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Introducing several new products to enhance the Control4 experience

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Control4 is excited to introduce the EA Series of Entertainment and Automation Controllers! Representing the next-generation platform for smart home innovation, they feature high-resolution audio, high-performance automation and industry-leading interoperability. The EA Series controllers and an all-new 10” tabletop touch screen are shipping now!
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What is Play-Fi

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Play-Fi® is premium whole-home wireless audio. Stream your favorite content with astounding audio quality, from every mobile device or directly from this server. All Play-Fi products are seamlessly interoperable, so you can find the perfect speaker for every room, and know that they will all make beautiful music together. With many high quality speaker brands now using Play-Fi technology, it’s easy to set up a whole home wireless network.

Among the brands that are incorporating Play-Fi solutions into their speakers or amps include:
Definitive Technology, Martin Logan, Polk Audio, Paradigm, Anthem, Wren, Arcam & McIntosh
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Learn more about Play-Fi here

A look at how Control4 home automation can help those with autism live a fuller life

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Sometimes Home Automation is more than just convenient. Take a look at how a Control4 system gave the Wildes family the freedom to leave their 20-year-old autistic son home alone without sacrificing their peace of mind. Get the tissues ready—this one tugs the heartstrings.

[VIDEO]
http://www.control4.com/v/p7hw0yvd2v

Find out more about how Control4 has teamed up with Architectural Digest and ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment) to raise awareness and provide solutions to the challenges faced by ‪autism‬: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/technology-design-coordinating-for-a-cause-article

Control4 OS 2.8 is now available

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Last night, Control4 announced t from CEDIA in Dallas, TX the release of OS 2.8, which features new native streaming music services like Pandora, TIDAL, and Deezer; improvements to the user experience with music and movies; and a simpler and more robust security experience for all Control4 customers. Additionally, Control4 announced a Limited Edition Red 7″ Tabletop Touch Screen!
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The All-New PLAY:5 and Trueplay tuning

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Sonos is 100% focused on the home listening experience. How to dial it up. How to get the purest, most exact version of your favourite music all the way from the studio to your own front door. With nothing lost along the way.

This fall, SONOS will be giving two great new reasons to love listening at home even more.

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Coming this year, a revolutionary, no-holds-barred overhaul of our existing PLAY:5. This ultimate home audio powerhouse is designed to turn every song – from old favorites to new discoveries – into a richer listening experience. Subtle details emerge. Each specific voice and instrument shines through with more intense clarity as listeners connect with the music they love in a fresh and deeper way.

Rest assured, the launch of an all-new PLAY:5 isn’t going to affect our ongoing commitment to current systems. Look forward to regular updates and support for the original PLAY:5 for years to come.

Click here for the full PLAY:5 story

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Debuting in a software release later this fall, Trueplay makes every PLAY:1, PLAY:3, and PLAY:5 even smarter. It uses an iPhone or iPad to measure how sound reflects off the walls and other surfaces in any given room. Then fine-tunes the speaker to make sure it sounds great, no matter where you put it.

Click here to learn more about Trueplay

Control4 receives top honors in CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis

2015 CE Pro Brand Analysis reports Control4 is the leading brand in multiple categories for smart home solutions.

Salt Lake City, UT, June 1st, 2015 — Control4 Corporation (NASDAQ: CTRL), a leading global provider of smart home solutions, has been named as the top Whole-House Automation brand by the 2015 CE Pro 100 Brand Analysis report. CE Pro magazine is a leading trade publication for professionals involved in the custom electronics business. The report released today on CEPro.com includes a survey of the highest revenue-generating businesses in the custom installation industry which reveals that Control4 is viewed as a leading brand in seven unique categories, including recognition as the top brand in four of these categories as follows:

· Whole-House Automation – Top Brand
· Multi-Room Audio – Top Brand
· HVAC/Energy/Smart Grid Management – Top Brand
· Access Control – Top Brand
· Universal Remote Control – In the Top 2 Brands
· Lighting Control – In the Top 2 Brands
· Intercom Systems – In the Top 3 Brands

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Honeywell VAM Control4 Driver Now Available

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Honeywell’s VISTA Automation Module (VAM) provides an easy, affordable home and business light automation "starter" option for consumers. With the Honeywell VAM Control4 driver, you can now integrate your security system and ZWave lights into Control4 for extended functionality.

Driver features:
  • IP enabled - no serial cables needed!
  • Support for home, away and stay alarm modes
  • Arm and disarm
  • Multi-partition support (up to 4)
  • Z-wave dimmer control for up to 232 lighting loads
  • On/Off, dim, set level
  • Zone feedback status for up to 250 zones
  • Take complete control of your panel & VAM device through the Control4 system
  • Provides control and feedback from the security panel & associated ZWave light dimmers


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Five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

Control4
Control4 offers the ultimate in home automation—and so much more—by making the products and systems you already have and use everyday, work together. Learn how home automation can benefit your life in ways you never imagined possible. Below are five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

1. Do you have the right home for automation?
2. Determine what you want to automate
3. You’ll need the help of a professional—and that’s a good thing
4. Evaluate your home network
5. Expect the Unexpected

Download the Advanced Guide which investigates the 5 points in more detail.

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Tidal Launches First Artist Owned Music Service – Available On Sonos

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On March 30th, Tidal launched the first artist-owned high definition streaming music service. TIDALHiFi promises lossless FLAC streaming from over 25 million songs, expert-curated editorial, and most importantly, the perspective and input of A-List musicians from every genre. At a press conference Tidal majority owner Jay-Z announced his grand plans for the service. In addition to having the support of prominent musicians, Tidal presents a unique streaming experience with unique features like song credits, an integrated audio recognition feature, video support and editorial content from top artists.

“This is a platform that’s owned by artists. We are treating these people that really care about music with the utmost respect.
” – Jay –Z

To learn more read the article from IT Nerd here

TIDALHiFi is now available around the world for a $19.99 CAD monthly subscription. To listen on your Sonos Wireless HiFi System, go to ‘Add Music Services’ in the Sonos Controller App and follow the prompts.


Also: Access Your Favorite Indian Songs With Saavn
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Previously in Beta on Sonos, Saavn Pro launched on Sonos on Friday, March 27th. Saavn brings listeners a library of their favorite Indian and international songs, with a catalog of 2 million songs across 11 different languages.

For $3.99/month, listen to the latest Bollywood hits, classics, regional music, and even a huge English catalog.

Savant vs. Control4 (Savant Smart Host vs. Control4 HC250)

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As an avid installer of smaller home systems and theaters for my clients, I’m finding little value in Savant’s new Smart Host. I have been working with Control4 for a number of years now, and it seems to me that Control4 is still continuing to dominate this space. For comparison purposes, I’ve gathered the below details that I could from the Savant and Control4 websites:

control4-vs-savant

While the Smart Host is boasting more IR, I find that the more IR ports needs are becoming less needed. Control4’s Simple Device Discovery Protocol for IP connected devices has made the world of IP control of Smart TVs, Blu-Rays and media players such as AppleTV super easy to set-up, without the need for cumbersome IR Buds. Even when I do need IR, but don’t want the IR bud, the Control4 Blaster is there to help. For my customers, the On-Screen Display is used often for searching their movie database… often treated as a “coolio” factor with friends.

While Savant’s message about controlling up to 12 rooms is interesting, the HC250 can do the same thing for less money. Depending on the customers, needs, we leveraged keypads, remote controls and the Z2IR device to control multiple zones with a single HC-250.

