News / Media

Crestron Opens New Customer Experience Center in Southern California

Crestron Press Release - March 02, 2012

Cypress Grand Opening Hosts Hundreds of Guests for Tours, Seminars & Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Crestron commemorated the opening of its new Experience Center in Cypress, CA yesterday with more than 400 guests that included Crestron dealers, consultants, architects, lighting designers and specifiers, electrical contractors, vendor partners, media, and local government officials.

The southern California location adds another showcase facility to Crestron’s lineup of nationwide Experience Centers and Design Showrooms. Crestron Experience Centers are the ideal setting for customers, dealers, designers, and architects to experience cutting-edge Crestron integrated technology in a fully-immersive environment.

There’s so much more to commercial building control and home automation than what you read or hear. To get the facts, you have to see it for yourself. The new Experience Center offers guests an up close and personal behind-the-scenes look at the world’s most pioneering control technology. The all day open house event featured educational seminars, group tours of the 5,000 square foot facility, product demonstrations, and an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Our Cypress Experience Center provides a state-of-the-art space to support our customers, dealers and partners in southern California,” said Dave Sell, Crestron Regional Director. “This marks an open invitation to everyone to come and use this beautiful, functional space where you can see and demonstrate Crestron technology in real-life settings. Hearing and reading about Crestron solutions is cool, but nothing beats experiencing it for yourself.”

Afternoon seminars addressed relevant topics such as “Grow Your Business with Crestron,” “It’s a Digital World” and “Integration with Apple®”.

Guests received guided tours which demonstrated new Crestron innovations including CaptureLiveHD™ Lecture Capture System, Sonnex™ Multiroom Audio System, V-Panel™ 24” HD Touch Screen Displays, DigitalMedia™ High-Definition Video Distribution System and much more. Attendees also received a sneak preview of soon-to-be released Crestron shading solutions on display in the Shading Design Studio.

Prior to the evening cocktail party, Cypress Mayor Doug Bailey congratulated Crestron Executive Vice President Randy Klein and staff for expanding the Cypress location. “This facility will allow visitors to experience the technological innovations that have made Crestron an industry leader for more than 40 years,” said Bailey.

Posted by chantal Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:24:00 GMT

Canon Debuts Remote Control Camera

March 7, 2012



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Canon this week announced the launch of the new XU-80 indoor/outdoor Remote Control Pan-Tilt-Zoom HD Camera. The camera sports a CMOS HD 2.1 Megapixel imaging sensor, a Canon 20x HD zoom lens and is waterproof and rustproof.

“Today’s professional HD video users demand serious price-performance value, which is why Canon leveraged the success and economies of scale earned by its well-received BU-51H (indoor) and BU-46H (outdoor) HD PTZ camera systems to develop the cost-effective new XU-80,” Larry Thorpe, senior fellow of Canon’s Professional Engineering & Solution division, said.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:12:00 GMT

Apple Brings 1080p HD to New Apple TV

Apple Press Release - March 7, 2012

Apple announced the new Apple TV featuring 1080p HD programming, including iTunes movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos, and more. The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface, making it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows, and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to Apple TV. And with iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favorite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HDTV. Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $99 (US) through the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores.

“People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.”

Apple TV users can choose from an incredible selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers great content from Netflix’s streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.*

With iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on Apple TV and watch them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices including your HD TV via Apple TV. iCloud provides an incredibly easy way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets or even games.**

Apple TV makes it easy to enjoy iTunes video, music and photo libraries from your computer right on your HD TV—and with iCloud you can instantly enjoy content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as well. iTunes Match customers can now play their entire music library from iCloud—even songs they’ve imported from CDs. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store™

Posted by chantal Wed, 28 Mar 2012 16:12:00 GMT

Panasonic Rolling Out 2012 Viera TVs

March 8, 2012



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http://www.customretailer.net/article/panasonic-rolling-out-2012-viera-tvs-25029687/1



Panasonic said this week that its 2012 Smart Viera TVs are available this month. The line includes plasma, LED and LCD TVs, including the ST50, UT50, and XT50 Plasma series and the E50, ET5, E5 and X5 LED series.

