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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 26, 2010 0 comments

Price: $1,098 (as reviewed)

At A Glance: Robust wireless communication between devices • Supports most audio codecs except Apple FairPlay DRM-protected and WMA lossless • Access to numerous online audio-subscription services • ZonePlayers can stream local analog sources to other zonesI’ve often thought it would be nice to have music in multiple rooms of the house; but, as I’ve alluded, my home is not custom install friendly. I decided that a wireless multiroom system would definitely be the best bet. Sonos, a company that focuses exclusively on wireless multiroom audio, has a system that’s designed to do just thatŃand moreŃin up to 32 independent zones without breaking the bank or tearing down any walls. After I read the endearing tag line, “Wireless that works like magic,” I thought, what better time or place could there be to check out Sonos’ latest system incarnation? So I asked Sonos to send out its Bundle 150 two-zone package ($999 ) plus a ZoneBridge and let the fun begin.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Nov 23, 2009 1 comments
So Many Rooms, So Few Wires

My home began as a tiny two-room house on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere back in the late 1800s. A century later, I’m sitting in a cubbyhole office in the original upstairs section. Old and new sections butt up against one another. Some of the home’s old elements have been remade to look new, while its new parts have a patina of old. Straight lines and level floors are few and far between. With two totally separate (in both location and age) upstairs areas, it almost qualifies as a human Habitrail. As they say in the real estate business, it has character.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 13, 2004 0 comments
Although it's too late to become eligible to submit a surround sound music release for the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2005 if you're not already a member of the Recording Academy, fans of surround sound music will have a new award category - Best Surround Sound Album - to heatedly discuss around the office water cooler. While it's certainly not as exciting as Best Hawaiian Music Album, another new category to make its debut in 2005, it's good to see multichannel music getting more professional respect and attention. All genres of music for commercial releases on DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and SACD with an original mix of four or more channels are eligible. We'll know multichannel music has finally come into its own when a release wins both the Best Surround Sound and Best Hawaiian Music Album awards. Could a surround remix of Zamfir's (Master of the Pan Flute) Greatest Hits be next?
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments
With 140,000 attendees (from over 140 countries, supposedly) at the “world’s largest consumer electronics show”, this is a good thing to have.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2014 2 comments
Nakymatone has a unique approach to invisible in-wall sound with two stealthy speakers called the Echt and the Mooi. Both speakers measure 23” x 9.75” x 3.5” (H x W x D) but are designed to be fit behind drywall using a 16 5/8” x 9.75” (H x W) hole. The speakers utilize a special removable handle that allows installers to slide the speaker into the hole and then pull it flush up against the drywall before fastening it in place an applying a 1/16” plaster skim to blend it in with the surface of the wall. The acoustic panel consists of an aluminum honeycomb core with doped paper skin. Both models have a sealed, acoustically tuned aluminum enclosure; while the higher-end Echt’s enclosure is also anodized for higher performance sound quality.

According to Nakymatone, the frequency response of the Mooi is...

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Aug 08, 2005 0 comments
Digitally distributed music is hip these days. Actually, it's always been hip (even when analog was the method of distribution), but now it's hipper - and cheaper.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 25, 2013 0 comments
No, they’re not stylized Daleks from Dr. Who or PVC termite mounds. The objects pictured above are actually a couple of pretty impressive all-weather speakers from NEAR. There are a couple of things that are newsworthy about these speakers, not the least of which is that they are the first environmental speakers designed by NEAR specifically for the consumer/custom installation market in about a decade and a half. In fact, it’s been exactly 14 years since NEAR last had a booth or display at a CEDIA EXPO.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
ihiji is a service company aimed at helping custom installers help their clients. It’s a neat concept for two things you won’t see: the graph above that kind of reminds you of a nuclear fallout pattern, and the install company’s truck that won’t be parking in front of your home. ihiji’s servers constantly monitor your home’s AV and automation system and can pinpoint problems with IP communication (which are then displayed on the network connection graph), allowing the installer to potentially solve the problem (by sending a reboot command, for example) without ever leaving the shop. It saves on service calls, service fees, and aggravation on everyone’s part.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 28, 2015 1 comments
I’m not a terribly big fan of Nest, but I don’t hate them, either. I own a Nest Thermostat, and I like it—for the most part. What I don’t understand is the gushing amount of praise a lot of writers give it, both as a standalone thermostat and a major smart home device/controller. You get the feeling that if God needed a thermostat, the Nest would be the one He’d buy. Despite what you might read, the NEST thermostat has its flaws, two of which are its inability to detect occupancy in other areas of the home and its requirement for an always-on Internet connection when used with other smart home systems.

But I have to give the Nest folks a great deal of credit for doing a very honorable thing recently...

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 06, 2008 1 comments
Among the many that will be vying for the “Wireless HD Streaming Champion” is Netgear who announced a new HD/Gaming network kit that they say will provide seamless wireless streaming of up to 1080p video around your abode. It’s supposed to be easy to set up and can be added to an existing wireless network without requiring any special software installation.