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About Ambleside

Ambleside Logic is led by Aaron Rosenbaum. Father of 3, Programming since 7, DevOps since 11 (hacking RSTS), exIngres, exCTP, exCohera. Sold two companies to Oracle, one to HP. Research + Strategy for NoSQL/BigData ecosystem implementors, vendors and investors.


Is 1080P important? Yes...and no...

One of the most frequent concerns I get from customers is over 1080P. Will the display be 1080P? How about the sources? Will everything be HDMI 1.3 cabled? 

To the last question I say, yes, all your cabling will support HDMI now or in the future.  But to the rest?

It depends.

1) How important is image quality to you?

For under $25K projectors, I think the gold standard of image quality is still the Sim2 3CX.  I'm fairly impressed with the new Sim2 1080P 3-chip unit but the 720P triple chip C3X beats out everyone else in image quality.  Do you sometimes see pixel structure when up close? Yes, but color quality, black levels, color accuracy are so important too.

2) How far away do you sit?

At 10' for 50" display or 12' for 60" panel, your eyes cannot see the difference between a 1080P and 720P image.

3) What are your sources?

All HD is not equal.  The broadcast compression used, especially on HD material, lowers it's quality to the point that the artifacts sometimes are more visible on 1080P than 720P and a more pleasing image is rendered by the lower resolution device.  Take a look at the following images: DirecTV broadcast version vs. HD-DVD.  Look at the rock in back.

DirecTV 1080i

HD-DVD 1080P




Many 720P displays will do a better time with the DirecTV broadcast than the 1080P sources.  Audiophiles are familiar with this - there are quite a few fantastic 2-channel audio systems that sound awful with lots of recordings because they reveal so much. 


Reaching new heights

Ambleside has been busy with a huge project for the last year.  It's been a great experience - we've developed numerous new products, won several awards and are set for a whole new approach to the way custom systems are designed and built. 

Watch this space for exciting new happenings.  We've added new people, are working closely with some of the industries leading companies and we're testing the products and approaches in homes now.

Meanwhile, I thank all of our supplies and customers for their support over the past few years.  They have enabled us to get to this point.

At this months CEDIA conference we won three important awards:


Won't Everything Eventually Be Wireless?

One of the most common questions/comments I get is "Won't this all be wireless eventually?" This is a reasonable assumption.  Many items that used to be wired - phones, internet, possibly Cable TV, are now recieved without wires. 

No, you will not be able to abandon wired infrastructure in your new home.


HDMI. High Definition Multimedia Interface sends video over uncompress, full-bandwidth links along with encrypted keys to make sure the sender and reciever are authorized.  The key is uncompressed. The latest spec (1.3) calls for up to a 6.8GB information stream (synchronous). This won't run over wireless - it won't even run over 10G wired ethernet.  HDTV through the air and over cable lines is compressed but the compression technology is not symetrical - it's very,  very expensive to compress.  Also, recompressing previously compressed content causes quite a few quality problems.  Lossy compression is how those cool UWB HDMI demos are working now.

2 Cat5's to each video location will support HDMI.  We don't believe wireless will support full bandwidth encrypted HD content in the foreseeable future.


CEDIA 2007 Picks

Crestron makes a better looking panel than anything from AMX [yes, hell froze over]

Backlit engraved buttons on Crestron's Cameo and new TPS-8L and TPS-6L panels.  It's hard to tell without seeing them in person but it works - a backlit text button on a white bezel - just amazing.  Finally Crestron out cools AMX on a touchpanel appearence feature! [Meanwhile AMX has announced new Decora keypads that look like Crestron's decora series from years ago.]


4 HDMI sources windowed, touch panel overlay, computer's so cool.  I want it to for a cool security app, for sports about hooking up two tuners and everytime you change the chanel it does pic-in-pic with feedback on the current channel with artwork and then you press enter to take the channel [one of the only features of the DirecTV HR20 I actually like.]

Coolest New Audio Feature-  Audyssey Dynamic EQ

We've been pretty impressed by the Audyssey EQ system.  The single mic out-of-the-box experience is passable, the 8-point Pro version is 80% of a decent hand calibration.  The Dynamic EQ system however was amazing - an experience very difficult to match with previous EQ/DSP technologies.  What it does is boost the bass and surrounds at low volumes so the relative volumes between the front, rear and sub channels are constant.  Without Dynamic EQ, the bass and surrounds became silent at low volume, with it the surround field was full and the bass present - all at a low enough volume level to not wake anyone up down the hall.

What's new with Flat Panels? - 120hz

JVC, Hitachi, Samsung and Toshiba all showed 120hz flat panels.  There was a fantastic smoothness to the image not seen in the 60hz versions.  120hz is necessary to best display film and video originated content as content originates as 24hz, 30hz and 60hz - 120hz is the number.  I didn't see a bad image at the show....I also never saw a standard-def image at the show.




Why Adagio Media System is REALLY important


The Adagio Media System should be a big yawn of a product....Hmmm - a mashup between Crestron's 6-zone distributed audio control system and a reciever...why should anyone care? I think it's a big deal and will make lots of folks life easier...

The biggest reason is space, power + heat.  The AMS takes 5 rack units - it's just under 7 1/2" tall.  It's going to take 11 RU to fit a surround sound reciever, a distributed audio processor and some vent space between them.  Having one unit to cool - especially on standby is important.  It generates less than 1/2 the heat the two units racked together.

The lowering from 11U to 5U is so important because it now allows for a single rack system that's quite robust:

  • AMS - 5U
  • Tivo HD - 3U
  • DVD Player - 3U
  • Game Console - 3U
  • Network Switch, etc - 1U

This will all fit underneath a 36" high counter.

This dramatically reduces the costs of such a system - removing the power, 2nd rack, millwork, etc.

But the AMS let's us get even more aggressive - cabling + integration costs plummet.  Let's inventory the wiring now required:

Speaker Wiring - identical

Antenna/Cable Feeds - identical

Component Wiring - One HDMI + One Control Wire each (the AMS can downmix the digital audio sources.)

This is a reduction of 4 stereo pathways, 2 control paths plus a lot of programming work to keep the reciever in sync with the distributed audio system.  It also allows for use of existing shelving + cabinetry for the 1st time.

Cost? Ambleside is offering the a package that brings a six-zone with surround sound system into homes for 25% less than similar functionality just 4 months ago.



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