Sony Builds Home Automation Into AVRs – Sony’s new STR-DA5800ES ($2099) and STR-DA2800ES ($999) AV receivers incorporate full Control4 home automation to broaden the home automation customer base. Control of audio, video, lighting, thermostats, energy management and security can be handled with simplified wiring and installation. There is a setup wizard. Both AVRs have 4K2K video upscaling, and support 4K2K passthru. Both can be set up with one-touch macros that, for example, power on a TV and HT components, change to the correct inputs, and dim the lights. Free Apple iOS and Android ES apps can also control the AVRs. They come with 30 streaming services, more than any other AVR, including the Sony Entertainment Network—which has both free and subscription-based AV streaming content. Audio reproduction is enhanced by Sony’s “fish-bone” grounding system which replaces multiple grounds with a single thick low impedance copper wire. The AVRs will be available in October.
Global Consumer Electronics Market to Grow by $1100 Billion in 2012 – That is a 2% increase over the 2011 figures. And the chairman of the Consumer Electronics Trade Association expects the world market for large-scale home appliances to grow by 178 billion dollars—an increase of 8%. The Berlin IFA 2012 exhibit, which just closed, had an expansion of 1.4% over 2011 and has become the world’s leading show for consumer electronics and home appliances.
IFA Targeted Grey Consumers – The recent Berlin trade show had a number of exhibitors targeting senior citizens, in the country which has the highest over-65 population in Europe. A company specializing in mobile communication for seniors showed a robust mobile phone for the outdoors which is also waterproof. Other models have GPS, flashlight or an emergency call button. A simple alarm clock feature tends to be most important for older mobile phone users. Another firm said it had learned that their devices “should not look like a medical device.”
Protecting Your Electronics – Many areas of the country have to be concerned about storms, lightning and other nasty weather with the ability to knock out one’s power. If you don’t physically unplug electronic appliances but just turn them off, you are still susceptible to power surges. Electricians say a good idea is to unplug all sensitive electronics: AV systems, computers, the cable modem box, your phone, anything with wires running into the house that could bring in a power surge. Surge protectors are also good to protect valuable electronics, but they’re not a guarantee; it’s best to unplug items, and be sure to also unplug the surge protectors.
Rememberance of the artist