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Active Shutter vs Polorized 3D glasses?

Active Shutter Glasses:

This technology has been adopted by most consumer electronics firms like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, etc. With this technology, an HDTV will display one image to your left eye and one image to your right eye. Since the effective frame rate is halved, these HDTVs need to have double the refresh rate of HDTVs (60 Hz). This is why you will find that all 3D HDTVs have a minimum frame rate of 120 Hz (most have a frame rate around 240 Hz or even 480 Hz). You will need a pair of active shutter glasses if you buy a 3D-capable HDTV in 2010 and onwards.

Passive (or Polarized) Glasses:

The display shows two overlapping images and the glasses have polarized lenses. Each lens is polarized so that it can see only one of the two overlapping images.

The only drawback is that viewers will need to sit directly in front of the display to get the full 3D effect. If the viewer is sitting on the side, the 3D effects will be less pronounced.

TV’s for a “Super” Super Bowl Party

Panasonic 152 inch TV

For the most immersive Super Bowl / Home Theater experience, a front projection system (separate video projector and large screen) remains the ultimate video display technology, especially for private Home Theaters where you can control the lighting environment. But, what about more casual spaces, such as your Family or Great Room that doubles as a Media Room where you want to watch the TV in a brighter environment? It is in these situations that a large flat panel TV is a great choice, and maybe the fairly standard 65″ size isn’t cutting it. Well, we have some solutions for you…

To kill the suspense, I’ll tell you right now the largest flat panel TV on the market is the 152″ plasma TV offered by Panasonic (which is mighty huge!). Here is the rundown on large flat panel TV options available today.

First, the incredible Panasonic TH-152UX1 plasma TV. This 152″ diagonal screen size TV weighs nearly 1300 pounds and has the surface area of about nine 50″ flat panel TV’s (hint, you will want to brace your walls to handle the weight). It boasts more than 4 times the pixels of conventional high-definition displays with its 4096 x 2160 resolution. It is 3D capable and has a slightly wider aspect ratio of 17:9 which complies with the DCI standard for digital cinema. The picture height is nearly 6′. A TV this large doesn’t come cheap, it is $499,995.

Largest TVThe previous screen size champ until the 152″ came along is the 103″ plasmas available from Panasonic. It has a slightly larger picture than four 50″ displays. Like the 152″ TV above, you can get 3D at this screen size, and trust us, 3D looks much better on larger screens. 3D is meant to be viewed on larger screen sizes…the 3D effect really loses its punch when viewed on smaller TV sizes unless you sit very close to the TV. Panasonic also manufactures an 85″ plasma TV, also available in a 3D version. To give some perspective, this TV is roughly the same size as four 42-inch displays. This TV weighs around 260 pounds and is about 3.9″ thick. Like most TVs these days, this one is made with glass that minimizes glare on the screen surface. Prices range from approximately $25K to nearly $40K for the top-end 3D ready model. Like all Panasonic plasma TV’s, the picture is excellent.

In September of 2011, Sharp released their Largest flat panel TV yet at 80″. This TV has surpassed its recent predecessor, which was a 70″ TV. The Sharp flat panel 80″ TV features LED backlighting and has built in WiFi. This allows users to access Netflix through the TV.

Mitsubishi tops out at 92″. Smaller versions are available in 73″ and 82″ screens, and all are 3D ready. The only “catch” with the Mitsubishi’s is that they are rear-projection technology (think of the “big screens” that existed before the plasma TV boom). They are deeper (18″ – 25″ deep) and the picture is great. They are cost-effective for a large picture, though.

There’s still have time to order and install your BIG TV choice by the Super Bowl Sunday. Call Brett our HDTV expert to discuss the perfect solution for your room @ 979.268.6010

I love my ipad, but not as a remote control

Just about anyone who has touched an iPad loves it, and many of us at Audio Video and most of our clients have and love them. On a separate note, many of you know our reputation for making audio video systems that are super easy to use. Since the iPad is so multi-talented, why the title of this blog post? Here is why :

  1. Too big – the iPad is just the right size for a tablet but too unwieldy to be a practical remote control. If you are a power user, maybe you need all of this screen real estate to cover every single DVR button. For me, unnecessary.
  2. I need hard buttons – I hate to have to look down at a screen to find a volume button or the down arrow.  It is just far too slow. I surf my DVR by braille. I know exactly where all of the common buttons are so I can quickly navigate through my 25 episodes of “Pawn Stars”.
  3. It’s never there! – Too often the iPad gets absconded by my visiting nieces and nephews. It seems that whenever I have an urgent need to watch “The Real Housewives of of………” my iPad is missing, then to be found with no battery life.
  4. Mute! – Every time that annoyingly loud commercial comes on and I am unable to turn the volume down or mute (because I am buried in e-mails and don’t have my control app open) I scream. The iPad is wonderfully robust but sometimes you just need an instantly available mute button to save your sanity.
  5. Longevity – I don’t know about you, but I drop remotes. Remote controls take an enormous amount of abuse in my household. My iPad has had its fair share of spills which, knock on wood, have not affected it. I can’t imagine my luck will continue.

