Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What to Consider When Installing a Home Theater System

Are you considering installing a home theater system? Or, you're wondering what the hype is all about. The most obvious benefit of a home theater is the fact that the owner never has to leave their house; they can become fully engulfed in the latest movies all the while wearing their pajamas. Home theater systems completely transform the way owners watch and appreciate movies and music. Also, home theaters provide an aesthetic upgrade to one's home, morphing any den or basement into something far surpassing the norm. Still considering a home theater? Here's what you'll need.

The first two things to consider when installing a home theater system are your budget and space. Home theater systems are not a simple procedure; they're a serious operation consisting of complex components, intricate wiring, and extensive labor. The result is a setup that will blow away anyone's 50" television with add-on speakers. So, if you're going to go this route, expect to pay at a premium. The deciding factor is whether you have the money and desire to install a home theater system. The second thing to consider is if you have the space. Most common areas within households to install home theater systems are devised in one's den or basement. The main parts that will take up the most space are the screen, speakers, and a rack which holds all of the components, such a Blu-ray player, amplifiers, etc. It all depends on how extraordinary of a setup you're looking for.

The next thing to consider is the type of projector that will be needed to feed your home theater. Most common home theater systems use a projector with anywhere between 1500-2500 lumens. This amount of lumens is suggested when presenting to a small audience (around 5 people). However, 1500-2500 lumens are adequate when expected basements or dens are pitch black at all times. If lighting is still present, it will be necessary to purchase a projector that possesses the output of more lumens, such a 4,000. The type of resolution you're looking for is also based on preference. For a general rule of thumb, high-resolution projectors are able to display far more detail than low resolution projectors. Those with a tight budget may be looking for a projector with a 720p resolution. However, since we're discussing home theater systems, it's expected that you're looking for something of the highest quality. What's the point of having a home theater system with the focal point, the projector, being of poor quality. Odds are, most owners have resolutions consisting of 1080p or higher. These are of the highest quality and produce rich, crisp images.

In regards to the projection screen, the average sizing is 100-120 inches diagonal. Of course, sizes can always be increased or decreased depending on space and preference. Owners may want to look for a screen that is perforated. Due to the perforation, audio can be devised behind the screen, giving it a more natural audio feeling. Also, by having the audio behind the screen, it is hidden from viewers and will save space.

The audio is the second most crucial part besides the visual aspect of a home theater system. Before setting anything up, acoustical treatment should be placed in the room. This helps decrease vibrations and allows for more flowing and crisp audio. High quality speakers and subwoofers will be needed as well. More than anything else, the higher quality and better sounding audio you want, the more expensive it's going to be. This is an area where owners should not fall short, just like when looking for a projector. It is necessary to look for speaks and subwoofers that are efficient and are of high quality to ensure they do not need to be updated or worry about them breaking.

A rack will prove beneficial as a place to store the various components to keep the system running and fully functional. From the Blu-ray player to the Xbox and amplifier, a  rack will assist in condensing and organizing the parts that help in keeping the home theater operational and efficient. 

It is recommended that a professional assists in the development and installation of your home theater. Remember don't skip out on this; home theaters are an investment that you will almost guaranteed be proud of if done right. So, are you ready to take your house and movie watching experience to a different level? Take the plunge; you won't regret it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Are 3D TV's Worth the Price?

3D TV or three dimensional television, refers to a television set that makes use of stereoscopic capture, 3D display, multi-view captures, and other 3D presentation techniques to project a program into a realistically made three-dimensional field. Many TV manufactures are selling 3D TV's stating that it is a "Must Have" and "The Next Best Thing". However, consumers are weary about the idea for a number of reasons. So, as a consumer, is it worth jumping on the 3D bandwagon? Is the technology going to be soon outdated? Well, if you're in the market for a new television, here are a few things to consider before making an extravagant purchase on merely hype.

