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Thursday, August 09, 2012

image The sound quality of a large room in a commercial setting is easy to take for granted. Auralex’s new QuadFusor can be used to take care of those sound issues that blur the sound quality of A/V presentations, public speakers and other activities in which vocal intelligibility are essential.

Auralex produces the 2-foot by 2-foot QuadFusor diffuser panel with the same Class A-rated thermoplastic that it uses to make its T Fuser product, and it says the QuadFusor can be used to replace drop-ceiling panels or it can be strategically placed on a wall. The acoustic company adds that the QuadFusor employs its surface-variable design that includes a proprietary ledge and rear cavity that is capable of accommodating a rigid substrate such as Auralex’s PlatFoam or acoustical fiberglass to further improve the QuadFusor’s diffusing capabilities.

Electronics professionals can use the QuadFusor for new construction and retrofit installations, and it can be implemented to fit a variety of budgets.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

image GTL Sound Labs has been manufacturing loudspeakers since the mid 1970s and recently the company introduced a new product that is designed for applications outside of its traditional architectural loudspeaker products.

GTL's newly launched AP 9651 is a three-way loudspeaker that features cabinets that are CNC cut and finished in a five-step, layer matte black finish to allow it for its use as a stand mounted solution or for other applications such as placement behind an acoustically transparent screen. Internally the 28 inch tall speaker by 14 inch product features a 1-inch tweeter, a 5-inch midrange driver and a 9 inch woofer, and it employs a second-order crossover that works at 700Hz and 4.5kHz.

The company says the speaker is rated as an 8-ohm product and says it is 90dB sensitive. GTL adds the speaker has a frequency response of 30Hz to 20kHz and it handles anywhere from 25 watts to 150 watts.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

image Slowly over the course of the past few years consumers have started to learn about the benefits of lighting control which include energy efficiency, cost savings and the ability to create customized lighting scenes.

The newly introduced CB1 Control Bridge from 3vNET is a simple-to-implement device that can help homeowners tap into the advantages of lighting control. 3vNET says the CB1 is a lighting and control module that serves as gateway for lighting control within a home automation system. Internally the device incorporates a 1.2GHz processor and 512MB of flash memory to support its use as a device that enables timer schedules, monitoring and system access for third-party solutions. In addition, 3vNET says the CB1 also works in tandem with its system design software to make future design upgrades easy.

Other features bundled into the CB1 Control Bridge include a SDIO card slot for storage expansion, and iPad control provisions.

Monday, August 06, 2012

image It doesn't matter whether it's a Cat-5 problem, HDMI or coax cabling problem; tracking down an issue with any cabling infrastructure system usually means a big headache for electronics professionals.

Platinum Tools' newly announced Coax Clarifier can alleviate the headache of troubling shooting a coax cable network by providing CE Pros with a simple-to-use device that is cost friendly. The Coax Clarifier is designed to qualify and quantify "dark" coax systems by determining the quality of individual coax cable runs by testing its ability to reliably handle high bandwidth A/V signals. Platinum says the testing tool measures cables up to 1,500 feet (457 meters) and it incorporates four unique tones that are designed to distinguish between respective outlets.

The Camarillo, Calif.-based company adds the unit maps out as many as 12 locations and its LCD screen displays quality level ratings and bar graphs that indicate the quality of the cable run.

Friday, August 03, 2012

image Linn Products is one of the great European manufacturers whose roots trace back to the golden audiophile era with products like its iconic Sondek LP12 turntable. In more recent times the company has been active with new technologies, including music servers and Web-based technologies.

The company's latest product is the Kiko music system, and this product offers homeowners a compact, fully integrated preamplifier and amplifier and a pair of speakers all in one package. The amplifier section is rated to deliver 33-watts RMS and it includes features like Apple AirPlay, analog phono inputs, HDMI, Toslink, S/PDIF and HDMI pass-thru, UPnP compatibility, front-panel Aux and headphone inputs for iPods and other devices, Neutrik Speakon loudspeaker connectors and Linn's proprietary Dynamik Switch Mode Power Supply. Linn also says the system is capable of decoding FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, MP3, lossy WMA, AIFF, AAC and OGG files with sample rates as high as 24-bit/192kHz.

With the Kiko system installers can set up their clients to play music from their PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones; music from their home theaters, including Blu-ray players and game consoles, and the system is available in a choice of six colors: "Back to Black," "Blue Monday," "White Lines," "Champagne Supernova," "Silver Hammer" and "Baby Blue."

Thursday, August 02, 2012

image The custom installation market is attractive to techies for a lot of reasons that include advanced control and automation technologies, home theater, HD video and digital audio, but rarely is business software ever mentioned as a cool product category.

