News / Media

SONOS TAKES CONTROL WITH NEW APPS FOR MAC and PC

Sonos Press Release 03.20.12

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.

Posted by chantal Mon, 09 Apr 2012 16:19:00 GMT

High-Tech Helps Save Energy at one of Subways First Eco-Restaurants

Control4 Press Release

Control4 automation solutions and Eragy energy management lower utility bills to pay for the system in just three years.

Salt Lake City, UT – April 5, 2012 – A new, high-tech Subway franchise in Kokomo, Indiana recently received the state’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) commercial project certification thanks in part to a Control4 automation system. As part of Subway’s Eat Fresh, Live Green™ Eco-Restaurant initiative, the restaurant earned accolades for its use of intelligent automation technology for saving energy and for its green-building methodologies.

George Estep, franchisee of the newly opened Subway, had experienced the sting of his monthly electricity bills at his other restaurants and knew that building a “green” restaurant was about more than just recycled construction materials and native plantings. “Rising utility expenses were a factor in deciding to make this location a showcase of energy efficiency,” stated Estep.

Estep teamed up with Brandon Pitcher, Chief Sustainability Officer at Indiana-based real estate development firm, Fortune Management, who presented a vision for a store that was high-tech, economically sound and environmentally conscious. Pitcher then commissioned Huston Electric to create a fully automated lighting, HVAC, and occupancy sensor-driven system powered by Control4 that would allow the building to act and react automatically to predetermined commands.

The building was fit with programmable light switches, thermostats, motion sensors, daylight sensors, and an eGauge energy monitoring device that communicates wirelessly with the Control4 system. The processes were then automated so interior and exterior lights would switch on and off based on pre-set opening and closing hours, bathroom and kitchen lights function based upon occupancy, and two exterior light level sensors harvest daylight to automatically conserve power. When the sensors reach a set percentage of light, near 60%, the dining room lights on the side room will shut off, thereby “harvesting” the natural light coming into the dining area. Thermostats were also programmed to rise or drop automatically based on business hours alongside an in-ceiling ERV air recovery unit also controlled through a Control4 switch. A monitor in the lobby displays the Control4 navigator with the Eragy App in real time, acting both as an education and informational display tool.

In order to measure the project goal of a return on investment within 36 months, Huston turned to Eragy, a leading provider of smart energy software applications and services, to monitor the building’s overall power usage. The Eragy system monitors electrical loads throughout the restaurant so that energy usage can be tracked and accessed remotely, allowing the restaurant staff to quickly understand projected monthly energy costs even before they get their bill, and make prior adjustments as needed.

Being able to monitor and record the shops’ energy savings allows Estep to track just how much money he is saving on his monthly electric bill. The energy savings alone is projected, at its current rate, to pay for the system in just over 2 1/2 years – sooner than their original goal. At that point, the energy savings becomes additional profit to the business’ bottom line.

“Control4 and Eragy allowed us to combine high tech with a positive environmental impact,” stated Huston’s Nate Cushman. “By organizing the different systems to work together, we’ve created effortless control with environmental consciousness that allows this Subway location to monetize their energy savings.”

The store displays the energy usage on a large monitor for customers to enjoy and discuss. “We invested in an intelligent system because it made solid economic sense,” said Pitcher. “We went public with Eragy’s Watts On Now! app to expose customers and staff to the real world energy usage it takes to make a Subway operate. We want our store to provide creative and interactive experiences to our customers so they gain an understanding about economic and environmental issues.”

“Eco-restaurants reflect our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability,” said Marketing Director Elizabeth Stewart, who heads the Subway brand’s corporate social responsibility efforts. “We have pledged to make our restaurants and operations more environmentally responsible and it’s exciting when a franchisee takes this level of effort with their restaurant. They set a great example of just what can be done.”

With today’s affordable technology solutions, even small restaurants and businesses can deliver a high-tech experience to customers, while also enjoying energy savings.

