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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Greensound Technology unveiled a line of three speakers and a subwoofer made of glass. The speakers are said to produce sound from 70 Hz to around 17 kHz. Round holes strategically cut into the glass cause the upper frequencies to be emitted by the upper portion of the glass panel with the lower frequencies emanating from the lower region. Pricing ranges from $4,000 to $19,000/pair.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 18, 2006 0 comments
Acoustic Research is taking the idea of a "bookshelf" speaker to a new extreme with this model from the Home Decor Series. The SAT510, a quite substantial traditional bookshelf speaker, hides inside a fake-but-convincing shell designed to look like four well-read, weathered books. The front of the books have tiny perforations that let the sound through. Other various disguises - like table clocks, lamps, and planters - are also available.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Dec 10, 2012 0 comments
Looking for a stocking stuffer that's extremely useful, extraordinarily convenient, stupidly simple to use... and shockingly cheap?
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jun 14, 2006 0 comments
Since the days when near-humans first descended from the trees (substitute your own particular theory of creation/evolution/intelligent design here), mankind has faced one overwhelming problem: how do you watch TV outside?
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 2 comments
Accessory and cable maker Accell introduced the UltraCat HD, a transmitter/receiver package featuring HDBaseT technology. It can be used to send uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power, RS232 and infrared control signals over a single Cat5e cable for up to 100 meters (approximately 328 feet). Accell says the extenders are optimized for HD video and support all resolutions and video formats including 1080p, 4K, and 3D. HDBaseT technology is an exciting alternative to HDMI for many applications and can even be used to power devices (including TVs) when built-in to the device. We should start seeing more HDBaseT-enabled products later this year.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 26, 2009 0 comments
Price: $400 At A Glance: Access to news, sports, weather, and Amazon Top 10 lists • Many components are not available in the built-in database • Electronic Program Guide updates via home Wi-Fi network

High Wi-Fi (Not Wifey)

Acceptance Factor
From the waist down, Acoustic Research’s ARRU449 looks like the stereotypical universal remote control with a symmetrically arranged layout of small, backlit buttons. From the waist up, though, there’s a bright and colorful LCD screen that quickly catches your attention. Invisible to the eye is the remote’s other distinguishing feature: Wi-Fi connectivity. This allows the remote to access the Internet through your wireless network in order to download Electronic Program Guide (EPG) information along with news and weather highlights. In addition, the ARRU449 can periodically download software updates as they become available. Even though the ARRU449 can access the Internet, it doesn’t include a Web browser. That means you can’t go online directly. Instead, the remote uses something called click365 technology to download the EPG and other data—including news, weather, and sports stories—in the background.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Oct 02, 2014 3 comments
It’s disappointing to note that, already well into the second decade of the 21st century, the smartest component of most people’s homes is a programmable thermostat—and chances are, it hasn’t been programmed since it was installed (if at all). But you can’t really blame homeowners for not rushing in droves to embrace home automation or, as it’s more often called, the “smart home.” Neither the high cost of reliable systems nor the low reliability of cheap systems has been all that enticing.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 18, 2014 0 comments
I’m on a quest to find the best of the affordable smart home automation systems that are available (or will be shortly). The first couple of review samples have come in, and one of the primary aspects these two systems have in common is the impressive amount of engineering and design effort put into making installation and set up as easy as possible. That’s vitally important because for home automation to really get its foot in the door (so to speak) and appeal to more than just gadget-freaks like me, the system controllers need to be smart enough that the end user doesn’t have to commit an overwhelming amount of brainpower to the process of setting them up and getting them running. If the initial installation of a smart home automation controller is anything close to the pain involved in creating a bunch of macros in a programmable universal remote control, there’s going to be a lot of product returns from unhappy customers.

The first system to arrive was...

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 25, 2005 0 comments
Evidently, Polk has a thing for XM Satellite Radio. About six months after they introduced a stand-alone, home-component XM tuner (the XRt12), the speaker company is pulling the wraps off of a new XM-ready tabletop entertainment system called the I-Sonic. Sure, you might think it's just a new compact stereo system designed to sonically kick the you know what out of you know which (heavily advertised) tabletop system from you know who. (And who am I to say that you're wrong?) But a quick look at all of the I-Sonic's features and capabilities makes it appear to be something more - you know, the kind of thing your grandmother could use but will still impress the heck out of your more techno-sophisticated friends.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 08, 2012 0 comments
URC was showing off the company’s long-awaited DMS-AV Network Home Theater Amplifier that takes a 125-watt x 7 AVR with boatloads of inputs and features and marries it to a URC Total Control-based whole-home music distribution system. The DMS-AV connects to the homeowner’s LAN and can handle up to 32 streaming audio sources. You can even digitally stream the analog output from a turntable to any of the connected zone amplifiers in the home. URC says the DMS-AV is finally shipping with an MSRP of $1,499.