Video and Audio Center Blog



Friday, May 29, 2015

YOUR BIG SCREEN TV IS NOW YOUR COMPUTER’S BIG SCREEN MONITOR


TV has been a source of entertainment ever since the first picture lit up the tiny tube inside the huge cabinet sold to the public. But now its all about getting a BIG SCREEN TV whether its curved or flat HDTV or 4K its the picture that brings the excitement. But theres no reason the TV should be relegated to only showing TV shows and movies why not use it as if it was a computer monitor for looking at everything digital photos BIG, video games BIG and more. Thats just another reason why you need a BIG SCREEN TV not to mention that these TVs are so full of new technologies and enhanced features that they blow away the TVs of just a few years ago in terms of picture quality alone. But the question remains as to how to get whats on the computer over to the TV in a simple and efficient manner. By following a few procedures. Heres how.

SETTING UP THE COMPUTER TO USE WITH THE TV

The video card in the computer outputs the video signal and can be modified from its default setting that is being used (or from what you have set it at). To output Full HD, which will match that of HDTVs, set it to do a 1920 x 1080 image. Also be sure to have the aspect ratio match that of the TV (i.e.,16:9). That should take care of the majority of what you will be taking from the computer and sending to the TV.

For video games specifically, youll need to avoid over-taxing the computers CPU so it can concentrate on the games frame rate and all the needed graphic work. Do this by not having other programs running that could cause interference. And if the graphic card looks a bit wimpy for what it must do, consider reducing the strain on the graphic card by reducing the frame rate or changing the effects mode of the game to one less strenuous. You dont want any lag in the game from what you would normally see on the computer monitor, but are now looking at on the TV.

CONNECTING THE COMPUTER TO THE TV

The video signal output ports will be found on the computers graphic card and accessible (in most cases). You just plug in the appropriate cable and drag it over to the TV and plug in the other end. A HDMI cable works best because it provides the Full HD video signal and also because it sends both audio as well as video and up to 1080p resolution (of course in the case of a 4K TV, it will be upscaling that image to make it even more awesome looking). If the graphic card only has a DVI output, that will work too even though most TVs today dont have DVI inputs (that was way back years ago), But its no big deal OR big expense to purchase a DVI to HDMI adapter: all you do is plug the DVI into one end and the HDMI is on the other for use in the normal fashion. But since DVI doesnt send an audio signal, youll have to use analog RCA cables (stereo) going from the computer to the analog RCA inputs on the TV. That will triple the number of cables. The same goes if youre stuck with using VGA which is of a lower resolution and which will require an adapter although there are some TVs (and front projectors) that includes such an input. And with DisplayPort outputs, adapters will also be needed (these found on Apple iMacs and most laptops today).



GETTING THE SIGNAL FROM THE COMPUTER TO THE TV

Regardless of the kind of video cable being used, there still has to be a connection made physically between the computer and the TV (FYI a laptop counts here too). The length of the cable will depend upon how far the computer is from the TV for a HDMI cable the cost can be a bit expensive if the length is more than 10-15. Shorter lengths will work fine if a laptop is being used since it can go to the TV, unlike a desktop PC or Mac. The same applies if connecting a smartphone or tablet to the TV these are computers after all, and not all mobile devices work with TVs wirelessly. For example, if youve Android phones/tablets, its easy to send what you have on it to the TV wirelessly using built-in conventions found in most TVs. But someone with an iPhone/iPad would be out of luck because the tech isnt compatible hence the need for having a wired alternative for Apple devices.

Another alternative is to use a wireless video transmission system these are made to use their own Wi-Fi network between the sender/transmitter and nominally require HDMI at both ends. So instead of attaching the sender to a Blu-ray players HDMI output to go to the receiver which is plugged into one of the TVs HDMI inputs, the sender gets plugged into the HDMI output (or DVI with adapter) of the computer.

WATCHING THE BEST PICTURE FROM THE COMPUTER ON THE TV

Regardless of whether its a desktop or laptop or mobile device, a computers picture needs to be tweaked at the TV. So pull out the manual (or online manual) and look for details as to which of the features might give you the best results these might not seem obvious at first by just hitting the remotes button and cycling through the picture. Youll know what looks good because youll see it looking good (and in most cases you can save these settings so that you can return to them at a later time when youre not watching regular TV).

Turning your HDTV or 4K TV into a BIG SCREEN monitor might seem like a bit of trouble to do, but what you will see will make it worth it. So get yourself a big screen TV that can make what your computer has been showing you look really, really special.







