Video and Audio Center Blog



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

SONOS ONE: THE ALEXA-ENHANCED SMART SPEAKER THAT ACTUALLY SOUNDS GREAT, TOO!

In their review of SONOS first entry into the smart speaker arena, Engadget.com called the SONOS ONE “The best-sounding smart speaker you can buy,” and Video & Audio Center, this month named as Southern California’s #1 Video & Audio Installer of the Year for the 18th year in a row, and Authorized Sonos Dealer couldn’t agree more.
Engadget went on to say that “The (Sonos) Play:1 has been Sonos' best-selling speaker, and with good reason. It offers significantly better music quality than your average Bluetooth or smart speaker, at a reasonable price. It's also a great first step into a multi-speaker setup for your home. The Sonos One does all of that and adds voice controls without raising the price.” Pretty convincing words coming from one of the most-respected and authoritative sources of technology news and reviews.

The Sonos One is a voice-controlled smart speaker that users can ask Amazon Alexa to control right out of the box, and with full voice support for, among others, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn. Voice transport controls like pause, skip, volume up and down, and even asking what’s playing will also be available for all other music services Sonos supports. With Sonos One, owners can also use voice to control their entire Sonos home sound systems.

“We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence. “But so much of this great content is being pushed through smart speakers that aren’t designed with sound quality in mind. With our open approach to collaboration, agnostic approach to voice services, the strength of our many innovative partners, and a sound platform designed for the whole home, we’re helping people listen more and listen better.”
Here are just a few highlights of the SONOS ONE Smart Speaker:
  • Designed from the ground up to deliver surprisingly rich sound from a speaker of its size.
  • Driven by two Class-D digital amplifiers, one tweeter, and one mid-woofer.
  • Includes a six-microphone array and an adaptive noise suppression algorithm to focus on the right person and ensure the voice service understands everything clearly.
  • Voice capture technology with echo cancellation allows the speaker to still hear you over the music. The volume also intelligently lowers, or “ducks,” when you speak to it so you don’t have to shout over the music.
  • The light on the speaker will be illuminated if the microphones are active.  The light is hardwired to the same circuit that powers the microphone array, so if the light is off, microphone is off too.
  • Owners can use Trueplay to easily tune Sonos One to sound great no matter where it’s placed in the home.
  • Sonos One is available in all-white and all-black matte finishes.
According to Sonos Sound Experience Leader Giles Martin, “There are many speakers out there that you can control with your voice, but most of them are just devices that make sounds, not systems designed for delivering great sound easily in any room of your home. We essentially blended three separate ecosystems with the ability to start the music playing with voice, add songs to your playlist from the Sonos app, and play music in a different room from your Spotify app – it’s so simple to use but took quite a bit of work to create.”
Founded in 2002, Sonos® creates the leading whole-home sound system. Once a tech startup populated with nerdy engineers and brilliant designers who love music, Sonos has grown into a global music brand dedicated to transforming the experience of listening out loud to music in the home. Its wireless home sound system makes it easy for everyone to listen to the music they love in every room of their home, and appreciate it all with the highest sound quality. Video & Audio Center is proud to be Southern California’s headquarters for all things Sonos, including “the best-sounding smart speaker you can buy.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A SHORT THROW FOR A HUGE PICTURE: SONY LSPX-A1 4K PROJECTION TV TECH GETTING CLOSER TO STAR TREK'S HOLODECK!


Imagine a forest appearing on your living room wall, with the relaxing images and sounds of nature enveloping the entire room—transforming your living space with beautifully detailed pictures and atmospheric sounds that blend in effortlessly with your surroundings, creating striking 4K visuals emerging on your walls and crystal clear sound filling every corner of the room.
 
OK, stop imagining.

...and no, this isn't the fantasy world of a Star Trek "HoloDeck" either.

Instead, stop into any Video & Audio Center showroom and ask someone to tell you about the latest quantum leap in projection technology surrounding the release of 2018’s 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector (LSPX-A1) by Sony.


Through its’ admittedly elegant design and the combination of two unique innovations – Ultra Short Throw Technology and the Advanced Vertical Drive Technology of the Glass Sound Speaker – LSPX-A1 seeks to provide a truly transformative cinematic experience with large screen superb 4K images and amazing sound quality. Sony’s unique “glass speaker” drive technology, Advanced Vertical Drive Technology, devices attached to the end of the vibration plates send vertical vibrations in the direction that the sound comes out, thus emitting sound waves to produce clear tones.

