Feb 11 2014

News - On Presence, a Chat with People Power

When I met with People Power at CES I was confused about where their technology fit into the home automation (HA) marketplace, or more specifically what the technology was and how it worked. They didn’t have a resource on hand to answer my questions so when after the show I had a chance to talk with David Moss, the CTO, it was a great chance to understand the how and why of what People Power is, and where it fits.

Feb 04 2014

News - Yamaha Adds Spotify Connect to AVRs

It's always great when an OEM adds value to devices in the field (instead of asking you to upgrade your hardware), so it's welcome news that Yamaha is adding support for Spotify Connect via a firmware update to select audio video receivers (AVR). I've never spent much time with the service so I can't speak to how useful it is in practice, let us know in the comments if this is a critical (or meh) feature add for you.

PR and list of supported AVR after the click.

Jan 30 2014

News - Best Buy to Embrace Home Automation

Best Buy has started to embrace Home Automation and has started to dedicate floor space to Best Buy LogoHome Automation products. Browsing Best Buy the other day for a quick purchase of something else and I was shocked to see that it was already on a dedicated section of the store. They had the standard products from Belkin, Dlink, Kwikset, and Netgear.

 

They also had a bunch of ones I haven’t heard of before, and ones for small businesses as well. Our friend Dave Zatz posted an article on his site just a few days ago talking about the changes. It will be nice to have more options and another place to visit to get some home automation ideas. Check out below for a link to his article.

 

Best Buy devotes significant space to this burgeoning category, but will up the ante very soon with an expanded two-tier approach.

Zatz Not Funny!

Jan 30 2014

News - Baytrail DN2820FYKH - No Intel Clear Video HD Support

When I talked with Intel about the DN2820FYKH Baytrail based NUC at CES, I wasn't shocked by the "No" when I asked if it supported Intel QuickSync (hardware accelerated decode and encode). What is surprising as I looked more closely at the Intel Celeron N2820 is that it appears to not support Intel Clear Video HD (hardware accelerated decode) either.

If true, it does take all the sheen off the system. Without hardware accelerated decoding, and the video processing (i.e. deinterlacing & scaling) that comes with it, there's no way that this little guy could be the cheap client HTPC that I was hoping for. Really dissappointing considering that "Atom" Baytrail chips, essentially the same chip but targeted at tablets, include QuickSync.

Jan 24 2014

Review - Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) D54250WYKH - "H" is for 2.5" HDD Mount

When Intel brought out their Haswell Next Unit of Computing (NUC), inclusion of features like SATA made it clear that they had bigger things in store for the little system. They were honest that some of this promise will require 3rd party case OEMs to fully realize, but Intel quickly announced that they would be creating their own chassis with 2.5” drive support a bit later. Providing this feature is interesting to two groups of users: those who have, or want to leverage a 2.5” SSD instead of mSATA or anyone who wants local, rotating, storage in the NUC. As it happens, now is the time, and when I sat down with Intel at CES to talk NUC they had one of the new 116.6mm x 112mm x 51.5mm enclosures for me to take back and run through the paces.

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