All of the above points assume that you are using a centralized control app/control system such as AMX, Control4, Elan, amongst others. If you aren’t using such a centalized app, the situation gets worse as you will have to bounce between different apps to control your DVR, your TV, your surround sound system, etc. Without a control system app, the iPad is just too inconvenient to consider to be a viable main remote control.

So if you are planning on going ‘iPad only’ for your main home theater /media room remote control or home automation system I suggest you look at some of the hand-held remote offerings by the guys at Control 4, AMX or URC. There is something to be said for a purpose-built device that is uniquely designed for a specific task.


Are you Listening…your Room is talking

What most people don’t know is that over 50% of your sound quality has to do with the room it’s being played in.  The goal is for the listener to hear the speaker, without a lot of echoes and reflections on top of it. You can take a phenomenal audio system, put it in a room with poor acoustics and the audio will suffer.
For optimal acoustics we need to have a balance of absorption and deflection in the room, managing decay time.  Decay time is the amount of time the sound stays in the air, or persistence of sound once the original sound has been removed. So, if you were to loudly clap your hands together and listen to the length of time you can hear the sound, that’s decay time.  Minimizing this helps the sound stay natural.

Absorption can be influenced with home decor such as carpeting, drapes and soft furniture. Too much absorption will make a room sound eerie or dead, but not enough and your audio will be echo-e and unintelligible.  Deflection sprays sound around in many directions, redistributing the sound around in a way that keeps the sound alive and energetic. Combined with absorption, deflection makes a space sound natural and comfortable.

Room acoustics are vital for optimal performance.  Audio Video can work with your designer to offer tips on best acoustical practices or, if you want to go all out and get a full acoustical treatment (which is what we recommend for rooms where performance is the 1st priority) we can make your favorite room sound amazing.

See your TV, Now you don’t

Not all of our clients want electronics to distract from their home decor.  In my opinion, it makes a huge difference to have the option to hide your TV with just the touch of a button.  Fortunately there are some extremely cool options for making your TV vanish.

Motorized Lift at Foot of Bed

Installing a motorized lift or mount is one.  This gives your TV the ability to move.  It can pivot, tilt pan and disappear entirely into the ceiling, wall or cabinetry.  We can work with your builder, interior designer or cabinet maker to set this up pretty much anywhere;  The cabinet at the foot of your bed,  for example, or we can set the TV up to come out of the wall or ceiling.  Even your outside TV can ascend from somewhere near the pool, hot tub or BBQ.  Anywhere you want, we can make it happen

Motorized Lift at Foor of Bed

Fall HD Living Magazine

Fall HD Living Magazine

HD Living Fall 2011

10 The Art of Listening – From Tin Ear to Golden Ear By David Berman
“Whether it is watching a TV show or a movie, or listening to music, the sound will determine the overall experience”

Of course, enjoy the articles on jewelry (p34), travel (p40), hot cars (p64), cool wines (70) and music (p76). Click to view the online HD Living fall issue!

World’s Largest Outdoor TV

World’s Largest Outdoor TV, just what you need in the Backyard. An absolutely amazing outdoor television that literally unfolds out of the ground. The 201″ diagonal TV is designed by Porsche Design Studio and is made by C SEED Entertainment Systems in Austria.

Weighing in at 5 tons, the TV and elevator lift mechanism represents a new frontier in television size and engineering. We expect that our wildly successful clientele will begin to pony up to be the first kids on the block to own this design masterpiece. this is the ticket. Having such a large TV appear out of seemingly nowhere and unfold in front of your eyes is the ultimate in “WOW” factor!

The C SEED TV is able to rise out of the ground to various heights (up to 15′ to top of screen) and rotate up to 135 degrees to the right/left (270 degrees total). The entire rise and unfold process takes only 40 seconds. The TV is bright enough for daylight use, and still produces a bright picture even with direct sunshine beaming on it. There are 725,760 LED pixels that produce the picture, and they are small enough (only .26″) that they shouldn’t be noticeable when viewing from 20′ away or more. The TV also allows a wide viewing angle, great for large parties.

