Toshiba Unveils First Consumer 3D Flatpanel-TV Without Glasses

Toshiba today announced at CEATEC 2010, Japan's biggest consumer electronics show, its first commercially available 3D TVs that can be used without glasses. With the two TVs, one with a screen size of 12'' (30.5 cm) and another with 20'' (50.8 cm), viewers get a three dimensional viewing experience comfortably, without the need to wear 3D glasses. The products will be available by the end of December 2010 in Japan.  The newly developed technological innovation for 3D-TVs without glasses uses an integral imaging system. It provides nine different perspectives (parallaxes) of each single 2D frame which the viewer's brain superimposes to create a 3-dimensional impression of the image. Toshiba achieved this thanks to its engineers' huge knowledge of display technology and of semiconductor and software design. They developed a powerful engine and an algorithm to extrapolate these perspectives out of the 2D frame and used a perpendicular lenticular sheet, an array of lenses, that enable the viewer's brain to superimpose the perspectives. It also offers a wide viewing area in front of the display and allows movement of the eyes and head without disrupting the 3D image and without the discomfort sometimes associated with other 'glasses-less' 3D technologies.

Lutron Introduces Several New Energy-Saving Offerings

Lutron has unveiled HomeWorks QS home control, which provides increased energy savings, is easier to install and program, and which features greater integration capabilities, including lights, shades, HVAC and appliances. Energy-saving features include the ability to control LED and fluorescent light sources, occupancy/vacancy sensors that ensure lights are only on when the room is occupied, temperature control, a Green button which scales back lights, shades and temperature and a programmable timeclock to control lights in spaces where lights are left on.  The system is controlled via a new 4.2-inch touch interface panel. Also introduced is Lutron’sApple iPad app for its wireless RadioRa 2 control system. The app controls lights, shades, temperature and appliances for energy savings.The app will allow homeowners to monitor their system while away from home, control multiple systems from a single iPad, adjust energy-saving preferences and will be available on iTunes® starting in December.

Logitech Unveiling Google TV Product On Oct. 6

It looks as if Logitech will beat Sony across the Google TV finish line.  Sony recently trumpeted an October 12 event in New York City, at which the company will be revealing its Google TV-powered Internet TV. But now Logitech has scheduled its own Google TV event in Manhattan event six days earlier.   The invitation promises that "Google TV will be a new experience that combines TV, the entire Web, and apps--as well as a way to search across them all." The press conference will be led by Logitech's Executive VP of Products, Junien Labrousse. In other words, we should finally be getting all of the juicy details on the Logitech Revue --price, release date, specs--which was first unveiled at last May's Google I/O event.   Interestingly, the invite makes reference to Logitech's "line of products for Google TV," which indicates that the Revue may come in more than one version, or that Logitech has additional Google TV products up its sleeve.   Either way, this is certainly shaping up to be the biggest season for Internet TV products to date. Yet another reason you might want to wait--if only for a few weeks--before taking the plunge on a new Roku or Apple TV .

Sonos Adds Free iPad Controller App

The Sonos Controller for iPad is now available as a free app in the iTunes App Store. The application allows an end user to view rooms, music, and what songs are playing, all at once, and in landscape or portrait mode. Quickly search for your favorite artists by typing on the virtual keyboard and browse through albums by pointing and flicking.  “The iPad, with its large, vibrant touch screen, provides an excellent Controller user experience for music in the home,” said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos Inc. “In keeping with the tradition of getting better over time—and, at no cost to our customers—we’re thrilled to provide another free app that makes it fun and easy to search, find and play music in any and every room of their home.”  In conjunction with the new Sonos Controller for iPad, Sonos released Sonos System Software 3.3, a free one-button software update to the Sonos Multi-Room Music System. With Sonos 3.3, Sonos now supports AAC radio stations, adding to the more than 100,000 radio stations, shows, and podcasts you can stream directly on Sonos.  In addition, all Sonos customers in Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK now have instant access to ten million songs and all of their playlists on Spotify. Sonos Controller for iPhone 3.3 has been submitted to Apple and is pending approval.

