Control4, the company behind the award-winning home automation platform favored by many electronics integrators, has taken the smart home on the road. A new "Smart Design, Smart Living" Airstream RV trailer outfitted with room vignettes designed to show off C4's technology is in the midst of a 12-week, multi-city tour to teach interior designers, architects, and consumers what home automation really is and what it can do. This miniature smart-home-on-wheels allows demonstration of automated lighting, whole-home audio and video entertainment, and security through the use of wall keypads, mounted touchscreens, conventional handheld remotes, smartphone and tablet apps, and even Amazon Alexa voice control.
Integra DLB-5 Soundbar System
Object-based surround sound has advanced the art of home theater sound but at the cost of yet another set of speakers. Enter Integra’s DLB-5, which provides a simpler path. The 3.1.2-channel system comprises a passive soundbar, wireless subwoofer, and svelte 5 x 50-watt receiver that supports Internet Radio, several streaming services (including Tidal, Spotify, and Pandora), and more connectivity options than you’ll need: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Blackfire’s FireConnect, and DTS Play-Fi (due via a future firmware update).
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value
AT A GLANCE Plus
Calibrates well for accurate color
Backlit remote control
Limited installation features
High fan noise in Normal Lamp mode
Not as bright as competition
The better-than-average contrast and accurate color potential offered by BenQ’s low-cost projector make it a great option for a
budget home theater.
Budget 1080p projectors targeted at sports fans are a staple of many manufacturers’ lineups. These usually come with a promise to “transport you to the stadium” by projecting a bright, 100-inchdiagonal picture from just a few feet out from a wall or screen, and they include a Sports picture mode to give Astroturf that hyper-real, greener-than-green look. In some cases, however, such projectors can deliver surprisingly accurate images. Pair one of them with an equally affordable screen, and you’ll get a satisfying big-screen movie-viewing experience for under $1,000.
Q I own a 720p-resolution Pioneer plasma TV. Every time I use my old plasma—now relegated to my photography studio after being replaced with a Full HD LCD model in the living room—I am blown away by the rich blacks and crisp color. It just looks better than LCD. With the arrival of 4K and HDR (finally, TV tech that can match the color gamut of the computer monitors I use for photography), I’m thinking it may be time for another upgrade. Are there any HDR-compatible UHDTVs that perform well enough to finally end my love affair with my plasma? — Ed Nazarko / via email
15 Minutes with HDMI Forum Chairman Chris Pasqualino
When HDMI hit the scene in 2003 it was welcomed as a godsend, enabling enthusiasts to replace a rat’s nest of audio and video cables with a single connection. The specification has evolved steadily over the years to keep pace with the ever-changing AV landscape and encountered a few bumps along the way. In January, the HDMI Forum announced Version 2.1, a forward-looking upgrade of the current HDMI 2.0b spec. We recently caught up with HDMI Forum Chairman Chris Pasqualino to learn about the implications of HDMI 2.1 now and in the future.
Sling TV today announced that its live and on-demand over-the-top (OTT) service is now available on most 2016 webOS 3.0-enabled LG smart TVs and is coming to webOS 3.5-enabled 2017 models later this year.
Though “A Whiter Shade Pale” singlehandedly sealed their position in rock history 50 years ago this May, Procol Harum continued to make sonic waves from the late ’60s on into the ’70s. Fast-forward to the present day, where Procol Harum continues to shine brightly as evidenced by the sweet and salty sounds of Novum, out on April 21. I called I called PH vocalist/pianist Gary Brooker across the Pond to discuss the live approach to cutting Novum, the ongoing impact of “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” and why he still likes playing with orchestras.