News & Events

Digest - Friday the 3rd of March 2017

I would like to introduce readers to our Regional New South Wales and Victoria Manager Paul Bonadies. Paul is based in Newcastle and joined NAS in January. Paul is very well known in the industry and has maintained a relationship with the NAS Directors for over 20 years.

News of a new TV ad we are running on Imparja and GWN 7 WA, product releases, industry news and much more is included in the digest.

Happy reading.

John Kimbell

Paul Bonadies

Staff Bio

Paul Bonadies

Born and raised in Sydney, I have worked in the industry since 1991. During this time I have travelled all over the country and the world buying and selling TV reception products. My first visit to China was in 2003 where I helped develop 35 models of TV antenna and over 50 types of mounting hardware and accessories (including the NAS SignalMAX range). This lead to developing products for New Zealand and eventually a job based in China where I lived for 7 years. During that time I travelled to and worked with 13 countries and developed and sold various TV related products. I returned to Australia in 2014 so I could give my young daughter, who was born overseas, a better quality of life. I am very excited about joining NAS Topline. I have known and been a supplier and customer of NAS for over 20 years.

My interests outside of work include 4wding, camping, travel, touring cars/motorsport, music, people and life.

VAST Loyalty Kit Bundle

During the months of March and April 2017 NAS will include (on request) the following Free Bonus Bundle components with any Altech UEC DSD4121RV PVR Ready VAST Receiver in Carton Buys:

  • Free 32GB Flash Drive for recording with PVR Ready VAST STB's
  • 1.5m HDMI Cable
  • Manufacturer Warranty Extension from 12 to 24 Months

Please click Initiates file downloadhere to Initiates file downloaddownload the PDF Flyer.

NAS Advertising on Imparja and GWN7

In order to direct VAST upgrade sales to the trade/installer channel, NAS is running advertisements on Imparja & GWN7 throughout March.

Should you wish to view the ad, please click Opens external link in new windowhere.

Product Release

Sanus VTVS1-B2 Universal TV Stand

Introduced late last year, the Sanus VTVS1-B2 Universal TV Stand was an outstanding early success - selling out completely in a matter of days!

In case you missed it, the VTVS1 is the perfect replacement for the manufacturer supplied TV base. TV stands included with TVs are commonly unable to provide any swivel or height adjustment for best line of sight and/or reduction of glare - and can be less stable than desired for safety and security. Ideal for use by consumers who either don’t want to (or can't) mount their TV, or have discarded the manufacturer supplied base and are looking for a replacement solution, the Sanus Universal TV Stand - combined with the existing comprehensive Sanus Premium and Secura wall mounts ranges - means a substantial new profitable category for trade customers (think how many flat panels are in the average home or workplace - and not on the wall)!
 
Its universal design makes it suitable for use with virtually any TV from 32” to 60” to 27kg, and installing the stand is a very quick and easy operation, with just three simple steps required. Once attached, the TV can be height adjusted 12 cm and swiveled up to almost 80 degrees.

Please have a look at the Sanus VTVS1-B2 Universal TV Stand video Opens external link in new windowhere.

News Articles

FTA TV

Brisbane's 31 Digital goes off-air

"Brisbane’s community TV channel 31 Digital is now off the air and has converted to online operation."

"The station, which was operating on UHF Channel 28 from Mount Coot-tha, closed its free-to-air broadcast on 28 February at 11.59pm (AEST), even though the Federal Government had given the community TV sector a further six month reprieve after the previous December 2016 deadline for stations to convert to online broadcast."

"The station debuted in 1994 as Briz31 (the number taken from the analogue broadcast frequency) and later identified as 31, QCTV and then 31 Digital. Digital transmission launched in 2010 following a campaign by the community TV stations to gain access to digital spectrum." The television.au article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

TiVo exiting Australia and NZ

TiVo is exiting the Australian and New Zealand markets with their PVR's having limited functionality from October 31 this year. The Advanced Television article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Australia: FreeviewPlus doubles penetration

"Australia’s free-to-air digital TV platform Freeview’s hybrid TV service FreeviewPlus has notched up strong growth in 2016, with the most recent figures showing household penetration has risen to 20 per cent – double the figure released earlier in 2016." The Advanced Television article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Don't get caught with bad television reception this summer

An interesting 'Tech' article reinforcing that there is a future for skilled FTA installation professionals into the future. 

