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System Integration for the Connected Home

Control and Home Media Systems

Plex Buys News With Watchup

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Plex looks to provide users with even more media with the acquisition of Watchup, a service offering a personalised selection of streaming news stations from 150 credible sources.

Watchup Founded in 2012 by former journalist Adriano Farano, Watchup was first born as an iPad app before growing into iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, TV, games console and Apple TV versions. The service allows users to queue up news videos for uninterrupted viewing from a wide variety of local, national and international sources, including the likes of CBS, CNN, Vox, Euronews and Hearst Television.

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RTI Integrates With BluOS

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RTI announces a 2-way driver for the full portfolio of BluOS-enabled devices from Bluesound and NAD Electronics, integrating BluOS in the RTI automation and control ecosystem.

RTI BluOSBluOS is the operating system powering select NAD devices and all Bluesound players. It allows any BluOS-enabled device to connect to a home wifi network and access many popular music streaming services or a networked music library. Users can "send" music to one or many BluOS devices, even devices located in different rooms of a home.

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Nvidia Updates Shield TV at CES

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The Nvidia CES 2017 keynote has the company reveal a refresh of the Shield TV streaming box-- an update complete with 4K HDR streaming capability for both games and movies.

Nvidia Shield TVDescribed by the company as "the streamer for gamers," the latest Shield TV comes with both a game controller and a regular remote. Customers can also control it through voice via Google Assistant, with an optional microphone accessory (named the Nvidia Spot) acting as an equivalent to the Amazon Echo speaker. Integration with the SmartThings smart home hub adds control of devices compatible with the Samsung automation platform.

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Plex Starts Playing Nice With Kodi

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A new plug-in allows customers to enjoy the best of two worlds-- the Plex media server gets an official add-on for the Kodi media player, bringing the two XBMC off-shoots together.

Plex media playerBack in 2002, there was Xbox Media Player, a self explanatory piece of software for the original Xbox. Eventually it was dubbed XBMC, before the developers settled for the Kodi name. Plex is also the result of XBMC, but while Kodi remains a media player Plex grew into a powerful and user-friendly media server solution able to access media from anywhere in the world.

Plex is available for just about any device out there, be it Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku, Xbox and a range of smart TVs. Now it is also available for Kodi via aforementioned add-on, combining the Plex server UI with the customisable Kodi media player. It offers a range of major features, including server discovery, user switching and library browsing, with more to be added in the future.

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Control the Home Using the Force (Band)

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The Force Band is a wearable motion-based controller for the Sphero toy based on the BB-8 robot from the latest Star Wars movie-- but the addition of IFTTT support turns it into a motion controller for all kinds of connected devices.

Force BandControlling the home using the power of the Force (Band) requires the latest version of the companion app. An applet maker allows the easy creation of If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes, combining gensture controls with a variety of enabled devices and services. Thus, one can control a WEMO switch through a "force pull" gesture, "force push" to change the colour of Philips Hue lights or "force stop" to play the Imperial March. As one does.

Users can also pair such gesture controls with social media, pulling to "post Jedi Wisdom to Twitter."

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Crestron Brings Speedier TSW Touchscreens

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Crestron announces the next generation of TSW touchscreens-- the TSW-560, TSW-760 and TSW 1060, all promising a "bold new level" of performance and security for a broad range of applications.

TSW TouchscreenAvailable at price points identical, if not lower, to the prior generation, the latest TSW touchscreens carry a state-of-the-art Crestron processor for fast and responsive control and navigation, as well as enterprise-grade security leveraging on the 802.1X, TLS, FIPS-140-2, SSH, and SFTP protocols.

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RTI Intros Driver for MuxLab Solutions

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RTI releases a 2-way driver for the MuxLab ProDigital AV over IP product series, allowing installers to easily incorporate MuxLab devices into RTI automation and control solutions.

MuxLab RTIThe driver is ideal for both residential and commercial installations, and provides direct access and control of the MuxLab ProDigital Network Controller (model 500811) and input/output extenders, as well as the company's video switcher selection, through RTI user interfaces. Meanwhile the driver for MuxLab AV over IP extenders allows control of up to 128 output devices, 64 input devices and 128 videowall configurations and presets via IP.

For video switchers, the driver enables the switching of 4, 8 or 16 inputs and outputs via RS-232 or IP.

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