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Friday, February 24, 2012

Bargain Alert– Belle Weathered Black Floor Model

Did you know that one way to save money and get a great deal on a piece of furniture is to ask for the floor model?  Check out our Belle Black TV Lift Cabinet floor model.  This gorgeous French country TV liift cabinet is being sold for only $1500!  That is a great deal!  This cabinet is normally priced at $2299, a savings of $799.

This cabinet is so French shabby elegant! It is finished in an aged hue black giving the cabinet an antique appearance.  The ornate legs and hardware give the cabinet tons of character.  This is no cookie cutter cabinet.  It is truly a masterpiece.  The Belle Black has the Uplift 3500 C+V lift mechanism already pre-installed within the cabinet.  The lift has room for TV and two electronics.  Ventilation and wire management holes are located at the bottom of cabinet to feed cords through to wall outlet.

Be the first to claim this floor model and call our office at 561-417-0999.  Hurry we only have one floor model left!  Both the Belle Blue and Belle Cream have already sold.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Technology Patent Wars Continue in Europe

Microsoft recently filed a formal complaint with the European Union’s competition regulator against Motorola.  Motorola which recently got bought by Google, holds key patents on technologies necessary to stream video content to TV Lift Cabinets and connect wirelessly to the internet.

"We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products," Dave Heiner, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, wrote in a blog post.

"Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn't seem to be willing to change course," Heiner added.

However, Motorola is claiming that both Microsoft and Apple Inc. are using their patents for their products without permission.  In fact, Motorola has legal cases against both companies filed in Europe and the United States.

Microsoft filed the complaint this week because they say that Motorola is overcharging them for patent usage.  The current patent charge rate is 2.25 percent of the product’s total price.  If the product is $1000, then Microsoft gets charged a patent fee of $22.50.  Microsoft claims that the other 29 companies that hold a total of 2,300 patents related to this standard charge only 2 cents for using their patents. Two cents versus $22.50 is a significant price difference.

"If every firm priced its standard essential patents like Motorola, the cost of the patents would be greater than all the other costs combined in making PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices," Heiner wrote. "Obviously, this would greatly increase the prices of these devices for consumers."

The EU is currently investigating this formal complaint.  Under their competition rules, patents must be offered at a fair price to other companies when patents are deemed necessary for technology industry standards.   If patent holders charged high prices for use of their patents then companies would have to adjust their product prices higher to end consumers in order to be profitable.  It would also give patent holder companies an unfair advantage on market.  Neither is good for the industry or end consumer, which is why the EU is closely investigating this matter.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Google is Making Smart Glasses

If you are already eyeing the Smart TV for your TV Lift Cabinet, you may also be interested in Google’s smart glasses.  It is rumored Google’s X office, a secretive lab working on futuristic Google projects, is building glasses that will stream real-time information right to its lenses.

The smart glasses will be Android-based and feature a built in camera.  The camera will be able to overlay information about surrounding locations. The smart glasses are estimated to cost anywhere between $250 and $600.  The launch date of these smart glasses to the general public is still to be determined.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Comcast Launches Online Streaming Service: Xfinity Streampix

We knew it was only a matter of time before cable companies offered video streaming services.  As cable prices skyrocket, Americans have been turning to online video streaming companies to meet their television needs.  Online video streaming companies such as Netflix have been stealing thousands of customers from cable companies forcing the cable giants to reconsider their service packages.

To meet this new challenge, Comcast has launched its own online video streaming service called Xfinity Streampix.  This new subscription video service will offer customers the opportunity to view television shows and movies on demand.  Right now, Comcast is working with Warner Bros., Sony and Universal for content deals.  Comcast customers can add Xfinity Streampix service for an additional $4.99 each month.  Customers can stream Streampix videos to their TV lift cabinets, computers or mobile devices.

Unfortunately, this service is currently only being offered to existing Comcast customers.  It is questionable whether the added-value service will be of much benefit to existing cable customers.  If you already pay a premium for cable television service, why would you need Xfinity Streampix?  Perhaps for the customers who are traveling and wish to stream content to their phones this will be of use, but for the typical Comcast customer will this service be necessary?

Comcast would be better positioned to compete with Netflix and Amazon by offering this service to new customers.  After all, the reason most defected to Netflix and Amazon in the first place was because they could not afford cable packages.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Product Focus of the Week: The Biscayne

The Biscayne TV Lift Cabinet is part of our Modern TV lift cabinet collection.  This cabinet features sleek linear lines and is accented with brushed nickel hardware. The cabinet is made of Alder wood solids and cathedral cherry.

The Biscayne has plenty of functional storage space with three top drawers and three doors below opening up to reveal adjustable shelves.  With this cabinet all electronics and knick knacks can be neatly tucked away behind closed doors.  Each door has interchangeable wood or speaker cloth panels.  For those that wish to enhance their speaker clarity, the speaker cloth panels can be inserted to replace the wood panels.

A heavy-duty, rack and pinion drive TV lift mechanism silently lowers the television within cabinet.  The Biscayne also has a built-in infrared relay system so that remote control commands can be pinged to electronics behind closed doors.  The maximum TV size dimensions are 52-1/8"W x 5"D x 32-3/4"H.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Customer Spotlight: Chris from Washington, IL

We received another home photo!  Chris from Washington, IL was kind enough to share with us his Harbor Green TV lift cabinet home photo.

This beautiful cabinet features according style doors that open up for the TV to be viewed from within cabinet.  The heavy duty rack and pinion TV lift is preinstalled.  The electronic tray which rides directly below the TV is also preinstalled and has plenty of room for three electronics.

