Crestron is a name synonymous with two things in the world of home automation: cost and quality. So it's always good to the see the company shed its proprietary nature and embrace an off-the-shelf consumer product. Take its new iPanel for example. Instead of dropping a few thousand dollars on a Crestron touch-panel that does just one thing, you can purchase this $500ish snap-on case with thirteen dedicated buttons for home, lights, guide, and info functions. In other words, for the half the price of a typical touchscreen Crestron touchscreen controller you also get a WiFi-connected iPad. Sounds like a winning combination to us. Look for the iPanel to get official at CEDIA next week.
The xLobby Cube, which is available by Pre-Order now allows you to manage your complete DVD movie collection from a simple to use menu driven interface. Load movies using 3rd party DVD storage software. Playback all of your standard DVD movies and have it scaled up to 1080P with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. You are also able manage your music collection including CD's, downloaded MP3 files and access your iTunes libraries. The xLobby Cube offers iTunes & Hulu online content support. MSRP is $799 but a Pre-order sale through Sept 30, 2010 is offering the system for $699.
Think going 3D is too expensive? Think again. If you thought Samsung's 720p 3D Plasma TV was a great deal at $1000, Samsung just sweetened it further by throwing in 2 pairs of 3D glasses for nothing, plus free shipping to boot. If you head over to Amazon to check it out, you'll find that the price remains hidden until you get to the final checkout stage (annoying!), but when all said and done I ended up at a total of 973.34 for the Samsung PN50C490 3D TV, two pairs of Samsung SSG-2100AB 3D Glasses, and super-saver shipping. Sure, it's Samsung's ultra cheap 720p, which has some downsides you may want to think about. However, if you were thinking about taking the 3D plunge and wanted to spend as little as possible, this is the best deal yet. Source Explore3dTV.
A 2010 Black Friday predictions report from dealnews (at www.dealnews.com/predictions ) said discounts will be smaller this holiday season than in that of 2009, and without much-desired deals on 3D TVs and Apple’s iPad and iPhone 4. Apple’s Black Friday sales are likely to disappoint for the third year standing, the report said. Shoppers may find up to 10% off of iMac, MacBook and iPod products, but not for the iPad or iPhone 4. The report said shoppers looking for those products should instead seek a no-minimum, free shipping discount online, which is likely to be offered. The report said to expect 46-inch and 47-inch 1080p LCD HDTVs starting at $499 and 55-inch TVs at $799. But the report said those deals will be on smaller-name TVs, while high-end brand TV sales may have to wait until December. “Each year, it becomes more and more evident that the Black Friday shopping experience is no longer a one-time event; consumers are constantly seeking out the best deals to take advantage of well into December,” said Daniel de Grandpre, editor in chief, dealnews. “While we expect discounting to be somewhat lighter from years past, online deals continue to be the best and easiest way to save, and dealnews looks forward to helping consumers find those deals and keep more cash in the bank this holiday season.” Source: Billy Gil – HomeMediaMagazine.com
If there's been an underlying theme to consumer electronics in the past year, it's been this: audiences are looking for easier ways to view Web video on their big-screen TVs. That's really the promise of widget- and app-enabled TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and Roku boxes, as well as the coming wave of specialized products such as Boxee, Apple TV, and Google TV. And it's exactly the market for which newcomer Veebeam is aiming as well. Veebeam can most accurately be described as a PC-to-TV video streamer. Plug the included USB dongle into your laptop, and whatever's on your computer screen will be streamed wirelessly to the Veebeam box that's connected to your TV--without the need for any convoluted wireless networking setup. For what it's worth, the HD version of the box supports output up to full 1080p HD video. Two modes will be offered: "screencasting," which mirrors the display on the laptop screen, and "play-to" mode, which presumably treats the TV as a second monitor (allowing you to use the PC for other tasks in the meantime, while simultaneously streaming the view). Two models will be available--the $99 Veebeam SD and the $139 Veebeam HD (which adds an HDMI output).
