Volume 14, Issue 15 — August 9, 2017
|There Are Still a Few Obstacles to Smooth, Beautiful OTT Viewing|
By Andy Marken
“Practice. Plenty of practice.” – Miss Spalding, “The High and the Mighty,” Warner Bros., 1054
If you want to punish your kid today, you don’t ground them, send them to their room, take away their Big Wheel or withhold their allowance. Nope, you cut them off from the Internet – no streaming TV, no computer, no tablet, no smartphone… zip, zero, nada.
Of course, their lawyer will call it cruel and unusual punishment. Even the United Nations Broadband Commission and International Community Forum (ICF) have said that Internet and broadband access is an essential service, a fundamental human right.
Lick (Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider) had no idea what a vital thing it would become for folks, businesses and countries when he came up with the concept 50 years ago. Heck, all he wanted to do was develop an “intergalactic network” so people could pull data and computing resources from mainframes to free themselves from mundane and menial tasks.
- 4.4B +/- people around the globe are online
- We connect everything into it – phones, cars, pipelines, homes, street lights
- 82 percent of the wired/wireless traffic is video – movies, events, documentaries, ads, dumb/dumber stuff, “I am here doin’ this” content, influencer endorsements
What Work? – Video content is streaming from everywhere to everywhere. We’ve become so entranced with visual storytelling you have to wonder who’s really working.
According to Cisco, we’re hooked and there’s no turning back.
- IP (internet protocol) traffic will triple to a run rate of 3.3ZB.
- There will be 1.9B Internet video users (excluding mobile-only).
- We’ll be creating, storing, sharing three trillion video minutes per month (five million years of video per month).
- Live streaming video will increase 15x, reaching 13 percent of traffic.
- VR/AR (virtual/augmented reality) will increase 20-fold to one percent of the traffic.
- 56 percent (663M) of connected flat panels will be 4K.
- Cord-cutting traffic will generate 117GB/month, two times more than regular pay TV.
While that’s not necessarily good news for fixed schedule regular TV content providers, it’s great news for the more than 200,000 indie filmmakers around the globe and Facebook Live/YouTube teens.
The global video information/entertainment transformation seems equally rosy for streaming services like Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu, Sky, Rogers, Century Link, Canal, Amazon Prime, Singtel, Tencent, Alibaba and the growing number of online video services around the globe eager to be the viewers “channel of choice.”
Files Swell – People not only want their content their way, they want it to be the best it can possibly be. HD was good, 4K/UHD is better, 4K/HRD is fantastic and VR is mindblowing. Files just keep growing.
People not only want more online video, they want better quality – 4K, HDR (high dynamic range) and probably 8K by 2021.
If you live in an industrialized country, you tend to take our global digital transformation (and the ready availability of content anywhere, everywhere, anytime) for granted, but fast, reliable connectivity isn’t available everywhere.
Still Plenty of Growth – While Internet access may be pretty good where you live/work, there are locations on the globe where it is completely unavailable. In addition, there are some people around the globe who aren’t on the Internet simply because they don’t see any benefits.
Performance — and price — varies dramatically.
Globally, fixed Internet connection speeds averaged 7.2 megabits per second this quarter, according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report. This is up 15 percent over a year ago.
The U.S. finally broke into the top ten countries for average fixed Internet speed with 18.7 Mbps, up 22 percent compared to last year.
Speed Counts – Some countries believe high-speed Internet access at a reasonable cost isn’t just nice but a necessity. Other countries feel good-enough is good-enough and competition will solve the problem. Access has become a human right.
South Korea continued to lead the performance speed race with 28.6 Mbps.
- 27 of European countries have average connection speeds at or above 10 Mbps.
- 28 of the 31 European countries had average peak connection speeds of at least 50 Mbps.
- Average connection speeds increased in 19 European countries – from Greece (7.9 Mbps) to Denmark (20.1 Mbps).
- 5 European countries were in the global Top 10 Country category with 25 Mbps broadband.
- 50 percent of European countries had average speeds of 10 Mbps or higher.
- BT announced the rollout of 330 Mbps service with full deployment in the second half.
- Virgin Media announced increases across all service tiers – entry package of 100 Mbps up to 300 Mbps.
- Global broadband speeds will reach 42 Mbps by 2018.
- 55 percent of broadband connections will be faster than 10 Mbps by 2018.
