CES 2009 – We have to go GREEN

7 01 2009


In the near future, the “greenness” of a gadget will have a big influence on whether consumers will buy it, suggests research published as CES begins.

Consumers will soon look for more information about the environmental impact of a gadget and how it was made.

Published by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), it suggests people will pay more for truly green products.

But, it warned, consumers are very sceptical about the green claims made by hi-tech firms for their products.

“Green is becoming a purchasing factor,” said Steve Koening, director of industry analysts at the CEA, which organises the giant annual Consumer Electronics Show.

CEA research found that consumers were becoming increasingly curious about how products are made and packaged, whether the processes involved were environmentally friendly and what provision is made to recycle a product once it became obsolete, he said.

“More than half are willing to pay a little more for ‘green’,” said Mr Koening. “22% said they were willing to pay up to 15% more for it.”

But, he said, this conversion to environmental causes went hand-in-hand with a demand for more information about green gadgets.

More than 38% of those interviewed by the CEA said they were confused by green product claims and 58% wanted to know the specific attributes that prompted hi-tech firms to label their products green.

Many, said Mr Koening, were also very sceptical about the claims many manufacturer’s made for their products.

Clear trends

The CEA research tried to identify key trends in consumer purchasing for the next four years. Alongside a desire for more green technologies went desires to do away with wires, have the internet embedded in everything and a wish to gain more control over gadgets.

Projected growth in 2009
Organic LED devices – 149%
E-readers – 110%
HD flash camcorders – 106%
Netbooks – 80%
Climate systems, smart thermostats – 71%
Next-generation DVD – 62%
Ultrahigh refresh rate LCD TVs – 57%
Car navigation systems – 52%
Wireless mp3 players – 41%
Set-top box home theatre – 30%
Source: CEA

One clear trend, said Mr Koening, was a demand for more products to be untethered and use wireless technologies wherever possible.

With this, he said, went a growing desire to be virtually tethered by the services and content available via these wireless, portable gadgets.

And, he said, whatever people are carrying around they definitely want it connected to the internet so they can keep in touch with friends and family or get at all the digital content they subscribe to, own or have generated themselves.

The final trend was a greater demand for control over gadgets, said Mr Koening. Instead of just relying on keyboard and mouse, consumers will want innovative ways, such as voice and gesture controls, that let them get more out of their hi-tech toys.

“It’s about getting access to the ecosystem of products we have built up in our homes,” he said.

Together the four trends look set to keep electronics hugely popular with consumers and help the industry buck the gloomy economic conditions, said Mr Koening.

‘A necessity’

CEA economist Shawn DuBravac said: “Consumers are spending more of their money on technology purchases. It’s helping bridge their personal and private lives.

“Consumer electronics are a necessity not a luxury; even though we have a background of economic catastrophe, enthusiasm for consumer electronics remains robust.”

Wires (EyeWire)

Consumers want as few of these as possible

Tim Herbert, senior director of research for CEA, said although consumer spending on home electronics would not hit the highs seen in recent years it looked set to remain positive.

“We do expect a slowing in 2009 but, relative to other sectors, the consumer electronics industry will outperform,” he said.

Growth in 2009 should hit 4.3%, said Mr Herbert, compared to 13.7% in 2008.

Over the last few years, said Mr Herbert, consumers have splashed out on the big expensive items such as large flat panel TVs and game consoles and now were hungry to do something with their purchases.

For instance, he said, in the games industry sales from software looked set to significantly outstrip sales of hardware such as consoles and handheld players in 2009 and beyond.

“It’s important for the industry to understand how content and services interplays with the hardware side of the business,” said Mr Herbert. “We have built an enormous installed base that will be hungry for content.”

via [bbc]


CES 2009 – What is PUCC – an Indian Government Department?

7 01 2009


The mobile phone has changed the way people communicate, but a consortium of Japanese researchers and companies are banking on the device to do much more.

The P2P Universal Computing Consortium (PUCC) has developed a set of networking standards that allow mobiles to remotely control domestic appliances from afar.

At CES the consortium showed off an iPhone application that allowed a user to control a flat in Tokyo.

The user could switch lights on and off, control the air conditioning and even turn the washing machine on.

The technology is already available in Japan where users of the NTT DoCoMo network can keep an eye on their home from afar.

The consortium has also shown off healthcare applications including a wireless nappy for use by bedridden patients and a heart monitor that allows a doctor to monitor a patient from afar.