American consumers like the immersive feeling of watch 3-D television, but are put off by having to wear special glasses because they restrict multi-tasking at home, according to a U.S. report on attitudes to the next big thing in television. But some 89 percent of those questioned for the "Focusing on the 3DTV Experience" report felt the special glasses would constrain other activities they usually do while watching TV. More than half said the glasses were a "hassle" and 57 percent said they were "not likely" to buy a 3D TV set for that reason, the survey found. The 425 randomly selected participants had watched 30 minutes of 3D television programing in a home viewing environment. Although 57 percent of viewers agreed that watching 3D television made them feel they were part of the action, 77 percent said they thought the technology was best suited for special events like sports or movies, rather than everyday viewing. "In fact, purchase interest for a 3DTV set among those planning to buy a new TV in the next 12 months decreased after seeing a demonstration of the technology, experiencing the glasses and learning more about product costs," Stagliano said.
The Boxee Box by D-Link, Now With Intel(R) Atom(TM) Processor Inside instead of NVIDIA's Tegra 2 - Pre Sales open today MSRP $199
Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), D-Link and Boxee announced that the upcoming Boxee Box by D-Link now will be powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor CE4100. "This represents long overdue innovation to the entertainment experience that D-Link will help consumers quickly deploy through their home network. These exciting new capabilities align closely with Intel's commitment to improving how people access and enjoy digital content on their TV," said Lou Reda, Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Division, D-Link. "We are leading a revolution that will offer tremendous new possibilities in the home." Pre-Sales opened today and units will begin shipping in November 2010 in the US, Canada, EU and Australia. MSRP is rumored at $199
Attending CEDIA? Make sure to download the "Follow Me Mobile Phone App" to help you navigate the show floor.
For iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad users: From your phone go to the iTunes App Store and search for "CEDIA" to find "CEDIA EXPO 2010" and click on the "free" button to take you to the install screen. Then download the CEDIA EXPO 2010 Mobile App as you would any iPhone application. If you are syncing your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad from your PC, go to http://bit.ly/CEDIAEXPO2010 for download. For all other types of web-enabled phones: Point your mobile phone's web browser to m.core-apps.com/cedia2010 [Note: when you point your "all other" web-enabled phone browser to this web-based mobile site, it will let you choose your phone type for proper download]
Boxee is going to switch its integrated web browser from Mozilla’s Gecko to Webkit with its next major update, according to Boxee Lead Apps Developer and Community Evangelist Rob Spectre. The switch is an attempt to make full use of HTML5 within Boxee, but it should also help with accessing a wider array of video content that’s not yet available through dedicated Boxee apps. Since its first release, Boxee has offered a web browser through its “Boxee Browser” application that enables users to navigate to any site on the web. However, the implementation has been little more than a stop-gap measure to offer access to sites like Hulu.com, which briefly blocked the ability to access its videos directly through Boxee in early 2009. The current browser is based on Mozilla’s Gecko layout engine, which is also used by Firefox. Its implementation is fairly buggy, and many sites don’t display correctly within Boxee.
Janko Roettgers at NewTeeVee today wrote: Boxee is going to switch its integrated web browser from Mozilla’s Gecko to Webkit with its next major update, I was told by Boxee Lead Apps Developer and Community Evangelist Rob Spectre. The switch is an attempt to make full use of HTML5 within Boxee, but it should also help with accessing a wider array of video content that’s not yet available through dedicated Boxee apps. Since its first release, Boxee has offered a web browser through its “Boxee Browser” application that enables users to navigate to any site on the web. However, the implementation has been little more than a stop-gap measure to offer access to sites like Hulu.com, which briefly blocked the ability to access its videos directly through Boxee in early 2009. The current browser is based on Mozilla’s Gecko layout engine, which is also used by Firefox. Its implementation is fairly buggy, and many sites don’t display correctly within Boxee.
Attending CEDIA? Make sure to download the "Follow Me Mobile Phone App" to help you navigate the show floor.
For iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad users: From your phone go to the iTunes App Store and search for "CEDIA" to find "CEDIA EXPO 2010" and click on the "free" button to take you to the install screen. Then download the CEDIA EXPO 2010 Mobile App as you would any iPhone application. If you are syncing your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad from your PC, go to http://bit.ly/CEDIAEXPO2010 for download. [Note: iTunes address is case-sensitive] For all other types of web-enabled phones: Point your mobile phone's web browser to m.core-apps.com/cedia2010 [Note: when you point your "all other" web-enabled phone browser to this web-based mobile site, it will let you choose your phone type for proper download]
Google Inc will launch its service to bring the Web to TV screens in the United States this autumn and worldwide next year, its chief executive said, as it extends its reach from the desktop to the living room. CEO Eric Schmidt said the service, which will allow full Internet browsing via the television, would be free, and Google would work with a variety of programme makers and electronics manufacturers to bring it to consumers. "We will work with content providers, but it is very unlikely that we will get into actual content production," Schmidt told journalists after a keynote speech to the IFA consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin. Sony said last week it had agreed to have Google TV on its television sets, and Samsung has said it was looking into using the service.
XpanD is unveiling its Universal 3D Glasses at IFA in Berlin. The glasses, which are available in four colors and different shapes and sizes to meet any 3D enthusiast’s unique style and size, are solving the biggest 3D challenge in consumer electronics – the incompatibility between different 3DTV manufacturers. With XpanD Universal 3D Glasses, anyone can experience the most engaging and dynamic 3D technology with any 3D-ready television display in virtually any environment. While retailers have struggled with selling 3D glasses that are only compatible with a single brand of 3D-ready television, the XpanD Universal 3D Glasses are compatible with any 3D-ready display, regardless of brand. This “must-have” technology is a tremendous benefit to retailers, as the Universal 3D Glasses will help drive sales of 3D-ready displays. XpanD did not announce pricing or a release date.
TV shows are emerging as a new front in the war over digital media between Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc., amid their ongoing battles over electronic books and online music. Hours after Apple said Wednesday that it would begin renting some shows for 99 cents per episode, Amazon cut its price on a similar set of shows to 99 cents from $2.99. And unlike Apple, which rents the videos, Amazon lets its customers buy the shows. For the past several years, Amazon and Apple have both offered services that let consumers buy or rent films over the Internet on a one-by-one basis and watch them on TVs, game consoles or portable devices. It's part of a wider race among cable-TV and satellite-TV providers and tech companies, including Netflix Inc. and Google Inc., to dominate the digital delivery of TV and movies. That race heated up on Wednesday when Apple introduced an updated Apple TV set-top box for $99 and said it reached deals to offer rentals for a selection of TV shows from News Corp.'s Fox and Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channel, as well as BBC America.
Roku, which markets Internet video receivers priced between $59 and $99. Roku vice president of marketing Chuck Seiber said his firm is targeting different consumers than Apple and offers unique content including Major League Baseball games and Ultimate Fighting Championship matches. “We’re going to make our product really inexpensive, really super easy to use,” Sieber said. He also noted that Roku has managed to stave off competition from consumer electronics firms marketing broadband-connected Blu-ray players and TVs. Boxee which plans to begin distributing its $199 Boxee Box in November, but isn’t cutting the price for its receiver, which will allow users access to Web video content from dozens of providers. Boxee CEO Avner Ronen wrote in a blog post late Wednesday. “We have a different view of what users want in their living rooms. We are taking different paths to get there. The Boxee Box is going to be $100 more expensive than the Apple TV, but will give you the freedom to watch what you want,”
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The HCE III Tx/Rx HDBaseTâ„¢ extension system offers full HDMI 2.0 compliance supporting HDR (High Dynamic Range) and 4K@60Hz with 4:4:4 chroma sampling. Featuring PureLink's proprietary Pr©cis codec, a light compression technology, the HCE III can transport Ultra HD/4K, multi-channel audio, and High Dynamic Range (10 bits support) content over a single CATx cable. The HCE III provides HDMI extension up to 130 feet (40 meters) at Ultra HD/4K and up to 230 ft. (70 meters) at 1080p over category cable with embedded multi-channel audio, CEC pass-through, bi-directional RS-232 and IR control, and PoE - all with zero loss and zero noise. The HCE III Tx/Rx also supports Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD Master Audio plus LCPM (up to 192 kHz). Additionally, the low profile "slim box" enclosure design make the HCE III ideal for limited space installation environments, such as behind flat panel displays and video walls.