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
Wireless: Is It Really as Good as It Sounds?

Integrators need to educate customers better that ‘wireless’ audio does not mean ‘no new wires,’ and installing a cable-less system is not necessarily less labor intensive.

Wireless Network Setup

Wireless has its place when used properly, but it doesn’t mean no new wires.

It is obvious many custom manufacturers of multiroom audio systems are pinning their hopes for 2014 on new wireless audio products. Wireless is a wonderful solution; it eliminates the need to pre-wire a house and can be installed as a retrofit. Now that video can be transmitted around the home via wireless, audio transmission should be a breeze.

However, not wanting to be a wet rag, I would suggest caution. If anything sounds too good to be true, you can bet there is more to the story. When it comes to distributing audio around the home without cables, we should have a look at the practical implications more carefully.

Wireless is Not 100% Reliable

Wireless, of course is not new. My first foray into it was in the late 1960s with a wireless remote volume control. It was a fantastic idea—a little box was placed between the pre and power amplifiers so the level could be adjusted from your armchair. It worked well most of the time, but not all the time. On occasion it was slow to respond, which was quite irritating. But the real problem was when you pushed the “up” button, on occasions, it did not stop and then it would continue to increase the level unaided to full output, often destroying very expensive speakers.

Through the years wireless has greatly improved, but in a world hungry for convenience, for every improvement in wireless technology there has be a consequential demand to make it deliver more. For that reason it has never been perfect. Maybe 99 percent right at times but never 100 percent.

You may ask why is 99 percent not a good result? Those experienced in remote systems are well aware how unforgiving consumers are if they are not directly in front of a component. Now with IP-based solutions, we have upped the ante transmitting audio wirelessly as well as system control through the home. As good as we are getting with latency, the slightest drop out of signal can be very frustrating to most consumers.

 ‘Wireless’ Does Not Mean ‘No Wires’

As convenient as it is, a smart installer knows wireless can be fickle and when problems arise it can expose them to a lot of hassle and call backs, so hardwiring will always be their preference. To consumers, wireless solutions mean “no need to wire at all” to save costs and absolve them from need to employ an integrator or electrician or do any forward planning. The consumer needs to be better informed.

Wireless moves the amplifier from the central equipment cabinet into each individual room, which was one of the important parameters when we developed A-BUS. (Editor’s Note: A-BUS technology has the power supply located at the hub end where there is access to power. It is then sent down the Cat 5 cable to the amplifier located in the room with the speakers. Without the power supply, it is small enough to fit behind a single-gang wall plate or on the back of a speaker.)

Being from an audiophile background, long runs of speaker cable around the home have always been an anathema to me. If it is accepted, you should use good quality speaker cable to prevent signal losses to your speakers when they are just across the room from the amplifier. Running poor quality speaker cable (as our industry does) to the other end of a house must be wrong. So why do we do it?

Let’s look at why. Where do you put an amplifier in a bathroom? Even in a bedroom where you normally have a closet space available, generally homeowners don’t like electrical components hidden away in them. Putting them in ceilings sitting next to the speakers amongst the insulation material can be messy. Centrally located amplifiers in an equipment closet and nasty long speaker cable runs have been the norm.

If finding an amplifier location is hard, finding a convenient power point for it is even harder. The situation is no different to the plethora of wireless speakers coming on the market implying “no wires required.” Of course there are wires; each speaker has a thick power cord running out the back of it looking for a power point. In multiroom audio this can be very inconvenient as it introduces the need for a high-voltage installer (electrician) to be involved in the installation procedure adding complexity and expense to the installation. If the employment of an electrician is to be avoided you, have to contend most power points are located at floor level and most multiroom audio speakers are located in ceilings. In between there is a cabling job to be done, so wireless is not necessarily cableless!

Bluetooth Connectivity is in Demand

Wireless definitely has its place when used properly. Bluetooth in most instances simply replaces the need for a patch lead. It is designed to work within a room over a short distance, making it highly reliable. Now your phone has become your personal entertainment system, having a local Bluetooth wireless connection in each room is becoming a very important consumer feature.

So where is the wireless cost savings? First look at the additional cost of a power point per room and second at wiring additional IP points—a sensible installer wouldn’t risk a “wireless only” installation. Then look at the higher cost of amplification each with its own power supply and weigh these factors against cost of running cable.

I think we forget the origins of the custom market. It grew out of the consumer’s desire to eliminate messy wires and black boxes around the home. With our current rush to adopt new wireless technology, the industry and consumer appears to have lost sight of our most important goal; that is to provide “invisible home entertainment.”

By Andrew Goldfinch

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

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

 

Posted in Audio Systems, Automation, Blu-ray, Central Vac System, Flat Panel TV's, Home Theater, Home Theater Setup, IP Cameras, lighting control, Linksys, Low Voltage Contractors, Luxul, Media Rooms, Multi Room A/V, Netgear Routers, Network Setup, News, Outdoor Speakers, Structured Wiring, technology, Wireless Network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Top 10 Blu-ray Releases for March 23

CIS is Charlotte, NC's #1 Source For Home Theater Design & Sales!