The HC-250, plus Control4’s new SR-260, creates an awesome solution for entertainment centers and home theaters, at an MSRP that is less than the Smart Host itself. I’m struggling to see the real benefit of Savant’s system. I know they have a great app for use on tablets and smartphone, but I have yet to have a customer that runs their theater without a remote. Savant’s remote is twice as much as the SR-260.

I remember coming across an article last year that really highlighted the HC-250’s capabilities, a white paper by Dennis Burger. I think this article really speaks the unmatched capabilities of the HC-250, especially at a price point that speaks to customers.

Further expanding on this issue of pricing, from my personal experience, I’ve found that programming the Control4 system is way easier than any Savant system and the customer gets a solid, elegant experience with a ton of expandability.

Introducing the Cambridge Audio CX SERIES

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Cambridge Audio’s CX Series of hi-end components is set to revolutionize entertainment in the digital age.

It’s the result of our tradition of hi-fi excellence and the culmination of more than 30 years of digital expertise. What does it offer? A precise, detailed audio performance that will take your breath away and effortless compatibility with the digital music you love.

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Chowmain’s Advanced Announcements Driver for Control4

Chowmain’s Advanced Announcements Driver
The Control4 Home Automation system has the ability to play audio announcements through the audio outputs on its controllers and speaker points. These announcements can play back any file encoded in a wav format. Traditionally these announcements have been used for doorbells and pre-recorded messages.

Chowmain’s Advanced Announcements driver expands the announcement agent by providing integration with web based text to speech engines. This gives you futuristic dynamically generated voice notifications over your Control4 system without any additional hardware.

Driver features:
  • Dynamic text to speech generation
  • Ability to speak the date & time
  • Ability to inject variables
  • Currently supports 3 text to speech engines with multiple languages, voices, speed and pitch (SpeechUtil.com, VoiceRSS.org, iSpeech.org)
  • Ability to record your voice via a web browser for playback through Control4.

Control4 OS 2.7 is now available!

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The Control4 Operating System serves as the foundation upon which Control4 home automation is brought to life. And Control4 is raising the bar in smart home technology with our latest software release, OS 2.7. A new level of functionality and elegance will enhance the way you keep your home comfortable, communicate with everyone in the home, listen to music, control your pool and spa, and provide a slew of new features for added comfort and peace of mind in the home
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Control4 Introduces New Whole-Home High-Definition Video Intercom, Intuitively Smart Climate Control, and Elegant High-Performance Touch Screens

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One of the qualities that made Apple so successful is that it has total control of the ecosystem that its vast line of product encompasses. Along that same line, it’s a no brainer that many companies are following that exact same model. The impact of such business model is even more apparent for emerging niche markets such as the Smart Home segment. Among the leaders in the emerging industry is a company by the name of Control4, which has just recently released some fresh products and updates that are sure to make everyone on the block envious.

First up on the list of Control4 products is a new line of HD Video Intercom products that promises blazing quick usability as well as universal compatibility with other platforms such as iOS and Android. All new Control4 Video Intercom products feature quad-core processors to drive mouth watering HD videos—be it for monitoring a baby room or checking for who’s at the front door. The displays themselves come as either 7 or 10-inch wall-mountable, and 7-inch tabletop for coffee tables, bed-stand and portable use. Control4 promises out-of-the-box (OTB) functionality, and all users have to do is add two video-enabled endpoints to get things rolling.

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In conjunction with the release of the new hardware, Control4 has also revamped its Control4 OS to match. Control4 OS 2.7 has a completely redesigned user interface (UI) to deliver the most amazing climate control experience. Control4 has tweaked the UI as to enable users to be able to access all the climate control features with a simple flick of a finger. The new Comfort Control interface also has improved compatibility with the top HVAC systems.

Control4 isn’t letting its competitors get ahead in the world of smart thermostats either. The company also announced the launch a Control4 smart thermostat that it jointly developed with climate control specialist Aprilaire.

It takes a tremendous amount of resources to create a tech ecosystem that works harmoniously. Smart Home-based products are no exception, and Control4 is paving the road for others to follow by developing products that are simple and easy to use, not just on its own but also with each other. If you’re looking for Smart Home products that works flawlessly, look no further

For more information visit Control4 or contact us here.

Subwoofer Positioning and Crossover Adjustment

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Article by Audioholics

I. Positioning

For this section, I'll assume: (1) You have nothing other than your two healthy ears to assess your listening room's acoustical signature; (2) unless otherwise noted, you are running signal through nothing other than your 2 subs; (3) you have a collection of applicable test signals sufficient for you to determine at various stages the nature of the sound you perceive at the listening position and how the room is affecting that sound; and (4) all appropriate, preceding tasks necessary for calibration of the rest of your audio system have already been accomplished.

Note: If you do have at hand appropriate gear capable of making accurate time or frequency domain measurements, feel free to use it as/when needed. I'll be treating the topic of subwoofer placement based on in-room response measurement techniques more in-depth in Part II of the Place For Bass.

Sub calibration can be divided into 5 steps:

1. Subwoofer position adjustment.
2. Listener's position adjustment.
3. Adjustment of phase between subs & mains.
4. Parametric equalization
5. Subwoofer gain matched to that of the rest of the system.

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SONOS's new Brand Identity - The Moiré Effect

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“Together with Sonos, we assessed our initial visual identity and determined that we needed to push harder to signal Sonos' leadership, relevance, and dedication to the music experience.

This new iteration of the Sonos visual identity advances the idea of the modern music experience – not singular or monolithic but a rich diversity of expressions. Performance imagery from Sonos Studio, new product photography and the introduction of three big graphic tools that can be mixed and remixed, deliver a creative and variable language while still providing the stability of a recognizable system.” - Bruce Mau Design Read More...

Unleash the Automation Beast with OS 2.6 from Control4

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There’s virtually no limit to what can be automated in your home by upgrading to Control4’s new OS 2.6. It marks the next step in your journey toward making your house the best it can be—comfortable, convenient, and fun!
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Now Playing on Sonos: SoundCloud

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Even the greatest artists started somewhere. Which is why Sonos has added SoundCloud to their music services. SoundCloud connects music creators with music lovers and lets them share their latest sounds. With SoundCloud on Sonos you can enjoy immersive sound and explore the largest community of emerging and established artists throughout your home.

SONOS PLAYBAR performance enhancements and app update

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Today Sonos is excited to launch a public beta for Android users and announce our upcoming software release with enhancements to both PLAYBAR and the Sonos app.

The soundbar for music lovers just got better

Our favorite artists never stop evolving, and neither do our products. Our upcoming software release will deliver on this promise by improving on PLAYBAR’s category-leading music sound performance.
PLAYBAR will play music the way it was meant to be heard. Using stereo imaging to improve the soundstage, along with updates to the EQ and volume balance, so that even the slightest nuances in the music are positioned more clearly, with a more immersive, natural sound.
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Introduction to Dolby Atmos

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An immersive cinema experience is never too far away with Dolby’s new Atmos sound system. What sets Dolby Atmos apart from other premium sound systems is that it is built upon a brand new sound technology that reproduces the sound of individual objects instead of ‘mixing’ them in conventional channels.

Sound engineers have, for quite awhile, been restricted to just a few channels when putting together tracks. This means what we usually hear in a song or a movie scene isn’t exactly what the artists wanted to convey.

