Video and Audio Center Blog



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

LG'S AI ADVANCEMENTS DRIVING A NEW AGE AS ENTERTAINMENT, ROBOTICS AND SMART TECHNOLOGIES EXPAND THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY

Just a few weeks ago, LG Electronics (LG) chief executive officer Jo Seong-jin and LG Electronics President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. I.P. Park delivered the opening keynote address at IFA 2018 in Berlin, outlining LG’s strategic direction for the emerging new era of artificial intelligence. As hinted in the blog's title above, we are seeing a new age in consumer electronics just now becoming available to consumers, and Video & Audio Center will be, as we have for over 38 years, at the very forefront in delivering these new technologies to the marketplace.
Video & Audio Center has been a retail and online consumer electronics industry leader for almost four decades now; and during that time we’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry, but nothing as far-reaching as today’s latest entertainment and smart home products that combine the cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics smart home technologies and visual display acuity—and LG has been one of the true innovators in bringing these emerging new technologies to today's consumers. "AI will ultimately touch everybody's lives, transforming the way we live, work and play," said Dr. Park. "Early implementations of AI in connected devices today are setting the stage for tomorrow's smart cities, smart homes, smart businesses and smart devices, all with capabilities that no one has even dreamed of yet."
CEO Jo, a 42-year LG veteran, led the keynote, emphasizing the company’s underlying drive to provide consumers with a better life, defining this as the increased availability of freer and smarter choices in everyday living. He expressed his firm belief that advances in AI are key to presenting new possibilities for a better life.

Following the launch of the LG ThinQ, LG has been focused on demonstrating the impact of its vibrant ecosystem embedded with a powerful AI solution based on LG’s open platform, open partnership and open connectivity strategy.

“Combined with edge computing and big data, as well as the ability to harness the enhanced connectivity of 5G, AI will bring each aspect of our lives into a seamless connected experience. Your home will know what kind of day you had in the office and will roll out the welcome mat by preparing the perfect environment for when you walk in the door,” said Mr. Jo.

 

LG’s ThinQ AI has been integrated into LG products ranging from mobile phones and televisions to refrigerators, washers, vacuums and more, creating seamless connections at home—and on-the-go—basically, making life good. Stop into any Video & Audio Center and see for yourself how communicating and sharing data across devices creates an easier and more personalized experience that enhances your life and frees you up to do the things that matter most. Here are just a few of the LG products and experiences that incorporate artificial intelligence:

LG OLED and SUPER UHD TVs

Whether you choose an LG OLED TV with unsurpassed picture quality and an ultra-premium design that elevates any room, or our SUPER UHD 4K LED TV featuring a beautifully slender bezel and breathtaking picture, LG ThinQ AI delivers a customized entertainment experience designed by you—and you can see the complete line of LG’s AI televisions at any one of our five Los Angeles-based technology showrooms in all their splendor.

Experience real-life images, colors, sharpness, enhanced depth and magnificently immersive sound, whether you’re watching movies or sports, binge watching your favorite series, or playing video games. LG OLED and SUPER UHD TVs with AI ThinQ have the Google Assistant built in, so you can control compatible smart home devices using just your voice. Create a center for your smart home and beyond. Plus it works with Amazon Alexa devices‑and don’t forget that Video & Audio Center’s prices on all LG models are LOWER than amazon or Best Buy, see stores for details.

LG Smartphones

From the LG G7 ThinQ™ to the V35 ThinQ™, you’ll get thoughtful intelligence, inside and out. Each is equipped with a forward-thinking AI Cam, which assesses subjects and the environment it “sees” in your frame, and gives you tips for achieving the perfect picture (like optimized filters or suggesting a wide-angle shot). They also have Google Assistant built in, as well as Google Lens, which lets you search visually to learn more about what you’re seeing. Find product reviews, info about landmarks, plants, animals, and other places and things you encounter.

 

LG Appliances

When you choose appliances powered with LG’s intuitively smart AI technology, they go beyond just being appliances, to helping you manage your home and life. The LG InstaView ThinQ™ refrigerator has Amazon Alexa built in so you can do it all with a few simple voice commands. Grocery shop, create a to-do list, listen to your favorite music and more. You’ll also find AI ThinQ™ technology on other appliances, including vacuums and washing machines. Video & Audio Center has selected our flagship technology showroom located in the Westfield Century City Mall as the ideal location to display select appliance models from LG.

