Mirroring your computer onto any HDMI display with Airtame wireless dongle

Here’s yet another option for wirelessly mirroring your computer screen to another display, but don’t worry: This one is rather impressive. Airtame, the creation of a group of Danish folks, is an HDMI dongle that links your PC — be it running Windows, OS X or Linux — to whatever display it’s plugged into over WiFi. Installation is a breeze: All you need on the PC side is just the software, and from there you can choose which dongles to beam your screen to. Yes, dongles, because you really can beam one PC to multiple screens, thus beating Miracast. We also played a game on one of the laptops, and the response time on the remote display was surprisingly good.





Samsung 105-inch Curved UHD 4K TV

Today Samsung announced the availability of its biggest curved screen TV ever. First shown at the 2014 CES, the 105-inch UN105S9W UHD 4K TV sells for $119,999.99 . Unlike Samsung’s other curved models which incorporate the HDTV and UHDTV standard 1.78:1 aspect ratio, this one uses an ultra wide panel with 2.37:1 aspect ratio. More details after the break.

The UN105S9W can be ordered this week at It joins the other S9 flat UHD 4K models which are available in 85- and 110-Inch screens. The UN105S9W is a full array LED backlit LCD with local dimming using Samsung’s propriety UHD dimming and Precision Black technology.

Due to its wider aspect ratio the native screen resolution is 5120 x 2160 making the UN105S9W the highest resolution TV (with over 11 million pixels) available.

The UN105S9W comes with the floor stand, however the LCD panel can be detached and mounted to a specialty wall mount (price and model number TBA).

Each 105inch TV will be made to order.


hdmi optical cable

Have seen remarks here that “all optical cables sound alike” because “they all transmit 0′s and 1′s,” etc. That’s true, but it’s also true that coax transmits the same 0′s and 1′s. Coax cables sound different, and so do opticals. It’s not digits, folks, it’s the materials used, echoes, resonance, impedance matching, clock timing/jitter, etc., etc. These AR’s do have a cleaner, clearer, more detailed sound than their more expensive Monster Lightspeed counterparts (which are generally awful). Considering the price, this AR cable is quite good; a clean high end, nice midrange, very decent soundstage in width and depth. There are rave reviews here for these AR’s – I can’t justify a 4 or 5 rating here.

 On high end equipment, they sound clean but too lean, the very low end being detailed and tight but not as ‘there’ as the rest of the spectrum. A (very) mild hardness in the upper midrange, especially on female voices. The lead-in of instrumental attack is a little sloppy (piano, drums, guitar, etc.), often making some piano keys sound as if they need to be screwed down tighter or something. On lesser audio systems (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) the AR’s did acquit themselves quite well. Give them a 4 in cheapo systems, but with mid-fi or higher their faults become amplified. Still, at $35 they present a good, well-focused soundstage and sounded mighty nice on my older (cheapo) system, which typically had bloated bass and wiry highs that this cable handled well. For high-end gear, unfortunately, they won’t do. I have to add points to the AR’s overall rating, however, because of their very good DVD picture playback. In that respect, the AR’s were far superior in DVD playback to the over-priced junk being sold by Monster nowadays. On my audio system I have better, pricier cables, but these AR’s have found a permanent home on my Toshiba DVD video player.


Cablesson Kaiser optical cable – with ultra flexible pvc jacket

The NEW Kaiser 1 Metre/1m Optical Cable is a multi-mode (Multi core) cable and has a little bit bigger diameter, with a common diameters in the 50-to-100 micron range for the light carry component. This advantage allows the Kaiser Optical Cable to excel in providing very high details, sound-stage, imaging, transparency and focus. With a unique SR (Stress Relief), which offers less bending on the optical cable to allow the cable to excel with even lower signal loss.


A great solution for DTS® and Dolby® Digital surround sound, Blue Series Digital Optical Audio Cables use superior-grade optical fiber to deliver better clarity and a more natural sound from your digital audio video components. So if you’re serious about your home theatre system, you know the importance of using quality sound cables. With no distortion or signal interference, the Kaiser 1 Metre/1m Optical Cable gets the most out of your digital audio gear for rich, detailed sound, even at extreme volumes.


