Corning Continues to Innovate

It was only a few months ago that Corning's Gorilla Glass 2 was in the spotlight. Not content with resting on their laurels, they announced the new Willow glass product at SID 2012. Willow glass in an ultra-thin flexible glass (50-100 micrometers) that is capable of supporting backplanes and color filters in LCD and OLED panels. Temperatures of up to 500-degrees Celsius (932-degrees Fahrenheit) can be endured and it can be employed in roll-to-roll applications. According to Corning, Willow glass will be used to produce rigid OLED panels in manufacturing processes that require flexible glass (such as roll-to-roll). In the future it may produce flexible glass panels. Willow glass is not intended to be used as cover glass (like Gorilla glass). It will typically be used in a “sandwhich” for OLED displays, which have a substrate layer, an encapsulation layer and then a much tougher cover glass. Production is planned to start in Q3 2012 with one meter wide, 300 meter long rolls.  

Colorado vNet has announced it will formally operate under the new company name 3vNet Inc.

The rebranding follows the completion of the purchase of Colorado vNet Corp, led by company CEO Mike Anderson, in April 2012. "The name 3vNet is a natural fit for this brand," said Anderson. "We understand the ups and downs the brand has had over the past few years and we want our dealers to know that we recognize that and will use it as the foundation for going forward. Keeping the past top of mind will keep us humble and make us work harder to make things better. The third generation of this brand will be different than the previous two and 3vNet customers will soon see the benefits of our efforts. Key factors in the strategy to move forward are: a more open architecture; new pricing strategies; increased product development efforts; and, more and better training. These efforts will combine to ensure our customers will receive the best this industry has to offer." As part of the rebranding strategy, 3vNet is driven by a renewed commitment to customer service. The company has already doubled its tech support team to provide customers with an even greater level of support.  

Panasonic to Highlight New Pro AV Solutions at InfoComm 2012

Panasonic,  will introduce a number of new professional audio visual technologies - including projectors, displays and digital signage solutions - at InfoComm 2012 in Las Vegas. "Having recently restructured to bring all B2B solutions under one roof, Panasonic now offers a substantial suite of professional AV, SMB, business communications and mobile computing technologies," said Rance M. Poehler, president, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. "Customers are looking for a single manufacturer that can provide innovative and reliable technology solutions, across multiple applications areas, which deliver a high ROI. Over the last few years, we have been moving to meet this need. At InfoComm 2012, we are introducing new products and solutions while highlighting a number of proven technologies that further solidify our ability to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers and partners."  

Cable Caps Under Investigation

Finally, the Justice Department  is conducting a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into data usage caps by cable companies. Many people signed, multi-year high-speed internet contracts only to be told a few months later that they had a data cap and would either, be charged for excess usage, have severely reduced bandwidth or no data for the remainder of the month. It’s a common belief that these caps are used by the cable companies to encourage their customers to buy their content, as streaming this does not count towards the usage. For streaming providers such as Netflix and Hulu, it’s a threat to their businesses. Let’s hope cellphone providers are next, with their “unlimited” data plans that all turned out not to be so unlimited after all.  

Eighth Annual Flat Panel Shootout

The three highest end plasmas and LCD's (in the opinion of Value Electronics) encompassing 55 to 65-inch displays from Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Sony, and Sharp's new Elite were assembled in a darkened room and calibrated by a team of experts (using professional tools) over the course of 3 days. The calibrated displays were then judged by both consumers and experts.

IOGEAR Wireless HD 3D Digital Kit Review (GW3DHDKIT)

The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) on large, flat screen TV's can generally be improved with more aesthetic placement of said purchase. Unfortunately, this often entails a construction project (negating any WAF gains). The IOGear Wireless HD 3D Digital Kit is a game changer (and WAF Buster).

Why I Love My Lutron RadioRA 2 System

Working for a custom installer and integrator, Josh from DSI Entertainment Systems had the choice of several systems. Find out why he chose Lutorn's RadioRA 2 and why he loves it.

