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Product Briefs: Luxul Firmware Updates; DTS SoC for TVs; Atlona Dolby Vision; DTC Alliance

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Product Briefs: Luxul Firmware Updates; DTS SoC for TVs; Atlona Dolby Vision; DTC Alliance
CE Pro Editors · January 15, 2019

So many product news items come across the CE Pro desks, and we don't want to miss them. Neither do our readers. This is the place where we tell you what's now shipping, which reps and distributors picked up what new products, which products are newly comp itatible, how public companies are faring, and other briefs in custom electronics.


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Jan. 15

Luxul has announced that it has released new firmware updates for its ABR-4500, XBR-4500 and ABR-500 routers. 

The company says it has released firmware version 6.2.7 for the Epic 4 and version 5.2.5 for the Epic 5 router. 

According to the company, the firmware updates address issues related to using Domotz or the Violet app.


Jan. 11

 DTS, a global developer of audio solutions, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation and MediaTek have announced their collaboration to release the first DTS:X System-on-Chip (SoC) solution for TVs in the second half of 2019.

The new DTS:X TV solution is an efficient DTS decoder designed for single and dual-core TV SoC architectures and is backward compatible with all DTS-encoded content, including DTS:X and DTS-HD Master Audio Blu-ray Discs. The technology also features a new, efficient DTS:X immersive streaming decoder for OTT services and is specified as the IMAX Enhanced program immersive streaming codec for 4K IMAX Enhanced movies.

“We’re excited to work with MediaTek to deliver the first DTS:X solution for TVs on its 4K UHD SoC chipsets,”says Joanna Skrdlant, general manager, home audio at Xperi. “We successfully launched DTS Virtual:X for TV together this past year, and we look forward to enabling DTS:X for TVs with MediaTek in 2019 to deliver a seamless, premium home entertainment experience for our mutual TV customers.”

“After DTS Virtual:X, we are pleased to work with Xperi again and to integrate DTS:X technology into MediaTek TV SoC’s.” adds Mike Chang, corporate vice president, head of smart home business group, MediaTek. “Together with new DTS:X support, our TV SoC solution with cutting-edge video and PQ engine will offer a more vivid, immersive viewing and listening experience for home entertainment.”


Jan. 10

Atlona has announced the immediate availability of its Dolby Vision feature option for its OmniStream AV over IP platform. Surpassing the frame rate limitations of other AV solutions when transporting Dolby Vision dynamic HDR content, the new OmniStream capability enables 4K Dolby Vision-enhanced video, at 60 Hz with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling and 12-bit color resolution, to be distributed over standard Gigabit Ethernet data networks.

OmniStream with full Dolby Vision support will be showcased alongside other Atlona products in stand 5-U120 at ISE 2019, taking place February 5-8 in Amsterdam.

Dolby Vision is an HDR format that when combined with a 60 frames-per-second Ultra High Definition (UHD) resolution produces a state-of-the-art image, but solutions for distributing 4K video with Dolby Vision HDR have been limited. 

“Dolby Vision has earned its reputation for enabling superior, lifelike images, but the lack of full compatibility in AV over IP and other video distribution systems has prevented AV customers from being able to fully realize its visual benefits,” says David Shamir, director of product management, Atlona.


Jan. 9

The Digital Entertainment Group is branching out into a new direction in media industry advocacy with the formation of the DTC Alliance as a subset of DEG membership.  

Every major media company and TV network will launch a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) streaming service in the next five years representing a significant new chapter in how television and film content is purchased, accessed and consumed. As DTC streaming currently is a longtail situation with a few high-reach apps and many low-reach services, DEG's DTC Alliance is designed to support direct-to-consumer media services of all sizes to tackle difficult challenges and coordinate voluntary best practices and initiatives; advocate for the industry by presenting a common front to the commercial community; and promote member channels through campaigns aimed at building awareness among consumers, as well as through industry-leading events. 

Under the umbrella of the DTC Alliance, DEG has established six committees to set objectives and agendas in the following areas: Marketing Nomenclature, Data Analytics, International Expansion, Rights Repository, Title Availability Directory and Uniform Metadata Standards. 
  
"With the DTC Alliance, DEG is bringing together DTC content companies and service providers to build a robust and efficient marketplace for all players, and to promote the new DTC experience to consumers," says Amy Jo Smith, president & CEO, Digital Entertainment Group. 
 


Jan. 7

Charter Communications, Inc., has announced the launch of the Spectrum TV App on Apple TV. Nearly 50 million homes across Charter's footprint now have access to live channels and tens of thousands of OnDemand programs on the Spectrum TV App for Apple TV. Additionally, starting next week and expanding throughout 2019, new and existing Spectrum TV and Internet customers can get an Apple TV 4K as part of their monthly subscription for $7.50/month plus tax for 24 months. 

Charter is the first U.S. based cable operator to offer customers the new zero sign-on experience from Apple, which further simplifies signing in to video apps on Apple TV and gets customers to the content they love with ease. When first set up in a Spectrum household, Apple TV 4K or Apple TV (4th generation) will detect the Spectrum customer's broadband network and automatically sign them in to the Spectrum TV App and all the supported apps they receive through their service — with no need to enter a username and password.

The all-new Spectrum TV App is also integrated with the Apple TV app and Siri, making finding and playing favorite shows, movies and sports seamless across iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. 

"With Spectrum TV on Apple TV 4K, customers can now enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience across their iPhone, iPad and Apple TV," says Greg Joswiak, vice president of product marketing, Apple. "We want to help customers get right to watching their favorite channels, shows, movies and sports, and with innovative features like zero sign-on, the Apple TV app and Siri, they are able to jump right in."



