Category Archives: 3414

VidaBox Unveils new Products at CES 2009

VidaBox Releases New
vPad8, an Enhanced Ultra-Mobile Tablet Designed for Automation

VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and
control solutions, is proud to present the vPad8™, a thin and light
ultra-mobile tablet PC.  Running on
Windows XP embedded, it features a full-color touch screen with 800×600
resolution and comes standard with WiFi connectivity, making it an ideal
control interface device.

“We’re excited to release the new vPad8™ panel,”
exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox. “This is a smaller, less
bulky version of our original vPad10™. 
We’ve also added some improvements like a brighter screen for easier
legibility in direct light, and optional protective rubber bumpers, making it
extremely durable.”

Read
Full Press Release

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New VidaBox Touch3.6
Touch Pad Provides Truly Customizable Controls

VidaBox, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and control
solutions, is proud to debut the Touch3.6™, a full-color touchpad capable of
presenting an interactive, fully-customizable interface.  This 320×234 resolution screen will allow
control of any device via RS-232, TCP/IP, IR, and other control protocols
through the vAutomation™ platform.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to offer our dealers the new
Touch3.6 panel,” exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC.
“Integrators can finally install a double-gang sized panel to control
anything in the house – lighting, security, climate, shades, whole house AV, and
more.  This is all possible because of
vAutomation’s support for customizable interfaces.”

Read
Full Press Release

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VidaBox Now Offers
Pre-packaged Whole House Audio Solutions with Multi-room Distribution Systems

VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and
control solutions, is proud to offer complete whole house audio packages.  Based on the VidaBox line of multiroom audio
servers, these packages include NuVo® multiroom distribution and amplification
equipment.

“These new packages are a natural progression of
delivering new features and better value for our dealer base,” states
Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC. “Most of our integrators are
already using NuVo® and Russound® in their multiroom audio installs.  However, many of them shy away from adding a
VidaBox audio server into the mix because of the learning curve, even if it
means having new features like internet radio, sleep/wake functions, or whole
house audio control from a single TouchClient™ or vPad™ touch panel.  By marrying the two as a complete solution,
dealers can get a single package that eliminates setup and installation
headaches, since VidaBox takes care of all of the configuration work at the
factory.”

Read
Full Press Release

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VidaBox Releases new
TouchClient8 In-wall PC Touch Panel

VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and
control solutions, is excited to announce the availability of the
TouchClient8™, a full-color, 8.4″ in-wall touch panel with an XP embedded
computer.

“From the first day of offering the TouchClient12™, we
kept getting asked, ‘Do you have a smaller version?'” says Steven Cheung, President
of VidaBox LLC. “As always, we listen intently to our integrators, and
created this new, smaller version called TouchClient8™.  It has the same great features &
connectivity options of the original design without any sacrifices, just with a
smaller, 800×600 native resolution touch screen.”

Like its larger cousin, the TouchClient8™ runs on XP
embedded, and has stereo speakers, dual USB, dual Ethernet, and dual RS-232
ports – allowing the possibility of local automation directly from the
TouchClient8™.  It only requires a 12V
power source & a network connection, or a WiFi network using its built-in
802.11b/g wireless card.  There are no
moving parts like fans or hard drives, allowing every TouchClient8™ to enjoy
long life and high-reliability.

Read
Full Press Release

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VidaBox Releases new TouchClient8 In-wall PC Touch Panel‏

Las Vegas, NV – CES 2009 – January 9-11 – Hilton Suite
H22-121
– VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of digital entertainment and control
solutions, is excited to announce the availability of the TouchClient8™, a
full-color, 8.4″ in-wall touch panel with an XP embedded computer.

“From the first day of offering the TouchClient12™, we
kept getting asked, ‘Do you have a smaller version?'” says Steven Cheung,
President of VidaBox LLC. “As always, we listen intently to our
integrators, and created this new, smaller version called TouchClient8™.  It has the same great features &
connectivity options of the original design without any sacrifices, just with a
smaller, 800×600 native resolution touch screen.”

