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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home


The Appliances of IFA 2014

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Home appliances, once the dumb mainstays of customers', are becoming smarter, more effective and (dare we say it?) more elegant, and as such will make a showing at IFA 2014, organiser gfu says.

IFA The appliances on show should come in all shapes and sizes, from staples such as refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines to smaller devices such as coffee makers, kettles, toasters, and equipment for the care of hair, body, clothes, home and floors. All should combine quality materials and easy-to-use controls, while smart applications and networking capabilities are to play an "increasingly important" role.

Apps will provide customers with a variety of features, from product operation and status information to basic tips, reassurance and efficiency, all from smartphones and tablets.

Mobile devices can even serve as a central control panel for appliances able to communicate with each other.


AVB Demystified #2: How AVB Works & Key Features

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Read Wineland

by Read Wineland, CTS

Regional Director, Eastern No. America, Biamp Systems

The Editors: As this week's Feature, we've chosen to include Read Wineland's blog, AVB Demystified #2: How AVB Works & 10 Key Features of It. The second in a series of five from the Biamp Systems executive, this blog explains how AVB works and the AVB features that will mean the most to pro AV integrators. You can find the rest of the blogs at the link below his article.

AVB is a collection of IEEE 802.1 standards that ensure a single network can transmit audio, video, and other forms of data via "smart" switches -- without compromising network integrity.

How AVB Works

The commonly referenced network clock in every AVB-enabled device on a network ensures that every device will have a very close representation of what the precise time is in any given instance. After the devices communicate with each other, one AVB device is selected as the best master clock and communications proceed from talker endpoint to listener endpoint.


Sony's Virtual Reality Goggles

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Project Morpheus

Facebook just bought Oculus Rift for USD $2 billion. Mark Zuckerberg promises the new technology would help “change the way we work, play and communicate,” and critics hail the acquisition as a huge win for Facebook.

The Rift has been pitched as a video gaming device, but Facebook plans to use its technology for communications, media and other forms of entertainment. Zuckerberg says virtual reality may be the next great computing evolution, after the current transition from desktop computers to mobile devices. That makes it sounds like the future could be Facebook goggles versus Google glasses…

And $2 billion was for what? Oculus Rift (after launching “Rift” goggles two years ago) has not yet released a version of its headset for sale to the general public.


2013: The Highlights According to ECI

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One can apply the cliche for just about every year, but 2013 was quite something, wasn't it? While arguably less eventful than previous years, it was still full of exciting headlines , and that's before taking our industry into account! So join our retrospective into what we we think were the major happenings of, well, 2013!

20131. TVs get curvy: CES 2013 marked out THE winning trend for a TV market in decline-- curved TVs, with "world firsts" produced by (who else?) Samsung and LG. Okay, we kid, but analysts point out 4K/UHD has the potential to become the next big TV thing thanks to declining prices, OTT services, various broadcasts (the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Sochi Winter Olympics will get UHD treatment) and improved upscaling technology.

2. Audio, wire-free: According to audio technology from the past year wires are doomed to be a thing of the past, since seemingly everyone has a wireless audio offering or three. Bluetooth and wifi are the main technologies of choice, but WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Sound) revealed an alternative platform at CEDIA 2013. The first products carrying the technology come from Bang & Olufsen, but WiSA-certified speakers from other vendors should appear come 2014.


2013 Best of CEDIA Awards

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Our friends at rAVe USA present their annual Best of CEDIA Awards, given to the best home AV gear seen at the 2013 CEDIA Expo.

CEDIA AwardsWhile exciting, the show was admittedly dominated by an invasion of commercial AV gear. In fact, we estimate at least 25% of the products on show were ProAV products or digital signage products. So much so rAVe USA admit it was hard to keep these award limited to only HomeAV gear!

Without further ado, below is the list of award winners, or the BEST of what was shown at CEDIA Expo 2013.


Positive 2013 Expo for CEDIA

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CEDIA Expo 2013 sees gains in both attendance and exhibitor numbers, with over 470 exhibitors and 17900 attendees from 84 countries taking part in the Denver tradeshow.

CEDIA ExpoAccording to CEDIA professional and overall attendance is up by 6%, new exhibitor participation by 20% and first-time attendees by 20%. Also seeing growth is CEDIA Training with 6300 course registrations, a 50% increase.

Opening the show was a keynote by Nest CEO Tony Fadell. Other highlights include a new products making their debut at the New Solutions Village, High Performance Audio rooms and a dedicated Security Solutions area.


Microsoft and Skype - A Match Made for Lync

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Corey Moss

by Corey Moss, rAVe USA Blogger

If you’ve ever met someone on Facebook who you’ve wanted to carry on an extended friendship with, the possibility of a “Skype” chat is likely to arise in conversation. Upon agreement, each party simply downloads the application on their PC or mobile device, one sends a connect request to the other, and in minutes they’re video chatting. And the best thing is that they can be anywhere in the world. Of course the quality of the video/voice transmission is dependent upon the strength of the network connection they are transmitting over. If the network doesn’t present a strong enough signal to carry on a video chat, a standalone voice chat may be possible. Along with this comes the added feature of instant messaging. I personally have used Skype to chat with friends as well as conference with business contacts, in the U.S. and internationally.