Trinnov Audio has announced that it will add support for the IMAX Enhanced format to its Altitude range of high-performance AV preamp/processors. IMAX Enhanced is a certification and licensing program jointly created by IMAX and DTS that certifies high-end consumer electronics products for playback of digitally remastered 4K HDR content with enhanced DTS audio.
 
Altitude processors use an Intel processor rather than third-party chipsets for audio processing, decoding and rendering. According to Trinnov, this software-based approach enables it to be the only manufacturer that is able to implement new technologies directly into its products. 
 
“Trinnov has always been fully committed to performance and durability. We recently announced the warranty of our high-end products would be extended, retroactively, to five years. To further fulfill this commitment, we will continue to implement the latest technologies and are extremely proud to integrate IMAX Enhanced, continuing the collaboration we started with DTS when implementing DTS-X”, says Arnaud Laborie, co-founder and CEO, Trinnov.

The company adds that it is also supporting the immersive DTS:X audio format. 

Trinnov explains that object-oriented allows sound designers to move freely about in three-dimensional space to place sounds above and around the listener.

“Trinnov has been collaborating with the DTS team since 2014, leading to a first public demo of a DTS:X 22.2 system at CES 2015 on an Altitude32 processor. Our software-based platform consistently enables us to release new formats before other high-end home cinema processors. In turn, our design allows us to offer the latest technologies to our customers at their earliest availability. This was the case with DTS:X, and having worked closely with DTS, we are now very satisfied to be able to introduce DTS:X Pro as their first licensee of this technology. This accomplishment is yet another example of our commitment to high spatial resolution," adds Laborie. 


Jan. 3


VIZIO, Inc., has announced its Silver Tier award distinction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which recognizes the brand's consistent contributions and values in sustainable electronics recycling practices for a cleaner tomorrow. The EPA presented VIZIO with the award at today's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge Awards Ceremony held at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Silver Tier award recognizes VIZIO's commitment and adherence to the goals of EPA's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge, including VIZIO's sustainability and public disclosure of its innovative recycling management practices. VIZIO continued to send 100 percent of collected used electronics to certified recyclers or refurbishers backed by a third-party certification program.

"VIZIO's commitment to the sustainable management of electronics demonstrates that successful business practices and environmental stewardship can go hand-in-hand," says Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator, EPA. "I congratulate VIZIO for their leadership and commitment to recycle electronics responsibly."


The CEDIA trade group has released a new white paper focused on human-centric lighting. 
 
"Human-centric lighting is an area that we are seeing rapid progress from a technology standpoint," says Walt Zerbe, senior director of technology and standards, CEDIA.

 "This white paper provides a great baseline for integrators to get familiar with the topic and to be able to talk to their clients about it."
 
Quality of Light in the Home covers topics including the benefits and challenges of human-centric lighting technology, consumers' personal control, wellness considerations for the end users, and installation implications.
 
The new white paper continues the global association's strategic focus on distilling complex and ever-changing technologies into more digestible formats for home technology professionals.

CEDIA volunteer Sam Woodward, a subject matter expert on lighting who serves as customer education leader for Lutron in London, previewed the new paper in a recent CEDIA Tech Council Podcast.

"As we're now spending so much time indoors, we need to think about the way of making that environment as conducive to productivity, well-being, and good health as possible," Woodward said in the episode titled All About Lighting. "So, human-centric lighting is all about people." says Woodward in the podcast. 

The white paper is available for $99 here.


Jan. 2: 

Como Audio has announce that its Musica high-fidelity audio system that includes a CD slot will allow existing and new customers to use Amazon Alexa skills to browse, organize and listen to music all through the house with voice commands. Beginning in early 2019, Como Audio customers will enjoy the convenience of Alexa skill to stream all music content and CDs throughout the house with Musica’s high-fidelity sound and elegant design.

After naming the system, such as “Bedroom” “Living room” or “Kitchen” and enabling the pairing through the Alexa skill App, voice control is possible through commands such as “Alexa, play BBC radio in Kitchen” or “Alexa, pay Neil Young in Bedroom” or “Alexa, play the Rolling Stones CD in Living room.”  The Alexa device no longer needs to be connected to the Como Audio system physically or via Bluetooth as before. Those who don’t own an Alexa device have the option to connect one at any time in the future.


Roku has announced that it has expanded its Roku Channel to include Premium Subscriptions. Users will be able to watch ad-free and paid premium content through its easy-to-navigate interface that includes personalized recommendations where they can browse, trial and subscribe to services. 

As part of its premium services Roku will add more than 25 premium channels such as Showtime, Starz and Epix, and it will offer these channels via a single monthly bill and account. 

"We're focused on making it easy to find great entertainment of all types on the platform and adding premium subscriptions is a natural evolution for the Roku Channel," states Rob Holmes, vice president, programming and engagement, Roku. 

"As a top-five channel by active account reach The Roku Channel is already a great source for free, ad-supported entertainment and provides significant  user engagement. By making it easy for users to discover, subscribe to and watch premium subscriptions, we believe this offering will result in increased subscriptions and user engagement for our subscription partners and an ever better user experience."




7 Clever Ways to Hide Home Technology - CE Pro Download

Most technology products are not that visually appealing. Black boxes and tangled wires do not add to the character of a high-end smart home project. Luckily, our integrator readers have a number of clever solutions so these components don’t have to be visible in your next project.





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