C SEED Unfolding TV features:

  • wind and temperature sensors prevent adverse weather from damaging the TV (self-protecting)
  • built-in laser sensors (yes, lasers!) will not deploy TV if someone is too close to the TV’s ground opening
  • 3600 watt built-in audio system includes three subwoofers and features a carbon-fiber housing
  • multi-source media server is included that connects to the screen with a fiberoptic cable
  • remote control features fingerprint security lockout to prevent unauthorized access

worlds largest outdoor television

Says Roland Heiler, CEO of Porsche Design Studio: “Our goal was to develop a design concept that turned the unfolding process into a special effect. We wanted to make sure that the C SEED 201 conveyed a sophisticated aesthetic in every phase of its movement. It starts as an obelisk rising from the ground, then opens up with a butterfly-like motion. The realization of this idea was a true challenge for the engineers.”

Architects New BFF

TRUFIG flush mount HVAC registersFollowers of this blog and our website know that we are big fans of  interior design-friendly products. If you haven’t seen TRUFIG’s flush-mount products yet, visit for pictures and installation videos. With TRUFIG, Audio Video can make common household fixtures like electrical outlets, lighting controls, dimmers and home automation touch screens almost disappear.

Unlike one-off attempts to hide these devices that clutter every wall, TRUFIG gives us an engineered flush-mount solution that is repeatable and adaptable to nearly any well executed interior design, be it traditional or contemporary. They even have solutions for solid surfaces like granite and marble. Now TRUFIG has turned their attention to one of the most unsightly eyesores to clutter a beautiful wall…HVAC registers!
Flush mount HVAC by TRUIG at DSI Ent Systems
TRUFIG was conceived by the founders of Sonance, an industry leader in interior design-friendly products that help integrate technology into homes in an aesthetically pleasing way. Sonance was one of the first companies to introduce in-wall and in-ceiling speakers many years ago and continues to innovate.  With that  in mind, the visionaries founded TRUFIG to apply the same beautifying treatment to common wall accessories that not only “de-uglifies” wall accessories, they actually enhance the interior décor.

The new TRUFIG HVAC registers install completely flush with the wall or ceiling. The TRUFIG aesthetic is superior to conventional HVAC registers; once you see any TRUFIG flush-mounted accessory, you will wonder why nobody thought of this before.

Currently, there are 4 different HVAC register sizes available: 8″ x 4″, 10″ x 6″, 14″ x 8″, and 12″ x 12″. There are about 27 different ‘standard’ sizes of HVAC air supplies in use today, and even more sizes than this for return air, so it will be a while HVAC flush mount kits by TRUFIGbefore all sizes have TRUFIG kits available. If you are building a new home, though, just be sure your architect and HVAC technician designs around one of the above sizes. Optionally, TRUFIG can design a custom flush-mount kit for a different size (not only for HVAC but for almost any wall-mounted accessory). If you are interested in a custom TRUFIG product, please call Audio Video at 979-268-6010.


Surround Sound Basics

The most common type of surround sound is the 5.1 system.  A 5.1 surround system has five discrete audio channels: Left, Right, Center, Left Surround, Right Surround and a Subwoofer.

The center speaker is for the dialogue of the film, and the front speakers produce the action noises and create the effect of sounds moving from the side to side.  Then the surround speakers (behind you) add depth to the sound.  They are generally a little quieter and they allow you to hear the things going past you.  To really create the best overall sound you also need a sub-woofer; this increases & intensifies the bass without causing peaks or dips.

That’s part of the technical reason why surround systems sound great. If you enjoy playing music and watching movies that sound amazing, do yourself a favor and contact us about setting yours up for you.

Sonance Sub/Sat

Incredible Concert Sound at Home

A beautifully landscaped yard is a relaxing space to be, and is great space for entertaining. Having your favorite music playing while entertaining outdoors is great for the ambiance.

Outdoor speaker technology has advanced a lot in the past few years; the latest models sound amazing. Speakers that look like rock or even hidden inside specialized planters are nothing new, but the latest in high-performance outdoor speakers look more like Malibu landscape lights.

Sonance Satellite Speaker

Legendary speaker manufacturer Sonance now makes speakers in this new form factor, and they sound absolutely stunning. Instead of using larger speakers placed in just a few locations around the landscaping, Sonance is advocating placing this new style of speaker in multiple ‘satellite’ locations and they are easily camouflaged with the landscaping. Depending on the models chosen, you get a complete outdoor speaker system that includes 6 or 8 of these satellite speakers and a watertight sub-woofer that is buried within the landscaping (the bass sound comes through a ‘mushroom’ style vent just above ground level). The satellite speakers come in camouflage colors brown, green, black and beige. The weatherproof speakers can be mounted in trees, hidden in ground-cover, or mounted under eaves.


  • smaller satellite speakers are easier to hide
  • multiple smaller speakers give more even sound coverage over a much wider area
  • buried sub-woofer provides deeper bass than larger conventional outdoor speakers
  • easy to maintain consistent volume level throughout a large area
  • lower overall volume level (due to evenly spaced and carefully aimed speakers) minimizes noise disturbance to neighbors