Friday, December 29, 2017

2017: Entertainment & Smart Home Technology Year in Review

2017 saw exciting technologies appear in entertainment for everyone. Companies like Samsung, Sony and LG and Sonos presented brilliant new ways to watch our favorite TV shows and movies, listen to music, and so much more. Action camera pioneer GoPro demonstrated that we could soar and shoot videos with a quality and precision not possible before, while Dyson elevated household appliances to a whole new level; here are some of the highlights of what these companies have brought us.
HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart QLED TV /48’, 65, 75” & 85”
QLED TV provides for a billion colors and uses Quantum Dot technology in conjunction with a new Metal Core to enable 100% color volume - translated into visuals where the color doesn’t fade, regardless of how bright the scene are. The panel achieves a brightness level that is very close to natural light and so provides for an accurate visual experience. Add in 4K HDR and the results are greater, more lifelike detail as compared to conventional TV. Plus the Invisible Connection, between the TV and every device plugged into it, is automatically detected, with the included Smart Remote knowing what to do by just being aimed at the TV. 

Here’s what is being said about the QLED TV:
"...overall an outstanding and groundbreaking TV that takes HDR to places it hasn't gone before.” —Forbes
"…it offers a level of performance that was previously unimaginable for a TV of its type.” —AVS Forum
"QLED TV is one of the best-designed TV's ever, with sleek , modern styling and impeccable fit and finish.” —C/NET
The Frame HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV/55” & 65”
Looking like a picture frame hanging on the wall, The Frame doesn’t fade to black when the picture is off — instead it transforms into a work of art: users can select from over 100 custom-designed digital art pieces to display. A sensor keeps the color and brightness intensities of the artwork at a level consistent with the lighting in the room, no matter the time of day. Coupled with the Invisible Connection and a no-gap wall mount plus customizable accessory options including interchangeable bezels and an optional Studio Stand, it is becomes easy to compliment the user’s living space in a way that was not possible before. Of course a sharp, clear picture with brilliant color and contrast is assured through HDR 4K technologies for a high resolution, lifelike picture.
Here’s what is being said about The Frame:
“This TV Is Also a Piece of Art”  —Vogue
“Imagine your TV is mounted above your fireplace. You watch a movie or your favorite show and turn it off. You now have a blank dark screen above your fireplace. The Frame allows you to bring this blank space to life.” —STARPOWER

A1E BRAVIA 4K HDR Ultra HD Android Smart OLED TV/55”, 65” & 77”

Sony’s flagship brings true reality to the screen utilizing OLED technology (organic light emitting diodes) to create exquisite contrast with perfect black and color — 8 million+ pixels self-illuminating precisely and individually. Color is selectively matched across a wider gamut so that subtle colors appear naturally on screen, as 4K high resolution vies with the brightness, color and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR); handling a variety of formats including HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma and Dolby Vision.  A wide viewing angle means no jockeying for the “sweet spot” on the couch.

The A1E also possesses unique Acoustic Surface technology, in which the entire screen becomes the speaker — eliminating speakers beneath or to the side of the display, yet filling the room with awe-inspiring sound.

What they’re saying about the A1E

“Sony A1 OLED review: the best TV of all time, and then some” F—inancial Review

“Seriously, folks, the Sony A1E OLED is just out-of-this-world fantastic.” —Digital Trends 

“The A1 OLED series is a crowd pleaser in just about every way. Sony's ‘picture only’ design has been beautifully realized, managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. The A1's vibrating screen delivers a far more powerful and effective sound performance than we’d have thought possible, too.” —techradar

Z9D 4K HDR Ultra HD 3D Android Smart TV/65” & 75”

Sony’s LCD flagship model comes equipped with Sony’s Backlight Master Drive technology — this technology provides for near perfect black levels that other TVs can’t match; with each LED controlled individually for a precise picture wherein each LED emits a straight beam for a greater brightness and more accurate contrast.

Featuring 4K high resolution and the 4K Processor X1 Extreme  for more real-time image processing), the Triluminos display increases the color depth to demonstrate brighter and more realistic colors. The X-tended Dynamic Range Pro is used to increase the quality of HDR, with support for HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. In addition to built-in 3D capabilities, there is Android TV voice search and Google Cast for sending movies and music from a smartphone to the TV.

OLED 4K HDR Smart LED TV/55”, 65” & 77”
The LG E7 Series employs OLED technology. The panel uses organic light-emitting diodes which generate their own light, unlike the added lighting required with a LCD panel (resulting in a thinner and less weighty TV). As a result, a perfect back can be achieved, one with greater shadow detail. Additionally there is an expanded color palette with over a billion colors. Add in 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) and the results are a more lifelike and realistic looking image. Aiding in enhancing the image are such technologies as HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, along with Dolby Atmos for a more precise surround sound.

