Oct 13 2006

News - Tech Simplicity to Drive Connected Homes

Of course I am going to post a story if it agrees with my opinions. The Connected Home is still early on in its adoption, significantly behind even a basic Home Theater which daunts many of a technophobe. The article goes on to say, if the tech of making your house work as one continues to be a custom only job, it will never catch on.

Of course, I agree 100%, I am very surprised there is not a common technology platform out there. Using Media Extenders and the Media Center platform has certainly made it more accessible to the general public, but its still not an ideal solution. Joe Schoe can't go out to best buy and buy a  couple of light controls, a wireless thermostat and have them communicate on a standard interface. I think I smell a rant blogpost coming up.

From the article:

An estimated 4 million "connected homes" are already set up in this country--those with Wi-Fi networks with connected devices like a PC, TV, set-top box, personal video recorder, and so on--and that number is expected to grow exponentially in the next five years. It won't, though, if consumers are forced to study up on an alphabet soup's worth of acronyms to consume the content they want, [vice president of TV properties for Orb Networks Herve] Utheza said.

Oct 13 2006

News - Sony VPL-VW50 (Pearl) Review

Believe it or not, Sony has a pretty decent deal going with its $5k 1080p projector. Not too long ago, you were looking at a minimum of $10k for a 1080p front projector. Between the two modes, you can expect between 500 and 900 lumens brightness. Not stellar, but you won't want to turn the lights on during your Lord Of The Rings-athon.

From the article: 

This whisper quiet operation comes at a cost however. Sony was rather ingenious with the airflow design of the Pearl, I have to imagine that part of the reason the Pearl is as quiet as it is, boils down to how the exhaust is funneled out of the front of the projector through vents rather than just being pulled through the case by large exhausts fans. The low whir of exhaust noise doesn’t get louder as you scan your ear from front to back, or side to side but the escaping heat is noticeably hotter than the relative warm air emanating from typical projectors.

Oct 13 2006

News - Denon S-301

I am always a little bit skeptical of 2.1 systems that are marketed as replacements as 5.1 systems. No matter the tricks, its pretty hard to replace the physical speaker. However, there is still room for a quality 2.1 sound system. If you are looking for something a bit smaller for say your bedroom or den, but are still interested in quality, it appears the Denon S-301 may fit the bill. For the $1500 price tag, you get an upconverting DVD player, a couple of sat speakers, a sub, the usual connections, iPod cable, USB port and wall brackets for your speakers. Not a bad value if the sound lives up to its price tag.

From the review:

I tested the system with a number of movies, two of my favorite test flicks are Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings and Underworld Evolution. I particularly like the birthday party scenes of LOTR with the fireworks. While I still didn't feel surrounded by the sound like I do with a 5.1 system, the sound quality was great. While the bass was deep, the voices and other sounds were still easy to discern and not overwhelmed by the bass. The remote has universal functions for other home theater components as well as specific controls for the DVD player.

Oct 12 2006

News - Market for 42-inch LCD TV ready to boom

Looks like I need to start saving my pennies. This is where you gotta love technology, where something bigger & better (42") will actually cost LESS than the smaller.

"With prices for 42-inch LCD TVs fallen below that for a 40-inch LCD TVs in the beginning of October, shipments of 42-inch LCD TVs are expected to pick up significantly throughout the year-end."

Read the rest here

Oct 12 2006

News - Warner, Paramount Announce First BD-50 Blu-ray Discs

Like Westerns? Then good, you can buy a Blu-Ray player & get these discs. But fear not, there seems to be a lot of optimism that this whole "new technology" stuff is catching on soon & fast. I don't know, I'm still waiting to see whose left after the battle is over, at least until Alan gives me a raise to afford both players Cool

"As reported yesterday, Warner will release the classic westerns 'The Searchers' and 'Unforgiven' on Blu-ray on October 31, with the studio confirming today they will also be BD-50 releases.

Paramount also told Video Business that it plans to unveil its first BD-50 title, Oliver Stone's controversial 'World Trade Center' in the coming weeks, though no actual street date has yet been announced."

Read the rest here.

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