Intel promises quicker downloads and uploads by new fiber-optical cables

Envisioning a data traffic jam looming as consumers shuttle increasing amounts of information among their home PCs, television sets and other gadgets, Intel plans to introduce new technology in a few months that could keep everything racing along for years.

The Santa Clara chip-maker says the Light Peak system it is developing with other companies would connect home electronic equipment with fiber-optic cables, which initially could send data at 10 gigabits per second, speedy enough to transfer a full-length Blu-ray movie from one gadget to another in about 30 seconds.

That’s 20 times faster than is possible with the USB connectors ubiquitous on PCs today, and the company says a more advanced version of Light Peak that it eventually will offer would be able to transfer the same movie in just three seconds.

Moreover, Intel says the fiber-optic system will allow laptops and other electronic gear to be made thinner, while enabling consumers to hook up their gadgets at much greater distances and without cluttering their homes with the confusing array of cable types and sizes they are forced to use now.

“Our goal and expectation is that it’s the beginning of a new generation” of cable connections, said Jason Ziller, an Intel director working on the concept. He added that the advantages the technology offers will be something “everybody is going to want and need over the next 10 to 20 years.”

The impetus for Light Peak stems largely from the proliferation of electronic consumer products — from PCs, printers and scanners to smartphones, digital cameras and HDTVs. Because of the growing amount of video and other data being sent back and forth by these devices, the cables connecting them require faster and faster bandwidth. But Intel says today’s electrical cables are approaching speed limits due to electromagnetic interference, which can disrupt what’s being transmitted.

Because such interference often worsens as data is sent over longer distances, some cables now must be under 10 feet, which limits flexibility in hooking up gadgets. By contrast, fiber-optic cables are unhindered by electromagnetic interference, allowing those used in homes to be stretched more than 300 feet.

Fiber-optic cables and their connectors also can be made extremely thin. Intel says that would let companies make much skinnier laptops or other gizmos that currently can’t be reduced because of the size of their cable connectors.

A single Light Peak cable in some cases could do the job of several cables in use today, eliminating what has become a bewildering jumble of cable types, from USB and DVI to VGA and HDMI.

Intel also is developing wireless connections for home electronic devices. But that’s primarily for gadgets not requiring a lot of bandwidth, the company says. For devices needing to transfer a lot of data quickly, Intel says, wired connections make more sense.

Late this year, Intel plans to introduce a microchip to work specifically with Light Peak. It also has designed another key component, an optical module, which is being manufactured by other companies and which should be on the market this year. Still other companies would supply the fiber-optic cables.

But to generate significant business, Light Peak would have to be adopted by companies that make computers, printers and other gadgets, because those machines would have to be built to accommodate the fiber-optic connections. Ziller acknowledged that it could take several years for the concept to win widespread acceptance, but he said some devices incorporating Light Peak will be on the market next year.

He wouldn’t reveal what products might be sold or which manufacturers might be involved. However, two major consumer electronics firms — Sony and Nokia — have lent their enthusiastic support for Light Peak to an Intel brochure. And the blogosphere has been buzzing with rumors that Apple is interested, too, though Intel and Apple wouldn’t comment on that.

Ziller also was vague about how much the fiber-optic cables might cost, saying only that the price would exceed that for existing cables. That makes some analysts question how well Light Peak would sell, since they say most consumers might not need its blinding speed.

“10 gigabits per second is pretty fast,” said Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates. “Most people are happy with a few megabits. People can run a whole corporation on 10 gigabits.”

That may be true now, but home gadgets are sure to require increasing bandwidth in the future, said Martin Reynolds, managing vice president of the research firm Gartner. Also, if gadgets inside homes get linked with fiber-optic cable, he said, Internet service companies would be encouraged to link those homes to the Web via fiber, which would result in even quicker downloads and uploads.


Faster hookups for Digital Audio Cable, Coaxial Or Toslink?

Digital connections minimise cables and make wiring A/V sound simpler and easier. Instead of the two cables (for stereo) or even five cables (for surround) that would be needed for analogue audio connections there is just one cable, with no risk of getting channels swapped.

