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System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Theater

Sony to Reveal Two PlayStations on September?

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The Wall Street Journal reports Sony is to launch two PlayStation 4 models come 7 September 2016-- while the company already confirmed the "Neo" 4K/UHD-capable upgrade, it will also announce a slimmer version of original console.

PS4 SlimThe story comes after images of the slimmer PS4 (aka "PS4 Slim") appeared on UK auction site Gumtree. The auction was first discovered by a Twitter user, before a person claiming to have bought the auctioned machine posted more images of the console in various states of boxing and unboxing on gaming forum NeoGAF.

Further confirming the existence of the machine was Eurogamer's Digital Foundry, whose journalist managed to get an own photo of the PS4 Slim. Judging from the various images available so far, the console appears to be a European model with a 500GB HDD.

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Kaleidescape Shuts Down

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It looks like Hollywood has had the last laugh-- after years of fighting the movie industry and its draconian rights regime Kaleidescape throws the towel and shutters down, laying off all employees in the process.

KaleidescapeThe news comes from the Kscapeowners.com forum, although it has also been confirmed by the company to CEPro.

"I spoke with the CEO, he did confirm that the company has effectively halted most operations, and instituted layoffs of most employees," a forum post by a Kaleidescape dealer reads. "The reasons are not really important at this point, but obviously are finance related as is the case in almost all such closings."

For those unfamiliar with Kaleidescape, the company is best known for pricey media players complete with a beautiful UI and DVD copying functionality-- the main reason it was seen as the enemy by the movie industry. This lead to a long-running legal battle against the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), one that eventually ended on 2014 with the condition Kaleidescape could sell its flagship DVD-copying machines no more.

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The Ingeny Cinema Room Solution

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Ingeny, the home automation division of security systems and building technology integrator Interphone, launches a cinema room solution for the residential sector designed for the conversion of under-utilised or redundant spaces.

Ingeny home cinemaIdeal for both existing and new residential developments, the solution promises to enhance communal areas within a building and provide an improved living experience to residents. It includes all building works, soundproofing, decoration, wiring, lighting control and AV installation, as based on an appropriate plan from an in-house design team.

Also involved are custom joinery and furniture makers for seating of either the bespoke or retractable variety.

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Marantz Adds SR6011 Network AVR

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Marantz presents the SR6011-- a network AVR featuring built-in wifi, 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround decoding, and 9 power amplifiers individually rated at 185W.

Marantz SR6011Customers can also use the SR6011 to power a second pair of speakers on a second audio zone running a different source to the one in the main room. Inside the AVR is a Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) handling all audio signals, as well as setup via Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room calibration. Dolby Surround and Neural:X upmixing enhance Doly- or DTS-encoded content for full 3D speaker setups.

On the video side connectivity comes through 8 HDMI inputs with support for the latest HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 specifications, and the AVR is future-ready for 4K/UHD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Colour sub-sampling, HDR, 21:9 video, 3D and BT.2020 pass-through support on every input. Upscaling is also included for standard and HD analogue and video content to 4K/UHD.

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Murideo Releases Fresco SIX-A & Fresco SIX-G Combo

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 Fresco SIX-A and Fresco SIX-G Combo

Murideo releases the Fresco SIX-A and Fresco SIX-G Combination, giving AV integrators a new standard for testing, analyzing and commissioning HDMI distribution systems, cabling and interconnects to 18G.

The Fresco SIX-G HDMI Signal Generator & HDCP Tester was designed for the AV integration market to confirm HDMI 2.0 and HDCP2.2 compliance up to the 18 GBP/sec level.

The SIX-G also troubleshoots distributed HDMI systems and a reference source for video calibration (compatible with CalMAN, Light Illusion, and ChromaPure).

One of the biggest challenges for integrators today is determining what infrastructure to put in the systems they design while verifying all of the components will work together. 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. HDR also adds some unique challenges like exceeding the 10.2 GBPS HDBaseT threshold-- the SIX-G has a full suite of HDR tools to boot.

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

“There is not an AV installer that doesn’t need an HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 tool like this—and the MURIDEO Fresco SIX-G costs far less (with more features) than other solutions,” says Matt Murray. [Shown in photo at left.]

MattMurray

The Fresco SIX-A 18 GBPS Advanced HDMI & HDCP Tester & Signal Analyzer was designed for the AV integration market to troubleshoot, analyze and commission digital AV distribution systems up to HDMI 2.0x and HDCP 2.2 operation up to the 18 GBPS level.

“Pair the SIX-A with the SIX-G (generator) and you have the perfect "fox and hound" point-to-point troubleshooting system available today,” adds Murray.

The SIX-A is an extremely useful and cost effective field test tool for systems integrators in today's world of mixed systems and multiple flavors of SD, HD and UHD this tool solves problems.

“Consultants will love the SIX-A as a tool for system commissioning and validation – with included PC software for advanced analysis and reporting,” adds Murray.

One user, Ricky Jennings of Kalibrate, says "We use the SIX-A and SIX-G for testing basic and complex switching solutions for maximum capability and performance (including complete high bandwidth HDMI cable testing, HDBaseT and HDIP link testing up to 18 GBPS. We simply love our SIX-A and SIX-G. It's a complete and invaluable tool for our field service teams and has reduced go-backs and replacement on non-defective parts to almost zero."

The Murideo SIX-G HDMI Generator and SIX-A HDMI Analyzer are now shipping as a set. They are also entered in CEDIA 2016's competition for Best of Show Awards. The SIX-G and SIX-A were recently featured at the CE Week UHD TV Shootout in NYC and were used to provide reference test patterns (including HDR) and analysis of source devices.

Murideo (an AVPro Global Holdings Company) is a manufacturer of goods designed to assist in calibration and installation for video distribution systems and calibration.

Go Murideo Releases the Fresco SIX-A and Fresco SIX-G Combo

 

Farewell, VHS: Funai Electric Ceases VCR Production

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It's something of an end of an era-- Funai Electric, reportedly the last maker of videocassette recorders (VCRs), brings the production of VHS players to an end, 40 years after the launch of the format.

VHS PlayerAccording to Japan's Nikkei the reason is a combination of declining market and difficulty in obtaining necessary parts. Funai made players in Chinese factories before sale under the Sanyo brand.

The company started making VCRs in 1983, 3 years after the launch of its own unsuccessful CVC format. At the peak the company used to sell 15 million VCRs per year, but Nikkei says 2015 sales of Funai VHS units total just 750000. Which is actually a bit of a surprise, since VHS has long been superseded by not only the disc-based DVD and Blu-ray formats, but also HDD-based personal video recorders.

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McIntosh Debuts Blu-Ray Player, Preamp Duo

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McIntosh announces a trio of home theatre audio devices-- the MVP901 audio video player, the C2600 vacuum tube preamp and the M100 phono preamp.

McIntosh playerThe MVP901 is described by the company as a 4K-capable device, even if it is not actually compatible with 4K/UHD discs. Instead it upsamples HD and lower resolution content to 2160p with a wide range of image adjustments.

On the audio side a 32-bit/192kHz DAC takes care of most sources, including CDs, SACDs and DVD audio discs. Also built-in are Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Auro 3D.

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