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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Theater

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.


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."


Barco Showcases Ultimate Home Cinema at CEDIA

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CEDIA Expo 2016 sees Barco Residential team up with key home theatre partners to demonstrate a range of residential solutions, combining flagship technology with architectural and interior design.

Barco ThorA "Cinema-at-Home" demo involves Thor, the top-of-the-line 4K "mega projector" featuring "true" 6P 3D direct laser technology, with the new Barco Alchemy server, an Auro-3D 11.1 system from Steinway Lyngdorf and a Stewart Filmscreen Director's Choice screen configured with the company's StudioTek 100 unity gain reference screen material.

Another company teaming up with Barco is Meridian Audio, who provides the G65 high-performance surround controller as paired with the Meridian DSP7200SE floor-standing loudspeakers.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.