Go from clueless to competent with home-theater crash course

I’m talking, of course, about the holy grail of the living room: the home theater. I’m here now to pass this knowledge on to you. Although a lot has changed since I slogged through miserable shifts, pretending I actually like talking to strangers, a lot of the basic tenants still hold true.  Think of this as a survival guide; you’re going to want to do your own research and ask your own questions, but what follows are some very important considerations and points of understanding. By the time you’re finished reading this, you should have a better sense of what to look for while shopping around; at the very least, you’ll understand what “contrast ratio” means. Don't pay attention to contrast ratio: Since I did just promise I’d explain this, contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest a television can display and the darkest. If you’ll recall your middle-school science class for a moment, white and black are at opposite ends of the color spectrum. A television’s contrast ratio is the measurement of the luminance ratio between the two. Put simply, the higher the number, the deeper, more realistic a TV’s picture should be. Higher contrast ratio sets can generally produce more colors and more accurate colors. You’ll see contrast ratio plastered all over TV specs (usually written as 1:X). The problem is, there’s no standardized measurement for contrast ratio.   Read Full Article.

Home automation company Control4 shares make trading debut

Shares of Control4 Corp., a Salt Lake City-based company that provides home automation systems, made their trading debut on the Nasdaq stock market Friday morning. The company, which was founded in 2003 and has automated more than 120,000 homes since then, sold 4 million shares of its stock for $16 each, raising $64 million. At the close of trading Friday, the company’s shares were $20.05, up $4.05 (25.31 percent) per share for the day. In midday trading, the company’s shares were up $3.40 over their initial offering price, or 21.25 percent. "This is one important day of many more to come," said Martin Plaehn, Control4’s president and chief executive. "There are tens of millions of families that can benefit from our technology and our goal is to connect the devices in those homes so they can all work together and improve people’s lives."

Why LG Bypassed Specialty Retailers on OLED TV Launch

LG Electronics USA is bypassing the specialty CE channel to give Best Buy's Magnolia stores a jump on selling its new CURVED OLED 55-inch TVs. LG launched the set at the Magnolia Design Center in Best Buy's flagship Richfield, Minn., store on Monday. While consumers can see and order the $14,999 OLED TV at the Richfield location, the sets won't begin shipping for a few weeks. Best Buy will roll out the TVs at Magnolia stores in nine cities - including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle and San Antonio - during the summer.   James Fishler , senior vice president marketing LG Electronics USA, said the OLED TVs will be available to specialty dealers "in a couple of months." He would not provide a specific timeframe or say which dealers would have access to the sets. The Magnolia stores, he said, are one of the best venues for LG to introduce its new TV technologies. "It's hard for manufacturers to get credit for enhancements in picture quality," Fishler told Dealerscope before the unveiling of the CURVED OLED TV at the Richfield Best Buy. "That's why we decided to partner with Magnolia, because they have the staff that can help explain it and simply showcase it."  

Can Boosting Cell Signals Boost Your Business?

Much of the demand we see for signal boosters is for commercial buildings that are so well built that the cell signal can't penetrate inside. In most situations, we're able to quickly and easily install these systems with little or no disruption to the daily workflow and without unsightly equipment.

The ZigBee Home Automation Standard

ZigBee was created with the vision of enabling connectivity and sensing and control capability to every day devices. The Internet of Things is now becoming a reality as the growth of devices being connected is largely fueled by low cost, low power, scalable networks in homes and buildings.

Projector System Principles and Practices

Lamp-free projectors are now main stream with brightness up to 6500 lumens and in the long run they will provide a reduced operating cost in terms of lamp replacement and labor as well as power consumption.

Integration of VRV / VRF Air- Conditioning Systems and Home Automation / BMS Controllers

VRV and VRF Air-Conditioning systems are more sophisticated in their control systems incorporating built-in communication, unlike the traditional Central and Split AirConditioning systems that typically incorporate only a basic form of on/off control logic.

Zigbee and the "Really Smart" Home

The Real Smart Home consists of sentrollers - sensors, controllers and actuators like motion sensors, temperature sensors, smoke detectors, humidity sensors, leakage detectors, light sensors, etc., are all connected to the internet. Cloud based apps receive this data and compares it with expected or desired values, and then transmits a signal to the home actuators which control the various systems.

The Next Great Thing: Chasing Innovative Products is a Long, Hard Trek

The boss' challenge is to figure out which are the good ideas and which are great ideas. But the real innovator? It's the customer … he/she/they determine what idea is insanely great and which is…

Mini-EMS System Offers Mega-Savings

Monitoring and programming thermostats in a home can be tedious, in a modern commercial building it's time consuming, and at multiple commercial location the task is nearly daunting.

Monetization of Connected Homes

The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of new market entrants; rising consumer demand and willingness to pay; potential areas for growth; and select business models used by the industry to optimize revenue.