- Average broadband speeds in Japan and South Korea will be 100 Mbps.
- Vodafone Iceland launched 500 Mbps fiber-based services.
- Telecom Italia announced 300 Mbps fiber-based broadband.
- Finland’s Starman/Nokia announced 10 Gbps European service in the next five years.
- European Commission reported fixed broadband to 98 percent of Europe with 76 percent at 30 Mbps plus.
- Key to success will be the last 100 feet, FTTH (fiber to the home) or implementing GFast (speeds content over copper/phone wires).
Broadband and Internet service to the home is in “pretty good” shape in most industrial countries because of the build-out by broadband providers, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and tens of thousands of dark fiber (unused, unlit fiber cable) in the ground. However, our kids live on their smartphones accessing everything, doing everything but make calls.
In emerging countries, it is faster and less expensive to build out the wireless infrastructure than run underground cable. A major push is on to deliver more speed and lower latency for mobile communications since industry experts expect it to grow 3x faster than fixed IP traffic.
While voice mobile calls grew 46 percent over the past five years, data traffic grew 1,600 percent, according to Akamai. Last year, the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) reported that there were about 5+B mobile subscribers (67 percent of the global population).
Tipping Point – The fastest, easiest and most economical way to deliver Internet access today is with mobile technology and OTT service. In developing countries, people can’t afford multiple devices, so the smartphone becomes the first and only communications tool they use. Expansion of mobile communications also assists country economies to grow more quickly.
For the beginning of the year, wireless/mobile performance was:
- Average speeds ranged from U.K. 26 Mbps to 2.8 Mbps in Venezuela.
- Germany’s peak speed was 200 Mbps.
- 37 countries have average mobile connection speed of 10 Mbps.
- 70 countries had average speeds of 4 Mbps.
Cisco noted that mobile will drive most of the data traffic next year, about 33 percent; and it will grow to 57 percent by 2021.
Fourth-generation (4G) technology – depending on your provider – can deliver download speeds of 8 to 12 Mbps, which most kids will tell you is marginal.
5G, or fifth generation, was the talk of the show at MWC (Mobile World Congress) and IBC last year as the answer to the solution for streaming content on-the-go. It will be competing with terrestrial copper and fiber for speed and latency (1ms latency, 100Mpbs speed), enabling 4K content to be streamed without hiccups. Of course, that has been a work-in-progress for years.
Technology to improve speed and capacity is readily available, but the stumbling block is who will pay for it. While Lick and his idea team may have developed the Internet concept and enabled the U.S. to build out a very robust wired/wireless network, it came at a cost.
According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), choosing a provider is very easy. You can choose any one of… well, one – Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T or Verizon.
In most of Europe, competition is required by insisting that the folks who own the pipes lease space to rivals (usually at a very discounted rate). According to Tom Wheeler, former FCC chairman, “Three-quarters of American homes have no competitive choice for the essential infrastructure for 21st century service.”
Governments have two choices – regulate or follow a hands-off approach and let them compete.
Ready Access – In many countries around the globe, affordable Internet access is a major concern for governments and citizens. In other countries, they allow free enterprise to set the pace of connection connectivity speed, quality and price.
Yeah, the track record is good so far.
New America found broadband plans ($35 and $50 a month) in Seoul, Hong Kong, Paris provided 10 times more speed than U.S. cities. At almost every speed, Internet access costs more in the U.S. than Europe and consumers often pay added fees of about $100 a year.
While mobile providers today offer unlimited data plans (great for streaming kids), they also think unlimited doesn’t mean the same thing you think it does. So, when your streaming content goes above their unlimited level, they throttle (slow down) your streams leading to buffering, frozen frames or other performance issues.
Some folks, like Richard Bennett of the American Enterprise Institute, and a few government officials know the streaming problem isn’t the networks, but you – browsing, websites, heavy usage.
Service Differentiation – As OTT video grows in popularity, content service providers seek out new ways to set themselves apart from the competition and strengthen their viewer base. Infrastructure owners can often erect high financial hurdles between the content developer, delivery service and consumer.
If the content folks want to serve up the cool stuff, and folks are eager for the stuff, both sides should support the lifestyles they want to become accustomed to. Because of the lack of competition and oversight, we find ourselves reasoning with monopolies/duopolies.
