Category Archives: Commercial

Anticipated Trends in Electronics for 2017

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), took the stage at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York to offer sales predictions the future of electronics.

1. The New Voice of Computing: Voice control will take over as the next computer interface.

2. Connections & Computations: The widening availability of broadband and Wi-Fi will lead to increased uniformity and adoption of smart-home technology, including increased autonomous living.

3. Transportation Transformation: There will be more vehicle technology such as driver assistance and self-driving cars.

4. AI’s Infusion into Our Lives & Business: Just as computers have influenced how we do our jobs today, artificial intelligence will play a similar role in the way we work, communicate and access information.

5. Digitizing the Consumer Experience: Both virtual reality and augmented reality will be the new forms of entertainment.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Now available from Samsung

While 4K has now been about over a year, Blu-ray DVD players have not been able to show movies in 4K quality. Consumers have been dependent on streaming to see 4K movies. But, now Samsung has produced a 4K ultra HD Blu-ray player for your added enjoyment. It reveals up to 64X Greater Color Expression than Conventional Blu-ray and Fast Action Moves Super Smooth Across the Screen with 60 frames per second.

Add this player to your 4K TV and watch your favorite 4K produced movies again and again.

2016 Consumer Electronic Show

The Consumer Electronics Show is over and the word around town is that it wasn’t a whole lot different from the 2015 show when it comes to AV electronics. Not surprising to us as we generally get wind of anything really HUGE hitting the market, at least in our industry.
Lew & I attended CES back in 2010, shortly after I joined the business. It was the year the super thin LEDs TVs were launched. Now that was exciting. An entire convention hall filled to the brim with thousands of flat screen TVs set up in every possible contortion by the big name manufacturers; Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Sony. Truthfully, it was overwhelming, but very cool to see.

It was also the year of 3D TV and yes there were quite a few people that looked rather green after trying out the new glasses. There was still some work to be done and perhaps still is to this day.

What is interesting is that some of the futuristic products back then are now making their “go to market” debut this year, and they are even more impressive, such as smart appliances. If you want a refrigerator that can tell you via an app what the inside of your refrigerator looks like, then it is here now. With an infrared camera inside, you see the contents via an app and then can stop by the store rather than call your kid to ask if you are out of milk.

Wearables are very big this year. From smart bracelets, to belts to ski vests, electronic manufacturers are counting on consumers expanding beyond the smart phone for information.

Robotic devices are also the rage. AI technology we once only saw in the movies is now becoming a consumer reality for security, information, cleaning, and even simply friendship, with limitations of course.

If you’ve never been to the Consumer Electronics Show and that inner geek has you curious, you won’t be disappointed. One…it’s in Vegas, Two…its dirt cheap, if not free and Three…you are more than welcomed by a hoard of manufacturer reps who want to sell you on their latest & greatest device that will…maybe…be available that year. Of course, I spent my time in 2011 learning about wall mounting brackets, cables, and other non-exciting but totally necessary products for an AV integrator. Yes…they do have pretty much everything at CES. Maybe, just maybe we’ll go to the 2017 show. It has been awhile and…it is in Vegas. Yippee!

Written by Bonnie Little

Ring Video Doorbell

Time Magazine said this is “One of the top 10 Gadgets of 2014” and we agree. The ring video doorbell replaces your regular doorbell. It is about 5” H and 2 ½ W which includes a mini camera & the doorbell unit is available in 4 different finishes to blend in with the exterior décor.

This doorbell is connected to your portable device, i.e. smart phone or tablet. When someone rings the doorbell, an alert is send to your device and then with the touch of an app, you get to see who is at your door. It works with both IOS & Android devices and even has a motion detection so if someone is near the device it will activate an alert before they even ring the doorbell. How cool is that?

While they do tout Easy Installation (no professional help required), we do want to recommend you have above basic networking knowledge and some handyman skills. In addition, while it can replace the old doorbell, some doorbells may be in locations that make them undesirable to remove so it could involve installing this at a new destination point & finding a creative way to remove or cover your existing doorbell.

Learn more at www.ring.com.

The NEW Apple TV

Apple TV 4 Features

Compared to Apple TV 3, the new model adds (or omits):
• Dolby Digital 7.1 (vs. 5.1)
• 802.11ac Wi-Fi
• HDMI 1.4
• HDMI CEC control
• No optical audio output (not good in our opinion)
• Improved tvOS interface and navigation tools
• Gaming
• Universal search across platforms including iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime
• 4K potential … maybe (HDMI 1.4, 802.11ac)
• A remote control with Bluetooth, enabling screen navigation via touch surface, Siri voice (dual mics) and gesture (accelerometer and gyroscope). Like the original, the new remote has an IR transmitter, as well as dedicated volume up/down buttons.

Most reviews by AV integrators that have gotten to play with the new Apple TV 4 have been positive. However, there are many questions about integration into existing sophisticated home systems, and usage with Android devices (is it even possible?).

The Apple TV 4 is expected to arrive at the end of October. Our recommendation: If you buy one & switch it out with the new Apple TV 4, keep the old device in case you have problems. You may need to put the original Apple TV back until you can get an AV specialist out to solve any compatibility problems.