Friday, February 23, 2018

Discs Vs. Streaming / What’s your preference?

DVDs made a huge impact on consumers because it took the VHS cassette tape that everybody had been using and turned it into a higher quality viewing experience. Over time higher resolution was needed to maximize the new HD flat panel TV capabilities, which prompted the development of Blu-ray technology: again a major improvement in the image quality. The latest disc improvement is 4K HDR Ultra HD — again a higher resolution to match the K HDR Ultra HD TVs that we carry. But many find streaming a better alternative because there’s no cost involved, at least as far as buying a 4K disc goes (you have to have a resolution-compatible Internet service, costing $, as well as a resolution compatible device (again costing $) that’s doing the streaming). So here’s 3 reasons why for many people, having a disc is better than streaming:

Play The Movie Whenever You Want: Physical possession of a disc with your favorite movie/TV show/etc. means that you can play it whenever you want to. There’s no issues with the server streaming the content to you not working right or being overloaded (think Netflix on Christmas Eve a few years ago).

You’ll Always Have What’s On The Disc: There’s no guarantee that the content you want to watch will always be there — the service providing the movie, etc. might decide to “retire” it at some future date. You have no say in the matter when it’s streaming, as opposed to owning the disc.

Get All The Resolution Possible: There are many things that affect the streaming of the content to you: there’s how much added compression the service is applying to the content or the traffic on the Internet at any given time, or how efficiently your Internet provider or your Internet reception is, along with other technical issues. All of this affects the resolution of the content that you’re watching. This is not the case with a disc, because all the content is there in full — pop it into a player and the content goes directly through a cable to the TV and that’s it.

There’s no question that streaming is a very convenient way to watch content. But many will find that owing a disc provides a better viewing experience that more than offsets that convenience.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Video & Audio Center has long been the go-to place for seeing the latest and greatest technologies available. Because you can get up close and personal and interact with TVs, drones, wearables, audio devices and so much more. Now there’s the latest Video & Audio Center Superstore — the new flagship showcase located in the Westfield Century City Mall.

Filled with interactive displays and “hands on” settings that make seeing, trying and enjoying new technologies so much more accessible than staring at a LCD screen, the store’s location is inviting and alluring. Entering the store is like entering a technology-laden Santa’s workshop — only you can come here anytime of the year and expect to be wowed.

This was true of those attending the recent Grand Opening. Among the luminaries paying homage were those from the Los Angeles Mayor’s office as well as notables from film, art and music. But that’s not to say that the world of technology wasn’t represented — it was and heavily represented. Presentations and accolades were made by Sony, LG, Samsung, Sonos, GoPro and many others — each pointing out the accomplishments that Video & Audio Center has made over the course of their storied history. And making these accomplishments by being the first to present new technologies that have since become common to the consumer. Taking a well deserved bow and accepting the accolades as industry leaders were Joseph and Mayer Akhtarzad, co-owners of Video & Audio Center. Joining in the celebration was Tom Campbell, Corporate Director and Chief Technologist.

But the Grand Opening was about a lot more than just presentations. The store was filled with the latest TVs, audio equipment, speakers (both Bluetooth, portable and otherwise), flying devices and monitors worn on wrists as well as much, much more. Interspersed among the many displays were spokespeople willing and eager to point out the highlights of their company’s product lines. Just as the crowd was eager to be shown, to be told and to experience for themselves. 

Because that’s the takeaway from the Grand Opening — that Video & Audio Center is all about making technology accessible and understandable and available, so that intelligent and happy purchases can be taken home and enjoyed for years to come. Come and see the latest technologies for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.


Music is all about listening, but the quality of the medium providing those sounds can vary greatly. That’s why high-resolution audio (a.k.a., Hi-Res Audio) is gaining attention. The idea is to have a sampling rate that is significant higher than a CD, and so more closely mimic the sound of analog records (wherein the digital process hasn’t stripped out the “feeling” playing vinyl gives). This also means hearing more of the original recording and so it becomes more believable.

Hi- Res Audio typically uses 96kHz or higher which spans the frequencies that the human ear can hear as well as that outside of a person’s hearing range. It just sounds better, might be the best way to put it, as compared to the “compressed” audio so prevalent today.

But in order to hear Hi-Res Audio, the device playing the digital file must be compatible with it. That requires specialized electronics — you can’t just play Hi-Res Audio files in any MP3 player or mobile device. And one of the best ways to hear high-resolution audio is when watching a movie — because 4K discs have the capacity to hold the larger digital files that make up the soundtrack to films on disc. Sony’s UBPX800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player is a good example of playing higher resolution audio, not to mention giving you a higher resolution (4K) picture than previously was available at home.

High-resolution audio returns the sounds of reality to our hearing and makes every sound more vibrant and true to life. That’s good.