XPAND 3D Poises For Huge Push in Home Theater 3D Market With Establishment of New Home Theater Division

In a significant and strategic move to address the growth of the home theater 3D market, XPAND 3D, the world leader in consumer and professional cinema 3D solutions, today announced that it has established a new Home Theater Division to better serve the needs of systems integrators and customers in home theater. The division is led by Philippe Coissac, Head of Global Home Theater Sales. "Since our beginning, XPAND has been committed to providing the best and most technologically advanced 3D products to consumers, and 3D has become a major part of the home theater experience," said Maria Costeira, CEO of XPAND 3D. "We saw that the time was right to create a dedicated Home Theater Division to focus specifically on the requirements of dealers, custom installers and retailers who service the home theater space. We are here to accommodate their needs, give them a direct line of communication and enable them to provide optimum 3D solutions to their customers!" "Movie enthusiasts want to enjoy the excitement of a true cinema-quality environment in their home theaters, and XPAND YOUniversal 3D Glasses and products deliver the ultimate in 3D viewing," Costeira continued.

BTX Goes All In at Resorts World Casino New York City, Providing Gefen Digital Signage

BTX Technologies, a value-added distributor and manufacturer of interface, integration, and system products, today announced that the company has supplied 40 Gefen Digital Signage Media Players with Wi-Fi™ for use at the Resorts World Casino New York City. Purchased and installed by systems integrator The Integration Factory, the high-definition players are being used to deliver up-to-date dining information to digital menu boards located in the casino's food court and Aqueduct Buffet. Resorts World Casino New York City is the Big Apple's first casino. Adjacent to the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens, the two-story property offers 4,468 video lottery terminals and 550 electronic table games. For hungry guests, the casino features 17 dining options, including a full food court and the 400-seat Aqueduct Buffet. 40 digital menu boards provide patrons with current information on the availability and pricing of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. Each display features a Gefen media player mounted directly behind it, which is connected to the casino's food court network server. This allows Resorts World technicians to access all local players remotely with ease from the digital and A/V media office.

Roku Receives $45m in Funding

Roku has just closed a $45 million Series E round. Investors include News Corp and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). News Corp’s chief digital officer, Jon Miller, has also joined the Roku board. Mr Miller commented: “Roku's significant technology advantage, coupled with a strong market position, places them in a unique position to be an integral part of the television landscape for years to come.” According to Roku, The money will be used for expansion, as well as for other initiatives. No doubt, some of the money will be used for the completion of the Roku Stick, which is due to launch this week. It’s not clear whether any will be earmarked for commercial applications, such as digital signage. (Roku Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board of BrightSign, whose players are based on Roku technology.) With entry level devices, at half the price of an AppleTV, this will surely give Apple a further run for its money; although, having sold 1.3 million units, AppleTV is still a hobby for the company, so they may not even care. On the media front, News Corp already has several apps available on the Roku Channel Store, including Fox News, WSJ Live, and X Factor and will no doubt add more. BSkyB’s Now TV streaming service is available on Roku boxes.

Remodelers forecast positive outlook on business

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is revealing the latest from the NARI Second Quarterly Business Review-and it is positive news. The second-quarter research, which measures remodeler's assessment of business conditions, shows NARI members believe the current business climate is slightly more positive than the same time last year. "There are clear indications that some of our NARI members believe that they have weathered the storm, and expect consumer confidence to return in a more consistent pace going forward," says Kevin Anundson, CR, CKBR, NARI National Secretary and president of Owner Assisted Remodeling based in Elm Grove, Wis. In fact, data shows that NARI members forecast stronger sales growth in the next three months, based on three key factors: Postponement of projects (80%), growth due to low interest rates (50%) and 35% believe improving home prices are also a significant factor. Remodelers say consumer confidence has a different tone this time around. "People are aware that that their home values may not be as high as they once were, yet that only affects those that are forced to sell," Anundson says. "Many homeowners have made the decision to remain in their home and are choosing to make improvements and increase their comfort and long-term living accommodations. This thought process allows them to be much less concerned about returns on investment and resale values."

LG Electronics Teams Up With Fry's To Bring 'EzSign TV' Display Solution To More Small Businesses

LG Electronics USA has joined forces with Fry's Electronics Inc. to offer the popular LG EzSign TVs in all Fry's retail stores nationwide, in addition to the retailer's website, www.frys.com . A turnkey digital signage solution for small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs), EzSign TV offers high-quality picture and contrast ratios combined with customizable content running simultaneously with live TV or another external media source, attracting attention while delivering messaging to consumers. Now available for purchase in all 34 Fry's retail locations and online, the 32-, 42- and 47-inch class sizes (31.5-, 42.0-, 47.0-inch diagonal, respectively) of the EzSign LD452B LCD TV series include an internal media player, complete software package with custom signage templates and commercial-grade display settings to optimize power savings and product lifespan. Fry's Electronics is the first retail outlet to both sell and display the commercial EzSign TV product in-store, providing the opportunity for small business owners to learn more about the product and "test drive" it in a retail setting. First introduced in 2011, EzSign TV has grown in popularity and expanded sales channels to include Direct Market Retailers (DMRs), IT integrators, professional/custom A/V dealers and installers and digital signage resellers.  

Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device

Growing movement in Silicon Valley aims to get people to log off once in a while. Stuart Crabb, a director in the executive offices of Facebook, naturally likes to extol the extraordinary benefits of computers and smartphones. But like a growing number of technology leaders, he offers a warning: log off once in a while, and put them down. In a place where technology is seen as an all-powerful answer, it is increasingly being seen as too powerful, even addictive. The concern, voiced in conferences and in recent interviews with many top executives of technology companies, is that the lure of constant stimulation — the pervasive demand of pings, rings and updates — is creating a profound physical craving that can hurt productivity and personal interactions. “If you put a frog in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, it’ll boil to death — it’s a nice analogy,” said Mr. Crabb, who oversees learning and development at Facebook . People “need to notice the effect that time online has on your performance and relationships.”

BrightAuthor by BrightSign

BrightSign offers both hardware and software digital signage products. Their extensive range of players is compatible with several DS software products and the software spans everything from locally installed authoring and management to enterprise grade SaaS. We took four of their players for a spin to build a 2x2 matrix.

Sorting Out the Digital Signage Logistics Puzzle

Bill explains some of the different services that logistics companies and specialty consultants offer during the planning, installation and maintenance phases of a project, and why these types of vendors may (or may not) be worth considering for your next project.

Scriptel GloveTouch

The Next Generation Capacitive Touchscreen Panel Allows Users to Operate Electronic Touch Screens While Wearing Gloves

Arthur Holm customizes retractable screens for law firm Cuatrecasas

Barcelona based law firm, Cuatrecasas, completes significant project with in-desk pop up screen that will allow them to work better as a team and provide a better service to their customers

Scala Provides Five Tips for Retailers Getting Started with Digital Signage

Scala Inc. today offered five tips for retailers that are looking to get started with digital signage systems to educate consumers about available products and services, cross-promote products and improve the customer experience. A recent retail sector technology adoption study from CompTIA found that one in three U.S. retailers currently uses digital signage with another 22 percent planning to implement soon. Among the top ways retailers use digital signage are for sales or promotional announcements; photo displays including images of customers using products; and custom videos such as tutorials, advice and customer testimonials. “A growing number of retailers are adopting digital signage because they see it can help them alter the usual shopping patterns of consumers,” said Marcy Patzer, senior director of retail strategies, Scala. “By enabling this change even for a split second, retailers entice customers to stop their routines and direct their attention to something new. That split second can truly transform consumer shopping activities and buying cycles.” Scala offers retailers the following five tips as they look to get started with digital signage:

Raspberry Pi announces Raspbian

We recently reviewed the Raspberry PI for use a Home Theater PC (HTPC) and found that performance was a little sluggish. In order to improve performance, Raspberry has now released Raspbian, which is a, hard-float optimized version of Debian. One of the main areas of improvement for general use will be web browsing. For XBMC users, audio stream decoding is significantly improved. The chart above shows the amount of CPU time required to decode various audio formats in real time on the Raspberry Pi. This is particularly important for XBMC users as all audio streams are decoded in software on the ARM CPU, and high-bitrate audio streams can be troublesome. This data shows a significant performance increase when decoding these formats on Raspbian. Full benchmark results can be found here . The latest release also brings improvements to the firmware, kernel and applications, and is recommended as the distribution most appropriate for general users. An SD card image of Raspbian is now available for download from http://www.raspbian.org

LG Display to develop 60-inch flexible OLED by 2017

Most of the talk about OLED today revolves around consumer electronics, but the Korean government wants to make sure Korea leads the way in commercial applications. As such, it has chosen LG to be part of the “Future Flagship Program” and has tasked the company with developing a 60-inch flexible OLED display by 2017. The transparent flexible OLED is planned to be deployed in applications such as a window displaying information at bus stations, aquariums and retail stores. The program’s primary sponsor, The Ministry of Knowledge Economy, expects to generate $56 billion in exports and create 840,000 jobs through the research and development of transparent and flexible displays. LG Display said that the project will be able to further widen the technological gap between Korea and the fast-growing economy of China in the display sector.

Can a $35 PC really run a full blown HD Media Center?

A UK-based project to produce a computer that any student can afford has got the Home Theater PC (HTPC) crowd brimming with excitement. I placed a credit card order with RS Components (across the pond) in May. A few weeks ago, my Raspberry PI had arrived. Did it live up to my expectations?

Introducing WiSA™, the Wireless Speaker & Audio Association

In traditional home theater surround sound systems, there is a receiver wired to 6, 7, or 8 different speaker cabinets. You look at your living room and you start to imagine where you could put the subwoofer(s) and where the surround speakers might go. Typically, the choice is constrained by cable runs. Not anymore with WiSA.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

This is Control4 Home Automation with Amazon Alexa.

This is Control4 Home Automation with Amazon Alexa.

INTRODUCING THE SIMPLEST WAY TO CONTROL YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE YOUR VOICE. Imagine this... We've all been there-walking through the door into a dark house, arms full. Wouldn't it be nice to tell your house to offer a helping hand? Now you can. A simple voice command-such as "Alexa, turn on Welcome"-lights up the hallway and kitchen, fires up your favorite Pandora station, while the door locks itself behind you. This is Control4 Home Automation with Amazon Alexa.