Dolby Atmos removes this constraint by producing a sound format that’s based on objects instead of channels. Sounds such as a helicopter hovering overhead is reproduced as its own ‘audio object.’ Meaning, the sound of a speeding car below won’t get mixed in, giving you the full experience of the scene as intended by the director.

When you think of sound, we think of it as a being multidimensional. That is, it moves around, above and below us. So it is crucial that sound artists and producers have means of painting a scene that we can all relate to, which they do now with Dolby Atmos.

Although the new object-based sound format is quite revolutionary, it does not mean that users will have to compromise if the entertainment mediums do not support it. The sound system is backward compatible with conventional stereo and 5.1/7.1-channel sounds.

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Additionally, Dolby Atmos can scale down the object-based sound experience to fit the needs of headphone users. By combining Dolby Atmos with advance on-the-go technology that relies on things such as outer ear and shoulder cues, headphone users can, too, experience just as much magic as they would in a full-scale home cinema system.

Discussing Home Automation Concerns

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For the past decade, smart home technology has been viewed as something that only the incredibly wealthy, or incredibly technologically aware, possess. High prices, complicated installations, and intricate technology have contributed to the belief that a completely automated home was something reserved for movie superhero alter-egos of the Clark Kent variety, and millionaires. Recently, however, the rapid proliferation of mobile internet and smartphones, along with an increasing number of companies choosing to invest in more user intuitive home automation products, has made the idea of a “smart home” more attainable than ever.
So if a system is more affordable, and easily connects to products many homeowners already have, why isn’t everyone opting for a more intelligent, wireless home? We turned to social media to find the answers, and what we found, using data from
Viral Heat, was that while over 50% of Twitter users discussing home automation were entirely positive about the idea, around 25% still had concerns regarding home automation systems. The top concerns are discussed below:
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Home Automation a Rising Trend at CES 2014

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In January the annual Consumer Electronics show will once be taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. From January 7th-10th 2014, all the latest products will be debuted, from televisions, to tablets, PCs to speakers.
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The Voicepod - The world's first dedicated wireless speech module for home automation

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VoicePod is an exciting new home automation device that speech-enables your home. VoicePod both listens and talks, which adds a whole new dimension to daily living and offers countless benefits. VoicePod offers unprecedented convenience, security, and flexibility and is a desirable new alternative to traditional keypads, remotes and touch screens.
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SnapAV WattBox Now Has The Power Of The Cloud!

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Self-Healing Auto Reboot
There's nothing more frustrating than wasting time and money to roll a truck to a customer's site for a simple reset. That problem is solved with Wattbox IP+. Thanks to its self-healing auto reboot, if a router, satellite receiver or other device loses connectivity to the Internet, our smart detection technology will uncover the problem and automatically cycle the power.

Remote Access and IP Control
For those times when a manual reset is required, Wattbox IP+ Remote Access enables you to cycle power from anywhere in the world. Turn off a single outlet - or all outlets – right from your PC or Mac's web browser. And thanks to IP control, you can download popular control system drivers to get simple network-based device management at your fingertips. Visit each product’s Support Tab for more information.
See the interface

Managing Customer Accounts
When you need to remotely access a customer’s Wattbox, don’t waste time searching through your records to find the location and IP address. Instead, set up a web-based document to house and organize all important information – Wattbox types, locations and addresses – so it’s simple to find. We recommend using Google Drive, and have created a sample spreadsheet to get you started (see the product Support Tabs). See how it’s done

Sophisticated Programming & Scheduling
Advanced doesn't even begin to cover it. With Wattbox IP+ Programming & Scheduling you can create custom events, like power sequencing, and automate commonly performed functions. Does the wireless router act up over time? Automatically reboot it once a week to clear out any gremlins.

Email Alerts
Stay informed by setting up customized email alerts for key events that occur, like an auto reboot. This feature makes it easy to spot failure patterns, or just stay on top of what's happening with each system. With the ability to support multiple email addresses, alerts are sent wherever you need them to go.

Fast Setup
The supplied Wattbox Utility program takes the guesswork out of initial setup. Once your Wattbox conditioners are connected to the network, the Utility automatically detects them and provides a fast, intuitive way to configure IP addresses and launch the browser interface.
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Introducing Control4 OS 2.3

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control4, lightingcontrol4, mydevicecontrol4 access agentcontrol4 preformance and stabity
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Better performance. Elegant enhancements to the interface. New features that let you personalize your system and simplify your life. And more! Control4 OS 2.3 lets you control your home, your way.

This is the most substantial Control4 software releases to date! OS 2.3 delivers powerful new features including:
  • Software enhancements to optimize system performance
  • New tools to simplify system set up, programming and support
  • Improvements to the overall experience
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Sonos now plays music direct from iOS devices

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The latest software upgrade plays even more music in deep, richly textured HiFi sound. Sonos now plays iTunes music direct from iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch anywhere there is a Sonos speaker or player. You no longer have to sync an Apple mobile device with their computer just to hear iTunes music on Sonos.

Reach your music with three easy steps:
  1. Update your Sonos system software and Sonos Controller Apps
  2. Ensure your iPhone is on the home wireless network and launch the Sonos Controller App
  3. Go to the main music menu

Now, as a music source, iTunes songs, playlists and podcasts are all available to play on Sonos under "Music on this iPhone".
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Control4's Commitment to Driving Interoperability

Control4 leads the industry in device discovery and interoperability and with OS 2.3 new tools have been added to simplify installation and programming for dealers. The new Control4® Driver Editor enables dealers and developers to create and test new drivers without requiring a full, onsite Control4 system up and running, making it much easier and more efficient to quickly design and develop drivers for third-party products.

OS 2.3 also includes support for Control4® Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP), a groundbreaking new capability which will automatically identify and load the correct driver for Control4 devices, as well as an expanding roster of third-party devices. SDDP compatible devices will be automatically identified and configure themselves within Control4 installations and will remain connected with the Control4 system regardless of IP address changes.
"One of the unique capabilities and benefits Control4 introduced to the industry was the ability to easily and uniquely identify Control4 devices during a system installation by simply pressing a button on any Control4 device. Now, we are extending those benefits and simplicity to 3rd party products by providing them with open access to our SDDP software technology so they can embed it within their products to enable device discovery, model identification, and proper software driver association during Control4 installations - saving time and reducing the potential for errors" said Plaehn.

Control4 OS 2.3 will be available in Q4 2012.

HydraConnect LLC Releases 2nd Generation Control4 HDMI Proccessor

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The HSS-3 retains all of the features of the acclaimed HSS-2, with the added capability of integral HDBaseT outputs to run a 1080p signal up to 330' over a single CAT6. The HDBaseT receivers that operate with the HSS-3 retain the standard HydraConnect POE features that require no power supply at the receiver end. CEC support is provided for product control without IR flashers, though IR flashers are also fully supported. Finally, two of the eight outputs are configurable as HDMI outputs to support local AV Receivers. HSS-3 will is now available and is made in the USA.

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Mechoshades, Get the Hook Up

The new WhisperShade® IQ2 provides a quiet, powerful, and complete solution for motorized shading, 3rd-party integration, whole-home automation, and specialty shading needs. Its encoded motor boasts two-way communication and alignment intelligence built in via MechoNet, our own RS485 network.