“Our enhanced and very strong 2012 model lineup builds on Panasonic’s priority to be the highest quality entertainment company, providing the consumer with many options and our new lineup does just that,” Henry Hauser, Vice President Merchandising, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, said as part of the announcement.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 27 Mar 2012 16:23:00 GMT

Apple Launches New iPad

Apple Press Release - March 16, 2012

The new iPad — the third generation of the category-defining mobile device — arrived at Apple’s Retail Stores and the Apple Online Store on Friday, March 16 at 8:00 a.m. local time in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK; along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Beginning at a suggested retail price of $499 (US), the new iPad features a stunning Retina display, Apple’s A5X chip with quad-core graphics, and a 5-megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. And iPad 2 is now available at a more affordable price, starting at just $399.

The new iPad features a stunning new Retina™ display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast networks worldwide, including AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G LTE networks, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life while remaining amazingly thin and light.

The new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased color saturation the new iPad displays colors that are unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an incomparable viewing experience on a mobile device.

The powerful new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a superb balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the stunning new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch™ interface, immersive gameplay, incredible visual depth and all-day battery life that iPad is known for delivering.

The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking stunning pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and easily shared with friends and family using the built-in Photos app on iPad.

iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers blazing download and upload speeds so web pages load incredibly quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB**.

With iOS 5.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes® in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone®, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices. When content changes on one of your devices, your other devices are updated automatically.

The new iPad also supports dictation, another amazing way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.

Apple also introduced the iPhoto® app, along with major updates to iMovie® and GarageBand®, completing its suite of iLife® apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork® apps, Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers®, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create amazing Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.

iPad runs almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store™, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps, from a wide range of categories, including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store® puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 20 million songs, over 90,000 TV episodes and over 15,000 movies. The new iBooks® 2 app for iPad lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more.

Posted by chantal Mon, 26 Mar 2012 17:17:00 GMT

Pioneer 2012 AV Receivers Double Down on AirPlay

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Pioneer delivered a great line-up of AV receivers in 2011, highlighted by the VSX-1021-K. That model was one of the first non-Apple products to offer AirPlay compatibility–the ability to stream any audio from iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touch models.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 20 Mar 2012 16:16:00 GMT

Introducing the Card Access Sub Zero Smart Appliance Module for use with your Control4 System!

It’s a long-held stereotype that beauty and brains don’t go together. Well, not anymore. Introducing the Card Access™ Sub-Zero® / Wolf® Smart Appliance Module™. This new product from Card Access gives the beautiful Sub-Zero BI-Series of refrigerators the needed brains for integration with the award-winning Control4® home control system.

Underneath the Sub-Zero BI-Series’ refrigerators are several advanced technologies that work together as a comprehensive food preservation system that provides you with fresh, wholesome food and water in ways no other appliance can.

The Card Access Smart Appliance Module combines these advanced appliance features with the capabilities of Control4 to monitor:

  • refrigerator door / freezer door open and close states
  • refrigerator and freezer temperature set points
  • ice maker on/off state
  • Max Ice Mode on/off state
  • Pure Air on/off state
  • water filter useful life (displayed as a percentage)

And set a variety of refrigerator operating modes including:

  • Short and Long Vacation Mode
  • High Use Mode
  • Sabbath Mode
  • Normal Mode
  • Night Ice
  • Heat Store

The free Card Access Sub-Zero Smart Appliance app–available for download from Control4’s 4Store™–gives Navigator access to these refrigerator features.

You can now take advantage of the combination of these two systems to receive alerts, throw a better party, or vacation with greater convenience and peace of mind… All with a little help from Control4 and Card Access.

Who says you can’t have beauty and brains in a single package?

Posted by chantal Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:20:00 GMT

Sonos Coming soon: New Controller apps for Mac and PC

Posted on March 15th, 2012 by Sonos Staff

You asked, we listened. Our team has been working ‘round the clock to bring you two brand spanking new Sonos Controller apps for Mac and PC. The new Controllers will make it easier than ever to find, control and play music in any room—right from your favorite desktop or laptop.