It's undeniable that the picture quality on the best 3D TV's is quite impressive. The high-definition, 1080p images have excellent 3D depth, detail, and color. All of these factors combined can lead to a fascinating, at home, 3D experience. This experience is mainly noted when dealing with high quality, high priced televisions from the most reputable manufacturers. In lesser quality 3D television sets, there have been many flaws such as double images. So, if you plan on purchasing a 3D television, it's prudent to purchase one of the highest qualities.

To get the most out of the clarity and experience of a 3D television, it's necessary to purchase some of the best models. Well obviously, when looking for the most creditable 3D television sets, there is going to be a substantial cost as a result. This is one reason many consumers avoid 3D. In fact, 45% of consumers saying they wouldn't buy a 3D television related it to the extreme cost. However, the price is going down for 3D at this very  moment. As 3D is available longer on the market, the cost will most certainly decline which may sway your opinion to a more definitive answer.

Now here comes the topic that makes most people skeptical and even cringe regarding the purchase of a 3D TV, the glasses. Actually, 42% of consumers who stated they would not purchase a 3D television were due to the fact that they must wear the necessary glasses. Special 3D glasses are a necessary component to owning a 3D TV. Without special glasses, images will appear doubled and blurry. Most of these glasses are equipped with high-tech-active shutter lenses that better enhance images and make them lifelike. However, these glasses can often feel heavy and cumbersome. If you require regular glasses as well, the combination can often feel awkward and uncomfortable. After the purchase of the highly expensive 3D TV, extra glasses are needed which can cost anywhere from $130-$400 each! Plan on a pair breaking too, which provides manufacturers with a steady stream of consumer income. While 3D may be very cool, it certainly is not a onetime fee.

So, is it worth it to jump on the 3D bandwagon? Personally, we think not. The technology is still very new and until 3D can be viewed without glasses, it can be more of a nuisance than a pleasurable experience. It may be in your best interest to purchase a LCD television for a lesser price, better picture, and of greater size. However, if new technology is your thing and you like to be the one with the bragging rights, then 3D is the way to go for you. Either way, it can be far to costly to make this purchase sporadically. Be careful, and make sure you put in the proper amount of time researching and weighing the pros and cons of the decision to be made.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Places of Worship and the Benefits of AV

When incorporating audio visual components, most people consider its use in big businesses and educational systems. However, as society is becoming more tech savvy, there has been a rapid increase in demand for audio visual components in churches and places of worship. This is because there are significant benefits when being incorporated to any place of worship. Whether the facility is suited for a large or small audience, both can benefit and usually afford audio visual system support.

Audio visual systems allow the relay of content to people located throughout any place of worship. The crisp and clear messages of the audio systems allow for better comprehension and concentration while also providing the Pastor/Minister the ability to speak in a more comfortable tone. Without an audio system, the messages may be unheard and thus not reach the people to whom it may impact the greatest. The visual aspect of the audio visual system can prove to be very beneficial as well. Whether via projector or display, Bible verses can be displayed so that the congregation can follow. Also, this allows for the Pastor/Minister to take notes and display key points that may have been missed. Song lyrics can be displayed so that everyone can easily follow along and better understand its meanings in greater detail through the ability of dissecting and analysis.

Let's face it, as attendance grows in any church, the number of people's view being restricted is certainly a factor that can lead to diminished utility and problems. Due to this, there is less concentration and happiness and more distraction. The influence of the Pastor/Minister will only be truly felt if the entire congregation is able to see them and "feel" their presence. With the right video system, everyone will be able to see which will keep them more engaged and give it a more personal ambiance. Another great feature about audio visual systems is that they allow connection with the internet, allowing for the ability to stream videos. So, whether it is a current and relevant video, or recording of the actual mass itself, viewers can watch this content either within the place of worship or from their personal computers.