To bypass this “inconvenience,” large content providers like Google, Facebook, Netflix and others set up their own CDNs (content delivery networks) and peering connections to deliver content faster and more efficiently to consumers. It’s estimated that about half of the Internet traffic comes from 30 CDNs and of course, when they improve their networks, everyone benefits.
So, consumers should be super happy, right? Well, not quite. They’ve solved the distribution problem right down to the last 100 feet to your device(s).
That’s one hurdle we all have to address and ultimately, we can.
Just keep in mind what Ben Sneed said, “Yep, Dan Roman is one guy who had guts enough not to commit suicide.”
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|Best Practices And Efficiency|
By Lee Distad
I have a tendency to get hung up on best practices. My excuse for being so centered on them is that best practices are, by definition, the best way to do something.
My old boss and mentor frequently reminded us that there were three ways to perform a task: a right way, a wrong way and an optimal way. He’d build on that, by expanding that while there are a large number of ways of doing it the right way, and a seemingly infinite number of ways to do it wrong, there is only one way of doing it that can be described as optimal.
And since one aphorism leads to another — central to his thesis for what was expected on the job site — carrying out best practices required preparation. Or as he put it, proper preparation promotes perfect practices.
Step one to carrying out best practices is being informed. That means Reading The Manual. I mean, come on, we all joke about not wanting to admit to reading the manual. You’ve broken the Bro Code! However, AV and control equipment today is incredibly sophisticated. I’ve joked more than once that modern AV systems are smarter than its end users (and quite possibly some installers). I’ll confess that figuring it out on my own satisfies a primal need but it’s hardly the best use of your time. In fact, it’s your client’s time that you’re spending.
Now’s a good time to bust out the figure that I’ve heard from numerous industry veterans that, when troubleshooting is complete, the majority of faults weren’t defective hardware, but stemmed from poor installation. That has an easy fix right out of the gate: Read The Manual. Understand what things are supposed to do before designing around them and understand how to install them.
And since we’re on the topic of troubleshooting, never assume anything. Don’t just assume you know what the problem is, find out. As Samuel L Jackson put it, “Assumptions make an ass out of you and Umption.”
Barking up the wrong tree costs time and money to fix. Effective troubleshooting means following your checklist of steps, which always begins with the most common causes (“Is the unit plugged in?”) and progresses to the least likely.
Whether sitting at your desk working on a design or while on the jobsite working through your task list, the correct mindset is necessary. It’s important to cultivate a direct, logical approach to your task. Thoughts determine actions and actions determine outcomes. I think of it as taking a straightforward approach to thinking things through.
Just as the best plan is not effective until it’s actually carried out, the best practices aren’t effective either unless they’re applied with accuracy. The ideal we all strive for is for installers to work quickly and precisely. However, if you have to choose, and you may sometimes have to, precise is better than quick. Every connection that needs to be redone later is a waste of time and money.
Think of AV install as being the opposite of the newspaper business, where “get it right or get it written” are the watch words. It’s always better to be right than to be quick.Leave a Comment
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|Key Digital Introduces New 4K HDMI Switchers|
Key Digital just launched the KD-2x1CSK
(a 2×1 switcher) and the KD-4x1CSK
(a 4×1 switcher) — both are capable of switching 4K HDMI signals with HDCP 2.2. Both of these HDMI switchers supports all SD, HD, VESA and 4K video standards including 4096×2160, 1080p60, 1920×1200 and 3D and both have front panel push buttons or optical IR switching.
With EDID control and a built-in internal library with 15 EDID handshakes, in addition to native EDID data of output/display one, they buffer and manage TMDS re-clocking / signal re-generation, HDCP source and display authentication, Hot Plug Management and EDID control handshakes. Supported lossless compressed digital audio formats include Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos.
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|Gefen Ships EXT-UHD600A-44 4K 600 MHz 4×4 Matrix for HDMIGefen from Core Brands today announced they are already shipping their new EXT-UHD600A-44, a 600 MHz 4×4 HDMI matrix. Compatible with HDMI 2.0 signals (thus, 4K 60 Hz at 4:4:4 Chroma subsampling at 10 bit color) with HDR (High Dynamic Range) and HDCP 2.2 support.
Compatible with resolutions up to 4096×2160 at 60 frames per-second (fps) without subsampling color, the EXT-UHD600A-44 can downscale a 4K signal to 1080p and upscale HD signals to 4K.
