Video and Audio Center Blog



Monday, September 24, 2018

Looking for That Competitive Edge? Samsung's QLED & HDR Technologies Will Make You A Better Gamer!


HDR Gaming Technology: The Background
According to recent article by industry buying source, techradar.com, HDR technology is "...one of the best advancements in video game visuals in recent years, making for richer scenes than just 4K resolution alone can deliver,” and we at Video & Audio center couldn’t possibly agree more that's why we carry the latest gaming monitors!

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and is a format that offers a far greater luminescence range and vastly increased color space—allowing for much greater depth of field and realism. It is considered by industry experts to be a much greater technological leap forward in terms of the on-screen visual representation than 4K alone, and combining the two technology offers a users a gaming experience that truly represents the state-of-the-art in today’s gaming experience.
In fact, according to Alex Meer, senior editor at rockpapershotgun.com, “HDR is, for my money, a far more exciting display tech for games than is 4K, whose mammoth pixel counts often don’t truly come into their own unless you’re using an absurdly large TV. I know others – those who demand the sharpest possible image – will disagree, but I’ve found 4K simply pleasant rather than revelatory.”

“HDR though – if all the stars align – boosts the sense of depth and presence to games (and films) in a way there a mere pixel count cannot,” Meer continued. “It’s a tricky thing to describe, but alas even trickier to demonstrate unless you already have an HDR screen to hand, and if you do you’re probably the one boring everyone who doesn’t know what ‘peak brightness’ means to tears. What HDR does, in a nutshell for the uninitiated, is expand the range of brightness, contrast and color displayed, bringing it more in line with what the human eye can perceive. Brighter whites, darker blacks, more shades of color and, all told, you get a more true-to-life picture…”
But not all HDR TVs, game consoles, or even HDR games are created equally, in fact, different HDR TVs perform differently and could easily give one gamer a competitive advantage over another; for example the different performance rates of HDR screens in a racing game could give one driver the ability to clearly see which direction to turn before someone gaming on a different screen could even see it. With competitive gaming about to take off on several TV networks as a spectator sport, that competitive edge is something both Xbox and PlayStation are working to eliminate with the formation of the HDR Gaming Interest Group (HGIG), which looks to improve the HDR experience for gamers across platforms and hardware by setting industry standards and raising awareness.

How HDR & QLED Changes The Way You Game

Samsung is one of the companies that has emerged as a leader in developing monitors and TVs that are plug-and-play ready to deliver a far more immersive gaming experience with their new 4K HDR QLED technology.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re playing a game with your friends, but all of a sudden you notice your screen is starting to lag. You’re also too close to the screen, again, because you can’t see anything in the darkness. In gaming, technology makes all the difference, so it may be time to level up. Samsung’s QLED TV helps you dive into a fresh new experience. From hardware to software, here’s how your next  TV will keep you on your toes.

Clear, vivid images so you don’t miss friend or foe

Disappear into the graphics of your favorite FPS game with truer images that immerse you in the action. With QLED TV and its HDR1500 technology, you can expect a range of lifelike color and contrast, so you can get crisp, clear details even in the dark shadows. But it’s not just awesome color. You’ll see the game in its entirety on the large, slim-bezeled 4K HDR screen as you pursue your virtual opponents. And vivid color and details on your QLED TV mean you won’t overlook anything—or more importantly, anyone.

A TV that keeps up with the game

The sharp, fluid action of your QLED TV’s 4K HDR screen helps bring out the best of your gaming abilities. To make sure your eyes can catch subtle, obscured movement, QLED TV’s low millisecond input lag comes to the rescue. Then when you’re ready to flex your reflexes, QLED TV’s ultra-fast motion rate reveals just how smooth the action can be, without sacrificing finesse.* With the precise timing necessary to come out on top, QLED TV creates a seamless transition into the world of your favorite game.

A convenient connection

An easy way to connect your consoles can enhance your overall gaming experience. The One Connect Box is a clean, straightforward way to hook your consoles up to your Smart QLED TV. Your QLED TV uses Auto Detection to recognize connected consoles, so simply connect your consoles to the One Connect Box and you’re good to go. Once the consoles are connected, easily control your multiple devices with One Remote Control and quickly get to gaming with HDR.

Even without a console, the fun doesn’t stop

There’s more to your QLED TV than playing your go-to console games. One look into Smart Hub will show you thousands of games available for streaming on SteamLink. Through SteamLink you can connect with and play against players from all over the world, all from the comfort of your home. Whether console or online, sit back and dominate on the same QLED TV

 

Enveloping you in a whole new experience

When you’re ready for an adventure it’s time to game on a QLED TV. Bringing together 4K, HDR, and QLED, the screen immerses you in its deep contrast, sharp detail, and seamless connectivity. You can grab that lightning-fast ball, explore hidden worlds, and take down bad guys with your buddies. So for quality gear to take your gaming to the next level, use a TV that’s prepped for battle.

