Pro AV Today

Curated by Cynthia Wisehart,

Pro AV Today pulls in stories from across the Internet that are important or interesting to our market. If you want to receive Pro AV Today in your inbox, subscribe to the

To the audiophile, this $10,000 Ethernet cable apparently makes sense

By Lee Hutchinson, ArsTechnica

Pity the audiophile. The term should be an aural counterpart to "cinephile"—as that word means a person who greatly appreciates movies, so "audiophile" should refer to a person who pursues a pure music listening experience. "Audiophile" should properly refer to someone who appreciates listening to music as it was recorded and who isn’t afraid of paying extra for high-quality equipment to chase after a "live" sound. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. "Audiophile" has become synonymous with "person who spends hundreds of dollars on magic rocks.” MORE@ArsTechnica

Why This Matters:

The AudioQuest Diamond RJ/E Ethernet cable is 12 meters of pure silver, with industrial-style RJ-45 connectors; the cable’s product page is, as Hutchinson reports, “packed with the usual pseudo-scientific garbage about how the cable will keep your audio signal completely free of electromagnetic interference and Martians—but the insanity with this particular cable goes a level deeper.” -Cynthia Wisehart

Neil Young’s Pono Player: The Emperor has no clothes

By David Pogue, Yahoo Tech

You’ve got to admit it: The argument for the Pono Player sure is appealing — that we don’t know what we’ve been missing in our music. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. I’m 51 and a former professional musician. I know how to listen. But when I bought Pono’s expensive remastered songs and compared them with the identical songs on my phone, I couldn’t hear any difference whatsoever. I got worried. MORE@YahooTech 

Why This Matters:

So Pogue conducted a blind trial to find out if 15 volunteers could hear any difference between Pono’s high res files and Apple’s iTunes files (16-bit/256Kbps AAC format). The results surprised him, and touched off an interesting discussion of compression, formats, and remastering. –Cynthia Wisehart

MIT scientists close to creating holograms by using sound to manipulate light

By Janey Tracey, Outer Places

In a study published today in Review of Scientific Instruments, MIT scientists claim they’re close to creating legitimate holographic video by using sound waves to guide, shape and even color light waves. MORE@OuterPlaces

Why This Matters:

The traditional 3D holograms (i.e. Pepper’s Ghosts) that have been used for things like Tupac at Coachella are actually a trick of the eye that makes 2D look like 3D. MIT scientists believe that they have perfected an acoustic/light wave technique (employing lithium niobate crystal) to create actual 3D holograms. Considering the enormous potential of 3D holograms and the patent wars that are raging in the tiny, nascent world of holography, this could get interesting. And it’s always fun when you need sound to create picture.  -Cynthia Wisehart


Eye Candy: A curved wall of glass that flickers as the wind blows

By Kyle Vanhemert, Wired

Shade, an installation which just wrapped up in London, is a 1,500 square-foot facade of curved glass, fragmented into small triangular cells. Wind outside is measured at several points along the facade. The gusts are interpreted by a program, triggering individual cells to change from opaque to transparent. The result is an ever-changing ballet of light on the gallery floor. MORE@Wired

Why This Matters:

This is flat out gorgeous. A cross between lighting and nature-mapping (I just made that up). And what an idea for windows in a room that has projection, assuming the program could be set to full opaque. I could see it in very high-end corporate boardroom (very, very high-end) or a museum. Or my dream house…. -Cynthia Wisehart

The FCC’s net neutrality proposal is awesome but it has a loophole

By Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOm

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has taken the unprecedented and awesome step of using Title II to ensure that the internet remains open and that ISPs cannot discriminate against the type of traffic flowing across their networks. The FCC has crafted the strongest net neutrality rules I have ever seen. They will cover both wireline and wireless broadband networks. MORE@GigaOM

Why This Matters:

I wanted net neutrality (who doesn’t want stuff to be free?). But the libertarian web was never going to last. The question was whether it would be controlled by corporate virtual monopolies or government. Both are so been-there, done-that. Maybe the marketplace would have gotten interesting as Google and Amazon duked it out with the carriers. Or maybe it would have just fossilized like any other imbalanced marketplace. Maybe the FCC can take the lightest possible hand and avoid the familiar public utility pitfalls and whiplash of regulation/deregulation. It’s bittersweet. We have lived through one of the great DIY innovations of history—a kind of miraculous blending of infrastructure investment and creative investment. We all built it. It feels like a magic time is over, but that was coming anyway. Maybe President Obama is right about how smart Tom Wheeler is. –Cynthia Wisehart

The wireless router reinvented: Eero brings mesh networking to consumer Wi-Fi

By MIchael Brown, TechHive

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A brand-new company says it’s designed a Wi-Fi router that’s going to change the way consumers think about and use Wi-Fi routers. Yeah, I’ve heard this story more times that I can count. But something tells me it’s going to be different this time, after CEO and co-founder Nick Weaver showed a prototype of the Eero router to me last week. MORE@TechHive

Why This Matters:

Could this be the end of the range extender, the MoCA, or my personal favorite—the powerline Ethernet adapter? Here’s hoping. It comes as three routers in enclosures designed by Nest’s Fred Bould (and named after famed Finnish designer Eero Saarinen). This article is pretty thorough. Check it out. –Cynthia Wisehart

Chevy’s insane power wall display has more pixels than an Imax theater

By via iol Motoring

They call it the PowerWall - a 22 square metre solid glass screen with two Christie Mirage 4K25 DLP 3D projectors, powered by eight computers and two Christie Spyder X20 video processors. Its display has more pixels than an Imax theatre and it takes a crew of five - three visualisation specialist, an IT technician and a Christie hardware engineer - to run it. MORE@iol Motoring

Why This Matters:

It’s a fascinating way to do design, and something we will no doubt see more of given how much more efficient and cost effective it is compared to physical prototyping. –Cynthia Wisehart

Windows 10 to get “holographic headset” and Cortana in free upgrade

By Leo Kelion, BBC

Microsoft has revealed that Windows 10 will bring its voice-controlled assistant Cortana to PCs. It also unveiled a headset that it said would one day project the operating system over views of the real world. In addition, the firm announced that the OS upgrade would be offered free of charge for devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone. MORE@BBC

Why This Matters:

Microsoft wants you back. Bad. If you’re up for some heavy reading here’s Wired’s longform piece on just how bad, and how Nadella plans to do it. (It sounds crazy). –Cynthia Wisehart

So cool: Xiomi’s Mi Box Mini is a media streamer the size of a phone charger

By Jared Newman, PC World

With the $30 Mi Box Mini, Xiaomi has managed to stuff a quad-core Android media streamer into a device the size of a power charger. MORE@PC World

Why This Matters:

 I just wanted you to see this, even though it is reportedly unlikely to come to the US. It supports DTS and 1080p HD and it is so tiny. -Cynthia Wisehart

Surface Hub: Inside Microsoft’s plan to transform meetings

By Lance Ulanoff, Mashable

The Surface name really gets around at Microsoft. First it was assigned to a series of table-top-sized touch screen computers, then to Microsoft’s own iPad competitor— and now it’s back on the big screen, with the Microsoft Surface Hub. MORE@Mashable


Why This Matters:

Remember the Surface coffee tables?  This is actually the fruit of the Perceptive Pixel acquisition. But that technology was always displayed in a kind of context-less vacuum. Microsoft has seen the writing on the touchscreen. They’re positioning the Hub in a context of collaboration and conferencing—and environment that already includes Skype and Lync and the Surface tablets. It’s the first time this big touchscreen technology has come with a use case and a reason for being.  –Cynthia Wisehart


Past Issues
December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015