Wink Hub Quick Look

Adam Miarka —  July 7, 2014 — 30 Comments

2014-07-07 12.39.14

The Wink Hub ($50) that was announced just last month is now for sale at Amazon and Home Depot. This new low cost smart controller for the home promises to be the most connected hub there is and competes directly with the newly priced Staples Connect Hub. Supporting Wifi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Lutron’s Clear Connect protocols, there is reason to believe that statement might be true.

I was able to snag the Hub at Home Depot here in Indianapolis. My first online order was promptly cancelled with a call back to me saying that they had not received them. Not really believing the message (Home Depot stated they were in stock), I decided to drive to the store where I was able to pick up the Hub, the Spotter sensor, and a TCP Connected lighting starter kit.

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staples-connect

If you’re just easing into home control and automation like me, Staples Connect is worth a look — moreso as the Linksys hub will shortly drop to a mere $50. With apps for most platforms, the hub communicates via 802.11b/g/n, Z-Wave, and Lutron wireless protocols. Along with the price reduction, broader retail distribution has been announced along with a second $80 D-Link hub $80 that will add Zigbee and Bluetooth LE communication. It seems pretty clear Bluetooth LE, aka Bluetooth Smart, will play a prominent role in this space (along with wearables), but its limited broadcast range may inhibit hub effectiveness and the existing model seems to do a fine job bridging most home automation silos. And we’re told the team is working through the process of Nest integration – which may be requisite these days. Continue Reading…

tivo-pick-me-heart

In the wake of Aereo’s Supreme Court smackdown and cessation of service, CEOs from the likes of TiVo and SimpleTV have taken to the press to pitch their case as an over-the-air replacement. But Aereo’s primary benefits can’t be replicated by these guys.

First, Aereo positioned their rental antennas where the company obviously received a strong signal. Which isn’t necessarily the case for our dwellings located in urban canyons or on the far side of the digital cliff. Second, with a shared, centrally managed infrastructure, Aereo didn’t saddle customers with the expense of hardware (or long term commitments), running only $8-12/month. Continue Reading…

amazon-fire-tv-music2

A curious thing happened yesterday while perusing my Amazon Fire TV … scrolling thru the left-hand textual menu seemed more tedious than usual and, sure enough, several new items were present. A quick check to the (slightly re-ordered) settings confirmed the Fire TV had been updated (to 51.1.1). It appears the headliners are a kid-oriented FreeTime and native Amazon Music playback.

Of course, Amazon Cloudplayer was a bizarre and notable absence upon Amazon Fire TV launch and this update goes a long way towards filling the gap. Yet Continue Reading…

Jun 28

Mohu Channels TV adapter

Via Mohu’s Kickstarter update:

Some of our backers who have received and installed their Channels devices are commenting that they are receiving less OTA channels than they previously had prior to installing Channels. We are an OTA company and, as you would image, this is of great concern to us. Rest assured, the tuner inside Mohu Channels is the highest quality tuner available today bar none and we are aggressively pursuing the cause of this issue. For this reason, we put a hold on further shipments of Channels. We want to be absolutely certain that any device that leaves our factory is 100%. We ask for your patience and understanding. If you have not received your tracking information at this point, please note that we are holding shipments until we have a resolution.

Writers from Business Insider, The Verge, and The Next Web share their initial Android Wear Smartwatch feedback…

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