Media servers to water-resistant televisions - Electronic House Expo Roundup

Long Beach (CA) - Thousands of home automation enthusiasts recently attended the Electronic House Expo in Long Beach California. The name of the game at this convention is putting as much electronic gear into your home, while controlling it at the same time. Television and lighting control companies showed off their wares, but there were also some traditional computer companies thrown into the mix.

Sunbrite hopes people will shell out a few thousand dollars for their water-resistant television sets. The sets can take constant rain and will operate in extreme temperatures with internal heaters and fans. A thick and rugged chassis encloses the set making it unwieldy for the living room, but perfect for the deck or swimming pool area.

Traditional computer companies also showed up at EHX. None of the products are new to avid readers of computer review sites, but the companies are hoping to broaden their reach into the lucrative home market. Hard-drive manufacturers hoping to cash in on digital movie recording and media servers were touting their wares. Seagate showed off their Mirra external media box while Hitachi touted their CinemaStar line of media server hard drives.

The new AMD/ATI was also at EHX and displayed their Radeon and Crossfire-enable graphics cards. The focus here wasn't only on gaming, but on movie playback and multiple monitor performance. At the nearby Iogear booth, representatives showed us what could be called a Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) switch from hell. The four port switch includes an Ethernet switch, along a headphone and speaker switcher.

If the gear seems to be a warm-up to next year's Consumer Electronics Show, you are probably right. Much of the same gear, along with updated models, will also be displayed at CES. We will bring comprehensive coverage of that show next January.