Major Broadcasters Band Together And File A Lawsuit Against Online Video Startup Ivi.

The major broadcasters usually can’t agree on much, but they’ve agreed to band together and file a lawsuit against Ivi , claiming that the online video startup is infringing copyrights. The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York yesterday, aims to shut down Ivi’s video service, which retransmits over-the-air broadcast signals online .  Ivi’s system works by relaying live TV feeds from more than 40 broadcasters — including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and Telemundo — to online viewers. It claims to be operating under a legal loophole which says that cable and satellite companies can legally retransmit over-the-air broadcast content as long as they pay semi-annual fees to the U.S. Copyright Office. The startup says it has already applied to pay those fees, which are later distributed to rights holders.  It should come as little surprise that the broadcasters disagree with Ivi’s reading of the law, and have pressured it with cease and desist letters, calling for the startup to take down the online video service. That prompted Ivi to file a preemptive lawsuit against certain broadcasters last week.

Hulu Plus coming to Roku, TiVo Premiere

Roku today confirmed the murmurings of yesterday that Hulu Plus is coming to its trio of set-top boxes. Starting "later this fall," the $9.99-per-month service that brings on-demand movies and TV shows from NBC, Fox, ABC, and others will be available.  There is no extra fee beyond the standard Hulu Plus subscription.  This is, of course, not the only way to get Hulu on your TV: Samsung, Sony, and Vizio TVs and Blu-ray players, as well as the Xbox and PlayStation 3 will feed Hulu Plus to your TV screen, but those require a much larger purchase. Roku comes in three options now, ranging from $59 to $99. (And Roku takes about six minutes to set up.) It's also an interesting option compared with the new Apple TV. Apple rejiggered its set-top offering to feature a rental-only service for content, including 99-cent TV shows. But for those who prefer a flat fee from Hulu versus paying for every show, Roku is making itself an intriguing alternative.  Not to be outdone, TiVo issued its own announcement minutes after Roku's. Hulu Plus will also be coming to TiVo Premiere "in the coming months." It's the same deal, subscribers who pay $9.99 a month for Hulu Plus can add it to their TiVo Premiere box for free.

Bose VideoWave: 46-inch HDTV + integrated invisible speaker system = $5,349

Bose is known for squeezing big sound out of little speakers, often for a lot of money. It may have created the ultimate version of that formula in the new VideoWave Entertainment System, which combines an HDTV with virtual surround sound speakers built into the bezel and a single console that routes video from your set-top box, Blu-ray player, and game console to the set. The VideoWave has a 46-inch 1080p LCD as its foundation, and Bose then somehow manages to fit 16 speakers into the surrounding frame, including six woofers, which are automatically calibrated for your room via Bose’s Adaptiq system. It also comes with a click pad remote that has a few buttons to cover basics like volume or channel control, but then touching the pad lets you control devices via an on-screen display that surrounds the image. The console houses four HDMI inputs, a pair of component-video ports, a USB port, and the inevitable iPod dock.

RocketGUI Announces "Home Pilot" iPad based Whole-Home Control Solution

RocketGUI, LLC announced their new iPad solution designed for the mid- to high-end residential control system market. The new iPad software, named Home Pilot™, is unique because it doesn’t rely on a separate processor-based controller like other whole-home control system solutions. Instead, the control intelligence is integrated into the Home Pilot application itself providing the reliability of built-in control redundancy in multi-interface systems, plus an extremely powerful, fluid and engaging user experience.  Home Pilot can be installed on as many iPad’s as desired to provide convenient access to controls and information anywhere in the home.  Intuitive “home-base” style navigation makes for familiar control requiring little or no training to operate.  Home Pilot controls HVAC, lighting, shades, home security, audio sources like CD changers, music servers, and streaming music clients, and video sources such as Blu-ray players, DVD changers, video servers and streaming video clients. Home Pilot also manages whole house audio and video routing and distribution and more from an intuitive, unified interface.

