The Perfect Stocking Stuffer for Everyone!

November 10, 2009

OmniMount’s newest product, the omnimount, is this year’s perfect stocking stuffer for anyone with a TV.  Whether it’s for a college student looking to get more space for their dorm room or for a parent looking to keep the TV from toppling over around rambunctious kids (or just looking to keep the TV up and out of the way of little fingerprints), the omnimount is the new essential item in home décor.  The omnimount is the easiest, strongest, most discreet way to hang a flat panel TV. Unlike any mounting solution yet available, the omnimount combines all of the advantages of a traditional fixed flat panel mount with the highest level of versatility and affordability. With the omnimount, anyone can mount a medium-sized flat panel TV in three easy steps without even having to locate a stud. Users are instructed to simply attach the panel spacers to the back of the TV using a screwdriver, mount the wall brackets with the template provided and hang the flat panel in its place.  The omnimount accommodates any flat panel, 13 to 42 inches and up to 40 pounds in drywall alone, perfect for do-it-yourselfers who want to hang a flat panel TV with total ease and confidence. The product supports up to 80 pounds if mounted into a single stud or concrete.

The omnimount is so easy to use – setting up the mount is almost as simple as turning on the TV since OmniMount provides you with a level, the proper drill bit and even a template to place on the wall so you know exactly where to drill.  In three simple steps, the TV is mounted and ready to go, and retailing at $39.95, it’s even easier to justify purchasing than it is to set up.  Check out just how easy it is to install!

Posted by: Lauren


BodySound Home Theater Furniture Makes Surround Sound Personal

November 4, 2009

A unique concept combining furniture design and high quality audio, BodySound creates a truly individual listening experience.

Eden Prairie, MN – November 2009 – BodySound Technologies, Inc introduces a line of specialty furniture with personal surround sound, eliminating the need for in-room loudspeakers. Experiential seatingTM with BodySound technology is the fusion of ultra-comfortable home entertainment seating with innovative audio technology.  BodySound furniture is both wireless and compact, providing full impact, large scale sound in smaller and more challenging spaces.

 

With a 7-speaker personalized surround sound system, each seat drives its own audio, giving every user the ability to fine tune the sound characteristics to match their preference. BodySound technology will then automatically adjust the volume to match the users’ settings, providing a sound that is both crisp and clear, preserving every detail of audio information.  The built-in speaker system coupled to the steel framing construction produces pleasant, full-spectrum vibrations throughout the user’s seating area. Users can customize how much or how little they wish to feel.

“BodySound enhances the listening experience even more than HDTV adds to the viewing experience,” says Dan Cohen, CEO and Founder of BodySound Technologies. With BodySound’s Experiential seating, every user can experience movies, TV, gaming, and music in a way that more fully engages their senses.

BodySound is the culmination of 12 years of research and development including medical research on the relaxation effects produced by sound and vibration.  Refinements in the seating construction and sound system were developed to enhance the relaxation effects.  During this process, the developers of BodySound technology recognized how much fun and enjoyment they derived from watching TV and movies as well as listening to music in their relaxation chairs. As a result, they enhanced the furniture even further to produce the most innovative home entertainment seating available today.  Each seat powers its own 7-speaker system with a built-in multi-processor and 650 watt amplifier.  With easy wireless setup, BodySound seating becomes an ideal solution for a theater experience in any room.

 

BodySound technology is seamlessly embedded within custom luxury furniture, covered in fine leather. Seating can be ordered as recliners, connected rows or curves of seats, love seats, couches, or custom configured.  BodySound furniture starts at $5,995 MSRP and can also be custom designed based on customer preferences.

For more information on BodySound Technologies, please visit www.bodysoundtheater.com

About BodySound

Based in Minneapolis, MN, BodySound Technologies, Inc. is the leading developer of home entertainment furniture with personal surround sound technology built in. Experiential™ seating with BodySound technology is the fusion of fine furniture and innovative sound technology. Sound and seating become one and the same, delivering a personal audio experience in both luxury and comfort.


Dear Santa, I would like the Kindle..I mean the Nook

October 27, 2009

There is approximately 59 days until Santa will be climbing down your chimney and if you are an avid reader requesting the Kindle as a gift, you might want to rethink your wish. On, Tuesday October 20th, Barnes & Noble introduced their equivalent of the Kindle: the Nook. Set to be released in November, the Nook is available for pre-order as of  last Tuesday evening.