The LG W7 OLED is the flagship  model and is also known as the W7 “wallpaper” due to its width being an astonishing 2.5mms thin. This is due to the electronics having been moved into a separate box that also serves as a Dolby Atmos soundbar.

What they’re saying about LG’s OLED TVs:

(W7) “They look more like a work of modern art than any television I've seen.” —engadget

“...the finest OLEDs money can buy...” —Digital Trends

“...the LG E7 outperforms every other TV we’ve tested.” —C/NET
Super UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV/55”, 60”, 65”,  75” & 86”

Super UHD provides for deeper and more naturally color through the use of Nano Cell Display technology; able to display a billion lifelike colors for more subtle and precise gradation (64 times richer than a conventional TV).  Additionally, colors look consistently truer, with black level looking deeper, regardless of whether one is looking straight at the display or at an angle, thanks to IPS technology ensuring a wide viewing angle. Also, Active HDR with Dolby Vision adds to the already high detail resulting from 4K resolution. This is all contained in a space saving design.

What customers are saying about Super UHD:

“I love the picture bought my last year Lg is a good product!!!”

“I bought this 65” beauty a few weeks ago and I can say for sure that the picture is a huge level up from my previous.”

Sonos One
Not content with merely making a smart speaker with surprisingly rich, room filling sound, Sonos built in Amazon Alexa for hands-free music control. But more than just playing songs, you can check news and traffic and even manage other smart devices in the home. Add the Sonos app and all your music can be managed in one place: Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Internet radio and hundred of other streaming services can now be accessed.

What do those in the know think of the Sonos One?

“The best-sounding smart speaker you can buy” —engadget
“The Best Voice-Activated Speaker Ever Made” —Inc.
“Alexa has never sounded better” —The Verge
Make TV sound even better while not standing out — that’s why Playbase doesn’t go on the wall but instead goes under the TV. It’s low profile practically disappears when placed beneath any TV up to 77 lbs. Then do the simple 2-cord setup and be prepared for 2.1 Full-theater sound that makes everything  sound better. Or listen to music that never stops — because the streaming comes over Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth.

What do Playbase customers say?

“Great product and sound. One of the easiest wifi, entertainment equipment I've ever setup. The dual band router issue happens when the phone auto connects to the band the speaker isn't set too.”

“A master piece from Sonos! Great sound with music or Home Theater - great bass - cannot believe it is only two inches tall!”

Hero6 Black
This action camera features 4K 60 fps shooting, plus amazing slow motion capture @ 1080/24p and a digital zoom capability. Employing a new chip platform for greater image quality and advanced “intelligence,” a 3-axis digital video stabilization system ensures sharp video with greater dynamic range, richer colors and better low-light image capturing. Next generation video compression (HEVC standard) allows for high resolution, higher frame rates and mobile device friendliness; being able to send video and photos straight to a smartphone.

What are they saying about the Hero6 Black:

“The little action cam that could continues to be deliciously fun and shockingly powerful for its size.” —TechCrunch

“If you're all about slo-mo and smooth 4K, GoPro's got you covered.” —Wired

The Karma drone folds up into a case and can be worn as a backpack so it can be taken anywhere. But in the air is where it wants to go, so use the buttons on the game-like controller to have it takeoff, land or return to home. Setup also includes a flight simulator for teaching first-timers the basics of flying a drone.

With the stabilizer in place, a smooth ride is assured. But should you be using one of the GoPro compatible cameras (Hero5 Back, Hero5 Session, Hero4) and want it to be earthbound, the stabilizer detaches for hand-held and body-mounted use.

What customers are saying

“The Karma Grip, Drone and controller setup are an incredibly great piece of kit. They are very quick and easy to have up and going within seconds without any fuss and bother.”

“This is amazing. Simply the best!”

Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum
It self-rights itself when toppled — other vacuums fall and stay down. But with the core technologies housed in the ball (and the 2-tier radial cyclone increasing the airflow) you can concentrate on picking up fine dust and ground in dirt since this vacuum can turn on the spot and follow you effortlessly around. There’s even a hygienic dirt ejector to push out trapped dirt and debris as you empty; your hand stay clean.

Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor Vacuum
Similar to the Big Ball but smaller, a retractable handle makes storage 50% easier than a full-size upright. There’s an advanced self-adjusting cleaner head and the cord wand and hose extends to 43” for cleaning up high and under furniture.

Dyson Ball Multifloor 2 Vacuum
With radial root cyclone technology to increase suction power and trap more dirt and dust, Dyson’s lower priced full sized upright includes a motorized brush bar that is ideal for removing pet hair. Turn it off and it’s ready for delicate rugs and hard floors. The cleaner head also self-adjust from carpet to hard floors.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum
This upright features the new Cyclonic technology called Dyson Cinetic Science which eliminates the need for a filter. Its motorized brush bar handles pet hair with ease and can be turned off for use on delicate surfaces. Greater suction is derived from the self-adjusting cleaner head, while the ball design makes for easy maneuvering around furniture and obstacles.

