Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Amazing Speaker's Design - 2

Tactile music for hearing impaired. The ball pulses in time with the music, adding an extra feature for your senses.

Inspired by sound waves, this speaker expands like an accordion when playing.

Concrete and acrylic coated with asphalt for improving the acoustics - sophisticated heavy-duty speakers.

Portable clam shell speakers for traveling.

Visible units, large spikes and a shield-like main body - all inspired by Star Wars robots.

Cocoon speaker. Interact with your sound system by turning the sculptural and organic veneer shell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Are Cell Phones are Harmful to Our Health

Are Cell phones are harmful to our Health?

As the life passing I am finding it is literally impossible to live without my cell phone. Now day’s cell phones not only serve to receive and dial a call it has all the entertainment add on with it. It has everything you could ever want from radio, MP3 players, internet, live TV, GPS navigation, gaming and other things. So cell phones occupies all my day there is no prospect for anything else. I can be anywhere in the world and still can be connected to everything and everyone I want (provided the network is good enough). But that’s not I want to discuss here. Over the last few days I am worried about side effects caused by cell phones. I read somewhere that cell phones emits electro magnetic radiation which can be fatal for humans as they can cause cancer.

I was really worried reading this article, then I saw one video on You Tube which shows an egg can be boiled up if it is placed in between two cell phones. That was scary because the title of the video says imagine what your brain has to go through when you are on the cell phone. On top of it one of my cousins had strong feeling that the headaches he used to have were because of the cell phones it self as when he wasn’t using his cell phone foe a week he never had that pain. And this news was really scary for me.

I decided to dig all the information I can about cell phone’s EMR i.e. Electromagnetic Radiations and their effects on human body. But what I found is two contradictory opinions. The World Health Organization which considered the reports from scientific and medical comities, states that the health effects such as headaches are very unlikely to be caused by cellular phones. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Associations (CITA), Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency energy that is absorbed by the body. And the phone to pass the FCC certification only if their SAR value is less than 1.6 watts per kilogram. In Europe the SAR level is capped at @ W/Kg. In India there seem to be no such standards employed such, if there are already I couldn’t find any information on them.

When you hear from World Health Organization you should feel much safer about cell phones because World Health Organization is most responsible outfit regarding human health. But trouble is that there are also some people and some responsible organizations who thinks that the Electro Magnetic Radiation which use microwave range are emitted from the cell phones and they are strong enough to be very harmful for our brain and other parts of the body. Only trouble here is they don’t have strong proof to support this. But I think just because they can’t prove it, their theory can not be overruled and neglected. We need to be more careful here on with our usage of cell phones. And it must be these reports that made some of the countries like Austria, France Germany, and Sweden recommend their citizens to minimize the use of cell phones.

I will try using my cell phone as minimum as possible but that could not be the permanent solution as I said earlier life without cell phones is getting impossible. I don’t know how but I am trying to find a solution to use the phone as well as keep safe distance from their electro magnetic radiations.

I think all the cell phone manufacturing companies should take initiative to reduce the concerns people have regarding these radiation emitted by cell phones. Then can just reveal the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) values along with the other specifications of the cell phones. As for customers we can make sure that will buy only FCC certified cell phones. I am sure all the measure brands are FCC certified so there should not be any worries.

I am trying to find now the SAR values for different models of different brands of cell phones and try to find out if my cell phone is safe enough.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Amazing Speaker Designs - 1

Some more amazing designs of Speakers,
Move the units individually to adjust the height and configure your own sound. The frames can also be used for storing CDs.

Organic speaker inspired by a woman's body.

Surround system inspired by Audi´s logo. Place the wireless "doughnuts"

Jam Jar speaker inspired by IKEA.

Turning torso speakers.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amazing Designs of Speakers

Made by Makers is a Denmark based design firm. Occasionally they hold design workshops where designers in the company have big brainstorming design sessions. Here’s a few innovative speaker design concepts they came up with during a recent session and this happened in 3 days...

Utzon's Sydney Opera House inspired speaker.

Portable MP3 speaker

Powertool! A robust and youthful design

snowboard speakers

Wallsticker speaker

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Buying Tips - DVD Player

DVD Player Buying Tips

DVD players get their name from the type of disc they most commonly play: a digital video/versatile disc, or DVD. DVD players are very important factor if you want to build a home theatre. Because quality of DVD player i.e. ability of player to read the DVD and transfer the relative information to display screen and speaker decides the quality of your viewing and sound experience for the movies. All of us are aware that DVD player are far better than VHS tapes and VCD players in quality and it can also store much more data on it. Although it looks like a CD it holds 7 – 14 times more information than normal CD. In addition to playing DVD movies, DVD players play CDs, MP3-encoded CD-Rs and CD-RWs, video CD’s, and a few will play DVDs-Audio, MPEG format. The newest higher-end players also play Super Audio CDs, a new high quality CD format that should become widely available in the next year or so.