Later this year the group will release software that will allow anybody to build applications using the standards.

via [bbc]

CES 2009 – Westinghouse Wireless HDTV

7 01 2009


The number of wires running behind the television has been reduced by one.

LCD TV manufacturer Westinghouse, working with networking firm Pulse-Link, have shown off what they say is the world’s first integrated wireless HDTV.

The 47-inch television looks like any other but has an in-built receiver that takes a signal from an ultra wideband transmitter plugged into a high definition DVD player.

The setup at CES was streaming the James Bond film Casino Royale from a Samsung Blu-ray player.

The firm claims that the secure connection has no lag and is able to stream a range of high definition formats including the highest resolution TV format available today, known as 1080p.

The first sets are aimed at business, but the technology will soon make it into the home when it becomes cheaper.

via [bbc]

Extron Unveils Industry’s First Matrix Switcher with Professional Grade DSP

1 01 2009


Extron Electronics has introduced the MPX Plus 866 A ProDSP™ Media Presentation Matrix Switcher, a revolutionary new multi-format matrix switcher with integrated audio digital signal processing. The MPX Plus 866 A is the A/V industry’s first matrix switcher to combine VGA, video, and audio signal routing with ProDSP, a powerful audio processing platform based on a 32/64-bit floating point DSP engine. ProDSP offers an extensive selection of audio DSP tools designed to facilitate audio system design, configuration, and commissioning. ProDSP is configured and managed through Extron’s unique DSP Configurator Software, which provides an intuitive Graphical User Environment for full control and management of audio DSP functions.

“The MPX Plus 866 A combines the flexibility of our popular, multi-format matrix switchers with the power of our new ProDSP,” says Lee Dodson, Vice President of Marketing for Extron. “ProDSP is far more powerful and flexible than the typical integrated DSP found in other similar products. We started with a clean sheet and engineered our DSP technology from the ground up to offer the functionality and flexibility found in dedicated DSP processors, then added several new, unique features designed to expedite the needs of A/V system designers and installers.”

ProDSP audio digital signal processing significantly enhances the versatility of the MPX Plus 866 A by enabling complete audio system integration without the need for outboard DSP equipment. It provides the capability to handle an extensive array of digital audio processing tools including audio gain, dynamics, compression, filtering, delay, microphone ducking, loudness, and feedback suppression. Working within the user-friendly Graphical User Environment of the DSP Configurator Software, an audio designer or installer can quickly and easily view all input and outputs, audio processing blocks, audio and video routing ties, and microphone mixing points in a single window, without having to access multiple windows or menus.

The MPX Plus 866 A features an 8×6 VGA switcher, 6×6 video switcher for composite video and S-video, 14×6 stereo audio switcher, and a 4×6 microphone/line audio matrix mixer. As an all-in-one presentation matrix, the MPX Plus 866 A does the work of several individual components typically utilized in A/V matrix system designs, resulting in greater efficiency, less heat, and more available rack space. The MPX Plus 866 A also offers a host of convenience features for integration, including the Extron QS-FPC™ QuickSwitch Front Panel Controller with tri-color, backlit buttons, composite video and S-video transcoding, and IP Link® Ethernet and RS-232 serial control.

via [press release]

more info: www.extron.com

Intelix Releases HDMI and IR over Twisted Pair Extender Set

1 01 2009


Intelix LLC,  recently announced the release of the DIGI-HDMI-IR, a professional-grade twisted pair extender which distributes HDMI and IR signals up to 150 feet.

The Intelix DIGI-HDMI-IR provides guaranteed extension of HDMI and IR signals up to 150 feet over standard Cat 5e or Cat 6. The unit supports standard HDTV resolutions, and is HDMI 1.3, 1080p, and HDCP compliant.

In addition, the DIGI-HDMI-IR features ESD protection, thereby safeguarding expensive source and destination equipment, and diagnostic LEDs on both the send and receive units. The system is powered on the destination side.

Each DIGI-HDMI-IR includes one send balun, one receive balun, one power supply, one IR emitter, one IR receiver, and two mounting brackets.

for more info: www.intelix.com.

via [press release]


1 01 2009


Altinex,  introduces the CP451-008 Wireless Touchscreen Controller. Ideal for a great many applications including multimedia control systems, general computing, and real-time data terminals, the new CP451-008 runs an embedded Windows® XP operating system and accurately senses touch from a finger, stylus, pen, pencil, gloved finger, or other tool—making it an ideal solution for a myriad of PC-based control systems. Small, lightweight, and powerful, the CP451-008 can easily be carried from room to room and used to control several devices on one or more wireless networks.

