Best home theater in a box: Take the guesswork out of pairing a surround-sound system with your TV

Theo Nicolakis for TechHive:  An HTIB contains everything you need for the audio element of a true home theater system. They typically include five speakers (right, left, and center speakers for the front of the room, left and right surround channels for the rear sides of the room, and a subwoofer for deep bass and low-frequency effects), precut cables, and an A/V receiver that ties the entire system together, much like the conductor in a symphony. We evaluated three HTIB systems, on its own merits. The one that’s exactly right for you will require you to balance your wants, needs, and must-haves. Since our primary consideration was performance in a home-theater setting, Onkyo’s $899 HT-S7700 is our top pick, because it’s the only one of the three systems to support the immersive audio technology Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos supports height as well as surround channels. Onkyo also did the best job of balancing features and performance, and it was the easiest system to set up.   Full Review:

Control4 Acquires Pakedge Device & Software

Control4 Corporation (NASDAQ:CTRL), a leading global provider of smart home solutions, today announced the acquisition of Pakedge Device & Software, Inc., a leader in advanced networking products and cloud network-management services for both wireless and wired networking solutions for the connected home and business. "The connected consumer, connected home, and connected business opportunity is expanding along with the complexities of supporting thousands of different devices and services in homes and business around the world," said Martin Plaehn, Control4 Chairman and CEO. "By embracing networking as an expanded core-competency, integrating it tightly with our entertainment and automation capabilities, and delivering a single cloud-based reporting and management solution, Control4 will be able to harness the expanding opportunity, bring more simplicity to the complicated, and increase satisfaction for our end customers."    Full Press Release...    

AUDIOFluance Announces Fi70, First Wireless Speaker With Dual 8″ Woofers

ByJustin Jelinek for Techaeris:  Fluance continues to raise the bar on audiophile-quality wireless speakers. They started with theirbookshelf Fi30, and later upgraded that to the Fi50. They’ve recently announced their Signature Series floor speakers, a pair of powerhouse speakers. Today, Fluance has announced a new wireless Bluetooth speaker, the Fluance Fi70. The Fi70 is sure to start a conversation before silencing that conversation with powerful music. Based on what we’ve seen from Fluance, I’m confident the Fi70 is going to sound fantastic, but even more so, anyone who sees it is sure to comment on its looks first. This is a uniquely shaped speaker, but it’s got more than enough power that people shouldn’t focus on its looks for too long. The Fi70 is the first wireless speaker with dual 8″ woofers, meaning this thing is going to move some air for sure. Backing up those 8″ woofers are 5” woven glass fiber midrange drivers and 1” neodymium tweeters. Couple all of those speakers with a 280 watt amplifier, and you’ve got yourself a party waiting to happen. You can read more about the Fluance Fi70 in the full press release below, or you can head directly over to Fluance.com and order one of your very own for $499.   Cont'd...

What is HDR (High Dynamic Range) and why do you want it?

HDR creates pictures in the same way that the human eye does. It makes videos come to life with shadows and shading details we have never seen on other displays.

Estimating App for AV Integrators - Jetbuilt

Jetbuilt allows users to estimate a substantial project in minutes, not hours.

Shrinking Space in RF Poses Challenges to AV Integrators

By Kelleigh Welch for AV Network:  Picture your desk—you have a computer, a phone, a few folders with information about your latest project, a photo of your dog, all carefully arranged in their own designated space. Now cut the size of your desk in half—you can still fit everything in the space, it’s just a lot more cramped. Such is the case with the wireless spectrum as the FCC continues to auction off pieces designated for TV broadcast and wireless microphone systems. Currently, wireless systems have access to the 470 to 698 mHz frequencies, but on March 29, 2016, this range will get smaller as pieces are auctioned off to mobile broadband companies. So what does this mean for integrators? To start, with fewer frequencies to work with, integrators need to future proof their systems by choosing reliable and efficient wireless systems. “Right now, if you are designing or putting together a concept for an install, you need to choose systems that are spectrally efficient. You have to look for attributes that can serve your install, with a wide tuning coverage,” explained Nick Wood, category director for wireless systems, Shure.   Cont'd...

Hunting: CES Always Has Jewels, Promises, Something for Everyone

There's a reason CES is in Vegas every year...things look more real, better on the stage...you get entertained no matter where you turn.

Upcoming Tradeshow, Conference & Exhibition Summary - Feb, March, April & May 2016

Here is a summary of what Tradeshows, Conferences & Exhibitions to look forward to in the coming months.

HomeToys.com - Special Tradeshow Coverage of Integrated Systems Europe 2016.

ISE 2016 will be held from February 9th - 12th in Amsterdam. This HomeToys.com Special Tradeshow report aims to bring you news, articles and products from this years event.

The New Home Theater

Today, the electronics stores are promoting a different home theater experience. Their version of a home theater is an HDTV and a sound bar.

CES 2016 - Special News Report

News and Product announcements from CES 2016. You are welcome to post your company news here.

Ask, Listen: Consumers Need Time, Help to Jump to Tomorrow

Technology is important, but even more important is an understanding of the consumer - what he/she really wants - and how to make the technology easy to use and/or seamless to implement/enjoy.

Hunters: Shows Bring Media's Friends Out of the Woodwork

Trade shows, events are important for companies, management, attendees and yes the media; but with the flurry of contact leading to the event, it's no wonder when you tell the analyst/ reporter that their meeting with you is really important they agree with Mr. Joshua, "No, no! I wish I could believe you. But unfortunately, I don't."

SmartThings And Samsung Team Up To Make Your TV A Smart Home Hub

Jordan Crook  for TechCrunch:  Samsung and SmartThings are buddying up to introduce Samsung’s latest line of Smart TVs, complete with SmartThings platform integration so folks can use their TVs as an interface to control the home. There is no shortage of internet-connected devices out there, from standard security systems and smart lighting systems all the way to the connected kettle. But a connective language that unifies those devices is harder to come by. SmartThings is aiming to introduce that by teaming up with potential interfaces, including the Amazon Echo and this most recent foray into Smart TVs. With this latest move, owners of the new 2016 Samsung SUHD TVs will be able to use their television as a controller for more than 200 SmartThings-compatible devices.   Cont'd...

The Year Ahead: 2016 -A year of Technology Cloud Bursts, El Nino-Like Changes

2016 will see the cloud provider leaders play an increasing role in the business of business and the business of consumers. Not because it's a good thing, but because we'll relax a lot of our requirements (privacy, security).

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Home Tech - Featured Product

IntraSonic Technology - I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom System

IntraSonic Technology - I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom System

Get wired for sound throughout your home with a new state-of-the-art communications and entertainment system! The I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom Systems provide a wide variety of features at an affordable price so you can enjoy the luxury of music throughout every room in your home without moving a muscle. Interested in wireless music streaming? See our optional Bluetooth Receiver