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
LED vs LCD TVs

How are LED TVs different from LCD TVs?

Simply stated, an LED TV is an LCD TV that is lit with an LED (light emitting diode) light source instead of CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lamp). Manufacturers such as Samsung began the trend of marketing the LED-lit LCD TV as an “LED TV” likely in an attempt to easily differentiate the product from typical CCFL lit LCD products.While an LED TV is still technically an LCD TV, just get used to seeing this type of designation. We don’t really have a problem with it and it does, among other things, seem to make it easier to say it out loud.

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An LCD TV is comprised of several layers. The front layer is a piece of glass filled with liquid crystals that move and change to produce the images we see on the screen. But images can only be viewed when the screen is illuminated. This requires a light source. The light source is the difference between LED TV and conventional LCD TV.

Here’s a simple explanation of how it works: Conventional LCD TVs use fluorescent tubes (CCFL) to provide light to illuminate the LCD panel and make the images viewable. In an LED TV, the LCD panel is lit from behind with an LED-based backlight. LED lights can be more precisely controlled and can produce richer blacks and a better contrast ratio for a more vivid viewing experience.

Edge Lit vs. Rear Lit

With LED TVs, edge-lit technology is what allows some sets to be less than 1-inch thick. The LEDs are actually arranged around the very edge of the screen, allowing the display to be very thin, since the lighting technology isn’t positioned behind the screen. While this does indeed grant a thinner display, it typically (this is changing now) precludes te manufacturer from setting up a system that optimizes contrast across various areas of the screen.

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Smart Dimming and Zones

Several manufacturers are optimizing their LED backlit displays to produce different amounts of backlighting on different areas of the screen. In this way, you can see content that contains bright areas on the screen along with very black areas. Think of a candle lit in a dark room. With your typical edge lit display you have one level for the overall backlight. With Smart Dimming, you can brightly light the part of the screen with teh candle, and then all but turn off the LEDs behind the black areas of the screen.

Should you expect to pay more for LED TV? What are the benefits of LED vs. LCD?

LED TVs like those form Westinghouse Digital are often edge-lit, which means they are generally more energy efficient, weigh less and cost less than full array LED TVs. Some LED TVs are engineered and produced so efficiently that they may even cost less than conventional CCFL lit LCD TVs. The bottom line is that LEDs are getting cheaper and cheaper and soon we estimate they will actually be easier and cheaper to produe than CCFL backlit displays.

LED TVs in general use less energy (and are therefore more efficient and economical to operate) than conventional LCD TVs. LED TVs are also thinner and weigh less than LCD TVs and generally create a brighter picture. For those who are environmentally concerned, LED TVs also contain no Mercury or Lead.

Presented by Westinghouse Digital and edited by Clint DeBoer

http://www.audioholics.com/education/display-formats-technology/led-vs-lcd-tvs

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The Cabling Industry Needs a Makeover

CIS is Charlotte's 1st Choice For Custom Home ElectronicsIt’s time for the cabling industry to reassess how it approaches marketing to consumers.

I find Twitter entertaining and, at times, almost addicting. This morning a tweet from Production Advice’s Ian Shepherd shocked me with concern for an electronics category that I think is beneficial: cabling.

Shepherd retweeted a blog written by L.A. recording engineer Bobby Owsinski, who blogged about a 2008 Engadget story that asked 12 “audiophiles” to compare an audiophile cable brand with another cabling product. It turns out the other cabling product was a set of coat hangers. The crux of the story is that those audiophiles couldn’t tell the difference between coat hangers and expensive cables.

Adding insult to injury, Owsinski points out the obvious difference between the audiophile community and professional sound engineers that use their listening skills for work by noting, “‘audiophiles’ showed just why they get so much abuse from pros over their so-called “golden ears.”

Monster was the cable manufacturer in question in Engadget’s blind testing, and Owsinski says Monster does make good products; the problem, in his opinion, is with how the products are marketed. “Monster Cable takes some reasonably good cable and markets it in such a way that its perceived value is a lot greater than it deserves to be,” he asserts in his blog. “The problem is that for speaker cable, 12 or 10 gauge zip cord [lamp cable] will work just as well as expensive Monster cable.”

Unfortunately for the cabling industry, Owsinski isn’t alone in his opinion, and websites such as Audioholics.com fuel the public’s disdain for cabling by publishing stories that attack the credibility of many of the cable category’s claims for improved performance.

Like Owsinski, Gene DeSalla at Audioholics points out that Monster and other brands aren’t necessarily bad, its just that their products don’t measure up to the claims.

To rectify this problem, I think it’s time for the cabling category to own up to its self-generated hyperbole and tone it down. Let’s start by addressing the claims of exotic materials, proprietary construction techniques and slick geometry designs that contribute to their out-of-this-world performance claims without any third-party verification.

