ISE 2015 underway in Amsterdam

Integrated Systems Europe 2015 is now underway in Amsterdam.  With over 1000 scheduled exhibitors and 50,000 attendees this years show will be Europe's largest ever AV Systems integration exhibition. This year they will be offering a dedicated "Discovey Zone" showcasing the first time exhibitors at ISE.  As well they have divided the show floor into 4 technology areas:  : Digital Signage; Residential Solutions; Unified Communications and Smart Building. As usual The HomeToys Team we'll be busy posting news and product announcements from this years show which you can view on our  ISE 2015 Newspage .

Creating a Digital Signage Network: Design, Management & Operations

If considering a digital signage network for your business, I offer the same advice that I give to my kids: Do your homework.

What's More Important: Color Accuracy and Contrast or Brightness in Conference Room Presentations?

These test results find that that higher contrast and color accuracy can produce an image that is preferred by those surveyed.

Peerless-AV Case Study

NYC real estate company hires ESSENTIALCOM and Peerless-AV® to create a transparent lobby in hopes to bring the outside views, in.

Ever Given Thought to the Wiring for your Speakers?

In rooms like the kitchen, where people are always moving about, there is no fixed location for listening and in this case it makes more sense to opt for a less complex mono connection rather than 2 stereo speakers.

Video a GoGo: More Good Video Choices Coming Out on More Devices

With the dearth of mobile apps available, the majority of digital media consumed today is on mobile devices.

New Hollywood: Two Factions Are Making M&E Better, More Available

The expensive budget-busting films that folks stole from Sony are only a small part of today's video entertainment. More than 200 hours of quality (and garbage) video every minute are uploaded to sites around the web.

Dolby Atmos vs. Auro-3D… All About Next Gen Surround Sound

Before we talk about putting these new 3D sound systems into a room, let's talk about the differences between Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. They are significant.

ELAN® Debuts World's First Universal Remote Controller Featuring Built-In Whole Home Control

A universal remote controller that offers complete home control is now a reality through the new ELAN® g1 Controller from Core Brands' ELAN Home Systems. Requiring no monthly contract and offering a wide variety of home control functionality, the ELAN g1 is leaps and bounds ahead of other low-cost home control solutions. ELAN has been making the easiest-to-use, yet most powerful home control solutions for more than 25 years, and this is the brand's first entry into the sub-$1,000 market. That means for about the price of a new TV, users can gain complete control, not just of their televisions and home theaters, but also of their entire homes.  The ELAN g1 lets homeowners use a single handheld remote control to manage up to 16 zones of security, two electronic door locks, an audio/video receiver with up to 32 connected TVs, up to 24 lighting keypads, three thermostats, three IP surveillance cameras and up to 16 groups of irrigation. With ELAN's deep experience in home control, the system is designed to be fully expandable to grow with any user's home or budget. 

Keeping It Green: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Installs Peerless-AV® Xtreme™ Displays

Utilizing its internal digital content network, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's staff has found it easier to connect with visitors and share relevant and interesting information.

Will Lasers Be The Future For Projectors?

In the future, I expect the familiar projection bulbs that we have used for decades will be phased out and replaced by laser/LED technology, as this light source puts out much less heat and are quieter, allowing for more placement options.

Smarten Up: Win More Home Buyers Through Effective Audio Branding

As a homebuilder, you have an opportunity to convey numerous positive sounding audio messages about your brand - from the quality of your work to the top-quality products that go into your work - throughout your showhome.

Miller Outdoor Theatre Takes the Leap to Digital Signage Displays

Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre Installs Peerless-AV® Xtreme™ 55″ Daylight Readable Display to Increase Advertising and Enhance Electric Vibe

Amazon just surprised everyone with a crazy speaker that talks to you

Well this one came out of nowhere: Amazon is building a speaker that's controlled with your voice. It's called Echo, and Amazon tells The Verge it will be "shipping in the coming weeks." Available on an invite-only basis to start, Echo is regularly priced at $199. But for a limited time, Amazon will offer Echo for $99 to Prime members who receive an invite. Amazon says the black, cylindrical speaker is always connected to the cloud and will provide information, music, news, weather, and more whenever you ask for it. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from Google — only it's an Amazon product. The built-in voice recognition can hear users from across the room, according to Amazon, essentially acting as a Siri-like personal assistant crammed inside a speaker. It listens to user requests using seven microphones and can understand your voice even while playing music. "These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction," reads the product's page. The speaker also produces 360-degree audio to fill an entire room. It'll play music from Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn Plus. And it's fully Bluetooth compatible, making playback from Spotify, Pandora, and other audio apps possible. Companion smartphone apps on Android and Fire OS will launch upon availability to help buyers set up and get started with the speaker, but everyone else (including iOS users) will need to access it via a web app. Amazon tells The Verge that a dedicated iOS app is in the works.

Sharp's new High Resolution Audio Player could spell the death of the A/V receiver

When most people think of Sharp, they likely think about really big TVs. However, in an effort to help you clean up your home theater, the company has been working on something even bigger than their TVs, and it’s finally ready for its coming-out party. Today, Sharp unveiled its new media player, which uses dual wireless technologies to transmit both high resolution audio and video without cables. Sharp calls it the Sharp High Resolution Audio Player, but the name doesn’t do the device justice — it’s way more than just a high-res audio player.   Sharp has been developing its futuristic new player, the model SD-WH100U, for years. In fact, we caught a glimpse of what this technology could do in early 2013 at CES, and the prototype version of today’s device thoroughly impressed, able to send crystal clear audio and video to a surround sound speaker system and TV that was virtually indistinguishable from a traditional wired setup.   Using the wide open spaces of the 5.2-5.8 GHz frequency band, the player is able to transmit high resolution audio at up to 24bit/96kHz from FLAC, WAV, and even DSD files over the up-and-coming WiSA (Wireless Speakers and Audio) standard. It also plays SACDs and Blu-rays, and thanks to an adapter that speaks the Wireless HD protocol, WiHD, it also sends top-notch 1080p HD video to any TV.  

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Audio & Video - Featured Product

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Octava -4K UHD Video Over LAN Matrix Switch. Video Wall Processor

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