 

The evolution of AI must be based on continually increasing communication with users, according to Dr. Park, who explained LG’s methodology for the development of core AI technology: First, the company’s focus on speech recognition, image recognition, biometric recognition and deep learning algorithms; second, the benefits of seamless connectivity offered through LG’s diverse product portfolio that make it possible to eliminate the traditional constraints of space and time; and third, the infinite potential offered through increased connectivity.

Doubt LG’s commitment to emerging technologies? At the same Berlin show, last month, LG not only showcased their extensive lineup of AI-enabled consumer electronics, smart home and mobile technologies, but they also introduced CLiO and SuitBot, AI-enhanced robots to the public. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

GOPRO's AMAZING NEW HERO7 BLACK: WIN A SHARE OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO CELEBRATE ITS RELEASE!


GoPro has finally announced its new product lineup including the  flagship, HERO7 BLACK, which sets a new bar for video stabilization with its standout feature, HyperSmooth. “HERO7 BLACK is the GoPro we’ve all been waiting for,” said GoPro founder, Nick Woodman. We at Video & Audio Center, Authorized GoPro Dealer since the very beginning, couldn’t agree more—and our prices on the new GoPro HERO7 Series, and all GoPro models and accessories, are lower than Amazon or Best Buy, see store for details!

Nick was right on the money; HyperSmooth is the best in-camera video stabilization ever featured in a camera. It makes it easy to capture professional-looking, gimbal-like stabilized video without the expense or hassle of a motorized gimbal. And HyperSmooth works underwater and in high-shock and wind situations where gimbals fail. HERO7 BLACK with HyperSmooth video stabilization – you've got to see it to believe it!

With HERO7 BLACK, GoPro is also introducing a radical new form of video called TimeWarp. TimeWarp Video applies a high-speed, ‘magic-carpet-ride’ effect to your videos. Imagine a scenic drive, ocean dive or walk through the city compressed into a super-stabilized, sped-up version of itself, with the entire experience playing out in seconds. TimeWarp Video transforms longer experiences into short, flowing videos that are compelling to watch and easy to share.
And when it comes to sharing, there’s no faster way to do it than live. HERO7 BLACK is the first GoPro to live stream, enabling users to automatically share in real time to Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms internationally. The result is an exciting and convenient way to share life’s more interesting, on-the-go moments. “With HyperSmooth video stabilization, HERO7 BLACK is a camera anyone can use to capture amazingly smooth, professional looking shots of their favorite activities. And they can do it live.”

Video & Audio Center aren’t the only ones who think this new version of the revolutionary action camera is a winner; at the recent Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) Visual Innovation Awards GoPro was honored with a 2018 IEEE ICIP Visual Innovation Award for its achievement in producing products with lasting impacts on the visual image processing space. From the first GoPro film camera in 2004, to the introduction of HD in 2009 and game-changing HyperSmooth in 2018, we are proud to see the evolution of GoPro, and those folks behind the technological advancements, being recognized.

Let’s take a look at the new HERO7 BLACK and see what’s under it’s hood:
HERO7 BLACK Features:
  • HyperSmooth Stabilization - Gimbal-like stabilization without the gimbal
  • Live Stream – Automatic sharing as you live it while saving your streamed videos to your SD card in high definition
  • TimeWarp Video – Super-stabilized time lapse ‘magic carpet ride’ videos of your experiences, up to 30x speed
  • SuperPhoto – Intelligent scene analysis for professional-looking photos via automatically applied HDR, Local Tone Mapping and Multi-Frame Noise Reduction
  • Portrait Mode – Native vertical-capture for easy sharing to Instagram Stories, Snapchat and more
  • Enhanced Audio – Re-engineered audio captures increased dynamic range, new microphone membrane reduces unwanted vibrations during mounted situations
  • Intuitive Touch Interface – 2-inch touch display with simplified user interface enables native vertical (portrait) use of camera
  • Face, Smile + Scene Detection – HERO7 BLACK recognizes faces, expressions and scene-types to enhance automatic QuikStory edits on the GoPro app
  • Short Clips – Restricts video recording to 15- or 30-second clips for faster transfer to phone, editing and sharing. Great for new users and kids.
  • Photo Timer – Countdown timer for convenient selfies and group shots
  • Stunning Image Quality – 4K60 video and 12MP photos
  • Ultra Slo-Mo – 8x slow motion in 1080p240
  • Rugged and Waterproof – Waterproof without a housing to 33ft (10m), goes everywhere your phone can’t
  • Voice Control – Verbal commands let you go hands-free in 14 languages
  • Auto Transfer to Phone – Your photos and videos move automatically from camera when connected to the GoPro app for on-the-go sharing
  • GPS Performance Stickers – Track speed, distance and elevation, then highlight them by adding stickers to videos in the GoPro app
  • Touch Zoom – Frame your photos and videos with just a touch 
The brand new HERO7 BLACK is available at all five Video & Audio Center Technology Showrooms, as well as online. To celebrate the release of the “GoPro we’ve all been waiting for,” GoPro is inviting any HERO7 BLACK owner to shoot this year’s HERO7 BLACK highlight video and win their cut of a cool MILLION DOLLARS!

