Onkyo Receiver With Pandora Support

Onkyo's new TX-NR807 Home AV Receiver allows users direct access to Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius Internet Radio, vTuner streaming radio services, or access MP3, WMA, FLAC, Lossless, Ogg Vorbis, and AAC files from any computer or storage device with it included Ethernet port. The TX-NR807 has six HDMI 1.3a inputs, 1080p video upscaling of all sources using the powerful Faroudja DCDi Cinema processor chip. On the audio side it has a full suite of surround processing, including lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The Onkyo TX-NR807 is one of the first receivers to incorporate Audyssey DSX technology, which allows the back surround channels to be retasked for front-wide speakers to expand the width of the sounds stage, or for front height speakers to provide vertical ambiance effects. The receiver also includes Audyssey MultiEQ room calibration technology, plus that company's Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ processing. Dolby ProLogic IIz processing is also included to provide an alternate implementation of height channel technology.

New Logitech Harmony 900 With RF

The Logitech Harmony 900 is similar to the existing Logitech Harmony One but adds both a charging station and RF to IR control adapters. The remote itself is PC programmable; has excellent button layout and design that now includes new Blu-ray-centric buttons; and a high-resolution LCD that offers a touch-screen interface and touch-sensitive buttons for navigation of onscreen menus. The Logitech Harmony 900 will retail for $400 and Cnet has a detailed review of the until and they declared it hands down, the best universal remote control they've ever tested.

Engadget's Cedia 2009 Predictions

Engadget has a run down of what they expect to come out of Cedia 2009, mainly focusing on what Microsoft and Windows Media Center. Predictions include a DISH Network Tuner, a Zune video store for Windows Media Center and Windows 7, Blu-ray's Managed Copy support and new cable cards from ATI and others.

Worlds First 7200RPM Two Terabyte Drive

Hitachi has just announced the Deskstar7K2000, the first 2TB hard drive to run at 7200rpm. The drive uses the a standard SATA II interface, has 5 platters, 32MB of cache and is Energy Star-rated. Hitachi didn't reveal pricing, but said they will be shipping the drive immediately.

Furniture LED Kit

LIT's Underglow LED lighting kit let you morph any piece of furniture into a colorful new canvas. Just secure the color-changing LED tube(s) to the bottom of your furniture, plug in to an outlet, and set them to the color you want. The included remote control lets you select your colors of choice, or program the LEDs to cycle through colors gradually or step through them one at a time. The basic LIT Urban Underglow kit sells for $209.95 (USD) and includes a 37-inch RGB LED tube, mounting hardware, power supply and a wireless remote control for changing colors.  Additional tubes available in 37-inch ($87.95) and 19-inch ($74.95) segments, which can be joined together for larger installations. There's even a rechargeable battery pack available for wireless installations ($64.95).

Crestron New Low-Cost Prodigy System

Crestron has announced the release of their entry level automation solution aimed at competing with Control4's pricing. Prodigy requires no system design, no wiring and no expensive installation. The Prodigy Composer software guides the integrator through a few simple steps using basic drop-down menus and check boxes. The software provides all the logic and creates touchscreen interfaces automatically in the background. The wizard is intuitive so anyone can get a system up and running in minutes without any training. The system starts with the ZigBee-compatible (802.15.4) PMC2 controller and PLX2 two-way ZigBee remote sold as a package for $700. For a whole house solution Creston is offering a $5,500 sample system which included four zones of audio, one thermostat, 15 wireless light dimmers/switches and an in-wall touchscreen.

Panasonics Plasma Crowned King Of HDTVs

Trusted HDGuru Gary Merson says the Panasonic TC-P54V10, a 54-inch plasma 1080p set, is "the new king of HDTVs." The next level up from Panasonic's well received G10 plasma line, the series uses the same NEO PDP panel but adds significant features including three color modes (up from two), user-controlled gray scale setting, 96Hz refresh rate for 24Hz sources and a thinner profile. The set is available now in 50," and 54″ diagonal screen sizes, with the 58″ and  65″ versions due sometime in August. HDGuru has a full in-depth review of why this is the new go to replacement for Pioneer's discontinued Kuro plasma HDTVs line.