CIS is Charlotte, NC's #1 Source For Home Theater Design & Sales!

Pixar is at it again with the pristine additions of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on high-def Blu-ray this week.

Pixar’s at it again. Whether you’re looking for razor-sharp demo material as a custom installer or a good reason to sit through some high-def animation with your children, Pixar has always come through with its standard-def and Blu-ray releases. This week is no exception, as we get both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 sequel on Blu-ray for the first time.

We can’t wait to see all of the details of Andy’s room and his toys in high-definition, along with the enveloping surround sound. No, the Toy Story movies aren’t in super-wide 2.35:1 format like some more recent Pixar Blu-rays such as Wall-E and A Bug’s Life, but those of you with traditional 16:9 screens (especially projection screens) should still have a blast taking in the game-changing animation of the 1995 original and its 1999 sequel.

For a more recent children’s-oriented theatrical release, Fantastic Mr. Fox arrives on Blu-ray format as well this week. Unlike Pixar you don’t get the voice talent of John Ratzenberger (hey, we know he’s not the Toy Story star but we love that he’s in every Pixar movie), but you do get to hear the likes of George Clooney, Bill Murray and Meryl Streep in this Wes Anderson-directed movie.

Speaking of Clooney, even if you’re a fan of his films you may have missed the short-lived Men Who Stare at Goats in theaters. Obviously it’s no Up in the Air, but the solid ensemble cast includes Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges and Ewan McGregor, and at 94 minutes it could make for a good high-def rental. For an Oscar-acclaimed release this week, check out Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side—and it doesn’t matter if you’re a football fan or not.

If you’re interested in catching up on some TV, the best bet this week is the continuing saga featuring the men and women of AMC’s Mad Men—this week marks Season Three’s arrival on Blu-ray disc.

And in case you missed it, the tweeny-bopper fave Twilight got a jump on the traditional Tuesday release date by sending out Twilight Saga: New Moon just after midnight on March 20.

Here’s the full slate of Blu-ray releases for the week (schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com):
The African Queen
Alter Bridge: Live from Amsterdam
Bigger Than Life
The Blind Side
Brothers
Days of Heaven
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Mad Men: Season Three
Nabari No Ou: The Complete Series
Phantom Punch
Red Cliff Part 1 & 2
Smokin’ Aces: 2-movie collection
Spring 1941
Toy Story
Toy Story 2
Trinity Blood: The Complete Series
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Celebration
Yojimbo/Sanjuro

 by Arlen Schweiger

http://www.electronichouse.com/article/top_10_blu-ray_releases_for_march_23/

Custom Installation Services, LLC - Audio/Video Sales, Service and Installation in North Carolina and South Carolina

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It’s a Fan. No it’s an Audio System. Hey, it’s Both!

You can’t have an audio system without speakers, however, it’s the speakers that cause the most problems, especially with respect to interior design. Known for their wide selection of residential ceiling fans, Hunter has teamed up with Soundolier Integrated Wireless Technologies to create the Concert Breeze, a combination ceiling fan and powered audio system.

At first glance, the Concert Breeze looks like any common ceiling fan, yet hidden inside the fan’s light is a proprietary 2.4GHz wireless audio system. Without the hassle and expense of running wires, the Concert Breeze receives full range digital quality audio from any source, up to 300ft away. Simply connect a Soundolier Maestro wireless transmitter to any audio source – TV, mp3 player, etc. – through the speaker level or 3.5mm input jack and send stereo DSP audio to the Concert Breeze. Four selectable stereo signal channels virtually eliminate interference and one transmitter can send the signal to an unlimited number of receiver devices within the signal range.

According to Brendan Byrne, Senior Vice President of ceiling fans for Hunter, “The ceiling fan’s central location in the room naturally makes for a more premium sound since the speaker location can greatly affect the overall audio quality. With this design, the speaker is optimally located in the center of the room, so, the music literally showers over everyone equally.”

Paul Schleipfer, Marketing Manager for Soundolier explains the advantages further, “When distributing sound, audio coming from overhead has an all-encompassing effect that fills a room more naturally. It’s the reason airports, restaurants and other public buildings place speakers in the ceiling. However, with custom built speakers in the ceiling the challenge is incorporating them with lighting, electrical, and of course, ceiling fans. When a speaker is placed above the fan, it creates a strobing effect and destroys audio clarity. With the high quality speaker system and light housed beneath the fan in a single powered unit, the sound quality is preserved plus it blends in seamlessly with the environment and decor.”

The fan can be used in conjunction with a subwoofer and other audio components for a complete home audio experience. The unit comes with a credit card sized wireless remote that controls both the volume of the sound system and the brightness of the lamp. The Concert Breeze comes in two options: an indoor rated model available in brushed nickel with dark cherry blades and an indoor-outdoor model with bronze finish for covered porches or sunrooms. The Concert Breeze sells for $499 and is available at authorized Hunter and Soundolier dealers.

Courtesy of http://www.hometheaterdesignmag.com

CIS-NC.COM

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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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