Advent of 4K

It is only recently been decided, 4K is being replaced with the term Ultra High Definition. Our next step up will be to 8K or also known as Super Hi Vision, but lets not go there just yet. UHDTV is 3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels tall (8.29 megapixels), which is four times as many pixels as 1920 × 1080 (2.07 megapixels) for standard High Definition TVs outputting video in 1080p. What that means is the picture uses twice as many pixels(a box dedicated to a certain color and brightness). Does that mean it is twice as clear as 1080p? It may be. If the source such as 4K video was shot with a UHD camera. Next it has to be captured on a UHD Bluray . Then it needs to be played back on a UHD Bluray player using the right HDMI cable. If you already stopped reading, I dont blame you. Hopefully you will call or write me if you are about to make the jump to Ultra High Definition and wonder what you can do to get the best picture for your money and avoid issues with playback occurring at an alarming rate.

Aspect Ratio Friendly Projector

Digital Light Projection, also known as DLP, just announced its new dVision Scope 1080p, a native 2:35:1 precision DLP
projector. The hook here, however, is that the 2560 x 1080 dVision Scope
delivers a true 1080p solution for 2:35 aspect content, without the need for
optical stretching or an anamorphic lens.

Promising about 2.75 million pixels of detail, the single-chip dVision Scope
1080p is one of the only anamorphic lens-free, full resolution, constant height
projectors available today.

Also, even though it doesn’t use that added anamorphic lens, it can still
move easily between 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 aspect ratio content. At 1.78, that
content is displayed at a native 1080p resolution. When a wider aspect ratio is
needed, the image is resized horizontally (up to 2560 pixels), while maintaining
that vertical height. The projector can also detect the presence of “letterbox”
black bars, and automatically resize the image to fill the height of the DMD
(1080p).

Designed for home use with medium to large screen sizes, the Scope 1080p
boasts a flexible installation, with throw ratios as short as .8:1 and as long
as 4.5:1. Projector lumens and black levels can be tweaked based on room
conditions. Also, the projector’s quick-change motorized lens provides a broad
range of horizontal and vertical lens shift.

Mounting a TV

Let’s say that you have a new large screen flat panel and you want to place it on a wall with one of those tv mounts instead of the tv stand, what should you do first? If you can find a wall across a room from your furniture for veiwing, your on your way. Now try to determine how high the bottom of the screen should be and place a tic mark there. Measure the height of the screen and place a tic mark on the wall at that distance from the bottom. Now float a stud finder left and right until you find the paralell studs and place a pencil tic mark there. Measure the width of the screen and try to center the stud tic marks in that width. Stand back across room and decide if the screen placement fits your room design as far as layout and proximity to cabinet or shelves below. Get a low profile mount that works for the size TV you just bought. Put the brackets on and measure the height of the point of where the bracket and mount touch the wall mount down to bottom of screen, match that to wall marks and you now have a location to place the cross bar on the mount. Drill the correct hole size with a cordless drill into the stud making sure holes are level. Mount with lag bolts. Erase tic marks still showing. Now cut a hole at top and bottom to pull power and signal cables through using a hand saw. Pull Romex and an HDMI cable(s) to cut out and hang out of wall about 2 feet or more. Cutenough romex to connect a “power kit” to plug flat screen into behind the screen and a cord for connecting power to a surge protector in the cabinet. Place flat screen on wall after you connect HDMI to input on back. Plug in to “power kit” power outlet. Connect HDMI cable(s) at bottom. You are done mounting a TV. Just power up the TV and sources like a cable box or blu ray player .You’re ready to watch your wall mounted TV.

If this all sounds too simple, it’s not. Contact us for a professional quote and installation today.

Smart Rooms to fit a Small Budget

Money is tight, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams of
having a home control system. Just scale down your plans a bit. Instead of
spending a fortune to trick out the entire house, you can economize by focusing
on a single room.

It’s a trend that’s really taking off, says Keith W. Harrison, owner of Total
Home Technologies in Caldwell, N.J. “Not too many people are coming to us these
days asking us to wire their whole house,” he says “but they do want us to hang
a TV on the wall.”

Manufacturers recognize the shift in consumers’ spending habits, and have
started to develop systems intended for installation in one room. “For the cost
of a decent vacation, you can put in a system that makes a really big impact in
one room,” says Eric Smith, chief technology officer at Control4, a company that offers a variety of
home control solutions.

The most obvious room to focus on is the family room. The space probably
already has a decent TV and possibly a surround-sound system. By adding a few
extra pieces to this setup, you can create some real magic where the lights,
window shades and even the thermostats are synchronized to the audio and video
system.

But first things first: You’ll need a good remote. For less than $100 you can
pick up a universal remote that can do the job of several clickers. Many
universal remotes can be programmed by homeowners, so the labor is free.
However, if you’d like your clicker to control more than A/V equipment, you’ll
need something more sophisticated.