Like its larger cousin, the TouchClient8™ runs on XP
embedded, and has stereo speakers, dual USB, dual Ethernet, and dual RS-232
ports – allowing the possibility of local automation directly from the
TouchClient8™.  It only requires a 12V
power source & a network connection, or a WiFi network using its built-in
802.11b/g wireless card.  There are no
moving parts like fans or hard drives, allowing every TouchClient8™ to enjoy long
life and high-reliability.

“Installing the TouchClient8™ is quite simple,”
continues Cheung, “Every TouchClient8™ comes with its own pre-assembled
rough-in box that installs into the wall. 
From here, the screen assembly mounts in magnetically, allowing complete
installations to take minutes, not hours.”

Another feature carried over from the original design is
write-protection of the entire operating system.  When enabled, the solid state drive on the
TouchClient becomes impervious to viruses, spyware, and other malware.  Any program installed is automatically wiped
upon a restart.  Protection can be
disabled by an installer looking to add additional software or tweak the
panel’s configuration. Once complete, it can be re-enabled for full protection.

The TouchClient8™ in-wall panels are available now.  For more details and specifications on the
entire touch panel line from VidaBox™ and other digital entertainment and
control solutions, please visit the company website at http://www.vidabox.com, or see them at
International CES in the North Tower Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com or call 1-516-730-7500.

VidaBox Now Offers Pre-packaged Whole House Audio Solutions with Multi-room Distribution Systems‏

VidaBox now offers
pre-packaged whole house audio solutions complete with multi-room distribution
systems

Las Vegas, NV – CES
2009 – January 9-11 – Hilton Suite H22-121
– VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of
digital entertainment and control solutions, is proud to offer complete whole
house audio packages.  Based on the
VidaBox line of multiroom audio servers, these packages include NuVo® multiroom
distribution and amplification equipment.

“These new packages are a natural progression of
delivering new features and better value for our dealer base,” states
Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC. “Most of our integrators are
already using NuVo® and Russound® in their multiroom audio installs.  However, many of them shy away from adding a
VidaBox audio server into the mix because of the learning curve, even if it
means having new features like internet radio, sleep/wake functions, or whole
house audio control from a single TouchClient™ or vPad™ touch panel.  By marrying the two as a complete solution,
dealers can get a single package that eliminates setup and installation
headaches, since VidaBox takes care of all of the configuration work at the
factory.”

A typical package consists of a pre-configured RoomClient™
or SLIM™ VidaBox audio server, and a NuVo® Grand Concerto® with six
keypads.  Options for touch panel
controls, additional keypads, dual AM/FM/XM tuners, or using an Essentia® or
Simplese® in place of the Concerto® are available as well.  Working with an integrator, VidaBox can
custom design a complete audio package based on the number of sources, zones,
and the type of controls desired.

“By ordering everything from VidaBox,” continues
Cheung, “dealers enjoy a significant savings in time and effort, leading
to higher profit.  To make things even
easier, we’ll also configure, group, and add in the names of zones
appropriately, as requested by the dealer. 
With the entire configuration and proper pre-wire done ahead of time,
everything from the first touch panel to the last keypad is ready to go –
out-of-the-box.  Complete installations
with a VidaBox solution take a fraction of the time, plus all of the added
features and benefits not available elsewhere.”

Complete VidaBox audio packages are available now.  For more details and specifications on their
audio server solutions and other digital entertainment and control solutions,
please visit the company website at http://www.vidabox.com,
or see them at International CES in the North Tower Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com or call 1-516-730-7500.

New VidaBox Touch3.6 Touch Pad Provides Truly Customizable Controls

New VidaBox Touch3.6™
touch pad provides truly customizable controls in a full color double-gang
sized touch screen

Las Vegas, NV – CES
2009 – January 8-11 – Hilton Suite H22-121 –
VidaBox, a manufacturer of
digital entertainment and control solutions, is proud to debut the Touch3.6™, a
full-color touchpad capable of presenting an interactive, fully-customizable
interface.  This 320×234 resolution
screen will allow control of any device via RS-232, TCP/IP, IR, and other
control protocols through the vAutomation™ platform.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to offer our dealers the new
Touch3.6 panel,” exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox LLC.
“Integrators can finally install a double-gang sized panel to control
anything in the house – lighting, security, climate, shades, whole house AV,
and more.  This is all possible because
of vAutomation’s support for customizable interfaces.”

