Leviton Takes a Bite Out of BitWise

Further proving that there’s more volatility in the smart home industry than in a hot air popcorn popper, Leviton Security & Automation (formerly HAI by Leviton) (and, before that, simply HAI) announced on the eve of CEDIA EXPO 2014 that the company had acquired Englewood, CO-based BitWise Controls, LLC. Founded in 2008, BitWise Controls specializes in automation controllers and products designed for the professional and pro-sumer smart home markets. The company’s three automation controllers - the BC1, BC2, and BC4 - are capable of home automation tasks as well as AV system control and offered a less-expensive alternative to systems from companies, such as Control4 and Crestron.

Although not specifically intended for direct consumer purchase and installation, the pricing of the controllers (starting at slightly above $500 for the basic, single-room BC4) also makes them a viable alternative to the gobs of DIY-oriented sub-$300 smart home hubs - none of which are capable of AV system integration. (The Revolv Hub is the only exception to this rule, although its sole AV-control capability involves limited integration with several Sonos components.)

Terms of the deal were not announced. It can be assumed, however, that Leviton did not pay quite as much for BitWise as Google did for Nest ($3.2 billion) earlier this year.

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Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System Test Bench

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CEDIA Expo 2014 Preview: Let the Geekfest Begin

2014 CEDIA Expo Coverage Begins Wednesday

In the grand scheme of all things electronic, it’s not as big a deal as the annual CES in Las Vegas. In many respects, though, CEDIA Expo 2014 is an even more important event for people interested in customizing home technologies to make them seamless, integral parts of their customers’ lives. Oh, hell, what am I saying? “Customizing home technologies…” The guys—and most of them are guys, although that’s changing—who go to the CEDIA Expo every year are fascinated by gear that can be hidden, be controlled at a distance, is motorized or otherwise moveable, and can be tweaked and tinkered with. Sure, we talk about "lifestyles", but the reality is we go to CEDIA to geek out on the gear.

It’s a completely safe bet that when the show floor at CEDIA Expo 2014 officially opens at 9:00 AM on Thursday, September 11, the place will be packed‐and a number of us from Sound & Vision will be fighting our way through the throngs of installers, designers, specifiers, representatives, and booth demonstrators...

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Captain Obvious Strikes Again: The Era of Streaming Is Here

Boy, oh boy, do I feel like an idiot. I read a news item this morning, and it unleashed a series of tremendously brilliant insights that rocketed through my brain . Surely, no one else had ever so deeply penetrated into the nature of the truth of things. Now, it occurs to me that in fact, everyone else had realized all this long ago. Captain Obvious had struck again.
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Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System Specs

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Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System Page 2

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Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System


Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Bowers & Wilkins ASW10 CM S2 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE Price: $5,850 (CM6 S2, $1,000 each; CM Centre 2 S2, $1,250 each; CM1 S2, $550 each; ASW10 CM S2, $1,500)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Exceptional tonal balance
Superb sub/sat integration
Impressive bass extension from compact sub
Lovely design and finish

Minus
Expensive
No dipole/bipole surround option

THE VERDICT
Highly neutral and free of obvious coloration, invitingly listenable, and beautiful, the B&W CM S2s wear their substantial prices fairly.

B&W should need little introduction in these pages. The British loudspeaker-maker has been a force in serious audio repro practically since Noah’s flood (1965, actually), and here in the States have for two decades and more occupied an enviable market position straddling the highest of high-end to the almost-popularly-priced. So when a new generation of B&Ws take the stage, the audio world tends to pay attention, as we are doing here with the firm’s latest iteration of its next-most-affordable CM range. Named with typical British phlegm the CM S2, the new designs highlight a dozen or so interesting engineering refinements in driver, crossover, and cabinet designs (in particular a new “dual-dome” aluminum tweeter diaphragm claimed to push its resonance a half-octave or so higher, and thus extending its smooth reproducing range), but in typical B&W fashion show comparatively little in the way of visible changes.

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Inside Llewyn Davis

Have You Heard About the Lonesome Loser?

Picture
Sound
Extras
The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is a fascinating but bleak amalgam of people, places, and events at the dawn of the folk music scene in 1961 Greenwich Village, viewed through a visual pastiche inspired by the album cover for The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and a titular character who channels early folk institution Dave Van Ronk (in look and vocation, not temperament). While outrageously funny at times, with superbly chosen music exuberantly performed, this isn’t a farcical romp through the ’60s; it’s a black comedy about the artist versus the entertainment business that’s thematically reminiscent of the Coens’ polarizing Barton Fink.

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Samsung Flaunts Flexibility with Bendable 105" Ultra HD TV

Samsung has a mind-bending new product that’s shaping up to be a real breakthrough, just revealed in Berlin at IFA 2014. Sure, Samsung’s new focus on curved TVs is exciting. But in addition to a complete lineup of 17 new curved TVs, including one that’s 105-inches (debuted at CES 2014), Samsung has announced a revolutionary 105-inch bendable TV. Yup—bendable! Stand back Gumby, step aside Elasti-Girl, Samsung’s flexing some serious muscle with this bad boy.

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Tasker: Phone Automation

Are there repetitive things you do with your phone? Of course there are. Maybe you always turn on Pandora when you get in your car. Maybe you turn off your screen lock password when you’re home. Maybe you turn your phone on vibrate when you get to work.

What if your phone did this, and a whole lot more, automatically? What if it responded to any command you said. What if it read you your incoming texts while you were driving, and auto-replied that you were in the car?

This is the promise of the incredibly powerful app, Tasker.

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