AudioControl’s Rialto 400

Review For non-Sonos Aficionados In this review, we look specifically at connectivity Sonos, but the Rialto 400 would work equally well with any quality device with a digital output. So that non-Sonos users are not totally lost, I’ll explain briefly the Sonos products referenced in the review. CONNECT (formerly ZP80/ZP90). This is a streaming device …

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Siri Home Automation Integration from Start to Finish

Part 1 – The Basics (using a Linux VM) Intro After trying and failing to get SiriProxy up and running last year, I was inspired to get it working on my Raspberry PI by this article, but had much grander plans. There have been lots of posts about installing a SiriProxy, but a lot are very …

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The Quest for a Better Remote

The quest for a better remote In my previous house, my Logitech Harmonies worked pretty well. All the AV gear was visible (much to my wife’s chagrin) and no devices were shared between TV’s. Moving house and rewiring the new abode gave me the opportunity to centrally locate the AV gear (eventually). Further, until we …

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Blowing Hot and Cold with Z-wave and Wi-Fi Thermostats

Disclosures My HVAC needs are simple. I live in 101 year old house that my wife and I bought 2 years ago. We don’t have central air (yet), and have radiant heat. So my thermostat requirements are simple: a single thermostat controlling a furnace. (I control my window AC units in the summer using Z-wave.) …

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Improving Video Quality with ClearView

Streaming on the Rise With services like Vudu,  iTunes movies, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, UltraViolet, etc. streaming is growing at a dramatic rate. Fortunately, many movies look pretty good these days when streamed in 720p or 1080p, but much of the content found on YouTube, etc. leaves a lot to be desired. In addition, technologies like …

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Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft Pixel Sense

Touchscreen History Touchscreen device first emerged in the late seventies with the Fairlight CMI, which used a light pen. In the early eighties, Hewlett Packard introduced the HP-150: an IR based touchscreen. The early 90’s saw the Apple Newton and the first touchscreen based smartphone in the shape of the IBM Simon come and go. …

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Home Theater in a Box Redefined by WiSA Systems

So, you finally went to Best Buy or Amazon.com and treated yourself to that super skinny flat screen and Blu-ray player. Like a kid on Christmas morning, you tore it out of the box, turned it on, put in a Blu-ray disc and marveled at the stunning 1080p video. Almost immediately, you began to wonder …

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