Unlike traditional setups where there is one keypad for
lights, one for music, and another for climate control, integrators can install
a single control to replace them all. 
Only a single CAT cable & power-over-Ethernet is needed for connectivity,
making it extremely easy to install.  A
vController™, as the brains of the vAutomation platform, processes user
selections on each Touch3.6™ and changes its interface to present new options
and information.  For example, when
lighting is selected, on/off switches, dimmer controls, and current status for
that zone immediately pop up.  On the
same interface, clicking on ‘music’ will present album art of the song
currently playing, along with playback controls.

“Many customers enjoy the simplicity of having smaller,
neater controls that the Touch3.6™ offers,” continues Cheung.  “Combined with the interface
customization and control capabilities of vAutomation, ease of installation
into new or retrofit projects, and relative low cost, the Touch3.6™ becomes the
smart choice for in-room controls in any whole house AV and integration
project.

The Touch3.6™ will be available in February to dealers who
have attended and completed vAutomation training.  For more details and specifications on the
Touch3.6™ and other VidaBox digital entertainment and control solutions, please
visit the company website at http://www.vidabox.com,
or see them at International CES in the North Tower Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com or call 1-516-730-7500.

VidaBox Releases New vPad8, an Enhanced Ultra-Mobile Tablet Designed for Automation

VidaBox releases new
vPad8™, an enhanced ultra-mobile tablet designed for automation &
customizable controls

Las Vegas, NV – CES
2009 – January 8-11 – Hilton Suite H22-121 –
VidaBox LLC, a manufacturer of
digital entertainment and control solutions, is proud to present the vPad8™, a
thin and light ultra-mobile tablet PC. 
Running on Windows XP embedded, it features a full-color touch screen with
800×600 resolution and comes standard with WiFi connectivity, making it an ideal
control interface device.

“We’re excited to release the new vPad8™ panel,”
exclaims Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox. “This is a smaller, less
bulky version of our original vPad10™. 
We’ve also added some improvements like a brighter screen for easier
legibility in direct light, and optional protective rubber bumpers, making it
extremely durable.”

vPad8™ still keeps many of its larger cousin’s features,
such as built-in 802.11b/g for wireless connectivity, a docking station that
doubles as a charging cradle, and solid state storage w. fanless operation,
providing long life and reliable performance. 
Running on XP embedded, integrators can install a myriad of automation
& control programs, such as CQC, which allows the vPad8™ to be used a
control interface.

“When combined with CQC & vAutomation, the vPad8™
becomes a great choice for mobile controls,” continues Cheung.  “The panel presents a customized
interface, allowing any user to tap buttons to control lights, monitor
security, change climate settings, choose AV sources, turn devices on or off in
each room – from any location.  CQC
processes the user’s selections, and sends out the appropriate commands via
RS-232, TCP/IP, IR, and other control protocols, making the vPad8™ an ultra
powerful, all-in-one remote.  The end
user control experience doesn’t get easier with this level of seamless
integration.”

The vPad8™ is available now. 
For more details and specifications on the vPad8™ and other VidaBox
digital entertainment and control solutions, please visit the company website
at http://www.vidabox.com, or see them at
International CES in Hilton Suite H22-121!

About VidaBox LLC

VidaBox LLC is a digital entertainment and controls
solutions company focused on manufacturing premium media centers, integrated
home control & automation solutions. 
VidaBox is on a mission to create user-friendly, stable high-performance
Media Center systems that work right out of the box and integrate seamlessly
with multizone audio and smart home technologies.  For more information, visit www.vidabox.com  or call 1-516-730-7500.

Short Bits: SideShow Remote, Big Screen Savings, Video Testimonial Program, More

Ricavision is officially dead now, but Phillips
is sort-of taking their place with the SRM7500 SideShow Remote

Hardly the eye candy that the Ricavision was, but at least it is shipping with
a much lower price tag.  Clear downside here is the screen which will
limit functionality.

The Holidays are here and that means deals for you on Media
Center plug-ins.  Up
until January 15 you can save up to 40% off on Big Screen applications.
 

