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).

Eurotech's In-wall Panel Computers

Eurotech announced today its new Panel Computers the Vx-120F-N270 and Vx-150F-N270, based on the Intel® Atom™ N270 processor series. The fanless, high performance Panel PC has no moving parts for a completely silent operation. The new Vx-120F-N270 12" and Vx-150F-N270 15" models are equipped with a high brightness TFT display and with a 8 wire resistive touch screen. The front panel has an IP65 protection, a USB port and is equipped with power on and HD LEDs. A monitor, mouse and keyboard can be connected externally, allowing fast set-up operations.

Philips Cinema 21:9 Ratio TV Gets Priced

Philip's 56" Cinema 21:9 2560 x 1080p LCD now has an official price. While release dates are still unknown, the TV will cost the equivalent of about $7,400 when it comes out in Europe. Philips announced earlier this year that they plan to exit the US market so a US release is doubtful but if you want to find out more check out Philip's official Cinema 21:9 page.

DIY HD Projector Kit

If you're looking for a do-it-yourself tech project then G&P Optoelectronic's HD Project kit might be of interest. For under €499 ($704) you can build yourself a complete projector capable of 1280x768 with DVI and HDMI in. All the pieces come in four separate bundles -- HD optic, light, housing, and electronics with options for S-video and VGA as well. The lamp used costs €20 ($28) which makes replacement cost relatively cheap. Unfortunately the manual is only available in German at the moment but hopefully a English translation isn't too far off.

Sony's Two New Network Music Players

Sony's all-in-one NAS-Z200iO features an integrated CD player, iPod docking station, USB port, and AM/FM radio. The unit can also stream music from a PC with its DLNA and WiFi module and is controlled by the remote control's large color 3.5-inch LCD display. Selecting by artist, album or song in your iPod is also easily done from the remote control without having to get up for your player to find what you're looking for. Two independent speaker enclosures are incorporated (20W x 2), unlike some systems which use a common or single enclosure. For higher fidelity stereo sound, the enclosures are carefully constructed within the confines of space, to keep vibration between the speakers and the main unit to a minimum. For powerful and natural bass performance, strong magnets are required. In order to achieve this in such a compact unit, double neodymium magnets are utilised for the bass drivers. The CMT-Z100iR is similar in design but lacks the WiFi and color remote. For added convenience, both the NAS-Z200iR and CMT-Z100iR can be wall mounted with a VESA wall bracket. The CMT-Z100iR will be available in Europe in July and the NAS-Z200iR will be available in Europe in September. No US release announced.

Thought Controlled Wheelchair

At this stage, the system centers on an electroencephalograph (EEG) scanner cap that the wheelchair user wears so their brain waves can be scanned and analyzed by a computer. The result is the ability to make movements almost in real time. Stopping is reportedly a little harder, with the user having to puff up a cheek to trigger a detector worn on the face. The breakthrough comes from scientists at the BSI-Toyota Collaboration Center, which teams various groups including Toyota Motor and the mostly-Japanese-government-funded RIKEN (research unit). Read more at Gizmodo.

Personal Robots Enable Smart Homes

GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. announced that their cost studies have determined that mobile service robots, equipped with multiple vital sign sensors, verbal interaction, medication delivery capability, automatic care receiver following, and video monitoring for eldercare in homes, is more cost effective and flexible than dedicated, immobile sensory, verbal interactive and viewing systems in either hardwired or RF enabled "smart homes." The CareBot's ability to verbally remind a designated care receiver at predetermined dates and times using GeckoChat(TM) and GeckoScheduler(TM) that their blood pressure/pulse rate needs to be checked by this onboard, integrated personal robot subsystem will enable a higher level of safety, security and cost savings. Full story at EarthTimes.

Belkin Gigabit Powerline Kit

Belkin has launched its Gigabit Powerline HD adapter, a new addition to the existing Powerline Networking lineup. With a speed of 1000Mbps, this adapter is able to create an ultra fast HD entertainment network almost anywhere using the existing electrical wiring. Powered by Gigle Semiconductor's mediaxtream chip, this adapter promises to provide a secure and stable networking signal virtually anywhere. The Gigabit Powerline HD adapter is now available in North America and is expected to launch in Europe by the start of August. No real world data speed/loss tests yet as the product was just released but they should be available soon. The adapter is currently priced at $149.

Blu-ray Buyers Get Rights To Make A Backup

Beginning in 2010, Blu-ray players must be configured to allow one full-resolution copy. Dubbed "managed copy," the requirement has long been planned for the Blu-ray format, but has only just been finalized by the Advanced Access Content System License Administrator, a consortium of studios, hardware manufacturers and technology companies that licenses the AACS copy protection used on Blu-ray Discs. Managed copies can be made to recordable Blu-ray or DVD discs, as a download to a Windows Media DRM-compatible portable player or hard drive. Unfortunately none of the current batch of Blu-ray players or recorders have the required electronics to allow this. Manufacturers aren't expected to have this feature added to players until mid-2010.

Yamaha's MusicCAST2

Yamaha have announced a new version of their home audio streaming system, the MusicCAST2. MusicCAST2 currently consists of a touchscreen LCD controller, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander, and two types of Network Music Players, the MCX-A300, which has an integrated amplifier, or the MCX-P200, which is non-amplified for integration with an existing AV setup. The whole system uses WiFi b/g to communicate and stream, and can access both music stored locally - on a NAS, PC or MAC, USB stick, Bluetooth device or shared network folder - or streaming from Rhapsody and other internet radio services. As well as the 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD, the Commander remote control has a trackpad and offers independent or joined control over up to 32 different zones. In addition to controlling distributed audio, the MusicCAST2 system can be used as a universal remote control; the Commander has an IR port, and Yamaha offer IR blasters to fit to your existing AV rack. Suggested pricing is $500 for the Commander remote, and $400 for the zone players. Slashgear source article.

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