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
Why You Can’t Go Totally Wireless: 4 Network Topologies to Consider

Committing solely to wireless technology is ‘a recipe for failure’ for integrators. Here are the four home network infrastructure options to consider for every project.

Commitment certainly has its place in this world, like in relation to spouses or sports teams. But over-committing to a singular technology? That can be a risky move.

While Wi-Fi is the technology buzzword, particularly with homeowners, those of us tasked with actually fitting the myriad of modern electronics and digital services into a high-functioning, seamlessly networked home must understand the whole landscape.

What makes the current 802.11 Wi-Fi standards so alluring is the convenience of its mobility, ubiquity, and interoperability between so many devices. While the appeal is that Wi-Fi is seemingly in everything—our computers and smartphones, our televisions and cameras—that is also part of the problem. The 2.4GHz spectrum is being shared by all of your Wi-Fi devices, all of your neighbors’ Wi-Fi devices, and even proprietary devices such as baby monitors.

That’s quite a load. When the physical limitations of RF bands are strained or exceeded, it reduces the quality of service for every device, and consequently every person relying on them.

Those limitations are the source of audio drop offs, buffering delays or reduced definition during a streaming movie, and latency in competitive multiplayer video games. These nuisances undermine the intent of quick, reliable access to content, which is the very point of incorporating many technologies into the home. Your customers deserve better than that.

Part of the solution can be to use the 5GHz band for 802.11n or the upcoming 802.11ac standard to help alleviate some bandwidth traffic, but these options are not without their own limitations. First, the 5GHz band has less range than 2.4GHz and struggles to pass through walls and other building obstacles. Second, many devices today only communicate on 2.4GHz. While additional devices are expected to be dual band, 2.4GHz will continue to be the most used band in the near future.
So, truthfully, the real solution is recognizing wireless is not the be all, end all. And that’s okay. What a network needs to be about is uninterrupted access and content, and it falls on the installer’s shoulders to ensure the best user-experience.

Networking a home with a strong wired backbone remains the best practice to achieve top performance. Should an existing home have only a limited wired Ethernet network, a coax network using the MoCA standard, or a powerline network using the HomePlug AV standard, may be able to bridge the Ethernet service to the desired destination. Both of these wired technologies are affordable and easy-to-install networking alternatives that can relieve the Wi-Fi network of its highest bandwidth responsibilities. This will ensure superior performance for streaming and surfing on mobile and smart devices.

At the end of the day, all customers really care about is streaming that movie on Netflix with a pristine picture, synced audio, and no interruptions. Committing solely to a specific technology is a recipe for failure. Employing multiple technologies to build a complete, robust networking solution that can handle multiple applications is often the best solution.

Knowing Your Networking Options

When it comes to home networking, some technologies get more press than others these days (like, wireless). However, there are many viable options out there, each suited to address particular needs and overcome specific obstacles. Understanding all of the technologies available allows you to make the educated call on how best to accomplish each stage of designing a strong network for the technology-filled home.

Here’s a quick roll call of the networking players:

The Not-Extinct Ethernet Option: This option remains tried and true. Despite the introduction of newer alternatives with impressive stats and advantages, the truth is that nothing is faster, more reliable, or more secure than wired Ethernet systems. The solution already offers throughput capabilities of up to a Gigabit per second in a 1000BaseT network and 10Gbps for a commercial oriented 10GBaseT network using Cat 6a.

And innovation hasn’t stopped finding new uses of Ethernet, either. HDBaseT has made it viable to use Ethernet cables for transmitting HDMI signals over long distances, enabling streaming of high definition video and audio around to multiple areas from a central location. Though retrofitting Ethernet installations into existing homes can be costly and labor intensive, it is the best option for steady, high-quality performance.

 

The Up-and-Coming Coax Option: For existing homes with a limited Ethernet network, coax networking is emerging as a feasible alternative technology. Commonly referred to as MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) in deference to the technology’s leading standards body, this technology is already built into most cable boxes for multi-room DVR functionality. MoCA works reliably by transmitting over a frequency band unused by cable TV transmissions.

MoCA can also be used to stream video and audio to areas of the home that were previously without streaming service. The most frequently used MoCA standard today, 1.1, has a throughput of 170Mbps. The speed and reliability of this offering, paired with its ease to employ and cost-effectiveness, make it an attractive choice.

The Not-To-Be-Overlooked Powerline Option: The powerline option uses the readily available electrical lines to extend a home network’s reach. Though early powerline technologies encountered many issues, making some installers wary of the technology, the more recent standards from the HomePlug Powerline Alliance deserve due consideration due to better performance and greater stability. The HomePlug AV2 specification, introduced in 2012, delivers a maximum throughput of 500Mbps. It’s also the simplest of networking equipment options to configure. Merely plugging in two powerline networking modules gets a quick auto-confirmation of the connection within seconds. The modules then act as transmitters or receivers for data signals over the electrical line, and with most hardware, provide extra Ethernet ports for incredible flexibility.

