Hotels getting into the Ad Revenue Game

Typically hotels buy advertising. on a recent trip to New Orleans, I came across a Hotel selling advertising and providing a compelling reason to sign up.

Argo Tea Turns to BrightSign Digital Players for Dynamic HD Menu Boards

With offerings as creative and addictively delicious as Green Tea Strawberry Crème, MojiTea and Teappuccino, Argo Tea, a successful chain of specialty tea caf©s, wanted to update its static menuboards to cost-effectively improve their presentation and automate new content delivery.

When the iPhone Makes a Perfect TV Remote?

I'm not easily impressed, but on a recent trip to New Orleans, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a case where the iPhone was way better than the TV remote.

5 Reasons Why I Love my iPad but Hate it as a TV Remote Control

There are many apps for iOS devices that allow it to perform as control pad, but is an iOS device the best option?

Using a Wireless Bridge to Provide Remote Network Connectivity

Key to the successful implementation of a wireless bridge is the equipment being used. The Luxul Xenâ„¢ High Performance Outdoor 802.11n Wireless Access Point (XAP-1040) is designed specifically for optimal coverage and distance.

Bigger, Better Pixels Make Video a Whole New Game

This week's Nvidia GPU Technology Conference gave us yet another peek into why the GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) still matters. Jen-Hsun Huang runs a high tempo aggressive team that is always pushing the envelope and his latest announcement was no exception bringing tears to our son's eyes because he so wanted one of the $1K units but no way! It may be all about gaming power but the pixel processing power took us right back to NAB and how their latest offerings and technology announcements is keeping pace with movie and broadcast producers demands for better quality video content and faster/more comprehensive encoding. And yes you still have to store it all somewhere!!

The Camera Has Many Eyes

A look at how new imaging technologies work and their role in security applications

Top Tech Trends for InfoComm 2012

Here are some trends you should keep your eyes on as we all fly/drive out to Hades – er, make that Las Vegas – for our annual festival of “techniness.” The #1 item on my list: Substituting large LCD monitors (and TVs) for projector installations. I’m talking about what we fondly call “hang and bangs.” Fact is, ceiling-mounted projectors in conference and meeting rooms that use screens with widths in the 70- to 90-inch range are ceding ground to these new behemoth LCD displays. In my travels around the country, I’m hearing more and more from dealers and integrators who are installing 70- and 80-inch LCD monitors (and TVs!) manufactured by, well, you know who they are. And said LCD manufacturer is now offering an extended, multi-year warranty on these products, including the TVs. The latter products are popular because of their low price and the fact that they have a built-in four-port HDMI switcher. Full Article:

Exterior digital message boards on the rise

As the restaurant industry accelerates the adoption of interior digital menu boards to showcase their offerings, more operators are also installing exterior digital signage to pull in new and existing customers. John Kunze, director of Sign Division Sales at Watchfire, said the typical return on investment for one of his company's signs is anywhere from six to 18 months, depending on what features an operator requests. Still, costs remain the main reason more operators haven't updated or added exterior signage. "This is an investment of $20,000 to $50,000, so that's a new shake machine or fryer for some operators," Kunze said. "But the costs are coming down and more restaurants are starting to realize there is a pretty quick ROI."

Consumer Demand for Home Technology Grows with Housing Market Recovery

Installed home technology is solidified in U.S. home builders' offerings as evidenced by a 1-year doubling of home automation installations in new homes, according to the 10th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The report said entertainment and automation solutions are helping builders differentiate their businesses, while more common home technologies like structured wiring are necessary to compete effectively in the market.   The study found an increase in installations across all technology sectors, with the biggest gains in structured wiring - 63% of new homes in 2011, up from 45% of new homes in 2010. Energy management solutions, such as automated lighting controls (12%, up from 7%) and home automation (10%, up from 5%) were at all-time highs. Entertainment features also performed well in 2011 with multi-room audio (23%) and home theater (29%) installations rebounding strongly after recession-period lows.  

O.C. HDTV maker Vizio sued by MIT over patents

Vizio Inc., Irvine maker of high definition TVs and other electronic devices, is being sued on claims of infringement on four patents held by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Boston university lists about 150 Vizio models as violating its patents in the lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court. The suit said the patents, issued in 1993, 1995 and 1996, cover digital televisions, Blu-ray disc players, home theater and audio systems. MIT has filed a separate patent infringement lawsuit against Funai, which makes Phillips, Magnavox, Sylvania, Emerson, Funai and Symphonic products. Vizio officials have not yet responded to a Register request for comment. MIT said in the lawsuit that it offered Vizio a license for the technology, but Vizio refused. MIT also said that other unnamed companies are licensing the technology, which university researchers have worked on since the 1980s.  

HDBaseT Alliance to Showcase All-in-One Connectivity for Projection and Digital Signage Markets at InfoComm 2012

HDBaseT Alliance, the cross-industry alliance formed to standardize HDBaseT(R) technology for uncompressed high definition (HD) multimedia content distribution, today announced that it will demonstrate live commercial and home networking installation use cases at InfoComm 2012, June 13-15 in Las Vegas, Nev. The demonstrations will feature projectors, a 40" digital signage display, a surveillance camera, an HDBaseT switch and a single-wire TV, all integrated with HDBaseT technology. Booth visitors will experience for the first time a complete, end-to-end HDBaseT commercial installation scenario, comprised of a large digital signage display and an HDBaseT-integrated projector connected to an HDBaseT-enabled switch. A home theater demonstration will also showcase the technology's application to the consumer projector market.  

90 Million Homes Worldwide Will Employ Home Automation Systems by 2017, Finds ABI Research

New subscription-based home automation offerings are rapidly transforming the way consumers will monitor, secure, and control their homes. Long the preserve of more expensive, custom-installed technology, home automation is moving into the mainstream, with companies such as ADT, Comcast, Verizon, Lowe's, and many others all adding home automation to their customer services. A number of factors are driving the new entrants into the market. Connectivity is one key factor. Not only are there currently high home broadband penetration rates, as well as the potential for embedded cellular connections to connect systems, but also smartphone applications allow consumers to control and check their homes from wherever they are. As connectivity options make the home automation systems more useful, market changes are also making home automation more affordable. A traditional large up-front installation and equipment purchase is increasingly being replaced by monthly subscription offerings - often bundled alongside already existing services.  

Harris Corp. getting out of digital signage/DOOH

Tech giant Harris Corp. recently announced its decision to divest itself of its Broadcast Communications division, which includes is digital signage business, but a company spokesman insists the division is continuing "business as usual." Harris is perhaps best known within the digital signage space for its InfoCaster suite of digital signage products and its 10-year digital out-of-home network deal with 7-Eleven, but the company is perhaps better known outside of the sector as a multibillion dollar communications company specializing in government, defense and commercial contracts. According to a May 1 Harris announcement, after the close of this quarter, the company has approved the plan to drop Broadcast Communications. "As a result, current and prior period financial results for Broadcast Communications will be reported as discontinued operations beginning with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012," the announcement said.

Beyond Blu-ray

It seems like only yesterday that I breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the HD format wars. Blu-ray had won and I could safely start building my HD media library. With players under $100, it's safe to say Blu-ray is now mainstream, but current TV's and projectors can display content that is not supported by Blu-ray. Good examples include wide-gamut TV's and 4K displays projectors and AV receivers. It's time to look to the future.

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