D-Tools has never claimed that it will make the custom electronics industry cooler than it already is, but it does say it can help installers run their businesses more productively. Recently D-Tools announced the newest version of its dealer software called System Integrator Six. Highlighting the improvements to the newly released software program, D-Tools says the product incorporates improvements that help to increase a user's efficiency and productivity through design improvements to the software's design, estimation and documentation processes.

The company adds that with the new software electronics professionals can create detailed projects that are managed with automated proposals, scheduling, pick lists, purchase orders, drawings and other documents to streamline the sales and installation of residential electronics systems.
Filed in Product News,

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

image At this point with the economy the way it is and the costs of everything seemingly soaring to new record levels, consumers have been forced in many cases to educate themselves about the benefits of energy efficiency in the home.

URC's latest product release addresses the concerns of homeowners and commercial property owners that want to manage their energy consumption. URC's new THZ-100 programmable thermostat is a device electronics professionals can use to help their clients manage their property heating and cooling costs. The THZ-100 features URC's Intelligent Comfort Recovery technology that monitors a building's environmental temperature and adjusts it based on the thermostat's preset schedule. URC also incorporates a backlit two-inch color LCD interface that changes color based on whether the system is heating or cooling. The thermostat's other features include five front-panel buttons and the ability to control the device with URC keypads, touchpanels, remote controls and Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.

Electronics professionals can program the thermostat through the use of URC's Accelerator software and URC also includes a mounting template, bracket and screws.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

image Crestron is one of the most widely used manufacturers in the world of specialty electronics. Through the years the company has diversified its product line by entering the home theater, whole-house A/V and lighting control markets to serve electronics professionals as a convenient one-stop shop manufacturer of high-technology solutions.

Crestron's latest product release puts the company in another new market: shade control. Crestron's new line of quiet motorized shade control products includes Roman shades, skylight shades and drapery track systems, and the N.J.-based manufacturer says the line of products utilize its new Quiet Motor Technology (QMT) that enable the shades to operate quietly, efficiently and concisely.

With the new line of shade products Crestron says that its authorized dealers can offer their clients the ability to maximize the use of natural sunlight to produce a comfortable interior environment and a home that is energy efficient. The shades can be controlled through the use of the company's vast array of touchpanels, keypads and remote controls, and the company adds, users can also use their favorite Apple iOS devices, as well as Android products to control their shading products.

Monday, July 30, 2012

image Since the demise of the new housing market, the opportunity for electronics professionals to install video in the home has shifted away from expensive large home theaters to affordable, multipurpose rooms that get everyday family use.

BenQ's new EP5920 projector is a solution designed to address those affordable, multi-use scenarios in which families watch TV, game and movies on a regular basis with one singular A/V system. The native 1080p projector utilizes a DLP chipset and it incorporates two HDMI 1.3 inputs and internal processing modes for cinema and gaming applications. BenQ says the projector is engineered to produce high brightness and contrast levels to enable the projector's use in room environments that feature various levels of ambient light.

In addition to its inclusion of multiple HDMI inputs, the EP5920 also includes D-sub, composite, S-video, component, audio in/out mini jack, USB and RS-232 connections.

Friday, July 27, 2012

image Whether someone believes in climate change or not, it definitely seems like the weather has become more violent and more extreme over the past few years. Blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms have the power to effortlessly knock out a region's electricity for an extended period of time and severely inhibit life at home.

Linear's new Battery Backup Unit (BBU) is a new accessory device that installers can offer to clients that own the company's LDCO800 garage door opener so they can open and close their garage doors during power failures. Linear says the BBU operates quietly and its compact design enables electronics professionals to quickly and easily mount the device. Once installed the BBU can power the LDCO800 up to 24 hours to allow homeowners to move their cars or to access things such as snow blowers.

Linear adds that it is now shipping the LDCO800 garage door openers preconfigured to accept the addition of the BBU.
Filed in Product News,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

image There are few companies in the world of home audio that have a history as rich in analog audio as the N.C.-based manufacturer Cary Audio. With a product line that balances realistic price points, home theater, desktop audio and traditional two-channel audio, Cary is a diverse company that's done a lot in addition to keeping analog alive in an era in which the CD, surround sound and downloads were all the rage.

Digging into its past, the company recently revamped its phono preamplifier to appeal to a new generation of vinyl consumers who are either returning to vinyl or discovering it for the first time. Cary's new PH 302 MkII MM/MC phono preamplifier is an updated version of its original PH 302 phono preamp and it utilizes a direct-coupled, single-ended Class A circuit design with two 6SL7 tubes in the head amp, two 6SL7 tubes in the RIAA EQ, gain stage and buffer stages, and a 5AR4 tube for voltage regulation. The phono preamp also employs 1 percent metal-film resistors, a shielded R-Core power transformer, a separate step-up transformer for moving coil (MC) cartridges, and a three-conductor detachable power cable.

