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Save $909 on Yamaha’s YSP-3050 Digital Sound Projector

Dell has a very nice deal on the all-in-one audio component.

Yamaha YSP-3050

Some people don’t have the budget or the space for a big AV setup. If you fall into either (or both) categories, Dell has got the perfect deal for you.

Right now, Dell.com has the Yamaha YSP-3050 Digital Sound Projector for just $489.99. The single-component audio solution has an MSRP of $1,399.95, so this is quite a hearty discount.

Boasting multi-channel surround sound from a single component, the YSP-3050 features 21 drivers and two woofers, as well as corresponding digital amplifiers for the entire lot. It also has three Cinema DSP programs for the best possible delivery of movies, music and sports.

Not All HDMI Cables Are Created Equal

Two moderately-priced 1-meter cables tested by DPL Labs had different test results.

An illustrated HDMI cable

When it comes to HDMI performance, let me restate that reliability has been the major issue, and it usually surfaces with people breaking the rules.

This is not new, we’ve been following specification rules since the invention of the wheel, so why has it now taken such a toll?

In our experience, some manufacturers have shown a lack of competency in making HDMI products right the first time and continuing that over the products’ life span. It is absolutely false that all cables are the same, even at short lengths.

DPL Labs is more than just a certification company. It offers additional services that manufacturers, vendors, retail operations and even distribution firms look deep into when they are either buying or building products to verify that the integrity is what they were promised.

Tech Tips: Evaluating Speaker Specifications

Your ears are more important than the numbers.

Canton CD220

A reader wrote in to our Ask-a-Pro forum for help with understanding speaker specifications. The reader asked: “What are the best spec’s to look at when buying surround sound speakers. If a speaker’s frequency response is 47hz - 30khz and another is 58hz - 30khz which is better and why?”

Our resident audio authority Bob Archer, from CE Pro Magazine, offered this advice:

Unfortunately, determining a speaker’s applicability to a given installation is not as easy as looking at the specifications.

Frequency response can be a useful number in giving you a guideline in how dynamically the speaker will perform (it’s ability to create low frequency, midrange and high frequency content) , but there are other specs such as efficiency and impedance that are important too.

Panasonic to Build Sustainable Smart Town

What do you do when you have an entire ecosystem of solutions for energy management, networking, security and digital health care solutions for homes, businesses and community-wide infrastructure? You build a whole new community.

That’s what Panasonic and eight other companies that are spearheading and calling the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST) in Japan. The smart town will feature widespread use of energy-saving devices and solutions that integrate energy creation, storage and management, Panasonic says.

CEA Survey Shows Americans Open to Energy-Efficient Technologies

Lack of awareness of energy management programs hinders progress, however.

CEA Energy Efficiency

A new survey by the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) shows that consumers are receptive to energy efficiency, and that many find energy efficiency appealing to save money. “Saving money is what it’s all about,” says Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for the CEA, in a keynote webcast on CEPro Live titled, “Powering Intelligent Electricity Use: Consumer Perspectives on Intelligent Energy Management.”

The phone survey, conducted among 1,254 adults in April 2011, found that 60 percent are concerned about their electric bills and that 38 percent are concerned about the electricity used by their electronics.

Energy use also ranked high among purchasing decision factors, following price and the variety and usefulness of features. People are also engaging in some energy-efficient behaviors. However, the CEA also found that about two-thirds of respondents were generally not aware of the smart grid or of energy management programs offered by utilities and others.

A Few Things to Know About Solar

Costs continue to come down, but is it worth the investment?

Thinking of saving electricity by investing in a solar photovoltaic (PV) system? Here are a few good things to know, pulled from a recent Greenbiz.com webinar on Solar Powered Buildings: Worth Another Look as Prices Fall.

Powerhouse Solar Shingles

Federal tax credits— The 30 percent residential renewable energy tax credit is good through 2016. This gives you up to a 30 percent credit for the cost and installation of a solar PV, solar thermal, wind, geothermal heat pump and fuel cells. There is no ceiling, and excess credit can generally be rolled forward to the next tax year. So if you’re interested in solar technology, it’s a good idea to start pricing and planning now. You can find federal and local incentives at dsire.com

soundscience rockus: 3D Sound for Very Tiny Theater

Rockus 3D I 2.1 speakers.jpg

3Di Audio Adventures Await Explorers of Desktop Entertainment

Antec, Inc., has announced the immediate availability of their new soundscienceTM rockusTM  3D 2.1 speaker system, designed to create powerful, enhanced audio for personal (pronounced "small format") theater and gaming experience.

soundscience's 3D audio technology, 3DsstTM, is a suite of DSP (digital sound processing) algorithms that creates a virtual surround sound experience from 2.1 stereo speakers. 3Dsst actively analyzes incoming stereo audio signals and places them into a 3D sound field. The soundscience rockus also boasts a dedicated music mode optimized for organic stereo sound reproduction, letting users hear music with deep, visceral sub-bass; powerful, spacious mids and crisp highs.

The soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speaker system's satellites are made from anodized aluminum, which reduces enclosure distortion that plagues traditional PC speakers. Additionally, its subwoofer utilizes passive radiator technology to deliver an expansive range of bass comparable to larger footprint subwoofers.


Time to Take An App

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Stem Innovation would like to introduce you to TimeCommand, an App-enhanced alarm sound dock for iPad, iPhone, and iPod that puts a new twist on the whole sleeping /waking thing.  TimeCommand gives users the ability to...
- Control and dim your bedside lamp right from the alarm controls.  You can even wake by light if you have trouble getting out of bed
- Customize multiple alarms set to various sounds or your favorite songs
- View the local weather upon waking up
- Connect your mobile device with the pivoting dock connector
- Control your tunes with an integrated 10-band graphic equalizer


Optoma Unveils Industry’s First iPod Sound Dock With Built-In Projector

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Neo-i Gives Plug ‘n' Play Audio Video Compatibility to Portable Media Players & Other Source Components

Optoma, the world's best-selling brand of DLP projectors and leader in Pico projection technology, has introduced the Neo-i, the first all-in-one iPod® sound dock with built-in Pico projector, giving digital media device users plug ‘n' play compatibility in one transportable, tabletop device. Complete with built-in a 16-watt stereo speaker system and additional inputs to accommodate just about any source component, the Neo-i provides users with a simple, unique audio/video solution.

"The Neo-i offers a unique solution to a marketplace that is increasingly dependent on portable devices for both audio and video content," said Jon Grodem, Optoma's senior director of sales & marketing. "This gives them a simple, all-in-one solution for sharing that content." 

Panasonic Announces Award-Winning 2011 Plasma Line

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Plasma Sales Show Growth, Pointing To Bright Future

 Well, we don't want to say we told you so but... On Ocotber 2, 2010 we posted a story entitiled "Plasma: The Myths Are Still Alive". It addressed mistaken beliefs about plasma flat panel performance. And now, we find out the following:


Driving the resurgence of Plasma HDTVs, industry technology leader Panasonic Corporation of North America announced pricing and availability for its award winning 2011 Viera Plasma line-up. This announcement coincides with Display Search's recent analysis and conclusion that 2010 was a great year for Plasma TV panels, with shipments growing on a Year/Year basis every quarter since Q4 '09.  NPD also produced data showing a growth in Plasma sales.

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