Oct 25 2016

News - Amazon Echo now controls Harmony via "Skill"

If you have an Amazon Echo (or Echo Dot) you can now natively control your Logitech Harmony Smart Hub via a "Skill". It is US only for the moment (suck), but I was able to have a brief play with it anyway (shhh). Overall, it's nice that it's there. But, lacks some of the flexibility avaiable with ha-bridge integration (e.g. renaming activities to whatever you want). That said, not everyone want to spin up a box to host a 3rd party bridge app.

Oct 19 2016

News - NETGEAR announces NIGHTHAWK X10 R9000 802.11ac/ad Wi-Fi router with Plex

If you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket, and a desperate need to be the first one on your block to have an 802.11ad Wi-Fi router with 10Gbe fiber support (?) - the newly announced NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK X10 is just the thing for you. That's not to say, it doesn't have some useful features though; like powererd TX/RX (new v. X8) anntennas and Plex support (!) built into the box. That said, I've very curious about the transcoding limitations. Anandtech is listing the SoC as one quite similar to what was in the RN212 - which works, but had some caveats attached. Either way, exciting times. For the well heeled anyway Smile. BTW, anyone know where I can find an 802.11ad Wi-Fi adapter?

Oct 15 2016

Guide - FLIR ONE + USB-C mobile solution

Like an increasing number of people my mobile uses a USB-C connector, so my FLIR ONE won't work without an adapter. Having tired of pulling my old phone out of storage everytime I want to use the thermal camera, I contacted FLIR ONE support this week. Unfortunately, they were no help at all. Seemingly unaware that the world has moved on from Micro USB, and unable (unwilling) to provide any guidence on a specific adapter, or what I would need to look for in one.

Oct 15 2016

Guide - Run ha-bridge on startup on Ubuntu

I recently installed ha-bridge to expose my custom switches and those from my Harmony and Vera systems to the Amazon Echo. One of the challenges I ran across was that the Linux (VM) system that I want to host the app on is Ubuntu, and the installation instructions didn’t cover that. Now, this isn’t a complex task, but there was a bit of trick to it so I thought it worth documented. Save others some time and provide a reference the next time I need to set it up Smile.

Oct 14 2016

News - Mesh Wi-Fi roundup

Mesh Wi-Fi is a rapidly developing market, which something I'm glad to see. Being able to quickly add signal everywhere in your home without needing to worry about channels, SSID, etc. makes solving the problem much easier for everyone (even geeks Smile). This round up doesn't really get in to the technical bits much (or really at all), but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of value to be gleaned from the UX (user experience) provided by the three systems.

Oct 12 2016

News - NETGEAR announces Arlo Pro

If you liked the original Arlo, you will love the updated "Pro" model. Which adds rechargable batteries and 2-way audio. Very slick.

Oct 12 2016

News - Loki "smart" Wi-Fi thermometer Kickstart[er]s today

As a fan of "smart" technology and cooking, I was immediately interested in the Loki thermometer when I heard about it. From what I understand the orb senses when your food is going to be ready and let's you know that it's time to take it off. Making it much easier to get the perfect, bloody (or not) meat. For someone who can never get that my pork loin quite right (always overshooting, grrr...), I'm going to have to join the early queue.

Oct 06 2016

News - SVS brings the boom, announcing two 16" subs

I love my sub, but sometimes I have to get up from the couch and turn it down a bit (after getting yelled at). Have to imagine this would only be made worse if I happened to have one of these massive 16" (ported or sealed) subs just announced by SVS, so I quite like that their's a little remote and a couple of apps available manage that without needing to stand up.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make any of the demo sessions (sigh, they're all in the US), but if you're free and want to be impressed you can RSVP here.

Oct 03 2016

Guide - DIY 433MHz "Smart" Wi-Fi switches with Amazon Echo and Vera Control support

I’m not sure exactly why my wife came home with a cheap (£10-15) set of 433MHz remote controlled switches. While I gave her some grief initially, I’m glad she did. Because for a few £ more we now have four “smart” IP switches that can be controlled from a home automation controller (HAC). And since we have an Amazon Echo, voice as well.

Oct 01 2016

News - Arduino ESLOV IoT kit on Kickstarter

I'm a big fan of these little IoT enabling kits, including the Arduino. Getting everything working with the various sensors can be a bit of a challenge (or a big one). This kit looks to help with that by providing standard interfaces to a pile of really useful sensors and a more user friendly IDE.

Oct 01 2016

News - XBox One S UHD BD Player review @ What Hi-Fi

In the not-so-crowded collection of UHD Blu-ray players the XBox One S stands out because of its price and, um... well that's it. The price difference is nothing to laugh at either, and if you are willing to live with the limitations it is an outstanding value. That said, the gaps are pretty harsh, at least for me. Especially when it comes to next-gen audio formats.

Is the lack of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support a blocking issue for you too?

Sep 26 2016

News - Plex Cloud - Hosted Plex server announced

Hosting my own Plex server isn't challenging for me, and I imagine most of our readers. But, that doesn't mean there aren't other issues like upstream bandwidth, caps, etc. that make putting your Plex server, and the associated content up in the Clouds. Storage is BYOC[loud storage provider], so that bit will need to be worked out (I also wonder how transcoding will work). Still a very neat idea. Excited to see how this plays out. If you are too, head on over to Plex and register for an invite.

Sep 22 2016

News - Axiim announces 4K Q, will upgrade existing users FOR FREE!

Wow. Just wow. It's not that often where you open a product announcement email to find out that the company is upgrading existing users for free. But, that's just what Axiim just did in their latest newsletter. Fixing one of my few, and arguably most important, complaints with the Q.

I need to lay down...

Sep 22 2016

News - GIGABYTE GB-BSi7HAL-6500 reviewed @ Anandtech

With two Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, this might just make the perfect router. Except that it's noisy, the i7 is probably overkill, and it's not that cheap (why, oh why, can't there be a dual LAN i3 "NUC"?).

Sep 22 2016

News - SVS announces Prime Elevation directional speaker

In an ideal world, we'd all have perfectly shaped theater rooms. With ample space to place speakers in all the right places to create the right sound now matter what. Unfortunately, architects and spouses don't always allow for these environments to takes shape. That's where the recently announced SVS Prime Elevation speaker comes in with an angled shape that lets you point the output in a more targeted way. Allowing us to get the best from the room we've been dealt Smile.

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