Finally, when having audio visual systems in places of worship, there is no need to turn them off when they are in view by an audience. These systems can be used as a promotional tool, displaying content such as church events, fundraisers, announcements, and anything else relevant to the facility. Instead of the Pastor/Minister taking up time during the service to relay this content, the audio visual system can do this instead while people are getting seated or after mass. While the structures of many places of worship vary, the basic layout of the audio visual system is fairly similar. It's just the quality and dimensions that often differ. Either way, audio systems can undoubtedly prove beneficial to any place of worship and increase satisfaction within its congregation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Find the Right Speakers to Meet Your Needs

The key to getting the most out of your audio system is by having high quality speakers. Even with an AV receiver being of the highest-rated, the audio setup won't produce significant results without the right speakers. Speakers provide the crucial bond between the audio system's internal components and physical world where the sound is being derived. It is crucial that the right speakers for the job are obtained; making the difference between mundane and distorted sound to a truly crisp and stunning audio experience.

Audio Misconception

"Bigger is better"- In terms of speaker size, big speakers do not necessarily increase sound volume, clarity, or bass. Occasionally, size can make a difference. However, the majority of the time, it all depends on the quality of the speakers. As an example, a ten-inch woofer can actually create crisper and deeper bass than a twelve inch. To make things easier, the price you're willing to pay most often directly correlates with the quality of the audio obtained.

Concepts of Audio

Volume- The level of volume you're looking for is critical for choosing the type of speakers necessary. Some speakers sound as if they are struggling and become distorted when they are being played at higher volumes. Others can sound incredibly impressive at even the lowest of volume levels. Thus, depending on the amount of volume you require will directly correlate with the type of speaker to look for. It's not necessary to purchase the highest grade speakers with high volume capabilities if they are to be used in places such as an office where high volume would not be practical. Smaller speakers will most likely provide more than enough volume you're looking for. If you're looking to play both high and low volumes, a high quality speaker will be able to sound impressive no matter the volume.

Frequency, Response and Balance- The measure of how high or low a sound is pitched is referred to as its frequency. Frequency response is the level of how wide various sounds can be reproduced. Usually, high-quality bass that is very deep can be quite expensive. If you're looking for something for your office, midrange performance would be more plausible. If the speaker accentuates high frequencies too much, the sound produced will be mushy, harsh, and far from crisp. On the opposite end of the spectrum, speakers that de-emphasize frequency will sound bland and lifeless.

Wattage and Power Handling- Wattage is a measurement of electrical power when applied to speakers. Speakers possess two types of wattage: "RMS" and "Peak Power". RMS, or "continuous power", is how well a speaker can consistently perform without incurring damage. Peak Power is self explanatory being the maximum amount of power a speaker can withstand for a brief period of time. Peak power is not an accurate way of judging a speaker's performance however, because it is only very brief and doesn't represent the true value of the speaker. RMS wattage is actually the true reflection of how well a speaker performs and is what should be referred to.

For Your Money, What's Best?

The first thing to assess is what you already have and how familiar you are with audio equipment. You could start out with a Home Theater in a box which combines Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 surround-sound. This includes a speaker set with an AV receiver. The great thing about this is it's very easy to assemble; all the equipment comes together and allows you to become more familiar with what you are looking for. These home-theater sets vary highly in price range so they're sure to fit any budget.

If you're more familiar with surround-sound systems and crave a more intense experience, then odds are you need to look for something more elaborate and specific to your tastes. The great thing is that if you already have speakers in place, it's not necessary to replace everything. This will save you money and time. By just replacing the speakers closest to where you will be sitting, it will drastically improve quality. When including a center channel speaker, the transitions will be seamless, which is incredibly important for a well-rounded audio system. As you increase the quality of your speakers and better cater to you wants, sound quality will become more crisp, tighter, smoother, and better when varying from the precise highs and lows. Volume can be increased with little to no distortion, creating a truly incredible experience.

So What Should You Choose?