Choosing the Optical or Coaxial Digital Audio Interface
Many digital audio sources offer electrical and optical connections. An optical output cannot be directly connected to a coaxial (electrical) input or vice versa. The choice of which one to use is often made by what the audio destination accepts. If it takes only a coaxial electrical connection then coaxial is the only option, likewise if it only takes a Toslink optical input use an optical cable.

If an optical output has to drive an electrical input or vice versa, then optical/electrical and electrical/optical converter boxes are available, however they add complication to an A/V setup and need ther own mains power supply.

Do Optical or Electrical Connections Sound different?
Each type of connection can reliably transfer the digital data from source to receiver, so there is no good reason to expect a sonic difference. However, optical connections tend to have a lower bandwidth, which can smear data transitions, making it a little bit harder for the receiving device to recover the digital clock from the signal.

This can result in more digital clock jitter in the receiver, which can theoretically impair the accuracy of the output of a digital to analogue converter. Whether or not this has a sonic impact depends on the implementation of the receiving device. It shouldn’t make any difference to the sound, but some audiophiles assert that there are slight sonic differences between optical and electrical connections. Those who feel this is an issue will do their own listening tests – the cost of the cables is not great!


New Gateway EC14D01h Ultra-Portable CULV Notebook Packs Optical Drive

In the case of many portable computing systems currently available on the market, the optical drive (whether we’re talking about a DVD drive or a Blu-ray one) has become somewhat of a question of choice, and, in some cases (especially netbooks), it has been removed completely, for reasons related to the available space within the computer’s case.

However, some CULV notebooks tend to keep this arguably useful component around, and that applies to the latest release from Gateway, the new Gateway EC14D01h, an ultra-portable solution just outed on the Canadian market.

The fresh computing system packs, besides the aforementioned DVD unit, an 11.6-inch widescreen display (HD Widescreen Ultrabright LED-backlit TFT LCD, 1,366 x 768 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio), as well as an Intel Pentium ULV Processor SU4100 (1.3GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB), accompanied by a Mobile IntelGS45 Express Chipset and an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD.

Additionally, the notebook features 4096MB DDR2 Dual-Channel 667MHz memory upgradeable to 8GB, a 320GB 5,400RPM SATA hard drive, an integrated webcam, multi-in-one digital media card reader, Intel Wi-Fi Link 1000 802.11b/g/Draft-N module, plus a host of other connectivity options. Other features worth mentioning include the multi-gesture touchpad and the six-cell Li-Ion battery.

“Customers understand how convenient it is to have a notebook PC that is portable enough to take nearly anywhere to stay connected and have fun – and the new EC14D01h brings a new element of entertainment to customers with the ability to watch DVD movies, play games on CD and DVD and more,” said Chris Chiang, product manager for Gateway Canada. “The integrated DVD drive in such a compact device will be a huge benefit for customers who want the flexibility to enjoy and share different movies, music, photos and more stored on a DVD or CD.”

The Gateway EC14D01h will be available later this month at various retailers starting at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $579.99 (CAD).


Free Giveaway! show iCal events on desk top with iDeskCal

Developed by HashBang Industries, it is a $12.99 application that embeds your iCal calendars right on your Mac’s desktop. When you turn your computer on – bam! – there it is. It’s impossible to miss and doesn’t get in the way, which is exactly what forgetful neat-freaks like myself need. And if the screen is littered with open windows, just invoke Exposé with a simple keystroke to temporarily show the desktop. Events are listed by day with their times and are even color-coded to help identify which calendar they belong to. Pending To Do items are listed separately off to the side as well.

While iDeskCal is running, an icon is displayed in the menu bar (and/or the Dock if you choose to enable it). A number of options reside in this menu, including the ability to add events to iCal without ever opening the program itself. A semi-transparent window floats on top of the screen with all the fields required to create new events. Also accessible from iDeskCal’s menu bar icon is a To Do manager that lets users add, edit, and delete To Do tasks – again, without launching iCal.

One of the great things about iDeskCal is that it’s highly customizable. The developer doesn’t force a particular style or appearance on you – many visual choices are user-configurable. Going to Preferences in the menu bar drop-down displays a slew of choices for font, text size, text color, position on the screen, and background opacity. Since iDeskCal sits on top of the desktop wallpaper image, these settings will likely need to be changed to match your personal preference.