Gefen says the EXT-UHD600A-44 includes an API that give the user access to data for both controlling and monitoring systems and it’s designed to work with the Gefen Syner-G software to simplify initial IP configuration and EDID Management. The EXT-UHD600A-44 also features Long Range Power (LRP) that eliminates the need for installers to use an external power supply when using a compatible extender to increase the matrix’s output beyond an HDMI cable’s limits. Finally, to address the use of streaming sources, it also includes two USB power ports.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|RTI Ships CX10 Countertop/Under-Cabinet Touchpanel|
RTI today announced that it has begun shipping its all-new CX10 touchpanel. Designed for both commercial and residential applications, the CX10 is a 10-inch, touch-capacitive 1280×800 LCD with an integrated HDBaseT input and stereo speakers. Easy to mount on a countertop or beneath a cabinet, the display has a tilt range from 10 to 90 degrees for the best viewing angle possible. Features include video intercom support and a built-in composite input to view video from security cameras and other devices and a proximity sensor automatically wakes the panel up.
For integrators, the CX10 supports wired 10/100 HDBaseT and wireless Ethernet for seamless setup, two-way control and feedback, and convenient programming updates. The unit is powered by a separate power supply or by Power over Ethernet Plus. The user interface can be customized to provide an intuitive control experience that meets the specific needs of any installation using RTI’s Integration Designer APEX software.
RTI’s CX10 touchpanel is now shipping worldwide. Here are the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Meridian Audio Launches 271 Theater Controller|
Meridian Audio has just launched the 271 Digital Theatre Controller. The 271 is designed to integrate any analog or digital AV processor on the market with Meridian’s DSP (Digital Signal Processing) loudspeakers.
- 16 channels of analog audio on any combination of single-ended or balanced input connections (RCA or 2×8 channel DB25 connectors).
- 16 + four digital audio outputs on SpeakerLink connections for use with Meridian DSP loudspeakers.
- 16 + four analog audio outputs on unbalanced RCA connectors to allow simple integration of Meridian DSP speakers with passive loudspeakers.
- Optional balanced digital input options available to support 16 channels of digital audio fed from processors including those from Trinnov, Datasat and Storm Audio (two RJ45s and one DB25).
- Multiple 271s can be used where more channels are required (32, 48, etc.)
Meridian says the key focus for the design of the 271 was the ease of installation and integration. Although it contains more than 4,000 individual components the 271 is only 2U high and is designed for easy rack mounting. Integrating the 271 into an existing AV system is simple; thanks to an intuitive IP controlled set up and configuration platform, and control modules for a number of third party systems. Meridian Audio says the 271 is cool running and requires no ventilation.Leave a Comment
The 271 lists for $2,000 and will ship next month. Here are all the tech specs.
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|Ocean Matrix Intros Four Problem Solving AV Interfaces|
Ocean Matrix just released four new ProAV and HomeAV adapters including an audio extractor, an audio embedder, an Ethernet to fiber converter and an HDBaseT HDMI extender.
The OMX-HDMI2-AEE 4K HDMI 2.0 Audio Extractor and Embedder extracts audio signals from an HDMI source and allows simultaneous S/PDIF (Toslink) and stereo (3.5mm) analog and digital output. This device can also embed external stereo analog or digital S/PDIF into the outgoing HDMI signal.
The OMX-HDMI-BASET HDBaseT HDMI Extender supports sending 1080p HD signals with embedded audio up to 300 feet over a single Cat5e/6/6a/7 cable. The HDBaseT technology based extender transports signals via network cables for point-to-point and multiple-point connections.
The OMX-E2F 100Base-T Fast Ethernet to SC Fiber Converter transmits up to 12 miles over singlemode SC fiber and protects the signal from electromagnetic interference(EMI). This converter can also be used for fiber to UTP signal conversion.
The OMX-HDMI-EPOE Extender sends 1080p HDMI over CAT6/6A/7 cables up to 110 feet with (this is their claim) zero latency and includes EDID management and IR control. The system’s POE transmitter sends AV signals and power through the receiver to the display on a single cable.
Of course, you can see all their products here.Leave a Comment
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|Ihiji Adds Single SKU Remote Systems Management Appliance That Allows for Monitoring Of Gigabit Internet Speeds|Ihiji
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is showcasing the Ihiji APP-750 Remote Systems Management appliance during CEDIA. The new APP-750 was announced at Integrated Systems Europe 2017. Ihiji intends it to replace both the APP-500 and APP-2100 Ihiji appliances.
