SpaceCoast AV Case Study #MG17-268-004


Residential Client Profile

20170925_094948Our residential client lives in Cocoa, FL.

The Residence was built in 2005 and is a two story pool house situated on a local horse farm.

They host family on friends frequently for family gatherings and parties.

A whole house audio system, television, DVD’s and CD’s are the main sources for entertainment at family gatherings.

Current Situation

The whole house audio system was built with the home in 2005. Whole house entertainment was being provided through audio and visual equipment dated from the early 2000’s. They use a microphone in the main room to broadcast the voice of the hosts through out the home for large home gatherings.

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As a result of the dated equipment, our client was not utilizing all of the resources available for home family entertainment. The system was too complicated for the home owner and was not using the over 300 music CD’s. In addition, the home owner would only use the music stations available on AT & T U-Verse channels.

 

 

Technical Situation

The client called in SpaceCoast AV Communications: The AV Experts to help her update and simplify the home entertainment systems. During our initial Site Survey, we discovered the many remote controls needed to operate the system. We also discovered the complexity of using the existing Audio Visual Receiver was a source of frustration for our client.

With two zones in the residence where music could be broadcast, the upstairs patio speakers were not working due to incorrect wiring.

They also had two HD displays that were not being used sitting in the living room, which the client wanted to use with minimal technical know how to program and turn on and off.

Solution

20170927_103655SpaceCoast AV Communications: The Audio Visual Experts, proposed the residence use updated routers and switches to update and solidify the home network and upgrade wireless network in order to increase strength of signal throughout the house.

 

For the audio system, we proposed the Yamaha Aventage Series A1070. It is a 7.2 channel AV WiFi Network Reciever providing 4K upscaling with Blutooth technology, AirPlay, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spitify, Sirius XM Internet Radio with an AV Controller App for android and IoS devices. With 2nd zone capability, HDMI switching and a wirelss Sub-woofer module, we were able to consolidate and update many of the existing pieces of equipment in the home.

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As part of the music sources, included were the Yamaha MusicCast, a 2 Terra bit Network storage device that holds the music from the 300+ CD’s, swhich we ripped digitaly, making them available on the home network.

 

A separate tuner was provided and two new outdoor  100 watts per channel speakers.

Control of the system and all components is provided with the next generation touch panel advanced network Controller. In addition, we proposed the use of a streaming network player, a network Multi-Zone amplifier, a 7” Graphical tabletop Color Touchscreen remote and base station; SpaceCoast AV also wrote the programming code and created the software drivers that allow for the simple one touch operation of the soution.

Additionally, we wall mounted three TV’s throughout the house, using client provided televisions already available.

Benefits

engaged!As a result, the client was able to eliminte four remote controls, and operate the entire home system, whether for watching television, listening to the radio, CD’s or streaming music, watching DVD’s or entertaining guests all over the property with the touch of a button on the touch screen tabletop remote.

Frustration with not knowing how to use her system has been eliminated. Strength of the client’s home wi-fi network is such that she does not have weak or “dead spots” around her home and is also able to control the solution from the comfort of her bedroom as well.

With the ability to expand the Total Control experience, the client has plans to add outdoor lighting  Control and other Home Automation and Home Control options to the new, simple to use, one touch solution.

We’ve been invited to Sunday dinner to share all of what we provided with her family too.

Products and Services Used

[List the products and services that your company used for the solution.

For this solution we used:

Luxul

Yamaha

Samsung

Sony

URC control

Polk speakers

LG

Cisco

About SpaceCoast AV Communications: The Audio Visual Experts

SpaceCoast AV is an Audio Visual Design and Integration Firm that designs, integrates and maintains  audio, video lighting and automation systems. AVE is your “go-to” experts when it comes to providing exceptional designs, equipment and installation for Best Home Theater/Cinema Systems, Home Network WiFi access points, Commercial Audio Visual and conference room design,  AV for Houses of  Worship and audio video furniture.  From the wireless to hardwired solution, we’ve experienced them all and we can help you every step of the way. No job is too small or too big for our knowledgeable staff. We’ve happily done it all for 10 years now!

 

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Is a Wireless Speaker System Really Wireless?


Wireless Home Theater Speaker Requirements

In a traditional wired speaker setup, both the soundtrack impulses and the power needed to make the loudspeaker work are passed through speaker wire connections from an amplifier.

However, in a wireless speaker setup, a transmitter is typically required to transmit the needed audio signals, and a receiver needs to be used to receive the wirelessly transmitted audio signals.

In this type of setup, the transmitter will need to be physically connected to preamp outputs on a receiver, or, in the case where you have a packaged home theater system that incorporates a built-in or plug-in wireless transmitter. This transmitter then sends the music/movie soundtrack information to a speaker or secondary amplifier that has a built-in wireless receiver.

