Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home audio and Video Services in Matthews, NC.  TV installation, Surround Sound, Home Entertainment Systems
Can I use an ‘indoor’ TV outside?

CNET reader Jason wants to know if he has to get a TV specifically rated to work outside, or if any TV will do. Geoff Morrison helps him out.

CNET reader Jason asks:
“We have a covered porch that’s screaming for a television. I’m not worried about the “elements” as much as I am about the extreme heat and cold. Here in North Texas, we can see summer temps as high as 110 degrees and winter temps in the teens.

I know there are “weatherproof” televisions out there, but they are expensive. Is that my only route, or are there certain TVs that do better in the heat or cold of outside?”

Good question.

Outdoor televisions, from companies like SunBriteTV, are definitely expensive, often many times more expensive than a comparable-sized “indoor” TV ($1,495 for a 32-inch, for example).

The biggest issue with getting a TV to survive outside is not keeping out the moisture (relatively easy) or even protecting the delicate bits from the sun’s rays (same). The trick is getting the heat out.

All TVs are designed to work within a certain temperature range. Not coincidentally, this is about the same range you work best at as well. All generate heat, and thanks to years of development, most don’t need big fans to run well at room temperature.

Start pushing the edges of that temperature range, though, and bad things start to happen. In the cold, once the air warms up (like when night turns to day), water can condense and creating shockingly bad problems. The cold can also affect how the liquid crystal itself operates. In the heat, the lifespan of internal components drops precipitously.

So the trick with an outdoor TV is to seal it up against the elements, but at the same time allow the heat generated to escape. Usually this means extensive heatsinks, fans and a bespoke cabinet design.  Many models have built-in heaters to maintain a specific operating temperature and other features to help them survive in the wilds of your back yard.

So it’s less the “elements” you have to worry about than the temperatures.

But let’s say you don’t want to spend $4,300 on a 46-inch TV.

(Before I proceed, let me be very clear and say that using an indoor TV outside is a fantastic way to void your warranty and shorten the life of your TV. It will break. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, and don’t blame me — or the lovely people who pay me — when your TV craps out).

Certain TVs are rated for a wider operating temperature than others. For example, I found multiple Panasonic models rated up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35C) and multiple Samsung and LG models rated up to 104F (40C). However, I still wouldn’t leave them outside. All are clear in their inability to handle condensation. Condensation will happen if you cover the TV or not.

You can find this temperature info either on the specs page on their Web sites, or by downloading the manual (it’s listed at the end).

My advice? Buy an outdoor TV; they’re built to do what you’re looking to do. They’re expensive for a reason. If you don’t want to heed that advice, get a TV that can withstand some heat, and put it on a dolly. Not remotely sexy, and it will require some extension cords, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Get an LCD , as they’re brighter and generally do better in well-lit areas. Get something cheap, too, as it will probably break.

Take this TV outside only when you need it, and leave it inside when you don’t. Keep it out of the sun and maybe it will last longer than a season.

by  Geoffrey Morrison

http://www.cnet.com/news/can-i-use-an-indoor-tv-outside/

Custom Installation Services, LLC – Authorized Sunbright TV Dealer in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

 

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6 Most Important Pieces of Info to Share with Your Tech Installer

Tidbits about your lifestyle, family and home can net a well-designed A/V and automation system.

A realtor wouldn’t dream of selling you a house without understanding your needs and wants (or “must-haves” as they’re known these days). The same goes for the professional who designs and installs A/V and automation systems into homes. In order to provide a customer with technology that will truly enhance the convenience, comfort and entertainment value of a home, he needs to learn about how those homeowners live in their home now, what they’d like to improve about the house and how they envision life in an automated residence, among other tidbits. (To see home tech requests achieved to their fullest, check out our Home of the Year Award winners.)

“It’s like peeling back an onion,” says custom electronics (CE) professional Tommy Kissell of Texas-based Eco High Fidelity, of his first meetings with prospective clients. “The more we know about a client, the better equipped we’ll be to design a system that suits their habits, routines, schedules and lifestyle.” So what are some of the areas you can expect your CE pro to ask you about?

