Smart TVs!

It’s official – they ain’t that smart! (Apologies to my English teacher) I get asked a lot for advice on this one area – is it worth getting a Smart TV – so I am going to go out on a limb and say that generally no it is not necessary. What many people are doing is buying other “Smart” appliances and connecting them to their TV. This allows them to upgrade their smart appliances (which are quite cheap) as technology advances rather than upgrade the TV.

By Smart Appliances I mean as examples – the Apple TV box which is $109 and does everything a Smart TV does plus with easy access to iTunes, or Panasonic DVR which surfs the net, connects to You tube and shares files over your network or WD Live which also does internet TV, or Yamaha amps which include internet radio and file sharing.

So my answer is based on what is most economical. If you have a Smart TV or buy a Smart TV it has some features built in but you can also plug in later “Smarter” appliances.
The way technology is going there will be newer smarter devices coming out every month – you just have to decide when it suits you to upgrade.

Also you do need to check what connections your TV or new TV have on the back and how many. To keep the costs down the manufacturers are deleting extra plugs and connections – some new TVs have only two input! So make sure you check this before buying.

 DNLA (Digital Living Network Alliance):

I have listed below some info from Wikapedia and decrypting of the acronyms for DLNA but all you really need to know is that if all your devices have this certification (it will be on the box somewhere prominent) then all your equipment will talk to each other. Yes they have to be connected to your home network because they are in fact each being a computer and they have to use the network to share. You can run data cables to each device or you connect them wirelessly. Some have wireless transmitters and receivers built inside them and some require a wireless dongle to be plugged in to them. Some of the earliest versions only had a data cable connection but these are rare now.

The most common usage example would be – you have your TV on and you go to the network section using the TV remote – there you will find a list of  all the devices in your house that are connected to the network. You pick the one you want – lets say your PC - and then you get a list of folders appear of music, photos and videos. You choose the video folder then go through the list to a movie you have on your computer that you want to watch, you select it and then play. It then plays on your TV just like you were playing a DVD.

DLNA history and acronyms decoded

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is a non-profit collaborative trade organization established by Sony in June 2003, that is responsible for defining interoperability guidelines to enable sharing of digital media between consumer devices such as computers, printers, cameras, cell phones, and other multimedia devices. These guidelines are built upon existing public standards, but the guidelines themselves are private (available for a fee). These guidelines specify a set of restricted ways of using the standards in order to achieve interoperability.

DLNA uses Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for media management, discovery and control. UPnP defines the types of device that DLNA supports ("server", "renderer", "controller") and the mechanisms for accessing media over a network. The DLNA guidelines then apply a layer of restrictions over the types of media file format, encodings and resolutions that a device must support.

Alliance members have stated the common goal of using standards-based technology to make it easier for consumers to use and share their digital photos, music and videos. As of January 2011, over 9,000 different devices have obtained "DLNA Certified" status, indicated by a logo on their packaging and confirming their interoperability with other devices. It is estimated that more than 440 million DLNA-certified devices, from digital cameras to games consoles and TVs, have been installed in users' homes.

Specification

The DLNA Certified Device Classes are separated as follows:

Home Network Devices:

  • Digital Media Server (DMS): These devices store content and make it available to networked digital media players (DMP) and digital media renderers (DMR). Examples include PCs and network-attached storage (NAS) devices.
  • Digital Media Player (DMP): These devices find content on digital media servers (DMS) and provide playback and rendering capabilities. Examples include TVs, stereos and home theaters, wireless monitors and game consoles.
  • Digital Media Renderer (DMR): These devices play content received from a digital media controller (DMC), which will find content from a digital media server (DMS). Examples include TVs, audio/video receivers, video displays and remote speakers for music.
    • Note: it is possible for a single device (e.g. TV, A/V receiver, etc) to function both as a DMR (receives "pushed" content from DMS) and DMP ("pulls" content from DMS)
  • Digital Media Controller (DMC): These devices find content on digital media servers (DMS) and play it on digital media renderers (DMR). Examples include Internet tablets, Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
  • Digital Media Printer (DMPr): These devices provide printing services to the DLNA home network. Generally, digital media players (DMP) and digital media controllers (DMC) with print capability can print to DMPr. Examples include networked photo printers and networked all-in-one printers