"Back in the days of analogue television a weak signal meant that you were forced to deal with the occasional summer snow storm while watching the cricket, but in the digital age a weak signal sees the picture stutter and freeze. It's tempting to blame all your woes on your antenna, but chances are the source of your troubles is closer to your television." The Brisbane Times article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

PAY TV

Australian Streaming Market Due For A Shakeup?

"The local streaming market, currently dominated by Stan and Netflix, may be on-track for a shakeup with US player MatrixStream understood to be in discussions with Australian service providers to help them bring new OTT streaming services to market."

"Whether this move means that existing players are looking to overhaul and improve their services or that carriers like Telstra are looking to strike out on their own in the streaming space is as of yet unknown."

"In the past and overseas markets, Matrix has partnered with local telcos like India’s Airtel to launch streaming services powered by its patented MatrixCast technology."

"The company says that MatrixCast provides a low-bandwidth, high quality streaming solution designed for rapid deployment and growth within established markets."  The Channelnews article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Netflix launch new TV user interface using video to help members make decisions

"The ability to download content from streaming services for offline play is one of the most requested features from subscribers."

"And now Netflix has come to the table, much to the delight of many binge-watchers worldwide." The news.com.au article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Tech

Extending Home Networks - A Comparison of G.hn, HomePlug AV2 and Wi-Fi Mesh

"Over the last decade or so, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of devices connecting to the home network. The popularity of IoT has meant that even devices that are not mobile require communication over the Internet, but, their placement might be far away from the primary router in the house. Given this situation, it is essential to find a reliable way to extend the reach of the home network. There have been many attempts to come up with a standardized way to do it, but consumers have been forced to use range extenders, powerline networking kits and the like to increase the reach of their home networks."

"Given the multitude of available options to extend the reach of home networks, what underlying technology should consumers look for? Today's article provides a comprehensive overview of the available options as well as a quantitative comparison in one particular residential scenario - a 1800 sq. ft. single-level California house built in the 1970s."  The anandtech.com article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

NAS has your home network extension requirements covered using Ubiuquiti Wi-Fi and Novonde G.hn products.

Home routers under attack in ongoing malvertisement blitz

"As you read these words, malicious ads on legitimate websites are targeting visitors with malware. But that malware doesn't infect their computers, researchers said. Instead, it causes unsecured routers to connect to fraudulent domains."

"Using a technique known as steganography, the ads hide malicious code in image data. The hidden code then redirects targets to webpages hosting DNSChanger, an exploit kit that infects routers running unpatched firmware or are secured with weak administrative passwords. Once a router is compromised, DNSChanger configures it to use an attacker-controlled domain name system server. This causes most computers on the network to visit fraudulent servers, rather than the servers corresponding to their official domain."

Patrick Wheeler, director of threat intelligence for security firm Proofpoint, told Ars:

"These findings are significant because they demonstrate clearly that ubiquitous and often-overlooked devices are being actively attacked, and once compromised, these devices can affect the security of every device on the network, opening them up to further attacks, pop-ups, malvertising, etc. Thus, the potential footprint of this kind of attack is high and the potential impact is significant."

The Ars Technica article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Hotel ransomed by hackers as guests locked out of rooms

"One of Europe's top hotels has admitted they had to pay thousands in Bitcoin ransom to cybercriminals who managed to hack their electronic key system, locking hundreds of guests out of their rooms until the money was paid."

"Furious hotel managers at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt, a luxurious 4-star hotel with a beautiful lakeside setting on the Alpine Turracher Hoehe Pass in Austria, said they decided to go public with what happened to warn others of the dangers of cybercrime."

"The attack, which coincided with the opening weekend of the winter season, was allegedly so massive that it even shut down all hotel computers, including the reservation system and the cash desk system."

"The hackers promised to restore the system quickly if just 1,500 EUR (1,272 GBP) in Bitcoin was paid to them."  The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are going to change to way we watch television forever

Interesting article and video exploring the benefits of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

"Imagine if your television could broadcast images with richness, colour and details that are indistinguishable to how you would see them in real life."

"Now consider if this was combined with a soundtrack that could also mimic the real-world environment — a helicopter flying overhead or a car screeching around the corner."

"This technology is already available, with Dolby Laboratories working to revolutionise how people experience entertainment in the cinema, at home or on the go."

"The ever-evolving technology is achieved through two different components — Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos."

