Spectrum Coalition Launched by Tech Industry – Four leading high tech trade associations (including the Consumer Electronics Association) have joined forces to create the High Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC) to advocate for legislation that would give the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions, as called for by President Obama and the FCC. More spectrum is a top priority for the high tech industry. HTSC members concur with the National Broadband Plan and President Obama that the U.S. should make 500 MHz of spectrum available for broadband by 2010, 300 MHz of which should be made available for mobile use by 2015. The voluntary incentive auctions are a critical tool in advancing a timely and efficient transition from existing lower value spectrum uses to higher value ones, enabling the U.S. to achieve its broadband goals.
New Anti-Piracy Device for Film Industry Professionals – Aurora CineStreem Corp. has launched their Professional Set-Top Box device, which securely brings streaming content to film industry professionals via a standard broadband connection. This is the first device of its kind, which will be a revolutionary advance, expediting and securing the delivery of video material needed in the production and distribution of filmed media. The device is used to view demo reels, casting sessions, screen tests, location scouting, viewing dailies and rough cuts, and in many aspects of post-production. It offers five levels of copy protection with AES 128-bit encryption, password authentication, HDCP, Rovi-Macrovision analog protection and forensic watermarking. It also employs a proprietary variable bit-rate encoding application to prepare the content for seamless streaming. The device will be sold for under $200 with a flat subscription fee. A consumer version will also be introduced featuring Internet TV channels and VOD content. The company is finalizing a deal for consumer implementation of content from a major Russian network and one of the largest networks in Asia.
Smart Wi-Fi System – AMX, a provider of solutions for effective AV environments, has announced a new Smart Wi-Fi system delivering dramatic improvements in Wi-Fi range and reliability. The system includes the AMX Smart WAP and AMX ZoneDirector Smart WLAN Controller. Both use critically-acclaimed and patented technology from Ruckus Wireless to produce an advanced level of Wi-Fi performance in residential or commercial settings. The Smart WAP is a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi access point that can be deployed as a standalone unit or combined with the ZoneDirector WLAN Controller as part of a centrally-controlled smart WLAN system. Ruckus’ BeamFlex Technology and adaptive signal-steering provide up to a four-fold improvement in signal range, and it supports the transmission of delay-sensitive applications such as streaming IP-based video or voice. A smart antenna array in each WAP automatically focuses Wi-Fi transmissions toward the receiver, steering signals over the best-performing paths while avoiding interference. This results in longer range and more stable Wi-Fi connections to support flicker-free multimedia viewing. The new solutions solve sources of Wi-Fi interference in many residential environments such as Bluetooth headsets, cordless phones, wireless cameras and more. The units are designed to be deployed in less than five minutes by non-wireless expects.
Major TV Vendors Concerned About Discounts and Giveaways – During the past four years the price of flat panel TVs has fallen over 60% and over 20% in just the past year. It is felt that a combination of product discounting and offering free gifts such as Blu-ray players and 3D movies is driving some vendors into “negative profit” territory. According to a Panasonic spokesman, TV technology is now being sold at “ridiculous” prices when you compare the technology packed into a typical HDTV.