The new 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector LSPX-A1 will transform your living environment with stunning 4K visuals and crystal clear sound while seamlessly blending into your living room with its furniture-like design. Life Space UX will continue to innovate and deliver “wow” moments like these”, says Hiroshi Saito, Deputy Division Head of TS Business Division, who leads the Life Space UX team in Tokyo.

Set up just 9.6 inches from the wall, the Ultra Short Throw technology of the LSPX-A1 provides up to 120” (dia.) of stunning image displayed directly on a wall with the high brightness of 2500 lumens laser projection. Utilizing Sony’s unique 4K SXRD™ projection and HDR technology, LSPX-A1 produces native 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) with unprecedented detail, color and contrast. Users can enjoy dynamic 4K picture simply by connecting to an expanding range of 4K streaming devices, 4K Blu-ray player and other 4K content providers.

By building on the technology behind the Glass Sound Speaker and elevating the audio by adding 4 more speakers, LSPX-A1 users enjoy pure sound throughout the entire room. Sony’s unique Advanced Vertical Drive Technology* from Glass Sound Speaker generates crystal clear high frequency sound in 360 degrees by vibrating the two organic glass tweeters installed on the front legs. The addition of dynamic bass produced from a separate subwoofer and three midrange speakers (left, right, and center) will fill the room with sound.  The center speaker, positioned in the rear of the device creates center vibrant audio by reflecting on the wall to elevate the sound field.

Don’t need state-of-the-art 4k? 

Relax, we’ve got you covered with Sony’s equally impressive LSPX-P1 Life Space model. Designed for uncompromising quality of image and sound, the LSPX-P1 projector casts images from 22" to 80". Ultra short throw technology ensures an incredibly bright, crisp picture at 720p resolution and 100 lumens of light output. With no lightbulb and no fan, the projector runs whisper-quiet—until you turn up the volume on the built-in 0.98" Bass Reflex Speakers with xLOUD technology.

Transform any wall or table into a photo album, a cinema screen or just a cool conversation piece. Easily carried from room to room. The LSPX-P1 projector’s clean design harmonizes with any living space. You can project content stored on your phone or tablet through the dedicated app, which serves as a remote control. Or connect your computer or TV to the accompanying wireless unit via HDMI and play movies or video from Blu-ray or the internet. The LSPX-P1 even turns on when it senses your phone nearby, and switches itself off when you’re not around.

Video & Audio Center has not only been recognized for our excellence and awarded annually by Sony, but we are also a Sony Authorized Dealer for everything as well, our motto: “If Sony Makes It, We Have It” has been a part of this company for all 37 years that we have been in business here in Southern California. So stop in today to any of our five LA-based locations (or visit us online) to see the very latest in Sony entertainment, office, and lifestyle technologies and maybe we can set you up so you can go where no projection TV has ever gone before!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

LG THINQ’S ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO DRIVE YOUR CAR, BUT IT’S A QUICK LEARNER!


Activation of the Google Assistant on 2018 AI-Enabled TVs Drives Critically-Acclaimed LG 4K UHD TVs Into the Connected Home Ecosystem with Cutting-Edge AI Services.

LG Electronics USA announced that Google Assistant is launched on its 2018 AI TV line-up. This includes both LG OLEDTVs and LG SUPER UHD TVs with ThinQ AI, which will deliver cutting-edge AI features operated directly through the TV’s remote control with no additional hardware required. As previewed at CES 2018, the collaboration between Google and LG will add more convenience to consumers’ lives, and the synergistic effects expected from this technology partnership will particularly impact LG’s award-winning TVs, all of which are available at Video & Audio Center.
The Google Assistant combines with LG’s award-winning webOS-based ThinQ IA to bring new levels of convenience and control to American consumers. This enables 2018 LG TVs to deliver an intuitive AI experience that uses natural language commands to control TV functions, seamlessly discover and play content, and control TV settings. With the Google Assistant, you can ask it to manage daily tasks, access information, control compatible smart home devices including lighting, appliances and much more.
LG and Google are collaborating to develop a wide range of features, and are working to expand consumer accessibility in multiple languages. By adding the Google Assistant to the webOS platform of LG’s 2018 AI TVs, the advanced machine learning and natural language processing technologies that Google is known for will simplify life for consumers. LG’s implementation reflects the importance the company places on creating and providing a more complete, accessible and diverse range of AI services.

LG’s 2018 AI TVs can perform hundreds of voice commands utilizing the company’s own open smart platform as well as the built in Google Assistant. With LG’s proprietary ThinQ, users can immediately connect to external gaming consoles and sound bars (“Connect to soundbar”), they can switch picture mode (“Change to Cinema Mode”) or turn the TV off at set times.

