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
Are Plasma TVs Still Alive?

LG and Panasonic are trying to revive plasma displays.

CRT TVs. Laserdisc. VHS. Beta. CED (bet you have to look that one up).

All of these once represented a state-of-the-art technology, but have since made their way to that big home theater in the sky.

Many consumers think plasma displays also are dead, or are on their way out. But plasmas shouldn’t be relegated to the book-ends of the display market just yet, at least not as far as LG Electronics and Panasonic are concerned.

LG is releasing eight new plasmas, including its INFINIA line. Trying to kick the stereotype that plasmas are thick and heavy, the INFINIA series includes a 60-inch model that’s only 2-inches thick and only 95 pounds. These models will feature:

-LG NetCast for access to Internet streaming media like YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, and more
-“Wireless Media Hub” design that allows components, such as Blu-ray players, to be connected to a hub that wirelessly transmits the signal up to 90 feet
-THX certification
-Light-sensing automatic calibration
Panasonic will release more than 20 models, including four 3D-capable TVs that range from 50-65 inches. The 3D sets, which won both “Best In Television” and “Best In Show” at CES 2010, will include one pair of 3D glasses. Other features include THX certification, NeoPDP picture enhancements, and Viera Cast network streaming.

Plasma won’t take back the middle of the flat-panel TV market, but it will look to continue to be the meat of many high-end display lines and an important part of the push for 3D in the home.

by Stephen Hopkins


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Home Theater, Audio and Video Services, Home Automation  in North Carolina and South Carolina

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Top 10 Blu-ray Releases for February 23

Some two-fer releases and some good titles you may have missed in the theater highlight this week’s new Blu-rays.

Director Steven Soderbergh has a pretty good track history. So does actor Matt Damon. So how is it that so many people missed out on The Informant! when it was in the theaters?

Whistleblower movies are always entertaining and informative, and this one seems like it would make for good viewing. Maybe not as gritty as The Insider, but a good look at big business nonetheless. It’s based on a true story.

Another lesser-known screener is about a big-mouthed football manager – football as in soccer – in the demanding English Premier League. It’s called The Damned United, a dark comedy about the brief tenure of the manager of reigning champ Leeds United. Should be a must-see for sports fans, and with the screenplay by Peter Morgan, who also wrote The Queen and Frost/Nixon, it should be engaging for most viewers.

If it’s horror that you’re after, take a gander at George Romero’s The Crazies. Yup, same tale as the movie you’ve seen advertised on TV a bunch lately, except this is the original from the master zombie movie director, with stark grit as only early 1970s horror can provide.

Also this week several two-fer Blu-ray offerings will hit shelves. You can double-dip on Chevy Chase (Funny Farm/Spies Like Us), Harrison Ford (Presumed Innocent/Frantic), Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality and sequel), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry/Magnum Force), De Niro/Crystal (Analyze This/Analyze That) and Grumpy and Grumpier Old Men.

For classical music fans, there are also a slew of classical and operatic releases this week for your listening pleasure.

 Here’s the full release schedule this week (listings and synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com):
Analyze This/Analyze That
Birtwistle: The Minotaur
The Box
Cavalli: Ercole Amante
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
The Crazies
The Damned United
Dead Snow
Dirty Harry/Magnum Force
Funny Farm/Spies Like Us
Google Me
Grumpy Old Men/Grumpier Old Men
Ichi the Killer
The Informant!
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Miss Congeniality/Miss Congeniality 2
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Neil Diamond: Hot August Night
Nurse Jackie: Season One
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
Presumed Innocent/Frantic
Rossini: Il Turco in Italia
Sorority Row
Schumann: Symphony No. 4 – Piano Concerto
Trailer Park Boys
The Universe: The Complete Season 4
Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera
Wagner: Götterdämmerung
Wagner: Siegfried
Wrong Side of Town

by Arlen Schweiger


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Home Theater, Audio and Video Services, Home Automation  in North Carolina and South Carolina

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10 Ways to Be a Good Customer

89_LeisureRmEntCabinet300How to work with your custom electronics professional to ensure that your project is successful.

Whether you’re planning on adding a home theater, want to create curb energy use or need electronic systems that’ll make your life more efficient and convenient, it pays to be a good customer.

According to custom electronics professionals (CE pros), there are certain things you can do to ensure that the project runs smoothly and that the technology his firm designs and installs for you satisfies all your needs. In speaking with CE pros throughout the years, I’ve come up with a list of 10 ways to guarantee high-tech success in your home.

1. Know your priorities. What’s your biggest hot button? Is it watching movies in high-def or having music play wherever you go? Maybe you’re more concerned with streamlining the control of the lights in your house. List your priorities from top to bottom, and get every member of your family involved in the process. This will help your CE pro decide where to focus the bulk of your budget.

2. Have a budget. Speaking of budget, it’s a good idea to at least have a ballpark figure in mind. If you know approximately how much you can spend, your installer will have an easier time picking out products that’ll meet both your priorities and your budget.

3. Share your story.  Believe it or not, your lifestyle, schedule and routines are of interest to your CE pro. The fact that you wake up at 7, work until 6 and go to bed at 11 may seem mundane to you, but information like this is critical to the workings of your systems. With it, your CE pro will be able to set up a schedule for the lights and thermostats to adjust automatically throughout the day.

4. Attend meetings. Particularly for projects where technology will be installed during the construction of a home, it’s common for the CE pro, architect, builder, interior designer and other subcontractors to meet weekly. It’s helpful if you also attend these meetings. You’ll be able to share your input and answer any questions they might have.

5. Maintain contact. It’s inevitable that you’ll run into a few hiccups during the project. Be sure that your CE pro is able to reach you to throughout the project so collectively you can decide how to proceed.

6. Be willing to compromise. Some of hiccups may require some form of compromise. For example, the perfect spot for viewing your built-in TV might have a heating duct in the way. Your CE pro, will likely suggest a different location. Hear him out and be willing to deviate from the original plan.

7. Stay the course. There’s nothing more difficult for a CE pro to deal with than a client who changes his or her mind continually during the course of a project. Asking for a different product, like a larger TV, can often jeopardize the entire project. In this case, your CE pro may need to modify the size of the cabinet, readjust the position of the speakers and maybe even redo the construction plans so that the room can accommodate a larger screen. All this will cost you time and money.

8. Do your homework – but not too much. It’s always a good idea to educate yourself before undertaking any project, but understand that your CE pro know which products work best together and which don’t. Even though you’ve read nothing but good reviews on a certain surround-sound receiver, for example, it may not be the right one for your type of A/V system. Leave product selection to your CE pro.

9. Expect follow-up. The more you live with your systems, the more you understand how you’d like the electronics to perform. For example, the 50 percent brightness setting you and your CE pro originally agreed on for the hallway lights may seem too dim after you’ve lived in your house for a month or two. Expect your systems to be tweaked a few times after the installation is complete.

10. Spread the word. If your CE pro does a good job, tell other people about it. Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. Who knows—if you connect your CE pro with a new customer, he just might give you a deal on your next project.
 by Lisa Montgomery


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Home Theater, Audio and Video Services, Home Automation  in North Carolina and South Carolina


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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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