"Dolby Vision leverages the maximum potential of new cinema projection technology and new TVs to deliver high-dynamic-range (HDR) images and a wide-colour-gamut content for a refined, lifelike display." View the complete article Opens external link in new windowhere.

Wanted: high-tech grads to work with Aussie farmers

"Parts of Australia's farming industry are rushing to recruit a new generation of tech-savvy graduates as the sector swaps its bucolic past for a future of drones, robots and automated sensors."

"The push comes as cutting-edge machinery is used to plug a labour shortage on the nation's remote farms that threatens to derail its ambitions to become Asia's food bowl."

"While Australia is among the world's leaders in robotics for outdoor use, having given birth to the first robot to round up cattle, the A$4 billion agriculture technology industry is still in its infancy. It is mainly just a few companies that are big enough to recruit." The complete Brisbane times article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Telstra tests incredibly fast Gigabit LTE mobile network

"Telstra has tested the world’s first Gigabit LTE mobile network capable of unprecedented mobile broadband speeds."

"The new LTE technology — which stands for “Long Term Evolution” and is a term used to denote improvements in mobile broadband — means Telstra’s network will soon be capable of download speeds of up to one gigabit per second."

"At such speeds users could download an hour-long high definition TV show on their phone in less than 20 seconds."

"In partnership with Netgear, chip maker Qualcomm and infrastructure provider Ericsson, the Telstra network will allow its customers to receive downloads speeds of up to 1Gpbs and upload speeds of 150Mbps over its 4G network." The news.com.au article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Telstra is filthy about being barred from spectrum auction

"Big T wants to know why the government is going to let airspace sell cheap and competition cherry-pick."

"Australia's dominant carrier Telstra has expressed its displeasure with yesterday's decision to exclude it from an auction for some useful-for-4G spectrum in the 700MHz bands, in the name of enhancing competition." The Register article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

NBN

Cabling guidance for registered cablers and builders

As mentioned in a recent NECA news bulletin, NBN Co have updated information for Registered Cablers on their website. The information outlines the requirements for setting up the premises to complete the connection to the nbn network, including internal and external conduit paths and utility box separations. The information can be found on the nbn Opens external link in new windowwebsite:

http://www.nbnco.com.au/develop-or-plan-with-the-nbn/new-developments/design-build-install/cabling.html?cid=vanity:cabling

CCTV

DC police surveillance cameras were infected with ransomware before inauguration

"Networked digital video recorders have been harnessed for all sorts of ill intent over the past few months, including use in a botnet that disrupted large swaths of the Internet. But a different sort of malware hit the DVRs used by the District of Columbia’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system just one week before Inauguration Day. The Washington Post reports that 70 percent of the DVR systems used by the surveillance network were infected with ransomware, rendering them inoperable for four days and crippling the city’s ability to monitor public spaces." The complete Ars Technica articles can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Backdoor accounts found in 80 Sony IP security camera models

"Sony released firmware updates to remove the accounts that could give hackers full access to the cameras."

"Many network security cameras made by Sony could be taken over by hackers and infected with botnet malware if their firmware is not updated to the latest version."

"Researchers from SEC Consult have found two backdoor accounts that exist in 80 models of professional Sony security cameras, mainly used by companies and government agencies given their high price."

"One set of hard-coded credentials is in the Web interface and allows a remote attacker to send requests that would enable the Telnet service on the camera, the SEC Consult researchers said in an advisory Tuesday."

"The second hard-coded password is for the root account that could be used to take full control of the camera over Telnet. The researchers established that the password is static based on its cryptographic hash and, while they haven’t actually cracked it, they believe it’s only a matter of time until someone does." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Smart Home Tech

Millennial renters are willing to pay more for smart-home tech

"The changing attitudes toward what younger homebuyers value when it comes to housing was also highlighted in the survey. It found that 44% of millennial respondents would give up a parking space to live in an apartment fitted with smart technology, while 64% of all respondents said being closer to work is more important than being close to friends and family. It also found that 63% of respondents would move out of an apartment due to poor security." The D Construction Drive article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Research shows continued growth in smart home market

"DALLAS—Approximately 26 percent of U.S. broadband households today now own a smart home device, up from 19 percent at the end of 2015, according to new Parks Associates’ research that was announced at its CONNECTIONS Summit at CES in January."