The motorized PanelTrac® System creates a moving wall of solar textiles perfect for sliders, room dividers, and large curtainwall installations. Operated with the ultra-quiet WhisperTrac® motor, it can integrate into existing AV- and lighting-automation systems via a wide range of wired and wireless network protocols.
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Motorized PanelTrac System

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WhisperTrac motor

New Elegant Control4 Lighting User Interface

Wait 'til You See The Advanced Scenes Lighting Agent

Released with Control4® OS 2.3, is our stunning, sleek, new User Interface for Lighting including at-a-glance intuitive navigation, with at-a-touch responsiveness, easy personalization, and the brand-new Control4 Advanced Lighting Scenes Agent to save you time in programming and integration.


"The Always At Home" Control4 Driver is now available

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Always@Home is most likely the greatest driver ever created for Control4®. This driver records the daily activity of your lights and/or TVs in your Control4 enabled home and can play back the exact light/TV usage to make it appear that someone is always at home even when you have been away for weeks. Admit it - you just realized how miserable your life has been before you knew about this driver.
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Nest Thermostat Control4 Driver Now Available

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The Nest Thermostat has become a very popular energy management tool with consumers. It's been featured in Wired magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Gizmodo to name just a few. Now you can integrate the Nest thermostat into Control4 systems
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SIRIUS Canada now playing on Sonos

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Sonos users in Canada are in for a real treat: listening to SIRIUS on Sonos in every room. We're talking over 100 premium channels of music and more blasting in the bedroom or the living room or both. And with a free 30-day trial, you can try before you buy! Plus, with SIRIUS now available on Sonos, there's 100 more reasons/channels for music fans to fall in love with the PLAY:3, PLAY:5, CONNECT and CONNECT:AMP.
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Control4 MyHome Android App Release

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It’s the app you’ve been waiting for! The Control4® MyHome Android app is now available for download! The Control4® MyHome Android app allows customers to interact with their Control4 systems from the convenience of their Android smartphone or tablet. As with other MyHome apps, customers get the familiar Control4 user interface to control lighting, temperature, music, movies, security and more.
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Control4's Inaugural Fall 2011 "Home Smart Magazine"

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What does control mean to you? More organization? More power? More discipline? Whatever your answer, it’s no secret that we could ALL use more control in our lives. Now what does HOME control mean to you? Better lighting? The right music? Efficient use of energy? Well-behaved children? We’ve recently entered the era where all of this is possible. Well, almost all of it. Home Automation isn't about speeds and feeds. Its about people and places.
Read On


The Android App for Yamaha Network receivers is now available on the Android Market

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This AV Controller application will turn your Android device into a Wi-Fi enabled remote control for your YAMAHA network products. This Android application provides you the flexibility to control the available inputs, volume, mute and power commands. It lets users change a song from Internet Radio, USB and command FM/AM tuners or any other internally available source. Using this application you can even control all AV receiver zones that are available such as powering on and changing input for each zone. This application not only controls AV receiver but also Yamaha blu-ray players. It supports various functions including Play, Stop, Forward. Available in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. It’s great to have all this control at your fingertips - and best of all it’s FREE!
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Extra Vegetables Windows Media Center Control4 Driver

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For Movie and Music Servers Windows Media Center is now present on virtually all Windows 7 computers and is at the heart of many lower cost Movie Servers available on the market. Window Media Center provides a very attractive on-screen display for choosing and controlling movies. Whilst for some time it has been possible to control some aspects of a Windows Media Center from Control4 this is the first solution which delivers a fully integrated solution for both movies AND music.

Extra Vegetables Windows Media Center driver provides IP control of the Windows Media Center interface, allows you to select movies to play from the Control4 Media database and provides selection and control of music from Windows Media Center. In addition you can also control Windows Media Center extenders such as the XBox 360 (note it does not control all aspects of the XBox 360 - only when it is in Windows Media Extender Mode).
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Complete Control! - Control4 Review by 'Home Theater Magazine'

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Download the story
Check out "Home Theater Magazine's" two part piece on Control4

Control4 Software Release Announcement - OS 2.1

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Control4 is pleased to announce that OS 2.1 is available for immediate download. This release improves the quality of the operating system. OS 2.1 includes enhancements to most areas of the system and user interface, brings back important features and capabilities, and provides significant new diagnostic and support features to make it easier to support clients without doing a truck roll.

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Apple AirPlay device support & Sonos Controller for Android

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We have something new for both Apple and Android-loving music fans. Sonos’s latest software update makes it easy for Sonos to play Apple AirPlay music sources and stream even more music to every room. And with the official launch of the Sonos Controller for Android, even more music lovers can get started with Sonos by turning their favourite smartphone into a free Sonos Controller.
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Enhanced Lutron Home Control+ App Version 3.0

Now available in the App Store, version 3.0 brings a wealth of added features to the popular total home control app, including full functionality on iPhone®, iPod touch®, and iPad® devices.
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• Full functionality on iPhone®, iPod touch®, and iPad® devices
• Thermostat support including scheduling
• Support for Venetian blind control and editing
• Pico™ wireless control support
• Support for RadioRA 2, HomeWorks® QS, and HomeWorks systems

Digital Signage for Banks, Credit Unions & Financial Institutions

digital-signage-for-banks-credit-unions-and-financial-institutions
Time is Money and what better place to live this phrase than Banks and Credit Unions that are branching-out, far-and-wide across the globe. But with deluge of customers comes the necessity to streamline customer relationship and opt for efficient communication and promotional tools. Long queues at tellers, lack of clarity about services and rates, mismanagement of records can be major turn offs for customers that can lead to lost business.

Bank and credit union marketing directors are starting the appreciate the the flexibility of digital and visual communication systems because they can easily change the content and keep it fresh. We can show you Digital Signage solutions that allow facilities of all sizes to utilize this smart new technology.
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Announcing LifeSize Video Center v1.2

lifesize-ipad-iphone-video-center
Anyone on the road or on the go can view live and on-demand HD video from any computer - and now on mobile devices: iPad®, iPhone® or iPod®. Your mobile device connects to LifeSize Video Center via Wi-Fi or cellular network with no apps to install.

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New Driver Mates Crestron Lighting with Control4 Automation

control4_crestron-ligting
Just in time for Valentines, new driver mates Crestron Lighting with Control4 Automation. Especially valuable for retrofit jobs, Extra Vegetables® Control4® driver for Crestron® lighting allows you to integrate a Crestron lighting system with keypads into Control4. This provides the same features and customer experience as Control4's native lighting control. You can dim and switch loads and there is also the facility to represent Crestron relays as motorization devices within Control4. The driver is IP based.

Crestron keypads are fully supported by the driver. It is possible to add custom programming to key presses on the Crestron keypads within the Control4 system. So keys not used for lighting operations could be used for AV or other control purposes.

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Wireless control via iPad or iPhone of your networked-enabled Onkyo or Integra receiver

onkyo-integra-app
With oRemote, an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch (iOS 4.2 required) and a wireless (Wi-Fi) network, you can control your network-enabled Onkyo or Integra AVR from anywhere in the house. oRemote enables full control over all inputs and zones with constant screen updates of the status of your AVR.
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rdio music service coming to Sonos

rdio-sonos
Sonos is adding a new social music service called Rdio (pronounced "ar-dee-o") to our music lineup. It can be found in the Music Menu starting January 27th, and best of all, your customers can try it for free.
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Why is THX important


THX® Certified Program
THX product certification categories are based ondelivering the best cinematic experience to specific room sizes.

