Home Entertainment July 27, 2011

  • NextGen’s Slim Mounts are Sort of Spacey

    All four of the new mounts boast an easy install and ultra-slim profile.

    Ultra-slim NextGen television mount

    That HDTV mount is typically the add-on that slips everyone’s mind. It can be a major investment of both money and space. However, NextGen is hoping to ease some of that pain, with four new ultra-slim video display mounts.

    None of the new models has a fancy name, but they certainly get the job done—and very affordably, we might add. The 1320 (MSRP: $24.95) works with TVs that are 17 to 37 inches, with a max VESA of 200×200. The 1340 model ($27.95) bumps the VESA up to 400×400 for screen sizes between 32 and 55 inches. Model 1342 ($29.95) can hold TVs between 42 and 60 inches, with a max VESA of 600×600. Last, but certainly not least, the 1344 ($31.95) can hold some of those larger HDTVs, between 42 and 70 inches, with a max VESA of 800×800.

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  • Vantage Gets Creative with Lighting Designer App

    The Vantage Keypad Designer lets users customize and share keypad designs.

    Vantage Keypad Designer

    It’s hard to get really pumped up about a keypad. You don’t have to get excited, but Vantage is hoping you’ll get creative with the company’s new Vantage Keypad Designer app.

    The new free app allows Vantage users to create and share keypad options on any iPad or Android device.

    Through the app, homeowners can select colors, style and faceplate options—and make it unique to every room in the house. Once you have a keypad that matches your style, that creation can be saved or shared via email. It’s especially nice if you want to show off your thoughts to a dealer or installer.

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  • Bang & Olufsen Goes for an Encore with BeoSound 5

    The new digital music system provides access to over 13,000 web radio stations.

    Bang & Olufsen offers 13000 internet radio stations

    If you know anything about Bang & Olufsen, it’s probably that they have some unique looking products and that those kind of bragging rights will cost you. The company’s new BeoSound 5 Encore is certainly no different.

    This pretty little digital music system provides access to over 13,000 web radio stations, as well as the owner’s own digital library. It also promises to make those things sound as good as this system looks—and it better for $3,350.

    Designed to be a hub for your digital music, the BeoSound 5 Encore can arrange music by album, artist, track or “favorites.” It can also work alone or as part of a larger multiroom setup. If it’s not up to par, don’t completely stress out. B&O says that the quality of the stations is monitored and updated on a regular basis.

    One nifty feature is the company’s MOTS (More of the Same) algorithm, which allows users to build music playlists based on the sound, dynamics, and rhythmic aspects of a single track. Other music options include a connected drive, a NAS server, a computer, a USB stick or a handheld device.

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  • NextGen Debuts Rechargeable Universal 3D Glasses

    The new product promises to work with all major 3Di TV brands, for under $80.

    NextGen Rechargable 3D Glasses

    Almost overnight, the electronics company NextGen has been able to build a reliable business that provides consumers with IR remote control extenders, third-party tested HDMI cables, and HDMI splitters that are built at professional quality level for reasonable money.

    The Port Richey, Florida-based manufacturer has just entered a new product category: active 3D glasses. Unlike many of the active glasses that reside on the market, NextGen has combined a rechargeable battery with glasses that work with most major 3D TV brands.

    NextGen president Bob Dolatowski says the universal glasses provide the public with a simple solution that saves consumers from having to replace batteries. “These new active 3D glasses are the highest quality and they work with all the major 3D TV brands,” he says. “What really sets them apart is the convenience of being able to recharge them with a standard USB cable, and a three-hour charge that lasts about 50 hours, which will get you through quite a few movies before they need to be recharged.”

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  • PSB Starts Shipping Imagine mini Speakers

    The new product includes technology from PSB’s acclaimed Synchrony Series.

    PSB's Synchrony Series loudspeaker

    Back in January, we saw PSB Speakers showing off its Imagine mini loudspeaker. Now, it looks like the company is ready to deliver on that promise.

    The mini is the smallest member of PSB’s Imagine series, but it still packs quite a wallop. What gives the system that sound is a 4-inch woofer, a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, and a rear port bass reflex. It also boasts technology from the company’s critically acclaimed Synchrony Series.

    PSB has made the mini unique, thanks to something called the Turbo-Magnet. PSB says that this improves the mini’s low frequency performance, creating better, more controlled bass.

    Because of its small stature (5.75 by 9.25 by 8.3 inches), the mini can put home theater sound into almost any space. That also means it’s easy to add these to part of a larger speaker setup or for a desktop system.

    PSB is selling the mini in Black Ash, Dark Cherry or Walnut $760 per pair, or in High Gloss Black or High Gloss White finishes for $830. The company also offers optional stands and brackets to make the installation perfect.

