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
Power Conditioning 101: Terms You Need to Know

The APC H15 is available at Custom Installation Services! Authorized APC Dealer In Charlotte & surrounding areas

The APC H15 is available at Custom Installation Services! Authorized APC Dealer In Charlotte & surrounding areas

Get to understand what goes into power conditioning as you prepare to add it to your home theater.

 You don’t want to have your favorite pieces of electronics gear wiped out during the next thunder and lighting storm, right? Or perhaps the next heat wave when your local electrical grid is going haywire?

Plus, we’re guessing you want everything to reach its optimum performance, so you can hear everything you should be hearing out of that new set of speakers. 

Power conditioning and protection products are not going to be the sexiest things in your equipment rack, but they could be among the most important relative to their job. They’ll ensure your gear receives clean electricity, and protect your products from potential damage.  And if you’re having a system installed by a custom electronics pro, you can be sure it will include some sort of power product. 

Because it’s an overlooked category, we asked our friends at SurgeX to give us a glossary of what to know. 

1. Alternating Current (AC) – Electric current that reverses direction periodically, usually many times per second. Used for power distribution because the AC voltage can easily be changed by a transformer. 

2. Ampere (Amp) – The practical meter-kilogram-second unit of electric current that is equivalent to a flow of one coulomb per second. 

3. Avalanche diode – A type of semiconductor component that is normally open circuit until the voltage increases to the point where the device turns on and conducts current. Similar in operation to MOVs but do not degrade with use. Very reliable as long as they are used strictly within their ratings. 

4. Direct current (DC) – Electric current which flows in one direction only through a circuit or equipment. The associated direct voltages, in contrast to alternating voltages, are of unchanging polarity. 

5. Brown Out – The IEEE (IEEE Std 1100-1999) recommends avoiding the use of ambiguous terms such as “Brown Out.” 

6. Capacitance – The property of a circuit element that permits it to store charge. A capacitor is an example of one such circuit element. A capacitor has high impedance at low frequencies and its impedance decreases as frequency increases, which allows it to differentiate between signal frequencies in applications such as crossover networks. 

7. Current – A measure of the amount of electrical charge (in Amps) transferred per unit time. It represents the flow of electrons through a conductive material. 

8. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) – A general type of electric or magnetic interference which is transmitted by conduction or radiation and can be of a very wide frequency range. 

9. Ground – A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, by which an electric circuit or equipment is connected to the earth, or to some conducting body of relatively large extent that serves in place of the earth. 

10. Ground Contamination – The diversion of surge and noise currents to the ground wire, which contaminates the system ground. Surge voltages can couple noise to the ground, which can often enter an audio or video system by causing shield current to flow. 

11. Ground Loop – A potentially detrimental loop formed when two or more points in an electrical system that are nominally at ground potential are connected by a conducting path such that either or both points are not at the same ground potential. 

12. Hertz (Hz) – The unit of frequency in cycles per second. Used to characterize anything from AC power (50 or 60 Hertz) up to cellular phone radio frequencies (Giga-Hertz) 

13. Hospital Grade Receptacle – A receptacle which has a high-impact-resistant face and body, and a higher spring tension in the receptacle contacts. Identified by a green dot on the receptacle face. 

14. IEC – (A) IEC stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission: An “organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.” (B) Commonly used to refer to one of the 13 power connectors described by specification IEC 60320. Most commonly refers to the C13 and C14 connectors used by most computers and many AC-powered electronic devices to connect the AC power. 

15. Impedance – A measure for the manner and degree a component resists the flow of electrical current if a given voltage is applied. It is denoted by the symbol Z and is measured in ohms. Impedance differs from simple resistance in that it takes into account possible phase offset. 

16. Joules – The standard unit of electrical energy (measured over time). One Joule is equivalent to the heat generated during one second when one Volt is driving one Amp around a circuit. 

17. Linear power supply – One type of power supply inside electronic equipment that converts the 120V AC to the DC required by the circuitry. A type of regulated power supply which utilizes a line-frequency transformer. Linear power supplies regulate their output by generating a higher voltage than needed at the output, then reducing it by converting some of the electrical power to heat. 

18. Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) – A disc shaped device which is normally open circuit until the voltage increases to the point where the MOV turns on and conducts current. Originally developed to suppress arcing on relay contacts but used extensively in shunt-mode surge protectors. Have a limited lifetime. 

19. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) – A US trade organization that develops standards for the electrical manufacturing industry. 

20. NRTL (Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory) – A government certified testing agency (such as MET Labs, Intertek/ETL, and TÜV) that tests and certifies equipment to established safety and test standards. Identical in function to UL certification. 

21. Parallel Connection – Devices connected together so that the same voltage appears across all devices. 

22. Radio Frequency Interference (RF) – Interference which is caused by radio signals. 

23. Root Mean Square (RMS) – The value of an AC voltage or current that delivers the equivalent power that a given DC voltage or current delivers. 

24. Sag – An RMS reduction in the AC voltage, at the power frequency, for durations from a half cycle to a few seconds. Note: The IEC terminology is dip. 

25. Series Connection – Devices connected together in a chain so that the same electric current passes through all devices. 

26. Shunt Connection – (Equivalent to Parallel Connection) 

27. Shunt Mode Surge Protector – A type of surge protector which uses MOVs, avalanche diodes or gas discharge tubes to conduct surge current to the neutral or ground wire. 

28. Spike – The IEEE (IEEE Std 1100-1999) recommends avoiding the use of ambiguous terms such as “Spike”. 

29. Suppression Voltage – The maximum peak voltage that will be seen across the active terminals of a suppressor at a specified waveform and source current. It is the remnant voltage the suppressor “lets through” to protected equipment. Products tested to the UL 1449 Standard are assigned a VPR (Voltage Protection Rating) in a range from 330V to 2500V, based upon the product’s suppression voltage. 

30. Surge (Transient) – The IEEE (IEEE Std 1100-1999) defines “surge” and “transient” to be analogous terms, as defined as: a subcycle disturbance in the AC waveform that is evidenced by a sharp, brief discontinuity of the waveform. 

31. Switch-Mode Power Supply – One type of power supply inside electronic equipment that converts the 120V AC to the DC required by the circuitry. A switch mode supply is smaller and lighter than a linear power supply because it switches the current on and off very fast to generate the DC using a small high-frequency transformer rather than a larger traditional line-frequency power transformer. 

32. Toroidal Transformer – A transformer that is constructed around a magnetic core in a toroidal, or donut shape. This geometry produces a more contained magnetic field, which leads to a more efficient and compact design. 

33. Transient – A subcycle disturbance in the AC waveform that is evidenced by a sharp, brief discontinuity of the waveform. May be of either polarity and may be additive to, or subtractive from, the nominal waveform. 

34. Under Voltage – When used to describe a specific type of long duration variation, refers to an RMS decrease in the AC voltage, at the power frequency, for a period of time greater than 1 min. 

35. Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) – An independent product safety certification organization that writes standards and tests products. Other NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Test Laboratories) may also perform product testing to ensure compliance with standards written by UL. 

36. Uninterruptable Power Supply/Source (UPS) – A device that provides battery backup power for continuous equipment operation when the electrical power fails, drops, or rises to an unacceptable voltage level. 

37. Volt Ampere (VA) – The standard unit of measurement of apparent electrical power, equal to the product of root-mean-square (RMS) voltage and RMS current. 

38. Watts – The standard unit of measurement of real electrical power, which factors in any phase differences between the voltage and current waveforms. 

by Robert Archer 


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Charlotte and Boone NC’s Source For APC & Panamax Sales, Support & Installation! 

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Google TV Announcement

C.I.S. home automation services in Charlotte, Boone, Davidson, Mooresville, Lake Norman

C.I.S.: Home Automation Services in Charlotte, Boone, Davidson, Mooresville, Lake Norman

Details from the I/O Google TV announcement.

Rumors, whispers, and snippets of info regarding Google TV have been floating around for a few months now.

But Thursday at Google I/O 2010, the company made the big announcement of Google TV, while Sony and Logitech followed suit with the first Google TV products. Dish Network also said it will offer a Google TV-powered DVR recording feature on set-top boxes.

Devices for Google TV will be sold at Best Buy.

Google TV
Roughly two out of three people watch TV. So it’s no surprise Google wants a piece of that pie. “Video should be consumed on the biggest, best, and brightest screen in your house, and that’s the TV,” says Google. 

