No Surprises - Aereo Sued

In a move that should surprise no-one, Aereo is being sued by not one, but two groups of broadcasters (including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the local PBS station) for allegedly rebroadcasting their content without permission. Subscribers pay $12/month to access 27 locally broadcast TV stations that Aereo streams via the web. Billionaire owner Barry Diller's, who was previously CEO at Fox, believes the company is not infringing copyright because each user does have their own antenna. The way Aereo works is that instead of rebroadcasting the signal from a single antenna, each watching subscriber is assigned a remote Aereo mini antenna. They just happen to be watching the channel with a remote antenna. Aereo is due to launch its service on March 14th, exclusively in New York city.

AVSystemsMag.com, the new eMagazine has a greater focus on Commercial AV, Automation and Digital Signage

HomeToys.com, a leading Home Technology and Automation eMagazine, went live today with a freshly revamped website. The new look is designed with increased white space and easier to navigate features that will improve the reader's overall experience. Not to worry though, it's 16 years of archived articles, news and product information remains intact. It's just easier to find. Along with the revamped look for HomeToys, the developers also formally announced the launch of their newest eMagazine, AVSystemsMag.com. Following the same mission and format as its sister publication AVSystemsMag.com will have a stronger focus on the Commercial side of AV & Automation as well as the digital signage industry.   Click here to visit AVSystemsMag.com:

Digital Signage Expos is underway in Las Vegas, NV

Digital Signage Expo (DSE), the world's largest International Tradeshow and Conference dedicated exclusively to digital signage, interactive technology and digital out-of-home networks (DOOH) is underway in Las Vegas. DSE will present a total of 42 topics in its FREE On-Floor Workshop Program on March 6-9, 2012, in Las Vegas. DSE's FREE On-Floor Workshop Program runs in three show floor theater areas - with the Digital Content Show Theater dedicated specifically to the all-important topic of content - from 10:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. and offers a rich variety of walk-up presentations on Wednesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 8. Click here for list of topics:

Z-Wave Snowballs to 600th Certified Product

Six months ago, saw the 500th certified Z-Wave product: a goal that took almost 6 years to reach. Today, the announcement of a 600th product indicates rapid growth in Z-Wave. What are the primary factors for the growth?

HTML 5 and Digital Signage

One of the most significant aspects of HTML 5 for digital signage is dynamic content. HTML 5 makes it very easy to display real time information such as stock prices, weather, news headlines, sports scores, etc. Much of this can be accomplished with technologies such as JQuery, and there are companies such as GeckoBoard who specialize in delivering business intelligence via the web. Mark Anderson is a long-time home theater enthusiast and lives on the bleeding edge of Home Automation. He will be covering everything related to Home Automation and AV. He is also a regular contributor to avystemsmag.com, where he covers commercial AV and automation.Please welcome Mark to the HomeToys team.

The Rise of the Personal Cloud

From the starting point of data backup and synchronization, personal cloud services over the next few years will increasingly focus on media access and storage.

Merging Thermal Storage with Load Shifting for Efficient Cooling

Reprinted with permission from AutomatedBuildings.com The theory behind load shifting is to use more power when it's cheap and less power when it's expensive. The overall system costs are quite low. The insulated holding tank is just a re-used water heater tank, and the thermal battery tank is a store-bought cooler priced at $80. The off-the-shelf copper coils were priced at $20 apiece, and the small circulating pumps each cost around $50. The total cost of the sensors, the Barionet, and the MBus_Io10_LCD is under $350. The WattNode demand meter and the water meter are optional components and economically priced.

Discovering Your Process

One of my most recent adventures was just doing this rediscovering. First off we organized a Team having expertise in the various Departments - Sales, Project Management, Procurement, System Engineer, and Operations. They provide a great detail look into their day-to-day operations regarding how changes should occur. Things we first identified…too many E-Mails going around, Items not getting ordered correctly based on changes, things falling through the cracks, Changes not truly being managed, and Multiple Change Request currently.

Here a Tablet, Everywhere a Tablet

Consumers are using tablets for emails, checking on the news, social networking, gaming, reading books and watching videos. But, how are businesses using tablets? Just as the notebooks have replaced the PC, we can expect the tablet to replace the notebook, as they are smaller and lighter. The usage of tablets in business is multifaceted; and we will see more creative uses in the future, but the future of tablets in business will depend on software development, which is in a growth stage right now.

Trends of 2011 and the Storylines for 2012

Many thanks to our friends at Parks Associates for this great summary of what happened last year and what to expect over the next.

A 3D Printing Primer

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship "Enterprise". Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Do these words sound familiar? Well, today man has gone where no man has gone before. On the star ship Enterprise, there is a device known as a "replicator." The concept was to have a 23rd century technology that could replicate anything by reconstituting raw material into the object desired.

What Are the Characteristics of a Good-Sounding Room?

No matter how well treated, there is no such thing as a perfect-sounding room. Second, no matter how good a room might sound on its own, every room can be improved with intelligently-applied acoustic treatment.

A Year Without Cable TV

A little over a year ago, I went cold turkey with Cable. I had literally everything that one of the big providers could offer (as my sister-in-law worked there, and we owned a two-flat with her). In this article, I'll share my experiences and the current state of play with TV in my house. Mark Anderson is a long-time home theater enthusiast and lives on the bleeding edge of Home Automation. He will be covering everything related to Home Automation and AV. He is also a regular contributor to avystemsmag.com, where he covers commercial AV and automation.Please welcome Mark to the HomeToys team.

NFC coming to a smart phone near you

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. So, what does this mean? If you attend a trade show and meet someone, whom you would like to exchange business cards, you both can touch your NFC smart phones to the other's show badge and the information is exchanged. You no longer have to carry a pocket full of business cards, or have to sort cards after the show.

Z-Wave Announces 600th Certified Product

The Z-Wave Alliance, the consortium behind the world's largest ecosystem of interoperable wireless control solutions, today announced that it has certified its 600th product. This major milestone solidifies its position as the leading consortium dedicated to Home Control and Smart Energy development. The 600th Z-Wave product is a Whole House Energy Meter designed to provide timely and accurate consumption data. Six months ago, saw the 500 th certified Z-Wave product: a goal that took almost 6 years to reach. Today, the announcement of a 600 th product indicates rapid growth in Z-Wave. What are the primary factors for the growth? Read Mark's take on this here.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

GreenPeak’s GP565 – ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

GreenPeak's GP565 - ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

The GP565 Smart Home RF chip for remote controls supports voice control, motion sensing and the new ZRC 2.0 protocol. The GP565 is optimized for advanced & low cost ZigBee RF4CE remote controls. • 120k or 248k Flash (8k or 16k RAM) memory • 40-pin footprint to support a keyboard scanner interface or other IO interfaces required for remote controls. • Reduced current consumption and improved receiver sensitivity and output power • Patented Antenna Diversity technology enables superior range and WiFi/Bluetooth interference rejection