  • THX Ultra2 Certified - larger home theaters, 3,000 cubic feet in size, with a viewing distance of 12 feet or greater from the screen
  • THX Select2 Certified - medium home theater, up to 2,000 cubic feet in size, with a 10-12 foot viewing distance from the screen
  • THX I/S Plus System - Certified Systems (AV Receiver + Speaker Bundle): powered to fill a small home theater or dorm room where the viewing distance from the screen is 6-8 feet

Accurately translating the cinema experience to the home is not easy. Movies are created in large mixing studios for playback in large, powerful cinema auditoriums. When played back in the home, however, movie soundtracks don’t always deliver the same impact.

With a THX Certified AV receiver, cinema volume and fidelity is recreated in the living room. This performance is achieved through strict laboratory testing, a THX Reference Level design and THX DSP technology. Read More...

Lutron Releases New Apple iPhone and iPod Touch App


Light control manufacturer Lutron Electronics is pleased to introduce the Lutron Home Application, which provides control of lights and shades, including the new RadioRA 2 total light control system, via an Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The Lutron Home Application provides control of a RadioRA 2 system over a Wi-Fi network and requires RadioRA 2 Software version 3.1.14 or higher. RadioRA 2 Software is available only to qualified installers. The application is available now, free of charge, on iTunes®.

Also new to RadioRA 2 is an Away Mode feature that lets users simulate occupancy while away from home by automatically turning lights on and off and controlling shades.
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HQV Vida VHD1900 Video Chip


IDT® (Integrated Device Technology), a leading provider of essential mixed signal semiconductor solutions that enrich the digital media experience, today premiers the latest offering from its Hollywood Quality Video™ (HQV®) video processing line. The all new Yamaha Avetage RXA2000 and RXA3000 will incorporate the new chip. The IDT HQV® Vida™ processor , takes the industry-leading Hollywood Quality Video processing technology to a new level of performance, significantly improving the viewing experience for the consumer.
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Lutron: Dominating Eco-Lighting Control



According to Lutron, lighting can account for up to 20 percent of a household’s yearly electricity usage, and up to 40 percent a year commercially.

Its a fact that all dimmers save energy and that’s just the beginning of “green” lighting design. Lutron has also developed an extensive collection of eco-friendly light controls, systems and window solutions for any project, big or small. We guarantee at least a 15% cost savings in the first year! Read More...

Bell TV launches 3D HD barker channel


Bell TV is launching a 3D HD barker channel presenting a full-time 3D HD short loop of Bell produced 3D HD content. Over the coming months, the 3D HD barker channel will continue to evolve, extending in length and content.

This new 3D HD barker channel provides Bell TV HD subscribers with an excellent opportunity to experience 3D HDTV.

Channel location:
The barker channel will be broadcast nationally on channel 1933.
Channel 1933 will be available to all subscribers with an MPEG-4 HD set top box (STB): HD 6131/41, HD PVR 9241/42 and all future MPEG-4 HD STBs.

Get Your Priority Straight with Video Streaming



Video streaming allows immediate access to over 50,000 movie titles, an obvious sign of its huge popularity. It’s clear that movie distributors see a future in ‘digital distribution’ and are investing in it quickly. Home Media Magazine, for an example, reported that Walmart’s $100m acquisition of Vudu is a solid indication that ‘digital distribution’ is here and is becoming more viable option every day. Some of us may miss the higher quality picture of DVD and Blu-ray technology, but streaming has come a long way and the picture quality is already catching up. Plus, the irresistible convenience of digital streaming from the home is a phenomenal experience when set up properly.

Top 4 Streaming Essentials:
  1. Use a high quality router: A top quality router will prevent many of the hazards that cause jitter, freezing, and delay.
    2 Check your connection speed: Ensure throughput connection is at least 1.5Mbps/ stream for SD quality and 3.0Mbps/stream for HD (or 6.0Mbps for Vudu HDX) not to mention standard internet use, VOIP and audio overhead. (http:// www.speakeasy.net/ speedtest)
    3 Establish Quality of Service/Experience: Group devices with similar bandwidth needs on VLANs with designated priority to maximize experience.
    4 Use wired network: Wifi is highly subjective in certain environments, especially during high use times like after work or on the weekends. Always use wired connections to ensure reliable data streaming.
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SÉURA sets sail on the Luxury yacht "Remeber When"


Television mirrors bring space-saving luxury to yacht

[by SÉURA]
Christensen Shipyards, Ltd. of Vancouver, Washington recently completed the 162’ luxury yacht, “Remember When”. Slated to debut at the Fort Lauderdale Show in October, the ship features six spacious cabins, including the Owners Cabin, VIP cabin, and four guest cabins which allow for up to 12 guests. The interior was designed by Carol Williamson and Associates and showcases custom woodwork and stonework by Christensen’s own craftsmen. Read More...

APT-X Bluetooth is now the new Apple standard.


Apple's new MacBook Pro and new Mac mini now come standard with APT-X and by the autumn of 2010 all new Apple products and all Apple o/s upgrades will include APT-X. This means that now everyone will be able to wirelessly transmit high quality uncompressed music files from any iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Pro or Mac mini.

Control4 2.0 is Here!


We are excited to to announce the release of Control4® OS 2.0. This next-generation OS offers new home-control functionality, updated SDKs, support for additional hardware products, integration of third-party applications, and improved media management. Featuring an elegant Flash-based user interface, Control4® OS 2.0 will provide Control4 integrators with the most powerful Control4® solution to date. Read More...

Sonos Launches iPad App


Although Sonos launched an iPad interface for their wireless whole-house music system earlier this week, it won’t be available until August. However, it is a very sleek use of the iPad technology integrated into a HomeAV application. If you want to see the demo, go here: Sonos iPad App

Addendum to ESABC


Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia (ESABC) is an End-of-Life electronics program approved by the BC government. ESABC is a BC not for profit society established by manufacturers, retailers, and other stakeholders to ensure materials are processed and recycled in a responsible manner that safeguards the environment and worker health & safety as well as preventing illegal export to developing countries. Effective July 1st, all electronics will now carry an additional “recycling” fee. We have attached the complete list of the associated fee’s and the electronics effected by this expanded program here

Control4 Launches Commercial Systems Product Line at InfoComm 2010


Bringing a proven IP-based control platform to the pro AV market, Control4 introduces a full line of commercial hardware and software solutions. Read More...

Philips Pronto Launches Lutron’s RadioRa® 2 Module



New module offers easy two-way integration with Lutron lighting and shading control systems.

Philips Pronto, the value leader in two-way control solutions, in collaboration with lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics, has announced the availability of a new RadioRA 2 module for Pronto’s line of controllers, including the TSU9300 (limited), TSU9400, TSU9600 and TSU9800. This new module offers integrators a convenient integration between a Pronto touch panel and the RadioRA 2 wireless lighting control system. Read More...

Samung previews 19" transparent AMOLED panel


Samsung is currently demonstrating a 19-inch transparent AMOLED display. The technology preview has been scheduled for the annual Society for Information Display (SID) International Symposium. The panel is claimed to be the largest in the industry, an improvement over Samsung's 14-inch component shown at CES, while still maintaining a transparency above 30 percent.

The company has continued to develop transparent AMOLED technology for a variety of potential applications such as notebook computers, vehicle windshields, or new types of advertising at retail locations.