Dyson Cinetic Animal Upright Vacuum
This upright vacuum utilizes an air-driven tangle free mini turbine tool for cleaning upholster, cars and stairs of dust, dirt and pet hair. Its ergonomic handle is also designed and positioned for comfortable carrying.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy  Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Features include Dyson Cinetic Science to capture the dust that clogs other vacuum’s filters, a self-adjusting cleaner head and no dirty filters to wash or replace. Besides a smooth action (telescoping) wand and hose release for cleaning up high and under furniture, there’s also push button release for emptying the hygienic bin of dust and debre.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Vacuum
Dyson’s most powerful full size animal upright vacuum use the latest radial root cyclone technology to increase suction power and trap more dirt and dust. There is a HEPA filtration, a motorized brush bar and an included air-driven tangle free mini turbine tool for cleaning upholstery, cars and stair. There is also a quick draw telescope reach wand and an ergonomic handle.

This vacuum is designed for cleaning across all floor types and uses a whole-machine HEPA filtration system for trapping allergens and bacteria inside. Ball technology makes steering into difficult places easy, and there’s no bending down due to the turbine head being controlled at the handle. A single button press releases the dirt from the hygienic bin.

Dyson V7 Car+Boat Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum
It’s hassle-free because it’s cord free, with up to 30 minutes of fade-free suction. Powered by a Dyson digital motor and including a hygienic dirt ejector, also included is a mini motorized tool, extension hose and combination tool.

Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum
Up to 30 minutes of strong suction, courtesy of fade-free lithium batterie powering a Dyson digital motor. Tools include a mini motorized tool, combination tool and crevice tool.

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum
Dyson’s latest cordless stick vacuum employs a stronger motor than previous models and has 15% greater suction — yet it’s 50% quieter. A HEPA filtration system captures allergens and expels cleaner air than the air you breathe. A larger dust bin holding more is enhanced by a bigger battery that extends use to up to 40 minutes.

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
With similar features as that of the Absolute, this vacuum is engineered for homes with pets. It captures allergens and has a selector switch that provides up to 7 minutes of higher suction for more difficult tasks.

Here’s what they’re saying about these vacuum cleaners

[Dyson Ball Animal 2 Vacuum] “The Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum cleaner surpasses the other machines on our lineup in its performance and maneuverability, so it easily earns a top spot on this list.” —Top10Reviews

[Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum] “I love it!!!!” —Customer

[V8 Absolute] “Best of all though, it genuinely is fun to use. The sci-fi aesthetic makes it one of the few “white goods” gadgets you’ll happily leave on show in the house, with the transforming design as useful as it is clever. It’s worth saving the cash for.” —techradar

“Instead of focusing on compactness or power only, they were successful in creating a vacuum that has it all. Dyson DC50 allergy is indeed one of a kind, especially if you want a multi-purpose vacuum.” —Clean Well Expert

[Dyson V7 Car+Boat Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum] “It was a gift and she loves it.” —Customer
Dyson Hair Dryer
The Dyson Hair Dryer measure air temperature 20 times per second to keep the heat consistent and produces airflow traveling at 105 mph! Powered by Dyson’s fastest digital motor, the weight and shape is radically redesigned for a comfort and balance when held.

What they’re saying about this hair dryer:

“I used Dyson's super-powerful, £300 hairdryer — here's why people will buy it” —Business Insider Australia

Dyson AMO9 Fan Heater
The Dyson AM09 Fan Heater provides precise, energy efficient heating, thank to an intelligent thermostat which monitor the room as well a main ting the selected temperature. There are no exposed heating elements and automatically cuts off if tipped over. It features air multiplier technology which is a  blade less design, eschewing any danger in operation. Besides heat, there is also a “cool” setting to function as a fan.

What they’re saying about this heater:

“You want to get hot, or stay cool? As a two-in one device, the AM09 has you covered whether it’s the deepest darkest nights of winter, or a sweltering summer’s day. As a fan heater, it can pump out either fast blasts of cooling air, or warm cosy waves.”  —techradar

“Dyson’s new fan and heater is the smartest and most beautiful you can get of either appliance, let alone both. Whether it’s worth its hefty price tag is a question of whether you need your fan to be smart and beautiful — with the elegantly-engineered precision and cleverness that brings.” —INDEPENDENT

That's only a partial recap of some of the exciting new entertainment and home technologies released during 2017—and 2018 promises even more amazing advancements. To see all of these amazing products in person, stop into any Video & Audio Center superstore showroom and ask them to see "What's new"!


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