On the 3rd day of an AV Christmas


Welcome back to the 3rd day in our series of the 12 days of an AV Christmas.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me and LCD and Plasma Flat Panel TVs

ImageLCD and Plasma flat panel TVs continue to be hot, hot, hot! Prices have come down significantly this year, with many 42-inch size LCD and Plasma televisions selling well below $999. You may see some extremely attractive door busters on LCD and Plasma sets the day after Thanksgiving.

However, you also see that there are many TVs labeled as “LED TVs” – but don’t get sucked into the hype that makes you think that these are a different type of TV. So-called “LED TVs” are actually LCD TVs that use a type of backlight system powered by LED lamps.

In addition, with the maturing of LCD technology and more efficient production methods, screen size availability of LCD TV, once relegated to below 37-inches, are now quite common in sizes up to 50-inches and larger, with some manufacturers offering 70-inch sets, and Sharp offering 80 an 90-inch LED/LCD TVs. Large screen sizes in the 42-inch and up range was territory once dominated by Plasma televisions, but with the increasing availability of LCD TVs in larger screen sizes, they are dominating store shelves. However, that does not mean that you should not consider a Plasma TV. Plasma TVs generally offer better black level performance and motion response than LCD TV, and come in sizes up to 65-inches (for consumers – professional sizes go up to 150 inches).

Also, just as with Blu-ray Disc players, an increasing number of LCD and Plasma TVs are incorporating Smart TV capabilities, so if you desire this feature on your TV, check to see if the TV you are considering offers it.

Another feature to consider on a TV is 3D. Contrary to what you may have heard, 3D is not “dead”. 3D is now just one of a number of options that are available on many TVs. Also, all 3D TVs can display regular 2D TV images as well. Check out my Complete Guide to Watching 3D at Home for more details.

To complement the 3D TV feature, there are a growing number of 3D Blu-ray Disc movies available (about 230 titles as of September 2013),  some occasional 3D Cable/Satellite TV program feeds, as well as 3D content that can be streamed or downloaded from the internet, such as Vudu and 3DGO!

If you are interested in a 3D TV for the holidays either for yourself or as a gift purchase, definitely keep on the lookout for package deals that may include a TV, Blu-ray Disc player, and/or extra 3D glasses – TVs that use the passive glasses 3D viewing system, as you will see offers anywhere from two to six pairs of glasses included with the TV – and if you need more, they are very inexpensive. The TVs that require active shutter glasses may only include up to two pairs with the TV, and sometimes none are actually included. If you are shopping for a family, definitely watch for the best deal on 3D glasses. Just remember that you cannot use passive glasses with a TV that requires active glasses or vice versa. Check out the details.

For information on what you need to know before you buy an LCD or Plasma TV, whether you opt for a basic TV, Smart TV, or 3D TV, as well as some buying suggestions,you can give us a call at 321-257-9700 or send your questions to us at info@spacecoastav.com

If you need to have your flat panel wall mounted, installed or configured. Give us a call for a free quote. 321-257-9700 or send your request for quote to sales@spacecoastav.com. One of our team members will contact you.

Social Media Strategy Critical to Success of Political Campaign


It’s time again to begin thinking about and planning for the 2014 round of elections. This means TV ads, debates, public appearances, pictures of politicians holding children – all part of a typical political campaign. The savvy, modern politician also knows that their social media strategy is critical to the success of their political campaign.

For example, California representative Eric Swalwell made news by being the first-ever congressman to broadcast his vote via Vine, a social media network that has recently outgrown the epithet of “fledgling.” It was a six-second clip of him voting “nay” to the GOP’s attempts to decrease health protection for women. Needless to say, this made him quite popular not just among women, but also among youths and users of the social media technology.

It’s worth pointing out how recognizable Swalwell became simply because he posted some good content in a low-competition area. Only ten Senators currently use a social media app for their campaigns, despite the Senate having released an official statement of approval on using Twitter’s video-sharing app.