Video & Audio Center is proud to carry the entire line of Samsung 4K HDR Ultra High Definition QLED TVs and gaming monitors, stop into any one of our five Los Angeles-area technology superstore, or visit us online at www. videoandaudiocenter.com—either way you are sure to get the best deal on the very latest technology.


·       *QLED TVs offer optimal game performance with a minimal input lag of 15.4ms on a 120Hz panel and 11.4ms on a 60Hz panel. Input lag may vary.
·       Auto Source Recognition and controlling function may not be supported by certain devices connected to Samsung Smart TV. Please visit Samsung.com find the list of compatible devices.
·       Auto Detection and controlling function may not be supported by certain devices connected to Samsung Smart TV.


Monday, September 17, 2018

LOOKING FOR A TRULY IMMERSIVE TV EXPERIENCE? ANNOUNCING SONY'S CERTIFIED "IMAX-ENHANCED" OLED AND LCD TVS!

IMAX and DTS® have announced the development and release of the “IMAX-Enhanced” certification/licensing program that combines the highest-end consumer electronics products with IMAX digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS® audio technologies to offer consumers a new level of immersive sight and sound experiences for the home—and Video & Audio Center will have them all priced less than Amazon and Best Buy, see stores for details.

IMAX Enhanced is a new licensing and certification home entertainment program. To qualify and carry the IMAX Enhanced logo, the highest-end TVs, projectors, sound bars, and AV receivers must meet stringent performance standards established by IMAX, DTS® and Hollywood’s leading colorists in order to create a consistent and higher bar for image and sound performance on premium devices. IMAX digitally re-mastered content for the home environment is created to provide the sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful sound as the filmmaker intended. We are designing an IMAX Mode for the enhanced devices that will be meticulously optimized to play digitally re-mastered content to deliver the best viewing and listening experience on that device.
“While the IMAX theatrical experience continues to be the gold standard in blockbuster movie-going, we are launching an exciting new program that applies components of IMAX’s and DTS’ technology and expertise to deliver consumers a level of quality never before experienced at home,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.
IMAX and DTS® announced that a number of global consumer electronics and entertainment market leaders have joined the IMAX Enhanced program as launch partners, including Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Denon and Marantz, and have plans to expand to include other, qualifying, upscale manufacturers/products.

“DTS has a rich history in delivering premium entertainment experiences to the theater and at home, and the IMAX Enhanced program is an exciting opportunity to stay at the forefront of home entertainment,” said Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner. “Through the combined engineering and licensing efforts of the DTS and IMAX teams, as well as support from a number of the world’s leading device and content partners, the IMAX Enhanced program will bring a completely new, enhanced experience to the home while also supporting the continued penetration of DTS decoders, bringing premium sound to consumers’ devices.”
Sony’s OLED TVs, as well as their latest, high-end LCD TVs and projectors, will be the first televisions to carry the IMAX-Enhanced designation.

 "Sony continues to make innovation and consumer choice a top priority for those seeking the very best viewing experience," said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics. "We are proud to join other global consumer electronics and entertainment leaders as a launch partner for the IMAX Enhanced program and to be able to provide a wide variety of televisions and projectors designed to deliver the filmmaker's intent."

To qualify and carry the IMAX Enhanced logo, Sony's TVs and home cinema projectors have met a carefully prescribed set of performance requirements, set by IMAX and DTS® engineers and Hollywood's leading technical specialists, to deliver the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful, immersive sound at home on Sony's premium devices. The companies are designing an IMAX Mode for Sony devices that will be meticulously optimized to play IMAX digitally remastered content as the filmmaker intended in the home.

In recent years, we at Video and Audio Center have seen the industry’s top manufacturers working closer and closer with top entertainment content developers and studios with the expressed intent to deliver a truly cinematic experience; a goal that appears to be acheivable now that today’s 4K Ultra HD HDR TVs have the ability to mirror that experience fully in terms of both digital and audio.

IMAX Enhanced Sony OLED and LED 4K HDR Televisions
MASTER Series A9FOLED and Z9F LED – Sony's recently announced MASTER Series televisions are powered by the next-generation Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate; Sony's new MASTER Series provides picture quality approaching that of a professional-grade monitor and was developed in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment to truly display the creators' intent; Netflix Calibrated Mode, available exclusively on the new Sony MASTER Series A9F OLED and Z9F LCD TVs, ensures cinematic fidelity for the viewing experience on Netflix and are all available at Video & Audio Center technology showrooms, as well as online.