The Ihiji APP-750 features an upgraded chipset for improved performance and a network bus that allows it to more accurately test modern internet speeds which are routinely pushing 150Mbps to nearly 1Gbps. The appliance has protected distribution and is available direct to dealers who are free to set their own retail pricing.
Priced to fit within any budget and engineered to accommodate current technology demands, the APP-750 offers a robust solution in a market that is increasingly demanding high-performance, flexible, Remote Systems Management (RSM) solutions. The APP-750 pairs with either of the Ihiji Invision or new ProVue licensing plans, including the Invision Lite service level, which provides for remote management with no additional per-site monthly fees.
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|Klipsch and Capitol Records Introduce Special Edition Speakers|
Klipsch and Capitol Records today announces the launch of a special edition series of Klipsch and Capitol Records co-branded Heritage and Heritage Wireless speakers. These two iconic brands have united to celebrate over seven decades of bringing the power, detail and emotion of live music to life and into homes.
The Klipsch and Capitol Records co-branded Heritage and Heritage Wireless speakers are designed with power, performance and simplicity in mind. The speakers blend a nostalgic mid-century modern design, luxury materials such as real wood veneer and gunmetal switches and knobs, with the latest advancements in acoustics and technology. A free Capitol Records vinyl album is available with each purchase.
The Capitol One is a semi-portable tabletop speaker, with an eight-hour rechargeable battery and features Bluetooth wireless technology. Analog audio inputs connect to sources such as a smart phone, computer, Blu-Ray or CD player. The speaker is biamplified and professionally tuned by Klipsch engineers for superior sound. The Capitol One has two 2 ¼” full range drivers and a 4.5” woofer, delivering crystal clear acoustic performances with great bass.
The Capitol Three is a larger stereo tabletop system that connects to almost anything — turntables, computers, smartphones, tablets or Blu-Ray and CD players. As part of the Klipsch Stream Wireless Multi-Room Audio system (featuring DTS Play-Fi technology), the Capitol Three can receive audio input from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth wireless technology, analog (3.5 mm miniplug and RCA), phono pre-amp and USB Type B audio. The Klipsch Stream app allows users to enjoy popular music services, internet radio and personal listening libraries. The Capitol Three features two 2 ¼” full range drivers, a 5 ¼” long-throw woofer, dual opposed 5 ¼” passive radiators to deliver enhanced bass, and a 192kHz / 24-bit digital to analog converter for audiophile resolution.
All three special edition models are available in two finish options — Blonde with a tan woven grille cloth or an Ebony with a salt and pepper woven grill cloth. Both models feature a special edition co-branded anniversary Klipsch and Capitol Records badge. The Klipsch and Capitol Records co-branded special edition speakers are available now. Details are here and here.Leave a Comment
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|Bryston Launches BP-173 Preamplifier|
Bryston has announced the introduction of the new BP-173 (Cubed Series) preamplifier that features a new expanded input/output configuration. Bryston’s super-linear, low noise input buffer (jointly developed by Bryston and the late engineer Dr. Ioan Alexandru Salomie) significantly reduces noise and distortion, according to the company. The BP-173 also has improved RF and audio frequency noise filtering to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering even minutely with the audio signal.
The BP-17³ offers expanded input/output options, including two pairs of XLR outputs and two pairs of RCA outputs, making it possible to connect a wide variety of equipment and accommodate numerous system configurations. An RCA tape loop lets users connect a line-level processor or recording device and one of the XLR output pairs can be internally selected to have either variable (default) or fixed output enabling users to easily connect a Bryston BHA-1 or other balanced input headphone amplifier. The BP-173 also includes two pairs of balanced inputs and five pair RCA inputs, and can be ordered with a high-resolution internal DAC, a premium moving magnet phono stage, both DAC and phono modules or without either module installed. Users can select sources, adjust volume and more all from the optional BR-2 remote control or via RS232 connection to virtually any control ecosystem. The BP-173 is available in either black or silver, 17-inch or 19-inch (wide) faceplates.
The BP-17³ will begin shipping to authorized dealers in September, 2017 for $3,995 list, the DAC and phono stage options are $750 each. The BR-2 remote is $375.
