Don't expect lower cost OLED's any time soon

  According to DisplaySearch, manufacturing costs for 55” OLED panels are 8-10 times higher than LCD. LG, who employ WRGB OLED on an IGZO substrate, will be able to do so for eight times the cost of a comparative LCD. Samsung, will be looking at a cost of ten times LCD for their direct-emission OLED. Although, Samsung can produce OLED at a 30% premium in small sizes (e.g. for phones and tablets), producing large panels still has comparatively lower yields and higher material costs. It will be interesting to see if Samsumg will be able to recoup that additional 25% at retail. With such a huge manufacturing differential, it’s hard to imagine that we’ll be seeing 55” OLED’s in stores for $10,000 before the end of 2012.

Sony, Sharp highlight Japan electronics woes

A profit warning from Sony and a massive loss forecast from Sharp have highlighted the depth of the problems facing Japan's consumer electronics industry, beset by an expensive yen and evaporating competitiveness in televisions. Sony, which is coming off a Y457bn ($5.8bn) net loss for fiscal 2011, on Thursday said that a promised rebound this year would be smaller than it initially expected. Sharp, meanwhile, widened its full-year net loss forecast more than eightfold, to Y250bn from the Y30bn it predicted in May, and said that it planned to eliminate 5,000 jobs -- its first workforce reduction since 1950. Japanese tech groups such as Sony and Sharp had invested heavily in production facilities for liquid crystal TV displays, only to find themselves unable to compete as prices for flatscreen sets plunged. The yen's 50 per cent rise against the currencies of Japan's trading partners since mid-2008 has made them that much more vulnerable to cheaper Taiwanese and South Korean producers.

33% of Cord Cutters Gone for Good

I’m a cord cutter, so I can relate to this. I don’t miss my $100+ per month cable bill and with prices set to hit $200+ per month by 2020 , I don’t think I’ll ever go back. In a recent survey by deal aggregator TechBargains.com , 33% of the 1604 respondents have already cut the cord and said they would never return at any price. The survey also found that 29% of respondents  are cord cutters, with 83% of those stating that subscription is too expensive. The remaining 17% primarily cited content being limited in quality and variety. At 74%, Netflix is the leading streaming content provider, beating YouTube by 13% I cut the cord a few years ago. It was a bit of a learning curve getting everything setup and there’s some upfront investment required, but it’s getting easier every day. Hulu’s recent support for the AppleTV is just another stepping stone to cord cutting nirvana. Cable companies are not sitting on their laurels. Most are now offering multi-room systems, home automation, cloud-based energy management and several hundred megabit download speeds to try and retain subscribers.

NPD DisplaySearch Revises Digital Signage Display Forecast

The global market for public displays remains strong, but in recent quarters, flat panel display manufacturers have emphasized revenue and profit over volume, thus lowering the overall unit shipment outlook for this category. As production of plasma displays continues to wind down, LCD-based commercial displays have yet to fully fill the void, according to the recently released NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report. With reduced production of plasma, the public display market fell 13 percent year to year; however, LCD public display shipments were up 23 percent year to year, according to the report. Forecasts still show strong growth, with the market set to push near 12 million units sold in 2018, an increase from just under 3 million units in 2011. Growth will be driven by new applications for public displays such as digital signage, interactive white boards, video walls, electronic menu boards, as well as the global trend toward urbanization in developing countries seen most visibly in China.

Leviton Acquires Home Automation, Inc.

Leviton today announced the acquisition of Home Automation, Inc. (HAI), a leader in home automation controls for residential and light commercial applications. HAI enhances Leviton's current home automation offerings by providing homeowners with solutions that combine security, energy management and entertainment controls, in user-friendly applications. Integrating HAI products with Leviton's solutions provides homeowners with a smart choice for automation and remote access capabilities. HAI has a wide-ranging product offering, from systems that allow homeowners to control their automated video surveillance system and audio devices over the Internet to programmable thermostats and light switches accessible directly from a smart phone. "Leviton's acquisition of HAI represents a significant expansion of our offerings in the residential market, and furthers Leviton's commitment to providing customers with the latest technologies as affordable, easy-to-use solutions," said Daryoush Larizadeh, Chief Operating Officer of Leviton. "Leviton and HAI are two established brands coming together to offer a complete whole home automation solution that customers can trust."  