Thus far, the Nook has proven to be a bit sassier then the Kindle. One of the major selling points of the Nook is that it can lend e-books to other Nook users or anyone who has the electronic book software. In the feature called ‘Lendme’, books can be shared free for up to two weeks. The books can be lended to users of iPhones, iPod touches, blackberries, Motorola smartphones, Macs or PCS. The lending is not just limited to books but any electronic print such as newspapers and magazines. Nook users can obtain these electronic print sources through the online book store that has been set up by Barnes & Noble. Also, when Nook users go to any Barnes & Noble Store, they have free internet connection, built in Wi-Fi, and can read any book in the store for free. Outside of the book stores, the Nook has internet access thanks to AT&T and runs on Google Android OS.

The Nook has a 3.5 inch color touch screen that has a keyboard that is used to help browse books and when reading the keyboard disappears. The text of the books is black and white. When reading the electronic material, users can use the bookmark features, highlight important quotes or use the dictionary. There is 2GB of internal storage and up to 16GB SB card storage can be added. Unlike the Kindle, the Nook weighs one ounce more. (The Kindle weighs 10.2 ounces whereas the Nook weighs 11.2 ounces.) The Nook also does not have the same battery life as the Kindle. (The Kindle’s battery life is 14 days and the Nook’s is 10 days.) Protective covers can  be purchased for the Nook. The covers come in different colors and styles allowing users to add personality to their Nook.

For the first 10,000 buyers of the Nook, they will receive a free copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point. Gladwell even made an appearance at the launch event that was held Tuesday evening in Manhattan. Details of the Nook was first reported by the Wall Street Journal after a source from the publication got to see an advertisement that is going to run in the New York Times this Sunday( 10/25).

While the Kindle may weigh more and not last as long as the Kindle, a huge selling point is that the Nook can share information. Torn as to which one you want Santa to bring you? Check out the Nook’s blog or the Kindle’s blog  for more information.

Lo


My Personal Tech

October 20, 2009

When I started at Caster, I was not a techie.  I mean, I liked my gadgets (my iPod, my cell phone, my cute little 12″ Mac iBook, RIP) but I didn’t really have a vested interest in technology.  Once I started, I was sort of overwhelmed with the level of technical information thrown my way on a daily basis but I can say comfortably that I have evolved from just a general consumer with some interest in consumer electronics into someone who really loves the advancements technology has brought us.

Personally, my life isn’t as high tech as it could be.  My computer is a newer Sony Vaio and I will tell you that I’m not terribly impressed with it.  It is just ok and I’m sort of wishing I had taken my client’s advice and invested in a Dell XPS.  Add it to the Christmas list!  Speaking of Christmas, I upgraded to a new iPod Nano last season and so far it has been nothing but awesome.  The graphics are great, I can watch videos and play games and its motion sensor technology is very cool.  That said, I still drool over the iPod Touch.  Sigh.

My TV…well, my TV is still in box form.  I’m almost ashamed to admit I don’t have a flat panel as some of the first accounts I cut my teeth on were display manufacturers, but alas, I am still living with a Phillips 27″ box.  Sniffle.   I hope to change this soon as well – any ideas for a good 37″-42″ LCD, preferably ENERGY STAR rated with decent built in speakers?

Speakers are another story as I haven’t had a good system in….well, ever.  I’ve become more atuned over the past few years to just how incredible music can sound when played over the right speakers as opposed to my iPod or car stereo.  But I just haven’t upgraded yet.  I’m thinking my friends at Paradigm can help me with this eventually.  <winky face emoticon>

More recently, I’ve been more interested with how technology has become the conductor for really pushing the clean energy movement forward.  While the green movement isn’t a new phenomenon, I think the idea that we need to utilize our advancements to help us solve so many of the problems that they created for us in the first place is brilliant.  Sustainability can be an accomplishment if we embrace technology to take us there.  I am inspired on a daily basis by clean and renewable energy innovation and developments in moving towards a smarter grid.

I might not have been when I started, but today, I can proudly say it: I am a techie.

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter


From Video to Mounts, from Speakers to Control…Caster Clients totalled more than 500 stories off CEDIA

October 15, 2009

Coming off CEDIA is always a busy time at Caster. With ten clients on the floor, prepping for the show is hard enough, but coming back everyone wants their show reports. The line up of press stories they had is what keeps our clients smiling and keep us slammed through Columbus Day. If you estimate seven clients with two news releases each multiplied times 50 top tier news outlets covering the show, we captured over 500 news articles.