Customers that place a pre-order for the BP-173 by August 31st will qualify for one optional accessory at no additional cost — an internal phono stage, internal DAC or BR-2 remote control. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|VANA Ltd. Unveils the Audio Physic Step Plus and Tempo Plus Loudspeakers|
VANA Ltd. has announced the availability of the Audio Physic Step plus and Tempo plus loudspeakers in the US market. The Step plus is an ultra-high-performance bookshelf speaker and the Tempo plus is a floor-standing speaker utilizing the same midrange and tweeter technologies as the Step plus with low frequency drivers integrated within the enclosure. Both loudspeakers have been completely redesigned verses prior Step and Tempo models and benefit from many of the technological advances realized during the development of the company’s flagship speaker, the Cardeas 30 LJE.
The Step plus and the Tempo plus share a brand new 1.75-inch tweeter (HHCT III) and 5.9-inch midrange (HHCM II) that have been engineered exclusively for Audio Physic. These ceramic coated aluminum drivers utilize proprietary hybrid cone construction that combine the dampening characteristics of modern polymers with the stability and stiffness of metal. Each driver’s suspension system and basket chassis are mechanically decoupled from one another in a unique design that reduces unwanted resonances. Audio Physic refers to this technology as the Hyper-Holographic Cone chassis (HHC), which improves clarity and detail significantly verses conventional drivers. In addition to the elaborate HHC basket construction, the midrange driver is also equipped with a fixed metal phase plug designed to reduce heat. Each driver is housed within individual compartments in the cabinet, providing a smooth and homogeneous acoustic pattern. The entire inner cabinet has been updated to include stiff open cell ceramic foam bracing elements that stabilize the enclosure and further reduce resonances.
The Tempo plus incorporates two high-performance 7-inch aluminum bass drivers situated across from one another in the side walls of the enclosure. The Push-Push configuration of the woofers creates a symmetrical distribution of force on the loudspeaker cabinet, improving low frequency resolution.
The Audio Physic Step plus and Tempo plus are both available now for $2,595 (pair) for the Step plus and $5,995 (pair) for the Tempo plus in standard Cherry and Walnut Wood Veneer finishes, and $2,795 and $6,495 respectively for Black or White High gloss or Ebony Wood Veneer. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Meridian Audio Adds 251 Powered Zone Controller to 200 Series|
Meridian Audio has expanded its 200 Series with the new 251, a compact Powered Zone Controller with two channels of on-board amplification. Designed for hi-res audio, including Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), the 251 can act as an integrated amplifier, delivering two 100-watt channels for two passive loudspeakers or a soundbar for media room projects. It can be deployed to run a 2.1 system with a separate subwoofer, using the unit’s pair of analog outputs, or be used as the hub for distributed audio applications from single zone to whole-house distribution using the 251’s digital and analog inputs. This Powered Zone Controller can also be the endpoint for Meridian’s award-winning Sooloos music management platform as well as offering support for Roon. In all these applications, the 251 will elevate the listening experience by bringing Meridian’s trademark fidelity and high-resolution audio performance to the system.
Other Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technologies within the unit include upsampling and apodizing filters, jitter reduction and lip synching to enhance the audio experience and eliminate signal timing and alignment issues. An incredibly flexible solution, the 251 provides installers with a controller for a huge array of applications, whether it is a single room install or a whole home project.
Meridian claims the 251 Powered Zone Controller is quick and simple to install and set up. As a 1U, half rack width unit, it can easily be installed behind a TV or within an AV rack. An optional rack mount kit or VESA mounting bracket is available. A web based setup page makes for simple, repeatable and quick configuration.
Meridian provides a range of control options for seamless integration and flexibility within a bigger home technology installation. The 251 offers IP and IR control, a native iPad network control app and Meridian Sooloos control, as required.
The 251 will list for $1,500. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|VIZIO SmartCast TV Brings Back AppsAfter eliminating apps from their TV’s years ago, VIZIO announced today the rollout of VIZIO SmartCast TV to select models. SmartCast TV is basically their branding for their line of SmartTV’s that have a custom home screen and apps such as Amazon VIdeo, Crackle, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Netflix, Pluto TV, Vudu and XUMO. VIZIO SmartCast P-Series and M-Series Ultra HD Displays are the firs tin the VIZIO lineup to get them.