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  • B&W Debuts Custom In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers

    All three CI 300 models will ship this month, along with the new ISW-3 subwoofer.

    Bowers & Wilkins new products

    Spring cleaning has long passed. However, it’s never too late to clean up some of that AV setup. Bowers & Wilkins wants to make that install a little nicer, with its new CI300 series.

    The CI300 series is a new line of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, specifically designed for customers on an AV budget.

    “Our high-value, high-performance in-wall and in-ceiling CI 300 speakers are entry-level in price only,” says Doug Henderson, B&W’s VP of sales and marketing.“The same acoustic and industrial design teams that created the higher-end ranges, led by Dr. John Dibb, developed the CI 300 models. From sound quality to installation mechanics, the CI 300s are extremely well-executed designs that have no peers at their price points.”

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  • Integra Sends Spotify to AV Receivers

    The company’s products will soon offer the option to stream Spotify Premium.

    Spotify device from Integra

    Last week, the AV world was buzzing with invite codes for Spotify, the on-demand music service that just launched in the U.S.

    Now, manufacturers are starting to add the service to existing products. Onkyo was the first to make that announcement. Now the company’s sister brand, Integra, is making the same move.

    Integra says that they will soon release a firmware update to add Spotify to its entire 2011 receiver line. Forthcoming products will also have that feature built in. A web connection and Spotify Premium account are both needed to access the service.

    Spotify Premium offers unlimited, ad-free music for $5 per month. With that paid account and an Integra receiver connected to the TV, users can view cover art, as well as navigate through artists, song titles and albums via the receiver’s remote control.

    Article courtesy of ElectronicHouse.com

  • Verizon to Offer Home Security for Less Than $10/Month

    Homeowners can get remote monitoring and control of cameras, Z-Wave lights and door locks for $9.99/month with the option to add energy management for an additional fee.

    Verizon Home Control

    Verizon demonstrated a home automation and security solution at CES 2011, but the telco hasn’t said much since January.

    Now it appears we have a price for Verizon Home Monitoring and Control, which is powered by Motorola 4Home: $9.99 per month for basic service.

    The Tampa Tribune reports that Verizon will offer three levels of service, with the basic package enabling remote monitoring and control of cameras and Z-Wave devices (lighting, motorized door locks, appliances).

    A second option includes “energy-monitoring gadgets like automatic thermostats, special Wi-Fi adapters that control appliances and lights, plus a sensor placed on the circuit box to measure whole-house energy use,” according to the article.

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  • Sonos PLAY:3 Makes Whole-house Music Easier

    Looking for a very simple all-in-one streaming music player? Sonos just launched the PLAY:3, a wireless music player that can access your iTunes library, NAS drive, 100,000 Internet radio stations plus all the popular music streaming services including Pandora, Last.fm and now even Spotify. It seems to be missing Amazon’s Cloud Drive, so I hope that gets added soon.

    The PLAY:3 includes built-in digital amplifiers for a pair of mid-range drivers, one tweeter and one bass radiator.

    You can start with one PLAY:3 and then easily expand the system to include PLAY:3s all over the house.

    To use the PLAY:3 you first need a Sonos Bridge ($50) connected to your network, but after that you’re free to place the player, or multiple players, anywhere in the house. If you only want one PLAY:3 in a room, the unit will deliver stereo sound, but if you pair it with another one and stand them vertically, they become separate right and left speakers which should deliver an even fuller soundstage for a larger room. I could picture putting a pair in a family room, one in the home office or kitchen and then maybe another on the backyard patio.

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  • Kaleidescape M700 Can Import and Store Up to 320 Discs

    The new Disc Vault can import DVDs, CDs and Blu-rays, and keep them on hand for later use.

    Kaleidescape Disc Vault media server

    A Kaleidescape server allows you to keep all of your movies on hand. But then what do you do with the actual discs? Into the Vault they go!

    The company just announced the M700 Disc Vault. The new product is designed to streamline and speed up the process of loading discs into a Kaleidescape System. The big diference here is that the M700 supports CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The company also says that the new device makes the process a quick one, boasting double the speed when importing a Blu-ray disc.

    It also ups the capacity, holding up to 320 of your favorite discs. Once loaded into the carousel, the Vault can load all of those discs automatically, at the touch of a button. There’s no need to monitor the system once it starts the import process. If you want a progress report, the front-panel display can display that info, as well as the number of discs stored and slots available.

    Once the import process is complete, the disc can live inside the Vault for safekeeping. In fact, if it’s a Blu-ray, you need to keep it in the Vault to play back the digital copy. DVDs and CDs can be taken out, or left in for easy access and clutter-free storage.

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