These are some of my favorites this year:

1. Paradigm: CEPro’s Julie Jacobson’s recap of her Toronto trip and blind listening of the new SE speakers attained a lot of buzz. Steven Kim at Engadget sure appreciated the story and supplied his take, the comments are especially titillating

2. Control4: With back to back shows, news from Control4 spanned the energy and utility space and its core business in home automation. Smart Grid News offered this take Texas Utility Choses Control4 for HAN Control and Energy Management while Stewart Wolpin wrote this on the new EMS 100 system for DVICE. Janet Pinkerton’s take on how the Smart Grid is going to impact CE retail and custom installers was a hit over at Dealerscope.

3. NuVo had a tremendous show nabbing  2009 CEDIA Manufacturers’ Excellence Award, Best New Product: Renovia and the press agreed with stories like HomeTheater.com – NuVo Renovia May Be Harbinger of Future and Twice’s  Retrofit, Remodeling Get CEDIA Expo Focus.

4. OmniMount had a powerhouse of a show as furniture and  TV Mounting Options Continue To Expand and with lots of sightings of their OmniLite Series, New Classic Series and Modena Series, and a huge volume of hourly giveaways posted through their Twitter site.

5. MartinLogan impressed the audio crowd at this year’s  Expo.  HomeTheaterForum.com offers this CEDIA 2009 Martin Logan Booth Tour and BigPictureBigSound.com highlights MartinLogan Shows Wireless Subwoofers: Dynamo 700 and 1000.

6. Anthem ran a great demo showing of their Statement D2V, fans flocked and the booth was slammed throughout the show. Home Theater Review posted their thoughts on the Anthem Statement D2v with Anthem Room Correction Reviewed.

7. Runco rounded out our clients at CEDIA with one of the most applauded video demos at the show, from their new entry level LightSyle to the debut of their Quantum LED line, the pools of drool were deep and accolades many as attested by Projector Central’s  Runco Takes Xtreme DLP Projection to the Next Level…  and engadgetHD.com with their Price check – Runco’s LS-3 projector within reach of mere mortals.

All in all, I’d say a very good show!

Posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter : newscaster


ZigBee Alliance Certifies 17 New ZigBee Home Automation Products

October 12, 2009

San Ramon, Calif. –  The ZigBee® Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications, today announced the certification of 17 devices from 10 manufacturers using ZigBee Home Automation, plus enhancements to the public application profile.

ZigBee Home Automation is a standard offering control for home appliances, lighting, environment, energy use, and security. It provides a path to direct interoperability with other ZigBee public application profiles, including the industry-leading ZigBee Smart Energy. ZigBee Home Automation now features new security mechanisms and support for doorbells and mechanized window shades. The standard features control of HVAC systems, power outlets, motorized devices, security and other devices. Product manufacturers will benefit from this standardized approach that makes devices reliable, affordable, easy-to-install and operate. Products using ZigBee Home Automation are ideal for new construction, do-it-yourself and retrofit markets.

The 2009 “Home Technologies and Energy Efficiency: A Look At Behaviors, Issues and Solutions” study by the Consumer Electronics Association shows 75 percent of consumers expressed concern over possible rising energy costs. Many ZigBee Home Automation certified products are designed to help consumers manage home energy costs.

“With 17 products from 10 global manufacturers passing our rigorous certification process, ZigBee Home Automation will be in a position to make a strong retail debut,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “With a total of 41 certified products, ZigBee Home Automation and ZigBee Smart Energy will give consumers more options to monitor and control their energy use while enjoying a smarter and safer home.”

The following ZigBee Home Automation certified products are fully interoperable and will use the ZigBee Certified logo and the ZigBee Home Automation icon on product packaging and advertisements to clearly communicate interoperability to the marketplace. For a full list of features and product photos, please visit http://www.zigbee.org/homeautomation.

