Archive for July, 2012

Key Components of Home Theater Systems

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

home theaterHome theaters have been around for a while, but haven’t made it to every household just yet. Why? There could be many reasons, such as price, availability of space or some misconceptions about this technology. Down to Earth Communications is here to shed light on home theater systems and help you make an informed decision if you plan on purchasing one.

What is a home theater?

Essentially, a home theater is an arrangement of various audio and video equipment designed to replicate movie theater experience. Going to movies is fun, but why pay money if modern technology made it possible to enjoy theater-like experience in the comfort of your own home? The only minor inconvenience is that you’ll have to wait till a particular movie comes out in your preferred media format.

What does a home theater system consist of?

Video. Depending on your budget and available room space, you can opt either for a big-screen TV or a high-resolution projector. The size and picture quality matter most, so choose wisely! You can even pick a device with 3D capability to further enhance your movie experience.

Audio. As a Maryland surround sound installation service provider, we know that no home theater is complete without a surround sound system. The sound is just as important as the picture, because it often helps follow the storyline and add dimension. A surround sound system works by splitting the sound into multiple channels that carry it to corresponding speakers. Here are most common components of a surround sound system:

-          Front, center and rear speakers may come in different shapes and sizes. It is recommended to have a minimum of 4 speakers, but the more you install – the better the surround effect.

-          Subwoofers create deep bass sounds and are responsible for that rumble under your feet when a train passes by in the movie.

-          Audio/Video receiver is a central hub of the surround sound system with a job of receiving signals from various input devices, decoding, amplifying and directing the sound into right speakers.

Media devices. You will need to install devices that would read and play your movies depending on their format. We are talking about Blu-Ray players, DVD players, VHS players, gaming consoles and cable/DVR boxes. The good news is that you don’t need to have one of each (what a clutter that would be)! Most Blu-Ray players also play DVDs, some gaming consoles play both formats, and many smart TVs come with built-in Netflix app or could be easily connected to stream media from your laptop.

You can buy a home theater that has already been put together, or you can build your own by combining components from different manufacturers. If you go with the second option, make sure all the parts are compatible with each other.

As a Maryland home theater installation company, we know that any installation project can be stressful and take a lot of your valuable time. Moreover, you risk ending up with a mess of wires and unsecure connections. If you decide to employ a professional, let us know and we’ll help you design a perfect home theater layout and will perform a fast and clean installation.

Plasma, LCD and LED TVs: What’s the Difference?

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

different kinds of tvsThankfully, Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs are no longer our only option. Moreover, you can’t find those dinosaurs on the store shelves anymore, because they have been replaced by slick modern flat screen models. No doubt this is great news, but now we have all these new HDTV technologies to choose from – things got complicated!

 

Down to Earth Communications is here to show you the key differences between the leading TV technologies on today’s market. Let’s start with the inner workings.

LCD TVs

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology employs liquid crystals that are illuminated by lamps (namely Cold Cathode Florescent Lamps), and as the white light passes through, the image is created.

Plasma TVs

Plasma technology is very intricate and involves gases (neon and xenon) that get excited by electrical current which causes them to emit UV light, The UV light strikes red, green and blue phosphors also located in the screen making them produce visible light.

LED TVs

Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology basically improves on LCD technology by introducing a new light source: light emitting diodes instead of lamps.

So we have these 3 different technologies competing for your attention and spot in your house. As a Maryland TV installation professional, we can tell you for sure there’s no difference between these TVs when it comes to installation. However, there are major differences in user experience and other areas:

Contrast ratio and Brightness

Plasma will give you the best contrast ratio; however, plasma TV might be more suitable for darker rooms, because it doesn’t stand out in bright light as much as LED and LCD. Plus, Plasma is known for its supreme rendering of black colors, which is perfect for watching in the darkness or with deemed lights.

Energy consumption

Due to its reliance on electricity for illuminating every screen pixel individually, plasma TVs consume more power. LED and LCD panels would be a better choice if energy efficiency is an important factor for you. But plasma technology keeps evolving, and it won’t take long for it to catch up to the competitors in this department.

Viewing angle

Plasma TV is a winner in this category because it allows for great picture quality and color rendering regardless of the viewing angle. So when you have a lot of people watching TV from different spots, everyone can enjoy the beautiful picture. LCD has the narrowest viewing angle of the three.

Color and detail

When it comes to the colors, LED and plasma TVs are in the lead, but not by far. All modern TVs are well capable of producing life-like images, and if you are not an expert, it’s very difficult to spot the difference. However, when it comes to detail and motion flow, nothing can beat plasma just yet. So if you like watching sports and playing video games, plasma TV will provide the most enjoyable experience with minimal motion blur.

Lifespan

LCD technology is the oldest of the three and has proven quite durable. Because LED TVs populated the market only a couple years ago, their lifespan hasn’t been determined yet. As for the plasma TVs, they seem to die faster than their counterparts, but manufacturers keep working on extending their lifespan.

As you can see, there’s no single winning TV technology that everyone should buy. If you are really picky about the picture quality, can notice the slightest imperfections, and enjoy watching sports, then plasma TV is the way to go. However, if you are concerned about lifespan and energy consumption, and don’t care much about tiny flaws, then LED or LCD would be a better choice. Be sure to research different brands and read consumer reviews before making a purchase. And if you need TV wall mount installation in Maryland, don’t forget to contact us and you’ll be enjoying your new TV in no time.