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
Onkyo Offers THX-Certified, 3D-Ready Receiver

C.I.S.: Charlotte NC's Choice For Home Theater Setup!The company’s new $599 TX-SR608 is a 7.2-channel THX-Select2 Plus certified model featuring HDMI 1.4.

Taking a cue from Pioneer’s recent announcement, Onkyo has just released the specifications of its 2010 entry-level A/V receiver line, all of which include support for HDMI v1.4 (which includes pass-through of 3D video). 

The flagship of the entry-level line and, if past models are an indication, likely to be one of the most popular AVRs on the market is Onkyo’s TSX-SR608 7.2 AVR.  Providing 100 watts per channel through an inverted Darlington output topology, along with Audyssey DSX, Dolby PLIIz, and THX Select2 certification, the SR608 offers several notable steps up over last year’s well received SR607. 

New video enhancements include an upgrade to Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processing, overlaid GUI for setup, and six HDMI inputs (including one front HDMI input). 

With an MSRP of $599, the TX-SR608 looks to offer a lot of bang for not a lot of bucks. Look for it on store shelves in April. 

Other models announced include the $299 TX-SR308 and $399 TX-SR508, 5.1 and 7.1 AVRs capable of decoding Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio, along with including Burr Brown DACs, overlaid GUI setup, and HDMI v1.4 video support. The SR308 and SR508 should be available this month. 
by Stephen Hopkins


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

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Top 10 Blu-ray Releases for March 9

A couple of Oscar nominees headline this week’s releases in high-def.

Did you watch the Academy Awards last weekend? Or maybe you held off because you hadn’t seen many of the nominated films and performances?

This week offers a good chance to catch up on a couple of heavily nominated movies as they make their way onto Blu-ray.

Look for Up in the Air and Precious, Based on the Novel “Push” on high-definition as they lead this week’s Blu-ray releases. Both were widely hailed and honored with multiple award nominations, including a victory in the supporting actress category for Precious star Mo’Nique. As for Up in the Air, George Clooney and Vera Farmiga both earned nods with their high-flying performances in Jason Reitman’s film.

If you’d rather rock your theater with some high-def sports action, there are also a couple of highlight videos that ought to do justice. One’s a recap of Super Bowl XLIV and the NFL playoffs, offering Saints fans a fun way to look back at their magical championship run; the other is a UFC: Best of 2009 video for all you fight fans out there.

And if you’re just looking for family fun, you can give Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Old Dogs or the animated Planet 51 a shot. We’re not saying they were Oscar-worthy, but they should be good for some chuckles and a couple of hours to keep the kids occupied.

Here’s a look at all of this week’s releases. Schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com:
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
Capitalism: A Love Story
Creatures of the Thaw
Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone
Glacier National Park
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
The Kids Are Alright
Last Shangri-La
Midnight Movie/Killer Movie
NFL Super Bowl XLIV Champions
Old Dogs
Planet 51
The Stoning of Soraya M.
UFC: Best of 2009
Up in the Air

by Arlen Schweiger

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

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The Conduit to Future-Proofing Your Home

Want that killer home system upgrade? Lay the groundwork for it now by installing conduit for your future cabling needs.

You might know that your house needs plenty of Ethernet cabling and speaker wire, but what about five years from now? We’ve already experienced the transition from component to HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface), so chances are a wiring upgrade is in your future.

To fish new cabling behind the walls of your finished house can be a real pain. A lot of cutting, drilling, and marring will occur, and for every hour your custom electronics (CE) pro spends snaking cabling around ducts, studs and other obstructions, your wallet takes a hit. 

You can minimize the time and effort it takes to pull in new wire by having your CE pro install plastic conduit behind the walls. Naturally, it’s better to do this while a home is being constructed.

Conduit is basically a hollow plastic tube through which wiring can be channeled. It installs inside the walls much like plumbing, and comes in various lengths and diameters to suit your needs.

“We’ll usually put in conduit that’s at least 3/4-inch in diameter, and go with something larger, like a 1-1/2-inch tube when we need to run a bundle of various different wires, like to a home theater,” says Jeff Cooper of Simply Sight & Sound in Menifee, Calif.

Make no mistake, conduit isn’t meant to hold every piece of wire that goes into your house. In fact, it may hold no wire at all. Its main purpose is to provide an open avenue for additional cabling once your house is finished. In a matter of a few minutes, instead of hours, your CE pro will be able to route fiber from the attic all the way down to the theater in the basement, for example.

How much conduit your home needs and where it should be installed depends a lot on the preferences of your pro. Cooper, for example, installs anywhere from 500 to 1,000 feet of conduit on most jobs, and relies on it as his main future proofing tool. “We’ll run conduit from a central equipment rack to all TV locations and from the satellite dish to the main distribution hub. We’ll even put it in rooms, like guest bedrooms and bonus rooms, where we think the homeowners might someday add a theater or a home office.” 

Mark Lynch of Quality Sound & Video in Fayetteville, N.C., takes a more minimalist approach. “We’ll typically put run conduit from the attic to the crawlspace and between equipment racks,” he says, “and that’s about it.” With Lynch’s plan, you’ll spend a couple hundred of dollars; Cooper’s will run closer to a couple of thousand.

Cooper and Lynch both agree, however, that running conduit from the house to outbuildings, swimming pools and other popular outdoor destinations is a great idea. Buried in the ground, the conduit protects wiring from damage and lets you wire up new equipment, like a weatherproof TV, rock speakers or an intercom at the front gate, without having to trench into the lawn to lay additional cabling.

Good Ideas
Pull strings: Lynch puts a few “pull strings” inside each piece of conduit that’s installed. It makes fishing new cabling though the conduit a snap. Just attach the wire to one end of the string and carefully tug on the other end of the string to bring the cabling though.

Color coded: Conduit from manufacturers including Carlon and Homepath Products are orange in color to make it easy to locate and discern from other pipes in the wall.

A real stud: The eXpath system from Homepath Products looks and installs like a wall stud, making it a nice addition to your home building plans.

by Lisa Montgomery


 Custom Installation Services, LLC – Audio/Video Sales, Service and Installation 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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