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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: May 03, 2006 0 comments
I no longer play video games - at least not in front of other people - because my children regularly beat the snot out of me when I'm foolish enough to engage them in a round of electronic mayhem and destruction. I'm hoping Nintendo's new "Brain Age" game will help push the touchpad in my direction.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2010 0 comments
You can't call it a sound bar, but the goal of Niro Nakamichi's latest system is to eliminate the need for rear speakers in a home theater. The new system uses two speaker cabinets - one below the TV that produces the LCR signals, and one above the TV that creates the pseudo surround information. The system also comes with a subwoofer and processor/amplifier. The system uses psychoacoustics to create its effects and doesn't rely on sound reflections off the side walls as many other no-rear-speakers systems do. Although it still can't compete against a full-blown discrete speaker system, I must say that in the brief amount of time I had to listen, it blew away any other soundbar I've ever heard. Of course, at $1,899 for the system, it's more expensive than any other sound bar that I can remember listening to. The cosmetics are a little industrial for my tastes, but it's definitely a high-performance system to consider if you can't have rear speakers.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2008 0 comments
Boston Acoustics is back in the computer speaker business again with two tabletop systems. The $99.99 version includes a pair of slender speakers with a ” tweeter and two 2” mid-bass drivers. The $179.99 package adds a subwoofer. The sub/sat system kicked some serious butt, and it was sitting out in the open on a little round table in a large demo room. And just like many of the new Boston speakers, these are part of the POP program which allows you to buy different colored grilles.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2014 0 comments
After four years of availability in over 55 countries around the world, smart home hub and device maker, FIBARO, is finally entering the U.S. market. In addition to the Home Center Lite (approx $280), FIBARO will also be making available the more powerful Home Center 2 (pricing TBA). The most significant feature that differentiates FIBARO from the competitive smart home hub systems (Revolv, $300; SmartThings, $99; Staples Connect, $49; etc.) is the systems’ abilities to interface with and control elements of home AV systems. Currently, Revolv and SmartThings offer extremely limited control of some Sonos components; but neither hub is capable of controlling gear in home theater systems.

FIBARO is also notable for its...

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2008 7 comments
Let’s say you have a nice home theater system in one end of the room and a powered subwoofer in the other. Everything sounds nice until you plug the subwoofer into the AC outlet next to it, and, viola, your system is now humming a new tune. Unfortunately, it’s not humming the tune you wanted it to.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2012 2 comments
Somebody at Newer Technology finally got fed up with all the USB wall wart chargers taking up all the available outlets - not to mention looking like a charger jigsaw puzzle. The company's Power2U AC/USB wall outlet combines two AC wall outlets with a pair of powered USB ports that'll charge and power up to four iOS/Android/etc devices - including being able to charge the amperage-hungry iPad. Unlike traditional wall-wart power supplies, the USB charging ports in the Power2U utilize a "Smart Power" design that is supposed to reduce your energy consumption costs by providing only the charging amount necessary for the connected devices, as well as turn off power to the USB ports when the connecting cable is removed. Safety shutters over the USB ports slide closed when not in use.

The UL-Listed Power2U installs into a standard single-gang outlet box (16 cubic inches or larger) with a 15A circuit and comes with detailed instructions for the intrepid do-it-yourselfer. In fact, Newer Technology says it can be installed in as little as 20 minutes. At the moment, the wall outlets are only available in an off-white finish. The wall plate itself has small caps to cover the wall plate's screws. The Power2U AC/USB wall outlets are available now for $39.95/each But if my house is any kind of a guide, you'll need more than just one to satisfy all your voracious portable devices.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
I thought I’d seen just about every variation of an iPod case by now, but a quick walk-through of the section of CES devoted to all things iPod brought me to this booth. Beaheadcase has combined a bottle opener with an iPod case because you never know when you might be using your iPod and need to open a bottle of beer. Just remember, don’t drink and download.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 22, 2010 0 comments
Stealth Acoustics has a problem. They don’t want you to see their speakers, especially their newest models called the LinearResponse Series. Although I couldn’t see him, Stealth Acoustics’ representative says the new speakers are an improvement over the previous generation using similar custom carbon-fiber motor and cone-woofer technologies. But the really big enhancement is the use of a new face-panel material that provides a flatter front surface area, which means installers won’t need to pre-plaster or otherwise pre-treat the front face-panel before installation. The new design can be installed and painted or wallpapered over immediately. That’s a huge time-saver, and – as with anything as labor-intensive as custom install projects are – a big money-saver, too.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2016 Published: Jan 08, 2016 0 comments
Anyone who ever writes about consumer electronics—especially at shows like CES and CEDIA—runs the risk of praising a really cool product that, unfortunately, never sees the light of day. (It’s also the curse of anyone who covers Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns.) So I’ll begin this post with the following caveat: I have no idea whether or not the folks at Senic in Germany will be able to bring their Nuimo “Universal Control for Your Smart Home” to life as a real, honest-to-goodness product. But I sure as hell hope they do.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 13, 2006 Published: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
NuVo Technologies showed off the company's new Grand Concerto multiroom audio system. The coolest part of the system is the new control pad that uses an OLED display that the NuVo people say can show up to eight readable character lines. The character height for each line is selectable, and different lines can have different character heights. The NuVo folks say that, in addition to being bright enough to be readable in rooms with lots of sunlight, the control pad display has a 180-degree viewing angle.

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