Amazon Bows FireTV-Enabled Soundbar, 2d Gen Cube, 65-inch 4K TV

Amazon continues to expand its lineup of Fire TV-enabled devices with three new offerings, all of which are available for pre-sale immediately with availability later this fall: the Nebula Fire TV soundbar, a second-generation Fire TV Cube and a 65-inch Fire TV 4K TV from Toshiba.

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Review: Hands on with SimpliSafe DIY home security system

The simplest home security system is one that is professionally installed, where you choose a PIN code once the pros are done drilling and wiring, and pay your monthly monitoring fees. But a professionally installed system is expensive, which is where a system such as SimpliSafe comes in.

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THX and Mixhalo Deliver Better Sound at Live Concerts

No one goes to a big-name concert in an arena or stadium to listen to music. We go to experience the music. We accept this concert listening versus experiential listening trade-off because we know our seats won’t be exactly front-and-center, that it’s taking place in an acoustically-challenged venue that won’t remind anyone of Carnegie Hall, and that the venue will be equipped with sound systems more concerned with pounding out thunderous, ear-splitting volume to reach the outermost seats than delivering a truly satisfying music experience. But THX and an upstart start-up called Mixhalo want to make concert going less of a listening v. experience trade-off by showcasing the actual musical aspect of a live show.

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Omnichannel Retail Philosophy: Best Way to Battle Showrooming

The primary doom factor for giant nationwide chains, local mom-and-pops and every type of retailer in-between has been the explosion of online retailing. Unfortunately, the future of brick & mortar isn’t getting sunnier due to the continuing expansion of e-commerce. Not that evidentiary statistics are necessary, but Big Commerce reports that 67 percent of millennials and 56 percent of Gen Xers prefer to shop online rather than in-store.

For brick & mortar consumer electronics retailers, the showrooming phenomena just adds insult to injury.

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CTA Expands Diversity and Inclusion at CES and Via Venture Fund Investments

(From left to right):Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient; Karen Chupka, EVP, CES; Jean Foster, SVP, Marketing and Communications, CTA; Tiffany Moore, SVP, Political and Industry Affairs, CTA Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

CTA today announced a series of initiatives to expand the diversity and inclusion at CES and in the consumer technology industry at large, including its first investments in venture companies led by and supporting firms led by women and people of color, as well as new inclusive initiatives at CES. CTA is hoping to reverse a disturbing trend; according to a report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the tech industry employs a smaller share of African-Americans, Hispanics and women than the rest of the private sector.

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Flashback 1979: Sony’s Iconic Walkman Is Born

Forty years ago today Sony introduced a portable cassette player that would forever change the way the world experienced music on-the-go. That player, of course, is the iconic Walkman.

Read the rest of this history story here at Sound & Vision.

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Should You Care About Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency?

What is cryptocurrency and, by extension, Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency, announced earlier this week? And should you care?

The whole idea of cryptocurrencies is a bit alien, just like once upon a time credit cards and paper money were. But cryptocurrency is important in that it is the future of money, whether that currency ends up being bitcoin, Libra or another cryptocurrency.

Read the rest of the analysis at here.

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New Viable Video Codecs on the Way? Maybe

Dissatisfaction with video codec royalty rates, lack of licensor transparency and complicated licensing terms have been perpetual complaints of many commercial video content purveyors. Not surprisingly, some would like to see a shake-up in the current system of how intellectual property (IP) owners are compensated for their standards-building contributions.

The latest iteration of this tug-of-war is being waged over the HEVC standard. It features simmering tension around licensing and has prompted, in part, development of potential alternatives such as AV1, VVC (Versatile Video Coding) and MPEG-5, aka EVC (Essential Video Coding)—all of which are striving for better performance and more favorable licensing terms.

Read the rest of this analysis at Digital Technology Consulting’s Digital Riff here.

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Will 8K Dampen 4K TV Sales?

“This industry loves to eat its young” is an observation often attributed to Dave Workman, president and CEO of the ProSource buying group. With TV makers and retailers yearning for higher margin 8K TVs, could slim margin 4K sets be the next item on Workman’s industry cannibalization menu?

Read the rest of this analysis at here.

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25 Years Ago Today: DirecTV Is Born

On a sweltering Friday morning, June 17, 1994, Lemoyne Martin strode past a queue of around 150 other potential buyers and a phalanx of media at Cowboy Maloney’s 1-55 North store. He handed over nearly $1,000 to tuxedo-clad salesman, Ty Carney, and became the first DirecTV owner and first all-digital TV service subscriber.

Read the rest of this anniversary story at Sound & Vision here.

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