Florida to join New York in lawsuit against major LCD makers for price fixing

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said on Tuesday he is suing the world's biggest makers of liquid crystal display screens for engaging in a "conspiracy at the highest level" to fix prices.  McCollum's announcement came days after New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a similar lawsuit on Friday, alleging a decade of price fixing by major Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese LCD makers and by their U.S. units.  In a statement, McCollum, who like Cuomo in running for governor, said records subpoenaed by his office indicated the defendants organized the conspiracy "at the highest level of their organizations in various secret meetings and telephone conversations over a period of years." Among the defendants are well-known international LCD makers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, AU Optronics Corp, Hitachi Ltd, LG Display Co, Sharp Corp and Toshiba Corp, the Florida attorney general's office said.  It noted that some of the defendants and their employees had already been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice and had paid over $890 million in criminal fines. Source - Reuters

THX has teamed with Blufocus to offer 3D certification

THX Ltd. has teamed with BluFocus , a quality assurance and advanced testing facility for the home entertainment industry, to build an ecosystem of services to address the technical challenges of 3D post-production. THX®-BluFocus 3D certification sets authoring and production guidelines and testing procedures for evaluating 3D Audio-Video quality, 3D Blu-ray disc and player Interoperability, and the physiological effects of 3D on home viewers.  One of the biggest reported concerns among consumers is experiencing fatigue from 3D video and glasses. THX and BluFocus are researching root causes of viewer fatigue to better understand the physiological effects of 3D. The goal is to work closely with content producers to implement best practices and guidelines for all 3D elements, including onscreen characters, objects, graphics and subtitles. THX-BluFocus certification also evaluates how 2D-to-3D conversion adds depth to the picture, and whether this added depth causes any creative errors or flaws that deviate from the storyline or may cause fatigue.

Keynotes at CES 2011 Announced

Verizon Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2011 International CES. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2011 International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, will be held January 6-9, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Seidenberg will deliver his CES keynote address at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 6, 2011 in the Hilton Center, following a State of the CE Industry keynote address delivered by Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.  Microsoft's Steve Ballmer will give a preshow keynote address at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, in the Las Vegas Hilton Center. Additional 2011 CES keynote addresses will be announced in the coming months.  The 2011 International CES will feature 2,500 global technology companies unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across 15 major product categories including the latest in audio, automotive electronics, connected home technologies, digital imaging, electronic gaming, entertainment/content and more. For more information on the 2011 International CES, visit CESweb.org .

Sidney Harman of Harman Media has purchased Newsweek from the Washington Post Co.

Sidney Harman of Harman Media has purchased Newsweek from the Washington Post Co. for what is said to be $1 plus assumption of all obligations such as leases which are rumored to be around 30 million dollars.  Harman, 91, made his name in high-fidelity stereo equipment, founding Harman Kardon premium audio company in 1952. But he became a high-profile philanthropist and author on such topics as quality of working life, productivity and education. He earned a PhD in education in 1973 and founded the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University. In Washington, he is a trustee of Shakespeare Theatre Company. He is married to Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

Panasonic buying Sanyo and other unit for $9.4 billion

Japan's Panasonic Corp plans to buy out subsidiaries Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works for up to 818.4 billion yen ($9.4 billion) to strengthen its push into greener businesses. The world's No.4 flat TV maker will raise up to 500 billion yen in a new share issue to help finance the buyouts, sending its shares down as much as 11 percent. Under President Fumio Ohtsubo, Panasonic has been shifting away from low-margin home electronics products and investing more aggressively in solar cells, batteries and other energy-related areas which offer promising growth prospects. Panasonic said making the two subsidiaries wholly-owned would allow it to more effectively allocate management resources across the group as well as speed up decision making amid growing competition from overseas rivals.

Runco introduces 3D-ready Signature Cinema projectors

Runco has introduced the latest in high-end luxury projection with its new Signature Cinema™ SC-50d and SC-60d. With the introduction of the SC-50d and SC-60d, Runco has expanded its line of custom built personal cinema projectors, the Signature Cinema Series, and solidified the company atop the high-end luxury home theater market. The SC-50d and SC-60d join Runco’s legendary SC-1 and offer the best cinematic experience available for the most sophisticated private cinemas. As the buzz about 3D movies escalates in Hollywood and sports, and broadcast content becomes more readily available, discriminating homeowners can be assured the best in 3D at home is still to come. Runco’s SC-50d and SC-60d will provide integrators with 3D-ready projection that can support multiple formats including Active3D using active shutter glasses or passive-glassed-based solutions. In the coming months, additional 3D capability will be available from Runco which will be completely compatible with implementations of the SC-50d and SC-60d. Both the SC-50d and SC-60d are coupled with Runco’s PremierCare™ service program providing on-site calibration and two years of ongoing support from the Runco team. Runco’s Signature Cinema SC-50d and SC-60d will be available in Fall of 2010 with an MSRP of $88,995 and $98,995, respectively. Optional lens, CineWide™, CineWide™ with AutoScope™, and 3D accessories are additional costs.

Philips Pronto Goes Vroom With New User Interfaces

Philips Pronto, has launched a sleek new user interface to compliment the company’s line of controllers. The new interface, which is currently available to Pronto dealers, allows integrators to easily configure personalized and custom user interfaces for their Pronto controllers. Because the new UI seamlessly integrates with Pronto’s ProntoEdit Professional software, integrators can get a custom look without spending hours in the design process. The five new interfaces mimic the dashboard and design elements of some of the most popular luxury and performance vehicles on the market, down to the smallest detail.

