29/02/12 23:21 Filed in: Blog | Audio/Video
Just when the world thought that it couldn’t get any better than HDTV, there is a new technology that is about to change the way humanity experiences home entertainment. Introducing 4k -- the current digital cinema format that offers four times the image quality of HDTV. Soon you, your family and friends will experience the power of the latest digital cinema quality entertainment in the comfort of your own home.
A Short History of 4K
In 1999, digital cinema was thrust into the market with the help of George Lucas. His goal was to make the movie going experience more fascinating and enjoyable. Lucas worked with Sony and Panavision on Star Wars Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in an effort to release the world’s first movie utilizing a 1080p/24-frame-per-second digital camera. While the technology was far from perfect at the time, moviegoers gave the film rave reviews.
In 2002, there arose an association of movie studios who developed the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI), LLC to assure the future of digital technologies and bring their costs down tremendously. This led to the release of the 2K format, which requires a 2048-horizontal x 1080-vertical pixel grid. This is slightly larger than the HDTV standard at 1920 x 1080.
The next step was the development of 4K for stadium seating movie venues. Sony Pictures was a major proponent of the technology, which provides a crystal-clear view no matter where one is sitting in the treater. Gone are the days in which certain seats within a treater offer less than perfect picture quality.
In case you’re wondering if you have experienced 4K, James Cameron’s Avatar utilized the format with great success in theatres. The technology played a huge part in making audiences feel as though they were sent into another world that could practically be experienced first-hand.
The next logical stop for 4K is the home, which brings us to 2012!
The 4K in the Home
It is slated for the future that a growing number of homes will take advantage of 4K, which boasts of resolution that is equal to 8.8 million pixels versus the just over 2 million pixels in the average 1080p HDTV image. Imagine enjoying four-times the detail of your current monitor or projector!
Home treater experts have shared openly that there is a definite set of challenges that must be overcome in getting 4K movies into the home. It is very possible that Blu-Ray Disks will be the bearers of 4K because they have the capability to house such large files. Some experts are purporting that streaming 4K through the Internet may not be workable in the foreseeable future; however, it isn’t completely out of the question. Time will tell on the streaming front.
As for monitors that can display 4K, LG and Toshiba are soon to release 4K displays. While there will be very little 4K media to watch when the monitors are released, they will definitely enhance 3D movies. It has been rumoured that the first monitor to enter the market will be the 55’ Toshiba featuring autostereoscopic 3D (i.e. “glasses-less 3D).
Additionally, we at Digital Smart Homes currently carry JVC’s Reference Series 3D Home Cinema 4K projector which offers a contrast ratio of more than 120,000:1. You can also look for Sony’s 4K home theatre projector (the VPL-VW100ES) to be released in September of this year.
If you have any questions surrounding 4K or other custom technologies and installation for your home, we invite you to call our offices at 604-375-3474. Stay tuned for more exciting news on current and future home automation technologies!
29/02/12 23:19 Filed in: Blog
Just when Apple fans thought it couldn’t get any better, the iPad has become one of the most useful home management tools on the planet.
Imagine going on the road for a number of days and being able to control important home devices/appliances (from the air conditioner, to house lights, to door locks); waking early in the morning to a chilly home and turning the furnace on before hopping out of bed; and cutting down on energy costs by monitoring each of your major appliances for efficiency -- all from your trusty iPad.
A growing number of home owners are discovering the power of “home automation” or the use of digital technologies to streamline their household. Technology providers such as Smart Home Control by Control4, Sonos, Lutron Home Control +, IP Cam Viewer Pro, Eragy, and Powerhouse Dynamics technologies are forever changing the way people interact with their homes. Each technology works seamlessly with the iPad, making the device THE remote for the entire household.
All of the above technologies work seamlessly with the iPad via an app or downloadable console and can play a role in lowering energy consumption, increasing home security, and/or enhancing personal comfort.
How the iPad and Digital Technologies Can Make a Difference:
- Home Theater Controls & Flexibility. The iPad works seamlessly with the Control4 home automation system, which can make all home entertainment technologies work together including flat screen monitors/TVs, DVD players, stereos and. wireless speakers. It even has the power to lower window shades and lower the lights when the beginning movie credits begin to roll.
- Child Proofs the TV. With the help of Control4, if a child is watching the TV instead of completing their homework, parents or a babysitter can simply click a button on their iPad to instantly turn it off.
- Lighting, Window Covering Controls, & Thermostat control. There are number of amazing products that can be used separately or in conjunction with one another to save a tremendous amount of energy and make temperature regulation possible. Lutron Home Control +, Eragy, Control4, and Powerhouse Dynamics solutions all work seamlessly with the iPad.
- Door Lock & Garage Monitoring. Control4 keeps track of all door locks and garage doors and can be set to alert homeowners if either a door is ajar or the garage door open. In the case that a door needs to be locked or garage door shut, homeowners can use their iPad to make needed changes…no matter if they are at home, at the office, or across the world.
- Music Control. For music lovers that want more control over the various speakers their homes, Sonos provides you the ability to control every speaker in the house individually. It is even possible to turn on a different song in each room to keep everyone happy!
- Video Monitoring & Recording. Utilizing the $3.99 IP Cam Viewer Pro app, you can control & view IP cameras from anywhere in the word. This is perfect for checking in on teenagers or security surveillance. The app can be easily accessed from and used on the iPad.
Really, the opportunities for home automation and iPad utilization are endless! The only limitation is a homeowner’s creativity and/or knowledge of cutting-edge technologies. The secret to discovering the right combination is to inventory all appliances/devices within the home and then reach out to a leading home automation specialist.
As the release of the iPad 3 approaches, who knows what’s next for homeowners. Without a doubt, its application within the home is becoming more valuable each and every day!
