Google working on home entertainment device

The company behind the Web’s most popular search engine is working on a home entertainment device, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission. And reports say that device will stream music wirelessly in people's homes. Google plans to test 252 of the devices in its employees’ homes in Mountain View, Calif., where it has its headquarters; in Los Angeles; in New York; and in Cambridge, Mass. The device uses wireless home networks and “requires testing outside the laboratory environment,” the filing said. The device isn’t ready to ship yet. The company says it’s still in the “prototyping phase.” Google is looking for promising gushers other than its gangbusters search advertising business, which accounts for nearly all its revenue.  

Amazon and Viacom close to Web video deal

Amazon.com Inc is about to announce a Web video deal with Viacom Inc in what sources said was one of the last steps in a plan to launch a standalone subscription service to compete with Netflix Inc. The online retailer will unveil the deal as soon as this week, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Viacom, which owns TV shows and movies from MTV Networks, Nickelodeon and Paramount Studios, would be the latest of several partners Amazon has made deals with for its Prime Instant Video service. So far, major studios such as CBS Corp, Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros, News Corp's Fox, Sony Corp, Comcast Corp's NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co have licensed programming to the retailer.

VERIZON AND COINSTAR'S REDBOX FORM JOINT VENTURE TO CREATE NEW CONSUMER CHOICE FOR VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT

Verizon and Coinstar, Inc. today announced the formation of a joint venture that will create a new choice for quality- and value-conscious consumers seeking a simple and affordable way to access the video entertainment they crave. The venture's services will offer all of the convenience, simplicity and value of Redbox® new release DVD and Blu-ray Disc® rentals combined with a new content-rich video on-demand streaming and download service from Verizon. The joint venture plans to introduce the product portfolio in the second half of 2012. It will offer subscription services and more in an easy-to-use, flexible and affordable service that will allow all consumers across the U.S. to enjoy the new and popular entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the media and devices they prefer. Additional brand and product information will be revealed in the coming months.  

Is the Japanese TV Business Facing Extinction?

You would be forgiven for thinking that TV manufacturers were doing pretty well. After all, for the last few years we’ve seen abundance of new products flooding the market: 3D, ultra-skinny backlit LED, 70”+ behemoths, 21:9 ratio sets and OLED is being released later this year. Despite this, all is not well in TV-land.  Several manufacturers have recently issues losses (or warnings of losses) in their TV divisions: Panasonic warned of $10.2B loss and reduced projected shipments of TV from 19 million to 18 million sets this year. A few days ago, Sharp announced its worst ever annual loss of $3.8b and said it will cut the output at its largest TV panel factory by 50% to reduce inventory. Sony is predicting losses in its TV business for the 8th consecutive year. Hitachi announced that it will stop making TV’s in its Gifu facility by September this year. In 2011, Philips abandoned TV production. According to flat panel industry research company DisplaySearch, annual global sales of liquid crystal TV’s will contract by 8% by 2015 and plasma will shrink by 38%. The latter not being good news for Panasonic, who are the major manufacturer in this sector. Many of the manufacturers’ problems are caused by fluctuations in the Yen, which has appreciated by almost 25-percent in the last 3 years. This makes exports of Japanese products very expensive in relation to other countries’ products (such as South Korea). In an effort to combat this and the effect of exchange rate fluctuations, many are turning to outsourcing and contract manufacturing. South Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG now produce about one third of all TV’s globally and will ship new OLED products later this year. Vizio has leapt to over 25%. As a result, there has been a lot of shake ups in the Japanese companies while they try and recover. With strong rumors that Apple will launch their TV in the near future, the Japanese manufacturers have little to be positive about.

Happy Chinese workers spell the end of affordable tech

Recent coverage in the media over worker conditions in the Chinese factories which manufacture Apple's products have "exposed" much of what all of us in the technology industry already knew but were unwilling to accept - that China is the most powerful engine of production for the technology industry, and that the blood, sweat and tears of Chinese workers is what fuels that hungry engine, at a tremendous cost to human rights. The bottom line why all of these manufacturers, Apple included, outsource much of their manufacturing to China is that the labor is cheap, in addition to escaping American taxes and regulatory issues which lower the costs of production. It would be nearly impossible for these companies to stay competitive if they produced electronics in the United States because you would have to pay these workers decent salaries and decent benefits, you would have to conform to American labor laws which significantly reduce the number of hours these people could work, and you could never legally employ child workers. So the sad truth is that in order to feed the world's thirst for the latest and greatest in inexpensive smartphones, tablets, computers and other consumer electronics, a vast number of human beings in China need to suffer.

LG Display in talks with Sony to supply OLED TV panels?

There are reports that Sony is increasing its LCD panel purchases from LG Display. Sony stopped their partnership with Samsung (Samsung bought Sony's stake in the LCD joint venture). An LGD official is quoted saying that future talks will also cover OLED TV panel outsourcing. LG Display is currently gearing up to start producing 55" OLED TV panels. Their 8.5-Gen pilot line will produce around 48,000 monthly panels - which probably won't be enough to outsource to Sony. But LGD already decided to increase their OLED TV panel capacity (by building a new fab or perhaps converting an LCD line). This will take at least a year and half.

Boxee officially pulls the plug on PC client

Want to run Boxee on your PC or Mac? Then hurry up; Boxee is removing all copies of its PC-based app from its servers by the end of the day Tuesday to fully concentrate on the Boxee Box. The company announced the move late last year, and Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen confirmed Monday that the company is going through with its plans, despite some criticism from Boxee's early adopters.

Foundation™ Platform for Residential Demand Response and Home Energy Management

Foundation combines not only multiple features, but also, in effect, multiple devices. It is both a smart thermostat and an in-home display integrated into a single device. It is also extensible with the ability to control other loads, receive over-the-air (OTA) upgrades and add support for another network, such as Wi-Fi, with a USNAP (Universal Smart Network Access Port) module.

3D Projection Technology

The future of 3D will grow with more engaging content (movies/games) and the effects/experience of 3D to be even immersive (almost like a virtual reality experience). And we (Mitsubishi) continue our trend of making the 3D experience even more engaging (i.e. our recent example of our HC7800D implementation of 3D).

ISE 2012 (Integrated Systems Europe) Trade Show Report

With over 750 exhibitors ISE 2012 in Amsterdam was the largest professional AV and systems integration trade show ever held in Europe, bringing together manufacturers, distributors, integrators, specifiers and technology managers from over 100 countries worldwide.

ISE 2012 - Special News Report

News and Product Announcements from the show.

CES 2012 - Special News Report

News and Product Announcements from the show.

CES … It's a Show, It's Biz, Live with It

With more than 13 football fields of show space, CES attendees have to crowd in opening day and walk themselves ragged in hopes of not just seeing all the show but seeing what will win/fail big in the coming year.

Unlock the Secret to Selling to the Military

Selling to the military is not easy, but if you are persistent and take one step at a time, asking questions along the way, military sales can add substantially to your bottom line.

AVSystemsMag.com - Bringing all the news from Integrated Systems Europe 2012

Being held in Amsterdam this week ISE 2012 welcomes over 750 exhibitors amd will be the largest professional AV and systems integration trade show ever held in Europe, bringing together manufacturers, distributors, integrators, specifiers and technology managers from over 100 countries worldwide. AVSystemsMag.com will bring you all the breaking industry news and product announcements via our ISE 2012 Newspage. Click here to visit the ISE Webpage Stay tuned for our ISE 2012 show report.

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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