After spending some time with iDeskCal, I’m confident in saying that it has changed my daily life for the better. Being able to show iCal events on the desktop has already saved me from forgetting one birthday and will surely continue to do so as time goes on. If you’re a regular user of iCal who has a Mac running 10.5 or 10.6, I see no reason for you not to give iDeskCal’s 14-day free trial  a shot. The  convenience and productivity improvements it brings will surely convince you to put down $12.99 for a full license.


Intel predicts optical future for consumer gadgets with 10Gb/s Light Peak interface


Though it may not make it into everyone’s ‘top ten’ list of most desirable technological developments, replacing the spaghetti-junction of wires that typically gathers behind a desk or workspace would undoubtedly be a welcome advance. Wireless peripherals are helping the situation somewhat and wireless power will be a massive boon once perfected, but in the meantime we’re looking to technologies like optical cables to handle high-volume data transfer. Intel’s recent research in this area should be of particular interest, since it’s designed to replace or augment connections used in consumer-based electronics, such as USB2.0, HDMI, Firewire, DVI and the like.

Codenamed ‘Light Peak’, this high-speed optical cable is just 125 microns thick – or around that of a human hair – and will begin transferring data at 10Gb/s, though it is expandable to scale up to 100Gb/s over the next decade. Compare this to the recently certified USB3.0 and you’ll find the optical solution to be twice as fast, but speed isn’t the only benefit of the new technology.

Light Peak will also be capable of handling multiple protocols at once over a single cable, so running a digital camera, MP3 player, set of speakers and a display simultaneously should be perfectly possible. Being optical, it isn’t subject to electromagnetic interference so performs even at lengths up to 100m, and because it is being manufactured in volume, it will work out around 30 times cheaper than traditional Telecom optical modules.

Since modern consumer peripherals aren’t capable of actually writing data at equivalent speeds, Light Peak’s multi-protocol benefits are likely to be the most immediate for consumers, and the first step will be to facilitate its adoption into electronic devices to create a new technology standard.

Intel is currently working with optical device manufacturers to test and perfect the technology for the consumer market and plans to begin shipments in 2010, 50 years after the first laser was invented.




The HDMI-OCAT-IR HDMI over Ethernet Transceiver allows installers to use a pair of standard CAT 5/ 6 cables to carry HDMI, I.R. control, and Optical Digital Toslink Audio signals for simple and efficient installations.

Norcross, Ga. – Octava Inc., specialists in HDMI distribution equipment, announced the release of the next generation HDMI over CAT 5/6 Ethernet cable Extender, model HDMI-OCAT-IR.

This unique HDMI over CAT 5/6 Extender includes a set of HDMI Transmitter and a HDMI Receiver and allows transmission of HDMI , Infrared IR and Optical Digital Toslink Audio over 150ft over a pair of Ethernet cables. CAT 6 cable is recommended for 1080P and best performance.

The HDMI-OCAT-IR HDMI over Ethernet Transceiver allows installers to use a pair of standard CAT 5/ 6 cables to carry HDMI, I.R. control, and Optical Digital Toslink Audio signals for simple and efficient installations. Infrared Extension allows I.R. signals to be sent from viewing area to the equipment room. Optical Audio Toslink In/ Out port is provided to extend Optical Toslink Audio signal from Source to the Surround Sound Receiver.
Ethernet cables and connectors are easily field terminated thus allowing installers to easily install the proper length cable needed for ultimate flexibility and eliminate logistics problems of having custom length HDMI cables. This unique solution enables installers to have complete
A pair of Ethernet cables is required to carry the video / audio as well as HDCP data.
Active Drive and Compensation circuitry ensures error free video transmission for the ultimate HD experience. Typical connection lengths are:300 ft ( upto 50m), ( 1080i), 150ft (1080p). Both the receiver and transmitter include an external power supply to ensure best quality performance and do not require power from the HD source.
HDMI is the latest standard for distributing High Definition Digital Video and Audio in high def displays for 2 reasons: 1) uncompressed digital format ensures the best picture quality and 2) HDMI allows content providers to ensure that their intellectual property is protected through HDCP.

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