Friday, May 22, 2015

GETTING A NEW TV MEANS SETTING UP YOUR NEW TV


The excitement of choosing a new TV - be it a 4K TV or an HDTV -- doesn’t end when you get it home. That’s where the excitement starts, because now it has to be positioned where the whole family can enjoy it. That's especially true of a big screen TV, since the sheer size of the display requires that there is room between it and where everyone is going to be to watching. But let's say that you already have a cabinet waning for the TV to go on, or a wall mount ready and waiting to bolt the TV to the wall. That doesn’t mean all the TV now needs is to be turned on; there’s connections to make first and settings to change so that the picture suits your needs. Lets break it down so that we can get to watching that great picture already.

CONNECTIONS

Today’s flat panel TVs want (and expect) a HDMI cable for making the connection. Inserting an HDMI cable is easy because it can only go in one way and holds through friction. And since the cable also sends audio, there's no need for additional cables for sound. High speed cables contain all the “oomph” that is needed for a 4K or HD picture and that includes multi-channel audio and even 3D. So use an appropriate length, depending on whether the HDMI cable is going from a component like a Blu-ray player or a cable box or amplifier to the TV. The only exception is if you're adding an over-the-air (OTA) antenna for watching broadcast TV as transmitted by free local broadcast towers. You also should decide on which HDMI input on
the TV is for which connected component: in most cases using HDMI #1 for the cable box for TV use makes the most sense, with other devices following by the numbers. Since most TVs now include as many as 4 HMDI inputs, that even leaves room for adding a streaming device directly at the TV (like a Chromecast). USB ports on the TV also mean that devices that need to be powered can be hooked up directly as well.

CHECKING THE CONNECTIONS

Turning on the TV (having plugged it into an AC outlet first or even a power surge conditioner), if using an external antenna now’s the time to navigate to the TV menu so that you can get the TV channels it can pick up. Otherwise it'd just a matter of selecting the input for the component or device you want to use, a cable box or satellite receiver for example. Now comes the real setup.

CONFIGURING THE TV

The TV manufacturers set up their TVs with a "default" mode that look good at the dealer where you'll see it. But it's YOUR TV so it needs to look good to you. Going through all the menu settings may sound boring, but it’s a one-time effort that will pay off handsomely.

The way to go about it is to first decide what you usually look at — TV shows, for example. Pick a show that will be on long enough for you to change settings and view the results, with enough time for making any changes or "tweaks". By having the same show on, you eliminate a variable.

The basic settings to change involve brightness, color, contrast and color temperature. Brightness is as it sounds, while the higher the contrast the more detailed the picture could appear (keep in mind though that higher levels of contrast smudge fine details). Color changes the intensity of the image while color temperature affects “white" and makes the overall picture seem “warmer" or “cooler.” Take your time to see how you "feel" about how the picture looks -- it should be how YOU want it to look, after all.

With this done, now it's time to put any special settings that are already on to their Neutral/Off position. This can include backlighting, noise reduction, black level enhancing among others. Then activate them one at a time to see how that affects the picture and how you feel about that change. If you like it, leave it on or make further adjustments. But if the picture looks best with it off, leave it off. This includes the various picture modes, such as “Cinema" and others -- note: those interested in the best picture for watching movies should use the Blu-ray player and a Blu-ray disc as the source material for the setting changes.

Of course there is an alternative solution — you can have professionals set up your new TV for you. That means a lot more than just putting it up against a wall -- an installer like JUST ONE TOUCH makes the TV not just functional but also attractive to look at — a part of your home's decor that can be viewed with pride. Either way that new TV is going to be a part of your life and home so take the time so it will have the best picture you’ve ever seen.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SAMSUNG REDEFINES 4K TV WITH THE SUHD TV


Video & Audio Center knows that theres nothing more exciting than introducing the latest TV technology — and that's especially true when debuting a whole new category of TVs. With Samsungs latest TV technological leap forward the 4K SUHD TV, viewers will experience stunning colors, deep contrast, incredible brightness and all at a 4K resolution that redefines the TV viewing experience. But why is Samsung's SUHD TV going to be their best picture yet?

The answer comes from Nano-crystal technology and how Samsung implements its use in a proprietary manner (and eco-friendly to boot). An extremely thin film called the QDEF layer is placed between the liquid crystals or LEDs and the protective front placed glass (also known as the plexi layer). This QDEF layer boosts the colors to produce a higher level of color intensity.