Searching for content is even simpler and more convenient with LG 2018 AI TVs, which can instantly retrieve information or switch to a channel that offers the content requested by the viewer. “Switch to Discovery channel” instantly connects one to information about future travel destinations. Users can learn more about their desired films simply by saying a character’s or actor’s name, they can tell the TV to “Search for the soundtrack of this movie” or “Turn off the TV when this program is over” without needing to schedule a time. 
With Google Assistant built in, LG’s 2018 AI TVs offer users a streamlined experience that allows them to manage different tasks, find answers, or control smart home devices. Simply press and hold the mic button and ask for information such as the weather forecast (“What’s the weather this weekend?”), near by local businesses, or check the score of the big game without disturbing the viewing experience. Users can relive their favorite moments by displaying memories from Google Photos. Services such as food delivery and transportation will also be easier with the addition of third-party Actions available in the near future.
With help from the Google Assistant, LG’s AI TVs can serve as the center of your smart home, offering access to devices such as robotic vacuum cleaners, thermostats, air purifiers, smart lighting and many more. The Google Assistant works with more than 5,000 smart devices across hundreds of popular brands making it easier to control smart speakers and other devices connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
“With the Google Assistant now available natively in 2018 LG AI TVs, LG has truly elevated the TV to a whole new level of AI adoption in the home,” said Tim Alessi, head of home entertainment product marketing at LG Electronics USA. “Beyond the unrivaled picture quality that LG TVs deliver, LG’s partnership with Google creates a true visual hub for information and connectivity in the home. LG has only begun to scratch the surface of what we will innovate in the AI ecosystem working collaboratively with cutting-edge, industry leading partners such as Google.”

LG’s 2018 AI TVs also work with existing Google Assistant devices such as GoogleHome and other smart speakers with the Assistant built in, allowing users to send voice commands directly from a separate Assistant device to their LG TV. TV owners can speak to other Assistant devices to control TV functions such as volume, play, pause, start, stop, fast forward, channel selection, content search, among many others. LG’s 2018 AI-enabled TVs will work with other Google Assistant devices in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, with further expansion to be announced by LG later this year.

LG’s 2018 LG OLED and LG SUPER UHD TVs with ThinQ AI are available at all five Video & Audio Center Technology Superstores as well as online. For more information on LG TVs, please visit www.videoandaudiocenter.com/LG TVs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

THE LATEST TVs HAVE NO SPEAKERS? SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!


You can call it “Acoustic Sound Technology” or you can call it “Crystal Sound” or even “Planar Speaker Technology” — whatever you call it, there’s a lot more improvements in today’s (and tomorrow’s) TVs than just the quality of the picture. How, and perhaps just as importantly, where we get the sound from is also undergoing a dramatic change, and based on the early results, television LISTENING will never be the same.

Sony got the head start with their Acoustic Sound Technology when they first introduced their landmark Bravia A1Emodel to the public at Video & Audio Center’s Woodland Hills Technology Showroom just over a year ago in March of 2017. While the picture was certainly flawless, the star of the event was the Acoustic Sound Technology—where the sound emanated from the vibrating screen.
 
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG, the pioneer in consumer OLED TV technology proudly announced the addition of Crystal Sound to their upcoming OLED line of TVs, and just like Sony, instead of producing the audio with traditional speakers, Crystal Sound uses the TV screen itself to produce the sound. With special “exciters” placed behind the ultra-thin OLED panels that produce sound by vibrating the display, the end result is a more geotargeted sound, which seemingly comes directly from the objects on the screen being shown.

This is nothing new in realm of sound technology, according to Philip Jones, Product Technology Manager at Sony Electronics, “It’s a lot like a pair of planar headphones,” Jones explains. In the realm of headphones, planar models are often the most-expensive options due to their sonic fidelity. “The challenge is, how do you move the plane, which in this case is the screen. In a headphone, you can do electrostatic technology, you can do it with magnets. But this is vibrating glass.” 


Planar speaker technology was a dramatic departure from traditional dynamic speakers. The “planar” in planar magnetic sound referred to the magnetic field that’s distributed in the same plane to the diaphragm that produces the sound—but today’s technology substitutes the thin glass of the TV screen for the diaphragm and when the circuit is energized with an audio signal, it interacts and produces a force that vibrates the screen hypersonically, thereby creating sound.
Planar sound technology offers numerous benefits, including generating far greater responsiveness, its’ capable of producing a wider frequency ranges across high, mid and low ranges with less distortion, they are far more durable with less moving parts, and of course it’s really cool to hear an explosion on-screen sound like it’s coming directly from the explosion—or the sound of an on-screen kiss coming from two pairs of lips for those not into action films.

