Sookbox showed off a prototype of their modestly priced high-performance home media “personal cloud” server/computer in the Eureka Park section of the Venetian. Sookbox is designed to take all of your media content – whether it’s your personal media, a subscription service, or media available for free from the internet – and host it on a single, unified framework so you can access it anywhere using a smartphone or tablet and allow you to play that content on any target device. Sookbox says it’s different from the typical media server product because of three things: the Sookbox software includes a true internet browser that eliminates the need for proprietary apps; the Sookbox framework devices are all IP addressable and globally accessible; and the Sookbox control app is open-source API, something which will hopefully encourage a great deal of creative development by other companies and even users. The main components of the Sookbox include the Sookbox Server with four HDMI outputs, 16 analog audio outputs, 1.5 TB storage capacity, simultaneous multizone delivery of content, and more. The Sookbox Stream Runner is a small, black-box-style device that provides two-way IP connectivity along with an HDMI connection for a display, 3.5 mm analog audio output, and built-in Wi-Fi. Sookbox says an unlimited number of Stream Runners can connect with any one Sookbox Server. The Sookbox Software is what glues the system together, includes a built-in browser, is iOS, Android, and Windows compatible, and allows for gaming without a location-dependent console. Pricing and final form factor hasn’t been determined, but 50 beta units will go into production later this month.
It's the next best thing to being there - or maybe even a better thing - for space buffs, ultimate gear heads, and just plain ordinary folk who want to see the United States manned space program get back on orbit. When the Space Shuttle Discovery launches with its crew of seven astronauts at 11:00 AM (EDT) on July 13th (the currently scheduled launch date), HDNet will be in Cape Canaveral, Florida to provide exclusive, complete high-definition coverage of the historic event (NASA mission STS-114).
Looking to the future of lifestyle sound, Sonance showed a preview of possible upcoming products, one of which was a ceramic hanging thing that looked pretty cool. It wasn't playing, so we couldn't tell how it sounded. No pricing or estimated availability was given, but it's pretty certain that you can expect to see something like this -and other exotic speakers - from Sonance in the near future.
I've had the good fortune of being able to bring some extremely cool gear into my house: a 50-inch plasma HDTV (way back when 50 inches was big for a plasma), a $40,000 Kaleidescape multiroom movie server, and, last but not least, five gorgeous Legacy Audio Harmony in-wall speakers (each one weighing 54 pounds). So, when something arrives and causes more than one member of my family to say, "That's the coolest thing you have ever reviewed," I know there's something special about it.
SpeakerCrafts’s latest outdoor subwoofer aims to go low – really low, as in subterranean. In fact, this woofer goes so low all you can see is a small, hooded port that’s exposed above the surface of the ground. The rest of the “BoomTomb” is buried underground for a near-total stealth look. Inside the BoomTomb is a 10-inch long-throw woofer, and a hood covers the top of the port to protect the stuff inside from the elements and curious critters. A dedicated 250-watt amp gets to stay inside next to the rest of your electronics where it is (hopefully) warm and dry. No word yet on pricing.
Several years ago, I set up my current home theater room. While it wasn’t scheduled to be equipped with multitiered stadium seating, faux Art Deco design, or a popcorn machine, I did have the luxury of setting it up strictly for movie and music listening. It didn’t need to be compromised to serve any other purpose.
Several years ago I was just setting up my current home theater room. While it was not scheduled to be equipped with multi-tiered stadium seating, faux art deco design, and a popcorn machine, I did have the luxury of setting it up strictly for movie and music listening. It didn't need to be compromised to serve any other purpose.
URC knows how to make a splash with remote control technology, and the new MXW-920 is the splashiest remote control on the market. It’s an IR/RF one-way “wand-style” remote control with a monochrome LCD that’s water-resistant (with a rating of JIS Class 4, IP-class 54 – whatever those mean). It’s PC programmable, uses the same programming as URC’s MX-900 and KP-900, and is probably the slickest, most advanced water-resistant remote control on the market. It has an MSRP of $449.95 (plus programming) and is great for use outdoors, by the pool/tub, or by your side on the couch during really good horror movies that might cause you to pee in your pants.
Nearly a year after Polk introduced its first THX Ultra2 certified in-wall speaker, the RTS105, the self-proclaimed genius-based speaker company has announced an in-ceiling version. According to Polk, the new RTS100 is the first in-ceiling speaker to receive THX Ultra2 certification.
A recent study1 has found that remote controls are lost or misplaced more often than car keys, eyeglasses, small poodles, and great ideas for surveys. Tampa, Florida-based PRISM Sales International believes it has found a way to end the agony of the lost remote2 forever (or at least until the batteries in this new product run out).