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Audio-Video Equipment: 4K VideoPosted on January 3, 2013 by Admin

Audio-Video Equipment: 4K Video With the unveiling of Sonys 84-inch ultra-high resolution television earlier this year, the advent of another new wave of audio-video equipment is about to begin hitting home theater systems 4K video. The format, which is being called Ultra-High Definition (UHD) and Quad-HD, has a pixel density four-times that of HDTV, or approximately 3840 x 2160 pixels (there is no standard yet for this new format), compared with 1920 x 1080 pixels for HD. From the standpoint of audio-video systems, except for the size, there is not much physical difference between HD and UHD equipment, but the new format could be a boon for audio-video installers, since homeowners with the need to have the latest and greatest audio-video equipment will want to begin installing these new systems soon. The real advantage of 4K video is that screens can be much larger and still provide the same or better quality than is possible from home theater systems today. In fact, a screen twice as wide and twice as tall would offer the exact same resolution that homeowners get today from 1080 HD. And in truth, the difference between 4K and 1080 is hard to discern unless the screen is at least 80-plus inches or the observer is sitting very close to the screen. Audio-video installers should expect to see a huge uptick in new and retrofit installations of large home theater screens in the future. Because 4K audio-video equipment is just being introduced to consumers, its two main drawbacks presently are cost and content. With a price tag of $25,000, the new Sony UHD TV will not be a fit for everyone. But as more manufacturers jump into the 4K market, you can expect this issue to quickly diminish in importance, leaving content as the remaining stumbling block. Presently the two main ways of delivering high-quality videoBlu-ray and streamlining mediaboth have limitations. Blu-ray discs do not have the capacity to hold the amount of data

needed for UHD video, although studios, Blue-ray makers, and audio-video equipment manufacturers are currently working together to find solutions. Streaming media is not limited by data transmission rate for 4K video, but by the fact that most home networks do not have the high-speed internet installations necessary to stream UHD video. Several companies are making up-scaling digitizers to convert 1080 Blu-ray to 4K, and the better ones do a great job. Also, all of AVocation Systems components are already fully 4K capable. This may entice some home theater enthusiasts to upgrade early in anticipation of more sources coming down the road. The first true 4K Blu-ray discs may be available as early as next summer, which will open the floodgates for new audio-video equipment installations as consumers rush to get a near-true digital movie theater experience in their homes. As the UHD format becomes mainstream in the next couple years, audio-video installers can expect an increase in requests for new 4K TVs, new DLP projectors, larger screens, faster home Internet networks, and up-scaling digitizers. Depending on the original installation, some homes may need to be re-cabled as well to take advantage of UHD video. Home media rooms will likely have to be completely redesigned to accommodate the new screen format. But whatever the timingtoday or six months from nowAVocation Systems already has the 4K components needed to complete your 4K audio-video equipment installation. To find out more about 4K video, and the capabilities of AVocation Systems components, visit us on our website at, and on our social media sites at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. [photo credit: duimdog via photopin cc]Posted in Audio Video Installers | Tagged audio-video equipment | Leave a comment

Audio-Video Installation: Time and Money-Saving Tips During InstallsPosted on December 27, 2012 by Admin

Audio-Video Installation Time and Money-Saving Tips In todays tight economy, you have to be good at estimating, planning, and executing to bring a job in on time and within budget if you expect to make money in audio-video installation. Thats sometimes easier said than done, however, as very often little mistakes here and there end up costing you big-time at the end of the job, with no chance to recover. While its almost impossible to eliminate every mistake, that should be your goal when you install audio-video systems, and planning is the key to making it happen. To help you think through some of the less obvious failure points in job execution, here are some tips you should seriously consider during the installation phase of the project. Have a project schedule prepared and stick to it Having a job plan in your head doesnt help anyone else in the crew understand the urgency of the installation. By thoughtfully laying out every detail, you create a plan of exactly how long the install should take, and so does everyone else. That way, if parts of the audio-video installation start to fall behind, particularly critical path jobs, you can reallocate resources to get caught up. Without a plan, youre at the mercy of everyone elses opinion as to how long the work should take. Dont underestimate the importance of safety Its easy to ignore safety on the job, but doing so can be very costly. When an injury occurs, the entire job shuts down while the injured crew member is tended to. If youre lucky, its a minor cut, and everyone can get back to work quickly. If the accident is serious, not only is the crew member out of commission (and maybe worse than that!), but you and members of the crew must take the injured employee to the hospital, losing hours of valuable audio-video installation time and driving up your workers compensation and business insurance costs. Working safely should be a condition of employment for your audio-video installers, not only for their safety, but for your bottom line as well. Use a cable schedule, and mark off items as they are installed The complete installation is much more likely to work the first time if you have confidence that all of the wiring has been installed and landed correctly. It also makes troubleshooting much easier if a problem is found during system testing. Make sure your team members mark up the drawings as-built immediately. Memories get bad by the end of the day and even worse by the end of the job, and solving a system problem with your audio-video installations can be a nightmare without good documentation. Maintain a staging area Make advance arrangements to keep all of your components, equipment, and tools in a secure area of the building, and make sure crew members return tools to the storage area as soon as theyre done using them. Having to search the entire work area for

a missing crimping tool or multi-meter wastes an inordinate amount of time that should be spent doing audio-video installation, and working out of the back of your van almost ensures that something important or critical will go missing at the exact time its needed. Account for all tools and equipment at the start and end of each day. Keep the owner at bay A curious homeowner or landlord can tie up crews for hours asking questions, shooting the breeze, or changing your plans without your knowledge. Its good if the owner wants to stay updated on progress, but arrange a time at lunch or after work hours to review the days progress and tomorrows plans. Make sure that your crew members and the homeowner know that nothing can be changed without your knowledge and approval, and a signed change order. Do it right the first time Its tempting to short-cut audio/video installation, especially if the job is behind schedule or over budget. But this strategy is rarely successful, usually costing you more in troubleshooting and repair labor than you saved on the original shortcut. Dont cut corners, and dont let your audio/video installers do it either. If you miss the mark, take good notes for the post-installation review, and learn from the mistakes. Dont take it out on the homeowner. Planning and organization are a big part of successful audio/video installations. The balance is people management and discipline. Crews that know what is expected of them will execute successfully. Crews that dont will founder until theyre set straight. How well you execute the installation will determine your longevity in the business. For more helpful tips on audio video installation from the pros, and the capabilities of AVocation Systems components, visit us on our website at, and on our social media sites at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. [photo credit: Daniel*1977 via photopin cc]Posted in Audio-Video Systems | Tagged Audio Video Installation | Leave a comment

HDMI Distribution: HDMI for Home and BusinessPosted on December 20, 2012 by Admin

HDMI Distribution HDMI distribution in homes and businesses varies primarily with the complexity of the install. As a rule, home audio-video networks tend to involve fewer components contained within a smaller space, and are therefore not as cumbersome or complicated to connect and get up and running properly. Commercial systems, on the other hand, may involve dozens of sources and output devices, switchers, and routers, and a variety of native formats, sometimes installed at great distances from each other. When the latter is true, video distribution can be very involved to install and quirky to operate. Special HDMI distribution schemes or additional equipment may be needed to span long distances or switch multiple devices using HDMI cabling. Signal loss in HDMI video distribution is a long-known and very real problem. Digital signals can degrade quickly in HDMI cables longer than 50 feet due to jitter and attenuation. Even in shorter runs, signal loss can occur if the cable is not rated for the distance by the manufact