CEA Calls for More Wireless Broadband – Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, has called for more spectrum dedicated to wireless broadband. He called on Americans to sign the CEA’s online Declaration of Innovation, which states that American innovators should be able to buy and sell their products around the world, more spectrum should be allocated to wireless broadband, the best and brightest minds should be welcomed to the U.S., and the federal deficit should be cut. He compared spectrum to waterfront property – there is only so much of it to go around, and much of it is controlled by TV broadcasters. (In other words, he wants to give the present on-air frequencies of telecasters to the growing wireless industry, thus forcing those who rely on OTA (Over-the-Air) reception to subscribe to increasingly expensive cable services, and forgetting the original idea of free broadcasting in this country.)
Zyxel WirelessHD Kit – Zyxel Communications, a specialist in broadband networking and Internet connectivity, has introduced the Aerobeam WirelessHD Kit. The display adapter lets users wirelessly connect up to four video devices to stream digital content to their HDTV, eliminating the need to have components adjacent to the screen. The device uses the HDMI connections on Blu-ray & DVD players, tablets, smartphones and game consoles, and is capable of full 1080p resolution, 7.1 surround and 3D. It uses 60GHz technology to eliminate interference from other wireless technologies, and features Silicon Image’s WirelessHD technology. SRP is $199.
Two New Advanced Sound Bars from ZVOX – A leader in single-cabinet home theater speakers has developed two Z-Base sound bars – the 555 and 580. Both fit under flat-panel TVs and use only one connecting wire. They have five full-range speakers and subwoofers in a real wood cabinet and create virtual surround with ZVOX’s proprietary PhaseCue system. The Class-D digital amps make the sound bars one of the greenest audio systems ever. Each model has a remote with a Dialog Emphasis button which improves the intelligibility of TV dialog, plus an Output Leveling feature which introduces a sophisticated compression system. A display behind the speaker grill shows current settings and when you stop using the remote the display disappears. There is a front-panel connection for portable devices such as iPods. SRP for the units are about $400 & $600.
CasaTunes Extends iTunes in the Cloud to the Home – CasaTunes is one of the many films offering multi-room audio software and hardware solutions for distributing iTunes and other music thruout the home. They have announced support for Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud beta. CasaTunes will automatically detect when a new audio file is added to your iTunes in the Cloud account and it enables those tracks to be accessed and played via CasaTunes anywhere in the home. It will also support iTunes Match when Apple releases it in the fall.
Fix for Overly-Bright LEDs on Components – Most of us have had the experience of turning down the lights to watch a movie or listen to a recording and being annoyed by the super-bright blue and red LEDs on the front of electronics near the display. Some of us have used Blue Tac or duct tape to cover up the LEDs, but would you believe someone now has a commercial product for that purpose called LightDims? They are little stickers that come in a variety of transparencies based on just how much light you want to block. You peel off the little circle or square and stick it right on the offending LED. You can still push the button if it’s one of those, and they are easily removed. A sheet costs $5.99.
Wayne Shorter – In Memoriam
Rememberance of the artist