Clouds Everywhere

Cloud computing, cloud storage sounds good but ever so often it has to touch down and then BAM!!! your could be in a world of hurt. Oh we'll all be using it at home, at the office, wherever. You really can't avoid it. But just know everyone is there noodlin around - hackers, cybercriminals, bad guys/gals, government agencies. What can happen though it's only a cloud.

VDV Digital Testers

VDV MapMaster 2.0 can impressively map up to 19 locations, it still does utilize the tried and true tone generation. This gives techs the capability to adapt to the mapping features of the product while providing a great fall back when toning speaker wire and other miscellaneous cables. Now with the added TDR technology, it has the ability to both measure the entire length of a cable and or individual pairs, as well as measure the distance to a short in the cable.

Natural Interaction and Gesture Technology

PrimeSense is leading the charge with Natural Interaction and gesture technology as the new paradigm

InfoComm 2012 underway in Las Vegas

InfoComm 2012 boasts 925+ exhibitors showcasing thousands of products, over 300 education sessions taught by the industry's most respected experts and over 34,000 AV pros from all around the world. HomeToys.com has a special Newspage devoted strictly to all the news and product announcements coming out of this years show.  So make sure to read and post all the news from the show.  HomeToys InfoComm 2012 Newspage.

Exceptional 3D Debuts Portrait Series Glasses-Free 3D Product Line

Exceptional 3D today announced the expansion of their patented auto-stereoscopic 3D technology product-line by introducing the world’s first-ever lenticular glasses-free 3D Portrait Series display products and solutions. The Portrait Series 3D (PS3D) display products are an exclusive 3D display solution only available from Exceptional 3D. The cutting-edge Portrait Series 3D product-line continues a ‘simple’ consistency, going hand-in-hand with the companies Landscape Series 3D displays. The Portrait Series 3D digital displays incorporate the same award-winning no-glasses 3D characteristics that won Exceptional 3D ‘Best In Show’ amongst all ‘3D-Based Digital Signage Products’ at the 2012 Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. A series of exclusive previews in front of well-informed members of the glasses-free 3D community has already delivered very high accolades in excess of all expectations for the Portrait Series 3D display products.

smartDIGITAL Raises $2.7M to Expand Interactive Kiosks

smartDIGITAL recently raised $2.7m in a Series A round of funding. The startup, that makes large kiosk with multi-touch displays (think "giant SmartPhone") is already present in Chicago and Miami and has partners such as Groupon. They plan to expand to 10 further markets in the nect 36 months. The multi-touch technology encourages users to interact with the device rather than just read it's contents. Equipped with printers, credit car swipes HD cameras and speakers, the units can deployed for many services. CEO George Burciaga says that so far, the kiosks are usually active for 6.5 hours a day, with three to four people in front of the kiosk.  

Pocket TV: Convert your TV into a Smart TV

The Pocket TV is a fully functioning micro-computer about the size of a thumb drive. It will plug into any TV with an HDMI port and essentially turn it into a SmartTV. The unit is equipped with a 1Ghz processor, 512MB RAM GPU supporting 1080p graphics, MicroSD card and a USB connector. Running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), it will be able to run virtually any Android app. The device also comes with an IR remote and supports an optional Air Remote. (You can, of course, use an Android or iOS app as a remote too.) Development is complete and Infinitec are looking for funding via kickstarter.com to get it into mass production. For only $99, you can secure yourself an early version.  

Verizon doubling FiOS speed to 300 megabits/second

Verizon is planning to double its top speed internet service to 300 (yes, 300) megabits per second. The upload speed will be 65mbps. Verizon touts the new service as being for "downloading files or streaming video". This begs the questions "from where and why?" That 300mbps is going to reduce dramatically once traffic gets off Verizons local loop. I'm certainly not going to get anywhere close to 300mbps to iTunes Store, Netflix, etc. Sure, I could get high speed streaming from the local Verzon hub, but I can stream Vudu HDX with only 6mbps, why do I need 300? With bandwidth caps being de rigueur, I could conceivably exceed my cap in a day. Now if Verizon were to offer localized cloud backup that allows me to backup my entire hard drive in a few hours that would be useful. Only other use I see is 100's of channels of questionable IPTV content. Pricing is not yet available.

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