Trust–Don’t let it cost you.


Puma_Thinkstock_HomeRemember that big home project you were doing that turned out to be a disaster? Remember, the always faithful and trust worthy, “trusted advisor”? Was it the friend…mom…dad…or maybe the neighbor? It’s OK we’ve all done it and experienced the result.  If you don’t know much about cars, you ask a friend who does know a lot what his opinion is after you hear from the mechanic. It’s smart to get second opinions from people you trust, and it happens to us all of the time.

Miscommunication between you and the contractor can spell disaster for your home AV project. It usually surfaces late in the project where the client gets an idea or input from their “trusted advisor” and then presents it to the contractor. While a client may ask for a second opinion from a trusted advisor, SpaceCoast AV knows the products and processes better than anyone else and so, we assert and leverage our knowledge and expertise on your behalf.

A few great examples might look something like this:

You might insist on using some Amazon deal speaker your brother-in-law insists in the best thing since sliced bread, but when paired with the amp you’ve carefully selected and calibrated, it sounds like crap (maybe because it’s a crap speaker or maybe because it doesn’t pair well with the rest of the equipment). or you could purchase your own AVR, but it doesn’t play well with the HDBaseT extender you plan to use and a reliable signal becomes an issue. Maybe the neighbor has a Harmony remote and is ridiculing you for spending thousands on a universal remote, so now you’re insisting on a Harmony, with all of the risks of reliability and lack of discrete control that entails. Or the client is adamant about using an Apple Airport Extreme as their router. There goes the managed network and  remote access to troubleshoot. In the short term any of these things could save you a lot of money, but in the long run, it will cost you in service calls that didn’t need to happen.

SpaceCoast AV has been a trusted, knowledgeable and professional Audio Visual for residents, businesses and houses of worship in Brevard since 2008. When it comes to your money and time, turn to the AV integration company who knows the products and processes better than anyone else and leverage our knowledge and expertise for your next AV project.

Tips for Setting up Church, Classroom and Ministry Room Projectors, Part 4 of 4


Other Key Considerations

From 4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD), which is four times the projectortable380resolution of full HD, to XGA, there are quite a few resolutions to choose from.  A key consideration is how much HD video content you plan to show.

Remote management is helpful in a classroom environment, especially if there are several classrooms. With remote management, lamp-based projectors can be powered off using a program timer built into the control software in order to conserve bulb life.

Video picture quality varies a lot depending on make and model of the projector.  That is because scalar chips and video processors in the projectors are not created equally.  This is important because audience expectations are getting higher due to the amount of HD content available.

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Don’t try to get by with a “floating” projector that goes from room to room
  2. Don’t plan on turning out the lights. Dimly lit rooms, at times, reduce the audience’s attention.  The brightness of the projector needs to be high enough to overcome lighting
  3. Don’t worry about LCD versus DLP vs. laser phosphor vs. LED light engines – they all perform well
  4. Do assess whatever multimedia sources and computer sources your presenters will want to connect to the projectors, and map that to available connectors before buying a specific projector model
  5. Do talk to presenters about how they can integrate more multimedia to get them thinking about improving classroom techniques
  6. Do look for models with “eco-mode” that will conserve power and bulb life for lamp-based projectors
  7. Do select projectors that have the compatibility with newer video signal protocols and higher brightness to suit your evolving needs over time
  8. Do examine your mounting challenges prior to buying mounts and projectors
  9. Go with a good brand name – it will generally equate to longer product life and better product reliability
  10. Do ask an expert for advice about your unique circumstances

A Better Facility

Projectors have a big impact on the image your organization sends.  You want to make presentations a memorable experience for parishioners, guests and administrators.  There are many different options out there for hardware, and up-front planning is the best way to ensure you are happy with your selection.  If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a noticeably better facility.

5 Steps for Organized AV Wiring


 

When it comes to AV wiring, the old axiom “out of sight, out of mind” wireapplies. We tend to forget about what we don’t wiresee. Take the “infrastructure” of your entertainment system.

 

When was the last time you thought twice about the cables that run between your TV, DVD/Blu-ray player, AV receiver, cable/satellite box, and whatever other components you may have? For most of us, it’s the last thing we think about – as long as everything is working properly. But the minute there’s a problem, all those wires suddenly take on a life of their own.

When faced with a glitch that requires you (or a professional) to check, replace, or upgrade a component and/or the cables connected to it, the last thing you want to see when you get on your knees and peer into the bowels of your AV cabinet, or crawl behind your AV rack, is a rat’s nest of tangled wires. Yet, for most of us, that’s exactly what we find – and it’s enough to make you scream.

Get Organized
Pros take a number of steps to avoid the panic that cable chaos can cause, starting with organization.

1. Choose the right AV furniture (and location).
When setting up (or overhauling) an entertainment system, the first step is to choose an AV cabinet or rack that makes it easy to access the “business end” of your gear as well as a location that lends itself to accessibility; if you can’t position the cabinet or rack so there’s some room behind it, you at least want to be able to pull it away from the wall without too much trouble.