So how do they plan to bring the web to the TV without compromising video or content? A search-driven experience centered around discovery and customization. Media aggregation helps as well, with Hulu logos being thrown around like candy, which might be the most intriguing aspect of the whole ordeal.

All of this is going to be based on Intel’s CE4100 Atom processor running a version of the Android OS, Chrome browser, and Flash 10.1. Devices will have a WiFi network connection, HDMI, and QWERTY input option along with standard remote controls.

by Stephen Hopkins


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Charlotte and Boone NC’s Source For Samsung, Panasonic & Sharp 3D HDTV Sales, Support & Installation!

Posted in 3d movies, Flat Panel TV's, Home Theater, i-Pad, Media Rooms, Multi Room A/V, Music and Movies, News, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D FAQs from Panasonic

CIS is Charlotte NC's Choice for 3d TV Answers!

CIS is Charlotte NC's Source for 3d TV Answers!

Panasonic clears up a few important technical details about 3D.

Several Electronic House contributors have visited the Panasonic Touch the Future Tour over the past couple of weeks, and we’ve each had a different take on what we saw.

Being the staff tech nerd, I latched onto a few important technical details pulled from the tour of Panasonic‘s 2010 model lineup. 

Why Active Shutter over Polarized glasses?

One bit of consumer confusion related to 3D comes from the glasses. When you go to see “Clash of the Titans” at a 3D theater or “Muppet Vision 3D” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you use cheap plastic glasses with polarized lenses. They’re light weight and cost less than $1 for each pair.

So why are major TV manufacturers gravitating towards heavier and more expensive active shutter glasses?

“Performance,” says Chad, the Panasonic rep on hand. “With an active shutter system, we can close off both eyes for a split second between each frame, which greatly reduces ghosting or crosstalk”.

Crosstalk is a phenomenon where an image intended for one eye is seen by the other, causing ghost images to appear. The Panasonic rep says active shutter glasses make it much easier to eliminate crosstalk compared to passive glasses where a polarized filter on the display has to switch directions for each eye.

Why plasma instead of LCD?

Another big point of consumer confusion rests in the battle between LCD and plasma. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, those differences are poorly communicated by manufacturers, especially manufacturers that produce both types. While Panasonic does produce both LCDs and plasmas, it draws a line in the sand at 42 inches; everything bigger is plasma and everything smaller is LCD. 

But why is plasma particularly conducive for 3D?

“It’s all about refresh rate”, says Chad. “With LCD technology, refresh rates are limited to 120Hz or 240Hz. With Plasma, we refresh at 600Hz and greatly improve motion perception, especially with 3D content”.

While Full HD 3D maintains full resolution for each eye, refresh rate is effectively cut in half. So a 120Hz LCD offers 60Hz to each eye; a 240Hz display offers 120Hz to each eye; and Panasonic’s 600Hz plasma effectively refreshes at 300Hz for each eye. 

What about 3D gaming on the big screen?

Panasonic has partnered with NVIDIA for the Touch the Future Tour. NVIDIA has been a player in 3D for some time with its 3D Vision add-on kit for 3D gaming.

“In the past, we’ve relied on 3D-capable monitors for 3D PC gaming through 3D Vision,” says Rambo Jacoby, marketing manager for NVIDIA. “Now, with our new 3DTV Play software, gamers can connect directly to 3D-capable TVs, without the need for the 3D Vision kit, using the display’s own 3D syncing and glasses.” 

I checked out the Avatar PC game in 3D on a 50-inch Panasonic V25 series plasma, and I was very impressed with the effect. That said, afterwards I saw an 11-year-old playing the game with no glasses enjoying it just as much. If kids are a major market focus for NVIDIA’s 3D gaming push, they may want to reflect on how to make the improvements clear to a less critical audience. 

The Panasonic Touch the Future Tour is a great event for mall-goers. If you haven’t visited yet, there are only a couple of dates and locations remaining.

This kind of event is exactly what manufacturers need to put their muscle behind to develop consumer interest in 3D and related technologies. Informed answers and hands on demos go a long way, and what I saw and heard was far more informative than any in-store demo I’ve seen to date.

by Stephen Hopkins


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Charlotte and Asheville NC’s Source For Your Custom Home Electronics and Automation Needs!

Posted in 3d movies, 3D TV, Blu-ray, Flat Panel TV's, Gaming Systems, Home Theater, Media Rooms, Music and Movies, News | 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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