HuluPlus now on AppleTV - How to get a 2-month free trial.

Cord cutters rejoice. Hulu have just announced that HuluPlus is now available on AppeTV. For $7.99 a month, billed to the subscriber's iTunes account, users can get access to content from top broadcast channels, such as ABC, NBC, FOX, The CW and Univision as well as many other content partners. Unfortunately, paying $7.99/month does not excuse you from advertisements; although, the shows claim to have “limited ads”. Prior to the announcement, the only TV content available on AppleTV was via the iTunes store or Netflix. I’m sure Apple is getting a cut of the subscription revenue, but it’s bound to hurt sales of TV content on iTunes. Eagerly, I fired up my AppleTV and gave it a try. Quality wasn’t bad: Hell’s Kitchen wasn’t quite as good as my over the air HD, and I can now get BBC America content, so I’m sold. For those who want more than the paltry one week free trial on offer on AppleTV, follow this link to get two months free. Sign up and then simply select “I already have a HuluPlus subscription” when prompted on the AppleTV Apple has long treated AppleTV as a hobby. Maybe things are changing in Cupertino.

Retail tech heats up to beat holiday shopping lockdown

While the holiday shopping season doesn't kick off till the fall, the behind-the-scenes tech preparations for the season are already heating up this summer — and those technology deployments should be even bigger and better this year. And a recent study suggests that retailers will be spending even more on high-tech this year in an effort to steal a march on competitors and surf the bleeding edge of customer engagement technologies. From basic POS system repairs to digital signage installations, retailers are tackling a variety of tech projects now in order to prepare for the holiday rush in Q4, according to tech service company OnForce. Because when the rush starts, these repairs and upgrades will mean downtime they can't afford, especially at the register. And their deadline isn't Black Friday — it's Halloween, which generated almost $7 billion in retail revenue last year. And according to new research from the Computing Technology Industry Association, 63 percent of retailers expect to increase their spending on technology solutions in the coming year.

Will the DLNA Premium Video Platform Change the Set Top Box Landscape?

It's almost a decade since the conception of DLNA. Over half a billion devices support it, but none of these are able to play DRM content. The DLNA Premium Video platform changes this, by allowing premium content to be streamed within the home without a set-top box in every room.

VPN vs Port Forwarding: Which is Best for Delivering Remote Access to Home or Small Office Networks?

There are several methods for implementing a remote network connection. The two most common methods are Port Forwarding and Virtual Private Networking (VPN). In this article, these two methods will be discussed and compared. Which method an installer elects to use may depend upon the features supported by the equipment being installed

Novel Home Automation Projects That Don't Break the Bank

When we think about Home Automation Systems, we tend to think of things like lighting control, HVAC control, energy monitoring, whole house audio and video and security. A good integrator can help you solve many other everyday annoyances without breaking the bank. Our friends at DSI Entertainment Systems shared some interesting projects with us.

SunBriteTV Outdoor TV Interview

Installing a TV in an outdoor environment involves a little more than keeping it dry and in a location out of direct sunlight. We asked SunBriteTV's Tom Dixon, Vice President of Marketing, what makes a good outdoor TV and how it should be installed.

In Wall Speaker Placement: Five Simple Rules For Great-Sounding 5.1

It's classic Mars and Venus: one of you craves the thrill of 5.1 surround-sound in movies, music - even many television shows today. But the other half of your relationship is definitely not excited by the idea of five large speakers in the room. Enter in wall speakers, a sleek option for great sound without taking up any floor space. Modern in wall speakers aren't restricted to just white anymore - you can get them in paintable finishes that help them really blend into the room. Paint the speakers before you install them for the best finish.

Being a Technology Leader Means Staying Focused on the Goal

Innovation has got to be one of the most used, overused words in the 21st century. No one simply produces a new, better product...they innovated, changed the entire industry. They totally reshaped your universe while you were asleep last evening. Innovation doesn't necessarily mean a new product/solution that will turn the earth on its ear. It's a new, better way of looking at what you're using, doing in a totally different way. Sometimes - ok lots of times - you look at what Apple, Samsung have done and you say "big deal." But it's the elegance of what they achieved that you can use immediately and it feels as though you've always done it that way...that's true innovation at its best

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.

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