Below  are some more tips on using social media effectively in a political campaign:

SMM-PR SOLUTIONS

  • Getting there first. Dear Mr. Swalwell, thanks for the lesson learned!
  • Learn the niche of the network. On Twitter, this means being able to write a short but meaningful message that generates enough interests to get clicks. On Vine, this means capturing something memorable in six seconds. On Facebook, it could mean a bunch of different things depending on the brand and the audience. It’s all about doing what’s right for the medium and the people who use it.
  • Ask questions. People want to feel like their representatives are personable and want to hear what they say. No matter if you’re a brand, an individual, or a political campaign, your audience will be engaged by questions.
  • Stay human. No one wants to feel like their representatives are untouchable gods in the sky – it’s good to have a witty statement here, an update on the politician’s life there. These should not be the majority, however.
  • Recognize your followers. Say a certain political campaign stands behind increasing funds for education. Wouldn’t it be great to ask your followers for children’s hand-written messages and drawings – and then to share them? This kind of move is adaptable to many different platforms. The Internet is no longer a one-way information street. Recognize and learn from your followers.
  • Finally, have great content. It’s been rehashed so many times, but there’s no way around this one. Everyone looking to be successful on social media needs to have the content to back them up. Link to relevant articles and news, post meaningful pictures and videos, and don’t post anything unnecessary  (i.e. “Good night!”).

Special recognition to Author Anqi Cong for this content.

SpaceCoast AV Communications provides the Audio and Visual products, technologies and integrated solutions that bring people together; allowing people to share ideas and thoughts through media rich communications and collaboration solutions. We bring the value of  allowing people and organizations the ability to focus on what they need to do, better, faster and more efficiently.

 

5 Keys to a Successful Home Automation Investment, Key #2


Welcome Back to Key #2 in this 5 part blog. Yesterday, we looked at whether or not you have the right home. We came to the conclusion that Home automation systems can be installed in all types of homes, from the newest, most modern houses to those that have been standing for years.

Today, we want to determine what you want to automate:

So your second key to ensuring an awesome return on your home automation investment is to consider your lifestyle. Ask yourself what automated solutions would make your life easier and more pleasant. Do you want to get rid of the stack of remotes for all your audio-visual equipment? Do you want the ability to listen to your music collection virtually anywhere in your house? Do you want all of the lights in your house to go off when you leave? Do you want to be able to check on your home from anywhere in the world to make sure it’s secure?

ControlWhether wired or wireless, you can automate practically any electronic device in and around your home. You can automate your swimming pool or spa, inside and outside lights, electronic gates, sprinkler system, garage doors, music, movies, television, heating and cooling, security system, door locks, security cameras, and on and on. The possibilities are virtually endless.

 

Woudl you like to have one of our Sr. Design Engineers Contact you to answer any questions you might have! YES! Please Contact me Today

OLED TV–Game-changing screen technology


What is OLED TV? 

This Game-changing screen technology produces the best picture we’ve ever seen!

If you’re tuned in to new technology, you’ve probably at least heard of OLED, a new way to display images. It’s been hovering on the horizon for so long it was beginning to seem like a mirage, but the first large-screen OLED TVs are finally here, and they’re pretty impressive. OLED (pronounced “oh-led”) is the first truly new display technology since plasma and LCD arrived in the late ’90s. It’s a big step beyond both of those TV types — the closest thing we’ve seen to a perfect screen technology.

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OLED combines the best performance aspects of all the screen technologies        that have come before, and raises the bar for overall TV picture quality to a          new level. Even as other screen innovations like 4K are beginning to appear,          nothing else matches the “wow” factor of OLED.

How does OLED work?

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and it’s the organic part that is groundbreaking. Traditional light emitting diodes have been used in LED-LCD TVs for years — as the white backlight shining through a layer of LCD pixels and red, green, and blue filters. OLED screens use a completely different panel structure, with a series of organic (carbon–based) thin films forming the pixel layers. These pixel layers are sandwiched between transparent thin-film transistor layers, which contain the circuitry that supplies the tiny electrical currents that cause the pixels to light up.

