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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Getting Ready for the Big Game: A 3-Step Plan Are


football-game-1Are you ready for the Big Game? Ready to take in all its glory as if you were in the stands sitting on the edge of your seat immersed in the action? Ready to impress family and friends with a jaw-dropping experience that leaves them, well…jealous?

And, no, we’re not talking about your awesome Kegerator or those hot, tangy, succulent wings everyone loves. We’re talking about a killer audio/video setup that not only “transports” you to the stadium but puts you on the field. A setup that let’s you feel the action – the bone-crunching thuds of a goal-to-go pileup, the brutal kidney-punch of a sideline takedown, the roar of the crowd when the announcer shouts “touchdown!”

The best of today’s home entertainment technology can get you closer to the game than ever before. And in some ways, a topnotch AV system can deliver an experience that’s better than being there. So if you’re tired of the small screen and tinny sound, it’s time to time to take things to the next level with an AV setup that will serve not only sports but also movies, music, and TV.

Here’s our three-step plan for upping your AV game.

1. TAKE A TOUR OF AV-LAND.

If it’s been a while since you’ve bought a TV or sound system, you might want to talk with one of our experts or pick up a magazine like Sound & Vision to get a feel for what’s new in AV. You’ll quickly see that a lot is going on.

If you’re serious about taking your AV game to the next level, find a home technology professional in your area and have him walk you through options in your price range. A pro will guide you through the maze of AV gear and present ideas on how to integrate it into your room – or hide it away.

2. GO FOR A BIG SCREEN.

And not just any screen but the biggest screen you can afford (as long as it’s not too big for the room you have in mind). Take a close look at the new 4K/Ultra HD sets, the best of which deliver stunning pictures at prices that are getting lower every day. OLED TVs – known for their vibrant, lifelike color – are also worth a serious look, but there are fewer options and they tend to be quite a bit more expensive.

If you have the physical space and budget to go bigger than, say, 70 inches, consider a theater-like projection setup where screen sizes start at 100 inches. There’s no better way to get in the game.

3. DON’T SKIMP ON THE SOUND.

Forget soundbars and cheap home-theater-in-a-box systems. Go for a bona fide surround-sound audio system with a full complement of speakers and a real subwoofer. For the best experience, you’ll want a 5.1 system, which means three front speakers – left, center, right – two rear surround speakers and a standalone subwoofer.

Speakers come in a wide variety of types and sizes, including models that can be mounted in (or on) the walls and ceiling for a stealth look. Professional guidance will go a long way here.

Following these few simple steps will put you on the path to an at-home game experience that you might not have imagined possible.

To learn more about home entertainment technology and options, consult a SpaceCoast AV professional today.

Cleaning Your Home AV Systems


home-theater-spring-cleaning-1If you own a Home Theater system you should have some basic do’s and don’ts when it comes to this invested area of your home.

Screens – there are many types out there and of course that means many ways of cleaning them, the number one word of advice we can give you is Windex is a big no and secondly refer to the manufacture website as to what can be used to clean these screens.

Projectors – they do get dusty and the lamps from time to time can dim…Canned Air should not be used to clean the dust out; the cold air can freeze components of the projector and create a costly mistake.  A dry dust rag is all you should use to take the dust off your projector and regular maintenance from your technician will assist with keeping the light brilliant from your projection system.

Equipment Rack – The more dust that collects on this costly equipment the harder it has to work to keep from overheating.  Customers commonly ask if vacuums are ok to suck the dust out, while most home vacuums do have the odd soft brush attachment for the hose it can be a little intrusive and end up sending dust into the equipment instead of removal.  Dust feathers and/or a Swiffter® without any oils will do an “ok” job of keeping the dust off, but you may want to keep away from moving your equipment around, as this could put strain on your wires and loose connection.

Sound Proof walls , Furniture & Curtains – these all can be done with typical home vacuum, but if any spills occur contact a professional cleaner to come assess the situation.  Most home theaters have special carpet and curtains to assist with acoustics and typical carpet/drape cleaning solutions can bleach out or burn the fabrics.

The basic components of any home theater need regular love and attention on a quarterly basis…and should have dedicated time and attention.