  • 4Home — ControlPoint, Portal Serverand SDK software products allow for the rapid development and deployment of compelling, easy-to-use, and profitable new applications for today’s connected home, including energy management, home monitoring and security, and media management.
  • AlertMe — Occupancy Sensor monitors rooms and corridors for motion, features an indicator LED, battery operation, low-power micro-controller, status reports every two minutes and alarm events as they occur.
  • AlertMe — Simple Sensor for domestic windows and doors is a two-part design comprising a compact magnet and a sensitive magnetic reed switch and features an indicator LED, battery operation, low-power micro-controller, status reports every two minutes along with opening and closing events as they occur.
  • AlertMe — On/Off Button is a wireless doorbell or panic button offering touch and visual feedback via a positive button action and bright LEDs. It features indicator LEDs, battery operation, low-power micro-controller, status reports every two minutes and button-push events as they occur.
  • AlertMe — Access Controller serves as a key fob for the AlertMe Intruder Alarm service and recognizes a user’s occupancy. It features indicator LEDs, battery operation, piezoelectric sounder, low-power micro-controller, status reports every two minutes and button pushes as they occur.
  • Black & Decker — Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolt with Home Connect Technology enables the door lock to wirelessly communicate with other devices in the home, allowing homeowners to monitor and control their door locks using either a web enabled device or their home automation system. It offers true remote locking and unlocking features due to its motorized driven deadbolt and can automatically arm/disarm security systems as well as initiate customized scenes upon entrance and exit.
  • CentraLite — HA On/Off Light Switches can be controlled at the device itself or from any other ZigBee Home Automation enabled switch. It is rated to control 1,000 watts and will be available in the standard Decora style design in a variety of colors.
  • CentraLite — HA Dimmer can be controlled at the device itself or from any other ZigBee Home Automation enabled controller. It features press and hold precision dimming and tap on and off power along with configurable soft rates. It is rated to control 800W and will be available in the standard Decora style design in a variety of colors.
  • CentraLite — HA On/Off Switch can be bound to any ZigBee Home Automation compatible On/Off Device. It features a 110V input voltage and will be available in the standard Decora style design in a variety of colors.
  • Control4 — Home Controller HC-300 is the central building block for home automation, making it easy for anyone to add intelligent control to a home at a truly affordable price. One HC-300 replaces, on average, more than four traditional remotes and delivers easy navigation and operation.
  • Control4 — Wireless Dimmer offers affordable, elegant and convenient lighting along with intelligent customization features designed to fit individual life styles.
  • Jetlun – Jetlun Gateway (model RD75606) is a controller that collects, stores and displays real-time energy consumption information and helps homeowners manage and control energy usage through a simple user interface.
  • Jetlun – Jetlun Appliance Module (model 75613) is a three-prong electrical module with built-in advanced noise filtering technologies and surge protection that can be plugged into any standard wall outlet to monitor, store and control the energy consumption of electrical appliances and devices.
  • MMB Research — HA Coordinator provides control of thermostats, switches, sensors and other devices. It is a subset of RapidSE™ – a family of hardware and software allowing device vendors to rapidly integrate a fully-compliant ZigBee platform.
  • NETGEAR — ZEB102 ZigBee Bridge enables people to monitor and control their energy devices and in-home appliances over the Internet. The ZEB102 is designed around a flexible, yet affordable, MIPS 32-based high-performance system on a chip hardware platform supporting Linux, drivers and tool-chains to facilitate independent developers.
  • Radio Thermostat Company of America — CT80 Programmable Communicating Thermostat and In-Home Display is fully compatible with all popular residential central heating and cooling systems. It features a large dot-matrix display with touch-screen and multiple radio ports providing the most flexible solution for today’s complex energy management applications.
  • SerComm — NA401 Home Automation Gateway is a compact yet easy-to-use hardware platform supporting multiple communication interfaces. It is available as a ZigBee gateway development platform allowing application developers to develop solutions with pre-certified ZigBee gateway devices.

Posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster


Become a Fan of Paradigm on Facebook, Win a Cinema CT System

September 29, 2009

Paradigm Electronics, an international leader in speaker design wants YOU to be their friend on Facebook.

If you are on Facebook click here to find Paradigm’s page. Sign up as a friend of Paradigm and every thirty days, starting October 15th, they will choose a random “Friend” to win one of 6 Paradigm Cinema CT systems. If you are already a friend of Paradigm, you’re already in the draw!  You have six chances to win – and all you have to do is become a fan.

The Cinema CT systems are Paradigm’s most affordable complete and compact speaker systems to date and feature the company’s award-winning Monitor Series technology (the company’s affordable high-end line of speakers). With the Cinema™ CT line, Paradigm delivers real audiophile quality sound – at modest prices.

Cinema110CTWhile you’re there, why not become a fan of Caster Communications on Facebook as well?  We have less than 30 fans people.  This is a sad state.  Help us!