Remotely Possible

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jun 20, 2014  |  19 comments
My recent review of GoldenEar Technology’s newest speaker, the Triton One, generated a surprising number of entries in the Comments section at the end of the review. Some were short and to the point, such as the one from the reader who declared he or she “will not be renewing my subscription” because the piece was “a waste of a review.” (Okay, if you’ve got a beef with something I wrote, so be it. But don’t tar and feather Rob, Tom, Mark, and the rest of the S&V crew for a piece with my byline. Surely you ought to be able to find a subscription’s worth of value in the stuff they write.) But other comments were more substantive and warranted a more in-depth response than posting a brief reply...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 10, 2017  |  1 comments
Newcomer Hauk Technologies hawked the company’s Signal Transparent Surface technology at CEDIA 2017 with the promise of providing a way to eliminate “the days of ugly satellite receivers perched on the roof of your beautiful home.” In my case, I live in a very, very rural area—not far from the middle of the middle of nowhere—so the only sensibilities offended by the presence of the DISH satellite TV and satellite internet antennas on the roof of my house are those of the geese and ducks during migration season. Those of you who live in more populated areas, however (especially the ones who live under the heavy burden of Homeowners’ Association rules and restrictions about such unsightly things as antennas and satellite dishes on their homes), should pay attention to this interesting cloaking technology...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 05, 2013  |  0 comments
The promise of HDBaseT is clear and compelling. With one, standard, off-the-shelf – relatively inexpensive – Cat5e/6 LAN cable, you can send full HD (3D and 2K or 4K) uncompressed video and audio (up to 10.2 Gbps), 100 Mbps Ethernet communication, various protocol control signals (RS232, for example), and up to 100W of power from one AV device to another up to 100 m (328 ft) away. (The HDBaseT Alliance refers to this set of features as “5Play”.) That means if you’re hooking up an HDBaseT-enabled flat-panel TV mounted on the wall to an HDBaseT-enabled AVR in a cabinet located in the back of the room, there’s no long, bulky HDMI cable (or HDMI extender baluns) to deal with (or spend the money on). No need for a repeater cable or wireless device to pass IR or RS232 control commands. And no separate Cat5e/6 cable to connect your TV or BD player to the internet via your home LAN. In my opinion, though, the most exciting part is that many components with integrated HDBaseT technology, including most TVs, won’t need an AC cord to plug into an outlet in the wall. It’ll get all the power it needs over that one, humble Cat5e or Cat 6 cable thanks to the magic of HDBaseT’s “5Play” technology.

Awesome, right? Absolutely…just not yet...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  May 16, 2016  |  1 comments
In my experience, if you talk with anyone (who actually knows what they are) about bone-conduction headphones, nine times out of ten you’ll hear something along the lines of “cool technology” with the quickly added caveat, “sounds like crap.” While both can be accurate, one man’s crap is another man’s…um, let me rephrase that. When it comes to a product or technology, it’s important to consider the ends while evaluating the means...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Oct 23, 2012  |  1 comments
Even if you’re an infrequent reader of Home Theater and HomeTheater.com, I’m betting that you have at least one DVD lying around at home that you’ve never watched, won’t ever watch, don’t want to watch again, didn’t care for when you watched it the first time, or still has you wondering how your spouse could have ever thought that particular movie would make a great gift. In fact, chances are that you have a great many more than just one under-appreciated, space-taking, dust-collecting DVD in your possession. (Avid Blu-ray movie buyers probably have lots of unwatched DVDs that are packed in the same case along with the Blu-ray Disc.) At an absolute bare minimum, you at least know someone who has a few DVDs that fit into one of the above categories.

Some of those DVDs might be war-related, but you don’t have to watch a movie, such as Black Hawk Down, Born on the Fourth of July, or Apocalypse Now, to know that war is hell—and that it can often have long-lasting effects on the lives of those military men and women who choose to serve.

