Blogs

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After a few days of review and reflection, our panel joins Ed Wenck and Walt Zerbe to review their big takeaways from CES 2019. Guests include Peter Aylett (Archimedia), Rich Green (Rich Green Design), Michael Heiss (M. Heiss Consulting), John Penney (20th Century Fox), and Gordon van Zuiden (cyberManor
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What should one do to prepare for — and react to — the darkening economic clouds that may be on the horizon? That’s the question we posed to three guests: two integrators who made it through the Great Recession (Gordon van Zuiden and Ed Gilmore), and a financial adviser by the name of Peter Dunn (aka “Pete the Planner”). cybermanor.com/ gilmoressoundadvice.com/ petetheplanner
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From 5G to Blockchain to the latest in wellness tech and lighting, here's a roundup of the podcast's most interesting (and most listened-to) moments of 20
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Legendary hi-fi label KLH has seen a resurgence of late. David Kelley (who bought the brand) fills us in on the history of Henry Kloss's company, and what they're up to n
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Sam Woodward of Lutron (who's also CEDIA's Training Volunteer of the Year for 2018) is busily working on a whitepaper called "Considerations for Quality of Light in the Home." This preview includes info on Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) versus Constant Current Reduction (CCR) for LED dimming, and other issues including glare factors and individual preferences for lighting in the home
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Peter Aylett ( Archimedia ) ponders some trends for 2019, including: The end of the everything being "smart" – everything will be "artifiically intelligent," Insurance companies will use sensorization to mitigate losses, The HDMI Matrix switch dies, "Wellness" tech takes off, And quite a bit more. Peter, Walt, and Ed also reflect on 2018: "A year of evolution, not revolution," according to Ayle
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Julie Jacobson of   CE Pro   joins Ed and Walt, unwraps her crystal ball, and talks about the trends that are ahead for 2019. The trio chats wellness, lighting (including low-voltage solutions), "extreme" cord-cutting, 5G, labor shortages, and a lot -- a LOT -- more
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David Meyer (CEDIA's Director of Technical Content) and Michael Heiss ( M Heiss Consulting ) join Ed and Walt to discus the latest news re: HDMI (including the importance of eARC), 8K, HDR, and a lot m
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CEDIA's Senior Director of Education, Samantha Ventura, joins us to talk about one of her areas of expertise: developing your leadership skills. Whether you run a small firm, a big business, or a department within an organization, Ventura has advice for you — advice that's also becoming part of new CEDIA classes
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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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