Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI)

Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) is a consumer electronic standard for a wireless HDTV connectivity throughout the home. WHDI revolutionizes the home multimedia experience by wirelessly delivering interactive HD video from any device to any display. WHDI is supported and driven by AMIMON, Hitachi Ltd., LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung Group, Sharp Corporation and Sony

Using Wi-Fi Signal Mapping Technology as a Sales Tool

As any network installer knows, Wi-Fi is not an exact science and requires a certain amount of know-how to deliver reliable and seamless coverage. Wi-Fi users can be demanding, and oftentimes skeptical about the value being delivered. This being the case, what if you could show a customer a map of their entire building, complete with a graphical representation of actual wireless coverage?

iKare FamilyLink

With aging in place becoming ever more popular, friends, relatives and caregivers are increasingly interested in ensuring their charges or loved ones are safe, while ensuring their privacy and independence. From a business perspective many custom installers are now reporting that they earn more than half of their revenue from seniors. iKare offers a both a valuable service for families and caregivers, as well as a sound business opportunity for custom installers.

Streaming Wars Heating Up

  It seems a day doesn’t go by without the announcement of a new music or video streaming service. Of course, many of them never get off the ground, but new developments among the heavy hitters are about to make things interesting. Netflix has returned to profit —albeit at a lower figure than last year; however, this can be partially attributed to expenses it has incurred expanding into non-US markets and creating its own Content Delivery Network (CDN). No doubt, the loss of subscribers after its recent price hike is still hurting the bottom line, but subscribers are growing. Besides alienation a large percentage of its customers, Netflix now faces several real and present dangers: RedBox, HuluPlus and Amazon. RedBox has begun alpha testing of its RedBox Instant streaming service with its partner, Verizon. Partnering with Verizon may help in the short term, but will cap growth unless subscription is extended to the general population. Two weeks ago, the Amazon Instant Video app was released on the iTunes App Store. With thousands of titles available from Prime Instant Video at no additional cost with an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon’s instant video service is gaining ground rapidly. Recent exclusive content deals (The fringe and West Wing) will also hurt Netflix who seem to be plagued by stale content. Last, but by no means least, HuluPlus is now available on AppleTV. One day Apple will wake up and realize the AppleTV could be as successful as the iPod and iPhone. Last quarter’s sales topped out at 1.4m and the current installed based is now estimated at about 6.3m. That’s a lot of potential HuluPlus subscribers. (Since HuluPlus appeared on the AppleTV, I signed up . Prior to this, I never found what I consider to be a usable interface on my many streaming-capable devices.) I predict stormy waters ahead for Netflix; better dig out the lifejackets!    

Ultimate Projection Mapping Display

Many of us—knowingly or not—have seen large scale projection walls with pretty good mapping and edge blending, Not many of us have seen as setup with 44 projectors, having a combined brightness of 840,000 lumens and covering a surface 600ft wide x 351ft high. This impressive display was put together by Obscura Digital to celebrate the United Arab Emirates National Day.   Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Projections from Obscura Digital on Vimeo .

Going Big on Healthcare AV and IT

If, as an AV professional, you still scratch your head from time to time wondering why InfoComm and the InfoComm Board spend so much time and resources on things like standards, industry innovations, and ANSI-accreditation of the Certified Technology Specialist program (or even if you don’t), I’d like you to meet Kate Berry. We talk a lot about the AV industry having a more prominent seat at more prominent tables. Kate is the type of person AV professionals can expect to meet when they commit themselves to standards and raising the overall profile of the industry. Recently, Kate joined InfoComm officials on a trip to the University of Central Florida’s new high-tech College of Medicine to check out the school’s AV and IT systems. She is CEO of the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC). And her organization is joining InfoComm in launching a first-of-its-kind conference on the intersection of AV and IT technology in the healthcare market. Full Interview here:

Digital signage now part of AAA hotel ratings

AAA recently updated its diamond rating system for North American hotels — and included digital signage as part of its rating evaluations.  The organization revamped its "Approval Requirements & Diamond Rating Guidelines" for lodgings, the blueprint for assigning ratings of one to five AAA Diamonds following successful on-site inspections at more than 30,000 hotels throughout North America. Digital signage and self-service kiosks, and how they contribute to hotel atmosphere and services, were among the considerations noted in the inspections, AAA said. "Traveler expectations and travel industry capabilities continue to evolve," AAA tourism information development director Michael Petrone said in the announcement. The new guidelines address changes that have occurred since the last update in 2007. With input from AAA's full-time hotel inspectors, AAA members and industry professionals, the updated guidelines reflect current AAA member expectations and travel trends.