Posted by chantal Fri, 06 Apr 2012 22:34:00 GMT

Pioneer Debuts New Elite Receivers

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Pioneer this week announced the launch of a pair of new Elite-branded AV receivers. The line includes the Elite VSX-42 (suggested retail price, $450) 7.1-channel and VSX-60 (suggested retail price, $650) 7.2-channel receivers.

The two receivers sport such features as AirPlay, DLNA certification, Bluetooth audio streaming, and access to such audio services as Pandora and Sirius XM Radio.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 05 Apr 2012 16:11:00 GMT

Seura Releases New Storm Outdoor TV Line

By Nancy Klosek April 3rd, 2012



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Séura has announced that it has entered the outdoor TV category with its newly introduced Storm 1080p weatherproof LCD TV line. The line, shipping now in limited quantities, includes 42-, 47- and 55-inch screen sizes, and uses the company’s LuminOptics technology which it said works together with a colorless dual-layer anti-reflective safety glass to render a bright image in sunny environments.

Séura’s Precision O-Ring System, similar to sealing technology used on car doors, makes the TVs weatherproof in their aircraft-grade metal enclosures, and to combat overheating, the Activ Airflow System brings cool air in at the bottom of the TV and moves it to the front of the LCD screen and across the electronics, expelling warm air through the enclosure’s back. A removable bezel permits easy access to internal parts and enables the cleaning of glass and filters without having to uninstall the set for maintenance, the company says. The sets are outfitted with two HDMI ports as well as VGA, AV, USB and RS-232 connections.


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Posted by chantal Wed, 04 Apr 2012 23:24:00 GMT

iHome Launches AirPlay Speaker

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iHome this week announced its latest AirPlay-equipped speaker, the iW2 Wireless Speaker System.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 03 Apr 2012 16:11:00 GMT

Crestron Unveils UFO Waterproof Remote Control

Crestron has unveiled its UFO Waterproof Remote Control.



By RS Staff, April 2, 2012



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http://residentialsystems.com/article/72620.aspx



The buoyant, saucer-shaped remote gives users the convenience of controlling entertainment systems, lighting, thermostats, security systems, and other connected devices without worrying about water damage. UFO is ideal for indoor and outdoor use in or around pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, spas, and on yachts.

“Crestron UFO provides all the benefits of an extended wireless coverage remote without the worries of water damage. There are all sorts of uses for a waterproof remote that floats,” said Sean Goldstein, Crestron VP of marketing. “In addition to obvious applications such as hot tubs, pools and yachts, it’s very popular in hospital operating rooms where everything must be sterilized. The UFO can be submerged in sanitizing liquid without being affected.”

The intuitive user interface features customizable menus with full-color icons, making it easy to select room location, music or video source, choose a radio station, TV channel, or media title, and access lighting controls and other functions. Molded in a rugged, rubberized outer skin, UFO is resistant to damage from chlorine, salt water, and sterilization solutions. The ruggedized construction of the remote provides an added level or protection against elements.

With the tap of a finger, UFO provides extended wireless coverage and two-way feedback from a bright 2.8-inch active-matrix color LCD display. UFO works like an IR remote with instant response, with all the benefits of 2-way RF. Using Crestron 2.4 GHz RF wireless technology allows extended coverage performance up to 200 feet indoors, and 1000 feet outdoors using the optional Extended Range RF Wireless Gateway.

Additionally, UFO extends battery life up to one week by slipping into a virtual sleep mode within seconds when idle. Instant-Waking revives UFO instantly with the press of any button, and button commands can be sent immediately without the connection delays common with Wi-Fi remotes, according to Crestron. The included indoor docking station provides a convenient means for charging the remote’s internal battery.

An optional outdoor docking station provides a weatherproof charging solution and an ideal wall mount dock for both outdoor and indoor applications.

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Posted by chantal Mon, 02 Apr 2012 22:30:00 GMT

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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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