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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Theater

James Loudspeaker Presents Modular Home Theatre

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James Loudspeaker announces the Modular Indoor/Outdoor Theatre-- an innovative take on adding surround audio formats to any environment featuring a high-performance, customisable free-standing form factor.

Modular theatreThe theatre consists of a built-to-size aluminium structure installers assemble onsite. It houses all required loudspeaker components for any surround format, and is compatible with an array of subwoofer options depending on the decor and acoustic requirements of the space in question.

It can be used with all 3 immersive audio formats-- Dolby Atmos, Auro3D and DTS:X-- as well as conventional 5.1 and 7.1 speaker configurations. As a customisable free-standing solution it delivers cinematic performance in an existing room without need for modifications to the space, making an ideal turnkey theatre for clients in rental properties or any temporary scenario.

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Meridian Teams Up With Cinema-ATS

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Meridian Audio continues turning into a quasi-dealer through a partnership with Cinema-ATS allowing it to add the latter's acoustic treatment solutions to its home cinema product portfolio.

Meridian cinemaCinema-ATS offers a range of acoustic treatment solutions promising to address the three acoustic "R's," or the most common problems found in home cinema audio-- resonance, reverberation and reflection. One such solution is Cinema-ATS Complete, combining scattering panels to optimise reverberation and reflection with the Multipanel, a dual-purpose absorber tackling resonance.

The panels are just 50mm deep, allowing for installation in a wider range of projects.

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The Remix IO Android-Powered Home Theatre PC

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Jide Technology claims the Remix IO is 3 devices in one-- media streamer, PC and games console-- although one can also describe it as an Android-powered home theatre PC designed for use with the latest TVs.

JRemix IOThe device supports 4K and HDR content, and is powered by an octa-core CPU promising 4K@60 video output. It also features 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card) and runs on Remix OS, a modified version of the Android operating system. As such it should be able to handle most, if not all, Android and Android TV apps.

Interestingly, the Remix IO offers dual use modes-- a TV mode complete with larger app icons and IR remote compatibility, and a Windows-style PC mode ideal for mouse and keyboard use. Wired connectivity comes through HDMI, VGA, x4 USB 2.0 and ethernet ports, while wifi and Bluetooth handle the wireless side.

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The Future of Home Theatre: Entertainment Pills?

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has a far reaching vision for the future of home entertainment-- one revealed at the Wall Street Journal's WSJD event to include "pharmacological" alternatives. Pills, in other words.

Happy Pills"Movies & TV shows will be like the opera & the novel," Hastings says. "There will be substitutes." What kind of substitutes? A "pill that entertains you" is one such example, although there is no indication Netflix plans to substitute media streaming servers with chemistry sets, at least for now.

Of course, talk of entertainment drugs is pure science fiction-style speculation, even if human history is rife with the imbibing in weird substances in the search for the ultimate high. However, putting talk of drugs aside, installers still need to keep an eye out for the future. After all, the situation can change at any moment's notice, and it wasn't too long ago that VHS was the media format of choice before it was replaced by DVDs and Blu-rays. And even then, streaming media appears set to kill physical media, or at least further limit sales.

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Oppo Presents First UHD Blu-ray Player

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Oppo announces the UPD-203-- the first UHD Blu-ray player from the company, with support for 4K/UHD resolution visuals together with HDR and a variety of high resolution audio formats.

Oppo UPD-203The company says the player launches with standard HDR:10 support, with Dolby Vision upcoming in a future firmware update. As for audio, the UPD-203 carries a 32-bit DAC able to handle formats including 24-bit PCM, 2-channel DSD256 and multi-channel DSD64/128, as well as lossless high resolution audio such as AIFF, ALAC, APE, FLAV and WAV.

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The First Sony UHD Blu-ray Player

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Sony unveils a reference standard UHD Blu-ray player player at CEDIA 2016-- the ES Series model (UBP-X1000ES) offering full custom installation (CI) compatibility and features making it a home A/V centrepiece.

Sony UHD PlayerThe X1000ES is compatible with UHD Blu-ray discs as well as 4K and HDR video streaming. UHD Blu-ray playback comes in 4K resolution, twice the colour range of existing Blu-ray players and HDR technology, with up to 100 times the dynamic range. In addition it also uses a Sony-developed Precision HD drive to maintain consistent performce with every other optical disc format, including DVD Video and DVD Audio, CD and SA-CD, Blu-ray 3D and BD-ROM.

A variety of video codecs allow it to deliver 4K streaming from services including Amazon Video and YouTube, among others. A dedicated HDR content picture mode is provided, while advanced video processing upscales 1080p content to near 4K 60p resolution. A unique Sony algorithm reproduces proper brightness and colour gradations when playing 4K HDR content on a 4K SDR TV.

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Kaleidescape Returns After New Investments!

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Crisis is somewhat averted for Kaleidescape-- the high-end media server maker manages to secure new investment, allowing it to resume operations following obligatory restructuring and expense slashing.

Kaleidescape"We are delighted to announce that we have restarted operations," an email to shareholders from CEO Cheena Srinivasan reads. "We restructured the company, slashed expenses, and obtained the investment needed (with no change of control). We are manufacturing and shipping a significant backlog of products that were ordered during the past two weeks. We are confident that our restructuring combined with this new investment will enable Kaleidescape to quickly return to growth and profitability."

Kaleidescape temporarily shut down earlier in August 2016. Why? The company essentially ran out of money, a situation detailed in Srinivasan's email. The CEO admits troubles started back in October 2015 with the Strato, a movie player launched without promised software features, such as HDR, Terra Support, DVD playback and playback from Premiere systems. The result was an unfinished product, and "sales suffered accordingly."

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