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

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.

TIPS FOR SETTING UP YOUR PROJECTORS, PART 3


If you are running cables to the projector, you’ll need to consider the optimal location for the cable connectors to be available to users.  For example, the DVD player might be mounted in a cabinet and the cables will need to terminate there, but the instructor may need to connect a laptop from the front center of the room.  You might elect to run the cables inside the wall to a simple and neat wall-plate, or you could run a small electric raceway channel down the wall if you need a quicker solution (although that is probably less aesthetically pleasing).  Another alternative is a combination of wired devices and wireless access for presenters.projectortable380

Once you have planned for traditional analog/digital input connections from PCs, players, and other local multimedia devices, the next thing to consider is network connectivity for accessing network content and performing remote administration of the projector.

Not all projectors will be connected to the network, but there are some good reasons to do so.  If the projector is tied to a network, presentation files on a server or from a computer can be accessed in some cases through the projectors’ built-in access point. From an asset management standpoint, projectors can be remotely monitored and managed by an administrator in order to turn them on/off to extend the lamp life.

Often, in church facilities there is minimal existing network infrastructure, and running cable isn’t an attractive option.  In these instances, wireless projectors can have a lot of merit and can speed up the installation if your building is set up for Wi-Fi.  One final connection you will want to determine is the location of the power source for the projector.  Ideally, power can be tapped from electric boxes on the ceiling.

Brightness

Most people believe brightness specifications in the 2,000-5,000 lumen range are suitable for these types of room applications. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes these room environments will require more than 5,000 lumens of brightness to compensate for certain aspects of the space. For example, with larger screens, brighter ambient lighting, and longer throw distances, a brightness-range of 8,000 to 10,000 lumens and higher should be considered when selecting a projector.

Solid State Light Sources

Laser phosphor projectors, which use solid state light sources in lieu of lamps, are giving houses of worship new technology options for brightness and longevity. Their low-maintenance design makes them perfectly suited to classrooms, sanctuaries and boardrooms alike.  Lasers have a lifespan of about 20,000 hours – up to 10 times as long as traditional installation projectors using lamps. That means the laser projector in most applications will last well beyond 6 years (depends on the usage model), compared to projection lamps that may need to be replaced within 1-2 years.  That longevity adds up to big savings for budget-conscious environments. It also saves the time and manpower typically associated with projector maintenance.

Tips for Setting up Church, Classroom and Ministry Room Projectors


Choosing a projector model to suit your needs can be overwhelming; here are some key points to take into consideration as you make this important purchase.

Consider how far the screen will be from the projector, relative to the size of the screen.  In some cases, it makes sense to select a projector projectortable380with interchangeable zoom lenses (optional) for proper projector placement. Interchangeable lenses also affect image size from a particular throw distance.  The size and shape of the meeting room will help you decide.  Most manufacturers will state the image size range at specific “throw” distances to the wall, and that information is helpful as you plan.

Not all projectors are installed on a ceiling or wall. There are many users that place them on a cart to move them from room to room. Advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to design brighter projectors in a small cabinet size which makes this type of usage more favorable. For most customers, however, fixed mounting is much more preferable – for product security, less audible noise, and other logistical reasons.

In addition, ministry leaders change their entire approaches to presentations when projectors are always available to them in a fixed-mount configuration.  They can access materials, the Web and apps, annotate using interactive projectors/whiteboards, and capture images for later use.  The availability of affordable interactive technologies and apps are breathing new life into the ways that ministry leaders can share and highlight important information.  For example, DisplayNote Software, used in conjunction with an interactive projector, lets instructors, students and others present and share content across any device creating the ultimate collaborative environment; multiple people can annotate at the board or from a device, while sharing and saving for all those in attendance.

These techniques create a much more dynamic environment, keeping those attending services, classes or special events much more engaged.

Image and Screen Size

In many small to medium sized rooms, image sizes will fall into the range of 60 inches to 90 inches.  Medium to large sized rooms typically have screen sizes of 90 inches to 120 inches.

Generally, you can calculate optimal screen size by measuring the distance from the screen to the person furthest away.  That should be a ratio of no more than 4:1 – for example, if the furthest seat is 32 feet away, you would select an 8-foot viewable screen.

Connecting Video/Data Sources

You may have video/data sources that you want to show on the projector such as DVD players, laptops, tablets and other smart devices.  Common signal source connections can include composite video, s-video, component video, HDBaseT, DisplayPort, and HDMI with HDCP.

An established practice today is transferring data from a source to a projector using a network.  Some sources, such as HD video, are best sent via a cable because the bandwidth on wireless connections isn’t usually fast enough for good video quality.  But laptop images may work well via wireless and offer more ease-of-setup for the instructor.

 

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!