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Fireball SE-D1 digital DVD and CD manager offers seamless access to Movie and Music Collec...

November 29, 2005 With a Low US$999 MSRP, the SE-D1 could be one of the missing links towards seamless access to Movie and Music Collections. The FireBall SE-D1 DVD and Music Manager lets users access and manage up to 400 DVDs or CDs through a streamlined interface with an on-screen TV display. Working in conjunction with the Sony DVP-CX777ES DVD/CD changer, the SE-D1 provides users with instant access to all DVD movies or CDs in their collection.  Read More

The bedroom environment

November 27, 2005
The bedroom environment

November 28, 2005 You spend a third of your life in bed, give or take a bit – it is the only retreat most of us get from an ever more demanding world. So it makes sense to be comfortable and be able to create an ambience exactly as you might want it. Appropriate music and lighting are the fundamentals, yet few people invest beyond the bare essentials despite the fact they might spend a thousand times more on their automobile, though they ultimately use it far less than the humble bed.  Read More

The brain for your intelligent home

November 24, 2005 With convergence happening at such a rate, it’s sometimes a good idea to buy and plan as far out as possible so you don’t end up wth incompatible or legacy systems. Every self respecting technophile has probably been eyeing up what’s available in home automation, home security and home entertainment systems, but each comes with an array of microprocessor-controlled functions and a network. The aim should be to have one network and the SecureGen HTVR offers the chance to combine all three of those networks with one unit – the brain of your intelligent home. Firstly, it is a fully featured media and control centre for the home. Connect it to your entertainment system to watch television, view videos, play MP3s, or observe video feeds from security and or child monitoring cameras. Integrate the HTVR with a Home Automation System and control your compatible intrusion detection system, air conditioning system, lighting system, and automated appliances from the main unit or wirelessly connected extender devices. It’ll even monitor your intrusion detection system to automatically transmit video to a monitoring centre or predefined location whenever an alarm is triggered. You can connect up to eight Video Surveillance cameras to the HTVR to record video from your local security and child safety cameras, record and instantly review network (IP) video from anywhere there’s an internet connection, and to save storage space on surveillance footage, it can activate recording upon motion detection. Similarly, using this system, a single camera can be utilized to monitor multiple outdoor play areas. If you’re using Pan/Tilt/Zoom security cameras you can remotely control the cameras or even create presets and tours for the camera to follow. Add a Wireless Touch Screen Control Panel and you can securely watch videos and listen to MP3s stored on the HTVR or view security or child safety cameras from virtually anywhere in or around the home. It even offers sensor control so you can monitor anything (software included) and record the results on the HTVR which can trigger alarms and activate video recording. So you can record-pause-rewind TV, watch DVDs, upload and view your digital cameras photos in a slideshow, or connect and control lights, appliances, and other home automation systems from any connected television. You might, for example, wish to arm your intruder detection system from your bed, change the temperature of your home from the den, or check to see if you left the lights on remotely from the office. The queue forms on the right …  Read More

Home Hydrogen Refueling Technology Advances with the Honda Experimental Home Energy Statio...

November 23, 2005 Further advancing its vision of a gasoline- and emissions-free transportation future, Honda R&D and technology partner Plug Power has unveiled the Home Energy Station III, which provides heat and electricity for the home as well as fuel for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. This third generation unit is more compact and efficient than previous Home Energy Station models and follows Honda’s strategy to develop intermediate as well as longer-term alternatives to traditional energy sources like gasoline. Using natural gas as its base energy source, the Home Energy Station III is designed to work in a home-based refueling environment and is able to supply a sufficient amount of hydrogen to power a fuel cell vehicle, such as the Honda FCX, for daily operation while providing electricity for an average-sized household.  Read More

Field Tested: Outlaw Audio hits the sweet spot with their 1070 A/V Receiver

November 22, 2005 Let me just get this out there: we're not audiophiles. There, we said it. When we went looking for the ideal receiver, we were more concerned about video and audio input types than we were sound quality. It's a lucky coincidence that we found Outlaw Audio, and that their clever engineers knew what it was that we actually needed better than we did. They designed a device that delivers audiophile quality, at a consumer audio price, and throws in a helping of digital gear head satisfaction to boot. Their new 1070 A/V Receiver is a wonderful example of designing just what's needed to get the job done correctly, and at US$899 the closest competing product we could find was a Denon unit that costs over 6 times the price.  Read More

The first electrical appliance turns 100 years old

It came after the electric light and before radio, television, microwave ovens, blenders, juicers, computers - indeed, it was the first electrical appliance to populate the home and one of only a handful of devices in history to achieve ubiquity in advanced nations. Interestingly, although it turns 100 years old this year, it can still be found in more than 90% of American homes. The toaster was the first electrical appliance, which also means we are now celebrating 100 years of electrical appliances.  Read More

Space-saving oven with an elevator and the door on the bottom

October 16, 2005 Isn’t it silly that when you see a good design you woinder why people haven’t thought of it before. That was the reaction we had when we first saw the latest oven from Siemens - an oven with a completely new design that’s very easy to operate, remarkably energy efficient and creates space-saving possibilities for kitchen designers. The liftMatic mounts on the wall like a cabinet and is filled from below. With the liftMatic, food is always at eye level. Professionals and hobby cooks no longer have to stoop, and they can reach the cooked food from three sides. With the push of a button, the oven floor moves gently down and then returns to the upper position. If it meets an obstruction in the process, such as a pot or a glass below it, the oven floor automatically stops.  Read More

Sony Type X Video Station goes on sale in Japan

October 15, 2005 Sony is moving ahead in leaps and bounds in its development of the Vaio range of computers in its domestic market. It now has multimedia computers specifically designed for handling music, video production and now home multimedia in an elegant and completely painless way. The diversity of the Vaio range through the Type R, Type H, Type V and Type M ranges is astounding. Last year we previewed the Type X after first writing about it here. In its specced-to-the-max form, the Type X will hold 2 terabytes and record eight simultaneous channels of television for three weeks. The Type X goes on sale in Japan later this month, so a new era of home media capability is coming. With thousands of hours of television to watch, you’ll also need assistance to watch it but the video server enables simultaneous playback in multiple locations. So the kids can watch Sesame Street archives in one room, while the Video Station sends Desperate Housewives wirelessly to the teev in another room and you can watch the baseball or a movie on your laptop via the wireless network.  Read More

The intelligent door handle

October 7, 2005 The diversity of communication and security systems which greet a visitor attempting to enter a doorway these days can be daunting to the visitor and expensive and complex to upgrade and implement for the home owner or building manager. Now Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have combined and adapted all the cameras, buzzers, keypads, motion detectors, RFID readers and intercoms into a wireless integrated door station and combined it with the door handle which can integrate existing and planned infrastructure at low cost and high convenience.  Read More

World's First Active In-Wall Speakers

September 19, 2005 Last week’s CEDIA Expo 2005 saw some interesting new technologies showcased to the electronic design and installation community, with one of the most interesting being Polk Audio's new active flush-mount loudspeaker systems featuring D2Audio's Intelligent Digital Amplifiers. Polk's rectangular LC265i-IP and round LC80i-IP include D2Audio's MXS amplifier, which actively tri-amplifies and bi-amplifies each driver in Polk's speakers achieving truly remarkable sound quality. D2Audio's Digital Audio Engine drives the sound optimisation through patented technology inside D2Audio's module and custom digital audio processor IC.  Read More

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