4 Reasons to Consider Home Automation

Whether or not you have a fancy home, you can install some very simple devices to make it more efficient, user friendly, and more desirable to live in. Technologically speaking, we are way past the simple pleasures of being able to automatically adjust the temperature, starting the crock pot, and turning on lights before you get home, we are in a whole new world.

Provide Energy Management

Power MetersBecause your electrical meter, your refrigerator and each individual lighting fixture in your home all have an internet addresses, they can be controlled remotely. This can be accomplished via remote control within in your home or a custom designed internet application for your smart phone (the internet). These devices can also be set on a timer so as to maximize your energy conservation. Because they are all constantly connected to the internet, data can be collected and analyzed to provide you with up to the minute reporting (if desired) and a breakdown of your energy usage.

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2013 Trends for Home Entertainment

One may wonder “what more can be done to improve home entertainment?” You have a nice LCD or LED TV with a large screen and a great cable connection that brings you your favorite channels. What’s more, you get several of those channels in stunning HD, enhancing the quality, and ultimately your viewing pleasure. You may think that this is the ultimate in home entertainment; however it is actually just the threshold for most technical geniuses working behind the scenes. They work around the clock, just to make your entertainment experience a little more enjoyable.

Today’s Technology

XBR-55X900A

Sony’s XBR-X900A

Today you have your smartphone and other mobile devices connecting to your TV and several people watching the TV programs from various locations. The TV has become ultra-smart and is capable of much more than beaming pictures. Take for instance Sony’s latest creation (that was showcased at CES 2013) – the 4K OLED TV which has such brilliant picture quality that the images look life-like. 4K or Ultra HD as it is more commonly referred to as, in collaboration with OLED technology brings you the ultimate in picture quality.

Making it Sound Better Read more!

How to improve any TV with a Smart DVD

Wikipedia defines a Smart TV as any TV capable of using the Internet to provide interactive media content to the viewer. But, did you know they were also Smart DVD players? That’s right, many new Blu-ray DVD players and Home Theaters can use the Internet to provide the same content streaming video, music, pictures, news, weather, sports and downloadable apps as you find on a Smart TV and show it on any TV.Smart LG Home Theater

What should you look for?

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Can Smart Television Keep Up With The Digital Economy?

As with all things in tech, there is always the next big thing. The PC used to be this then it gave way to the tablet which is marketed by the lion of the pride, Apple. With the rise of tablets like the iPad and mobile, does television have a chance? Samsung Smart TVSamsung seems to think so judging by the Smart TV. The fifth generation of the Smart TV is said to go the distance. The details of these Smart TVs include how it aims to be a multipurpose product for consumers. You could call it the ‘applification’ of the TV or you could simply see it as the evolution of the television. Some of the new details of the latest Smart TVs include: Read more!

HDMI Cable; why do I need one?

If you own a High Definition Television and use a Blu-ray DVD Player or Hi-Def Cable/Satellite box then a HDMI cable is exactly what you need to get the best picture.

What is HDMI?

HDMI High Speed Cable

HDMI or High-Definition Multimedia Interface is an audio/video cable for transferring digital audio/video signals to a compatible computer monitor, audio device or television. Sources for HDMI could be a HD cable/satellite box, HD DVD player, tablet, game console or digital camera. There are 5 types of HDMI cables but only two are used in home entertainment, HDMI High Speed and HDMI High Speed with Ethernet. Read more!

Samsung 3D Smart TVs have a security flaw.

Samsung Smart TVCould your Smart TV be watching and listening to you in your own home? It might, a Malta-based researcher ReVuln has uploaded a video showing how it has been able to hack into a Samsung 3D Smart TV. With this hack someone would have full control of your Smart TV allowing them to look at any device connected to the TV as well as look at user IDs and passwords stored in memory. If you have a webcam attached to the TV for Skype then the hackers could actually watch and listen to you while you are sitting in your living room.

New Smart TV’s have a full computer built into them for web browsing, apps and streaming Read more!

Sharp, trying to restructure to stay afloat.

sharp quatron

Credit – Sharp, Inc.

Sharp is struggling to stay a “going concern”, which means in corporate speak they may not survive as a company.  Sharp reported a 4.8 Billion dollar loss for the first 6 months of the year.  As bad as that sounds, Panasonic lost more 5 billion actually.  There are many reasons suspected for the sales decline but the slowdown of the American Economy is the primary reason given.  However, Japan and some others in Asia have some blame in this too. The strength of the Yen vs the Dollar has added to profit difficulties.  In addition, while sales have declined almost 30% companies have increased the workforce by almost 6%. One hedge fund manager wrote that there were too many redundant quasi-state employees in the companies contributing to this increase in the workforce.

This slow down is not limited just to Sharp.  Sony, NEC and Panasonic have also made announcements of their own regarding sales and profit woes.  Samsung, with its near 60% market share of flat screens sales is having problem too, but nowhere near as bad as the three above.

2013 may turn out to be a very different year for HDTV’s. For example, there could be a decrease in quality screens and an increase in low-cost (cheap) TVs.  Plasma’s offerings may start to decline, as they are not as profitable as once thought.  To bad, I rather like the pictures on plasma TVs.  Still, I would not expect to see manufacturers tossing all the plasma’s out the back door, they do offer an affordable price point.  As for the future, the big guys; Sony, LG and Samsung will turn their attention to OLED technology.  Although it may take years (if ever) for that technology to develop to the point everyone can afford to buy one.

Stay tuned.

 

Top Five Most Frustrating Things About A Slow Internet Connection

A fast internet connection is a real asset. That’s why so many businesses, homemakers and cafes are keen to get hold of routers and Wi-Fi services that can actually deliver a higher level of performance. But we’ve all experienced the unique frustrations of a slow internet connection. So what are the most irritating things that can happen when your broadband doesn’t cut the mustard? We’ve selected five.

You lose out on tickets
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Just bought a new High Definition TV? Sorry, Ultra High Definition is here.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CES) has announced a name change for 4K TV’s.  What, never heard of 4K TV’s?  Not surprising, The term 4K TV was a bit techie and really wasn’t catching on hence the reason CEA changed the name to Ultra High Definition or Ultra HD.  They will be on display at next years CES show in Las Vegas.  To be a Ultra HD display the device needs to have a resolution of at least 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.  Aspect ratio (ratio of height to width) remains 16:9.  Ty Pendlebury over at C|Net did a great job explaining Ultra High Definition (aka 4K), check it out.
Ultra High Definition vs the rest
Four resolutions compared: standard definition; full high definition; Quad HD; and 4K/2K.

LG already has an offering, the 84LM9600.  Yep, an 84″ Ultra HD 3D TV!

Improving a Smart TV with Internet

In my opinion, of the 5 top Smart TV’s out there only the Samsung and LG have a browser worth discussing. Of those two, Samsung seems to have a better browser-based on the fact that the LG browser doesn’t support Flash 10 or HTML5. At the time of this post, if you’re planning on surfing the net using your Smart TV then Samsung is going to be your best choice with LG coming in second.
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