3D TV Comes of Age

Bit by bit, 3D TV is growing in the market with 3D sports programming, dedicated  3D channels and, of course, Blu-Ray.  It wasn't all that long ago that some speculated whether or not 3D would take off or that it was nothing more than a novelty.

Yet now, more and more movies are being released to theaters in 3D particularly the action-adventure and animation genres.  As a result, the number of Blu-ray titles now available in 3D is growing rapidly.

Then there's the phenomenon of re-releasing movie maintstays remastered in 3D; movies such as "Titanic," "The Phantom Menace" of the Star Wars trilogy and "Beauty and the Beast."  It all started with the re-release of "The Lion King" in 3D which enjoyed eye-popping success.  Disney has since announced it will be re-releasing "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc." and "The Little Mermaid" over the next two years.  Meanwhile "Avatar" in 3D is no longer the exclusive product of Panasonic which bundled it with their Blu-ray player.  It is now available in the mass market.

In terms of broadcasting, ESPN has produced more than 190 3D events since it launched ESPN 3D in June 2010.  Imagine watching The Masters next month in glorious 3D HD clarity.  And speaking of broadcasts, DirecTV now has 5 channels dedicated to airing 3D programming.

In addition to that is 3D gaming using peripherals like the PS3--offering a whole new dynamic to "being there."  While the gaming format can get pricy, reviewers who have delved into it proclaim them well worth the money.  For gaming devotees, they say, 3D is the way to go.

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The Nest Thermostat

So I decided it was time to try out the new Nest Learning Thermostat...self-programmable, iPhone-controllable and designed by the same folks who designed the iPod and iPhone.

It just arrived last week and is a cute little booger.  But why would someone pay $249 for "cute" you might ask?

Well, the truth is HALF of the typical utility bill is controlled by your thermostat.  Most people have purchased a programmable thermostat.  Problem is, they failed to properly program them to begin with.  With the Nest, simply operate it manually.  As you do, it automatically learns what feels comfortable to you, what times you wake up or go to bed, what days you tend to sleep in late, when you've left for work, etc.  After a few days to a week, it'll know your routine.  You'll soon find you won't be walking up to adjust it.

This video will show you a little bit about it.  But get this, your family has left for a summer vacation.  Dutifully, you set the A/C so it won't be running needlessly so much while you're gone.  But you want the house comfortable before you get home.  So you're on the drive back and about three hours from arriving home.  You open your smart phone and tell your thermostat to adjust the A/C to come on.  Voila!  Your home begins cooling for your family's arrival!

How the Nest works to save you money is pretty cool.  If you're interested, you can click here to see a simple little video illustrating that for you.

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Tips for Backyard Entertainment

Thinking about bringing your audio/video experience to your backyard or patio?  More and more families are taking their entertaining outdoors.  Here are some things to consider before you get underway.

  • Its always best to keep your source equipment inside and simply run wiring outside.  But if that isn't the case, consider a weatherproof enclosure you can buy or build and where you will locate it.

  • Bose FreeSpace 51 are Good Example of Outdoor Speakers

    Stick with weatherproof speakers, TVs and other equipment.  Especially in humid climates and coastal (think salt) locations, this protected equipment is well worth the extra dollars you'll spend.
  • For speakers, focus on coverage rather than volume.  Several speakers interspersed throughout the area playing low is more enjoyable than only a few playing loudly just to cover the territory.
  • When it comes to speaker placement, extend them to the perimeter of your yard and direct them inward and away from the neighbors.
  • Install your wiring first, especially if they need to go underground.  Make sure you first identify where underground waterlines and other utilities are!  Run the wire to a weatherproof panel or exterior closet.  That's where you'll tie in all of your electronics.  This will give you the flexibility for future upgrades.
  • Run wiring in conduit and use separate conduit for low-voltage and high-voltage purposes.
  • Thoughtful use of swinging TV mounts could potentially allow you to view from inside a cabana, for example, or swing out to an exterior angle to chairs arranged theater-style in the yard.
Like any updating to your home, planning ahead pays big dividends in the end.

by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. coming in at Number 87 for 2011.

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Join Us at Your Home & Garden Show

Winter never really settled in to our area, so homeowners ALREADY are in the mood to upgrade their homes.  Perfect time to visit your local Home & Garden show!

We'll be at two and would love to have you visit us there and check out some of the most fascinating technology available.  Not only do you get to meet some of the area's top contractors and suppliers, but extremely educational seminars are available to all who attend.  Learn some of the latest trends in home improvement and adding comfort to your lifestyle and value to your investment!

Naturally, we'll be at the Habitat Home & Garden Show in Baton Rouge, March 2-4.  This one is presented by the Capital Region Builders Association.  They always do a great job!  Each year, Habitat has a specially-featured aspect of home ownership showcased for the event.

This year, Habitat is showcasing technology for the home and Acadian Home Theater and Automation has the distinction of  being a featured exhibitor along with LALEDWireless IQ, and Shield Security & Monitoring.  We'll be located fairly central to the exhibition area so be sure and look us up!

But one week prior to that show, we'll be in Lafayette, February 25 and 26, for the Lafayette Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show at the Cajundome Convention Center.  This one is hosted by the Acadian Home Builders Association and in addition to exhibits, offers demonstrations, seminars for do-it-yourself projects and the bonus of the Healthy Living Pavilion sponsored by Regional Medical Center of Acadiana.

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Your Cloud-Connected Car

The latest technology as revealed at CES 2012 includes apps for your car's media center.  Think of your Smart Phone as being imbedded in your car's dash.  Imagine the capabilities now found on your phone to now be available hands-free in your cloud-connected vehicle and in gorgeous, ultra HD audio clarity.

We're resuming our look at CNET's "Best of Show" list from CES 2012 in Las Vegas earlier this month.  I'm gonna spend a little time on this emerging technology because the marriage of automotive and digital is well underway.  The morphing of the car as a vehicle of communication and not simply transportation is practically here already!

QNX showcased a new mobile app platform they call CAR 2 based on HTML5 with an infotainment system that car manufacturers can use with a flexibility that adapts to the needs of any OEM.  In fact, CNET called it QNX's "vision for the future of dashboard technologies."

The concept Porsche Carrera they outfitted for the show had an innovative application that instantly and automatically pairs a Bluetooth smartphone. It also included ultra HD voice technology that brings stereo CD quality to phone calls. Apps integration for both front and backseat added another layer of coolness to make this car a pretty sweet ride.

The concept car offered flexible integration between tablets and in-car systems, with front-seat control of rear-seat tablets and the ability for any device to play media stored on any other device.  Automakers could begin to incorporate CAR 2 in their designs beginning mid-2012.  This video by CNET will give you the grand tour.

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