Samsung has yet to announce official plans to integrate its largest transparent AMOLED panels in upcoming devices. [via OLED-Display.net]

Panasonic launches Skype for 2010 VIERA Cast TVs


One of the coolest things I saw at CES 2010 was the Skype app installed on the Panasonic VieraCast TVs. All thats required is a Skype account, a Panasonic Skype enabled camera which is sold separately for about $200 and a VieraCast enabled Panasonic Plasma TV (VT25, VT20, G25 and the G20 series). The Panasonic TY-CC10W webcam supports 30fps VGA or 720p/22fps h.264 encoded streams and has 4 unidirectional microphones, an echo cancelling system . Check out the video below to get a glimpse on how the VieraCast Skype system works.



Contact us here for additional information

New Sonos software update


Sonos Press Release

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – May 18, 2010 – Sonos®, Inc., the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home, today released Sonos System Software v3.2, a one-button free software update for Sonos customers that features a variety of new audio features.

Key features of Sonos v3.2 include:
  • Crossfading - Customers can create smooth transitions between songs just like the DJs do. You can select the crossfading playback mode from the Now Playing screen for any tracks in your music library, plus select music services including Napster.
  • S5 Stereo Pair setting – This innovative audio feature allows customers to use two Sonos S5s in the same room with one S5 serving as the left channel and the other as the right channel.
  • Japanese and Simplified Chinese language support – Customers using the Sonos Controller for iPhone*, the Sonos Controller 200 and the Sonos Controller for Mac or PC can now control Sonos in 9 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • New alarm settings – Sonos customers can now customize alarms for different days of the week. Wake up to your favorite radio station on one day and a Napster playlist on another. Set the room, the time and the music for any or every day of the week.
  • More free music: iheartradio from Clear Channel - Tune in to more than 750 of America’s favorite radio stations, including. Exclusive digital stations like Christina Aguilera Radio, CBGB Radio, Radio Weezer, AT40 with Ryan Seacrest, and more. Top talk stations from Rush Limbaugh to Dr. Laura Traffic reports from 12 major metro areas
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Kaleidescape Introduces Next Generation Movie Players


New Movie Server Architecture, New User Interface, Blu-ray Support

SUNNYVALE, CA - Kaleidescape, Inc., the market leader in movie servers, today announced its new M500 and M300 Players. Built on the company's proprietary M-Class architecture, this next generation of players delivers a new and improved onscreen user interface and Blu-ray support. The M500 Player copies Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and CDs onto a server. The imported content can then be played back instantly by M500 and M300 Players, creating the world's first multi-zone movie server for Blu-ray.
To address the concerns of the studios, Kaleidescape requires the disc to be present when playing Blu-ray content from the server. Today this means the Blu-ray Disc must be in the tray of an M500 Player. To enable the full Kaleidescape experience for Blu-ray, the company is developing a disc loader which will keep a large number of discs present within the Kaleidescape system. It will also provide bulk import, and make it easy to find and retrieve a disc. Read More...

Al Jazeera English coming to Bell TV



Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel from the capital of Qatar will be available on Bell TV for $3 per month as part of the “International News 2” package. From this unique position, Al Jazeera English is destined to be the English-language channel of reference for Middle Eastern events, balancing the current typical information flow by reporting from the developing world back to the West and from the southern to the northern hemisphere. The channel aims to give voice to untold stories, promote debate, and challenge established perceptions. With broadcasting centres in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC and supporting bureaux worldwide, the channel will set the news agenda, bridging cultures and providing a unique grassroots perspective from under-reported regions around the world to a potential global audience of over one billion English speakers. The station broadcasts news, current affairs, features, analysis, documentaries, live debates, entertainment, business and sport.

Building on Al Jazeera Arabic channel's ground breaking developments in the Arab and Muslim world that have changed the face of news within the Middle East, Al Jazeera English is part of a growing network that is now extending this fresh perspective from regional to global through accurate, impartial and objective reporting.

“AJE increases customer choice and the diversity of voices for international news services offered to Canadians,” said Chris Frank, VP Programming. “It provides a valuable source of world news from a Middle Eastern perspective and is yet another example of how Bell TV continues to bring new and exciting content to our customers.”

It will be offered on channel 516 and bundled with ichannel as part of our new International News 2 specialty package*.

AJE joins the best selection and variety from Canadian and foreign broadcasting news services including CTV, CBC, Global, CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX and ABC. For more information on Bell TV and Bell TV theme packs, please contact us here

Onkyo first to introduce a THX-Certified 3D AV Receiver


The TX-SR608 Home Theater receiver by Onkyo is now available and comes with six HDMI inputs. It’s very well specked for its price at $699

All six HDMI 1.4 inputs are capable of passing 3D video, and upscale to 1080p if needed—with one of the inputs conveniently located on the front. All HD audio formats are able to be decoded, and it uses 192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown DACs. Dual subwoofer outputs and 7 x 100W output is a definite upgrade over the previous TX-SR607 model, which had just 90 watts per channel.

Take a look at the press release below for the full line-up of products.
“The new TX-SR608 7.2-channel THX-Select2 Plus certified receiver has new power amplifier section that uses three-stage inverted Darlington output topology, and a power boost from 90 to 100 watts. Audyssey DSX dimensional sound processing has been added to its predecessor's Dolby PLIIz capabilities. Additionally, all video sources, including those using the new PC input, and regardless of source resolution, can be upscaled to big and beautiful 1080p via HDMI and Faroudja DCDi Cinema™. The TX-SR608 will also include a front HDMI input, a feature first introduced by Onkyo in 2009.”

Cables To Go Offers WirelessHD Kit


Cables To Go has launched a 60 GHz WirelessHD Kit that the company says wirelessly transmits a true 1080p HDMI signal to a television from HDMI components such as a Blu-ray player, set-top box, computer, or gaming console up to 33 feet, line of sight.

“WirelessHD is on the cusp of huge growth, and the Cables To Go kit with its quality, features and price point is well positioned to be a strong player in the market,” said Gary Hess, vice president of innovation for Lastar, parent company of Cables To Go. “This is true not only for the consumer market, but our relationships and experience in additional vertical markets will help us lead adoption and growth.”
Contact us for more information.

Pioneer Transfered Display Patents to Panasonic


Many videophiles were disappointed when Pioneer withdrew from the Plasma display business last year. The Pioneer Kuro was the standard to beat on all levels of performance. What happen to all that amazing technology and those brilliant engineers that made the Kuro such an elite television? I recently came across Pioneer’s Annual report for 2009, and in it I came across some interesting piece of information. On page 50 of the report it states:

“Transfer of Patents for Plasma Display Panels to
Panasonic Corporation
The Company resolved to transfer its patents for plasma display
panels and modules to Panasonic Corporation at the Board of
Directors’ meeting held on April 28, 2009. The two companies
had executed the agreement on May 15, 2009. This constitutes
part of the business restructuring effort in accordance with plans
for a full withdrawal from the display business.”

I also contacted a representative at Panasonic and was told that many of the engineers where hired by Panasonic and the new 2010 line up of Panasonic plasma displays incorporated many of the patents that were acquired from Pioneer. So does this make Panasonic the new standard? We’ll so far many of the reviews are sure pointing in that direction.

