Are Smart Appliances Here to Stay?

We used to think that smart houses only existed in science fiction. However, with the ever-expanding “Internet of things,” these science-fiction ideas are becoming a reality right before our eyes. For example, you can check your email while sitting at a stoplight. Home security companies allow you to arm and disarm systems, and to remotely monitor your home using a tablet or phone. Now, even refrigerators are learning to communicate. So-called smart appliance options are rapidly growing in popularity. What does that mean for the future of your kitchen?

What is a Smart Appliance?

You already understand the capabilities of a smartphone. Imagine those in a refrigerator. A smart appliance can connect to the web, allowing you to stream music, play videos, leave messages for family members, or even make notes about what you need to pick up from the store. No more need for a magnetized notepad to jot down milk and eggs. To some, this technology may seem unnecessary, but it has been engineered to make your life easier.

Having the technology to surf the web from your refrigerator is not the only component that really makes it smart. These new units, as well as other appliances, are designed to work with your power company to become more energy efficient. A refrigerator is plugged in 24/7, and other appliances, such as a microwave, consume a significant amount of energy in the average home. When designed with the environment in mind, these appliances can dramatically reduce your utility bills.

Does Such Technology Exist?

The technology is already here, however, it’s somewhat limited at the moment. Some manufacturers are working to create apps that will allow you to control smart systems throughout your home. In the near future, you could have all of your appliances synced to the same network and controlled by a swipe of your finger.

Major retail manufacturers have already put out refrigerators with touch screens. Similar to your phone, you can download apps on these units to help you around the kitchen. Newer systems have technology built in that help repairmen quickly diagnose a malfunction, often cutting repair time in half.

One manufacturer has announced a line of washers and dryers that will be able to communicate with one another. While the pair is not on the market yet, these tools promise great things. The new washer will be able to tell the dryer what type of wash cycle it just completed. This allows the dryer to determine how long to set the drying cycle to dry the clothing completely. Some units even communicate with the power company’s grid in order to optimize energy efficiency.

Smart appliances are here to stay. In the coming years, the technology will continue to advance, and new products will enter homes across the world. They will simplify everyday tasks and alter life as we know it.

Satellite Radio Technology

Satellite radio technology is the equivalent of cable or satellite television and it is definitely here to stay. There are several reasons for this: the quality of the broadcasts is higher, the quality of the apparatus’s reception is higher and the general coverage of the channel, that is to say the so-called satellite’s footprint is far greater as well.

This has the effect that if you travel long distances, you will be able to stay with the same channel without having to look for a new one every forty or fifty miles as you have to do with AM or FM radio stations.

In order to reach this quality, the recording and playback speed needs to be around the 384 kbps level. The music tracks are catalogued in a comparable way to the MP3 system, which uses names called ID3 tags.

Each station on satellite radio attempts to create its own identity. A music station may try this by playing music only of one type or from only one era or decade. This means that you may get a satellite radio station called 1970’s Punk music or Twentieth Century Classical Music.

On some channels, the music controller or disc jockey will choose, say, fifty minutes worth of music, will listen to it in order to determine that the quality and the order are correct and then let the computer play it over the airwaves. This allows ten minutes every hour for the news and then the sequence can be repeated automatically.

Satellite transmission uses digital recordings and each station is encoded on a different frequency. Similarly, each decoder, say, in your car or your home needs to recognize and decode each channel separately too. This coding and decoding is done extremely quickly, in fact in what is called ‘real time’.

The resulting binary or digital code is then translated into analogue signals so that your speakers can replay it. This process produces sound which is just about of CD quality.

The transmitting satellites are in a geo-static orbit at 23,000 miles above the equator and have a large footprint which is the name given to the area of ground that is capable of receiving their broadcasts.

In America, for instance, the two areas concentrated on at first were the densely populated east and west coasts in order to maximize possible income. One satellite would be incapable of covering the entirety of the United States in that orbit.

In order to receive satellite transmissions, you will have to use a special antenna on your decoder. This antenna must be capable of receiving L-band broadcasts for it to be of use.

These new antennas are a huge improvement on the parabolic dishes (similar to those used for satellite television) that one used to have to have in order to take advantage of satellite radio technology.

HD Radio Technology and Multi Casting or More Is Really Better

The hottest new thing in sound is called HD Radio technology. And what it does for radio is the same thing that HDTV does for TV – it makes it light years better! In fact, when you listen to HD AM radio, you’ll think you’re listening to FM. And when you listen to FM, you’ll think you’re listening to a CD.