The OLED pixel material itself is electroluminescent — self-illuminating — so there’s no need for a backlight, with all of its limitations. Since there’s no backlight, when electricity is switched off to a pixel, it turns completely off — goes black. This ability to display absolute black is a first for flat-panel TVs, and it enables OLED TVs to achieve virtually infinite picture contrast.

And how does OLED look?

oled2

So, does OLED live up to the hype? Actually, it does. Images seem to pop off the screen with effortless clarity and vibrancy.

OLED pictures have the color accuracy and wide viewing angles of the best plasma TVs, plus the brightness and energy efficiency of an LCD. In addition to spectacular picture quality, OLED makes it possible to build TVs that are much thinner and lighter in weight than any previous TVs. LG’s 55″ OLED is only 1/4″ thick at its thinnest, and weighs just 38 lbs.!

Although OLED panels can be made flat like conventional LCD and plasma TVs, the first OLED TVs from Samsung and LG both feature screens that are gently curved, which creates an even more striking look. The curved screen also seems to reduce screen reflections a bit.

Samsung OLED HDTV

oled3

The 55” KN55S9C uses Samsung’s “Real OLED” technology: red, green, and blue sub-pixels, with no color filters. This is a 3D TV with a difference: Samsung’s unique Multi View feature allows two people to watch different shows on the same screen at the same time!

LG OLED HDTV

LG’s 55” 55EA9800 is the world’s only THX® certified OLED TV. You get an accurate picture that’s as close as possible to what the studio intended. LG’s 4 Color Pixel technology adds a white sub-pixel to the conventional three colors to enhance both color range and brightness.

oled4

These are the first OLED HDTVs available in the U.S., but based on their spectacular performance, it won’t be long before more OLED TVs begin to appear.

SpaceCoast AV Communications is a service disabled veteran and minority owned small business. They provide the audio visual products, technologies and integrated solutions that bring people together; allowing people to share ideas and thoughts through media rich communications and collaboration solutions. We bring the value of allowing people and organizations the ability focus on what they need to do, better, faster and more efficiently. Headquartered in Melbourne, FL, SpaceCoast AV has a wide range of experience providing client solutions that span distance education, state government, Federal/DOD, Fortune 1000, and SMB. For more information please contact SpaceCoast AV at www.spacecoastav.com or by calling 321-257-9700.

Thanks to our Partners in Technology, Crutchfield for specifications.

Scope of AV communications technology, Video Conferencing impacts Nation’s infrastructure


720px-US-NationalHighwayInstitute-Logo.svgMore than one in nine bridges in the United States is structurally deficient, meaning that they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement. We sometimes forget how important it is to ensure the safety of our bridges, especially when you consider that everyday, Americans take 260 million trips over structurally deficient bridges, according to a report from the Transportation for America Campaign.

The National Highway Institute (NHI) – an organization within   the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – works to improve the performance of the transportation industry through training. To help ensure that the workforce responsible for the construction and maintenance of our roadways are properly trained, NHI has developed a three-dimensional, virtual bridge inspection computer-based training tool that has become a critical part of its renowned two-week bridge inspection training course.

The training program office at the NHI was recognized by the FGDLA for its innovative work to bring quality training to students nation-wide. Richard Barnaby, director of training at the NHI, was there to accept the Innovation Award, along with the Engility team led by Anthony “Tony” Prause.

The Polycom team sat down with Mr. Barnaby and Mr. Prause for an exclusive interview about the DOT’s distance learning initiative, and how video teleconferencing (VTC) has helped the department get ahead in the space.

Here is what they had to say:

DOTPublic Sector View: Congratulations on being honored with an Innovation Award. Can you give us a brief background as to what the DOT is trying to accomplish with distance learning technology?

Richard Barnaby: We’re trying to use new technologies to deliver [training] to the transportation workforce nationwide. We want to be efficient, effective, and we’re trying to make it immersive so the participants can benefit from it. Their skill sets can be enhanced thanks to the technology, which is what we’re looking to do.