A cost efficient solution is to ensure your system has a maintenance contract. Just imagine using your home theatre the way you intended it to…a way to lock yourself in for “clean” entertainment

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.

Polk Omni S2 Wireless Music System Overview


In the category of multi-room wireless music systems, Sonos has long

Polk-Omni-S2

Polk-Omni-S2

been the leader, but DTS hopes to give Sonos a run for its money with the Play-Fi wireless audio standard. Essentially, it allows you to add up to eight Play-Fi products to your existing home WiFi network and stream full-resolution stereo audio from a mobile device, Windows PC, or DLNA server to one or multiple zones.

DTS already has licensed Play-Fi to a number of high-profile audio/speaker manufacturers, including Polk–which has launched a complete line of Play-Fi-enabled products. The line features the Omni S2 tabletop speaker , the Omni S2R rechargeable/outdoor tabletop speaker , the Omni SB1 soundbar and wireless subwoofer combo , the Omni P1 wireless adapter  to add legacy components to a Play-Fi system, and the Omni A1 wireless amplifier  to add Play-Fi functionality and power to a set of passive speakers.

The Polk  Omni S2 and its nearly identical twin, the S2R. The S2 is a simple-looking speaker that won’t draw too much attention to itself…at least not visually. Sound quality is another story, but we’ll get to that. The curvy, triangular cabinet measures just 3.92 by 3.96 by 9.06 inches, weighs about 2.75 pounds, and can sit vertically or horizontally (with rubber pads on both the bottom and side). Despite its small size and weight, its build quality feels quite solid, with an inert cabinet design and a refined finish. The speaker is available in black or white, and the front face is covered with a fabric mesh grille material. Only three buttons adorn the front face, for volume up, volume down, and play/pause. The backside includes a USB port, an auxiliary input, a DC power port, and a WiFi Setup button with a corresponding LED to assist with network connection. The S2 sports dual two-inch full-range drivers, dual 1.5- by 2.5-inch passive radiators, and a 20-watt times two (into four ohms) amplifier.

The only differences in the rechargeable/outdoor-friendly S2R are that it weighs a little more (the addition of the battery ups the weight to 3.25 pounds), it omits the fabric grille material, it adds rubber plugs to cover the ports on the backside, and it adds a WiFi antenna to help improve reception at longer distances.

The Hookup
The first step in setting up the Omni speakers is to download the Polk Omni app for iOS (v6.0 or higher) or Android (v2.2 or higher) to your mobile device–in my case, I used an iPhone 4 for setup and later downloaded the Android app to a Samsung Galaxy tablet, as well. Next, plug in the speaker, launch the app, and follow the clear instructions to add the speaker to your existing WiFi network. (You have to have a home WiFi network in place; the system cannot create its own network, but this approach means you don’t need a bridge device to link to your network.)

At this time, there is no Mac-compatible app, and Polk/DTS does not have one in development.

Annoying Hummmmmm in Your Home Audio?


Some call them ground loops, some a 60 cycle hums while others use the term mains hum. Whatever term you use to describe the annoyance, knowing how to trouble-shoot them is half (morefeedback_image really) the battle of eliminating them. A ground loop is a hum associated with audible oscillation at the frequency of the mains alternating current, i.e. your homes electrical service. In many cases group loops (hum) in audio systems usually originate from the cable feed and or the satellite television lead from the dish.
Ground loops are typically (oddly enough) a grounding issue. Often times it’s either a broken ground that results in a hum or an intact ground that introduces the hum directly. The quickest way to eliminate the satellite or cable is just to remove the satellite or cable connection from the system and listen for the hum. If the hum remains with the cable removed you’ll need to keep looking at other pieces of gear and or connections.
If removing the satellite or cable TV feed makes the hum go away you’ll want to try one of two things, first trace your cable tv (or satellite) line back to its entry point into the house. If the feed has a splitter check to see if its grounded, if so lift the ground and then go back inside and listen again. If the hums gone you’ll want to look into alternate ways to protect you A/V system than the ground provided by the cable company. On the other hand if you see that the cable (or sat) isn’t grounded before it comes into the house that may be the culprit. All in all troubleshooting these problems is a process of elimination and a bit of experimentation afterwards.
Cheers!

