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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Theater

Sony Working on PlayStation 4.5?

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Multiple sources report Sony is working on an upgrade on the PlayStation 4-- a "PlayStation 4.5" or "PlayStation 4K", if you will, able to handle higher resolution graphics required for immersive virtual reality experiences.

PlayStation 4The news was first broken by Kotaku and Eurogamer, before further corroboration by the Wall Street Journal. All stories bear the same gist. The new PlayStation is not a wholly new console (thus the "4.5/4K" numbering), but a a GPU upgrade allows 4K resolution games and enhanced PlayStation VR headset support.


Sony Details PlayStation VR Release Date

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Sony takes to the 2016 Games Developer Conference (GDC) to reveal the release date of the PlayStation VR-- the headset is coming out October 2016, later than the Q1 release of both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

PlayStation VRFirst announced back in 2014 as "Project Morpheus," the PlayStation VR has at least one advantage over the competition in not requiring a high-end PC. Instead, as the name suggests, the headset runs VR experiences using the PlayStation 4, making it a less costly proposition to customers. Also making less expensive is a price tag of €399, lower than either Rift or Vive.

Mind, on a pure technical specification basis the PlayStation VR might look less technically capable than the competition, since it pushes lower resolution images with a smaller field of view-- something even PlayStation VP Ito Masayasu admits in an interview with games site Polygon, where he states "if you just talk about the high-end quality, yes, I would admit that Oculus may have better VR."


AudioControl Ships Atmos-Enabled AVRs

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AudioControl launches the Concert AVR-7 and AVR-9-- a pair of AV receivers featuring Dolby Atmos, 4K, HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2 and, in an AudioControl first, DIRAC Live support.

Concert AVRThe AVR-9 carries a high-current 7 x 200W per channel amplifier creating a powerful audio platform the company claims transforms customers' movie watching experiences into a "movie lover's nirvana." The AVR-7 carries the same A/V platform, but with a 7-channel amp powering 100W per channel into 8 ohms.


Barco Shows Off Ultimate Home Cinema at ISE

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Barco Residential shows how it plans to change high-end home AV at ISE 2016 as it joins forces with Steinway Lyngdorf and Stewart Filmscreen to bring an ultimate home theatre experience.

Barco ISE 2016Dubbed "Cinema at Home," the theatre features a "Thor" Barco DCI class 6P laser projector, a Steinway Lungdorf in-wall sound system with Auro-3D support and a screen from Stewart Filmscreen. In related residential offerings the Barco stand also shows installers how to build an custom integrated rear-projection "TV" in CineScope or 16.9 aspect ratios, together with a showcase of Barco LED wall and image processing technology.


B&O Controls Home Theatre Via Cloud

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Bang & Olufsen launches BeoLink SmartHome at ISE 2016-- a cloud-based means to integrate B&O products with other home devices, including custom installation offerings from the likes of Crestron, Control4 and Savant.

BeoLink SmarthomeTo bring together audio and video products with home automation systems BeoLink SmartHome uses an IFTTT-enabled channel on the cloud. IFTTT (If This Than That) allows users to create simple conditional commands combining and programming products and services lacking a common home automation standard.


Yamaha AVR Firmware Gets HDR, DTS:X

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Aventage YamahaYamaha announces a number of 2015 Aventage AVRs will receive HDR support and DTS:X compatibility via firmware update, including the RX-A1050, RX-A2050, RX-A3050 and the CX-A5100 models.

HDR is part of the UHD Blu-ray specification, and support comes through an update to the latest HDMI version (2.0a). The latest firmware also provides the latest HDMI version and copy protection, as well as support for the DTS:X content platform.


Need an HDMI 2.0 Test Tool? The Murideo Fresco SIX-G

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Over the past few years, UHD TVs have been a mix of HDCP 2.2 and 1.4, 300MHz and 600MHz — even to the point of varying by port.

Now Murideo has developed a new test tool, the Fresco SIX-G, for the AV integration market to confirm HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliance at the 18 GBP/sec level.

Additionally the SIX-G is an excellent troubleshooting tool for distributed HDMI systems and a reference source for video calibration-- and is compatible with CalMAN.

One of the biggest challenges for integrators today is determining what infrastructure to put in the systems they design and further verifying that all of the components will work together.

A partial list of features includes:

  • HDMI 2.0 — 600 MHz — 2160P60 4:4:4 maximum resolution
  • Video Bandwidth — 18 GBP/sec.
  • HDCP Selectable — 2.2, 1.4, None — Confirms if the system will work or not
  • Hot Plug Detect & HDCP lights
  • Portable/Battery Operated
  • Over 100 patterns for setup, calibration and troubleshooting
  • ISF Certified — includes ISF Test Patterns like PLUGE, Chroma Multiburst, Color Girls & more.
  • EDID Read/Write Functionality
  • Audio Confidence Tests
  • Optimized Ergonomics — 3” Color OLED Display, Simplified Menus CalMan Supported
  • 48 Bit per Pixel Color Depth Available
  • USB Control & PC Software for navigation enhancement.

The SIX-G takes the guess work out of installation, troubleshooting and calibrating, delivering absolute information about HDMI components that will work and identifies ones that won’t work — all in a hand-held, portable field tool.

Go Murideo Fresco SIX-G