VIZIO SmartCast TV’s include decoding for Dolby Vision HDR. One interesting AI (artificial intelligence) oriented feature is that they aggregate popular and trending content from multiple sources all in one place, the section allows users to browse selections without toggling in and out of multiple apps and also makes it easy for consumers to discover hot, new offerings. Once they choose their content, consumers can not only control the selection through SmartCast TV, but with the VIZIO SmartCast Mobile app as well, giving users two ways to control content and all settings on their VIZIO SmartCast displays.
All VIZIO SmartCast displays feature Chromecast built-in, which allows viewers to browse Chromecast-enabled apps – including 4K and HDR content from apps like Netflix and Vudu – on their mobile devices. By simply tapping the Cast button in Chromecast-enabled apps, consumers can stream the shows to the TVs. The Quick Start Mode allows VIZIO users to turn their displays on automatically by launching a Chromecast-enabled app and tapping the Cast button. The display will then power on and start streaming the selected entertainment.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Ihiji ProVue Offers Remote Monitoring and Support Application For Tech Professionals|
Ihiji is unveiling the all new Ihiji ProVue Remote Systems Management platform during CEDIA. Ihiji ProVue is a combination of Ihiji’s Invision and ServiceManager. The CEDIA launch of Ihiji ProVue allows technology professionals to remotely monitor, manage and support client’s technology in a totally new user experience.
Ihiji will be showcasing the entire ProVue platform, which includes ProVue, a new web application, ProVue Mobile, an app for in-field technicians and HomeVue, a consumer-facing app for self-service and support. Building on Ihiji’s Vendor Insights Program (VIP), Ihiji ProVue includes improved Ihiji Invision features for auto-discovery, device identification, setup and insights utilizing Ihiji’s device module and identification library.
The initial ProVue web release focuses on simplifying setup and management of Remote Systems Management. These improvements come in the form of a total redesign of Ihiji’s traditional RSM solutions with a new user experience and improvements to back-end functionality. The improvements include leveraging Ihiji’s seven years of experience and vast data set for auto-device detection and more intelligent device profiling. Ihiji is also showing ProVue Mobile, which will allow field technicians to more easily configure and discover devices while on-site, as well as manage all power reboots while on-the-go. Another addition to the ProVue platform includes Ihiji HomeVue, which allows a customer to get a snapshot of system health and perform self-help reboots. The entire Ihiji ProVue platform is offered under Ihiji’s current Invision and ServiceManager pricing model, allowing dealers to continue to take advantage of the freemium features of Ihiji Invision Lite or more robust features included in Standard service subscriptions.
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|Seymour-Screen Excellence Introduces New Enlightor-Neo|
Seymour-Screen claims its new Enlightor-Neo is the smoothest acoustically transparent film screen that has a thin-fabric pattern so finely-woven that it’s nearly impossible to detect, even when standing inches away. A step-up from the company’s Enlightor-4K A.T. screen, Neo is more matte, higher gain and delivers improved acoustic attenuation.
For a decade now, Seymour-Screen Excellence’s Enlightor-4K A.T. surface claims to be reference choice among top CEDIA integrators and movie / TV post production facilities for its class-leading sonic and visual qualities.
Enlightor-Neo takes acoustical transparency film screen technology to another level as its surface is comprised of a newly-woven pattern which contributes to improved audio and video performance. Like Enlightor-4K, Enlightor-Neo is rated for 4K and higher resolutions and delivers enhanced dynamic range performance (HDR).
Enlightor-Neo boasts a more matte finish (1.0 gain) and a slightly brighter look than Enlightor4K (.9). It also has more “stretch” to it, meaning it can be pulled tauter then other A.T. surfaces on the market, making it ideal for difficult custom applications such as motorized retractable applications.
Seymour-Screen Excellence offers a wide variety of fixed-frame designs including magnetic or motorized (single, two- and four-way) masking options, frameless designs and a motorized retractable option. All the company’s products are manufactured in Iowa and shipped within five to seven business days from receipt of purchase order, with elaborate motorized designs shipped within two to three weeks.
The company’s different Enlightor Series of A.T. film screen surfaces are:
- Neo (4K, 1.0 gain, ideal for home theater and studio, no minimal seating distance required)
- 4K (.9 gain, no minimal seating distance required, ideal for home and production)
- Bright (1.1 gain, optimized for larger home theaters and film production)
- PRO (.9 gain, optimized for film production, commercial cinemas)
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HomeAV Edition out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100% opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the high-end HomeAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
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A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV-industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe Publications has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA, launched in February, 2004.
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