Video and Audio Center Blog



Friday, February 24, 2017

KEEPING YOUR HOME THEATER INVESTMENT SAFE AND SECURE


Putting together a home theater that suits your particular needs takes time and represents a significant investment. But whether you opt in for a professional installation service to do it all for you, like California’s #1 Custom Installation/Smart Home Integrators for the past 16 years, Just One Touch), or decide to set up the various components on your own, keeping them secure is sensible and necessary. And by making sure your home theater is safe, you're also ensuring the safety of your home (which is where the home theater “lives" after all). Here are a few suggestions:
Tethering
Many home theater's have computers or hard drives working as servers to stream content through the home network. Often there will be what is called a security slot on the computer/hard drive (or laptop). This allows for a security cable to be inserted that can then tether the device to an immovable object so it can't be taken. While such a security slot can not be found on the majority of the components that make up a home theater, there are security kits that can add locking capabilities to the devices (requiring an invasive gluing of a plate to the device first). 

Out Of Sight
Making the components of a home theater less obvious is another way to insure their safety; a 4K Blu-Ray player can be placed inside a cabinet, or an AV Receiver can be inside a shelf, rather than having the two exposed to sight. In these cases, this can make controlling them through an IR (infrared) control more difficult. The solution: kits that will extend the IR signal so that the devices "see" the IR signal coming from the remote. Mounting a TV onto the wall, while the opposite of hiding it, will also make it less attractive for being removed because of how its been mounted.

Security Systems and Cameras
There are portable and non-invasive home security systems that work through the WiFI home network, and which enable monitoring of the home theater, along with other areas of the home. At its simplest, a WiFi-enabled camera can be set up to monitor the home theater area and viewed remotely when the person is not at home. Other systems allow for automated reports and messages to be sent when the camera detects motion. Used singly, or in combination with WiFi-enabled home security systems, the home theater can be protected at a minimum cost compared to what the cost was for assembling the various components. And the safety of other areas of the home can now be protected as well.

The idea behind home theater security is not just to protect what has taken you so much time to put together, but to insure the piece of mind of your home as well. So the choice whether to do this or not is yours.


Friday, February 03, 2017

YOUR HOME THEATER NEEDS A 4K BLU-RAY PLAYER...AND SO DO YOU!


People have been pretty happy to have Blu-Ray players  as part of their home theaters over these last few years -- and you bet that there are lots and lots of Blu-Ray movies to watch. So why get a new 4K Blu-Ray player to replace what is already there? The answer is because a 4K Blu-Ray player does a lot more than just compliment a new 4K TV and is backwardly compatible with all the spinning video discs (Blu-Ray and DVD) and audio discs (CDs) that are already a part of your existing library. A 4K Blu-Ray player ups the game and brings you even closer to the vaunted "movie experience" that makes going to watch on a silver screen no longer such a big deal. So let's detail just what a 4K Blu-Ray player brings to your home theater. 

Higher Video Resolution
A Blu-Ray disc provides a Full HD, 1080p video signal that, unlike streaming, is stable and consistent. But that's peanuts compared to a 4K Blu-Ray disc: 108 Mbps is the speed at which the data is being sent from the 4K disc — so roughly that means you're getting a picture with 4X the resolution that was once your HD "standard." Obviously that also means you're getting more detail in what's flashing across the TV's display.
More Color 
Color can be described in all kinds of technical terms, but the fact is that a Blu-Ray disc could only approach the "reality" of the color palette that makes up real life. It did a good job, sure, but a 4K Blu-Ray disc does a lot better. The wider color gamut of billions of colors that can now be displayed is a lot closer to the “real world” and so makes for a much better viewing experience.

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range (HDR)  is a part of the video signal being put forth by the 4K disc in the 4K Blu-Ray player. What you see as a result is more color and light information being imparted into each pixel now displayed. With the TV now being able to process a HDR signal, as most now available can, the pixel is able to contain more "information" and so allow for a greater separation between light and dark, without light areas being "overblown" and washed out, or black areas turning into inky pools where nothing can be seen in them. 

Higher Audio Resolution
Lost in all the talk about the video is just how in proved the audio becomes on a 4K Blu-Ray disc. Besides the expected Dolby Digital and DTS, a 4K Blu-Ray disc supports the Dolby Atmos standard as well as DTS-X surround sound formats. These audio formats add overhead audio to the now standard surround sound  and work to create a much more convincing and immersive sound experience. 

Up-scaling Your Existing Library

One of the big selling points when Blu-Ray players first came out was that playing a DVD on them would result in a better picture than if using a DVD player. This was because the newer and enhanced technologies of the Blu-Ray player could increase the overall perception as to how a DVD looked when played. This is even more true with a 4K Blu-Ray player, only now it's a Blu-Ray disc that gets the enhancements so as to improve on how it looks. And as mentioned earlier, the 4K Blu-Ray player doesn't discriminate against the past and so plays all the popular disc formats prevalent today.

As is now obvious, a 4K Blu-Ray player has technology built into it that a Blu-Ray player can only dream of. And because this technology is "transparent" to the user -- all you need do is pop in a 4K disc, start it spinning and sit back to enjoy the show.