All this results in a display that provides a level of color, detail and depth to the picture that makes any movie, TV show or other content stand out. So which qualities make the Samsung SUHD TVs so special:

COLOR
SUHD provides more vibrant and brilliant colors than that seen before in fact its a much wider range of colors: 64X greater color expression is how Samsung puts it. This is all helped along by a new color system called DCI P3 which makes for a greater color spectrum to be viewed (or you can call it the color gamut, if you want to get technical about it). Regardless theres more color to be viewed, which makes for a more realistic rendering of whatever is being watched.  And one that can be better calibrated to dial in the best color renditioning.

DETAIL
The 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution that is the hallmark of 4K is of course excellently reproduced. But detail also comes from the level of brightness that is displayed. The SUHD display increases the brightness levels. This occurs across the entire screen through MultiZone Full Array Back Lighting, which takes advantage of a higher level of brightness being available for the display than previously seen due to LED illumination of the brightest regions of the picture.

DEPTH
Theres a reason that the Samsung SUHD TV provides a greater level of depth to the images being seen. It has to do with the contrast being automatically optimized across the entire screen. When viewed in conjunction with a curved screen the effect is to draw the eye in to create a more immersive view that grips and holds the viewers attention.

But what about Smart TV? Of course other features arent left out in fact theres an Oct-Core Processor that provides 8X the power for Smart TV functions (as compared to a single processor and twice that of a dual-core processor). This ensures that any of the apps chosen, or the video being streamed, runs at full speed and with silky smooth animation. And for mobile device lovers, Bluetooth will sync and let content be shared from a Samsung smartphone.

Additionally, the TV will act as an alarm and sync up with Samsung mobile devices to turn on and display important items of the day, such as the time, weather and your schedule. Plus theres a built-in video camera that lets you make Skype calls directly from the TV using hand gestures; all of what the SUHD TV offers being controlled from a Smart Remote that not only uses a touchpad for quick and precise navigation, but also allows for voice commands. Add special video features like Samsung Sports Live (allowing live sports to be watched while simultaneously checking team and player stats) and the Milk Video platform (for viewing/sharing the webs best videos) and theres no denying that this is one smart TV.

HS Kim, president of the visual display business at Samsung Electronics, points out that Samsung provides the leading picture in the industry and will continue to do so with their SUHD TVs. According to Kim, consumers can trust that we are more committed than ever to consistently deliver a superior home entertainment experience for years to come.

Not to be lost in all this is the elegant frame that makes the SUHD TV look its best in any room.

Samsungs 4K SUHD TVs also include flat panel models and are in stock and available now. Visit one of the Superstores Santa Monica, South Bay, Agoura Hills or Century City and see for yourself just how exciting watching can be with SUHD.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

DEDICATE A ROOM FOR HOME THEATER AND ENJOY THE MOVIE THEATER EXPERIENCE!





Getting a big screen picture is the first start to enjoying a movie-like experience at home, but dont limit yourself to this alone. Picking a room of your home to become a dedicated home theater is the best way to acknowledging that you want your entertainment to be as exciting and dynamic as possible when sitting down to watch. This is also when it makes sense to turn to professionals who can help you realize this goal, for example, the professionals at JUST ONE TOUCH. Think of them as architects who work with home theater equipment and the physical space the equipment will be occupying so as to create the perfect environment for you and your family.

But how do you know what you want? Thats what these professionals do best: help you decide how to proceed. But in order to do that, some basics need to be understood. They can be relegated as the following categories:

WHAT KIND OF DISPLAY
The size of the video display depends primarily on whether there will be a flat-panel of a front projection system. Flat-panels can be mounted to a wall or placed on a cabinet, with their physical size stopping at 85 in general. A front projection system typically begins at 100 but requires space for the screen to go on the wall and also space between the screen and the projector (this dead space occurs whether the projector is mounted to the ceiling or placed on a stand on the floor or on a rear wall).

WHAT KIND OF AUDIO
The days of just having stereo are long gone, and so now there is multi-directional audio coming from multiple speakers placed throughout the room. Most recently new audio systems have become available that crate an even wider sound field that can totally encompass the listener and doesnt require being in the sweet spot only (making things a lot better for other people looking to enjoy the sound too). So speakers can be found in the ceilings as well as on the walls and/or on free-standing speaker stands situated throughout the room. A subwoofer is also critical in order to get the deep bass that makes everything sound more realistic. Its placement can be adjusted based on the overall rooms design, but must be done so with a careful eye so that it can perform in an omnidirectional pattern.