The House Itself
Certainly, he’ll need to know whether you plan to automate an existing house, will be remodeling or would like to put the system into a house that’s on the drawing boards. Some of your first meetings with a CE pro could take place at your house; this will give the installer an opportunity to gauge the complexity of the job. He’ll need to see if there’s an attic, basement or crawlspace through which to fish cabling; if not, he may investigate other wiring avenues. He’ll be able to see first-hand if there are any materials like concrete and stucco that could make the project more difficult. Also, he’ll probably ask you about current technologies your home might already have: built-in speakers, a computer network, a security system? With a clear understanding of your home’s makeup, a CE pro will be able to determine the types of tools and manpower he will need to get the job done, and what types of products and systems—for example, wireless or hardwired—will work best.

Inconvenient Truths
Everybody can rattle off a few items they find annoying or inconvenient about their home. Maybe it’s the closet and bathroom lights that nobody bothers to turn off, or the tedium of locking up and shutting things off before bedtime. A CE pro wants to hear your pet peeves you so he can design your system that takes care of those trouble spots. Don’t hold back, and make sure every member of the family has a say.

Comfort with Technology
How do you use technology in your home now? For example, are you a fan of streaming music and video services? Are you a PC or Mac user? Do your kids do much of their homework online? What about mobile devices? Are they loaded with apps? A CE pro can tell a lot by your current use of and familiarity with technology. For example, if everyone in family is an avid user of an iPad, your CE pro may design a system that lets you use this device to manage and monitor your home systems. If you have thousands of CDs, then those might be prioritized within a whole-house audio system over streaming services, for example (or perhaps you’d rather pare down the collection and simplify to the streaming route).

Way of Life
Lifestyle is a big buzzword in the home technology industry, and for good reason. A candid discussion of your way of life will likely reveal the most important pieces of information a CE pro needs to design and implement a system so in sync with you and your family that you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. At the very least, expect to divulge your household status (single, married, kids, elderly parents), your family’s schedule (work, school, travel), your social life (do you entertain frequently) and your hobbies (sports, exercise, photography, art collecting, etc.). If your daily routine involves a half hour on the treadmill, perhaps you’d like to have some music piped in over in-ceiling speakers rather than be tethered to an iPod; or maybe create the proper lighting environment for displaying artwork.

Aesthetic Preferences
Do you want to show off your home electronics investment or keep it under wraps? Your aesthetic preferences will help a CE pro decide whether he should install speakers that recess into the walls or models that stand out in the open, for example. If you like the idea of having all of the A/V components (amplifiers, processors, Blu-ray players, etc.) hidden completely from view, by all means tell your CE pro. There are lots of clever ways to hide technology.

On the Clock
Prepare to have an idea of when you’d like the project started and finished. Do you want everything installed by the holidays? Is there a special event by which you’d like the project buttoned up? Based on answers to earlier questions, a CE pro is probably visualizing a system, but when you say you want it done in six weeks, he may have to rethink the plan, or may even bow out if you’re firm on the deadline. Be clear with your timeframe; be flexible if you can.

by Lisa Montgomery

http://www.electronichouse.com/article/6_most_important_pieces_of_info_to_share_with_your_installer/Learning_Center

Custom Installation Services, LLC – Call us for your free “Tech” evaluation! in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

 

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Bose SoundTouch throws down multiroom audio gauntlet to Sonos

New SoundTouch Wi-Fi line includes three speaker models at launch: the SoundTouch 30, SoundTouch 20, and SoundTouch Portable

All the speakers have six 'presets' on top of the unit. This speaker is the SoundTouch Portable, which has a built-in rechargeable battery

Over the years, Sonos, once a fledgling startup, has grown up to dominate the DIY multiroom wireless audio space. Now it has some serious competition.

Bose has officially unveiled a new line of Wi-Fi speakers under its new SoundTouch brand, which features simple setup and operation, and it’s definitely aimed at the same audience that Sonos has targeted.

The three new speakers that are available at launch — you can order them today — are the SoundTouch 30 ($699), a larger speaker designed for larger living spaces, and the SoundTouch 20 ($399) and SoundTouch Portable ($399), which are designed for somewhat smaller rooms. Bose will also introduce a Wave SoundTouch music system ($599) in December and other SoundTouch speakers and audio products in early 2014, signaling that it’s going all in on wireless audio.