$999 1080p Projector Available In August

Vivitek announced that they will be releasing in their new H1080FD projector for only $999. The H1080FD features full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, 1800 ANSI lumens, 5000:1 contrast ratio and it'll will based on the Texas Instruments' S450 chip / light-engine design with Dark Chip II technology. Other features include two HDMI ports, composite / S-Video / component inputs, an RS-232c control connector and a 12v trigger. The company plans to have the projector ready for purchase sometime in August.

Compact Foldup Barbecue

The new Plek 66 is a folding compact barbecue grill with side shelves, designed for the space conscious homeowner and can be attached to the wall or take small footprint in a garden, porch or balcony. Once folded the barbecue looks like a rather thin rectangular box. Rocal made the most out of this compact design, incorporating a double grill and a large charcoal container. The integrated side shelves provide all the space you need and accommodate anything related to grilling. The bottom drawer holds charcoal and is combined with a storage compartment where you can keep various utensils including meat tongs and shovel for charcoal.

Cityscape Blinds

A simple but cool idea. Elina Aalto's cityscape blinds are perforated black out roller blinds that allow light to seep through the small cut out holes creating an image of a city by night. The cut-outs represent the light in the windows of apartment buildings and office complexes in the city. Source.

Tube Amp With USB And SPDIF Inputs

Neuhaus Laboratorie's T-2 Amplifier has to be one of the first vacuum tube amplifiers with digital inputs. The amplifier has a built in digital-to-analog converter so audio is sent to the amp in pure unaltered digital form from your computer. The DAC is Windows and Mac compatible. The amp outputs 20W x 2 with a frequency response of 10-30KHZ, output impedance of 4ohm-8ohm and harmonic distortion of 1.5%(1KHZ). MSRP is $795.00 and Neuhaus Laboratorie's website has more pictures and video of the unit here.

Cablox Cable Organizers

The Cablox is a 4×4 inch square covered with plastic nodules. Peel the back and stick it to the desk or wall and you can thread cables through and have them kept firmly in place until you need to move them around. Priced at $20 for two but currently only available on this Danish online retailer.

LaCie's LaCinema Rugged HD

LaCie's new LaCinema Rugged HD is a 500GB, USB-powered external hard drive that can also output 1080p video to a TV over HDMI. The LaCie LaCinema Rugged HD hard drive will be available for $349.99 from LaCie's website soon. Additional features include composite and optical A/V connectivity options with supported for MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (AVI, VOB, IFO, ISO), MPEG-4 (AVI, XviD), H.264, WMV9, and VC-1 video codecs.

Speaker Block Painted With Fireworks

The AUX Level speaker by Italian brand Outline is a simple minimalist amplified 2.1 speaker designed for mounting below your wall mounted flat screen. 100cm wide but only 16cm tall and 20cm deep and features a 400-watt amp with the subwoofer section covered by two specially designed 5" drivers set in a shared side slat bass reflex design. Available in simple black or for an additional fee you can have artist Roberto Muscinelli give it a one of a kind paint job using fireworks and paint.

Version 1.0 Of VLC Media Player... Finally

The well-regarded open-source VLC media player has finally reached version 1.0.0 - over eight years after its original release. Overall it is the same solid application capable of playing just about anything you throw at it, but also includes improvements in playback control and support for AES3, Dolby Digital Plus, True HD/MLP and Blue-ray Linear PCM. VLC 1.0.0 is available as a compiled program for various Linux distributions, Windows (2000 or later), and Mac OS X (10.5 or later).

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Smart Bulbs are out there and they can do far more then just provide light. Speakers, projectors, wi-fi extenders and more. The standard light socket that is wired up and ready to go in nearly every home in North America is now providing an easy and affordable option for home owners and renters alike to enter into the world of the "Smart Home". Here is a look at some of the Smart Bulbs and Smart Lighting options out there, and this list is just the beginning. In this ongoing article we hope to continue to add to and grow this list, so stay tuned!