Onkyo DS-A5 AirPlay Dock | New Release

New Onkyo iPod/iPhone/iPad Dock with AirPlay

Onkyo recently released the new DS-A5 docking station allowing AirPlay functionality on all your legacy Onkyo A/V receivers and stereo amplifiers. Just select an audio or video file, touch the AirPlay icon, and the dock powers up your system and commences playback. Or, with a few clicks of the mouse, you can send music wirelessly from your computer’s iTunes library to the DS-A5 for playback over your hi-fi or home theatre.

Onkyo DS-A5 Rear

Superior sound quality is assured when using the digital audio output, which transports the signal directly to your Onkyo receiver’s audiophile-grade Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs). A composite video output enables movie and photo playback from iOS device on your TV, while an RI connection centralizes control of your system into one main remote. With the DS-A5, you can dock your iPod, iPhone, or iPad anytime for a recharge, or continue using it anywhere in the house while streaming your favorite music at the same time.

Connecting the iOS Family with Onkyo Systems

Linked to your Onkyo system, the DS-A5 allows you to play audio and video files from virtually all iPod, iPhone, and iPad models. Now you can enjoy your music through a high-fidelity sound system and share photos and videos on your living-room display.

Onkyo DS-A5 Ipad Dock

AirPlay Integrates Your Digital Life

AirPlay lets you connect your iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad to your compatible Onkyo product with no wires, cable, or clutter. As well as streaming audio from your portable iOS device over the home network, users can also play tracks from their PC or Mac-based iTunes library on their Onkyo sound system. AirPlay also enables automatic system start up and input selection.

DS-A5 Using Airplay

Added Control Through RI Functionality

The DS-A5 can also be connected through Onkyo’s proprietary RI (Remote Interactive) interface. This gives you access to a variety of useful functions, such as System On/Off, Auto Power On, Auto Selector (Direct Change), and Sleep Timer. To simplify things even further, the RI terminal also allows you to use your main Onkyo system remote to control the DS-A5 dock.

Compatible iPod/iPhone/iPad Models

  • iPod nano (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Generations)
  • iPod classic (80 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB)
  • iPod touch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Generations)
  • iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S
  • iPad, iPad (Wi-Fi + 3G), iPad 2 (Wi-Fi), iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G), New iPad
    Updating iPod/iPhone/iPad software is advised before using the DS-A5.
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Crestron CP3 Processor | Available October 2012

Crestron CP3 Processor | Available October 2012

Crestron have finally confirmed that the long awaited CP3 control processor will be released on the 1st of October 2012. This is an exiting period for Crestron customers and integrators because the Crestron® CP3 presents a new benchmark in control system technology. Featuring the Core 3 OS™ control engine, the CP3 forms the core of any modern networked home or commercial building, managing and integrating all the disparate technologies throughout your facility to make life easier, greener, more productive, and more enjoyable.

4ward-design will not be specifying the CP3 processor for new projects until January 2013. Our team of in-house Crestron programmers will first need put the unit through our quality and performance tests, before releasing it to our customers in the field.

Modular Programming Architecture

Designed for enhanced scalability, the CP3 affords high-speed, real-time multi-tasking to seamlessly run multiple programs simultaneously. This exclusive programming architecture lets programmers independently develop and run device-specific programs for AV, lighting, HVAC, security, etc., allowing for the optimisation of each program, and allowing changes to be made to one program without affecting the whole. Even as your system grows, processing resources can easily be shifted from one 3-Series™ processor to another without rewriting any code. The end benefit is dramatically simplified upgradability with minimal downtime, whether implementing changes on site or remotely via the network.

Robust Ethernet & IP Control

IP technology is the heart of Core 3, so it should be no surprise that its networking abilities are second to none. High-speed Ethernet connectivity enables integration with IP-controllable devices and allows the CP3 to be part of a larger managed control network. Whether residing on a sensitive corporate LAN, a home network, or accessing the Internet through a cable modem, the CP3 provides secure, reliable interconnectivity with IP-enabled touch screens, computers, mobile devices, video displays, Blu-ray Disc® players, media servers, security systems, lighting, HVAC, and other equipment — whether on premises or across the globe.