The beauty of the Control4 system lays in the fact that it is fully customizable and scalable to fit the unique needs of individual homeowners. The secret to discovering the right combination of technologies to install within your home is to reach out to a leading lifestyle technology specialist. A leading force in Vancouver BC is Digital Smart Homes, whose team will personally sit down and brainstorm with you on creative ways to streamline and bind together the technologies in your home.
For more information on how custom technologies can enhance your home and make your iPad even more valuable, visit www.DigitalSmartHome.com or call 800-375-3474.
30/01/12 23:45 Filed in: Industry News | Blog
Are you looking for creative and cost-effective ways to save energy, reduce utility bills, upgrade your home’s technological framework? Lutron makes this more than possible with its RadioRA 2 -- also known as wireless total home control.
The system provides you the power to adjust the amount of daylight and electric light, room/home temperature, and energy utilized by all of the appliances and electronics room-by-room or throughout your entire home.
To help you better understand the Lutron RadioRA 2, we hope the following outline of its benefits will reveal the value it can hold within your household:
Saves Major Amounts of Energy. The system includes a combination of light, shade, temperature, and appliance control to significantly reduce the amount of energy you utilize each day.
Ease of Use. With the push of a single button, it is possible to create the perfect combination of energy saving elements that can include adjusting room lights, shades, and temperature to the exact level that you desire. This can either include room-by-room control or throughout the entire home.
Ambiance Control. RadioRA 2 is an amazing tool for creating the exact ambiance you are looking for at any time. For instance, when you fire up the flat screen TV for one of your favourite movies, you can set the system to automatically dim the lights, close the window shades, and adjust the temperature to a comfortable level.
Appliance Control. It is possible to control all of the appliances in your home such as computers, monitors, televisions, and air purifiers by placing them on standby. By utilizing this functionality, you can save an estimated 10 percent of the energy you normally use on a monthly basis.
Custom Technology. The system can be built out to meet your specific needs. You can control settings via wall panels, tabletop controls, or handheld devices. It is also possible to access controls remotely when you are on the road or out of the country by utilizing your iPad or PC Tablet.
The opportunities are endless with Lutron’s RadioRA 2, thus the key to discovering the right mix within your home environment is to assess all of your lighting fixtures, lamps, electronics devices, and appliances and dreaming up the right solution for you.
Also, you should think about how you would like to control your system. Would you prefer wall panels, desktop and/or handheld controls, mobile device controls, or all of the above?
At Digital Smart Homes, we offer the entire Lutron RadioRA 2 system and can help you find the best solution that will best fit your needs. We can also visit your home and provide ideas for helping you create a cutting-edge and efficient home environment. For more information, we invite you to visit our certified showroom or call our team at 604-375-3474.
30/01/12 23:43 Filed in: Telepresence | Blog
In today’s world, video conferencing is increasingly becoming a way of life for leading and emerging organizations as they work to compete in the global marketplace. There are numerous reasons business leaders, educators, and individuals are finding it essential to invest in revolutionary technologies capable of connecting multiple offices, making remote training/education possible, and allowing for instant connection with others.
If you have been considering investing in video conferencing technologies and are still not sure as to how they can help you streamline your business processes, we hope the following five points will guide your decision making process:
1. Cut Travel Costs. Gone are the days that you must invest heavily in travel expenses. Video conferencing allows for you to schedule numerous meetings and conduct them without having to budget for flights, hotels, meals, and entertainment.
2. Immediate Connection and Information Sharing. Video conferencing can be facilitated at any time. Throughout the conference you can utilize numerous tools for sharing key information including PowerPoint slides, documents, computer screens, whiteboards, video clips, and more. There is no need to schedule for travel time, which makes for more efficient use of time and resources.
3. The Power of Face-to-Face Communication. There is a definite power associated with being able to actually see the person to which you are speaking. This is why throughout history business leaders have spent numerous dollars on travel expenses for their employees as they work to connect with fellow employees, suppliers, and customers. E-mails and phone calls can only go so far where personal touch is concerned, as key messaging can be misconstrued without being able to read the other person’s expressions.
4. Custom Infrastructures Available. Today’s video conferencing technologies can be scaled out to fit the exact needs of an organization. For instance, in the case that you want to connect each of your office boardrooms that are spread throughout the country, there are technologies that will mirror your boardrooms with matching décor and furniture that provide the illusion that you are sitting across the table from remote participants via large screens. On the other hand, if you are looking for a simple one-on-one conversation, video conferencing can be done via laptop.
5. Reduce Office Expenses. Video conference has the power to save you numerous dollars on offices expenses and supplies including phone lines, fax lines, paper, industry sized copy machines, and more. The digital world makes the sharing of documents and information easier than ever!
We at Digital Smart Homes work with individuals and organizations build out their video conferencing setups utilizing LifeSize’s technologies. A division of Logitech, the company produces a vast selection of products used by small and large businesses, educators, health providers, entertainment companies, and non-profits.
The beauty of LifeSize’s innovations is that they have worked tirelessly to develop solutions that take every aspect of an organization’s needs into consideration. Utilizing the immense LifeSize product line, we work with our clients to develop a creative solution that will help them streamline their business processes and cut costs. For more information, we invite you to either visit our showroom or give us a call at 604-375-3474.
30/01/12 23:39 Filed in: Audio/Video | Industry News
The Kaleidescape System provides the world's best Blu-ray viewing experience in the home. The M700 Disc Vault is a key component of the system, and last year it won the coveted 2011 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Best New Product award.
Many clients have requested a version of the M700 Disc Vault that does not include an M-Class player. Kaleidescape is pleased to introduce the DV700 Disc Vault. It offers the same award-winning performance and capacity as that of its sister disc vault, but does not have an integrated player.