CEDIA 2010 News has already begun rolling in to HomeToys.com's newspage.

Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI) is officially the first of what will be hundreds of companies to submit a CEDIA related Press Release for publication at HomeToys.com this year. Stay tuned for the special CEDIA 2010 Newspage that will go online in a few weeks and will help you keep up to date with all the goings on at this years show which will take place Sept 22 – 26 in Atlanta. Click here to view all the current press releases and CEDIA news as it comes in.

Roku to share iTunes music thanks to MP3tunes

Roku has added the ability to play iTunes music through its home multimedia box through a tie-up with MP3tunes. Users can pass both audio and playlists, and don’t need to set up a home media server of any kind. Those with an MP3tunes locker can upload between 10GB and 200GB of their iTunes library and access it from the Roku box even outside of a local network. MP3tunes already lets users stream their iTunes or other music libraries to devices such as iPhones, Android phones and now a TV or home entertainment system. Once songs are on MP3tunes, tracks can be played by artist, type, playlist or shuffled by default. Album art is displayed on the user's TV when the music is playing. Along with the announcement, Roku and MP3tunes are offering a bundle that includes a $20 discount on a Roku HD or Roku HD-XR and a free, premium 50GB MP3tunes account.

RedEye Mini from ThinkFlood now on sale for $49

You've heard about it for months, and now the universal remote that looks nothing like a universal remote is finally on sale in 52 nations. Thinkflood's RedEye Mini -- which simply plugs into the headphone jack of your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch -- can now be procured for $49, and when used with the gratis app in the App Store, can control anything in your home entertainment setup that accepts IR commands. ZDNet was fortunate enough to get a little hands-on time with the device, and their early impressions are quite positive. In fact, they recommend skipping the Harmony hoopla and heading right for this if you're already an iDevice owner (who doesn't use an imposing case or Bumper), and at a buck under a Grant, we certainly aren't in a position to argue. Read a recent press release from ThinkFlood here. Engadget source.

Axpona 2011 To See First 3d High Def Music Video

Axpona a high performance audio show, set for April 14-17 in Atlanta, will include the first demonstrations of the new AIX “3D Music Albums” heard through state-of-the-art audio equipment, according to Mark Waldrep, Ph. D., founder and chief engineer of AIX Records. AIX Records had a celebrated demonstration of High Definition Audio/Video on standard Blu-ray discs at AXPONA 2010 and has just completed shooting several music video albums in state-of-the-art 3D video and high definition audio that will be released in the new Blu-ray 3D format. The music performances were captured using uncompressed PCM at 96 kHz/24 bits PCM and the video was recorded at 1080p/30 and will be made compatible with Blu-ray 3D at 1080p 23.98 fps. Read Full Release here.

Nucleus The First Product in GE's Smart Energy Suite

GE's Nucleus brings the promise of the smart grid into consumers’ homes. As utilities deploy smart meters, the Nucleus will collect and store a consumer’s household electricity use and cost data for up to three years and present it to consumers in real-time using simple, intuitive PC and smart phone applications, helping consumers monitor and control their energy use. Nucleus is the first product in GE’s Brillion™ suite of smart home energy management solutions that will help consumers control their energy use and costs. In addition to Nucleus, GE’s Brillion suite will include a programmable thermostat, in-home display, a smart phone application, and smart appliances for the entire home.

How to Promote Your CEDIA Expo 2010 Booth

If your company is exhibiting at CEDIA Expo 2010, I’m sure by now your team has had discussions that begin with the question, “what are we going to do to get people to our booth?” By now, I’m pretty sure you’ve come up with some awesome ideas ranging from product or cash giveaways (SWAG), special promos on your products or services, booth “babes”, beer (always a crowd pleaser!) and food, etc. All of these are great ideas and I’m sure we’ll see some even more creative ideas at this year’s show, but maximizing your efforts goes beyond simply ordering promo goods. What are you doing to make sure attendees to the show know about them in advance and make sure they make time to visit your booth? See a couple of Scott Moody of Marketing Matters tips here.

D-Tools Announces 2010 Project:SUCCESS Winners

D-Tools, Inc. is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 D-Tools contest, Project:SUCCESS. This contest recognized excellence in system integration projects utilizing D-Tools System Integrator software. D-Tools held the contest in May 2010 to pursue SI5.5 users’ greatest success stories about how the software has positively affected their business and returned a significant ROI. Success stories of some of most distinguished system integrators were submitted by the D-Tools user base. The contest is sponsored by D-Tools MVP Partners Atlantic Technology and Universal Remote Control. The winners were selected by the D-Tools Executive team and were judged on a number of criteria, including originality, project complexity, use of D-Tools’ software, and which stories best communicate the user’s expertise of the software. Click here to see the winners.

The Zero-Emissions Dice Shaped House

The Dice House looks like part of a Monopoly set, but the design has real-world ambitions. The 30-by-30-by-30-foot concept home, designed by the British architecture firm Sybarite, improves on standard building tech to erase its carbon footprint. The centerpiece is a photovoltaic umbrella dome that collects roughly 90 percent of the house’s energy needs. Made of a common plastic, the pillowy dome traps heat like a greenhouse. That hot air warms water in a tank tucked under the roof, turning out a daily average of 80 bath-ready gallons, even on the darkest days of December. At the umbrella’s apex, a generator-equipped turbine produces electricity and, in chilly months, drives heat into the house. Photovoltaic cells studding the 484-square-foot dome floor create additional electricity. Generating an estimated average of 33 kilowatt-hours per day, the house can power itself and charge a Tesla Roadster.

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