Blogs

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Amanda Wildman of  TruMedia  (who's also the  2018 CEDIA Volunteer of the Year ) has had some pretty great results using Facebook videos as marketing tools -- while spending next to nothing in the process. We talk to Wildman about her social media presence, giving women a voice in the tech industry, being a CEDIA Outreach Instructor, and her specific business model. (BTW -- She's also pretty funny.)
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CEDIA’s Senior Director of Education Samantha Ventura shares her thoughts on the importance of soft skills. Have some of your own? Let us know in the comments.  As an educator, I am often asked to look at someone’s resume and that usually comes with a follow-up question: “How can I make it look better?”   While the question is fairly basic, the answer is much more complex. I usually start my response with what areas to highlight, how to approach the education vs. work experience sections, and end with some ideas about what they could add and what should be deleted. They rarely listen. Probably, if I’m being honest, they just want me to write it for ...
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Do we need 8K video?

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**UPDATE August 30th** For those who have read this before, more readers were interested in the 8K info below than they were in the HDMI 2.1 CTS announcement, so I simply changed the title.   On August 1 HDMI announced the release of the HDMI 2.1 compliance test specification (CTS). They did so with zero fanfare —  no press release, just a short few lines on hdmi.org . So why does this announcement matter? Well, HDMI devices need to be compliant before they're released to market, and that can't happen if there isn't a compliance spec against which to test them. That's what's out now. It's the gateway to seeing HDMI 2.1 enabled products released. I tweeted ...
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Dolby Atmos over HDMI ARC

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I was recently discussing with Australian integrator  @Hemant Daya ​ the use of HDMI ARC to deliver Dolby® Atmos sound from the Netflix app in a TV back to an AVR. But ARC doesn't support Atmos, right? Well, not until the next generation eARC , that is. So why then does it appear to work (sometimes)? The answer is a little complex, and I felt well worth sharing... Firstly, a little background. HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) is based on the IEC 60958-1 specification, which is essentially the S/PDIF audio spec. There's two types of ARC in HDMI; Single Mode and Common Mode, but unfortunately we don't get informed as to which type any given product supports.  ...
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4K/60 HDR over HDBaseT

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In my last blog we looked into the possible trip wires of 4K/60 4:4:4 HDR . Now the rabbit hole is a little deeper with HDBaseT, with its native bandwidth equivalent to 10Gbps in HDMI. To support formats requiring up to 18Gbps in HDMI, HDBaseT introduces compression to reduce the data load. That can actually be a good thing, as long as you know what you're dealing with and can design systems accordingly. Read on for the technical low-down... Recapping the 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 HDR dilemma, it's currently a matter of pick any three of the four featured elements: yes we can get 4K/60 with HDR but only if chroma is dropped to 4:2:2 or 4:2:0. Or we can have 4:4:4 ...
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Last year I wrote a blog  about H DR and implications of delivery through HDMI. But then I just recently received a great message from Simon Fulstow of Sona Projects in the UK, which prompted the need for further clarification. He asks; “ I wonder if you could guide me to a resource (or resources) where I could really clarify the various video formats and data rates specifically as applicable to HDR and Dolby Vision.  I understand the concept of resolution, refresh rate, colour depth and chroma sampling but am lost how this applies with HDR added in and how to apply this to video distribution products ... which claim to support video formats and resolutions ...
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Looking back on an excellent (now historical)  article from 2010 reminds us how network integrators in the late 80s were pulling Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) grade optical cable to “future-proof” installations against the predicted demise of copper. Go figure! This precursor to OM1 used a wide bandwidth 1300nm LED-based light source, but it turned out that it was inadequate for next-generation Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) which emerged in the 90s. OM1 was the same size as the previous FDDI cable with a 62.5μm core and 125μm cladding (designated as 62.5/125), but was optimized for the new, superior light source at 850nm wavelength. OM2 went to a smaller ...
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"8-bit HDR" Video

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I’ve written about High Dynamic Range (HDR) before, but I couldn’t help myself as I’ve just seen another article circulating which suggests “8-bit HDR” is a thing. It’s not. It’s a contradiction. But if it does exist out there in content land, it got me thinking if this is the reason why some people have seen HDR and been underwhelmed? Have you experienced that? If so, it might have been 8-bit video, in which case it wasn't really HDR at all. So why can 8-bit and HDR not coexist? HDR is largely based on the work of Peter Barten in the Netherlands in the late 90’s. He found that human visual perception was capable of around 10,000:1 contrast in any given ...
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Selecting a TV

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Hi all! I don’t usually spec TVs as we won’t make great margin on them and they change quickly. (And most of the time we are install projectors) I have a project with a media room and our client is asking for recommendations for TV’s. I tire to take the approach of educating my clients on a purchase but in this case, I feel as though I have had my head in the sand in regard to TV’s. Does anyone have words of wisdom or good resources for staying up to date on TV’s?  Thanks!
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AV-over-IP has been a hot topic this year, and will only continue to grow next year. The balance between video performance, latency and network speed have converged enough to make it truly compelling. Oh, and did I mention cost? The challenge we still have is that all solutions are proprietary. Some brands even have multiple proprietary solutions in their product mix which may not be compatible with each other. So unlike HDMI, which is a standard whereby products and brands can intermix and work (most of the time), AV-over-IP requires choosing a proprietary solution, which as a system can then connect through a home network. SMPTE (The Society of Motion ...
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ESPA Still Going Strong