So how to decide on which DVD player to buy because there are so many brand and so many models are available in the market. DVD players range in price from 3500 Rupees for a basic, no-frills player from known brand to more than 60,000 for a top-of-the-line home theater-ready player. Some unknown brand DVD players available in lesser price also but they are not dependable. This vast variety does add to our confusion on buying the DVD player.

What you have to do is to compare various well known DVD player brands and check following specification in them. Then just go for most suitable to your pocket with all these specification.

The following key features of DVD will help you decide the right one for you:

Aspect Ratio: The standard ratio of television, between the width and height of an image or display screen is 4:3(1.33:1), which is not capable of showing most movies. Generally all of the movies are made for the wide screen of a theater, and are originally displayed at the wider ratios of 1.85:1 or 2:35:1. So choose a player which can do downscaling as well as up-scaling accordingly.

Anamorphic: It is a type of widescreen display format optimized for playback on a TV with 16:9 aspect ratios. A DVD played in pan-and-scan mode provides an image with full height, but shows a central "window" that is only 75% of the original widescreen width. In Letterbox mode the player using a "letterbox filter" adds horizontal black bars to the top and bottom of the picture. As a result you get a short, rectangular image.

Dolby Digital: Is a multi-channel digital audio standard offering enhanced sonic realism. A Dolby Digital soundtrack can mean anything from 1 to 5.1 channels. Dolby Digital 5.1 sound tracks will no doubt, provide the most satisfying sound quality for a home theater system. It is referred to as a 5.1-channel system because it offers five full-bandwidth channels with true stereo surrounds, and a subwoofer channel. Although there is some DVD players which can drive 5.1 channel speakers by it self without receiver. But it is suitable to go for specialized DVD Player and connect it to a receiver or processor which will not only drive the speaker output but also amplify it.

Perceptual Coding: A data compression technique used by Dolby Digital to reduce the amount of audio and video data formats. Perceptual coding omits imperceptible sound and picture data which is redundant. By throwing away a lot of unnecessary information it is possible to fit multiple versions of a movie on a single disc.

Digital Output: Almost all DVD players come with at least one digital audio output for sending the Dolby Digital bit-stream to a Dolby Digital decoder. Two most common types of digital output are Coaxial and Optical. Both require a cable to connect to the digital output of the Dolby Digital receiver or decoder but mostly they are not included in the set.

DTS: Or Digital Theater Systems is an established multi-channel audio format in movie theaters, but a relatively new concept for home theater systems. Like Dolby Digital, DTS is a 5.1-channel format. DTS' compression technique throws away less audio data than Dolby Digital, so it should sound better.

Horizontal Resolution: These are the number of vertical lines that can be identified across the width of a TV screen. Usually a bigger number of horizontal resolutions is almost always better.

MPEG: Or Moving Picture Experts Group is the digital video signal compression used for DVD. This adaptive, variable bit-rate process is able to allocate more bits for complex scenes involving a lot of motion, while minimizing the bits in static scenes. Some DVD players display an on-screen bit rate of data flow in the form of a bar graph.

Composite Video Signal: DVD player's standard RCA-type video jack provides a composite video signal or S-Video. It is a video signal in which the brightness and color portions of the signal are combined.

Component Video Signals: Is a video signal in which the brightness and color portions of the signal are processed separately. Component video signal splits the chrominance (the color information portion of a video signal which describes an image's color shade and vividness). As a result one gets improved color accuracy, remarkably clear on large screens. Component video signal is far superior than S-video.

Signal To Noise ratio: Or S/N ratio basically tells how clean video signal is. Video signal to noise (as well as audio) is measured in decibels or (db). Because of the way they process signals; digital video formats like DVD and digital satellite TV are extremely clean.

Multi Language Capability: All DVDs are designed to make it easier for movies to be distributed in multiple languages. A single DVD disc can contain soundtracks in up to 8 different languages! In addition to multilingual dialogue, a DVD also has space for subtitles in up to 32 languages. Off-course the number of soundtracks and subtitles may vary from disc to disc depending on the length of the movie and whether other special playback features are included.

Parental Lockout: A limited number of DVD movies come with variable ratings capability. According to the movie rating level you select, the player will skip over certain scenes, playing the version that you choose from those available on the disc. The parental lockout can be activated by remote control. By selecting your own personal identification number, you can prevent it from getting changed by others.

Regional Codes: All DVDs include codes which would limit playback to a specified geographical region. Since all the theater and home videos are not released at the same time, all over the world; DVD players have a built-in regional code lockout feature. As a result a DVD player will be unable to play a disc that has a different region code. It is also important to note that discs may or may not have any code, or may contain codes for more than one region- allowing to be played on any player, anywhere in the world.