New Transparent TV Energy Labels Now Mandatory – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires all TVs manufactured since May 10 to carry removable, detailed, yellow-and-black labels disclosing the product’s estimated annual energy cost. The “Energy Guide” rules also call for comparative information on similarly-sized TV sets from other makers. The Consumer Electronics Association was involved in the rulemaking, saying it will demonstrate the relatively low power consumption of today’s digital TVs.
Grace Wi-Fi Radio Now Includes Recording Option – Grace Digital, maker of wireless Internet radios, has added DAR.fm to its line of Internet radios. It allows users to record and play back thousands of radio programs directly thru their tabletop radios, without a computer involved. Using cloud recording, DAR.fm has the capacity to store and replay over 70 hours of programming. It also provides a comprehensive guide to hundreds of music stations. A DAR.fm spokesman said “Everyone has a DVR or two for their TVs, why not for your Internet radio too?” DAR.fm will join the other services available on Grace radios, including Internetcasts, NPR, Pandora, SiriusXM, Live365, Rhapsody, jheartradio, FM stations, HD Radio stations, and Weatherbug.
Google Android@Home & Tungsten To Bring Your Music Closer – Google will soon introduce a new feature of their Android system called Android@Home which will transform Android devices into home automation controllers that connect and direct all your home devices and appliances. The feature can turn one’s house into a giant automatic control box. Project Tungsten from Google will formulate a hub to run Android OS and the Anroid@Home framework, and will be able to stream music directly from Google’s just-launched Music Beta to any support home audio device. The new framework is open source and development of the system requires no fees or registration. So Android has now touched the realm of music as well.
Headphone Maker Moves Manufacturing Back to the U.S. – Sleek Audio specializes in custom stereo earphones which fit snugly into the listener’s ear canals. They are one of a growing number of companies pulling away from overseas manufacturing and building collaborations within their region and state instead. After manufacturing in China for three years, the company founder said they lost millions due to quality-control issues, backed-up ordering and excessive travel costs. They turned to another company just up the road from them, and to silicone companies in their state for manufacture of their product. A manufacturers association president said Sleek’s experience is something more and more companies are going thru, having turned initially to China because of its low labor and tooling costs but gradually discovering that the price for those savings ends up being too high. Another spokesman said that a large number of manufacturers have interest in bringing their production back to the U.S. from other countries. Their reasons are quality control, rising labor costs, rising shipping costs and new technologies that developed to the point that labor is no longer the key issue.