“That is a pretty significant increase, and that is notable because if you look at the lifestyle adoption, it is moving from early adopters to early majority so that transition is interesting,” Tom Kerber, Parks’ director of IoT strategy, told Security Systems News. “Any single category of product is not in the range, but collectively that it has moved past 20 percent is a milestone.” The Security Systems News article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Wanted: Smart Public Policy for Internet of Things Security

"Without us even knowing it, the connected devices in our homes and businesses can carry out nefarious tasks. Increasingly, the Internet of Things has become a weapon in hackers’ schemes. This is possible in large part due to manufactures’ failure to program basic security measures into these devices."

"Now, experts in the U.S. are asking regulators to step in. Calls for public policy to improve device security have reached a fever pitch following a series of high-profile denial-of-service attacks leveraged in part by unsuspecting DVRs, routers, and webcams. In October, hackers flooded the Internet service company Dyn with traffic by assembling millions of IoT devices into a virtual botnet using a malicious program called Mirai."

“The problems are not problems that markets can solve,” says Bruce Schneier, a security specialist affiliated with Harvard University who has asked for more regulation. He says attacks like the one on Dyn are akin to air pollution—an externality that manufacturers aren’t motivated to fix.  

"In light of recent attacks, it’s clear that Internet of Things (IoT) devices will continue to serve on the front lines of botnets if their security isn’t somehow improved. And to critics, history shows that manufacturers cannot be trusted to do that on their own." The IEEE article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Economy/Development

Queensland tourism numbers looking good with more infrastructure in pipeline

"A new $440 million 6-star hotel planned for the Gold Coast is the latest new project for Queensland's tourism industry, with $13 billion in infrastructure in the pipeline."

"Aquis Australia has unveiled plans for a new hotel at the site of the Pacific Point apartment complex and adjoining properties at Main Beach Parade, Surfers Paradise."

"It comes as figures provided by the state government show $13 billion in tourism infrastructure is in the pipeline across Queensland, an increase of $1 billion on last year."

"Key projects in the pipeline include the $3 billion Queen's Wharf development, $600 million Lindeman Island upgrade, $2 billion Laguna Quays Whitsundays upgrade, $1 billion Songcheng Group theme park on the Gold Coast, $50 million Cairns Aquarium, $1 billion Jewel development on the Gold Coast and the $100 million Luggage Point cruise terminal." The Brisbane Times article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Forget Sydney, Newcastle is the next big thing to boom

"STEP aside Sydney."

"While you’ve been busily sealing your spot as one of the most expensive cities in the world, a couple of hours up the road, Newcastle has become the next big thing."

"The harbourside city — once with its roots firmly in coal and steel — is reinventing itself."

"Huge investments in transport, the rejuvenation of the city foreshore, a revitalised central business district, an upsized university and a $6.5 billion investment from the NSW Government make it the new boom town."

“Newcastle is on the cusp of transitioning from a great regional city to an emerging global city and we are doing our bit as a council to attract investment, jobs and opportunity,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes told news.com.au."

"While buyers’ hopes of buying into an out-of-control Sydney property market are heading further south, property experts say savvy buyers are heading north." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

Regional towns are becoming the new inner city as property prices force young people to buy further away

"It's got all the hallmarks of trendy inner city neighbourhoods. Coffee shops with a vast array of roasts, a small bar with a cosy nook to settle into."

"But this isn’t Sydney’s Newtown, Melbourne’s Carlton and Brisbane’s New Farm — all minutes from the CBD."

"This is Gosford — on the NSW Central Coast — and it’s one-and-a-half hours by train from central Sydney."

"If you’re young and upwardly mobile moving a few suburbs out from the CBD is no longer enough. Now you might just have to suck up an achingly long commute if you want a new home." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.

22 new things coming to the Coast in 2017

A great read for our Sunshine Coast customers.  Here is a Opens external link in new windowlink to a list of 46 news things coming to the Coast in 2017.

Growth figures a 'good outcome' for families

"The economy has avoided a dreaded recession, rebounding sharply in the final three months of 2016 in an outcome Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says highlights the resilience of Australia."

"The economy grew by 1.1 per cent during in the December quarter and that means Australia is still on course to complete more than 26 years of uninterrupted expansion by the end of this year, beating a record held by the Netherlands."

"'This is a very good outcome for Australian families, for Australian business and for jobs,' Mr Turnbull told parliament on Wednesday." The complete article can be accessed Opens external link in new windowhere.