Italy's Public Libary installs "Room Euphony"


Europeans have always had a greater appreciation for Hi Fidelity, constantly obsessing to reproduce the most accurate audio and video as they can to its original recording. Italy’s public library just recently installed a Hi-Fi Audio Video system they call “Room Euphony” to promote awareness of high quality sound and video. A goal that I am a great advocate of. To often music goes unappreciated and so much detail goes unheard by being played back on “Home Theater in a Box” type systems. The library installed audio/video equipment that would educate and raise awareness of high quality reproduction. This particular system consists of:
  • Klein+Hummel speakers and amplifiers
  • Panasonic PT AE 4000 projector
  • Onkyo PR SC 5507 preamp
  • OPPO BD 83 Blu-ray player
  • Thorens TD 295 MK IV turntable
  • and more (the complete list of components can be found here, in Italian)
Room Euphony has been very popular and is often visited by students, small groups and individuals. Being that it is a library, the room is also acoustically treated. I would love to see a similar setup here at the Vancouver downtown public library. You can check out some more pictures of Room Euphony here. Stop by our showroom or the may other Hi-Fi independent dealer with your favourite CD, DVD or even your iPod and experience Hi-Fi for yourself.

New MacBook Pro's DisplayPort outputs Audio & HDMI


The updated specs on the New MacBook Pro mini DisplayPort is capable of sending both HDMI and digital audio over one cable giving it multi streaming capabilities and eliminating the need to have two separate cables. This greatly enhances the new MBP’s Front Row application as a media computer that could be incorporated into a Home Theater system. Technically labeled as DisplayPort 1.2, it has double the data rate, now at 21.6 Gps and can handle 3D, colour depths higher than 24-bit and faster frame rates.

Sharp to launch Quattron 3D TV's


Sharp will begin selling 3D capable TV’s by December. It will the worlds only 3D TV’s that use RGBY, Red, Green, Blue and Yellow as the four primary colours vs the standard RGB used by Panasonic, Samsung & Sony. RGBY takes the number of colours that can be displayed into the trillions and will also be significantly brighter than ints competitors. Sharp's 3D LCD will also feature a side-mount scanning LED backlight technology, which reduces crosstalk--an effect in 3D TV’s that can sometimes cause a ghost image to appear onscreen (even when wearing glasses) similar to a double exposure photograph.

Yamaha 3D Receivers are on there way


Yamaha 3D home theatre receivers are expected to be available in mid May. They will support high speed HDMI, also known as 1.4. The RXV567 supports 3D and Audio Return Channel over HDMI while the RXV467 will only support 3D with no Audio Return Channel. It is also capable of bluetooth audio streaming with an optional bluetooth dock. HD Audio format decoding include Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. Yamaha’s amazing YPAO automatic system calibration is standard on all receivers. Contact us for more information on the new 67 series of Yamaha 3D receivers.

3D is “On” across Canada with Bell TV

Bell clients will have the opportunity to enjoy The Masters Tournament with the new immersive 3D HD technology.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Hans Deryk

Bell TV is pleased to announce that their clients will have an opportunity to enjoy The Masters Tournament with the new immersive 3D HD technology. Bell will broadcast rounds three and four of the 2010 Masters Tournament in 3D HD on April 10th and 11th from 5-7pm EST on Channel 1000.

All of Bell’s HD receivers are capable of managing 3D HD broadcast content. However, clients must also have a 3D HDTV and 3D glasses specified by their TV manufacturer to view 3D HD content. As 3D HD is in its early days, and the reality is that few clients have yet invested in the hardware required in their home for a quality 3D experience, Bell will monitor what 3D HD content is available from our content providers, and will continue to bring 3D coverage to our clients as quality content becomes available.

Contact us today if you are interested in becoming a Bell TV customer.

Control4 My Home app for iPad


Control4, a leader in affordable IP-based home control systems, announced today the Control4® My Home application for iPad, which was developed in collaboration with Control UI. In a Control4®-enabled smart home, users will be able to access lighting, temperature, music, video, security systems, web cameras and more from an Apple iPad. Available now on the iTunes App Store, the Control4 My Home app has been selected as an Apple staff favourite for iPad apps.

Control4 provides home automation through an extensible operating system that integrates energy using devices and systems in the home, including, audio and video equipment, lighting systems, motorized shades, and security systems. With the new, specially designed Control4 My Home app for iPad, homeowners can use their iPad as an interface to their Control4® system to create personalized experiences such as custom lighting scenes; to conveniently control entertainment systems; or to take advantage of energy savings with programmable thermostats and other ‘green’ settings. Later in the year, homeowners will be able to use Control4 My Home in conjunction with a Control4® 4Sight remote monitoring subscription to turn lights on and off, lock or unlock doors, or access IP video cameras and security systems from the Internet, providing increased home security and peace of mind.

“Consumers want the devices in their home to be integrated and easy to use. The Control4® Operating System is designed to do just that. Many of our customers use touch screens to access their Control4 system and the iPad is a great platform that meets the needs of many homeowners for exactly this task.” said Will West, Chief Executive Officer of Control4. “We think the iPad is an important platform for homeowners looking for a smarter home and believe that when combined with Control4 My Home we will continue to push forward the mainstream adoption of affordable home control technologies that make our lives easier.”

Control4 homeowners can immediately download Control4 My Home for iPad here and authenticate to their Control4 system with a Mobile Navigator license which you can obtain from us at Digital Smart Homes.
For more information on Control4 feel free to contact us or click here

Control4 iPad Screen Shots

Bell TV Confirms 3D Content Before Years End


A Bell TV spokesperson has announced that if you have a Bell 9141 or a 9242 HD PVR, your setup box is 3D ready! Bell TV will be launching 3D channels as early as years end, starting with PPV Movies and more 3D channels will follow in 2011. BellTV also has the most HD channels in Canada. Of course you will still require a 3D TV and 3D active shutter glasses in order to enjoy the full experience. If you are not a Bell TV subscriber, a 9141/9242 HD PVR is available for as little as $299 NET until July 22nd 2010, installed! Call us for full details.

Sharp Aquos Quattron LED TV


With the introduction of the LE820 Series, Sharp once again establishes its leadership in LCD and LED technology. In a monumental engineering breakthrough, Sharp’s proprietary Quattron Technology, a 4-colour filter that adds yellow to the traditional RGB, enables more than a trillion colours to be displayed for the first time. A stunning new contemporary edge-light design with full-front glass proudly announces a new AQUOS direction for 2010. The proprietary AQUOS LED system comprised of the X-Gen LCD panel and UltraBrilliant LEDs enables an incredible dynamic contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 and picture quality that is second to none. The LE820 series is very fully featured, including the addition of Netflix™ streaming video capability through the AQUOS Net™ service, along with the industry’s leading online support system, AQUOS Advantage Live. A built in media player allows for playback of music and photos via USB port.

You really do have to see it, to see it.

The Future is Internet Video Streaming.

From where we sit at Digital Smart Homes, the future of movie watching arrives through the internet. Steaming movies over the internet is now so accessible that many predict that streaming will displace DVD technology entirely within three years. That doesn't worry us, because our line of priority switches and routers by Pakedge are designed specifically for video and audio streaming to ensure an optimal, uninterrupted experience.

RSB-KIT

The popularity and affordability of IP networking has driven audio/video and controls networks to share the same physical wire with computer networks. However, unlike computer data that can tolerate a certain degree of unpredictable latency, video streaming, audio streaming, and control systems cannot. These sophisticated networks require the same robustness as an enterprise network to ensure the packets that carry audio and video arrive in time and that IP-based controls do not lose critical command packets.

Our line of Pakedge Audio-Video Bridging (AVB) products is designed to solve these issues with minimum configuration. The Pakedge solution pre-configures the Security Appliance (Router) and switch, dividing the network into 4 separate subnets (VLANS) to manage traffic, broadcast, and priority for all devices based on color coded ports. The simplicity of Pakedge’s solution allows our installers or DIY clients to focus on quick, quality installations without enterprise configuration worries.