By adding a home control processor to your A/V cabinet, you’ll be able to use
your remote to command the lights, thermostats and motorized window shades. RTI and Universal
Remote Control
both offer a variety of processors ideally suited for single
rooms, like the XP-8 ($1,699) and the MCS-400 ($599),
respectively.

One-room Control Systems
Adding on to a universal remote is one way
to grow into greater home control; trimming down a whole-house system to fit the
scope of a single room is another.

Manufacturers like Control4, HAI (Home Automation Inc.) and Lutron offer
entry-level systems designed specifically for individual spaces. For example,
Control4’s HC200 (starting at around $499) comes with a remote that lets
you navigate a menu of options presented on the screen of the family room TV. As
is the case with RTI’s and Universal Remote Control’s solutions, you’ll need to
replace the room’s existing light switches and thermostat with new smart models.
Expect to spend between $100 and $200 for each item involved.

Lutron and HAI, meanwhile, have packaged all the
necessary equipment together. Lutron’s $925 RadioRA-SR package, for
example, includes three dimmer switches and a controller that lets you use a
remote control or touchpanel to operate the lights, as well as Lutron’s own line
of Sivoia QS window shades. HAI’s Home Theater Lighting Kit ($600) comes
with a programmable keypad that mounts to the wall, two dimmer switches and two
plug-in modules for table lamps.

Both the RadioRA-SR and Home Theater Lighting Kit can be programmed by a
professional home systems installer to enact a variety of scenes whenever a
particular button on a keypad or remote control is pressed.

“Now that PLAY button not only starts up the A/V equipment, but dims the
lights and closes the shades,” says Jeremy Kleinberg, RadioRA product manager at
Lutron. “You can create some real magic in the room.”

You don’t have to stop at the family room, either. Most single-room systems
can be expanded into other areas of the house. You can integrate additional
lights and shades, or even tie in your home’s existing security system whenever
you’re ready to spend the money.

Other Single-Room Ideas

  • Multipurpose devices like a Windows Media Center can save you money
    and labor on multiple boxes. Media Centers can be had for as little as $500. For
    that you get TV, music, movies, photos and lots of interactive content.
    Inexpensive Media Center “plug-ins” for automation start at just a couple
    hundred dollars.

 

  • Contributing Writer-Lisa Montgomery

Pandora Plays On Mozilla

Pandora Internet Radio has been experiencing some problems with Explorer 9 stopping the music anytime you minimize, Mozilla doesnt, so maybe you will want check this site out, you can still use Explorer for everything else at the same time

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/new/

Flat Panel TV Sounds Better over Larger Speakers

All flat panels built today come with speakers. If you look closely you might even see them hidden across the bottom or on the back somewhere. If they fit in such a small space, that must mean they are just as small or smaller. My custom installed speakers in my Bedroom and Family Room are as large as 6 1/2″ and 8″ respectively. Compare that to 1 1/2″ speakers on a new flat panel TV.

I bet many of you have a stereo or Audio Video Receiver connected to a pair of speakers in close proximity to your TV. If you turn that TV around, or look behind it if its on a wall, you will find an audio out plug(s) . There are usually two kinds. One we call  an  analog out and you see a red and white surface inside the jack or port. If you have a newer TV it may have a digital out, also optical where after you plug in one end to the TV you will see a red light comng out the other end. If you have both an analog and a digital/optical input on your Stereo or Audio Video Receiver, you are good. Just find a good pair of analog cables, or at a minimum a red, white and yellow composite cable. Unfortunately, many times I find that there is a conflict between the newer TV which is normally a digital output not matching an older receiver that accepts analog only. Fortunately you are not completely out of luck if that is the case. I have a found a digital to analog converter that makes the signal acceptable to the receiver. The sound is still clear and since you are playing them over larger speakers amplified with a receiver, the depth and clarity is much better than any flat panel speakers short of the 16 speaker array like you find on some Mitsubishi televisions. So while your still wishing for the great audio that comes with Dolby HTS Digital Master soundtracks over a new 7.1 Surround Sound System with full spectrum from low to high spread out in a systematic grid, get a couple of good bookshelf speakers and hook them up to that stereo sitting by your TV. You will enjoy your watching and listening better. May want to get a Universal or program the remote that came with the receiver to control TV and input sources too.

Outdoor Audio is Better than Ever

Act One carries several types of outdoor audio systems. There are your typical outdoor speakers you have seen everywhere that hang on the wall. These are not a good option and can be very cost effective. Rock speakers can blend into the landscaping and provide some nice acoustics when you add a rock sub. These are more difficult to wire, so that usually means they will end up costing more.Then you have the landscape audio systems. These are very high end and can spread the sound out evenly over a very large area. The best I have ever experienced are the Sonance Landscape speakers. These speakers look like small garden spot lights and blend easily into a tree or landscaping. There is also an underground sub that is just area filling and musical. If you have a great yard and enjoy being in it, then why not add sound like the highest quality homes do to complete your audio dreams. If you would like a free consultation on what it would take to add an outdoor audio system to home please call us at 214-212-9071.