Why more is better

In HD Radio technology, compressed digital signals can be subdivided. This allows a station to multi-cast. meaning it could broadcast two or more programs at the same time. So, its listeners might be able to choose between a sports program and easy listening music – on the same station at the same time. This gets exciting because it will allow stations to do more niche broadcasting, just as cable as brought niche channels to television.

For example, the radio station you’ve always tuned to for classic rock, might subdivide into classic rock, and reggae, or classic rock and old school hip-hop.

Naturally, you would be able to hear these stations only if you have an HD Radio technology receiver. If you don’t, you’ll still hear the same AM or FM station you’re used to.

How it works

HD Radio technology works much like traditional analog transmissions (AM and FM are both analog signals). The difference is that the station broadcasting HD Radio technology transmits an extra digital radio signal, along with its normal analog signal. It can also broadcast a third signal for text data.

Your radio receiver receives the signal – just as it does an AM or FM signal. If you have a HD Radio receiver, it will decompress and translate the signal and viola! You get bright, clean, near-CD quality.

HD Radio Technology – The Hottest New Thing in Sound Explained

The hottest new thing in sound is called HD Radio technology. And what it does for radio is the same thing that HDTV does for TV – it makes it light years better! In fact, when you listen to HD AM radio, you’ll think you’re listening to FM. And when you listen to FM, you’ll think you’re listening to a CD.

What makes this possible?

HD Radio technology works much like traditional analog transmissions (AM and FM are both analog signals).

The difference is that the station broadcasting HD Radio technology transmits an extra digital radio signal, along with its normal analog signal. It can also broadcast a third signal for text data.

Your radio receiver receives the signal – just as it does an AM or FM signal. If you have a HD Radio receiver, it will decompress and translate the signal and viola! You get bright, clean, near-CD quality sound.

What happens if you don’t have an HD Radio technology receiver? It’s simple. You hear your normal analog radio- AM or FM.

AM radio has smaller sections of bandwidth than FM radio. This means there is not enough “space” to give AM stations the same near-CD quality as FM stations. But there is enough bandwidth that AM stations will be able to broadcast with the same clarity of signal as one of today’s analog FM stations. This performance boost is expected to make AM radio a better alternative to FM than it has been – to give you more listening choices.

Less vulnerable

Digital FM radio is less vulnerable to reception problems. Your HD Radio tuner’s digital processors will eliminate all those annoying pops, hisses, fades and static caused by interference.

What happens if you lose the digital signal for some reason? Really nothing. HD Radio technology defaults back to analog mode in much the same way as conventional radios switch from stereo to mono mode when the signal is weak. Then, when the digital signal again becomes available, your HD Radio automatically switches back. What could be simpler?

HD Radio Technology – the Next Big Thing in Sound

The next big thing in sound is here and it’s called HD Radio Technology. It’s on its way to doing for radio what HDTV has done for television.

HD radio technology has already taken Great Britain and much of Europe by storm and will soon do the same thing here.

HD Radio technology is great because it makes it possible for FM stations to sound nearly as good as if you were listening to a CD. The sound is just amazing – clean, pure and crystal-clear. It even enables AM stations to sound as good as an FM station today.

Let’s pretend you’re a talk radio fan. Just imagine how much better your experience will be when there’s no distortion, no annoying hiss, crackle, fade or static. It will be just like listening to your favorite AM station broadcast in FM.

And if music is your thing, you’ll love HD Radio technology even more because you’ll be able to hear music on your favorite classic or rock station in the clearest, cleanest, purest form ever available over the airways and free!.

Plus Multicasting or HD2 channels

In fact, this technology even makes it possible for your local stations to broadcast in true 5.1 surround sound. Just imagine that. You turn on your favorite music station and you are immediately surrounded by sound — just as if you were sitting in your favorite concert hall.

HD Radio technology also makes possible a technology called multicasting that allows stations to broadcast two or more different signals simultaneously. So, your favorite oldies stations could also be broadcasting hip-hop or R&B at the same time.

More than 1,000 stations are already broadcasting in HD Radio technology. And HD radios are available for the home and car.

So far, radio stations have not done much publicity on this exciting, new form of broadcasting but you can bet that will be changing in the near future.