of a display. A display's aspect ratio is essentially the shape of the screen. Two common aspect ratios are 4:3 (universal for standard definition) and 16:9 (universal for high definition). Depending on the display, the 16:9 signal might have to be displayed on a television with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and vice versa. This can lead to image loss, particularly on the sides, and requires aspect ratio conversion for a complete picture.

Web Services for the Digital Home

The role of Web Services in the digital home is guaranteeing interoperability among devices, services and systems involved. Web Services generally provide communication and coordination infrastructure to digital home systems which may have minimal computational ability for interoperation. Interoperability in the digital home is achieved between components and services offered when they are capable of transparently collaborating on a particular service that they provide to the home user. Interoperability is the central cohesive source of support in digital home systems.

What's Under Your Desk? Solving the Power Cord Pretzel Problem

Green Plug believes the time has come for a reusable, multi-port power supply that can provide a universal power interface for all electronic products. The company is also taking a stand for setting a worldwide DC power standard. At CES 2008, they debuted a new electronics component chip - called the Green PlugTM Universal Power Protocol (UPP). The chip enables real-time collaboration between electronic devices and their power sources for the first time, using a secure, digital protocol.

802.11 Debugging Made Easy

This article covers 802.11 installation and troubleshooting tips for the professional custom electronics installer, but is applicable to any wireless network installation done professionally.

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BDA-1 External DAC from Bryston - The Absolute Sound Golden Ear award winner

BDA-1 External DAC from Bryston - The Absolute Sound Golden Ear award winner

The Bryston BDA-1 is a state-of-the-art external Stereo DAC (digital to analog converter) using fully discrete Class-A proprietary Bryston analog circuits, two independent linear power supplies and dual Crystal CS-4398 DAC chips. The BDA-1 features an impressive array of inputs for USB, COAX, OPTICAL, AES-EBU and BNC equipped digital devices. For audio outputs, the BDA-1 offers both balanced XLR as well as unbalanced RCA stereo connectors on the rear panel.