Cresnet®

Cresnet provides a dependable network wiring solution for Crestron keypads, lighting controls, thermostats, and other devices that don’t require the higher speed of Ethernet. The Cresnet bus offers easy wiring and configuration, carrying bidirectional communication and 24VDC power to each device over a simple 4-conductor cable. To assist with troubleshooting, the CP3 includes our patent-pending Network Analyzer which continuously monitors the integrity of the Cresnet network for wiring faults, marginal performance, and other errors.

BACnet®/IP

Native support for the BACnet/IP communication protocol provides a direct interface to third-party building management systems over Ethernet, simplifying integration with HVAC, security, fire & life safety, voice & data, lighting, shades, and other systems. Using BACnet/IP, each system runs independently with the ability to communicate together on one platform for a truly smart building.

BACnet/IP

Onboard Control Ports

In addition to Ethernet, the CP3 includes three bidirectional COM ports and eight IR ports to interface directly with all of your centralised AV sources, video displays, and other devices. Eight programmable relay ports are included for controlling window shades, projection screens, lifts, power controllers, and other contact-closure actuated equipment. Eight “Versiport” I/O ports enable the integration of occupancy sensors, power sensors, door switches, or anything else that provides a dry contact closure, low-voltage logic, or 0-10 Volt DC signal.

e-Control® Remote Access

Years ago, Crestron pioneered the world’s first IP-based control system unleashing vast new possibilities for controlling, monitoring, and managing integrated systems over a LAN, WAN, and the Internet. Today, our many e-Control solutions offer more ways than ever to control your world the way you want.

With e-Control, you can control anything in your home or office from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Built-in Core 3 UI™ XPanel technology affords virtual touch screen control through any popular Web browser running on a laptop or desktop computer. Our Crestron Mobile Pro®app delivers the Crestron touch screen experience to your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ device letting you safely monitor and control your entire facility using the one device that goes with you everywhere.

Remote access is simplified using the myCrestron Dynamic DNS service to establish a friendly URL for your home system. And should you ever need technical support, your Crestron system installer can even perform diagnostics and implement updates to the system remotely without coming on site.

Fusion RV™ and SNMP

As part of a complete managed network in a corporate enterprise, college campus, convention center or any other facility, the CP3 works integrally with Crestron Fusion RV Remote Asset Management Software to enable remote scheduling, monitoring, and control of rooms and technology from a central help desk. Built-in SNMP support enables integration with third-party network management software, allowing control and monitoring in a format that’s familiar to IT personnel.

The following Crestron processors will soon be added to the 3-Series list.

  • PRO3
  • AV3
  • CP3N

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First AV receivers with built-in home automation

Control4 and Sony have recently introduced the first AV receivers incorporating the Control4 automation features.

This is a step in the right direction from AV manufacturers partnering with home automation manufacturers to make every home users experience more simplified.  With technology playing an integral part in our everyday lives it must be simplified for the user to appreciate the real benefit.

The team at 4ward-design don’t specify the Sony AV range in South Africa because the after-sales support is not fantastic.  Sony outsource all their repairs to a 3rd party repair center, and those guys don’t care about the end user at the end of the day. Sony repairs have taken up to 6 months to come back to us, and that is unacceptable for the high quality service that we deliver to all our customers.

Besides the bad experience from Sony in South Africa it is still worth informing our customers that the new Sony ES receivers feature stunning 4K audio video quality, a rich selection of more than 30 streaming music and video services, and basic Control4 automation technology that easily adds lighting control to enhance the entertainment experience. Both receivers allow you to easily unleash the power of full Control4 automation and home control capability.

These are the two new AV receivers from Sony

Sony 5800

Designed for the high-end home theatre, the STR-5800ES is the Sony flagship 9.2-channel receiver with 130 watts per channel and 9/3 HDMI ports.

Sony 2800

The STR-2800ES is a 7.2-channel receiver with 100 watts per channel and 8/3 HDMI ports that gives consumers a universal remote alternative that provides an amazing AV experience.

Unlock the Power of Control4 Home Automation

Enjoy complete control in your home theatre, or your whole house by activating your full Control4 system.

Contact 4ward-design to find out how you can enjoy complete, personalised control over your lights, A/C and heating, security and door locks.

To get a taste of the kinds of things you can control with Control4, check out the Home Smart Home magazine.