Guide to Home Automation

Like a remote control, Home Automation can give you the power to control your security system, door locks, lighting and temperature at any time, from anywhere!

Some Home Automation Systems Are Rife with Holes, Security Experts Say

A variety of network-controlled home automation devices lack basic security controls, making it possible for attackers to access their sensitive functions, often from the Internet, according to researchers from security firm Trustwave. Some of these devices are used to control door locks, surveillance cameras, alarm systems, lights and other sensitive systems. The Trustwave researchers plan to discuss vulnerabilities they discovered in several such products during a presentation Thursday at the Black Hat USA security conference in Las Vegas. One product analyzed by the Trustwave researchers is called the Insteon Hub and is a network-enabled device that can control light bulbs, wall switches, outlets, thermostats, wireless Internet Protocol (IP) cameras and more. "When you first set up the Insteon Hub, you're asked to set up port forwarding from the Internet to the device, so basically you're opening up access to it to anybody from the Internet," said David Bryan, a Trustwave researcher who reviewed the device after buying one to use in his house. The Insteon Hub can be controlled from a smartphone application that sends commands to it over the local network or the Internet, he said. When inspecting the traffic coming from his phone over the Internet and into the Insteon Hub, Bryan discovered that no authentication and no encryption was being used. Furthermore, there was no option to enable authentication for the Web service running on the Insteon Hub that receives commands, he said. "This meant that anybody could have turned off my lights, turned on and off my thermostat, changed settings or [done] all sorts of things that I would expect to require some sort of authorization," Bryan said. Attackers could use Google or the SHODAN search engine, or could perform port scans, to locate Insteon Hub devices connected to the Internet, Bryan said. Insteon, the company in Irvine, California, that manufactures the device, was notified of the issue in December, according to the researcher. A new version of the product that uses basic authentication for the Web service was released in March, he said.

3D TV autopsy: Did it finally die, or was it never alive to begin with?

If you were shopping for a TV three years ago, you were probably bombarded with all kinds of talk about how cool 3D was and how it was the “next big thing” in TV viewing. Movies and sports would never be the same again, with characters and players popping out of screens and into your living room as if they were right in front of you. It’s now 2013, and 3D is but a footnote that barely measures up to smart TV features and the looming 4K Ultra HD resolution TVs. It all begs the question: Why didn’t 3D ever take off the way it was expected to? There is no single answer to that question, but a variety of factors may have led to 3D’s seeming irrelevance. During CES 2010, 3D was all the rage on the show floor, and it seemed like an ideal situation for manufacturers and consumers, alike. It was relatively easy for TV makers to incorporate into flat-panel LCDs and plasmas, and it wasn’t going to cost consumers a premium to get the extra dimension onscreen. This may have looked like a perfect storm, but once you got past the action, it was all smoke and mirrors. The introduction of 3D TVs around 2010 came smack dab in the middle of the fallout from the financial crisis, and TV sales were already flattening before the first 3D flat-panels could hit retail. With only a slight bump up in price and the promise of a flurry of 3D content, manufacturers thought this was the ticket to spurring more growth and churning dollars out of your wallet. Read Full Article:

ZigBee Home Automation Standard Version 1.2 Ratified

The ZigBee® Alliance, a global ecosystem of organizations creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications, today announced that an update to ZigBee Home Automation has been ratified and is now available for product development. The new version is fully interoperable with the earlier versions of the standard.  ZigBee Home Automation is the industry leading standard helping to create smarter homes that enhance the comfort, convenience, security and energy management for the consumer.  ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 adds several important new features that improve the battery life for security sensors to over seven years, standardize pairing of devices and simplify installation and maintenance for consumers and custom installers alike. These features have a significant impact on operational and device costs to service providers and quality of service to consumers.  ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 includes enhancements to functions in devices such as door locks and support for additional devices including smart appliances and electrical measurement devices. The standard incorporates new features resulting from a collaboration with the Energy@home initiative, an Italian collaborative and ZigBee Alliance partner, which will benefit consumers by integrating new devices and raising consumer awareness of energy usage without necessarily connecting to an electric utility. 

Records 1201 to 1215 of 4034

First | Previous | Next | Last

Featured Product

Luxul - Not just a router, it's EPIC

Luxul - Not just a router, it's EPIC

The network is the foundation on which modern entertainment, security, control and automation systems are built. The new Epic series of routers from Luxul are designed to help integration professionals build that foundation and deliver a great customer experience. The router is a critical piece of every network-connecting a local network to the Internet, controlling traffic and providing security. With the release of its new Epic series, Luxul has redefined the router, adding capabilities that make it far more than just a traditional router. In addition to being high-performing commercial grade routers, the Epic series offers a platform for optimizing the user experience in smart homes, workplaces, retail establishments and more. This experience is delivered through Luxul and third-party applications running on the Epic platform.