If you're looking for something in the office, an elaborate system with large speakers is probably not what you're looking for. Odds are, you will not be playing extremely loud music. Video conferencing and company videos will not require a state-of-the-art audio system. Instead, it may be more important to focus on the video and visual aspect of the system. Deep bass and large variations in highs and lows will probably not be necessary. One thing many companies do wrong is that they go state-of-the-art and spend absurd amounts of money for these systems, and then never use them even close to the potential they possess. With the office atmosphere, it may be better to go with speakers of larger quantity being of smaller size. This creates great clarity and allows parties located across the office to become fully submerged in what is being presented.

When it comes to something like a home-theater system, it would be beneficial to look at higher quality audio equipment. This is because when playing movies or video games, there is a wide variety of frequencies that need to be thoroughly obtained or else everything will sound distorted and can hinder the experience. For home-theater systems, it's recommended to do some research and talk with the experts before purchasing audio systems based solely off of judgement. The last thing you want to happen is spend all the time installing the systems and then for it not to meet your expectations. To obtain substantial bass for these situations, bigger may be the better option. Large woofers will save you from purchasing multiple woofers to achieve the same amount of bass. Basically, it's dependent on how large the room is and what you have the space and disposable income for.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What To Do With Outdated Audio Visual Technology Equipment

With the increasing volume and frequency of electronics and audio visual technology being introduced into the workplace and at home, a common problem is what to do with the outdated electronics. This technology includes analog televisions, outdated projectors, speakers, PC's, VCR's, and DVD players. It would be highly inefficient and environmentally impactful to just throw everything away into the trash can. Thankfully, there is a growing number of recycling programs to assist in disposing of this audio visual technology and electronics. From communities to manufacturers, there are various possibilities of recycling which take away any excuse for just giving it to the garbage.

One solution when possessing outdated audio visual technology and equipment is to just move the setup to a different room. There is always somewhere else the equipment can go; there is no reason to just remove it altogether. From bedrooms to the basement, there are many possibilities of relocation. If that is not an option, give the audio visual technology and equipment as hand-me-downs. A great opportunity when possessing outdated technology and equipment is to save it for soon to be college students. Many setups can be placed and used in their college dorm rooms or homes away from home. This is beneficial because it saves parents and students from purchasing new equipment and odds are that any outdated audio visual system will certainly be more extravagant than the norm. Other family members may greatly appreciate hand-me-downs as well; it's not just limited to immediate family members.

To rid yourself of old equipment and audio visual technology, giving to friends, donating, and selling are certainly options. Selling to friends, family, or via a yard sale can also prove to be highly effective. Garage sales are a great way to remove junk from the house. It is often said that "one's junk is another's treasure". As long as the outdated audio visual technology and equipment is discounted in price, friends and others may highly demand the merchandise that holds no significant value to you anymore. Donating to local schools, community organizations, and churches is a great way to please others as well as yourself by doing a socially satisfying deed. It is not practical to invest money in purchasing brand new equipment and electronics for these facilities, so they often completely rely on donations. By choosing to rid yourself of outdated audio visual technology and equipment through your own means or through a recycling program, either way, the environment and somebody else will surely be better off in the process.

Some Recycling Methods Include:

Consumers Electronics Association- Greener
The Sony Recycling Program
The Best Buy Recycling Program
The U.S. Post Office Recycling Program
The Toshiba Recycling Program
The Office Depot and Staples Recycling Program

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ensuring Your Presenter Succeeds When Using AV Equipment

Having the latest in audio visual technology is certainly a must for successful corporations and businesses in North America. With the latest AV technology, corporations and businesses have the ability to better inform clients and staff of business endeavors and of relevant information pertaining to the industry in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Through social networking, video conferencing, and virtual office technology, audio visual technology can increase efficiency, awareness, and productivity. While the usage of these means proves to be highly beneficial, the main success comes down to the experience and training of the presenter. To often do personnel attempt to give presentations and fail due to inexperience and lack of prior technological training. More often than not, this results negatively and can severely damage the credibility of the presenter, the corporation/business, and its practices. The role of the presenter to inspire, motivate, and prove rich, informative content for all of their viewers. Making sure that presenters are not only well prepared but trained and comfortable with the situation is necessary when audio visual technology is being utilized and a business's credibility is on the line.