The Future Of Technology In Higher Education Institutions

UNIGO, an online resource for college information in the USA, recently revealed that college students are more wired than ever before. According to findings, 98% of college students own a digital device with “a majority of undergraduates report owning more than 12 digital devices, including computers, laptops, printers, smart phones, webcams and digital cameras.”

While this data is not drawn from local soil, there is no reason to believe that these findings do not reflect, albeit in part, the statistics at tertiary institutions in South Africa.

We live in a time where immediate convenience is found at our fingertips. Conversations and developments happen on the double at the click of a button; and in a time where knowledge is more readily available than at any recorded time, educational facilities should not only take note – but embrace technological advancements aimed at achieving exactly this: convenience and extra time.

In education, time is a fundamental factor in achieving exceptional results through seamless execution and inevitably providing students with their fees worth. It occurs all too often that technology fails educators, wasting their prized time as well as that of their students. Technology is ever-cultivating and has transitioned teaching mediums from dreary chalk boards to expedient smart boards. It has also eliminated hours wasted on equipment set-up and repair by simply allowing an educator to walk into a personalised and automated lecture theatre.

Some higher Education institutions are waking to the fact that this is the future of learning and have opted to adopt these methods and technologies which ensure impeccable lectures and meetings, environmental sustainability and an efficient workforce. Tertiary institutions that have embraced this modern way of teaching are few and far between – and where archaic teaching methods reside, the student suffers.

The UNIGO study shows that students expect – and want – more technology on campus with “three out of four (who) don’t feel like their schools are using technology effectively enough”.

Campuses across South Africa should take note of this expressed need. It is that time of the year where tertiary institutions again begin their active campaign for a new group of undergraduates – a group of society which has been shown to be the more technologically advanced than any other previous generation. They are the i-Generation – and they demand effortless communication.

It is only natural to assume that tertiary institutions will opt to integrate technology into their classrooms as the latest systems are geared to saving students, facility managers and lecturers a considerable amount of time.

In addition, the advancement of technology also calls for the preservation of the environment. Efficient energy consumption is pivotal and a fundamental concern amongst the youth; tertiary institutions cannot preach sustainability and not put the practice to action.

Due to their excessive energy consumption and associated soaring costs, reducing the carbon footprint and saving energy should not be additional – but critical objectives – set by educational institutions.

It seems like a big ask, but the reality is that the integration of time, convenience and environmental integrity is as easy as installing an AV system which effectively meets these three needs. This technology is now readily available in South Africa – and, in the instance of Stellenbosch University – indications are that students are already reaping the rewards from the university’s forward thinking.

In South Africa education is a right. Shouldn’t students be allowed the best?

DStv Announces Channel Number Changes

DStv Announces Channel Number Changes

Why are they changing the channel numbers?

DStv are moving their services to a new satellite, which will give them more space to offer DStv subscribers more channels and services in future. To do that, they need to move some channels around to make space for these future channels and services.
Whilst it may take some getting used to, DStv believes that the new channel numbering will make for an overall better navigation and viewing experience.

DStv Channel Changes October 2012

When is the change happening?

Early the morning of Monday, 1 October 2012 – most of the new channels will come into effect at 6am. The new M-Net Movie channels will launch from 10:30 on Monday, 1 October 2012.

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Crestron & Control4

Will you miss any of your shows when DStv change the channel numbers?

The changes will happen automatically and shouldn’t interrupt your viewing.

Do DStv customers need to do anything to get the new channel numbers and the new channels?

The changes will happen automatically in the early morning hours of Monday, 1 October. DStv customers are advised to access the information about their specific decoder on DStv.com or press OK on their DStv remote to see if any action is required on their part.
Customers who live in a complex or flat where they don’t have their own dish, will have to request their body corporate to upgrade their system before 1 October 2012. These customers can SMS their email address to DStv at 32444.

When will the TV Guides be updated?

The October Dish Magazine will reflect the updated channel numbers.
The online and mobile TV Guides will update within hours of the change on 1 October.
The TV Guides on the decoders will be updated within hours of the change on 1 October.

How will this affect our Crestron and Control4 customers?

All your current presets on your touch panels will need to change.  This is not automatically done and will require a programmer from 4ward-design to implement these changes.  We urge you to book a programmer now to implement these changes from the 1st week of October onwards.  The changes will be on a first come first serve basis and at a cost to each customer.  Email your request to support@4ward-design.com to book your slot now.