However, another connection is needed to complete the process—power. Since power cannot be transmitted wirelessly, in order to produce the audio signal that is wirelessly transmitted so you can actually hear it, the speaker needs additional power in order to work.

What this means that the speaker still has to be physically attached to a power source and an amplifier. The amplifier may be built right into the speaker housing or, in some cases, the speakers are physically attached with speaker wire to an external amplifier that is powered by batteries or plugged into the house AC power source. Obviously, the battery option severely limits the ability of a wireless speaker to output adequate power over a long period of time.

When Wireless Is Not Really Wireless

One way that so-called wireless speakers are applied in some Home-Theater-in-a-Box Systems that tout wireless surround speakers is they simply have a separate amplifier module for the surround speakers.

In other words, the main receiver unit has a built-in amplifier that physically connects to the left, center, and right front speakers, but has a transmitter that sends the surround sound signals to another amplifier module that is placed in the back of the room. The surround speakers are then connected by wire to the second amplifier module in the back of the room. In other words, you have not eliminated any wires, you have just relocated where they go. Of course, the second amplifier still needs to be connected to an AC power outlet, so you have actually added that.

So, in a wireless speaker setup, you may have eliminated the long wires that typically go from the signal source, such as a stereo or home theater receiver, but you still need to connect the so-called wireless speaker to its own power source, and, in most cases, a secondary amplifier module, in order for it to actually produce sound.

This can also limit speaker placement as the distance from an available AC power outlet then becomes a major concern. You may still need a rather long AC power cord if a convenient AC outlet is not nearby.

Why Invest in High End Surround Sound?


Hearing every little sound is important when you invest in a home theater system.

blog-2-768x512When you are looking into making a purchase, a surround sound speaker system is always a smart move. Take a look at some of the benefits of this investment:

  • Multiple Speakers – When you watch a movie through a surround sound system, you will be hearing the sound through multiple speakers. If it is mixed properly and is available in surround sound, you’ll be full immersed in the sounds happening on the screen as if they are happening around you.
  • Hear More Frequencies – Did you ever wonder what the “.1” in 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 surround sound is? That’s the subwoofer. This additional speaker is there to play the lower frequencies that you wouldn’t hear in typical 2-channel sound systems – allowing you to both hear and feel the action.
  • Moveable Systems – Just because you set up the speakers a certain way, it does not mean that you have to keep them in the same space! The wonderful thing about any system is that you can move the speakers as needed, giving you complete control over your home theater experience.

When you are prepared to invest in new surround sound home theater systems, you can rest assured that the team and SpaceCoast AV can help you. We offer both commercial and residential system services in East Central Florida area and the surrounding areas.

 

5 Reasons Cinemas are losing the Lime Light


VARIOUSDespite the fact that the movie industry, in its entirety, is grossing more money now than ever before, box office sales are actually declining and movie theater profits are the lowest they’ve been thus far. In other words, people are still watching movies, but they aren’t going to the nearest theater to do it.

In a recent survey, a panel of movie-goers were asked as to why they haven’t been going to the movies as much as they used to. The top five reasons were:

  1. Ticket prices don’t equal worth
  2. Prefer movies “on my own schedule”
  3. Can see movies at home shortly after theatrical release
  4. Too many people causing distractions
  5. Can’t eat my own food

Gone are the days…
In the past, when someone wanted to “experience” a movie, not just watch it, they had no choice but to go to the nearest theater in order to make that happen. After all, in order for someone to truly have an experience when they watch a movie, the following must be incorporated: Large TV or Screen, Surround Sound, acceptable Acoustics. Right?

So, what about the people who have chosen not to go to the movie theaters? True…they now wait for the release and pay less, they watch when they want and without distraction. Plus, they get to eat whatever they want when they do it. At first glance, it appears that the problem has been solved, but what about “the experience”? Just because someone doesn’t want to go to the movie theater anymore doesn’t mean that they have to sacrifice having the movie theater “experience”.

I doubt I can afford a home theater.”
It’s more affordable than you think. There are a handful of key components that must be incorporated in order for something to be considered a home theater: Visual Source, Speakers, a Subwoofer, Acoustics Treatment, and Lighting. Custom Audio Video’s Sales Team will be happy to go into more detail with you.

I don’t think I have the space for a home theater in my house.”
You would be surprised! If you have a living room with walls, then you have the space for a home theater. Your screen doesn’t have to be the same size as the ones found in movie theaters. In fact, one of the most critical components of any successful home theater setup is the proper location and configuration of the surround sound speakers…not the size of the screen or room.

What makes the speakers so important?”
Speakers ignite a multiple of our senses, and because of that, they play a crucial role in the home theater. In order to properly experience a movie, one should have a minimum of five speakers set up in their home theater: left of TV, center, right of TV, left of viewer, and right of viewer.