Speaking of deals, how about getting a free DV cam? 
Microsoft has launched their Media Center
Consumer Video Testimonial Program at The Green Button
(you need to be logged into your TGB account to see this).  Microsoft
will send you a $140 Flip Camera (not sure about model, but my guess is this one)
for you to make a quick 2 minute video about your life using Media
Center.  You send them the video on CD/DVD along with the camera back, and
they send you a brand new Flip Camera for you to keep!

NCTA says there are officially 374,000 CableCARDs deployed
in third party devices (eg. TiVo, Media Center, HDTVs, etc).  You can
compare that to the 9.76 million CableCARDs deployed in the boxes leased by
Cable Providers.

Review: Vidabox Premium Wireless Keyboard with Laser Trackball

Just
about a year ago I reviewed Vidabox’s Premium Wireless Keyboard with Optical
Trackball
and came to a pretty simple conclusion; great inexpensive
wireless keyboard that didn’t have a Green Button for Media Center use.  The fact that it didn’t include a Green
Button came as a downer to me as it is the central way to navigate the Media
Center experience. The lack of a Green Button has been on Vidabox’s radar and
they recently released
a newer model using a laser trackball
.

The Vidabox Premium Wireless HTPC Media Center Keyboard with
Laser Trackball includes a 2000dpi laser trackball, a Green Button hotkey at
the top of the keyboard, improved battery life (6+ months), and redesigned
internals to help with better reception via RF. 
Throughout my testing I found that the quoted 30-foot wireless range
held up pretty well without any major drops that can become frustrating.

Back when I reviewed the optical version my big complaints
where the lack of a Green Button and a trackball that moved with the slightest
touch (kills batteries over the long haul and puts a mouse pointer on your
screen).  Both of these issues have been
fixed with the laser trackball version and it is still a solid keyboard that I
would recommend highly.

Buy
here

Included in the box:

Premium Wireless Keyboard with Optical Trackball

Three AA batteries

USB Receiver

Pros:

Inexpensive ($69.99)

Designed for your lap

Laser Trackball/Mouse works very well

Cons:

Control takes getting use to

Photos (Click for
larger view)


Microsoft Releases Media Center SideShow Gadgets

Microsoft has officially
released their Media Center SideShow Gadgets
for public download.  The Gadgets, previously
in beta
, allow you to use a SideShow device to browse the EPG, schedule
recordings, start playback of content (TV, music, videos, pictures) and more.

I’ve yet to test it, but the only thing Microsoft didn’t specifically
mention was Extender support which I hope is still present.  Of course, testing the Gadgets is pretty hard
to do given the lack of SideShow devices. 
Ricavision had promise, until
they went out of business
(website
is now dead
).  Other than that, the
built-in SideShow display on the Dell XPS 420 and then Windows Mobile are
pretty much the only options.

One day SideShow will actually be worth the wait.

Update: Ricavision Misses SideShow Remote Ship Date, Again

It
sure has been a long wait to get a SideShow enabled remote control.  The
once cool feature of Windows Vista was going to allow inexpensive devices with
external displays to grab content from the PC and control it remotely. 
This technology still has a lot of potential, but considering we are just a few
weeks away from at least a pre-beta of Windows 7, it looks like SideShow for
Vista has basically been a flop.

This
is especially
evident with Ricavision’s SideShow remote
which still hasn’t shipped even
after a nearly two year delay.  They have just missing their Summer 2008
ship date that was just way at the first of the year.  I’m hoping at this
point Ricavision is waiting
for Microsoft to finish their Media Center SideShow Gadgets
, but it sure
would be nice to get some good two-way SideShow devices on the market.

Update: CE Pro is reporting that Ricavision
is now out of business.

Media Center SideShow Gadgets RC Gets Extender Support

Early
this year it was confirmed
that the Media Center SideShow gadgets would
support control of Extenders.  However
when the first
public beta for the gadgets came out
Extender support was missing (along
with good SideShow devices).  We still
really don’t have any good SideShow devices, but Extender
support has been made official
(hat tip Stuart)
for the first time in the Media
Center Gadgets for SideShow Release Candidate (RC)
.

The lack of true Media Center Gadgets is likely the reason
Ricavision has slipped shipping their SideShow remote.  Summer
2008 has been noted as their intended release date
for months, so it looks
like whenever Microsoft finishes the Gadgets then Ricavision will ship.