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System Integration for the Connected Home


DLNA Expands Certification Program

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The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) launches a certification program for Version 1.5 of its home-network interoperability guidelines and expects the first certified v1.5 devices to be available Q1 2008.

The v1.5 guidelines:

  • Enable transfer of audio, video and digital images back and forth between compliant home devices and mobile devices (cellphones, PMPs and car A/V systems)
  • Enable DLNA-certified networked printers to print out images displayed on TVs and cellphones
  • Add “push” devices to provide more convenient control of networked devices in the home. Networked remote controls and cellphones, for example, would be able to discover devices on the network, discover the content on the devices and push content from one device to another for viewing or listening. (Previously the guidelines allowed only for devices that pulled content from other devices for local viewing or listening.)

The launch of the extended certification program is about five months later than the organization originally intended when it approved the expanded guidelines.

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Nortek Companies Embrace Digi5 Home-Grown Cat5 Audio Technology

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A new Cat5-based audio hopes to become an industry standard. The technology, Digi5, is a product of five companies within Nortek’s Linear Home Technology Group: Elan (and sub-brand Aton), Linear, Niles, SpeakerCraft and Xantech. .

Digi5 is not a product, but a platform. Each Linear company is developing its own products based on the technology, and will tap its own channels to bring product to market. All products across brands, however, will be interoperable.

There are three basic product formats: a rack master hub, source input plate and three types of keypads.

The big difference between Digi5 and some of the other Cat5 technologies is the digital architecture of Digi5.

Digi5 offers more power—30 watts per channel RMS at 8 Ohms—than conventional keypad amplifiers for two reasons, says the group.

  1. Digi5 uses digital amps, which boast 85% efficiency, as opposed to Class A/B analog amps that are on average only 45 percent efficient, and
  2. Digi5 uses four wires for power and ground to achieve more power than either analog or digital amplified keypad systems that only use two wires for power and ground.

When installed on an equal length of Cat5, Digi5 provides nearly four times the power of a conventional Class A/B product with more total SPL, tighter sounding bass and more headroom before clipping,” argues the company..

The group plans to license Digi5 to third parties to try to make the technology the dominant platform for Cat5 multiroom audio.

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ATEN Germ-Free KVM Switches

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ATEN Technology unveils the first LCD KVM switches to feature an anti-microbial nano-coating designed to kill bacteria left on the devices by human hands.

The average desk is known to harbor 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat--and some of the most germ-contaminated items include the keyboard and mouse.

Yet network administrators rarely have time to clean their desktops that could lead to the spread of bacteria in the data center. The presence of microbes contributes to the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, and other contagions.

"We have designed these groundbreaking and nanocoated enterprise KVM switches to serve the needs of network administrators who operate in 'clean room' environments such as hospitals, laboratories, manufacturing facilities and others," says Sampson Yang, CEO of ATEN Technology. "Beyond these specific environments, product protective anti-microbial nano-coating can benefit data centers and multi-user environments, as well as server rooms within libraries, schools or government facilities where protection is critical."

All of ATEN's products will eventually offer the protective anti-microbial nanocoating…but the first will be the KVM switches like the KL9108M (Hideaway LCD IP-based KVM that can control up to 8 / 16 computers and can be accessed from any computer via a web browser.)

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