Here’s an example:
You are watching a movie. In this particular scene, it is raining and the main character is standing on the sidewalk getting drenched. Suddenly, a car loudly passes from left to right and splashes her.

Now…if you have surround sound speakers, you will hear the rain pouring from behind you. When the car passes from left to right, the sound of it will move through the left speaker and to the right.

Why do acoustics play a role in making a home theater?”
The word Acoustic is defined as “the way that sound is heard in a room, as a result of the room’s shape and size.”

Generally speaking, a house isn’t usually designed with acoustics in mind. Because sound naturally bounces, your home theater will have to be acoustically treated in order for your surround sound to work like it’s supposed to. We can strategically place acoustic panels within your theater which will eliminate the echoes that muddle music and speech. While doing so, the speakers will be calibrated accordingly, thus creating a miniature movie-theater for you to enjoy.

Why is lighting a component if you are supposed to watch a movie in the dark?”
When we think of a home theater, we imagine a dark, quiet space where the screen is the only illuminated object in the room. While movies always look best in the dark, your home theater may not always be used for watching movies. If your fixtures are professionally installed and linked to your home automation system, you’ll be able to use the home theater as a multi-functioning space.

For instance, if you want to watch the big game, won’t you need a few lights on so you can see the snacks and exchange high-fives with your friends? Also, some nights you may want to use your home theater just for the speakers and lighting. Music playing within the background at your party will never sound better than coming from the surround sound speakers. Purposeful lighting will supply the ambiance in that scenario.

Now are the days…
You don’t have to go down the street to the movie theater if you don’t want to. You don’t have to forfeit the movie “experience” nor accept mediocrity because of it either. You deserve the best and you can have the best without even leaving home.

Having a home theater is one ticket price that’s definitely equal to its worth.

Non-Technical AV Presentation Issues Solved


when-youre-giving-a-presentation-and-you-click-on-the-2895876Have you ever launched full-swing into a great multimedia presentation, only to have the technology fail in the middle of your talk? Have you been left wondering, “Why won’t my video play?” or “Why won’t my file open properly on this computer?” We know we can’t always be there to help, so we’ve developed this guide with our best tips to help you make sure your own presentations go off without a hitch.

You’re prepared for your big presentation, with backups in hand, but what do you do if you encounter problems at setup, and don’t know how to fix them?

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that everything will work just the way you expect it to. Computers are fickle. Our number one tip is to test all the technology you’ll be using in the venue in the exact configuration you’ll be using it at the event. This “dress rehearsal” will help you find any technical bugs, and will help you feel confident that your event will go as planned. After rehearsing, you can focus on giving a killer presentation and feel confident that all your technology will work as planned.

Here are our top tech tips for presentation problem solving:

Before you leave the office

  • If you are sending your slides ahead by email, bcc your personal email address to make sure the attachment comes through ok.
  • If bringing your slides on a USB disk, use a USB drive that has nothing else on it. You don’t want the AV tech to go through all your personal files looking for the right presentation.
  • Always have a backup copy of your presentation in Dropbox or another cloud storage sites, and/or in your email, just in case your USB drive gets lost or corrupted.
  • Bring your own computer and any adapters you will need in case the conference-provided computer will not work. Make sure you have adapters to VGA, DVI, and HDMI, as different venues may require different connections.
  • If your presentations have audio, verify with conference organizers that an audio connection will be available for your presentation room – often that will not be hooked up unless you ask for it specifically.
  • Avoid relying on online content. If you really need an Internet connection for your presentation, make sure you specifically request it on the presentation computer. Try to bring offline copies of any material you need.
  • If live Web content is critical to your presentation, and you cannot bring an offline backup, bring a mobile hotspot, or a cell phone with tethering enabled, just in case.
  • When you communicate with event organizers, specify if you need Presentation View (with your notes) or if you need a Mirrored desktop. Most computers can be set up either way, but the event’s AV team will need to know in advance to set that up.
  • If you have complex graphs in your presentation, save them as static images (.jpg or .png), in case the presentation computer does not render them correctly.
  • If you are using a Mac to create your PowerPoint slides, make sure you test your slides on a PC before you leave the office. Pay special attention to transitions, graphs and media files. You may not have the option to use a Mac onsite.
  • If you are using Keynote to make your slides, make sure that the organizers know you will need a Mac with that software to give your presentation. Make a backup of your slides as both a PDF and a PPT just in case. Test both on a PC before you arrive.

