Thrills, chills, cheers and tears -
Every four years the world gets to enjoy a tremendous spectacle, lots of pomp and circumstance, elaborate & innovate audio/video productions and fierce competition. And that’s just the US Presidential elections!
Even better, during these same years we get to watch the world’s best athletes compete in a variety of sporting competitions at the Summer Olympic Games. We’re glued to the coverage from London 2012. The Olympiad is the the final expression of years of preparation and it’s exciting. If you think about it, your AV system has a lot in common with an Olympic Athlete…
Precision Performance and Finely Tuned
The Olympic athletes, like your system, is focused on performance. They test, measure, refine, adjust and test some more to gain just the slightest improvement. This could mean shaving hundredths of seconds from a lap time or reducing jitter on an audiophile DAC. It takes several small improvements, the little details, to create a world class system. Here are 5 (like the 5 Olympic rings) that count:
Luxury, once sampled, becomes a necessity.
While we don’t know the author of this quote, there is no denying it’s truth.
Think about this… once you’ve driven a BMW M3 on some twisty back roads, that Mustang (that you were previously fine with) feels loose and shaky. It won’t be long before you’re the proud owner of a BMW. (No offense to Pony car owners… just sayin’)
This is human nature, once you’ve learned of something better out there, everything else is can be a little disappointing.
Maybe it’s unkind. Once your boss takes you to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the fare at Applebee’s next weekend is just plain.
This phenomenon is especially true in the world of home control. (AKA Home Automation)
You can easily state that you don’t need a control system for your home, and I might agree. You may not even want one.
However, I’ll tell you this: Owners of automated homes that have to move tell me they will never live without control again. Fact is, I hear this at least once a week. Need vs. want vs. necessity. You can wash dishes without that machine, but you probably won’t, right?
What is so useful about automation/control systems. How do people really use them?
1) Lighting Control - When my wife walks in the front door after dusk, the lights automatically come on in the mudroom, the foyer and the kitchen. She never enters a dark home. If something goes “bump” in the night, she pressed the screen on her iPhone and the whole house blazes alight, inside and out. Read the rest of this entry »
Taking this pill just once a month will make you flabby, lazy, dumber, cynical, an underachiever and absolutely joyless.
Best of all, this little “pill” only costs about $100 per month! Would you take it? Of course not!
What if I told you that magic little pill was your TV service? Hmmm…….
Pay TV Consumers are cutting the cord at a record pace. Here’s how to do it:
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News reports that 10% of Pay-TV households (That’s Cable, Satellite, TV from Phone Company) plan to cut the cord in 2011. You can check out his interesting article here.
The interesting thing is that they are not going back to the fish-bone aerial antenna on the roof. We are now getting our media via the Internet. We cut the cord back in November here at the AVIntegr8r world headquarters, and we have missed it very little.
What you need: Read the rest of this entry »
You love your music and movies, and have a great system on which to enjoy them. Most great electronics components are meticulously engineered to generate the best sound and images possible.
Tube Amps, Pre-Amps and Processors, Digital-Analog Converters, Phono Cartridges, CD Transports and Blu-Ray Players all strive to give you the best processing, decoding and reproduction.
Every signal of your chosen media is massaged, cleanly amplified, and delivered. These components work to improve what you see and hear.
The various wires in your audio-video system do not actually make the sound or the picture better. Their real job is ….to do nothing! Read the rest of this entry »
Digital music is here to stay (Just ask your favorite record label executive!) Conventional wisdom contends that media stored on hard drives, USB and servers is of lower quality than traditional music.
Many people are basing this on their iPod music quality, and that explains a lot.
There are many factors involved in accurately reproducing music, no matter what the form of your recording. Signal path, decoding, transport, distortion and many other details can affect your playback quality.
Remember: Every sound you hear is analog!
The only way you hear anything is if there are vibrations in the air. THAT is an analog action. Speakers move.
At the end of the signal’s journey from LP, CD, FLAC, DVD or anything else, that information is converted into a moving speaker element. Yes, it is important the quality of the signal that goes into your loudspeaker, and just like the IT world chants “GIGO” that is, Garbage In Garbage Out. Read the rest of this entry »