Manufacturers should look to develop products that are affordable to consumers in these difficult economic times. Too often, critics point to the steep price tags attached to some cabling products and note that a consumer could buy a nice car or place a down payment on a house with the amount of money some companies ask for a pair of speaker cables.

The last thing the cabling industry needs to do is educate the public on the benefits of a properly designed cable that employs quality materials. Owsinski says cabling can make a difference in how a system performs, and I believe he is correct. Using dealers, let’s teach consumers on how to buy cable and how to listen.

One other suggestion I would make is that maybe we should think about locking audiophiles in the basements from which they came. For all their passion about music and equipment, they inflict a lot of irreparable damage to an industry that can hardly afford the scrutiny of a public that doesn’t respect their collective opinions. OK, OK, I’m only kidding about that last suggestion, but I would take away their Diana Krall and Patricia Barber CDs and LPs as punishment for their past transgressions.

By Robert Archer

http://www.cepro.com/article/the_cabling_industry_needs_a_makeover/K536

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Integrator Serves Up 87 Restaurant Speakers

Boston’s Post 390 blanketed with SpeakerCraft speakers and Crestron automation.

Providing audio, video and automation for a bar and restaurant is rarely easy. It’s even more difficult when the restaurateur has various and specific goals in mind.

Take Post 390, for example, which is located steps from Boston’s most bustling office buildings, making it an after-work cocktail location. It’s also located a couple of blocks from Boston Back Bay’s bar scene, making it a night-on-the-town location.

But Post 390 is located a stone’s throw from Boston’s trendy South End restaurants, making it an up-scale eatery.

In other words: Post 390 needs to be a chameleon, adjusting to the needs of various guests – and its audio, video and automation need to reflect that.

“One of our early marketing slogans was ‘Find your Post,’” says Paul Dias, senior VP of operations for the Himmel Hospitality Group, which runs Post 390. “We looked at it as a place for a casual lunch, for a business lunch, a place to meet for beers, a place for a formal dinner. So every part of the restaurant had to be able to [reflect] the ‘Find your Post’ theme.”

Photos: Integrator Serves Up 87 Restaurant Speakers

Sound Approach

Dias enlisted North Easton, Mass.-based Audio Video Intelligence (AVI) to design and install Post 390’s electronics.

The restaurant is two floors, with a bar area on each floor, and the dining rooms blend into the bars. There are two areas that can be dedicated for private parties, complete with drop-down Epson projectors and Da-Lite screens, that require separate automation and audio zones.

The biggest challenge for Jim Shapiro, president of AVI, was providing seamless sound – a dilemma he describes while walking across the length of the restaurant and listening for hotspots. “In a restaurant, more speakers are generally better. If there are too few, the system has to play louder and that’s when people get upset.”

As such, AVI installed 87 SpeakerCraft speakers and subwoofers, mostly in-ceiling, in the 12,000-square-foot space.

AVI’s design called for even more speakers. “Yeah,” Dias recalls. “You [as a restaurant integration client] really have to come to terms with the number of speakers. You have to compromise. You only have as much money as you have to spend.”

Automation Made Easy

Speaking of money, Post 390 didn’t skimp when it came to automation. Post 390 staff use Crestron automation to control audio, video, motorized screens, lighting and climate. It’s always a challenge anytime various employees need to interact with a control system, so Dias wanted it to be as simple as possible.

During the design phase, Shapiro sent Dias screen captures of the customized Crestron interfaces AVI programmed for Post 390. He liked what he saw.

Dias, whose Himmel Hospitality Group runs other prominent Boston and Cambridge restaurants, has been burned before by difficult-to-use automation systems.

“Paul knew he needed reliability and it needed to be simple to control,” says Shapiro. “He had experiences with systems that aren’t as powerful and fast for [audio and video] switching.”

Post 390 demonstrates extreme confidence in its Crestron automation system by including in-wall touchscreens in the two private dining areas. Nothing is stopping a customer in one of those rooms to select music, turn down volume or even lower the projector and screen – although it’s obviously not encouraged.

The private rooms are only private when Post 390 designates it so. The larger of the rooms includes a large glass door that can be opened when that room is simply used for dining space and closed when privacy is needed.

The audio zones need to reflect the rooms’ usage and Post 390 staff uses Crestron audio switching via touchscreen to change on the fly.

Staff training was a snap, Shapiro recalls. He remembers being on-site for a soft opening and waiting for employees to ask questions about how to use the automation system but hardly getting any. For him, that’s a measure of success.

For Dias, he measures success by reflecting back on his initial goals. “We were trying to create a certain kind of environment here and we wanted a sound system that would help us do that. And we wanted consistency.”

Walking through the restaurant, Dias says his goals were met. Then he adds, “See? No dead spots.”

 by Tom LeBlanc

http://www.commercialintegrator.com/article/integrator_serves_up_87_restaurant_speakers?utm_source=ci&utm_medium=topic

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