It shares many of the same traits as the Sonos system, but one of the differences is that it’s designed to work with your existing Wi-Fi network and doesn’t require a special “bridge” like Sonos does. However, that Sonos Bridge, which connects to the Ethernet port on your router, sets up a separate “mesh” wireless network that’s dedicated to streaming your audio and helps remove the hiccups typically associated with a Wi-Fi network, which aren’t incredibly reliable.

But Bose is pushing the simplicity of its system and how easy it is to set up “using your existing home Wi-Fi network” and nothing else. The other simplicity theme revolves around Bose’s use of “presets”; both the new speakers and new apps –  Android and iOS devices are supported at launch along with Macs and Windows PCs — are equipped with buttons numbered 1-6. Each number corresponds to a preset in the app.

Using the apps, you can drag and drop specific Pandora radio stations onto a number to set it as a preset. You can also link one of the presets to the music library on your PC or a specific playlist.

To get your music up and running, you simply press one of the preset buttons that’s on the speaker or the included remote, or within one of the apps. Thus, the SoundTouch name.

Sonos comparisons
Like Sonos, the speakers and apps will get software updates that add new features and services. At launch, I was underwhelmed with Bose’s line up of services. Beyond Pandora there’s nothing: no Spotifiy, no Rdio, no Deezer, no nothing. Sonos has a huge roster of service tie-ins, so Bose has a big hole to fill there.

The other thing you can’t do with the Bose SoundTouch speakers is combine two speakers to get stereo sound. That starts to get a little expensive when you’re combining $399 speakers to make a pair, but these types of speakers that have their drivers very close together typically feature little to no stereo separation, so it’s a nice option to be able to go stereo like you can with Sonos.

The SoundTouch 30 and SoundTouch 20 both offer Ethernet connectivity, so you can use a wired network connection if you want, and there’s an auxiliary input, so you can hook up an audio device to a speaker using a cable.

The Bose speakers aren’t equipped with Bluetooth (neither are the Sonos speakers), but they do support AirPlay streaming from iOS devices and PCs running  iTunes. And like Sonos, you can stream music to a single room or have the same music play on all your speakers at the same time. You should be able to play different music sources in different rooms, but I didn’t test that feature yet.

Sound demo
Bose did a sound demo in a controlled environment with hand-picked music tracks, and like most of Bose’s demos, the speakers came across in their best light and seemed to sound quite decent for their size. I suspect the SoundTouch 20 will match up just fine against the Sonos Play:5, which is about the same size and also retails for $399. Currently, Bose isn’t offering any SoundTouch speakers for less than $399, but you’d think that may change in the future with Sonos offering more-affordable speakers.

However, the next batch of SoundTouch products will be more expensive except for the SoundTouch Controller, a swankier remote that will come out early in 2014 for $99.

As I said, a Wave SoundTouch music system is coming in December for $599. And a SoundTouch Stereo JC (Jewel Cube) system ($1,199), a SoundTouch SA-4 amplifier ($499) for select Bose products (including outdoor speakers), and a SoundTouch wireless adapter for Lifestyle systems and VideoWave entertainment system will ship in “early 2014.” (Bose did demo that new stereo Jewel Cube system, which also includes a subwoofer, and, needless to say, it sounded better than the single-speaker systems.)

I’ll let you know how the launch speaker systems sound — and how smoothly they operate — as soon as we get our hands on some review samples. Naturally, it will be interesting to see how the market responds to having a second major competitor in the DYI multiroom wireless audio space. But one thing is clear from Bose’s announcement: it’s going all in on wireless audio; it’s not messing around and will surely put big bucks toward marketing the new SoundTouch line and telling everybody how easy it is to use.

by David Carnoy

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57606930-221/bose-soundtouch-throws-down-multiroom-audio-gauntlet-to-sonos/

Custom Installation Services, LLC – Authorized Bose Dealer in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

Posted in Audio Demos, Audio Systems, Home Theater, Home Theater Setup, Multi Room A/V, Music and Movies, News, Outdoor Speakers, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Custom Installation Services, LLC | P.O. Box 132 Matthews, NC 28106 | 704-400-8701 | dmiller@cis-nc.com
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