In the category of multi-room wireless music systems, Sonos has long
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
So, you want audio video in your backyard? With spring right around the corner now is the time to begin planning.
With Central East Florida’s mild climate, outdoor living is a treasured way of life. SpaceCoast AV brings your favorite music, TV, and movies outdoors and makes it all easy to access and use. Outdoor audio video options include basic stereo systems to full outdoor theater systems.
Weather-resistant outdoor speakers have been available for years; however, newer loudspeaker technology gives you much more consistent sound coverage. SpaceCoast AV can bury specially-made outdoor subwoofers into your landscaping; and multiple camouflaged speakers are hidden throughout the outdoor space providing very even sound coverage. This allows a lower overall volume level while filling your yard with sound over a much wider area than was previously possible. Your music system will easily be heard, but will be hard to find.
If you would like to enjoy your favorite TV programs and movies outdoors, special weatherized flat screen TV’s may be exposed to the weather elements and feature special screen coatings to minimize the glare of bright outdoor environments. For the ultimate in backyard entertaining, let the pros at SpaceCoast AV design and install an outdoor theater system, complete with large screen projection.
SpaceCoast AV has years of experience remotely locating most of the audio/video components indoors, yet offering seamless control of them from roaming handheld remote controls, or even home automation touch screens cleverly concealed to protect them from the elements.
Please call 321-257-9700 or contact us by email today for more information on how you can get the outdoor audio video system of your dreams.
Where back with the Yamaha question of the day!
We bought the Yamaha receiver not only for HD Radio and Home Theater features, because it has Network Radio. Under Net Radio you can choose from Rhapsody, Pandora, Server, Net Radio and SXM. My question is how do I input my SXM account after the free trial is expired? We tried our Sirius Radio car account info and it will not connect.
Well, first you have to add a network streaming service to your account at SXM website. Your car account is only for satellite reception to the car. What you need to do is go create a new account for the network streaming service, you will have to provide the radio ID found in the Information menu to link the service to the radio. Once you have that set up go to the on screen menu, select Input, NetRadio, SXM press the up arrow. On this menu you must first delete the trial account then add a new account entering the streaming service account user name and password.
I believe the streaming service runs about 3 dollars a month.
I you have any question please give us a call and we can walk you through it.
Congratulations to SpaceCoast AV Communications for completion and certification as a Level 2 Integration Designer for Control System Programming! Job Well Done!
July 27th Yamaha question of the day, Can we control the AV receivers from multiple devices?
Yes, I just installed an RX-A830 2 zone system, the customer had 4 i-Phones and a Tablet PC, we downloaded the free app on each device and they are each able to control the system over their home network. The App control is much easier than the remote supplied with the system as it uses pictures, icons and swiping making it a truly easy and intuitive control platform. Very User Friendly. Apps for i-Phone/i-Pad and Android based devices