It’s also worth looking for AV furniture that offers built-in cable management; things like cutouts and channels for cabling and built-in power strips can come in handy. And while you’re at it, choose a cabinet or rack that takes ventilation into account (not all do). Bottom line: You want to be able to get behind your gear without becoming a contortionist.

2. Create a plan.
Take the time to map out the best position for your components and, more important, where the cables protruding from them will go. For example, it doesn’t make sense to put your primary disc player on a bottom shelf. Put it where it’s easy to get to! Next, take the time to neatly arrange all cables and use stickers (or tape) to label where each one goes.

3. Keep cables tidy.
In addition to avoiding tangles (a.k.a. “black spaghetti”) use tie wraps or wire clamps to bundle cables (not too tight).
Each of these steps requires a little foresight and patience but the payoff will be huge when it’s time for a system upgrade or maintenance.

Cable Type and Integrity
Looking beyond the physical location of your component stack, here are a few other things to keep in mind.

4. Integrity of wire runs.
Snaking wires haphazardly through walls, ceilings and crawl spaces can lead to frayed cables, which can degrade or, worse yet, cut off signal transmission. A professional installer will make sure that holes drilled in joists and studs are not only large enough to accommodate the cable(s) passing through, but also smooth. Pulling wire through ragged holes can damage a cable’s protective outer jacket or the insulation that separates the conductors within.

5. Quality and type of wire.
It’s important to select the cables and connectors that are best suited for the task at hand. This means using cables that are sufficiently flexible and rugged, especially if they run through crawl spaces or exposed/semi-exposed areas; poor cable construction can lead to wear and tear that hinders signal transmission.

It also means using cables that have the appropriate insulation and electrical characteristics for the intended application. For example, for long speaker runs – say, from one side of a large room to the other – it’s important to use wire that’s thick enough to ensure signal integrity. Using too thin of a cable – the higher the “gauge,” the thinner the wire – can degrade the quality (and volume) of the sound; professional installers consider a variety of factors, including component type, speaker impedance, and more.

To learn more about the ins and outs of audio/video installation, consult a SpaceCoast AV professional. Click here to contact SpaceCoast AV for a in home consult at no charge.

On the 9th day of an AV Christmas the The iPod, iPhone, and Android Invade Home Theater


The growing popularity of the iPod has given rise to a whole new accessories market, from designer cases to dockable external speakers. However, one of the biggest developments involving the iPod is the growing number of Home Theater Receivers that include either a special connector that will accept an iPod docking station, or a built-in USB port that allows direct connection of an iPod, or other compatible devices, including USB flash drives. This means that you can play your personal music collection right through your big home theater system. If you are an iPod enthusiast, make sure you check out this option when shopping for a home theater receiver.

t700x424In addition to direct connection, some home theater receivers may also offer built-in or add-on Bluetooth capability or Apple Airplay compatibility, which allows wireless access to media content from compatible devices.

Also, as an additional bonus on many newer home theater receivers, you can use an iPhone, iPad, and even Android phones, via downloadable apps, to actually function as a remote control for your home theater and other related devices.

For more information you can give our engineering team a call at 321-257-9700 or send your email to info@spacecoastav.com

On the 8th day of an AV Christmas we look at Home Theater AV Receivers


In addition to home theater audio features, a growing number of new home theater receivers, incorporate features such as on-board video upscaling, multi-zone, and home network connectivity.

Video upscaling is a function that adds the number of pixels need to match the specific screen resolution of an HDTV, such as 720p or 1080p. In fact, some home theater receivers provide 4K video upscaling, which you may not need right now – but it is there when you buy that 4K TV down the road. However, keep in mind that the upscaling process does not actually convert standard definition to high definition, but it does improve the image so that it looks better on an HDTV. For more details on how video upscaling works, check out my article: Video Upscaling.

Yamaha-7-Cinema-DSPMulti-Zone capability is a function in which the Receiver can send a second source signal to speakers or a separate audio system in another location. This is not the same as connecting additional speakers and placing them in another room. For more details, check out: Home Theater Receivers and the Multi-Zone Feature.

Networking is allowing the home theater receiver to evolve into a true centralized PC/Home Theater media controller. Some home theater receivers now have access to audio and video content stored on a PC, and in some cases provides access to Internet Radio stations, which number in the thousands. It is like the old days of shortware radio, only it sounds a lot better and you don’t need a large antenna.

On the 6th day of an AV Christmas, what’s hot and what’s not, Home Theater-In-A-Box Systems


Are you looking for something a little more flexible than a sound bar-type system, but still don’t what the hassle of an images (2) expensive home theater system? Then a home theater system-in-a-box may be just for  you. Granted, these are not high-end systems, but in a price range from $200 to  $2,000, there is a system out there that will fill basic needs, whether in an apartment,  meeting room, or moderately-sized living room, that can fill the bill.

 

There are several types of configurations, but the majority of systems come packaged with everything you need to get your own basic home theater started including a DVD or Blu-ray Disc Player/AV receiver (combination or separate components), all the speakers, including the subwoofer, a remote control, and, the best of all, all the wire you need to connect it all together, including standard AV cables to connect to your TV. A pretty good deal, especially if you are buying a home theater-in-a-box system as a gift.

Call us at 321-257-9700.