Users can now submit their best HERO7 BLACK raw video clips to the MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE for the chance to land in the highlight video (as well as to get submission guidelines and details). GoPro’s creative team will watch the submissions and pick their favorites to put into the highlight reel and be awarded an equal cut of $1 million, split between the other individuals whose footage is selected for inclusion. Submissions must be entered by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2018 to be considered. The highlight video will debut in mid-December. So grab a HERO7 BLACK from Video & Audio Center and get creating, the world (and your bank account) can't wait to see what you come up with!

GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

JBL / HARMON'S NEW GOOGLE-ASSISTED PRODUCTS FOR THE HOME: A SMART SPEAKER WITH A VISUAL DISPLAY AND A NEW, GOOGLE-LINKED SOUNDBAR!

Newest member of JBLLINK series provides users with a voice-activated smart assistant they can see and hear; that’s right, I said “SEE”!

JBL Link View, a voice-controlled, smart display speaker with Google Assistant built-in is set to join the JBL LINKseries later this month—and as usual, Video & Audio Center will not only have it first, but our prices are also LOWER than Amazon and Best Buy, see stores for details.

JBL by HARMAN, in close collaboration with Google, is bringing consumers their first smart speaker to incorporate the Google Assistant with a visual display. The JBL LINKView takes the listening experience a step further by incorporating an 8” high-definition display with a touch screen and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The LINK View provides excellent sound quality, and is ideal for anyone that consumes a large amount of content daily. Users can view pictures, stream audio and video, ask questions, scan recipes, and video call with family and friends, all with their voice.
“When we launched the LINK series last year it represented a major milestone for us, as the first voice-activated, multi-room speakers to use Google Assistant and deliver Grammy® award-winning JBL sound,” said Lou Schreurs, VP, Connected Home & Luxury Audio BU, General Management. “Research shows voice activated speakers are no mere novelty. Sixty percent of owners now consider them a necessity. By continuing to enhance their experience by adding HD display with a touch screen and a front-facing camera, people will find even more ways to make these speakers an important part of their lives, routines and enjoyment.”
The high-resolution touch screen and camera is framed by two front-firing stereo speakers and a rear-facing passive radiator, delivering JBL Signature Sound with rich, deep bass. Made with premium materials that easily wipe clean, and designed to have a small footprint to take up minimal counter space, the JBL LINK View seamlessly integrates into any
room in the house. Users can set it up in the kitchen, and with the Google Assistant, follow along with a recipe, video call with friends, scroll through vacation photos, cast YouTube videos or connect the device to other LINK speakers for a multi-room listening experience.

"With smart displays, we're bringing the Google Assistant to a new class of device that deliver a fully interactive and visual experience. Smart displays can do everything the Google Assistant speakers can, with the additional benefit of a beautiful touch screen. They make it easy to watch YouTube videos, enjoy personal photos, follow recipes, control smart home devices and more," said Chris Turkstra, Director, Google Assistant. "We're excited to bring the LINK View to market with JBL and are committed to deliver a helpful, visual Google Assistant experience."

According to Damien Wilde, from 9-to-5 Google, “Overall I’d say that the JBL Link View does a great job of balancing speaker and smart display without many compromises in either camp. Google Assistant makes this more than just a speaker and the quality brought in by JBL helps make this more than just an Assistant powered display. While Amazon’s Echo Show may ship at less than half the price, it lacks the key integration with YouTube or Google Services to make it a real challenger to any Google-powered Smart Display. Until that changes, then I’d bank on Google winning the Smart Display war.”
http://www.videoandaudiocenter.com/main/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=5302&search=JBL+JBL

Smart TV Content Meets Amazing Sound: JBL and Google Developing LINK BAR

Fans of the JBL LINK speakers have another reason to celebrate, as the legendary audio company is about to add the latest addition to the series—the JBL LINK BAR, which reflects the collaborative efforts between JBL and Google to deliver a soundbar solution that further builds out the voice activated JBL LINK series.

