What is 4K TV?

The newest technology in TVs is clearly 4K...no pun intended!  That's because 4K (aka Ultra HD) is simply HD quality at twice the number of pixels both horizontally AND vertically.  So 4K is HD resolution multiplied times four!  Put another way, 4K compresses four times the pixels in the same amount of space that Hi Def does.

Why is that important?  Well, if you prefer smaller screens and have a smaller room where you watch TV, its not important, quite frankly.  But the clear trend is people buying ever larger TVs.

Some TVs might feel like jumbotrons in an ordinary room!  But that kind of size is what it takes to have a great media room or home theater experience.  The problem is when the same number of HD pixels are stretched over  increasingly larger formats, the appearance can become ever so slightly grainier.  4K solves that!  There's also 8K out there that doubles resolution yet again to near IMAX clarity, but that's another story.

Like any newly released technology, most media content isn't yet formatted for that resolution, but the content IS already out there.  Blu-rays are already capable of 4K content but nearly all agree the future of the 4K advancement is in streaming video.  Netflix, which already shoots its successful original series, House of Cards, in 4K recently offered that it plans to deliver 4K content within the next two years.  Sony already has a big investment in 4K by way of the cameras they sell to the movie and television industries and the projectors they produce for theaters.

So 4K is not a fad, but neither is it for everyone right now.  Still, when you consider "upsizing" your video experience, you will definitely want to keep 4K as a strong contender in your plans.

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Movie Buffs and the Props They Love

[caption id="attachment_668" align="alignleft" width="169"] Minotaur Costume from The Chronicles of Narnia movies.

There is a small but growing industry in acquiring movie props and costumes.  Perhaps the most famous movie memorabilia are the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."  Five pair of the original shoes are known to exist.  One pair is on display at the Smithsonian and made an appearance on the red carpet at last night's Academy Awards.  Debbie Reynolds owned the "trick" pair that curled up under the house.  Years ago, Reynolds invested money into movie memorabilia which she planned to sell to help provide for herself during retirement.  At auction in 2011, her ruby slippers fetched $510,000.

Movie buffs have begun displaying props as part of the decor of their home theaters or media rooms.  The internet has made shopping for props easy for anyone.

[caption id="attachment_669" align="alignright" width="150"] Bread Dish from Titanic

Favored props from more contemporary films were those produced by WETA Workshop which produced thousands of highly intricate (and in many cases beautiful) props for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Troika Brodsky is the proud owner of the largest private collection of LOTR film props in the world--second only to the official studio archive in New Zealand.

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Presto! Change-o! Family Room Becomes a Home Theater

Most of us don't live in sprawling homes.  And we try to make the most of our available living area.  That's why our family room often also serves as our media room.  At the center of our "media room" are the flatscreen TV and surround sound system.  Add to that the Blu-ray or DVR and if you enjoy good music, that's also where you'll find the CD player, the receiver and the amp.  Oh, you have kids?  Then add the gaming system to our media room/family room.

Those are just some of the different types of media components you could expect in either of our two sample family rooms pictured here.  Using either of these two photos, you can easily imagine including something like a satellite receiver or AppleTV or some or digital components in these rooms.

So what if you decide that as a family Christmas gift, wouldn't it be cool to have a home theater?  I mean, the existing flatscreen is fine for routine TV viewing, but maybe you like the idea of "big event" home entertainment.  Maybe its a special movie night or a sporting event that you'd like to have a monster screen so having someone walk in front of you doesn't mean missing the big moment!  And you certainly don't have space for a room dedicated to a home theater.  Why not let your family room also become your home theater?

So picture this...you see you have a comfortable living space for friends and family to gather.  There's ample room to move about as guests refresh their plates with the food you have out as part of your spread.  Only thing is, everyone tends to huddle real tight for those "can't miss" moments on the screen.