There will also need to be an amplifier with enough power and smarts to control the sound being sent to the speakers will also add in other features, such as being able to stream music locally as well as having Internet capabilities.

EQUIPMENT PLACEMENT
The various components that comprise a home theater dont need to be in the room, but they do need to be hooked up to the video and audio in the room. Their placement needs to be accounted for as that will add to the rooms decor (if kept within the room) or as to how they are to be accessed and used when its time to watch. Placing the equipment on racks or in cabinets or otherwise will need to be decided on as part of the overall rooms design.

Should the wires and cables running to/from the equipment cause too many problems, there are ways to hide them (running through walls for example) or even eliminate their use through wireless technologies.

MAKING THE ROOM CORRECT FOR AUDIO/VIDEO
Making the room both visually and aurally correct requires some physical modification. Light sources, such as windows and around doors must be blocked efficiently without eliminating their use at other times. The rooms sound its acoustics must be manipulated so that audio performs effectively. This could require sound proofing of walls, for example, or of the speakers as they contact the speaker stands or the floor or wall or ceiling they are found at. Lighting is also something that must be accounted for especially if the room isnt to be used in a totally darkened state so that no one is stumbling about when moving  during showtime. Professionals can program the lights to perform in a manner that compliment the video being displayed, be that having all the lights go out or a certain level of illumination remaining.

PEOPLE PLACEMENT
Those watching need to be comfortably seated so that all the hard work at creating a dedicated theater isnt a chore when the lights go out. What kind of seats will work best for what number of people? These are things to work out so that every time you watch, its an enjoyable experience.

As can be seen, all of the above require careful planning and even more careful execution. Professional installers like those found at JUST ONETOUCH can help you realize your goal of a home theater thats not just worthy of the name, but a way to enter realms that make boring reality seem galaxies and light-years away.


Monday, May 04, 2015

VIDEO & AUDIO CENTER PRESENTS YOUR NEXT TV - IT’S SONY’S 55” 4K UHD ANDROID TV



Standing l-to-r:  Owner, Joseph Akhtrarzad; Sony’s Connie Schmidt and Philip Jones; and Corporate Director, Tom Campbell.
Video & Audio Center is known for offering the pubic a first look at the latest technologies -- but even so, it's rare that an operating system gets to go toe to toe with what makes things new and exciting. But that's exactly what happened when Sony decided to provide Video & Audio Center with the first look at their new line of Android TVs -- the 55" 4K Ultra HD TV being presented at the Santa Monica store and now is being offered to the public. A sleek and svelte chassis surrounds a brilliantly lit, high resolution 4K UHD panel with the level of contrast and color befitting having the name Sony attached to it -- but there's more.


Google's Android operating system works with this Sony TV (and others in the new line) to provide a unique interface that is both simple and efficient to use. Android is well known for its ease of use and clever, intuitive design. In a Sony collaboration, the latest Android system has been integrated with the Sony interface for control of the TVs menus and basic operations -- use Google Voice Search, for example. But that's not all. There’s also apps and games and Google Cast too.


It’s a whole new way of accessing media too because Sony's Android TVs also tie into use with smartphones and tablets in a sensible and simple manner that makes for both a fun and functional interface. Want to "throw" what's on your Android phone to the TV? Go ahead. What if you have an Apple device, like their iPhone? Then you use the built in Chromecast function that enables dozens of apps to be controlled and displayed on the TV.
Philip Jones, Manager, Product Technology and Training, Home Entertainment Group, Sony North America points out that their goal is to bring all of the devices people use (be that a smartphone or tablet) and integrate it with the TV. So no matter what you use as your main device, the TV will see and note it and work with it. Jones goes on to say that with 4K you are getting a higher quality image with wider color and better upscaling — and that is important when viewing streaming sources that traditionally have been inferior in quality to broadcast. But now with 4K and HDR coming to streaming ahead of broadcast, that’s where a 4K TV like Sony’s Android TV line can excel and provide a quality image the viewer can enjoy.


There's an old saying: seeing is believing. With the Sony 55" Android TV (or the accompanying 65” or 75”), seeing is not only believing but exciting as well. Video & Audio Center is proud to present the Sony Android TV lineup at their Santa Monica Superstore and availability is right now. Come in and see why these Sony Android TVs should be your next TV. Your eyes will thank you.