A8F OLED and A1E OLED – In 2017, Sony introduced the A1E, its first large screen BRAVIA OLED 4K HDR TV, offering customers even more premium options when purchasing a TV; the new A8F series introduced in 2018 builds upon the success of the A1E by incorporating Sony's unique 4K HDR picture Processor X1™ Extreme and Acoustic Surface™ technology to provide superior picture quality and awe-inspiring sound.
X900F – These TVs feature the X1 Extreme processor and provide stunning picture quality and a wider selection for customers who are looking for large screen premium 4K HDR TVs (85-inch and 75-inch class sizes, in addition to 65-inch, 55-inch and 49-inch class sizes).
IMAX will supply select IMAX documentaries and work with its global studio and other content partners to build a steady stream of IMAX Enhanced versions of movies and other programming using the newest, proprietary post-production process developed by IMAX. It utilizes a sophisticated, advanced algorithm designed to produce the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images.
With the filmmaker’s guidance, this advanced process accurately reduces noise and grain to best optimize the content for a much higher quality, higher brightness 4K HDR display. Without this technology, high-dynamic range content can actually look worse than what was originally seen and intended by the filmmaker due to excessive noise and grain in the film.
Select IMAX Enhanced titles that were shot with IMAX® cameras or specially formatted for IMAX® theatres will also include an expanded aspect ratio for the film’s home release to show consumers more of the picture on their TV. Stop in to any of the five Video& Audio Center technology showrooms to experience the complete line of IMAX Enhanced Sony OLED and LCD TVs today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ESPN TO FEATURE SAMSUNG QLED TV AS THE BEST WAY TO WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL!


What's the BEST way to watch College Football this season?

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., announced an exclusive marketing and retail collaboration with ESPN, the national leader in college football, to showcase Samsung’s premium QLED TVs as the best way to watch college football at home; something the crowds that line-up on Saturday afternoons in front of Video & Audio Center's QLED TV displays in the stores has told us for quite awhile now. With 4K screen sizes that go up to 88”, college football becomes even bigger and more immersive with Samsung’s lineup of big screen QLED TVs—and Video & Audio Center has them all for less than amazon.com or Best Buy, see stores for details.
 

To show America's college football fans just how immersive their complete line of cutting-edge QLED TVs truly are, Samsung will highlight the capabilities of its super big screen QLED lineup at select tailgating events across the country. The tour will visit pre-game festivities at some of this season’s most intense matchups – including Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC rivalries – and the most exciting playoff events, including the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and the College Football Playoff National Championship.

College football fans at these events will be able to watch live college football games from around the country on Samsung QLED TV, so they can see for themselves how QLED transforms every game into the big game. They will also be eligible to win a variety of great prizes, including a trip for two to this season’s national championship game in Santa Clara, California.

“ESPN is the preeminent leader in college football, and we’re proud to be their choice for watching all the biggest games at home,” said Grace Dolan, Vice President, Consumer Electronics Marketing, Samsung Electronics America.

“No matter where your team is playing, QLED TV’s huge screen, fantastic resolution and lifelike colors make it easy to see all of the action this season. With Samsung QLED, anywhere you sit becomes the best seat in the house.”

“Watching college football with family and friends is a fall tradition,” said Ed Erhardt, President, ESPN Global Sales & Marketing. “And new technology can make your living room feel like the sidelines at the stadium.

With game-changing size, color, and 4K detail, Samsung QLED TV provides a transformative experience that we look forward to showcasing during ESPN’s college football coverage.”
QLED Truck Schedule
Samsung will feature its QLED lineup at tailgating events before the following games:

  • TCU @ Texas, Austin, TX: September 22
  • Ohio State @ Penn State, State College, PA: September 29
  • Wisconsin @ Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI: October 13
  • Clemson @ Florida State, Tallahassee, FL: October 27
  • Mississippi State @ Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL: November 10
  • College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, TX: December 29
  • College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Santa Clara, CA: January 4-7
QLED TV Features

Samsung’s QLED TV takes Quantum dot technology to the next level with advancements in light efficiency, stability and a wide color spectrum. The QLED TV can express accurate color and achieve 100 percent color volume in the DCI-P3 color space, the format for most cinema screen and HDR movies for television. The QLED TV’s 4K HDR Elite features rich, deep black levels and bold contrast to display every detail on the display.

Meanwhile, 4K upscaling converts HD broadcasts into 4K, ensuring that consumers get an incredibly sharp picture no matter the original resolution of the content they are watching. At the same time, watching sports at home often involves dealing with the brightness of the daylight at the stadium and of the daylight coming into your living room. QLED TV excels in these environments, offering superior real-world performance for color, contrast, and brightness. And on particularly bright and sunny days, the QLED TV also has anti-reflection technology that helps to minimizes glare coming in through the windows.

