Are you ready to cut the “Cable TV Bill” cord

Internet services like Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, Hulu, etc. allow users to stream content at little or no cost. Many of these services are available through the new Blu-Ray DVD players and internet ready TVs.Until recently we’ve had to get our TV content from Cable (Comcast, AT&T, DIRECTV, Dish Network). For the most part these services all provide the same content at essentially the same price. .

The major service providers still have an advantage for live sports and many shows are not available online or may have waiting periods before they are posted.

All this new content has appealed primarily to the younger generations, as we have had years of training on channel surfing and traditional access to media via our remote control. But some of us older folks are looking for ways to “cut the cord” and free ourselves from $100 or more monthly bills.

What is your opinion of the alternate service providers?

Our new product, TRUFIG eliminates “Wall Acne”

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.

“MOG Music” better than Pandora! -free trial offer

For those of you who embrace the concept of getting music from the cloud, MOG is the latest and greatest in the race for your monthly subscription.

First, let me give you a quick run-down of what I mean by cloud based music. Music broadcasting started with regular old AM and FM radio. It was not cloud based, but you tuned to a station and got music. XM and Sirius satellite radio were the next phase in the evolution of broadcast music, offering custom stations targeted to specific kinds of music genres and commercial free, all for a small monthly fee. Next, the popularity of high speed internet connections led to music streaming in from “the cloud.” This is music based on the internet, stored away from your physical location. Rhapsody was one of the pioneers offering unlimited internet music choices for a monthly fee. Then Pandora and a host of others came along. For a very low yearly fee, Pandora lets you tell the system what type of music you like and plays similar kinds. Both Pandora and Rhapsody have pretty low bit rates, meaning they are not very close to CD quality.

MOG has been around since 2005 (with a launch in 2007), but has recently added a bunch of features that make it very interesting. The CEO of MOG was the founder of Gracenote, the world’s largest music database, which sold to Sony for $260m. I believe MOG gives you the best of both Pandora and Rhapsody, and it has a much higher bit rate of 328kbs. It’s still not CD quality, but a lot closer. MOG costs $10 per month for the service. For this you get all of the features of Rhapsody with millions of songs you can access and store as playlists. You also get an even better variation of what Pandora offers.  In MOG you choose an artist, then you can decide to what degree you want to hear songs from that artist only, or a bigger variety of similar artists. They call this the “slider” and I just love the concept. Unlike Pandora, where you have no insight into upcoming songs, MOG gives you a full view of what it intends to play next, giving you the ability to directly skip to a song you might enjoy.

My favorite feature of MOG is all of the information you can get about the current artist playing.  Many times I will sit listening to music and go onto the internet to try and pull up lyrics of a song or the webpage of the artist to learn more about them. This is all built into MOG!!

MOG also has a very cool scheme of using social networking to share and learn about music.  You can see what your friends are playing and find out what songs they listen to the most, which will help you find new music.

Right now MOG is available on your computer, smart phone, or Roku, but MOG will soon be coming to Sonos, one of our favorite delivery devices for cloud based music!

You can try MOG free for 2 weeks to decide if you like. I’d suggest you check it out.

3D Camera is Headed to Space

Panasonic announces the AG-3DP1, a Full HD 3D Camcorder that is planned to fly to space on 28 June 2011. The AG-3DP1 is equipped with dual lenses and two full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD.


It can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in AVCHD PH mode, and offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes.

Aggies Win, Aggies Win… Aggies Win !!!

How sweet it sounds.

Congratulations Coach Blair, Schaefer, Kelly, Harris and the entire Lady Aggie Basketball Team on your phenomenal accomplishment of WINNING the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final in Indy!

April 5: Texas A&M players celebrate with the trophy after their 76-70 win over Notre Dame in the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball championship game in Indianapolis.

Congrats Lady Ags on advancing to the Final 4

Sydney Carter scored 22 points and Texas A&M finally beat Baylor, 58-46 on Tuesday night to send the Aggies to their first Final Four in school history.

Star Wars 3D confirmed for 2012

The entire Star Wars saga is being converted to 3D and will be in theaters sometime around Valentine’s Day 2012.


The first film to be featured in full 3D will be “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace“, followed by the five other episodes, each one year after the other.

You may also find interesting the “12 Scenes From Star Wars I Need to See in 3D” list from Big Shiny Robot here.

Is Best Buy’s Buy Back Program Worth It For TVs?

Best Buy logo.jpgBest Buy’s commercial featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber was one of the higher-rated commercials during the big game, but how should we rate the Buy Back Program it promotes?

Launched last month, the Buy Back Program allows consumers to receive gift cards in exchange for laptops, netbooks, tablets, post-paid mobile phones, and televisions returned to Best Buy. The catch is, you have to buy the Buy Back Program option when you purchase your new device. The upfront cost depends on the product, and the amount of money you get back depends on the length of time you owned the product and the condition it’s in. All returned merchandise must be in “good working condition and include all original parts.” Best Buy will purchase the product anytime within two years for laptops, netbooks, tablets, and mobile phones…and four years for televisions.

Sounds simple enough, right? Not really. Our friends over at have posted an excellent breakdown of cost and other caveats specifically related to TVs. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re considering opting in for the Buy Back Program during your next TV purchase.

By Adrienne Maxwell

AT&T to Charge Overage Fees for Internet Use

AT&T logo.jpgDo you love the streaming video and other Web services offered on your new HDTV or Blu-ray player? Well, if you get your high-speed Internet from AT&T, that love may soon cost you.

AT&T has announced that, beginning on May 2, the company will put a cap on its high-speed Internet service: 150 GB per month for DSL customers and 250 GB for U-Verse subscribers. For every 50 GB of data that you go over the cap, you will be charged $10. was the first to report this development on Sunday, and that article says that users who exceed the cap three times will have to pay the new fee. In other words, you get two over-the-cap freebies before the hand-slapping sets in.

While no serious Internet user likes the idea of a cap, at least AT&T’s new caps are fairly high. AT&T says the move will only affect about two percent of its customer base, who use a disproportionate 20 percent of the network bandwidth. The company claims that the average DSL subscriber uses about 18 GB per month.

That’s all well and good, but the important question is, how much are you using? Is your Netflix or Amazon VOD going to push you over the cap? While rates will vary depending on the quality of each service’s compression and such, I have seen estimates that place HD video streaming at between 1 and 2 GB per hour. You can do the math based on how much video you watch per month. AT&T says that they will provide customers with several updates as they move closer to the cap amount.

We all knew this day would come. More people are exploring Internet-based content delivery methods, and some are cutting back on traditional TV services in the process. Service providers will always find a way to make money, and I personally prefer a high cap to tiered plans…although I’m sure that’s the next step.

By Adrienne Maxwell

3D has great value in Japan

Hi-tech 3D security cameras are recording events at the damaged core in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant. The thermal 3D cameras also have the ability to detect the presence of radioactive clouds in the air.  Using these special cameras can also identify radioactive clouds, due to the spectrum that the 3D cameras can sense.fukushima_01-200px