“Thank you for getting this here so quickly.  It is terrific!!” – Chris from Washington

Thanks Chris for sending the photo.  Enjoy your Harbor Green!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cisco Appeals EU over Microsoft-Skype Merger

Do you use your TV lift cabinet to Skype with loved ones in Europe?  Many Europeans and U.S. citizens are taking advantage of the free Skype service which allows Skype members to video online chat for free. In the last few months Microsoft acquired Skpe in an $8.5 billion acquisition.

Cisco, another networking technology giant is not happy with the terms of this merger.  In fact, Cisco has filed an appeal with the European Union today.  Cisco is worried about the interoperability of video communication.  As the deal is currently set forth, Microsoft will be able to exclusively integrate its Lync video and voice communication software with Skype video communication.  Cisco and other competing software similar to Microsoft will no not be compatible with Skype communication causing Microsoft to have a monopoly on the EU market.

“Imagine how difficult it would be if you were limited to calling people who only use the same carrier or if your phone could only call certain brands and not others. Cisco wants to avoid this future for video communications,” wrote Cisco SVP of Video and Collaboration Marthin De Beer in a letter posted on thecompany blog.

The Skype service so beloved by many Europeans may no longer be offered for free.  Skype may also be restrictive for those who use Cisco or other non-Microsoft software.  EU would be wise to consider Cisco’s appeal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Product Focus of the Week: Wynterhall TV Lift Cabinet

The Wynterhall is a beautiful transitional foot-of-the bed TV lift cabinet.  This cabinet has traditional column sides with a dark tobacco finish adding a pop to a classic design.

The cabinet is finished on all four sides to be used at the foot of the bed, against a wall or free standing in the middle of a room.   The Wynterhall has two built in drawers down at the base of the cabinet to store away electronic components.  This cabinet can be rotated so that the drawers are accessed from the front or back of the cabinet depending on whether cabinet is used against wall or elsewhere.

This lovely cabinet also features our built-in infrared relay system.  Our infrared relay system allows viewers to operate their electronics in the bottom drawers without having to ever open the drawers.  The electronics can stay tucked away out of site at all times!

Friday, February 10, 2012

TiVo HD DVR is Now Available Nationwide

DirecTV and TiVo are now launching their new TiVo HD DVR across the United States.  The partnership that started in 2008 between DirecTV and TiVo has finally created a strong product to offer to DirecTV subscribers.  The new TiVo HD DVR (THR22) can fit into all TV lift cabinets, record up to 100 hours of HD programming or 400 hours of standard definition shows.  The THR22 also has the ability to record two shows at a time and can access 7,000 movies on demand.

The two companies did a soft launch of the THR22 in December to select markets for its trial period.  The trial markets included New York, Denver, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.  Now after two months of test trialing, both companies feel comfortable with releasing the TiVo HD DVR to the rest of the United States.  Clearly, the trial period produced positive results.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Amazon Extends Online Video Streaming Library

Amazon not to be outdone by Netflix on its online video streaming service, has just entered into an agreement with Viacom, Inc., the owner of Nickelodeon and MTV cable networks.  Online video streaming has been determined to be the way of the future.  Now top companies such as Amazon, Hulu Plus and Netflix are in the ultimate race to compete for the best content.

Amazon’s partnership with Viacom means that it can now offer their Prime subscribers 15,000 more videos to stream.  Amazon Prime members will now be able to watch from their TV lift cabinets shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and TV Land.  Customers who have Kindle Fire computer tablets will also be able to stream from their content library.

This deal with Viacom brings Prime customers and Kindle Fire users thousands of comedies, kids’ shows, reality TV and much more from some of the best cable networks available,” said Brad Beale, director of video content acquisition for Amazon. “We are constantly working to improve the service by adding the shows that our customers enjoy the most.”

Great move on Amazon.  This new partnership with Viacom has caused shares to rise 1.2 percent to $186.39 in New York.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Predictions

The biggest game of the year is right around the corner. Super Bowl XLVI will go down this Sunday in Indianapolis in a contest between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. So fire up the grill, grab a cold one and gather around the TV lift cabinet. Here is a round-up of Super Bowl predictions going into the weekend of the big game.

The Giants last won the Super Bowl in 2007 in a heated battle against their current foe, the Patriots. In the third biggest upset in betting line history, the score was 17-14. This time, who do the Giants have on their side? ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and FoxSports.com to name a few. Going into the game, the Giants appear to be heavily favored.

On the other hand, New England had a better record this season and they are perennial contenders. Not to mention, vindication for Super Bowl ’07 is on the line. Will the Patriots get revenge on Sunday? According to Boston.com, the Miami Herald, San Jose Daily News and Boston Globe seem to think so.

Tune in to NBC at 6:30pm on Sunday to check out all the action of the game as well as the much anticipated Half Time Show featuring Madonna.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Madonna is Performing During Super Bowl Half-Time

We give you another reason to turn on your TV Lift Cabinet this Sunday.  Madonna is scheduled to perform at the half-time show at the Super Bowl!  For those “Material Girl” fans out there, her show is sure to be her usual over the top performance.

For twelve minutes Madonna will be performing with the help of M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj.  She will be singing four songs total.  We don’t know what all four of her songs will be, but we do know one of the songs will be from her new album MDNA called “Give Me All Your Luvin”.  The other three songs will be from her older hits.

Also after the game, be sure to head to your local movie theater and check out the new Hunger Games movie.  The Hunger Games movie is based off of Suzanne Collins’ first book of her Hunger Games trilogy, and is already receiving great reviews.  This futuristic story takes place in Panem, where the countries of North America once existed.  The Capitol, a highly affluent city, holds absolute control over its twelve districts.  The Hunger Games were created to punish the districts from rebelling against the Capitol.  One boy and one girl from each district ages 12 to 18, are selected through a lottery to compete against one another in a televised battle.  They are competing to survive as only one of them can live.

 

Sunday is looking like a very exciting promising day to watch great entertainment.