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.

 

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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.

http://www.scavcom.com

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

The 5 Primary Benefits of HDBaseT


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Did You know that HDBaseT is the global standard for the transmission of ultra-high-definition video & audio, Ethernet, controls, USB and up to 100W of power over a single, long-distance, cable.

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In addition to using a standardized RJ-45 connector and twisted pair cabling, HDBaseT includes several other features to enhance the HDMI standard.

The entire bundle is marketed as 5Play and includes:

  • Uncompressed high definition video
  • The same audio formats supported by HDMI
  • A variety of options for device control
  • 100BaseT Ethernet
  • Additional DC power over the same cable.

Here’s a quick review of each of the features…http://bit.ly/2nSvlYO

What is AV Communications


Marketing-Collage.jpgThe mode of communication has really changed over the past few decades. What was back then communicated through radio or written word can now be communicated across the world through wireless. Technology has given such an edge over the accepted forms of communication that we no longer need the most basic forms of communication. It is a generally accepted fact, in this day and age, even calling people has become redundant; most people only communicate via text message or in serious cases, through video conferencing. The mode of communication that combines the spoken word with live video or streaming is known as audiovisual communication and this form of communication is the most widely used in today’s world in various areas.

There are many reasons as to why this mode of communication is now the most popular in today’s media and culture. Scientifically, it has been proven that people retain information better when the visual cue is aided by an auditory cue. In a meta-analysis, it was found out that only auditory cues yielded ten percent information retention and only visual cues yielded thirty-five percent information retention. When combined, the information retention number went up to an astonishing 65 percent! Hence, this approach is used mostly in video conferencing or lectures. Another important reason is that communication cannot be only be limited to words and language; the kind of tone you speak in, your facial movement and gestures, everything combines in the end to produce a result that makes for effective communication. So the importance of this mode of communication lies in the clarity of it. Thirdly, we can consider how much time audio visual communication takes. What previously could take up to weeks and months through written correspondence, now only takes minutes to relay information across borders and oceans. Lastly, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information, it can be difficult to hold our attention for too long. For this reason, when you combine audio and visual, you create an engaging and effective mode of communication that is difficult to ignore. Because the visual cue is accompanied by an auditory cue, the listener naturally has to participate to focus.

An important question that we can ask ourselves is that where is audio visual communication used? The answers are varied. When you present any content using multimedia tools, you are using this mode of communication. Lectures are a form of this communication and so is video conferencing. Secondly, there are technical experts who develop audio visual software, much like the popular application Skype. Audio Visual Design is a very important component to consider when we talk about this particular form of communication. There are numerous firms and companies that have these specialist designers who help build audio visual programs to ensure that communication is done without any hang ups and conveys maximum clarity. Different companies can hire these firms to design their systems and this is generally recommended because having a conferencing system of your own can really help a business grow.