Are You Ready for Some Football–2014 Best TV’s for Sports


We love our sports. We spend thousands of dollars a year supporting our sundry sports passions, be it through ticket sales, jerseys, or regretful bar tabs. Even gambling debts might fall under the category of “sports tax,” depending on your point of view.

best-sports

But there’s no doubt that televisions are a vital purchase for any sports fan.

You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that a “good-for-sports TV” is generally synonymous with a “good-for-_everything_ TV.” From a picture quality standpoint, the requirements for displaying the best possible football game is all but identical for the best possible Star Wars marathon.

However, some TVs do possess qualities beyond simple processing power that might make them better for sports than others. Let’s take a lap around the field.

Screen Size

The number one consideration for buying a TV, aside from price, is screen size. If you can’t see the puck whipping across the ice, what’s the point? You might as well be listening to the radio

Contrary to popular opinion, there is such a thing as “too big.” At some point you’ll be able to see the individual pixels and the illusion of a smooth, uniform picture will vanish.

There’s an actual formula to calculate the ideal size, but you certainly don’t need to break out a scientific calculator to shop for a TV. The rough estimate is simple:

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That means you can measure the distance from your couch to the TV, then divide by 2.5. There you have it, your ideal screen size. So if you sit 7 feet (84 inches) from your TV, you want a TV with a diagonal screen size of about 2.8 feet, or 34 inches. It’s a very rough calculation, but at least it’s a place to start.

Plasma Vs. LCD and LED

Ah, the old debate. We’ve covered it many times in many forms, but here’s the difference in a nutshell: Plasma TVs tend to run a little larger in screen size (50 inches and up). They have a wider viewing angle, which makes them good for hosting a party for the Superbowl or NBA finals.

LCD TVs (and LED TVs by extension), on the other hand, have a wide range of screen sizes (26 inches up to 80+ inches), but the larger screen sizes will probably be more expensive than an equivalently-sized plasma. More importantly, LCD screens can get a lot brighter than plasma, which might make them easier to see in a sunny room.

There’s a heap of misinformation and half-truths about performance differences between plasmas and LCDs, much of it based on outdated information. Suffice it to say that both offer smooth motion and great contrast ratio.

3D TVs

There’s no doubt that 3D TVs are becoming more common, though their actual usage rates are probably not rising commensurately. The problem is that 3D broadcasting is just not up to speed yet. A 3D signal takes up a lot more bandwidth than a regular signal, so cable providers are probably slow to support it widely.

TVs are rapidly becoming more like tablets and smart phones, with lots of apps to satisfy lots of small customer bases. The worst apps try to make the TV something it’s not—like a gaming system or web browser. The best apps play to the strength of the TV as a passive entertainment device. After all, most people just want to lie back on the couch and watch something fun or exciting.

There are lots of apps for sports fans. To date, the best come from the leagues themselves, with MLB.tv as the hands-down winner. With all the complex licensing and broadcast rights, it’s impossible to get an app that offers everything you wantwhenever you want. Most apps, for instance, black out live games in your current location. In Boston, for example, you can’t watch Red Sox games live on MLB.tv.

For scores, stats, news, and clips, there are no shortage of third-party apps including Yahoo, ESPN, Hulu, and many more.

To watch the games themselves, you should always check if your local cable provider offers a sports package. Also, Apple TV, Roku, Boxee, and other set-top boxes may have better packages than your smart TV’s app selection. NFL RedZone and NBA League Pass are currently unavailable as standalone TV apps. However, both are accessible through your computer and mobile devices. We can only hope that as smart TVs become more popular, the leagues will embrace the platform, but they’ve been slow to do so.

The specs that count for a sports TV

Brightness: Many broadcasts occur during daylight hours, so you’ll want a model that’s bright enough to produce a “in-your-face” picture in a room with high ambient light.

High refresh rate: You should also be looking at sets that can display content with fast-paced action without turning the picture into a blurry mess. Plasma models excel at making sports look crisp, while most LCD models with a 120 Hz and higher refresh rate have processing modes to help reduce motion blur.

Large screen size: Finally, you’ll want to watch on a screen that’s sufficiently large—we recommend 55 inches at minimum.

The Winner’s Circle

We’ve taken our own reviews and compiled a Best in Class for Value and Quality comparison which you can get here.  Are You Ready for Some Football!