That's when inspiration hits!  You can add a drop screen and video projector to your media room.  Pick either one of our sample rooms shown and imagine a motorized screen recessed into the ceiling.  At the start of your event, the massive screen lowers from the ceiling just forward of the existing flatscreen while the lights dim and your audio system prepares to thunder!  Even the video projector can be recessed into the ceiling only to descend as well on cue!

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Great A/V Systems Are Home Seller's Edge

If you tour a lot of homes for sale, it soon becomes clear what amenities one expects to find in great homes, though perhaps not considered to be in the "high-end" range.

You might expect, for example, triple-crown moulding, granite counter-tops, stainless appliances and extra-large walk-in closets.  In terms of electronics, you might look for flatscreen TVs, built-in speakers (both indoor and out) or even a security system with closed circuit cameras.

But consider what your reaction to the home is when you find a dedicated media room or even a home theater?  Or perhaps you learn the home features fully-distributed audio and video to all the rooms in the house.  How does that affect the home's desirability factor?  Then again, what if you learned the home is programmed to operate from a tablet or remotely from your smart phone?--adjust the temperature, check the security cameras, or turn lights on or off?  Wouldn't any of these amenities create the sort of "wow" factor that tells you THIS home seller has one great home!?

Distinctive home electronic systems not only put the "style" in your lifestyle but could be the very thing that helps your own home outclass the others on the market when its time to sell.

Jerry Del Colliano write in hometheaterreview.com:

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5 "Might As Wells" You Must Do

1- WiringYou 'might as well' wire for the future now. Never, and I mean NEVER skimp on your wiring, especially if you are building a new home. If you have the vaguest notion of ever wanting a particular feature or device, wire for it. You'll save major bucks adding in that extra wiring now instead of sitting around your house some future day choking on drywall dust while one of our experienced and professional technicians drills holes in your custom finished walls. Remember even “wireless” devices need a solid wired infrastructure.

2- "Multi-zone" AudioYou 'might as well' get the music going in every area of the home. With today's tech it just doesn't make sense not to have a "multi-zone" audio system. If you are going through the trouble of adding background music to your project, systems from Crestron, Control4, AMX, Savant and Sonos make it painless to play different music in different rooms of your home at the same time. No longer are you chained to pushing one "sound" to every speaker in the house. Wanna fire up Pandora in the Dining from your iPad? No problem. Crank up Sirius/XM in the yard while your significant other enjoys Rhapsody in the Kitchen? Easy as cake.

3- Computer NetworkingYou 'might as well' surf the Internet in style. This can be a tough one to appreciate; most people don't realize how dependent our lives have become on the Internet. If you are going through the process of having electronics installed, think about how many things rely on your Internet connection. From the basic things like email to surfing the web, to content delivery like Netflix, AppleTV, Pandora & DirecTV, EVERYTHING relies on that very un-sexy Internet infrastructure. Many people have added all the exciting new toys to their home without thinking twice about the $99 router that is holding the whole thing together. Don't skimp here; go all in. A quality integrator will recommend things like "Enterprise-Class Hardware" or "Managed Wi-Fi Systems" and they will all come with a big price tag. Before your eyes glaze over, just remember you would never buy a new Ferrari and then get tires for it from Wal-Mart. We have had numerous clients notice significant improvements to their network speed after a network makeover, even without upgrading their monthly service!

4-Media Room (aka Man Cave)You 'might as well' have a grown-up playroom. Remember those giant tower speakers you used to have in college? Like the old ad with the guy's necktie getting blown away over his shoulder and his hair pushed back by the sound?  Well the experience is still here, and waiting for you (even if you have a lot less hair). Except now the speakers sound better, look better, and cost more money. Audiophile quality systems from Bose, B&W, Bay Audio, Meridian and Live Wall will bring back the good old days.  But hey, now you can afford the good stuff. Go for it.

5-TV SizeYou 'might as well' admit that size matters. I have never, ever had a client say "I wish we would have gotten the smaller TV." Never.

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acadian
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10552 Perkins Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

(225) 906-2589

Acadian Home Theater & Automation is rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 44 reviews from around the Web.


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