As a device capable of running on battery power, the CP451-008 is an ideal unit for controlling devices over a WLAN (wireless local area network). Simple to configure, the CP451-008 includes sample applications for communicating with devices over a WLAN, and custom subroutines to control many devices. The preinstalled AVSnap™ AV system integration tool enables one to configure a system with ease. AVSnap provides a complete environment for designing graphical user interfaces (GUIs) with minimum effort by way of user-friendly toolbars for buttons, volume controls, progress bars, and more. AVSnap incorporates a simple programming language with an organized interface that makes even complex programming code easy to read and maintain.

For added wireless convenience, the CP451-008 supports Bluetooth. The Bluetooth module inside each CP451-008 is compatible with most peripheral devices such as mice, keyboards, barcode readers, printers, and similar equipment.

An external 12V universal power adapter is included with the CP451-008 and can readily be connected directly to the unit or via the included AC404-101 docking cradle. Further, the AC404-101 cradle includes 2 USB ports and an Ethernet/LAN (RJ-45) port. The USB and LAN ports make the cradle an ideal base station that allows for a permanent LAN connection as well as inputs for a USB keyboard and mouse. When not in use, the CP451-008 can be placed back on the cradle for charging.

Providing even greater flexibility for governing an AV system, the optional Altinex AC301-201 TCP/IP to RS-232 adapter is available. This adapter enables RS-232 communication through a standard LAN connection. By placing the AC301-201 on an RS-232 controlled device and then connecting it to a wireless router, one can instantly create a wireless network. The AC301-201 has both serial (DB9) and network (RJ-45) connections. The AC301-201 connects to a serial device using its DB9 connection, and to the LAN using standard network cable. AVSnap, HyperTerminal, or other RS-232 communication software can then be used to control the serial device using the IP address of the adapter in place of the COM port. This way, a single controller such as the CP451-008 can be used to control any number of serial devices using their unique IP address.

Altinex President and CEO Jack Gershfeld commented on the company’s new CP451-008 Wireless Touchscreen Controller. “Small, powerful, and with a wide range of programming options, our new CP-451-008 is a tremendously versatile AV system controller and the included AVSnap design software makes configuring an AV system effortless. I’m confident system designers and installers will find the CP-451-008 an invaluable tool for a wide range of AV system applications.”

via [press release]

for more information: www.altinex.com

Vaddio Camera Systems Selected for NC State Physics Education Research and Development Lab

1 01 2009


Vaddio, supplied Video Systems of the Carolinas with a complete HD/SD video solution for North Carolina State University’s Physics Education Research and Development lab.

“The purpose of the Physics Education Research and Development Lab is to evaluate all testing and teaching methods on how to better teach physics by observing student/evaluator interaction,” explained Don Fisher, Systems Designer, CTS-D, for Video Systems of the Carolinas. “An audio/video recording is then sent to a central control room where all data is collected and stored.”

The new state-of-the-art facility at NC State provides researchers numerous options when deciding how to record student interviews. Two rooms, Riddick 214/216 (See Figure 3), are dedicated to small researcher-student interviews with ceiling-mounted High Definition and Standard Definition cameras, including Vaddio’s DomeVIEW 70 system and a Vaddio Quick-Connect PRO Z700. The larger room, Riddick 222, is designed for researchers studying students interacting in a group setting and includes three DomeVIEW 70s as well as one Quick-Connect PRO Z700. All recorded video and audio data is then captured in the observation room, Riddick 220, by an array of Apple® Mac® mini’s and Mac Pros.

In the smaller interview rooms the researcher uses a hand-held remote for camera orientation. Vaddio’s ProductionVIEW Super Joystick provides camera control movement and camera presets to the larger room remotely from the observation room. Also located in the observation room are three Vaddio PreVIEW HD Dual 7.0 monitors that allow the researcher to view video feeds. The observation room allows researchers to watch live interviews and capture video/audio from any of the three rooms.

“Vaddio offers such a well-packaged system,” says Fisher. “You get everything — monitors, cameras, control. The communication connectivity with Cat. 5 cabling makes everything so simple to install from room to room. Having the ability to run control, video and power, especially power, over Cat. 5 sealed the deal for us.”

via [press release]