Mobile Handheld Devices

  • Mobile Digital Media Server (M-DMS): These wireless devices store content and make it available to wired/wireless networked mobile digital media players (M-DMP), digital media renderers (DMR) and digital media printers (DMPr). Examples include mobile phones and portable music players.
  • Mobile Digital Media Player (M-DMP): These wireless devices find and play content on a digital media server (DMS) or mobile digital media server (M-DMS). Examples include mobile phones and mobile media tablets designed for viewing multimedia content.
  • Mobile Digital Media Uploader (M-DMU): These wireless devices send (upload) content to a digital media server (DMS) or mobile digital media server (M-DMS). Examples include digital cameras and mobile phones.
  • Mobile Digital Media Downloader (M-DMD): These wireless devices find and store (download) content from a digital media server (DMS) or mobile digital media server (M-DMS). Examples include portable music players and mobile phones.
  • Mobile Digital Media Controller (M-DMC): These wireless devices find content on a digital media server (DMS) or mobile digital media server (M-DMS) and send it to digital media renderers (DMR). Examples include personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones.

Home Infrastructure Devices

  • Mobile Network Connectivity Function (M-NCF): These devices provide a bridge between mobile handheld device network connectivity and home network connectivity.
  • Media Interoperability Unit (MIU): These devices provide content transformation between required media formats for home network and mobile handheld devices.

The specification uses DTCP-IP as "link protection" for copyright-protected commercial content between one device to another.

Distributing Blu-Ray and Mystar throughout your house:

Because Blu-Ray and Mystar are High Definition and because all new TVs are High Definition you will find that if you want to distribute this around your home you need to do it in High Definition – otherwise you do really notice the lack of picture quality. Some of the current systems are not High Definition and even those that are, including distributing by HDMI still require you to switch the TV from TV viewing to an AV input and back which is cumbersome.

The solution is to distribute the Blu-Ray and Mystar using a new High Definition Modulator.

What this device does is take 2 High Definition sources and changes them into 2 local High Definition digital channels. Your digital TV can then be tuned in to these as simple scanning in the TV channels again. You can choose what number and for example, because ch4 digital is not used for other things then it is simple to make the Blu-Ray channel 40 and Mystar channel 41.

The Modulator has an infra red remote control extender system built in and we simply put a sensor at any TV you want to have control.

The Blu-Ray and Mystar come up as just another Digital TV station so you don’t have to change between AV inputs and TV. Of course you still need the Blu-Ray or Mystar remote to control each one.

This is a very clever solution and the price of a basic kit installed is around $3500 including 3 sensors.

This also has great application for pubs and clubs and you can have as many TV’s on it as you like at no extra cost

RL-HD1000 - Coming Soon!!

RL-HD1000

Resi-Linx Digi-MOD HD DVB-T Digital RF Modulation System will allow you to distribute any HD device (Foxtel HD, Blu-Ray etc)around the home or business with ease.

 

Wireless Technology  -  RL-BR100:

RL-BR100

*In-Ceiling Amplifier

*50W RMS Amp per channel

*Single or Multiple zones

*Up to 25M Bluetooth Range

*Personalised Labeling (via PC)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What occurs is that the amplifier can be located anywhere, for example in the ceiling and then speaker wires run from it to 2 speakers – normally in ceiling speakers or deck speakers, but any speakers will work with it.  It comes with a power transformer and can be run using DC voltage.

Once installed all you need is a smart phone or laptop with bluetooth and you can connect to it and play your music. Nothing more to it.

You can adjust the volume using your phone or laptop. It also comes with a remote to turn it on and off and set master volume, bass and treble.  You can even link it to more amps and it can have different zones.  Very clever and very easy to use and almost no wires!