Browsing Tag


Challenges Working With Embedded Devices

DIY, Home Automation
May 3, 2009 4 Comments

Working With Embedded PC's

I’ve been busy working with on the new version of Myro:Home which will run on the 8″  in-wall touchscreen panels.  My original plan was to have the same “downloadable” software being able to run on these types of panels, however,  the truth is that these panels need special care in order to bring the best performance and stability.   I’ve chosen Windows XP Embedded as the OS and can get everything running very quickly.  Now, I’m working on adding in specific hooks to the hardware to take advantage of controlling the “bare metal” like LCD and GPIO.     Since these devices are not full powered desktop PC’s where you can be a bit less strict using CPU cycles, you cannot afford running things that aren’t necessary.   Heat is the biggest problem and when you put panels in walls where ventilation is an issue, you need to use less powerful (less heat producing) architecture. 

In the end, I feel I will have a very powerful home control solution that is cost-effective and very competitive!

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Study: Revenue for Tech Support Industry to Hit $2B by 2013

Home Automation, Home Theater
April 30, 2009 No Comments

Use of In-Home or In-Store Tech Support Services has posted an article about how the tech support industry will grow to over $2 billion by 2013. This makes sense as more and more people start to use technologies that tend to be more complicated than that of the past.  An example, with the newly announced HULU and ABC deal, people no longer just turn on a TV and tune to a two or three digit channel number, but, require software, computer and network knowledge to figure out how to watch shows.

For the complete article visit CEPRO – Study: Revenue for Tech Support Industry to Hit $2B by 2013.

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Sencore RadianceXD – Video Processor/Scaler/Switch

Home Theater
April 28, 2009 No Comments

Sencore RadianceXD

If you are a videophile and demand that your display squeezes out every last bit of quality from the source, then you need a Sencore RadianceXD.   This 2u processor not only upscales, processes and is a full HDMI switch but it has a built in CMS (Color Management System) for tweaking the color gamut to be true SMPTE 701 (or other SMPTE standard color space like 601, 709, xvYcc).

The Radiance also features dedicated HDMi receiver on each HDMi input which means that switching to each source is super fast and requires no resyncing.  There are six HDMI inputs and a plethora of other IO.   What is really exciting about this product is the support!  They offer firmware updates almost monthly which constantly makes the RadianceXD better.   

This is definitely a product to add to your home theater rack, especially if you own a D-ILA projector since it can correct the saturated color gamut issues.

For more information, check out Sencore Audio/Video.

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Leviton Vizia RF+ (Z-WAVE) — Best Lighting Control System?

Home Automation
April 27, 2009 10 Comments


I get asked often what I recommend for lighting controls for home automation systems.  My answer, Z-WAVE.   I’ve been really happy with Leviton’s Vizia RF+ controls.  In my own home I went with Lightolier’s Compose PLC system which I’ve been happy with, however, the price of the controls are much higher than the Leviton Vizia RF+ equivalents.   The reliability hasn’t been an issue and the speed of the controls seems faster than traditional PLC systems.   I’d love to hear your thoughts or recommendations so post a comment or two.   

For more information check out Leviton’s Vizia RF+ site.

P.S.  Leviton Vizia RF+ is a great match with HAI’s OmniPro II

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Russound Collage – Powerline Media & Intercom!

Home Automation
April 24, 2009 5 Comments


Russound has released their new line of whole-house audio/intercom system. What makes this special is that it doesn’t require anything more than a power cable to get it working.  The Collage system relies on HomePlug technology to stream the audio to each location from the Collage Media Manager.  Each zone features an capacitive touchpad, click wheel and quarter VGA display with  a 30-watt amp.  In addition each zone includes a built-in FM tuner and 6-month free subscription to Rhapsody with three independent streams of music.  There is also an optional iPod dock.  This is a pretty interesting play for retrofit/remodel jobs.

For more information check out: Russound Retroquick

This can be purchased via our parent company MAVROMEDIA which is a Russound Dealer.

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Square D Lighting Control Products

Home Automation
April 24, 2009 No Comments


It’s great seeing traditional electrical companies supporting home automation. It just makes sense to bring a certain level of smarts to your home. Your car already has more technology than your home if you think about it — from climate control to entertainment to engine and tire pressure sensors.

Square D which it typically known for your electronic panel circuit breakers now has a new line of LCD lighting controls called the Clipsal Saturn Keypads. The keypad feature a “Dynamic Labeling Technology” (DLT) and combine a Saturn style cover plate, programmable keypad buttons, and easily customized labels on a backlit LCD screen. The five keypad buttons are lit with cool blue LEDs that complement the keypad’s sleek lines and show the status of controlled devices.

Square D Lighting Controls

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