What can you look forward to? For starters, faster access to music. The improved Search feature will let you quickly find artists, albums, songs, and stations from your music library, Internet radio and music services using a single search box. And you can use the better-than-ever, drag-and-drop interface to add one or multiple songs, albums, or playlists to your queue, room, or group of rooms for instant music gratification.

The new controllers also offer instant volume control, with a one-touch Party Mode that lets you set the volume in your grouped rooms simultaneously. Plus, we’ve brought some of the hidden perks of Sonos front and center, with the Sleep Timer and Alarms now accessible from the main window. And speaking of looks, the new Controller apps will give your eyes something to smile about.

But the feature we might be the most excited about is the new Mini Controller, a slick, pop-out of album art that lets you control your music while you’re working in other apps, so now it’s even easier to control any music you want—any way you want.

Posted by chantal Fri, 16 Mar 2012 16:48:00 GMT

The Importance of Being Illuminated

Published Feb 23, 2012 By KARYN ELLIOTT



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http://hdliving.com/learning-center/2012/02/23/importance-illuminated



A lighting design practice integrates the arts, sciences and business of illumination design and implementation far beyond concerns of visibility. Putting the enhancement of beauty aside for a moment, in the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos.

One-half of that is wasted by inefficient lighting sources or careless consumers. Residential has long been the ugly duckling of lighting design, it has been incandescent-based and completely unsophisticated for decades.

It’s not about buying expensive light fittings; it’s about having quality in your living space. It’s not always the case that where the money’s being spent is where the best design happens. Thoughtful lighting design can play a crucial role when it comes to the comfort, quality and energy efficiency of your home’s lighting.

Here are a few principals of home lighting. First, get a certified lighting designer involved. No matter how much you take the following suggestions and points to heart you will want a qualified professional to assist you in implementing them.

The most important thing to realize is that human visual performance depends as much on the quality of light in a home as it does on the quantity of light.


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Posted by chantal Fri, 09 Mar 2012 17:37:00 GMT

NuForce Releases Air DAC Into the Wireless Audio Jungle

by Chris Schaaf on February 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm



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http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83818/nuforce-releases-air-dac-into-the-wireless-audio-jungle/



Everyone wants to be on the wireless bandwagon these days, and wireless music is probably at the top of the list. For the Apple folks out there, this is old news with iTunes and an Airport Express or AirPlay. For others, a Sonos (or maybe a Mondo) wireless media player is whetting your wireless music whistle. Either way, NuForce has entered the fray with the Air DAC.

The NuForce Air DAC is a two part wireless system that allows you to transmit CD-quality audio from your portable device to your home stereo. The system, at its core, consists of two parts: the Air DAC receiver and either the uTX (USB) or iTX (30-pin Apple dock connector) transmitter. Based on SKAA technology, the system creates its own wireless audio network in the 2.4 GHz band (read: no wifi network required) and incorporates a proprietary method of interference avoidance, ensuring you won’t experience clicks, pops, or dropouts. Claimed latency in the system is low enough to watch video on your device with the audio streaming to the Air DAC receiver.

The Air DAC (and SKAA in general) is designed as a one-room system; both the transmitter and reciever must be within 15-30 meters of each other (10-20 meters with the iTX). Each transmitter can be bound to up to four receivers and vice versa. The receiver has a single front-panel button to cycle through available transmitters. The transmitter automatically locks on to receivers as it comes into range. I’d imagine you could probably get it to work in adjacent rooms in some situations, but the intention is that you’d have a receiver in each room you want to use and the transmitter will hop from receiver to receiver as they come into range.

The receiver is a little more than three inches square and about an inch high, so hiding it among your existing A/V gear should be a pretty simple chore.

The SKAA technology is pretty cool in that they standardize the transmitters and leave the receiving device up to the manufacturers. In this case, it’s a small desktop cube with RCA outputs, but there’s also speakers, headphones, and earbuds in the works. The beauty of the system is that all SKAA devices are designed to interact and work with each other, so you can mix and match your TX and RX devices.

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<strong><a href="http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83818/nuforce-releases-air-dac-into-the-wireless-audio-jungle/" target="_blank">http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83818/nuforce-releases-air-dac-into-the-wireless-audio-jungle/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:22:00 GMT