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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Control and Home Media Systems

Apple TV Gets Long Awaited Update

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The September Apple event confirms another rumour with the announcement of the next generation Apple TV, one featuring the same form factor as the first Apple STB but running on a more powerful 64-bit A8 chip and featuring an App Store, new OS and a remote complete with touch surface.

Apple TV"Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative," Apple CEO Tim Cook says. "We believe the future of TV is apps."

As such, the new Apple TV runs on an iOS variant dubbed tvOS, while apps include the predictable likes of Netflix, HBO and Hulu, as well as a variety of games. Control comes through the aforementioned remote. It connects to the Apple TV via Bluteooth 4.0, offers a touch surface, gyroscope and accelerometer, and promises up to 3 months of use on a single charge.

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The Sony Remote/Speaker Hybrid

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Sony retains a more whimsical side as it presents the SRS-LSR100-- essentially a TV remote grafted on top of a wireless speaker able to receive 2.4GHz signals from a dongle attached to TVs or stereos.

Sony speaker remoteBut why would anyone even want a remote-speaker combo? As the company puts it, sometimes users want to continue listening to the TV and be able to change the channel even as they move away from the screen. As one does.

Other uses suggested by Sony include boosting TV sound while indulging in noisy activities (such as cooking or exercising), as aid viewers who might be hard of hearing or soothing babies to sleep.

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You No Longer Need a DC Adaptor to Power Your IR Extender

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YZC Electronics, maker smart home remote control IR extender systems, launches their new, versatile dual frequency-coded IR extender, the Flat IR Blaster.

ExtenderThe maker describes the Flat IR Blaster as “a breakthrough in the AV industry” in the IR Extender sector because you can now power up by a simple DC 3v CR2032 button battery.

Installers and their consumers now no longer need a DC adaptor to power up their IR Extenders. The designed-in low power consumption lets Flat IR Blaster’s replaceable battery last for up to 18 months.

If that isn’t enough to make installers happy, consider that the Flat IR Blaster is the only one of its kind in the market with flat cable features.

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BDA Starts UHD Blu-Ray Licensing

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The Blu-ray Disk Association announces licensing of the UHD Blu-ray format starts from 24 August 2015-- a necessity before products start hitting stores by the 2015 holiday season.

UHD Blu-rayThe format handles high frame rates (60fps) at up to 3840x2160 resolution, as well as immersive object-based sound formats (such as Dolby Atmos as DTS:X) and expanded colour range. In addition an optional "digital bridge" feature allows users to view purchased content on both in-home and mobile devices.

Obviously the playback of UHD Blu-ray discs requires UHD Blu-ray players. The first of such devices should appear at IFA 2015.

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Yves Behar Redesigns Canal+ STB

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French TV network Canal+ gets industrial designer Yves Behar and studio Fuseproject to provide a new look to the humble STB-- bringing about Le Cube S, a small black cube for the conversion of TV signals.

Le Cube SBeing a minimalist designer piece, the Le Cube S features just 4 control buttons located in the centre of textured quadrants. Meanwhile one side of the STB hides a colour 320x240 resolution display for the display of channel logos and notifications.

The cube sits on a white stand acting as HDD, allowing for an even smaller device.

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September Reveal for New Apple TV?

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BuzzFeed News suggests another date for the reveal of a next-generation Apple TV, following no showing of the STB at WWDC 2015-- the launch should take at the traditional September Apple event, "for real this time."

Apple TVWhy did the new Apple TV fail to appear at WWDC? BuzzFeed says Apple delayed the launch in order to "do a bit more work on it," leading to a WWDC keynote focusing on OS updates and the Apple Music streaming service. The extra work brings about a "more polished" product, with featuring a "refreshed and slimmer" chassis and internal hardware improvements.

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URC Announces KNX Module

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URC KNXURC presents a 2-way control module (or driver) allowing custom installers to install Total Control products in a KNX environment.

It works with most URC interfaces when using 2-way commands, 2-way queries, device events and macro control. Additionally is compatible with URC Mobile for both iOS and Android.

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