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CES 2012 - Cambridge Audio - Analog for a Digital World

posted Saturday Feb 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

CES 2012 - Cambridge Audio - Analog for a Digital World

If you're not into professional audio, you may not be familiar with Cambridge Audio, but for those of us who are familiar with Cambridge Audio, this year's announcements were very exciting. From a compact digital to analog converter (DAC) that would have made our lives at CES much easier this year to a full home theater receiver with network streaming, Internet radio and, of course, a built-in DAC, Cambridge certainly came full-force to the convention.

We got to see the upgrade to their DacMagic product, the DacMagic Plus, a simple way to convert almost any source, digital or analog, to full 24-bit/384kHz audio through up-sampling. In addition, it has ground-fault noise reduction, meaning no more humming because of the things that are plugged in around it. We've all experienced plugging our computer into a stereo system or mixer and there is a constant hum on the speakers - not with this bad boy. All of this is housed in a box about the size of an average digital camcorder. This is a must-have for anyone running a recording studio or even a podcast/online radio/TV show.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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CES 2012 - HomeGrid Forum - Any Wire, Anywhere

posted Friday Jan 27, 2012 by Jon Wurm

CES 2012 - HomeGrid Forum - Any Wire, Anywhere

My interview with John Egan, who was representing the HomeGrid Forum shed some light on what's up and coming for G.hn technology. Just in case you're wondering what that is, G.hn is a home networking technology that uses existing (legacy) wiring in the house to transmit data with bandwidth of up to 1 gigabit per second, hence the tag line, "Any wire, anywhere." Some of the heavy hitters that participate in the HomeGrid Forum such as AT&T, British Telecom, Best Buy and Marvell Semiconductor understand there is good reason for adherence to this standard as it benefits both consumers and service providers. The consumer is afforded a choice in service provider and the service provider themselves have assurance that all their existing and potential customers have the opportunity to take advantage of the service provider's technology. Simply put, the standard uses rules and guidelines that helps prevent fragmentation of the market. When these products hit the market be sure to look for the HomeGrid Forum logo which reassures interoperability in your house.

A definite plus with G.hn technology is that so long as the house has electrical outlets it can be taken advantage of. If you're reading this and you live in a mansion the question of range could come in to play but through the use of nodes, that act as repeaters, the data can travel long distances without any signal loss. Based on some estimates from service companies, not having to run any new wiring saves 4 man hours of installation time plus materials. This help make the use of G.hn technology easy, efficient and cost effective. More good news is that consumers can also expect prices for new technology to be comparable to the old technology that is currently in use.

Interview by Jon Wurm of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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We can expect to see full fledged products come to market around July and in the meantime, Mr. Egan gave us a hands on demonstration of some prototype technology that is in the works. Check it out after the break.

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CES 2012 - Eco Alkalines - Batteries That Help the World

posted Friday Jan 27, 2012 by Jon Wurm

CES 2012 - Eco Alkalines - Batteries That Help the World

Amidst a sea of eco-friendly booths, a familiar sight grabbed our attention and made us start asking some questions about the packs of AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V sized batteries Eco Alkalines had on display and as it turns out, there is something special about them.

Jessica Bell was nice enough to answer all my probing questions about their products but before we jump into the batteries I want to mention that their eco-friendliness actually starts with the brochures and packaging. I was surprised to learn that all the printing is done by using a soy-based ink and it's good to know they aren't afraid to think outside the packaging.

As for their manufacturing process, they have achieved 88% efficiency which has helped them gain a "carbon neutral" certification. This is not a status that is easily achieved. They are also landfill safe so you don't have to feel guilty about being part of the 98% that does not recycle batteries properly.

One of their most frequently asked questions is about the expected usage time and how it compares to other big name brands. As it turns out, life expectancy tests put Eco Alkalines's batteries ahead of Duracell and about 15 minutes behind Energizer. Not bad at all. As far as availability is concerned, you can buy their products online from Amazon.com, Best Buy and Walmart so long as you live in the U.S., Canada, Australia or Mexico. No need to worry about it costing you an arm to be environmentally friendly anymore. At an MSRP of $4.99, their batteries are competitively priced.

Interview by Jon Wurm of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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Now that you're all charged up, go check out my interview with Jessica and Eco Alkalines after the break.

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CES 2012 - iOnRoad - Safety While You Drive

posted Wednesday Jan 11, 2012 by Scott Ertz

CES 2012 - iOnRoad - Safety While You Drive

I had the opportunity to speak with the guys from iOnRoad about their Android app and boy was I impressed. They have harnessed the power of a phone's camera, gyroscope and accelerometer to create a product that helps you drive better. All you have to do is put the phone in your windshield, like many people do already for their navigation apps, and it will begin watching the road to make sure you are staying in your lane, not speeding and giving yourself enough distance between you and the car in front of you.

The first concern I had was quickly alleviated: iOnRoad can run in the background while you listen to music, have text messages read to you or even continue to use your navigator. When you inevitably get too close to another car, it will alert you and tell you the car in front of you is getting too close or that you no longer have enough stopping time if they were to stop suddenly. It also lets you know if the lane lines have shifted in its viewport, meaning you may be riding the line. This product is perfect for us being in Las Vegas where people don't quite drive the way you would expect, nor are there any rules about driving in a single lane at a time.

While it was refreshing to see an application like this one start on a platform other than iOS, there is no way a company can ignore the size of the iSheeple flock, so the company is currently beta testing an iOS version of the application as well. The application, both on Android and iOS, works really well and truly is an innovative idea, so it is no wonder they won a CES 2012 Innovation Award.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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To check out the interview and a demo of the Android and iOS versions of iOnRoad, hit the break.

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Digital Mobile TV

posted Saturday Feb 4, 2012 by Guest Blogger

Digital Mobile TV

Siano's Digital Mobile TV Device

Siano is a digital mobile television company that makes a product that allows a user to broadcast television programs on their phones or other mobile devices. Siano's device is small enough to fit in your pocket and plugs directly into an iPad or into a mobile device. Some of the channels on the Siano menu are free and some require a user to pay for them. The product is popular world-wide and is gathering steam in the United States.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDRNews for the TechPodcast Network.

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Watch the video after the break!

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Ion iCade Jr - CES [Back Channel]

posted Saturday Feb 4, 2012 by Guest Blogger

Ion iCade Jr - CES [Back Channel]

Another product we saw on the Back Channel was the Ion iCade Jr. The little brother to the iCade, you slip in your iPhone and play games using the Bluetooth joystick. There are additional buttons on the back, so you can hold the iCade Jr.

The iCade jr will be out soon.

For the TechPodcast Network.

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Watch the video after the break!

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