The 10 Most Common Misconceptions About 3D

From Marketnews

Here are the 10 most common misconceptions and myths, along with a few clarifications, about 3D in the home:


You can only watch 3D with a 3D TV: This is wrong. 3D-ready TVs are the top-of-the-line models for most manufacturers, but they are first and foremost, regular 2D TVs. You can watch everything you would with any other LCD or plasma display, in standard 2D fashion. There's just the added benefit of being able to also watch 3D content should you wish to do so, and when it becomes available. Even if you never watch 3D content, the latest models represent the best of the best in current lineups.

The price is high: True, 3D-ready displays are slightly higher in price than other TVs on the market. But note that you're not just paying for 3D capability, and the ability for the displays to communicate with 3D glasses. You're also paying for advanced features like, in many cases, LED backlighting, which affords a better picture, thinner design, and less energy consumption. There are also features like Internet connectivity, and faster refresh rates for better producing fast action scenes without the issue of motion blur. Bottom line: you're paying for a premium TV, not just for a 3D TV.

You can watch anything in 3D: While some companies, like Toshiba, are claiming to offer technologies that will allow you to convert any 2D program to 3D for viewing (by splitting the image in two, essentially), the 3D technology you're hearing about most requires active shutter glasses that are somewhat pricy, but that offer better separation between the image you see in the left and right eyes, flickering it rapidly and in alternating fashion to avoid seeing double. These run on batteries and can communicate with a separate transmitter you connect to the TV (or with technology built into the TV itself.) Passive glasses are the cheaper version you are likely more familiar with that require double images on the screen, where you see one in each eye to create the perception of depth. They result in an image that isn't as realistic and enticing, and can also lead to some motion sickness, so to speak. If you caught the Michael Jackson tribute at the Grammy Awards this year that was offered in 3D, or you watched Avatar at the theatre, you'll note that you were using passive glasses. Most manufacturers are supporting the active format, although some, like LG, say they will offer TVs that support a passive system as well.

You need to buy all new equipment: This is true. Watching 3D content requires, of course, a flat-panel TV that's capable of playing back 3D content, and communicating with partner glasses. Thus, you also need 3D glasses; some manufacturers, like Samsung, will be bundling a few pairs (for a limited time, at least) with the purchase of a 3D-ready LCD or plasma and Blu-ray player. But for the most part, you'll need to buy them separately. Pricing is still up in the air, but they could run anywhere from $100-$250 per pair. Speaking of Blu-ray, you'll also need a source device. While companies like DirecTV and Discovery Channel plan to offer 3D broadcasts later this year and into 2011, initially, you'll need a 3D-capable Blu-ray player to enjoy content. Following from this is of course the 3D Blu-ray disc to insert into the player. Monsters vs. Aliens will be the first title to be released on 3D Blu-ray, but we can expect more to become available, like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and, of course, Avatar.

Finally, the last part of the equation is an HDMI 1.4 cable. There has been some confusion regarding cables and whether an HDMI 1.4 cable is required to watch 3D content. I have confirmed with HDMI Licensing, LLC that only a "high-speed" HDMI cable is required, regardless of which specification. According to the organization, HDMI cable manufacturers are no longer permitted to use the numbers to market their products. HDMI cables should fall under only two categories: standard and high-speed. That means that as long as a cable is "high speed", it should be able to carry the full 1080p 3D signal. Bottom line: if you have a cable labeled "HDMI 1.3", it can indeed be used to transmit a 3D signal, as long as it's "high speed". HDMI Licensing claims that an A/V receiver based on HDMI 1.3 "may or may not" be able to pass a 3D signal, but would require a firmware upgrade. Bottom line: you won't know for sure until you try.

3D is pie in the sky and isn't ready yet: 3D is very much ready. I've seen it for myself! And we will see products at retail as early as the end of this month and into the summer of this year. Content is also abundant and coming. I mentioned Monsters vs. Aliens and Avatar already. Disney may be releasing The Lion King in 3D next year;. ESPN will launch a 3D version by June, kicking off with a World Cup soccer match between South Africa and Mexico. Discovery is going to launch a 3D channel in 2011, and that includes Canada. DirecTV in the U.S. will carry three 3D channels this summer that require only a free software upgrade from consumers. One will include the Baseball All Stars Game. It'll include movies and documentaries.

You can watch any 3D TV with any pair of glasses: This is not true. With active shutter glasses, each is specific to the TV manufacturer, so not every pair will work with every 3D TV.) It's similar to video game systems: you can't use a Wii controller with the PlayStation 3, for example. It is possible, however, that third-party companies could make glasses that work with a variety of 3DTVs.

You have to wear the glasses to watch regular TV: It sounds silly, but plenty of people believe that the glasses need to be worn to watch anything on a 3D TV. Remember: 3D TVs are just regular 2D TVs that can also play back 3D content when you want to watch it. When you don't, they function just like standard TVs; they just look much nicer! However, if you want to watch 3D content then yes, you do need to wear the glasses.

3D is cheesy: If you think back to the fun amusement park rides and 3D content of yesteryear, you're bound to view 3D as just a cheesy way of watching movies that looks artificial and in-your-face. 3D has come a long way, and many of the demos I've seen look spectacular. 3D adds depth to the picture and, in some cases, like with sports or action movies, you feel like you're right in the action. With animation, it adds a fun element to the viewing experience. It has a realistic quality to it that really draws you in, much like high-definition does with a hockey game or frightening scene in a horror movie. It represents another level; a step above HD.

3D is easy to integrate for broadcasters: You might think it's a simple process, so why aren't broadcasters on the ball? 3D uses about twice the amount of spectrum that a regular TV channel uses, which poses obvious issues for broadcasters. But they are indeed actively looking into offering content. In Canada, Rogers has said that it may even launch a 3D demo channel this year.

You'll be able to watch 3D content through a PlayStation 3: This is true. Sony has confirmed that all that will be required is a firmware upgrade for the popular gaming console to be able to support 3D Blu-ray discs. In fact, the company is already demonstrating 3D gaming through a PS3 at select Sony Style locations in Canada.

Read the full article at: www.marketnews.ca

Control4 Premium Gold 2010 Dealer


In a third year in a row, we have once again been awarded the honour of being a Premium Control 4 Gold Dealer. This highlights us as a custom integration dealer who specialize in automation and have achieved key training, sales and experience requirements in Control4 products. “Control4 Premier Gold Dealers are uniquely qualified to make your life Everyday Easy.” We could not have achieved this designation without the support of our clients.

iPad for Control4 Integration & Automation

The introduction of Apple’s iPad has made it much more affordable to add a touch screen panel to your home automation system. A touch screen from a Home Automation vendor can be as much 10 times higher than an iPad loaded with Home Automation software. When the iPad is released in late March, the cost of owning a touch screen panel to operate a Control4 Automation system will become under $900. Not only will the iPad give you “Door to your Drape” control, but with additional apps from iTunes you will be able to start you car, stream media and much more all from one powerful interface. The iPad will also act as a mobile controller out side of your “Home Zone” whereas proprietary controllers only work within the homes wireless coverage.

So if you can imagine.., your on the couch reading an eBook on your iPad and listening to music, the door bell rings and the music automatically pauses. You simply switch to your Control4 app to see who’s at the front door before you unlock the door...all from your iPad anywhere in your home or anywhere in the world. The iPad will not only bring new and exciting innovations but will effect electronics that already exist in your car, at businesses, in schools and at home today.