Now that the SD and HD channels sit on the same channel number (except for SuperSport channels), what’s the difference between the SD version of a channel and the HD version of the same channel?

The SD and HD channels which sit on the same channel number have exactly the same content. The only difference is the broadcast quality of the channel. The content including the soundtrack, the programme schedules and aspect ratio of the broadcasts will be identical.

MNET Movies HD

M-Net Movie Channels

M-Net Movies Premiere
The crème-de-la-crème of big budget, hit movies await on the M-Net Movies Premiere channel. This is where Hollywood royalty lives and where you can find the freshest movies appearing on TV for the first time. Movies will be screened first on this channel before moving to the relevant themed channel.

M-Net Movies Comedy
Relax, put your feet up and prepare to laugh till it hurts. Whether you like your comedies tinged with romance, drama, slapstick humour or a little on the naughty side, the comedy channel will leave you in stitches.

M-Net Movies Family
Wholesome entertainment for all ages awaits with the family channel. A fun and enjoyable lineup featuring animation, musicals, fantasy and feel-good family movies will keep both kids and the young at heart engrossed all day.

M-Net Movies Action+
Escape on an adventure, discover what lies in the far reaches of Space, fight the bad guys and save the world. M-Net Movies Action+ will take you there with a host of blockbuster movies from Action to Westerns, Horror and Sci-Fi.

M-Net Movies Drama & Romance
Get swept away by an enchanting love story, or lost in a heart wrenching drama. The drama and romance channel features a variety of new and entertaining content including biographies, thrillers, documentaries and war movies.

M-Net Movies Showcase
Revisit your most magical movie moments and discover new ones with the Showcase channel. M-Net Movies shines the spotlight on specific movies and directors with exciting festivals, themes and box sets. Plus you get to take control with viewers’ choices.

What about the other M-Net movie channels that are already on DStv?
MM1 and MM2 are changing into themed channels – MM1 is changing to M-Net Movies Premiere and MM2 is changing into M-Net Movies Drama & Romance.

M-Net Action
Do high speed car chases, massive explosions, hot woman, ripped action stars and giant bloodthirsty mutant animals make your world go round? With the M-Net Movies Action channel you’ll find everything to keep you glued to your lazy boy.

M-Net Stars
Your best loved actors and movies shine brightly on M-Net Movies Stars. Featuring cult classics and movie favourites from past and present across a variety of genres from comedy to drama and romance, it’s the channel for young and old alike.

How will movies be screened across these channels?
A new blockbuster movie will be screened on M Premiere first and will then move to the appropriate themed channel. Some new niche movies will also be screened first on some themed channels.
The movies on M-Net Movies follow a cascading pattern of broadcast. This means that there are two movies starting every half hour.  M Premiere and M Movies Drama & Romance have a movie each at 18:30, M Comedy and M Showcase have a movie each at 19:00, M Family and M Action have a movie each at 19:30.

How do the movies on M-Net Movies Premiere work?
Every Friday, there are four new first-to-television movies from 18:30 until 00:30 with the biggest movie of the week on Fridays at 20:30.
In addition to this, the M-Net Sunday night blockbuster movie will still be screened at 20:00 on M-Net. This movie will also be broadcast at 20:30 that same evening on M Premiere.

Soundtracks

What kind of soundtracks will be available on the movie channels?
The family and original soundtrack will always be available. When available for a particular movie, the surround sound option will be included. Please take note of the slide at the start of each movie and also on the EPG itself.

Dolby Digital 5.1

Will Dolby 5.1 be available on all HD channels?
Where the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is made available by the studios it will be played out. In all other cases, HD channels will carry Dolby 2. Please take note of the EPG on the specific programme or movie.

What about Hearing Impaired subtitles on the new M-Net movie channels – both HD and SD?
Where it is available, the HI subtitles will be played out. There will be a slide at the start of each movie, as well as an indication on the EPG.
M-Net has undertaken to provide all new content with HI subtitles.
We are working with all channels on the DStv platform to provide HI subtitles for our hearing impaired subscribers on all channels. Unfortunately HI subtitles are not readily available on all content, especially older content.