ivi, Inc., Empowers Consumers to Cut-the-Cord and Turn On ivi TV - Live TV Online

ivi TV™ is making it easier than ever for consumers to cut-the-cord and free themselves from paying high cable bills for access to live television content. In an ever-increasing new consumer trend, they can now easily access popular TV programming by downloading ivi TV’s app from its website. The online cable system’s app transforms nearly any internet-connected device into a “TV” allowing the user to watch live TV anytime, anywhere.  At $4.99 a month for all major network programming, it is significantly cheaper than cable TV bills, which average $71.00 a month. As cable TV bundle pricing goes the way of the landline telephone business, ivi TV now delivers what consumers have been waiting for since the dawn of the Internet boom – live television over the Internet, without buffering or other issues often experienced at video on demand (VOD) sites, like YouTube.

Transform your Apple device into a universal remote control with the L5 Remote

Now that football season is here, do you find your friends, family members, and neighbors flocking to your house at kickoff time on Sunday afternoons? Check out the L5 Remote, a new device that can enhance the experience of watching the game (and clear that cluttered coffee table). This intuitive app and hardware combo for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch turns your Apple device into a touch-screen remote in a matter of minutes. Use it to channel surf on your Cable or Satellite box, operate your DVD player, control your DVR, and activate most other home entertainment devices. The L5 Remote offers a drag and drop design, which allows you to customize your dream remote by adding the buttons you want and deleting the ones you don’t. Upload your favorite designs, and download those that interest you. Who doesn’t want options? That’s why you can also transfer, share, and backup remote designs through the L5 Remote app. The product boasts a large capacity so your options for personalization are virtually endless; make as many 1,000 remotes, and name up to 100,000 buttons. The benefits of the L5 Remote go beyond custom remote designs and buttons. The device’s capacity for macro controls allows the user to create and activate a sequence of events with just one touch. Dim the lights, power on the surround sound, and click on the TV to your favorite team’s game, all with one simple click. Let the L5 remote consolidate your complex remote collection, leaving more time for tailgating and touchdowns. Aavailable now from www.L5Remote.com for $49.95.

Apple TV now shipping

Apple might still insist its TV box is just a hobby, but it's not messing around when it comes to shipping. Sticking to its original schedule, the MacBook maker has started sending out shipping notifications to the great and the good in the USA and Canada, with the earliest promised delivery being September 28. Those who've lightened their wallets by $99 can now look forward to a whole load of media streaming from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, and Flickr, though we might have paid the full price just for the sake of the integrated Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Do make sure to come back and tell us how awesome it is when you gets yours, won't ya?

CEDIA Expo Attendance Rises

This year's CEDIA Expo in Atlanta drew more than 20,700 attendees, which represented "modest growth" from last year's total. In addition, CEDIA said, 20 percent of the attendees were at CEDIA Expo for the first time. The Expo also saw a six percent increase in exhibitors from 2009, to 453. “The steady booth traffic, the increase in exhibiting companies, and the number of new attendees are all early indicators that our industry is poised for a resurgence,” CEDIA CEO Utz Baldwin said in a statement. “The product knowledge and education that attendees take away from CEDIA EXPO 2010 will help them take advantage of emerging opportunities and will position their businesses for continued success.”