There are lots of people who show their “support” for our troops by placing a bumper sticker on their car—and leave it at that. We in the home theater community can do better, thanks to the vision of an organization called DVDs4Vets.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 29, 2014  |  0 comments
A lot of the sizzling hype at CES2014 was about home automation or, if you prefer using the gussied-up term, the “Smart Home”. Not everyone’s definition of a Smart Home (or home automation) is the same, though, and - as far as I know - there’s no standardized IQ test to determine how smart your Smart Home is.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  0 comments
When I first saw Flexound's HUMU Augmented Audio Cushion at CES 2018 in early January, my initial reaction was "[deleted] gimmick!" But then I sat down for a demonstration followed by a long discussion with Mervi Heinaro, Flexound Systems' CEO. As you might guess, I don't normally spend much time talking with folks about gimmicky products or technologies. (I have enough crazy ideas running through my head already, thank you very much.) As it turned out, HUMU is the real deal-one of those magical products that I always hope to find at CES. A product that's simultaneously unusual, cool, compelling, and ready to ship. At least in this case, I got three out of four, because Heinaro said HUMU wasn't available in the US at that moment. She assured me, however, that Flexound could ship a sample to me by the end of January.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 14, 2016  |  0 comments
Smart home device maker, iDevices, is adding several new smart devices that include Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa integration. Unlike the other devices in the company’s lineup, the new gadgets require a more involved installation rather than being simple plug-and-play designs. The new smart devices are designed to physically replace electric outlets, light switches, and dimmers.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 07, 2017  |  First Published: Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
At CEDIA 2017, smart lock maker, igloohome, demonstrated the company’s new “smart lockbox”, an access-restriction device that’s designed for short-term rental providers (such as Airbnb hosts), home owners, realtors, and others called the Smart Keybox...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 22, 2013  |  0 comments
When my kids were born, the obstetrician let me cut each one’s umbilical cord. Those cords were surprisingly tough to sever, even with a pair of super-sharp surgical scissors. Still, it’s no where near as easy as that was to cut through the clutter of cables we use to connect our AV gear together. (You didn’t see that segue coming, did you?) HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) simplified things quite a bit from the multiple-cable analog way of making connections; but, at the end of the day, an HDMI cable (regardless of its version number, speed rating, or whatever confusing denomination it happens to be a member of) is still a flippin’ cable. IOGEAR says its new $399 Wireless 5x2 HD Matrix (GWHDMS52) offers a way to get rid of one of those HDMI cables in your system – specifically one of those long suckers that are both costly and annoyingly difficult to run from component A to display B. To prove it, IOGEAR recently shipped a Wireless 5x2 HD Matrix for me to give a brief tryout. Considering the fact that I needed to rejigger the cable configuration running from the main system in my theater room to the 46” outdoor SunBriteTV still battling the elements on my back deck, I figured I had the perfect scenario to put the new wireless switcher to the test.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
Predicting what the lovechild of so-and-so and such-and-such would be like isn’t an exact science. After all, Frankenstein’s monster was a lovechild of sorts, and we all know how badly that went. But after looking over a new Kickstarter project, I’m convinced that if Logitech Harmony, Bang & Olufsen , and Revolv (R.I.P.) ever rubbed up against one another long enough to swap the right amount of corporate DNA to create a lovechild, NEEO, “The Thinking Remote”, would be it...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Mar 06, 2013  |  0 comments
At CES 2013, DISH’s CEO, Joe Clayton, used the occasion to once again display his insatiable infatuation with Australian marsupials…as well as promote some key features included in the soon-to-be-released “Hopper with Sling” whole-home DVR. Surprisingly, after less than 12 months, DISH felt it was time to futz with what was arguably (and I’m not the only one to have made the argument) the world’s best whole-home satellite DVR available until now—the original “Hopper”.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2018  |  3 comments
The folks at WIFIPLUG claim that their WIFIPLUG HOME Wi-Fi-enabled plug is—or will be when it begins shipping to customers sometime around April—the "Smartest Plug on Earth". That's a pretty electrifying statement; and, since I haven't checked out every other smart plug on the planet, I'm in no position to say it's not.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 04, 2017  |  0 comments
With the ever-loving number of products that are introduced at CES each year, it never takes long before you come across a gadget that causes your brain to stop functioning for a second under the heavy processing load of trying to figure out just why in the hell something like that would ever have reason to exist. Jooki, “an award-winning, figurine-controlled wifi speaker that develops children’s independence and imagination, away from screens” fell into that category when I read the initial press release. In fact, I had absolutely no intention of even taking a cursory look at something that seemed so stupid and had such a silly name. But Jooki was at an event featuring a number of startup companies with “smart” or “connected” products, and—out of the sheer goodness of my heart—I sat through what I thought would be a quick (but painfully dull) demo. It turns out that Jooki wasn’t quite what I thought it was.

The problem is that Jooki is hard to explain in a way that does it the justice it deserves. Seeing it in action, on the other hand...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jun 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Over the weekend, I attended the Maker Faire Kansas City. I'd never been to a Maker Faire before, although I've wanted to attend one for quite a while. A couple members of my family asked me to explain what a Maker Faire is; and, even after spending two incredibly interesting days wandering the halls and grounds of Kansas City, Missouri's beautiful and historic Union Station, I'm still trying to figure out how to describe it...

Pages

X