FLO TV is Dead

Qualcomm will shut down the FLO TV service, which will wind down by year's end, PaidContent.org reported Monday . The service had been struggling, CEO Paul Jacobs  said multiple times, publicly, in recent months.  The company may lease out the remains of the service to AT&T or Verizon, the report said. The company had announced price cuts for the in-car version of the service as recently as last month.

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.

3 Innovations That Make Google TV A Winner

Google TV, in tandem with the Logitech Revue and Sony's Internet TV Blu-Ray Player & Internet TV, seems to have paid attention to both the attempts at producing a viable "Internet TV" in the past as well as the functionality a HTPC brings, and have produced something that finally has lasting potential!

3 Reasons why Home Technology Integration is about to Ignite

We live in an "always on" world where we expect our Smartphones to provide us with media content, email, social media, and any other information on demand.  It is time we realize that we can now expect the same functionality that we get on that 4.3" screen of our Smartphone from the 46" HDTV in our living room, the laptop or all-in-one PC in the kitchen, and even from the tablet we use sitting out on the patio enjoying nature.

Blu-ray DVD Part 5: Blu-ray survives

With James Cameron's Avatar becoming the most successful Blu-ray DVD to date,  Blu-ray manufacturers could finally breath a sigh of relief and be confident that the once infant format has finally matured.   The next dilemma facing Blu-ray is an old problem that once again reared its ugly ahead to threaten this newbie format.

CEDIA 2010 News Report

News announcements from the show

Consumer Attitudes and the Benefits of Smart Grid Technologies

Consumer attitudes about the benefits of smart grid technology are still in a formative stage. Most consumers are not aware of the term, much less the capabilities smart grid technologies will be bringing in the next few years.

Content Insider #153 - Entertainment Everywhere

We're not certain what the preoccupation is with TV, but firms beyond the old-fashioned content developers, producers, "shippers" have gone out of their way to say they have the solution you need/want!

HD Air Case Study: Darien High School

With projectors and smart boards replacing the chalk board in school districts, Schools are looking for a clean, easy to install, and reliable application to hook up their PC or Tablets to these projectors. As technology has grown, many of these schools are looking for a wireless solution for this application.

HomeToys Interview - BMB Electronics

BMB Electronics B.V. is one of the leading distributors and trade suppliers to installers, system integrators and retailers all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Our customers cover a very broad spectrum from specialized self-employed contractors to major multi-national corporations.

Insider #151 - Social Media - Great Place for Business, Friends, Bad Guys

Gawd…glad the Web and social nets weren't around during our college frat years. 

Insider #152 - The Family NAS

Housewide Storage -- Better Safe than Sorry But…

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

Advanced UPB Lighting Packages from Simply Automated

Advanced UPB Lighting Packages from Simply Automated

Custom scenes (connecting up to 250 switches) in your living, family or great room, kitchen, study, master bedroom/bathroom, and office. Turn off all lights in your home at the touch of a button. Automatically (Timer Scheduler) turn on/off outdoor security lights, heating and AC, or provide night light convenience anywhere in your home. From creating a virtual 3 way switch anywhere in your home, to turning a group of lights when your garage door is opened, door bell or phone rings.