Like all technologies, this one also has limits and obstacles. One obstacle is surge protectors, which can block network transmissions. Powerline also suffers from greater signal loss and more noise than Ethernet cable or coax, making it the third best option for high-bandwidth applications. However, for a simple and convenient solution, powerline technology may be the best fit for a fast extension of the wired network.

The Ubiquitous Wireless Option: Wireless is the new “it” thing. It’s the enabler for all mobile applications and often thought to be the networking option that makes your customer the true master of his or her space . It’s an undeniably flexible solution, which can offer speed and convenience to both you and your customers. Since its formation in 1999, the Wi-Fi Alliance has governed the evolution of the most commonly used standards. The most recent standard, 802.11n, was released in 2009 and boasts an impressive maximum speed of 300Mbps with the capability to broadcast over two frequency bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

The convenience of Wi-Fi is why it’s so frequently turned to for streaming our entertainment. But it also has limitations: Scarce bandwidth, range limitations and vulnerability to interference all need to be considered in the network design, and many of these limitations or shortcomings can be avoided by offloading high-bandwidth applications to wired networks where possible.

The key to constructing the most robust home network is assessing the best solution for the right application. There is no single solution that meets the performance expectations and budget of every application. Installers must understand the strengths and limitations of each solution so they can best service the needs of their customers.

By Tom Cunningham

http://www.cepro.com/article/why_you_cant_go_totally_wireless_4_network_topologies_to_consider/?utm_source=CEPWeekly&utm_medium=email

Custom Installation Services, LLC – First choice for low voltage wiring and home networking in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

Posted in Automation, Blu-ray, Bose Dealer, Gaming Systems, Home Theater Design, Home Theater Setup, i-Pad, IP Cameras, Linksys, Low Voltage Contractors, Luxul, Multi Room A/V, Netgear Routers, Network Setup, News, Structured Wiring, technology, Wireless Network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Netflix 1080p Timeline: When Will it Come to CE Devices?

The existing universe of 1080P Netflix devices includes the Sony Playstation3, Roku 2 XS and XD, WD TV Live and now LG 2011 Smart TVs and Samsung Smart Hub enabled devices, according to Tech of the Hub.

Netflix launched 1080p streaming in 2010, but we’ve barely seen it in smart TVs, networked Blu-ray players and other common CE devices from top brands such as Samsung, LG and Tivo.

Netflix 1080p was supported exclusively by the Playstation 3 when it launched last year, and since then has trickled out to media players from Roku and Western Digital. Netflix only this summer released a software developers kit for everyone else, and those everyone elses are finally incorporating the technology into their new and legacy devices (via firmware upgrade).

That’s good news for Netflix Watch Instantly lovers, but might be confusing as well.

As Tech of the Hub suggests:

The toughest part for the consumer is distinguishing the differences between all of the Netflix enabled TVs, Blu-ray players and streaming boxes at retail stores. All of them have the same Netflix logo on them. So, you can’t tell which Netflix boxes support 1080P, surround sound and subtitles.

The blog site has reached out to several major brands to determine when they will enable 1080p Netflix streaming for their CE devices.

Here is an overview, but check out Tech of the Hub for more details.

Samsung updated its Netflix app two weeks ago for Smart Hub-enabled Blu-ray players, TVs and home theater systems.

LG displays with Smart TV have been updated as well, with other LG devices following this month.

Netgear’s new NeoTV NTV-200 will support Netflix 1080p next year.

Pioneer’s Blu-ray players will not support 1080p for Netflix.

TiVo is working on 1080p Netflix streaming, but won’t say when it will be commercially available.

The big question is: Will Netflix raise its rates again when 1080p becomes universally available?!

By Julie Jacobson

http://www.cepro.com/article/netflix_1080p_timeline_when_will_it_come_to_ce_devices/?utm_source=CEPWeekly&utm_medium=email

Custom Installation Services, LLC – First choice for low voltage wiring in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

Posted in 3d movies, 3D TV, Blu-ray, Flat Panel TV's, Gaming Systems, HDMI Specs, LED, Low Voltage Contractors, Media Rooms, Music and Movies, News, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Home Theater Basics: 12 Things for Newbies

Custom Installation Services - Charlotte's Home Theater Company!

C.I.S. - Charlotte's Home Theater Company!

All you really need to have a home theater are speakers, some basic audio/video equipment and some popcorn.

Getting a basic home theater system into your house may be far simpler than you think. You just need to understand what the basic components are and match them to your budget and performance needs.