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​As we near the end of the year, I am happy to say ESPA continues to grow and bring qualified entry-level technicians into the workforce. Exams are up about 40% from 2016, and several new schools are preparing to offer the certification within their electronics and/or IT programs. A couple of new partners are building completely new courses focused on electronic systems integration. When this happens they usually use a combination of ESPA basics and CEDIA books, as well as additional content related to commercial systems. The most effective way to bring a new school on board through direct engagement by you.....the integrator!  If you know of a career center ...
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I was recently asked a VERY good question about HDMI - why didn't the Ethernet Channel in HDMI ever seem to be made available for use? HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) was introduced over a decade ago (yeah, already!) with v1.3 in 2006. It supports half-duplex 100Base-T, which would be fine even now for most Internet applications — general surfing, streaming, comms, etc. The HDMI spec only makes options available but it’s up to manufacturers to adopt such features and deliver them to us. For some reason HEC simply never took off.   The other frustrating component of this is that HEC also provides the platform for the better of two Audio Return Channel (ARC) ...
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HDMI 2.1 Learning Curve

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HDMI 2.1 is almost upon us. It’s the most technically challenging spec release since the original HDMI 1.0, 15 years ago. Some headline features include video up to 10K 120fps, enhanced ARC for immersive audio, variable refresh rate game mode, and perhaps the most eyebrow raising — a massive 48Gbps data rate. And that’s without compression (which is also coming)! They’re even moving away from 3-channel TMDS to make all this possible, yet retain backwards compatibility. Sounds like Weird Science. But does it really matter yet, you might ask? Is 10K relevant? What is 10K anyway? Obviously something more than 8K, but do we even need to go there yet? Okay ...
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Gates

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Hi All, I have a client with a front gate that no longer works he would like us to repair or replace. I have not done anything with gates before. If we where to replace it do you have any recommendations on manufacturer's? Is there and thing cool you have done with a gate or words of wisdom? Just looking to get my feet wet.  Thanks!
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4K 60 4:4:4 HDR

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4K resolution. 60 frames per second. 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. This trio has been used in combination for some time as a moniker to signify 18Gbps HDMI support. Simply stating ‘18G’ might have been simpler, but hey that’s another story… The complication comes when HDR is added. From a menu where 4K is the main dish, and 60fps, 4:4:4 and HDR are the three side options, we can only choose two. The third comes at extra cost of which we can’t yet afford. That’ll come with HDMI 2.1. Why is it so? 4K60 4:4:4 runs at 17.82Gbps, but only with the default 8-bit BT.709 color. That’s the same color gamut as 720p and 1080i/p. The whole point of HDR is to ...
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In 1973, Robert Metcalfe from New York devised a system of joining multiple endpoint devices on a network, and drew it out as a memo (pictured above). The nowhere-in-particular field between the controller and the endpoints he referred to as " The Ether ". The resulting network was then called the Ethernet . Metcalfe further refined the concept and drafted a paper, presenting it to the National Computer Conference in June 1976. This original concept was based on a 3Mbps network over coaxial cable (how far we've come!). He's since received multiple awards for his incredible work, including the Marconi Prize, the IEEE Medal of Honor, a Fellow Award from the ...
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Referrals. Networking. Those words are big in the business of technology integration – for a lot of firms, they’re the best marketing tools they have. For a growing number of integrators, there’s a preferred method for reaching architects, designers, and builders and keeping that contact list robust and engaged: become a CEDIA Outreach Instructor. “COIs” are trained to teach a variety of CEDIA-specific courses to those in the building trades, courses that focus on everything from security solutions to home theater installations. They’re anecdotal, solution-based courses – not “how-to” sessions but a window into the value that tech will provide to any project. ...
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INDIANAPOLIS (April 27, 2017) - CEDIA has announced that the 2017 CEDIA Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market survey is open. The annual survey, which takes less than twenty minutes to complete, reports on vital market trends including: the estimated number of companies installing industry products, the size of the industry workforce, the total economic value of the industry, and much more. "This research provides an important strategic snapshot of where the industry currently sits and where it is going, providing participants with the insights they need to move their business forward," said Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO. Dave Pedigo, VP of ...
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This episode features two new CEDIA® staffers, David Meyer and Walt Zerbe. Meyer's a video expert and Zerbe has quite the audio knowledge, so CEDIA's Dave Pedigo and Ed Wenck picked the gents' brains on recent sound and vision advances in home theater. OLED, QLED, HDR, name it -- the roundtable tackles a bunch of topics in this freewheeling discussion
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What do we want? Qualified people! When do we need them? Now! That chant has been heard non-stop for a few years now, and ESPA is out there doing what we can to help. More certifications than ever, more schools than ever. Four new training partners in the first quarter of 2017. And a few of our newer partners really stand out, because they are either including a solid foundation in networking in their training ,or adding  electronic systems integration content to their existing IT program. The perfect combination of skills. The perfect new hire! We are now building in this idea by rolling out a concerted effort to get this message to IT students, at both the ...
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