The 21st Century Whiteboard

The whiteboard has been around for many decades, but advances in technology and working practices such as globalization and telecommuting, have given birth to a new market segment for interactive collaboration. In this article, we'll take a look at the options available when you decide to retire the trusty whiteboard.

Cloud-based Video Conferencing Service

With the ubiquity of good quality web cams and camera-equipped mobile devices, it should be as easy to setup a group video conference (regardless of platform) as a phone conference. With the ubiquity of good quality web cams and camera-equipped mobile devices, it should be as easy to setup a group video conference (regardless of platform) as a phone conference. Blue Jeans is blazing this trail.

All-in-One Versus Distributed (Conventional) Security Systems

The ability of the system to withstand physical attack is possibly the most significant difference between all- in-one and distributed systems. "It's possible for completely unskilled intruders to physically rip these systems out of the wall and smash them to bits,"

Case Study - Mighty Brighty Projection Screen Paint

It's not always desirable, or practical, to hang a projection screen in an AV installation. Mighty Brighty projection screen paint solves this problem by allowing virtually any surface to become an invisible screen.

Don't expect lower cost OLED's any time soon

  According to DisplaySearch, manufacturing costs for 55” OLED panels are 8-10 times higher than LCD. LG, who employ WRGB OLED on an IGZO substrate, will be able to do so for eight times the cost of a comparative LCD. Samsung, will be looking at a cost of ten times LCD for their direct-emission OLED. Although, Samsung can produce OLED at a 30% premium in small sizes (e.g. for phones and tablets), producing large panels still has comparatively lower yields and higher material costs. It will be interesting to see if Samsumg will be able to recoup that additional 25% at retail. With such a huge manufacturing differential, it’s hard to imagine that we’ll be seeing 55” OLED’s in stores for $10,000 before the end of 2012.

Sony, Sharp highlight Japan electronics woes

A profit warning from Sony and a massive loss forecast from Sharp have highlighted the depth of the problems facing Japan's consumer electronics industry, beset by an expensive yen and evaporating competitiveness in televisions. Sony, which is coming off a Y457bn ($5.8bn) net loss for fiscal 2011, on Thursday said that a promised rebound this year would be smaller than it initially expected. Sharp, meanwhile, widened its full-year net loss forecast more than eightfold, to Y250bn from the Y30bn it predicted in May, and said that it planned to eliminate 5,000 jobs -- its first workforce reduction since 1950. Japanese tech groups such as Sony and Sharp had invested heavily in production facilities for liquid crystal TV displays, only to find themselves unable to compete as prices for flatscreen sets plunged. The yen's 50 per cent rise against the currencies of Japan's trading partners since mid-2008 has made them that much more vulnerable to cheaper Taiwanese and South Korean producers.

33% of Cord Cutters Gone for Good

I’m a cord cutter, so I can relate to this. I don’t miss my $100+ per month cable bill and with prices set to hit $200+ per month by 2020 , I don’t think I’ll ever go back. In a recent survey by deal aggregator TechBargains.com , 33% of the 1604 respondents have already cut the cord and said they would never return at any price. The survey also found that 29% of respondents  are cord cutters, with 83% of those stating that subscription is too expensive. The remaining 17% primarily cited content being limited in quality and variety. At 74%, Netflix is the leading streaming content provider, beating YouTube by 13% I cut the cord a few years ago. It was a bit of a learning curve getting everything setup and there’s some upfront investment required, but it’s getting easier every day. Hulu’s recent support for the AppleTV is just another stepping stone to cord cutting nirvana. Cable companies are not sitting on their laurels. Most are now offering multi-room systems, home automation, cloud-based energy management and several hundred megabit download speeds to try and retain subscribers.

NPD DisplaySearch Revises Digital Signage Display Forecast

The global market for public displays remains strong, but in recent quarters, flat panel display manufacturers have emphasized revenue and profit over volume, thus lowering the overall unit shipment outlook for this category. As production of plasma displays continues to wind down, LCD-based commercial displays have yet to fully fill the void, according to the recently released NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report. With reduced production of plasma, the public display market fell 13 percent year to year; however, LCD public display shipments were up 23 percent year to year, according to the report. Forecasts still show strong growth, with the market set to push near 12 million units sold in 2018, an increase from just under 3 million units in 2011. Growth will be driven by new applications for public displays such as digital signage, interactive white boards, video walls, electronic menu boards, as well as the global trend toward urbanization in developing countries seen most visibly in China.

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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!