Sonnet Announces Availability of Long-Delayed Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock

Sonnet this week announced the launch of its long-awaited Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock, which is a 16-port docking station compatible with all Mac and Windows computers that feature Thunderbolt ports. It offers four USB 3.0 Ports, two 6Gb/s eSata ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two 3.5mm audio inputs, two 3.5mm audio outputs, and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.

A drive bay with 6Gb/s interfaces for one 3.5 inch or two 2.5-inch internal SATA drives is included, with support for SSD speeds of up to 750 MB/s. The USB 3.0 ports included in the dock provide 7.5 watts of power each for charging iPads, iPhones, and other electronic devices even when a computer is turned off.

The Echo 15+ also includes a built-in optical drive, and users are able to choose from an 8x DVD+/-RW drive, a Blu-ray BD-ROM/8x DVD+/-RW drive with Blu-ray player software for OS X, or a Blu-ray burner 4x BD-R/8x DVD+/-RW drive. Using an optical Thunderbolt cable and Sonnet’s Thunderbolt 2 expansion systems, the Echo 15+ can be connected to computer equipment located up to 60 meters away.

According to Sonnet, the Echo 15+’s aluminum case is sturdy enough to support the latest 27-inch iMac or a comparable display up to 34 inches.

„The Echo 15+ is the ultimate docking station for users to connect every device they need, including current and legacy devices – even the latest Ultra HD 4K displays – and expand their storage for backup or increased capacity in a single desktop device that connects to their computer with a Thunderbolt cable,“ said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. „With the option to add internal storage supporting data transfer rates of up to 750 MB/s, as well as the ability to read from and write to optical media including Blu-rayTM Disc, Sonnet’s Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock is the go-to station for flexible connectivity.“

Sonnet first announced the Echo 15 Thunderbolt docking station in April of 2013 and began accepting pre-orders at that time. Following the launch of Thunderbolt 2, the dock was delayed in early 2014 as Sonnet decided to upgrade the device to support it, and nearly two years after that, the dock is finally ready.

Pricing on the Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock starts at $469 for the version with a DVD+/-RW Drive and goes up to $999 for the version with a Blu-ray Burner and two included 500GB SSDs. The dock can be purchased from the Sonnet website.

Tags: Sonnet, Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock
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Video Review: Pronto Turns Your iPhone Into a Smart Universal Remote [iOS Blog]

Pronto is a small hub that’s able to turn your iPhone into a universal remote, allowing it to control a range of electronics and devices within your home using 360 degree infrared. The Pronto connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and works with an accompanying Peel Smart Remote app, which provides the remote interface and lets you see what’s on television through an included guide.

As you can see in our video review below, the Peel app and the Pronto work together well, and with the included IR extension cable, you can put devices out of sight without losing the infrared connection.

Pronto is compatible with a huge number of televisions, Blu-ray players, DVD players, and set top boxes. It can connect to and control almost any television set, and it works with the Apple TV, Roku players, and more. Compatibility information is available on the company’s website.

The Peel app includes simple controls for all devices and it makes it easy to switch between each one. There are also profiles available for different rooms, so the iPhone and Pronto pairing can essentially replace all of the remotes in the house.

Smart remotes have been around for ages, and many technology companies already offer apps allowing the iPhone to control things like televisions and media players, but the Pronto goes one step further and lets you control all of your devices with one app. It’s quite similar to Logitech’s line of Harmony smart remotes, but without some of the bells and whistles and with a lower price.

The Pronto can be purchased from Best Buy or NewEgg for $49.99.





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Apple Watch Brings Your TV’s Remote Control to Your Wrist [iOS Blog]

While the Apple Watch is marketed as „the most advanced timepiece ever created, a revolutionary new way to connect with others, and a comprehensive health and fitness companion,“ the wrist-worn device has a number of other use cases that should prove convenient for many day-to-day tasks. The apps and accessories below, for example, will turn the Apple Watch into a remote control for controlling a TV from your wrist.

SamMote for Apple Watch

SamMote was recently updated to allow Apple Watch users to control supported Samsung TVs using their wrist. The third-party app, created by developer Eric Degrange and noted by A-Watch.fr, is compatible with most Samsung Smart TVs manufactured between 2011 and 2014 (Series D through Series H models). SamMote is free on the App Store [Direct Link] and also supports iPhone and iPad, so it is worth testing the remote control app works with your own Samsung television.

Roomie Remote for Apple Watch

Roomie Remote is a Wi-Fi-based universal remote app for home theater and automation that controls thousands of devices like TVs, cable and satellite boxes, receivers, Blu-ray players, lights and thermostats. The app also allows you to control Apple TV. iPhone and iPad versions of the app have been available since February 2012, and earlier this week the app was updated with Apple Watch support as well. Roomie Remote works with a wide variety of devices, but is $9.99 on the App Store [Direct Link] and may require additional in-app purchases depending on what devices you want to control.

Peel Pronto for Apple Watch

Peel Pronto is a 360-degree infrared remote receiver and blaster that will enable Apple Watch users to control their TV using the smartwatch. The cylindrical-like accessory was created through a partnership between Philips and Peel and can be placed anywhere in your living room to control TVs, set-top boxes, DVD and Blu-ray players, and more. Peel Pronto will also be compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and other iOS devices that support low-energy Bluetooth.

The device must be paired with the Peel Smart Remote & TV Guide app on the App Store [Direct Link] and gets approximately one year of battery life. Pronto is listed for $49.99 at Best Buy and is also available at NewEgg in the United States, and Staples in Canada. Included in the box is 1 IR extension cable and 4 AA alkaline batteries.




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Disney’s ‘Movies Anywhere’ Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android [iOS Blog]

Users of Disney’s Movies Anywhere service will now be able to access their movies between iOS and Android as a part of an agreement between Apple and Google, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The company launched its Movies Anywhere app on iOS in February, which allowed users purchase movies or link their iTunes account to sync eligible films to watch on all of their iOS devices. Now, the Movies Anywhere app is available on Android, as users will be able to purchase movies on the service and view any eligible film bought from the iTunes Store or Google Play on their iOS or Android devices. Disney is also allowing users to redeem codes from DVDs and Blu-ray Discs on the Movies Anywhere website.

According to the report, both Apple and Google will pay Disney a wholesale rate for each copy of a film that they sell. Disney Movies Anywhere is currently offering a free digital copy of Wreck-It Ralph with a newly connected account, and currently offers a library of over 450 titles to choose from.

Disney Movies Anywhere is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link]




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Jaw-dropping videos showcase iPhone 6′s slo-mo skillz

Mesmerizing slow-motion videos have flooded the Internet in the last few days, showcasing the kind of amazing footage you rarely see outside a movie theater or Blu-ray disc. What opened the floodgates? The iPhone 6. The device’s camera and software…Read more ›



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Compressor Updated With Bug Fixes and Stability Improvements [Mac Blog]

Apple has updated its Compressor encoding app to version 4.4.1, fixing a number of reliability and stability issues. Compressor is used to encode video files for posting to websites like YouTube and Vimeo, burning to DVD or Blu-ray, and more.

What’s new in Compressor Version 4.1.1

• Resolves issues installing Compressor on a system where Qmaster was previously enabled
• Improves reliability of Send to Compressor from Final Cut Pro X
• Addresses distributed encoding errors when source files are not on the startup volume
• Fixes errors that could cause a hang when submitting a batch
• Fixes a stability issue that could occur if multiple Compressor plug-ins are installed
• Resolves an issue when viewing a plug-in setting without the plug-in installed
• Includes general stability improvements

Compressor is available for $49.99 on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]




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