Cary says the PH 302 MkII MM/MC phono preamplifier incorporates separate inputs for MC and moving magnet (MM) cartridges, and it provides 38dB of gain for MM cartridges and 60dB of gain for MC cartridges.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

image Pro Audio Technology's founder Paul Hales was one of the first engineers in consumer audio to take speaker technologies developed for commercial applications and use them for consumer products. Now several years later other companies are following Hales' lead by using technologies like large compression drivers for residential products.

Hales' latest product design is the newly announced four-way SCR-3215sm loudspeaker, and Pro Audio Technology says this new product is designed for placement in large rooms behind acoustically transparent screens. The 7-foot tall, 350 pound speaker incorporates dual 15-inch 1,400-watt woofers that are 102dB sensitive. These woofers utilize 30-pound motor systems and 4-inch voice coils to support the drivers' ability to play at concert volumes without the worry of the driver failing. The Huntington Beach, Calif.-based company says the heart of the speaker's midrange and high-end frequency reproduction is a 41-pound high-output compression driver that is said to be 114dB sensitive. The compression driver employs a 7-inch carbon-fiber diaphragm and its dispersion and acoustic power transfer are controlled by a constant directivity horn that includes more than 800 inches of radiating surface. In addition, upper midrange and top-end frequencies are handled by a coaxial compression driver that's mated to a 18-inch by 22-inch horn that provides almost 400 inches of radiating surface.

Pro Audio Technologies adds that when the speaker is mated to its DSP-enabled PMA amplifiers, the speaker can produce sound pressure levels (SPLs) as high as 130dB.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

image For years installers have lost sales to furniture stores because clients weren't shown that furniture is just as much a part of the home electronics universe as projectors and amplifiers. To this day furniture remains one of the great areas of opportunities for electronics professionals looking to add revenue streams to their businesses, and with products from companies like Salamander Designs installers have a resource to keep those furniture sales from walking out the door never to be fully realized.

Salamander is a 20-year-old company that designs and engineers products specifically for the custom installation market and its products are designed to satisfy the style requirements of homeowners and interior designs, and the functional needs of electronics professionals. The company's latest product series is the Olivia seating collection, and this product line incorporates seating modules with optional cup holders, motorized or manual reclining backs, and fixed, non-reclining backs. Olivia products are available in a range of materials and electronics professionals can offer their clients customized aesthetic, construction options such as matching or contrasting double-needle stitch.

Beyond the choice of materials, colors, cup holders and double stitching, the most important option Salamander offers with the Olivia series of products is the versatility of configuration. Olivia series products can be ordered to accommodate spaces ranging from traditional living rooms, to multipurpose media rooms and dedicated theaters to provide homeowners with a seating solution that works like a couch or theater seating.

Monday, July 23, 2012

image The San Clemente, Calif.-based company Sonance has shown the ability to design products that incorporate features that installers want in a package that appeals to architects and interior designers.

Sonance's latest product line, the newly announced Invisible Series of loudspeakers are described by company officials as, "the new reference in performance and installation flexibility for invisible loudspeakers." According to the company, this new product line will like its past products appeal to home design professionals and audio enthusiasts. Helping the company to live up to these claims are engineering elements such as the line's amplifier friendly sensitivity ratings; all of the speakers have at least a minimum rating of 88dB and an impedance rating of 8 ohms. The Invisible Series of speakers includes four models: the two-way IS2, the three-way IS4, the single-enclosure, stereo three-way IS4SST and the ISW Woofer.

On the design side of the speaker's engineering ledger, Sonance says the speakers can be installed and concealed with just about any type of building material of 1/8-inch or less that includes topping compound, wall paper or plaster without compromising the performance of the speakers.

Friday, July 20, 2012

image Back before digital, computer-based audio was popular, the staff at the California company AudioQuest (AQ) were immersing themselves into this emerging genre, and now that it is an increasingly important audio category, AQ has established itself as an expert in the field.

AQ's new DragonFly USB Digital-Audio Converter (DAC) is an affordable product the company has developed to provide music fans with an easy-to-use solution that can be used in a variety of ways to make their favorite tunes sound better. The DragonFly measures 19mm by 46mm (or about the size of flash drive) and it connects to the USB ports on a Mac or PC. Once plugged into a USB port the DragonFly bypasses a computer's internal soundcard and through the inclusion Asynchronous Transfer digital clocking technologies, the product reduces clocking errors that produce digital noise or "jitter" errors to provide a better listening experience.

The DAC can be set up in a variable output mode to allow it to drive headphones, powered speakers or a preamplifier through its 64-position analog volume controlled preamplifier stage. When used in its fixed output mode the unit acts like a traditional DAC product by sending line level signals to a preamp or A/V receiver. AQ adds the DAC works with a variety of file formats, and resolutions up to 24-bit/96kHz.

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