Honeywell said this week that it has debuted the latest version of the Lynx Touch self-contained security system. The system includes a pair of industry firsts: Wi-Fi capability and a 4G alarm radio.
“The new Lynx Touch truly represents what today’s homeowners expect from a security system – it’s easy to use, it’s fast to install, it has the broadest breadth of communication options and it can do a lot more than just security,” Rob Puric , director of product management, Honeywell Security & Communications, said as part of the announcement.
Denon Electronics this week unveiled its new core A/V receiver line for 2012, which is available now. The line includes the 7.1-channel Model AVR -1913 (SRP: $579.99) as well as the 5.1-channel Models AVR-1713 (SRP: $449.99), AVR-1613 (SRP: $399.99) and AVR-1513 (SRP: $249.99).
“With the launch of our new core AV receiver line for 2012, we are giving more people total simplicity of setup and operation, access to online music content as well as outstanding audio and video capabilities,” Yoshinori Yamada, the company’s product manager for core products, said as part of the announcement.
For me, and countless other music lovers, I’m sure, it’s useless to resist the Dark Side known as streaming. I really want to hold a disc (and its packaging) in my hand while listening to an album, but those days are quickly coming to a close. The death knell of physical media is likely to be hastened by products such as the new integrated amplifiers from NAD. The C 375DAC and C 356DAC (really NAD’s C 375BEE and C 356BEE with MDC DACs factory installed) have been designed with streaming in mind.
Hook a Squeezebox or Sonos system up to one of these bad boys (or heck, just a plain old PC or Mac) and get ready to stream 24/96 HD music. Users will benefit from the lower levels of distortion and NAD’s PowerDrive Amplifier Technology, designed for high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability.
You’re probably thinking what I was thinking when I saw the subject line of that press release: “What the heck is an atomic preamp?” No, it doesn’t replace vacuum tubes with little nuclear reactors. (Although, seriously, how long before someone does?) The “atomic” designation comes from the fact that the Rubicon integrates Antelope Audio’s renowned 10M Rubidium atomic clock, which promises to be “100,000 times more stable than a traditional crystal oscillator.” Combine that with the company’s 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology, and the preamp boasts unprecedented levels of jitter management.
What does it actually do, though? As the rest of its name implies, Rubicon isn’t merely a Digital-to-Analog converter; it’s actually an Analog-to-Digital/Digital-to-Analog converter. Plug your turntable into the JFET phono preamp, and it samples your vinyl digitally, applying all of the same of the same digitally clockery that was used in the recording of the score for Avatar. Incoming audio from a PC or Network Attached Storage (yep, it’s a streamer, too, complete with DLNA capabilities) skips the Analog-to-Digital stage and heads straight for the 384 kHz DAC (the same technology used in the company’s flagship Zodiac Gold DAC).
Panasonic likes to truck their immense plasma screens around the country in semi trucks, but in this case, they may just need a bigger boat. The monster 145 inch self-illuminating flat-panel delivers IMAX levels of resolution to your local…. side of your house.
A new drive system eliminates the flicker plasma generates at high resolutions, and is definitely not designed for home use. At 16X the resolution of 1080p, you simply cannot comfortably sit close enough to the thing to see the advantage over 4K (and 4K requires you to have at least an 85″ set to see any gains over 1080p at average sitting distances), and the primary applications are going to be large public displays, and not private use.
Sennheiser, whose roots lie in the professional audio world, has announced the HDVD 800 digital headphone amplifier. Despite the puzzling model number, which evokes thoughts of red laser vs. blue laser, this looks like a pretty sweet piece of gear. The Germans like their products to be well-built and look good, and it looks like this offering fits both bills. It’s encased in aluminum, with a slick glass panel embedded on top so you can admire the inner workings. There’s a big knob for volume and a small rotary switch to select your input (both made of anodized aluminum). The rotary source knob is a nice throwback to amps and preamps of days gone by.
Digital sources connect to the HDVD 800 via optical or coaxial S/PDIF or USB, as well as AES/EBU. The latter piece is huge for the professional market, as any digital mixing console worth its faders has AES/EBU outputs. For the home crowd, the USB 2.0 audio standard allows 24-bit/192KHz audio. (USB support is driver-free on Mac OS X 10.5 or later; drivers are supplied for Windows XP and up.) Analog sources can connect via balanced XLR or standard RCA cables. Digital-to-analog conversion is handled by a high-quality Burr-Brown DAC. The headphone output jack is exactly as it should be on a professional device: 1/4″/6.3mm — not the 1/8″/3.5mm found on seemingly everything else in the world. A rotary gain switch on the rear allows you to adapt the amplifier output to the audio input voltage, ensuring that the full dynamic range can be utilized.