Roku Takes on Apple TV

This week, Roku, a company based in Saratoga, California, launched a new lineup of video players designed to stream high-definition content from Internet destinations such as Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora. The cost will be $60 for a basic player and $100 for one that offers a variety of ways to connect to other devices. Both are equipped for high-definition playback. Roku was one of the first companies to stream Internet content to televisions; it released its first video player in May 2008. Since then, the market for Internet-connected set-top boxes for televisions has become much more crowded. Competition is intense because, along with free shows and clips, the Internet can be used to deliver premium, cable-like content. An Internet-connected set-top box can also be used to deliver ads that are closely tailored to viewing habits. "People are zeroing in on the same answer from multiple directions," says David Krall, Roku's president. Roku has about 700,000 users--far fewer than the number of Apple iTunes users out there--but the company hopes to attract users by offering lower-cost hardware and high performance. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 † This week, Roku, a company based in Saratoga, California, launched a new lineup of video players designed to stream high-definition content from Internet destinations such as Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora. The cost will be $60 for a basic player and $100 for one that offers a variety of ways to connect to other devices. Both are equipped for high-definition playback. Roku was one of the first companies to stream Internet content to televisions; it released its first video player in May 2008. Since then, the market for Internet-connected set-top boxes for televisions has become much more crowded. Competition is intense because, along with free shows and clips, the Internet can be used to deliver premium, cable-like content. An Internet-connected set-top box can also be used to deliver ads that are closely tailored to viewing habits. "People are zeroing in on the same answer from multiple directions," says David Krall, Roku's president. Roku has about 700,000 users--far fewer than the number of Apple iTunes users out there--but the company hopes to attract users by offering lower-cost hardware and high performance. † /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

Blockbuster finally files for Chapter 11

Blockbuster has had a rough few years, but this one has been especially painful. First, its shares were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. And now, as expected, it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization as it struggles to compete with online video-rental service Netflix and the rental-kiosk phenomena. Calling it "pre-arranged recapitalization," Blockbuster announced today that it has filed Chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The reorganization encompasses only the company's U.S.-based operations and stores that it wholly owns. International operations and franchises are not included in the filing, Blockbuster said. However, the reorganization does encompass quite a bit. According to the company, all of its stores, by-mail service, and streaming operation are included in the proceedings. Blockbuster is also planning to take a harder look at its operations. Although its 3,000 stores are still operating normally, Blockbuster said, it plans to "evaluate its U.S. portfolio." If and when it emerges from Chapter 11, Blockbuster expects to be in a better position to compete against Netflix and its other rivals.

Android App Coming for Home Automation

Blake Krikorian, creator of the Slingbox set-top, at the Sept. 22-26 CEDIA Expo 2010 in Atlanta will bow Google-based Android apps that allow users to control myriad home devices, including Blu-ray Disc players, televisions, media players and DVRs, from a growing array of enabled portable touchscreen devices. Home automation has quietly flourished due to the advent of the Apple iOS operating system that allows iPhone and iPad users to remotely manage a variety of third-party devices, including household lights, security systems, thermostat, oven, microwave, window shades and doorbells. Krikorian, who sold Sling Media to EchoStar in 2008, developed the apps, dubbed “R2,” for the Crestron home control platform. At CEDIA, Krikorian will showcase the apps on Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab, which sports a seven-inch screen, in addition to the five-inch screen Dell Streak. Unique to the Android app, which will be available on Google Marketplace this fall, is that users do not have to switch screens to manage separate devices. For example, if the user is watching a Blu-ray movie, has a home security system with video functionality, and the doorbell rings, a separate screen pops up identifying the visitor. TV volume can be controlled while reading an electronic book, among other functions. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 † Blake Krikorian, creator of the Slingbox set-top, at the Sept. 22-26 CEDIA Expo 2010 in Atlanta will bow Google-based Android apps that allow users to control myriad home devices, including Blu-ray Disc players, televisions, media players and DVRs, from a growing array of enabled portable touchscreen devices. Home automation has quietly flourished due to the advent of the Apple iOS operating system that allows iPhone and iPad users to remotely manage a variety of third-party devices, including household lights, security systems, thermostat, oven, microwave, window shades and doorbells. Krikorian, who sold Sling Media to EchoStar in 2008, developed the apps, dubbed "R2," for the Crestron home control platform. At CEDIA, Krikorian will showcase the apps on Samsung's new Galaxy Tab, which sports a seven-inch screen, in addition to the five-inch screen Dell Streak. Unique to the Android app, which will be available on Google Marketplace this fall, is that users do not have to switch screens to manage separate devices. For example, if the user is watching a Blu-ray movie, has a home security system with video functionality, and the doorbell rings, a separate screen pops up identifying the visitor. TV volume can be controlled while reading an electronic book, among other functions. † /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

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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!