Dealing with Embedded Media

  • Videos and embedded media are involved in 90% of the presentation problems we deal with at events.
  • Make sure if you create a presentation with video or audio in PowerPoint, that you embed the files into the .pptx file, and don’t just link them to a file on your computer. That said, ALWAYS bring a backup copy of any embedded media, just in case it didn’t embed properly.
  • Make sure you have your video as an external file in more than one format. If it’s a .mov file it will most likely NOT play in PowerPoint on a PC and if it’s .wmv it will NOT play on a Mac.
  • If you are presenting on PowerPoint 2010 or 2011, make sure you have the media in Windows Media format for a PC or Quicktime format for a Mac.
  • If you are presenting on Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365, bring the files in .mp4 format with H.264 encoding for best cross platform compatibility, but make sure to bring backups.
    • Copy the presentation and all its associated media onto the presentation computer – do not run it off a USB drive. If that comes unplugged or your drive fails, your media will not play.

Onsite

  • Load your slides at least two breaks before your talk. Do not expect to plug in your USB drive as you’re being introduced. TEST your presentation when you load your slides into their final destination.
  • If you have embedded media, load the slideshow and all associated media into its final location on the presentation PC before you test it. And once you test it, do not move it to another folder on the computer. The files may become unlinked.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth 10,000 embedded videos. Or something like that…

For AV hardware or integrated solutions contact us at SpaceCoast AV Communications

Six benefits to home automation technology


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Homeowners are reaping the benefits of new home automation technologies

Until recently, the idea of home automation was relatively unfamiliar to most people. However, as more products and technologies become more easily accessible, homeowners across the country are upgrading their homes.

So what is home automation? Simply put, home automation puts control of basic home systems and appliances into the hands of the homeowner and provides access from a remote point like a smartphone app, or at a centralized unit inside the home. Just like some of the futuristic technology seen on television in shows like The Jetson’s or Star Trek, it’s now possible to control things like your home temperature, lighting, and even security systems with the touch of a screen, the swipe of a finger and the sound of your voice.

If the idea of a smart, automated home sounds too techy for your tastes, or you think these kinds of products probably cost an arm and a leg, think again. The future is now and it’s completely accessible. Plus, there are a lot of hidden benefits to automating your home that you might not have thought about before.

6 Benefits to Home Automation

1. Security

Tap your finger to turn on the lights when you get home so you worried about what’s hiding in the shadows, or in your pathways. Or automate to turn on when you aren’t home to look like you are to ward off potential robbers. Door locks are another automated home product that can increase your home security.

Worried that the kids didn’t lock the doors before they ran off to play? Or that someone will discover your not-so-secret hiding place for the extra key? Take control of your home safety from a simple app. With some products, you can even get an alert every time someone enters your home.

2. Energy Efficiency

Increase your home’s energy efficiency by remotely powering off systems and appliances when they aren’t in use. In addition to the standard home automation products that give you active control, some products actively monitor systems and arm the homeowner with knowledge, insight and guidance to achieve greater control and energy efficiency.

3. Savings

Home automation literally pays off. When you are able to use home systems and appliances only when needed, the savings will be apparent in the first utility bill. No more wasting money on lights left on when you aren’t home, or spending money on gas to drive home because you forgot to lock the door. Monetary savings are apparent, but you’ll also be saving time. No wasted trips home, no running through the house turning everything off, no time spent worrying about what was or wasn’t turned off.

4. Convenience

Don’t you hate having to rely on neighbors to watch your house when you’re gone? With home automation, convenient control of your home is at your fingertips. You don’t have to trust someone else with your most valued possessions.

5. Comfort

Ever leave for work in the morning when it was a comfortable 68° outside only to come home to a sweltering house because the temperature shot up to 90°? Connected home products like the Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostats let you conveniently adjust your home temperature from the mobile app so your family is always comfortable.

6. Peace of Mind

One of the biggest hidden benefits that comes with home automation is peace of mind. No more worrying if you turned of the lights, locked the door or turned off the television. For people who have a lot on their plates, being able to easily check these items off the to-do list and stop the obsessive worrying, home automation is reassuring and definitely worth the investment.

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What’s the Point of HDMI?


TV-rear-panel

With HDMI, it’s about copy protection. But let’s first address that coax jack. The coaxial cable input on a TV’s back panel is provided to connect an antenna designed to pull in digital TV broadcasts. A tuner inside the TV then demodulates the signal, stripping audio/video from the radio frequency carrier. Next, the MPEG-compressed A/V stream is decoded so that your TV can display it.

With digital cable, the process is similar, except a different modulation method is used to convey signals over the cable TV system’s wired network to your cable box.

Once HD signals are decoded by your cable, satellite, or other-type receiver, the uncompressed video and audio gets routed to an HDMI output. Those signals are then encrypted using a DRM (Digital Rights Management) scheme called HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). For the source device to pass the signals, a handshake must occur with he receiving device. This process creates a secure digital connection that prevents any content from being copied.

 

 

Got a tech question for SpaceCoast Audio Visual? Email us at  ask_the_AV_Pros@scavcom.com