The LINK BAR will be the industry’s first soundbar powered by Android TV with the Google Assistant built in. It’s designed to combine JBL’s audio expertise and Android TV’s plethora of content, delivering a smarter way to watch your favorite content with best-in-class sound. The LINK BAR turns any TV, regardless of make or model, into a Smart TV. Just by saying “Hey Google,” you’ll open the door to a world of programming available hands-free through Android TV. So, whether you prefer to binge your favorite shows or hear the thumping action of live sports, the JBL LINK BAR has you covered.

Created with the tech-savvy user in mind, the LINK BAR will take its place at the forefront of the multi-room soundbar technology revolution. The launch of the LINK BAR marks the latest collaboration between JBL and Google, with the Google Assistant already included in the JBL LINK 10 and JBL LINK 20 models, and the recently announced LINK VIEW (as  above).

According to Michael Simon of TechHive, in a recent article entitled, “JBL’s Link Bar Might Be The Google Assistant/Android TV Soundbar Of My Dreams,” Simon noted that, “A Google Assistant-enabled smart soundbar with Android TV is a solution to several problems at once, and if it’s the start of a whole line of Google-centric home theater products, it could be the thing to start making Android TV a household name.”

 

We second that thought, Michael; and of course, both new JBL Google-Assisted models will be available at Video & Audio Center just as soon as they are released, so keep a look-out online, or just let us know you’re interested by commenting below and I will be sure to let you know when you can stop by to “kick the tires.”

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

ARE YOU READY FOR 8K? AN IN-DEPTH LOOK “UNDER THE HOOD” OF SAMSUNG’S FIRST 8K MODEL…LET’S MEET THE Q900R!

Samsung Electronics first 8K TV, the Q900R QLED 8K, will be available in a choice of 65, 75, 82 and 85-inch models later this year...which means VERY SOON! The new TV combines the market’s highest resolution screens with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that optimizes content for 8K presentation which produces exceptionally lifelike images and sound, and enabling users to enjoy much more of an immersive viewing experience—and, as most “early adapters” know, Video & Audio Center is the BEST PLACE to get the very latest in all entertainment technologies, including the new 8K TV, FIRST!


Samsung has been the world’s number one TV manufacturer for 12 years running thanks to a commitment to setting new standards for picture quality and immersion. With the unveiling of QLED 8K, the company has once again raised the bar for both. Samsung has been behind many world firsts when it comes to TV technologies, including the world’s slimmest LED TV, the first FHD 3D TV, the largest UHD TV, and the first curved TV—and now, the first 8K QLED TV. To learn more about how Samsung’s latest groundbreaking TV mesmerizes viewers with virtually perfect picture quality and sound, we sat down with members of the team, including product planners Beomkyun Rha and Jonghyuk Kim, and developers Hyunseung Lee and Sunghwan Jang.



Why the “Rush” To 8K When 4K Content Is Just Beginning To Grow?

As addressed on these “pages” in an earlier Blog, as the demands for larger and larger screens increases, so too does the NEED for an 8K image in order to be able to project those crystal-clear 4K images on screen sizes above the 80’-85” screen sizes! In fact, according to HDGuru, “In addition to having four times greater pixel resolution (7680×4320 pixels) than 4K displays, the new resolution screens will be able to pack those extra pixels with more visible color and brightness attributes, compared to today’s 3840x2160p systems. This should deliver images with greater dimensionality, textures, wider shades of color and sharper gray scale detail for things like text and digital image enlargements when viewed up close. Importantly, it will also enable sharp and vibrant images on screen sizes 65-inches and larger, something both companies clearly had in mind by releasing premiere models exceeding 80 inches.”


Let’s Take A Peek “Under the Hood” Of This Historic Q900R 8K Model!


Samsung’s QLED 8K with 8K AI Upscaling is a part of the company’s long-term vision of leading 8K to the forefront as the most accurate and life-like screen resolution on the market. “At Samsung, we’ve worked tirelessly over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of our QLED 8K with 8K AI Upscaling is an integral component as we look to the future of displays,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We’re thrilled to introduce the Q900R to consumers and are confident that they will experience nothing short of brilliance in color, clarity and sound on our new 8K-capable models.”

To achieve 8K-quality images, the Samsung Q900R features Real 8K Resolution capable of 4,000 nit peak brightness – a standard met by most film studios. This feature allows TV to produce four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV. Q HDR 8K powered by HDR (High Dynamic Range) 10+ technology which optimizes the TV’s brightness levels and produces pristine colors and images is also incorporated to deliver pictures as intended by creators.


Samsung’s proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology based on artificial intelligence also comes equipped with picture and sound quality to a level compatible with 8K regardless of the original source quality or format. Whether a user is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile mirroring, the Quantum Processor 8K recognizes and upscales the content to appear in 8K quality. In addition, the Q900R features Direct Full Array Elite for enhanced contrast and precise backlighting control, and also 100% Color Volume, enabling users to witness billions of shades of color for the purest color accuracy to-date.