We took a very technologically complex training course, which is safety inspection of in-service bridges, and through Engility – through Tony’s team – turned it into a training program with gaming quality simulations that involve more participation than a traditional video game.

We were able to make the training better, easier, and more fun for the students to ensure that they learn what they need to know.

Public Sector View: What has been the return on investment of the program for the DOT? How has it helped the department accomplish its mission?

Richard Barnaby: The ROI for an undertaking of this nature this can be measured by our total reach. Since going into distance learning, we’ve managed to double the number of people taking our training. We went from 15,000 to 33,000 individuals, and the number is even higher this year. Through the use of mobile learning, we’ve been able to expand our reach and it’s enhanced the quality of the training.

Road building and bridge building are nation wide, and the training that we provide needs to reach our entire audience. Our audience consists of states, various departments of transportation, and the private sector as well as the local sector, so our training has to be national to do its job.

Our mission is to provide highly technical training at a very high level, and distance learning is the way to go.

Public Sector View: What issues and trends are you seeing today in the distance learning space?

Anthony Prause: The biggest trend that I see is that organizations are looking for rapid development of distance learning products at a low cost, but also increasing requirements and higher training standards with respect to quality and capability. The needs of customers are adapting to economic issues and the advancement of technology to provide better training products to augment all types of training.

There used to be a saying “Good, fast, cheap, pick two.”  That’s no longer an option – being “better faster cheaper” is now becoming the minimum requirement.

 

for more information on Video Conferencing and Distance Learning applications and technologies, contact SpaceCoast AV Communications at 321-257-9700  or via email at info@spacecoastav.com 

The #1 Way To Make Your Worship Services Sound Better


by J. Collins

ImageI am quite fortunate to be able to say I have traveled all over the globe, working with some of the greatest artists, entertainers, and performers. I have participated in creating awesome experiences in just about every type of venue and environment that you can possibly think of. And having grown up in the church, I am amazed at how consistently I have been asked the same questions over and over again. These questions range from what would you do here or how would you do this, or what would you suggest we…

Inevitably one of the most common questions takes the form of “How can we make it sound better?”

Let me just say, I love this question. I love being asked the question and I love that it shines a light on just how truly connected we all are in the church. I love working with churches and love partnering with the church to see us all engage our audiences better, in order that we can impact the world around us.

So whether or not you are currently on staff at a church, as I used to be, or a volunteer who serves on the production team at your local church, this article is for you.

And so without further delay, let me tell you what I’ve found to be the #1 way to make your worship services sound better.

Turn the volume down!

Now is that life shattering or what! I know, I know, some of you are sitting there thinking, “well, duh!” but seriously let’s consider the realities, and together, reframe and refocus, so that we can understand what we’re trying to accomplish here.

So first, let us be reminded what the point of the church should be. C.S. Lewis does this beautifully inMere Christianity.

He says:

“It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects — education, building, missions, holding services. Just as it is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects — military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden — that is what the State is for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time. In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. (p. 171)”

If the Church exists for nothing else than to draw us in, as C.S. Lewis suggests, then every little bit of ‘doing‘ should be filtered through that lens. This includes, obviously, how we create the weekend experience and all the peripherals involved.

I’ve personally seen time and time again, this drawing in, being sabotaged by poorly mixed services, in which often times the solution could be found by simply pulling the master fader down 3-5 db. This includes any instruments, amps, and fold back mixes on stage as well. By minimizing and keeping things simple, we alleviate many of the pressures on our volunteers, instead, providing for the margin to properly focus on the things that help us create better experiences for our audiences, ultimately drawing us all in to wonderful message of The Gospel.

And isn’t that the point?

Obviously, there are dozens and dozens of other factors to take into consideration when honestly seeking solutions to improve the overall sound of any particular room, or worship gathering. And in no way am I minimizing the importance of pursuing those solutions, but I can tell you from experience, often times you’ll do better to begin by simply turning it down.

 

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SpaceCoast AV Communications create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences.

http://www.spacecoastav.com  |  321.257.9700  |  info@spacecoastav.com