Introducing the Control4 HC-250 Controller! This powerful controller offers exceptional value and performance plus instantaneous on-screen control. Whether you are installing a simple single-room system for your home or business, delivering a universal remote alternative with room to grow, or adding intuitive on-screen control for one TV or 20, the HC-250 Controller is the perfect solution.
The HC-250 delivers instantaneous control at an exceptional value. Its sleek design and small form-factor make it ideal for single-room control systems, universal remote replacements or as a way to deliver on-screen control to every television in larger residential or light commercial installations. A powerful 1GHz processor running the Control4® award-winning operating system delivers instantaneous, interactive control and makes the HC-250 a versatile and powerful player in any control system.
Next-generation core and ZigBee processors deliver a new level of speed and performance for instantaneous interactive on-screen control and access to lighting, security, music and video libraries.
Elegant, low-profile design features an integrated power supply for flexible, simple installation behind televisions or on a shelf.
Instantaneous, intuitive control from a touch screen, remote, or TV on-screen navigator.
Built-in PoE capability provides power and network connectivity over a single CAT5/CAT6 cable.
Certified HDMI with audio and video capability delivers reliable connectivity to today’s televisions and receivers.
Integrated Wireless-N and ZigBee simplify installation while delivering high-performance network connectivity.
2 audio outputs – 1 analog and 1 HDMI – and 1 analog audio input.
USB port enables connection to external storage for easy access to music content.
The new CWT series offers versatile installation options for both in-ceiling and in-wall applications. This high performance range of loudspeakers has been created to provide flexible installation in stealthy ‘trimless’ round or square grille styles. Featuring proven technologies and unique design features, CWT models combine high efficiency, wide frequency range and weather-resistance to facilitate flexible system design across a wide range of demanding residential and commercial installations.
Whether you judge it with your eyes, your ears, or both, Monitor’s Bronze BX system flat out looks and sounds like it belongs in the next price class up, and that’s what makes it special. Credit for this solution must go, in large part, to Monitor’s brilliant Technical Director Dean Hartley and his team, who are masters at the fine art and science of technology trickle-down.
Hartley once told TPV that he believes each new product family, regardless of price, “should leverage every bit of design know-how acquired through work on earlier generation speaker families, no matter how expensive they might be.” One upshot of this laudable approach is that you wind up with modestly priced speaker ranges, such as the Bronze BX family, that borrow technologies and construction techniques from far more costly speaker systems, wherever possible (subject to cost-constraints, of course).
The result is value with a capitol “V.” In practice, this means you also get to enjoy a speaker system where, as our TPV review put it, the “sonic sophistication/dollar ratio is pretty much off the charts.
NEW SONOS APPS MAKE FINDING AND PLAYING MUSIC AT HOME EASIER THAN EVER
Sonos, Inc., the leading manufacturer of wireless music systems, today announced Sonos System Software 3.7, an update that includes brand new controller apps for the Mac and PC to radically enhance the music experience in the home. This free software is available to all Sonos customers via a one-button update to their system. “We’re focused on providing our customers with the simplest and fastest way to experience music throughout their homes,” said John MacFarlane, founder and CEO, Sonos, Inc. “The new apps for Mac and PC make discovering and playing music easier and more enjoyable than ever.” The completely redesigned Sonos Controller apps for Mac and PC include a host of new features for Sonos customers to enjoy, including:
A Mini Controller lets you control the music while you’re working in other apps
A single search box lets you quickly find artists, albums, songs and stations across all your music sources—music library, Internet radio and music services.
Simple drag & drop interface now lets you add one or multiple songs to your queue, room or group of rooms for instant music gratification
One touch Party Mode volume control lets you easily raise or lower the volume in all your grouped rooms simultaneously
New design and functionality provide greater consistency with other Sonos Controller apps
Other features of Sonos 3.7 software include:
- New language support - We’ve added Brazilian Portuguese to the list so now you can control Sonos in 12 languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Swedish.
- Android devices on SonosNet - Android smartphones and tablets can now use SonosNet, Sonos’ wireless network, to connect directly to Sonos and the Internet.