In addition, Samsung’s new design elements can fit into any home – regardless of the interior aesthetics or setup. When the TV is turned off, Ambient Mode brings up decorative content that blends seamlessly with your décor, all while offering useful information like weather reports, traffic updates, and news headlines. You can also use Ambient Mode to display family photos or play background music.

The Q7 and Q9 models also feature the No Gap Wall Mount, which brings the TV flush against the wall, closer than ever before, and the all-new One Invisible Connection cable, which powers the TV and allows placement of components out of sight. Consumers can now reclaim their living room space once occupied by set-top boxes, external streaming devices and video game consoles with a single optical cable that brings all devices together in a clean, orderly manner.

Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup is available now at videoandaudiocenter.com and at any of our five Southern California technology superstores. The 2018 QLED TV lineup features large screen models ranging from 65” to 88”, including: Q6F (availablein 65”, 75”, and 82”), Q7C (available in 65”), Q7F (available in 65” and 75”), Q8F (available in 65”, 75” and 82”), and Q9F (available in 65”, 75” and 88”).

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

WELCOME TO THE NEW 8K TV BATTLEFIELD: AND FITTINGLY, IT’S ALL ABOUT WHO‘S BIGGER!



The first salvos were fired this weekend at IFA 2018 in Berlin, and later this week the battle between South Korean MegaGiants LG and Samsung will resume on American shores as both of the world two largest manufacturers of TVs by sales volume,  #1 Samsung (22.2%) and #2 LG Electronics (14.5%), will once again meet head-to-head here in Southern California at the 28th annual CEIDA Expo; and the topic here at Video & Audio Center’s (and on everyone else who’s here for the Expo event’s) tongues…8K TVs!

At the end of last week, on August 30th, LG Electronics released this press release:

“Already a leader in advancing TV innovation with its OLED TVs, LG Electronics (LG) is introducing the world’s first 8K (7680 x 4320) OLED TV at IFA 2018. The 88-inch 8K LG OLED TV features over 33 million self-emitting pixels to produce the unmatched contrast ratio and true blacks that define OLED TV’s iconic picture quality.”


Coincidentally enough, at the end of last week, on August 30th, Samsung Electronics released this press release:

“During its press conference at the IFA 2018, Samsung Electronics is to announce its foray into 8K with the unveil of the Q900R QLED 8K complete with 8K AI Upscaling. Available in four ultra-large screen sizes (65”, 75”, 82” and 85”), Samsung QLED 8K TV will feature several 8K-ready enhancements, including Real 8K Resolution, Q HDR 8K and Quantum Processor 8K, all created to bring 8K-quality images to life.”

According to Samsung developer Hyunseung Lee, “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, 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.

According to Brian Kwon, president of LG’s home entertainment business, “LG’s first 8K OLED TV is the pinnacle of technological achievement and the next evolutionary step in display technology…4K OLED played a major role in reshaping the TV industry, and LG is confident that 8K OLED will do the same.”


According to the most-recent estimates, at the current rate of adoption, it is estimated that by the end of 2019, “only” 49% of all US households will even have a 4K UHD TV in their home. I say “only” because at Video & Audio Center, we’ve seen a far greater than average acceptance of this new technology than even the most optimistic of projections even dared to estimate.

So why the quick move to 8K? It may seem a little quick, but 8K has been in works as early as 2012 in terms of development, and while some people may criticize the move as a case of “one-upmanship” or simply trying get more money out of consumers, the opposite is actually closer to the truth; as the demands for larger and larger screens increases, the NEED for an 8K image also increases to be able to project those images on screen sizes above the 80’-85” screen sizes!
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.”


While pricing is certainly going to be “up there,” for this new line of “Ultra Premium” televisions, as the market has begun to call them, imagine a state-of-the-art, 100” 8K Ultra High Definition HDR Artificial Intelligence-enhanced Smart TV for the same price as a 42” plasma TV twenty years ago! Not such a bad deal, now is it?

Of course there will be content issues at the start, I mean we’re still working on developing and standardizing 4K broadcast and streaming content, but technology is moving at a much faster pace, and with advancements in AI that pace will only quicken. In a CNBC interview last week, Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, said his firm estimates that “close to 250,000 8K TV panels will be shipped THIS YEAR, rising to close to 7 million by 2022.”

In the final analysis, if what we as consumers are looking for is the most realistic viewing experience possible, the most cinematic, the one that truly inspires and engages, then all I can say is, when is 16K coming out?

Video & Audio Center will be back from CEDIA and starting next week, we will take a far more in-depth look at LG’s and Samsung’s initial forays into the 8K consumer, Ultra Premium market, and report back what we were able to observe.


 As an added bonus, here’s a link to what I was told was the first 8K video ever uploaded to YouTube: VIEW "GHOST TOWN"