At an elemental level, a home theater system needs a large video display device (generally a flat panel TV 50-inches and up or a projector/screen), a surround-sound speaker setup (at least 5.1 plus electronics for switching and processing), and some quality source components (Blu-ray, cable, streaming devices …) . That’s it.  Sure, it can be a little more involved, but it isn’t rocket science. Here’s a more thorough breakdown of today’s home theater basics:

The Sights

1. A video display can be any size or style you want, as long as it’s big. For an immersive experience, we generally suggest a screen of at least 50 inches (measure diagonally), but smaller screens may make sense in some rooms. Your display will, of course, be high definition, and mostly likely 1080p resolution, though some 720p resolution TVs are still available.
When you’re planning your theater, a guideline for display size is that the viewing distance (the distance from you to the screen) should be 2 to 3 times the width of the screen (actually width, not the diagonal size).

2. A video display can utilize one of several technologies such as plasma, LCD (liquid crystal display), DLP (digital light processing), LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) or some others. All of these technologies have their pros and cons, but all can create a home theater-quality picture at a variety of budgets.

3. The type of video display you choose will depend on your budget, how you intend to use the display and the space where you plan to enjoy your home theater. There are lots of options, but your selection will be made easier if you know what you’re seeking.

4. Think 3D. Stereoscopic, or 3D, started getting serious attention last year, and this year that attention is even greater. A 3D TV truly separates a home theater from simply a television as it adds one more element that, until recently, was unique to commercial theaters. Plus, all the technology that goes into make a TV 3D, also happens to make it an even better 2D TV for conventional viewing.

From custom homes to corporate boardrooms, let Custom Installation Services install your next a/v project!The Sounds

5. A home theater’s surround-sound system consists of five or more speakers, with three in the front near the video display and at least two on the sides or at the back of the room.

6. The three front speakers do most of the work to produce sounds that correspond with the action on the screen. Two speakers, called the front left and right channels, are typically placed on either side of the video display. A center-channel speaker is often placed above or below the screen. Two or more speakers on the sides or rear are referred to as surround speakers. Additional rear speakers or even height-channel speakers can create an even more realistic impression on the audience.

7. The center-channel speaker is the most important loudspeaker in a surround-sound setup. This is because it reproduces a great majority of the sounds you hear in a movie soundtrack, including all of the dialogue. You’ll want to hear every word clearly and feel as if the dialogue is coming directly from the actors’ mouths.

8. The role of surround speakers is to convey ambient sounds, such as background noises, rumbles or passing cars or planes. These speakers help fully immerse you in a movie. The surround sound speakers generally shouldn’t be too obvious to the listener, so don’t crank them up too loud or the effect will be unnatural.

9. There are several surround speaker options. You can have two speakers, one on each side of the seating area. You can have three speakers, with one on each side and one in the back, allowing you to better hear the effects of movement such as that of a passing car or a train or airplane. You can have four speakers, with two on each side. Or you can have even more speakers. It’s really a matter of how far you want to go.

10. Specialty speakers called subwoofers produce low bass sounds so you will hear the full impact of sound effects such as explosions or the roar of a jet engine. Subwoofers can be placed virtually anywhere. People often put them in a front corner, behind a plant or a table or even under a couch. Subwoofers are not full-range speaker channels, meaning they only produce a fraction of the sounds you hear. In surround-sound parlance, subwoofers represent the “.1” in 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 systems (5.1 meaning the basic surround-sound setup of five speaker channels plus a subwoofer, 6.1 meaning six channels and a subwoofer and 7.1 meaning seven channels plus a subwoofer). Multiple subwoofers can also be used.

11. To get sound to the speakers and video to the screen, you’ll need switching and processing components like a surround-sound receiver or a controller and amplifier. Receivers contain amplifiers, precluding the need for a separate amplifier, though for higher performance you may opt for a separate surround-sound controller and a power amplifier. Look for a receiver with multiple HDMI inputs (version 1.4 is the latest) for all your sources. Additional features such as iPods connectively, Internet radio, DLNA, multi-zone and audio calibration systems can add to your home theater’s functionality and ease of use.

12. Sources for all Tastes. Well, of course you’ll want something to watch, right? For most people, the two most fundamental sources will be a TV tuner (cable, FiOS or satellite box) and a Blu-ray player. Other great sources for home theaters include gaming consoles and web media players (such as Roku and similar products). Many Blu-ray players or TVs include built-in web-based services such as Netflix, Vudu and Amazon Instant Video.

 by EH Staff

http://www.electronichouse.com/article/12_things_you_need_to_know_about_home_theater/

Custom Installation Services, LLC - ”We may be a few dollars more than the competition, but we are a million times better”.

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