Focusing on user efficiency, the Q900R features a slate of new functions that enable consumers to use their TVs differently while maintaining the highest quality in picture and sound. For example, the TV recognizes and analyzes a number of connected entertainment devices like audio devices connected via optical cable with One Remote, then auto switches the TV’s image source and audio output for an optimized viewing experience. Lifestyle features, such as Ambient Mode, have been enhanced to seamlessly blend the TV in the surrounding space by showcasing beautiful images, weather, news and more on the screen. The One Invisible Connection, which comes standard at 5 meters, incorporates the optical cable and power in one seamless cord, giving users more freedom to decide where and how they place the TV. Smart enhancements, such as SmartThings, further add to the Q900R’s ability to provide users with greater access to information and make their lives easier, and the Universal Guide provides personalized recommendations to easily find live and OTT content on TV.



Fostering A Viewing Experience Like Nothing Seen Before


QLED 8K boasts a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels—16 times more than a full HD (FHD) TV, and four times higher than 4K UHD display. As developer Hyunseung Lee explained, the TV’s added resolution allows detailed in images to be expressed more clearly, and creates a sense of reality and depth that keeps you immersed in your content.“With conventional SD (standard definition) or HD (high definition) displays, when people look closely at depicted images, they can recognize them as a cluster of pixels,” said Lee. “However, with QLED 8K, the level of resolution is so high that pixels become invisible to the human eye, and viewers become incapable of distinguishing depicted objects from the real thing.”



As fellow developer Sunghwan Jang noted, however, it’s not just QLED 8K’s sky-high resolution that enables it to provide such textured, realistic images. The TV’s exceptional peak brightness—up to 4,000 nits—allows it to illuminate small details with impeccable precision. “Bright content is expressed differently in 8K resolution,” said Jang. “Because 8K features four times more pixels than 4K, images and videos that are brighter and include more detail can be presented more accurately in 8K.”



Taking Immersion To Another Level With AI


Samsung is the first manufacturer to implement artificial intelligence (AI) technology into a QLED TV.  Adding machine learning to the TV’s repertoire of immersion-enhancing features has made it easy for users to enjoy a wide range of content in crystal clear 8K. Samsung’s exclusive machine-learning technology automatically upscales lower-resolution videos into 8K picture quality, regardless of the video’s native resolution or method of transmission. The technology is powered by the Quantum Processor 8K, which, according to product planner BeomKyun Rha, was enhanced to better process details and lighting.


As Lee explained, the difference that the upscaling technology makes is often as clear as black and white. “When you look at 4K content next to upscaled 8K video, black areas of the screen are where you can see a major difference, even under bright conditions.” The difference is also especially noticeable when viewing scenes with lots of detail and contrast. When viewing a nature documentary, for example, QLED 8K ensures sharp, natural colors that depict both the beaming yellow sun and the emerald waves beneath it with vivid accuracy.


Dealing With Some Of The Challenges

When developing QLED 8K, Samsung’s R&D team was encouraged by the 8K market’s rapid development, but found it difficult to agree upon how to improve on QLED TV’s specifications, given the TV’s status as the cornerstone of the company’s display offerings.



“The most difficult thing to do was to coordinate the opinions of all the related divisions,” explained Jang. “For example, the goal was to achieve 4,000-nit brightness. Conventional 4K TVs feature an optimum brightness of 1,500 to 2,000-nits, so raising that figure to 4,000 presented a challenge.” Because the market had never seen TVs that satisfied the 4,000-nit specification, the team set out to raise the bar by achieving that value. “We wanted to produce the world’s best TV,” said product planner Jonghyuk Kim. “A TV that would allow content to be depicted as faithfully to creators’ intention as possible.


“We want our consumers to be able to immerse themselves in their favorite content, and view photos and videos from their everyday lives at a level of detail that allows them to feel like they’re present in the moment or scene,” said Rha. “We consider it our duty at Samsung to create new, innovative products like QLED 8K, that can help consumers realize such experiences.”

OK...Where Can I Get One?


As California’s #1 Audio & Video Custom Installer for the past 18 years in a row, more people trust Video & Audio Center to not only have the best prices and largest selection, but for also having the very latest in entertainment technologies FIRST, as well.

I’m sworn to secrecy, but just between you and me, I’d check back and visit us online at www.videoandaudiocenter.com in the next few weeks, and we will keep you posted!