The end result from all of these leaps in TV technology—on a visual, audio, smart and even aesthetic viewpoint is a far more immersive and satisfying viewing experience, and just another reason why today’s TVs represent a quantum leap in entertainment value.

To see any of Sony, Samsung or LG’s latest advancements in TV/home technology, stop into any of the five conveniently located Video & Audio Center Technology Showrooms, on simply go to www.videoandaudiocenter.com





Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Samsung Redefines the Movie Theater Experience with new Onyx Cinema LED Screen to Enhance Existing Line of Top-Rated Consumer Televisions


Industry’s First DCI-Certified Cinema Display Amplifies Audience Immersion through True Black Color and Detail-Rich Picture Quality.


Last week Samsung Electronics premiered its Onyx Cinema LED display at the 2018 CinemaCon in Las Vegas, giving a brand new identity to a technology that already has generated significant interest and praise among theater operators and moviegoers.
Inspired by the gemstone of the same name, the Samsung Onyx brand alludes to the display’s ability to showcase cinema content with true, deep and realistic black colors. When combined with an infinite contrast ratio and specialized low-tone grayscale settings, this pinpoint representation produces brighter and more detail-rich content that further makes viewers feel a part of every scene.
The Next Generation of Cinema
Available in variations extending between 16.4ft in height and 33.8ft in width, the Samsung Onyx display accommodates any venue configuration while delivering visual quality, technical performance and reliability beyond that of traditional projector-based operations. With the 4K model earning validation as the world’s first Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI)-certified theater display, the Samsung Onyx translates the combination of advanced LED and High Dynamic Range (HDR) picture quality to lifelike big screen content.

“By aligning brilliant, uniform color presentation with LED picture quality and crystal-clear audio, the Samsung Onyx screen invites movie enthusiasts into the most immersive and memorable viewing arena available and repositions the theater as an entertainment haven,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics. “We are thrilled to deliver a new and exciting theater experience to operators, managers and consumers around the world, and we look forward to working further with leading movie industry decision-makers to usher in the next generation of cinema.”
CinemaCon 2018 attendees were also among the first to experience the Samsung Onyx’s powerful multi-sensory viewing environment. Each Samsung Onyx screen features state-of-the-art JBL Sculpted Surround TM sound from HARMAN’s JBL Professional brand, bringing scenes to life through clear and consistent audio. This integration enhances the listener experience while expanding the audio “sweet spot” within Onyx theaters, and ensures that all attendees can enjoy the same exceptional audio presentation regardless of seat location.
“JBL Professional’s legacy dates back to the infancy of talking motion pictures and has been at the forefront of the industry’s sound recording and amplification innovation for the past nine decades, twice earning Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making it the preferred brand for cinemas all over the world,” said Mohit Parasher, Executive Vice President of HARMAN and President of HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Bringing the ground-breaking technology of the Samsung Onyx Cinema LED screen together with HARMAN’s innovation of the JBL Sculpted Surround system delivers the ultimate and unmatched audio visual audience experience.”

Samsung also previewed the Onyx’s 3D screen capability at CinemaCon 2018. The 3D Onyx Cinema LED screen accomplishes the uncanny feat of making 3D movie content even more realistic through enhanced brightness and consistent color amplification. Glass-wearing viewers now can enjoy subtitle text, images and even minor visual details with unprecedented clarity and without the dark, blurry shadowing and potential dizziness that can occur in traditional 3D movie theaters.

A Worldwide Blockbuster

The Onyx’s debut at CinemaCon 2018 comes as Samsung continues to expand its presence among global cinema operators and audiences. Last week, Samsung and partner Moving Image Tech (MIT) opened the doors to America’s first U.S. Onyx Theater in Los Angeles at Pacific Theatres Winnetka w/XD.

“As the heart of the American film industry, Los Angeles is an appropriate and symbolic location to introduce a game-changing technology for movie producers and consumers in the Samsung Onyx,” said Ron Gazzola, SVP, Sales and Marketing, IT B2B Division at Samsung Electronics America. “We are excited to revolutionize the cinema experience and look forward to sharing the Samsung Onyx with wider audiences both in the U.S. and throughout the world.”

You can see Samsung’s complete, state-of-the-art line-up of consumer televisions at any of the five conveniently-located Video & Audio Center Technology Showcases throughout the Los Angeles area, or by visiting our website here: Complete Samsung 2018 TV line-up.