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Southampton

Do I Really Need An Outdoor TV?

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Do I Really Need An Outdoor TV?

There is no denying that an outdoor television is twice as expensive as a standard (indoor) TV.  We are often asked about installing a standard television located under a covering of some sort (patio, hood, inside of a media lift) as a substitute for an outdoor TV.  So, can it be done? 

Outdoor televisions are designed and tested to do four things typical televisions cannot:

 
  • Be seen in areas with higher ambient light
  • Withstand the elements
  • Operate properly in extreme temperatures
  • Comply with building codes for external use

 

Be Seen in Brighter Areas

Let’s be clear, no television is going to give you an amazing picture in direct sunlight.  In fact even manufactures of outdoor TVs suggest avoiding direct sunlight, or adding a hood, to help protect the screen (and of course to see it better).  So could you increase a standard television’s brightness, cover it, and see just as well?  Yes.

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Withstand the Elements

Most people associate this with water, usually rain and snow.  Yes, rain and snow will ruin standard electronics, as will extreme humidity.  (This is why waterproof televisions are installed in bathrooms and kitchens).  So why can’t we just use a waterproof TV?  Because outdoor televisions are also designed to withstand wind and airborne particles, such as pollen, that can also cause damage. 

So what if you put a standard display someplace that is covered?  You will be able to see it better, it will keep out the water and drastically reduce the amount of wind and pollen the display is exposed to.  Will that work?  Maybe, it depends on how well protected it is.

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Operate Properly in Extreme Temperatures

Standard televisions function properly at room temperature.  Think back to the days when flat panels first came out, remember how large and sometimes noisy the fans were?  Remember how hot they got?  There is a reason even the most stylish outdoor TVs are never as sleek as their interior counterparts, they need to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which requires larger fans and heaters.

When electronics get too hot, they overheat which quickly destroys the internal components.  In freezing temperatures, the liquid crystals in the screen (like most liquids) expand, which can cause distortion beyond repair or cracking.  Additionally, temperature changes can cause condensation within the unit leading to water damage.  

Now think back to withstanding the elements, the solution was to protect the display.  Often times this involves some sort of enclosure.   Can you properly protect a standard display from the elements and various temperature changes to the same level as an outdoor television? No.

Comply with Building Codes for External Use

Not only will a standard television located outside not be covered by warranty, it won’t be up to building codes. Why does this matter?  When water is introduced to electricians not only can it damage the products, but it has the potential to start a fire. We’re not trying to be over-dramatic, but the possibility that precipitation or condensation could result in flames is an issue that shouldn’t be ignored.  Can an standard television be held to the same standards, thus giving you the same sense of security? No.

 

Our Answer

We understand why the question is asked, but the answer is no.  We recommend against it.

 

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DTS:X to Rival ATMOS

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DTS:X to Rival ATMOS

At HTE we have been covering the advancements in 3D audio and the exciting implications it'll have on home theaters and media rooms.  If you haven't experience the effect yet, we suggest you grab a pair of headphones and hear and listen to the Virtual Barber Shop Demo.  The height component and move from a strictly channel based technology, allows audio to tell the story as accurately as video has been able to do.

Until now, Dolby Atmos had been the only player in the game.  We knew it was only a matter of time until DTS released their version of  audio-based objects, but now it is official.  DTS:X, which it it being called, has launched, with hardware being introduced throughout the year.

As of now DTS:X will co-exists with DOLBY Atmos the way DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD did in the past.  It will be up to the studios to select which format they wish to record in.  With that said, many sources suggest that hardware manufacturers are holding their new product lines to later in 2015 in hopes of making their equipment compatible with both.  

At HTE are following these announcements and working closely with our brands in order to provide a smoothest transition possible for our clients.  

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Tips and Tech to Help You Keep Your Resolution

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Tips and Tech to Help You Keep Your Resolution

Keeping a resolution can be hard, and while we like cool apps, sometimes it takes a little more to make a positive lifestyle change. Here are our tips and tech suggestions (yes, we did include an app or two) to help keep you on track while partaking in the most common resolutions such as eating healthy, working out, and getting organized.  

Let’s get it out of the way now… Calorie Counters, Activity Trackers, and Weight Loss Apps are great teach you already know about that will help you stay on track.

 

Eating Healthy

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach
  • Make a list with apps such as Out of Milk to prevent impulse junk food purchases
  • Using an app such as AnyList, allows everybody in the family to share their requests with the person who does the grocery shopping
  • You could skip the store all together and order your groceries online
  •  Preparing food on a Smart Scale that ties into a tracking app keeps you from underestimating the amount you’re consuming daily
  • Use your tablet to look up healthy recipes or cooking videos, so you don’t get bored with your food
  • When eating out use apps like Food Tripping, InBloom, Clean Plates, or HealthyOut to find a restaurant that aligns with your dietary needs

 

Working Out

  • Your headphones should be like your sneakers: comfortable, reliable, and  fit your workout needs
  • If you don’t like exercising, make it fun by trying a dance class, playing a sport, or using technology such  as Xbox Kinect and an ultra-short throw projector to turn your workout into a game
  • If you are a serious exercise buff, Athos workout apparel uses electromyography (EMG) technology to record muscle and breathing activity to ensure you are preforming movements correctly
  • If you have an indoor pool, marine speakers and waterproof televisions can help make your time more entertaining
  • If a full pool isn’t in your budget, but you’re limited due to joint impact, you might want to look into an endless pool

 

Getting Organized

  • Pick one of these 100 apps to help with lists and reminders
  • If you get hundreds of emails a day, try an app such as Acompli, to get your inbox under control
  • Try reviewing your emails once a night to keep them from piling up
  • Commit to a cloud and stick with it so there is no question as to where that document is stored
  • If you’re always losing or forgetting items try using Tile or Trackr
  • Use sensors and home automation to take care of smaller tasks such as making sure the lights are off and doors are locked while you focus on more important tasks

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Kaleidescape... Now Downloading

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Kaleidescape... Now Downloading

In our world of instant downloads and media streaming, it may come as shock that Kaleidescape has only now introduced video downloading.  After all, Apple TV and Roku have been doing it for years.  Unfortunately those products are unable to produce cinema quality video.  Yes they offer movies in HD, but in a state of the art home theater, there is a noticeable difference between what is available through streaming devices and the Blu-ray quality content offered by Kaleidescape. (Read about the importance of high quality sources)

Now with Kaleidescape Alto, you can instantly download superior quality movies to your media server.  In addition to creating a beautiful image, these download contain additional coding (such as D-Box Motion) that is stored on physical Blu-rays.

To see the difference in video quality for yourself, schedule a demonstration at our Southampton experience center

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'Tis the Season for Scenes

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'Tis the Season for Scenes

It’s that time of the year again, your home is decorated and prepared for holiday gatherings. With the new Savant app you can create, capture, and edit a “Holiday Scene” with your smart device in a few minutes.  While Control 4 doesn’t allow for the same level of user customization, the latest upgrade does allow you to adjust and save your lighting preference.

With Savant's new app, simply create or capture a scene for one or multiple rooms in your home.  Choose which services you would like to include in the scene (ie: lights, music, electric fireplace) and save the values.  

When guests arrive, tap the holiday scene that you've created.  The lights will dim, music will play softly in the background, your fireplace will roar, and depending on your design you may even be able to power your season decorations, such as Christmas trees with the app. 

Learn How to Add Scenes in Savant :    (Web)   |   (PDF)

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