JukeBlox Connectivity Platform Gets Two New Partnerships – BridgeCo, specialists in consumer electronics connectivity, have set up partnerships with Zylus Acoustic Corp. and Beautiful Enterprise Co. for their JukeBlox 2.0 platform and software development kit. It integrates a full software stack and advanced network media processor into a Wi-Fi networked media module to bring media and music streaming to any device in a home music system. JukeBlox supports streaming of music applications such as Pandora and LastFM, broad networking and interoperability features, plus whole home audio technologies. The technology will appear in the next generation of networked docking stations and radio products.
Mirage Media Server Uses Cloud-based Storage – Autonomic Controls has announced their latest and smallest cloud-based media server, the MMS-2 Mirage Media Server. It allows users to access their digital music libraries from iTunes, Windows Media and other audio formats, anywhere in the world. Streaming from Pandora, Sirius XM Radio and RadioTime is available, with Rhapsody and Last.fm being added in June. Using the Autonomic cloud service as the backbone of the system, the MMS-2 provides secure global access to digital media collections and stream thru Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile devices. Content can be scheduled either in the home or wherever the user happens to be in the world. When a tune or album is purchased or ripped at home, the MMS-2 will automatically synchronize to the cloud and make it available anywhere with Internet access, sparing the trouble of manually transferring the music. It supports integration with Crestron, AMX, URC, RTI and other IP-based control systems. The Mirage Media Controller app is available for use on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch. The MMS-2 media server retails for $1995.
EnergyGuide Labels Coming to TVs in May – The Federal Trade Commission has announced that TVs manufactured after May 10th this year will need to have an EnergyGuide label on them, as seen currently on appliances such as refrigerators and washers. Consumers will be able to get an estimate of the cost to power the TV for a year and it compares to other TVs of similar screen size. The labels will be displayed on the front of the TV, and starting in July web sites will need to display an image of the label online. With more households buying large flat-screen DTVs to replace CRTs, power consumption from TVs can increase, and a particular TV could even consume double another one. The sample label shows that it is based on five hours daily use of the TV. Electronics are the fastest-growing source of energy consumption in homes nationally, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. One of their scientists said “It’s really important to get this information in front of consumers who want to know what they are buying as they try to lower their electric bill.” The move has the support of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which had previously fought the California TV efficiency mandates. (We predict this will make a dent in the sales of plasma displays…Ed.)
Consumer Reports Says Plasma 3DTVs Better Than LCDs – Consumer Reports tests showed three models of Panasonic plasma 3DTVs beat out LCD TVs from Sony, LG and Sansung. They reportedly had the best picture quality and least amount of ghosting. The report said “It remains to be seen whether 3DTV is just a novelty or a new product category in the consumer electronics space, but our tests show there are some fine 3DTV sets out there for those consumers eager for a new experience.”