One of the first questions needed to be evaluated is what specific audio visual equipment is necessary for the presentation. Not only as a way of making sure the necessary equipment is on hand and functioning, but by discussing the topic with the presenter prior to the presentation, the level of knowledge can be judged. Make sure that the presenter attends at least an hour prior to launch to make sure their laptop is compatible with the AV equipment and that everything works as a fully functional unit. Finally, have everything in writing, so that it can be documented and able to be followed to ensure that AV Technicians won't make any sudden last minute changes.

It's also very important to have the presenter provide thorough background information in regards to their experience in giving presentations. The last thing you want in a corporation is to have an inexperienced, first time presenter act as a lead in a highly vital business presentation with clients, especially internationally. Ask how many presentations they have done in the past. Presenting is a speaking skill that gets better overtime as  experience and comfort are increased. If they have a video of a previous presentation, view it or ask them to give a quick on-the-spot presentation on their daily activities to a few staff members including yourself. This is a great way to judge how well they deal with pressure and to view how involved they are with the audience. Also, it may be helpful to know if they have been invited back to speak when giving previous presentations. This allows you to know what other people thought of the presenter's abilities.

Finally, it is important to discuss the presentation topics prior to launch. The point is to be an expert and to have the ability to adapt and succeed in any spontaneous situation. It may be beneficial to have a mach presentation on the topics at hand, to ensure the presenter is prepared, highly knowledgeable, and flexible. By using the AV equipment in the facility, staff located throughout can view the mach presentation, ask questions, and give their constructive criticisms without even being in the same room using microphones, visual recording systems, and projector or LCD screens. Also, this allows for the presenter to know how long the presentation may last. This is beneficial because it assists the presenter by making sure they are well prepared and don't have too much or too little material readily available and so that they know at what speaking rate they should maintain.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Future of Audio Visual Technology

The audio visual industry and its technology have been increasing at an explosive rate. It's hard to even fathom the future of the AV industry with technology constantly changing and evolving. The topic is quite exciting, as everything that we have grown up viewing in futuristic novels, movies, and television shows is becoming a reality. With elaborate projectors now attached to mobile cell phones, cloud technology, and SMART televisions, it's easy to let one's mind slip into the possibilities of the future. With the explosion of audio visual technology in just a decade, the sky is the limit for this industry. 

Forget LCD and plasma screens, the future of displays entail laser technology. Laser displays not only sound super cool, but they are also very beneficial and offer great improvements. The brightness and sharpness of the display will be significantly more vibrant and exquisite than anything else in the market. The other main benefit of laser displays is that they require drastically less power. Recently, Prysm announced their new Laser Phosphor Display screens. Prysm is more focused on the promotional aspect of the technology at the moment; however it is guaranteed that laser displays will become popular within the next couple of years.

Spatial Operating Environment is also another feature that audio visual technologies will possess in the future. By moving images across a projected display with one's fingertips or by using a light pen, the level of ease and control will be unmatched. As seen in movies like "The Matrix", it takes the concept of futuristic technology to a whole new level.

Finally and possible the most exciting, holographic display will be set in full force. Appearing from the ground or a table, holographic images will be displayed. Imagine watching football games or television shows in your living room and being able to observe a 360 degree view of everything that is happening during the game. Or, having a conference call and having someone in a different country look and feel as if they were literally sitting int he chair next to you. Promised by Japan, they state to make this technology readily available by the 2022 World Cup. This type of technology sounds like something that could only exist in movies; however this and the other types of technology will become a reality in the very near future.