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House Votes Against Delaying Digital Conversion

house-of-representativesHouse Votes Against Delaying Digital Conversion When brought up for vote in the House of Representatives, the bill proposing a delay of the digital broadcast conversion from February 17 to June 12, was defeated. It did not receive a two-thirds majority vote, which was needed to pass the bill. The vote was 258 in favor (236-Dem, 22-Rep) and 168 against (155-Rep, 13-Dem). The bill could be brought up again for regular floor vote, in which case, it would only require a majority vote to be passed. The “mostly” democratic support of the bill to delay the conversion is based on the fact that they believe that a large number of households (6.5 million) are unprepared for the conversion, a statistic which is confirmed by the Nielsen Co. These citizens are particularly among the poor, rural, and low-income representation of Americans, who either live in areas that receive major stations through analog signal or can’t afford to purchase the equipment necessary to receive signal after the conversion. The government has made coupons available for $40 toward the purchase of a digital conversion box; however there is currently a wait list of 3.2 million requests. The National Telecommunications & Information Administration is only sending out new coupons as older, unredeemed coupons reach the 90-day expiration. Joe Barton, republican congressman of Texas, is pushing for legislation that will aid in this problem without postponing the conversion. Most republicans feel there is no need to delay the conversion. Those against the bill believe that it would incur heavy costs for public safety agencies and wireless companies who are waiting to use the spectrum that will become free after the conversion. Television stations, as well, would be required to pay more to operate both systems for several more months, an expense that is most likely not built into this year’s budget. In addition, Jonathan Collegio, of the National Association of Broadcasters, has voiced that the Nielsen Co.’s statistic on number of unprepared households does not take in to account those who have purchased a converter box and not installed it; those who have requested, but not received coupons; or those who subscribe to cable or satellite television for their home theater system. The Obama administration has not made a comment in reference to the outcome of the vote.

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February 4, 2009 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All you need to know about buying a HDTV and more

glossary_pic_with_wordsSo you know that it’s time to shop for a new television. You also know that you want a big, beautiful, colorful, clear picture and a booming and well-balanced sound, so why can’t the product specs tag say just that? Sorting through the list of impressive numbers and lingo can be a labyrinth for someone who is unfamiliar with what these terms actually mean. Let’s get down to business with some of these commonly used descriptions and find out what really matters when shopping for a high-definition TV set:
HDTV: High-Definition Television. This is the high-resolution subset of our HDTV system. The FCC has no official definition for HDTV. The ATSC defines HDTV as a 16:9 image with twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of our existing system, which is accompanied by 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital audio. The CEA defines HDTV as an image with 720 progressive or 1080 interlaced active (top to bottom) scan lines. 1280:720p and 1920:1080i are typically accepted as high-definition scan rates.
SDTV: Standard Definition Television. This is the lower resolution subset of the ATSC’s DTV system. 480i is typically accepted as an SD signal. Digital broadcasters can offer multiple sub-programs at SDTV quality, as opposed to one or two HD programs. Digital satellite and digital cable often refer to the majority of their programs as SDTV, somewhat erroneously, as neither system has anything to do with DTV, though both, technically, consist of a digital 480i signal.
Plasma: Flat-panel display technology that ignites small pockets of gas to light phosphors. They are known for excellent image quality and superior color contrast.
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display. A display that consists of two polarizing transparent panels and a liquid crystal surface sandwiched in between. Voltage is applied to certain areas, causing the crystal to turn dark. A light source behind the panel transmits through transparent crystals and is mostly blocked by dark crystals. An LCD television is known for a bright and vibrant picture, but may give an inconsistent picture quality and color contrast from seats that are not directly in front of the screen.
DLP: Digital Light Processing. This is a Texas Instruments process of projecting video images using a light source reflecting off of an array of tens of thousands of microscopic mirrors. Each mirror represents a pixel and reflects light toward the lens for white and away from it for black, modulating in between for various shades of gray. Three-chip versions use separate arrays for the red, green, and blue colors. Single-chip arrays use a color-filter wheel that alternates each filter color in front of the mirror array at appropriate intervals.
Virtual surround sound: The television’s built-in speakers are not going to meet the same quality of a surround sound system that is purchased separately with several speakers. However, it will attempt to produce the equivalent of the sound of a home theater installation of surround sound.
Contrast: Relative difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image. A contrast control adjusts the peak white level of a display device.
Black Level: Light level of the darker portions of a video image. A black level control sets the light level of the darkest portion of the video signal to match that of the display’s black level capability. Black is, of course, the absence of light. Many displays, however, have as much difficulty shutting off the light in the black portions of an image as they do creating light in the brighter portions. CRT-based displays usually have better black levels than DLP, plasma, and LCD, which rank, generally, in that order.
Energy Star qualified: The most recent rules are called Energy Star 3.0. These require the product to perform at a certain level of maximum power consumption when in use. It is best to find a TV that meets these guidelines. The older rules are not as strict on energy consumption, because they pertain to when the set is on standby, not when it is in use.

Aspect ratio: The ratio of image width to image height. Common motion-picture ratios are 1.85:1 and 2.35:1. Television screens are usually 1.33:1 (also known as 4:3), which is similar to the Academy standard for films in the ’50s. HDTV is 1.78:1, or 16:9. When widescreen movies (films with aspect ratios wider than 1.33:1) are displayed on 1.33:1 televisions, the image must be letterboxed, anamorphically squeezed, or panned-and-scanned to fit the screen.24p, or 1080p24: A set with this feature can show 24 frames per second, exactly the way movies are shot. Cinephiles may notice smoother, more cinematic images, but the feature works only with Blu-ray players connected by HDMI cables.
120 Hz: The display will smooth out motion, making scenes with action or a moving camera look sharper. Expect to pay more for these sets.
720p: The display has low resolution, but is still high-definition. Adequate for screens smaller than 40 inches, or ones meant to be watched from more than 12 feet away.
1080p: The display has high resolution. Good for screens larger than 40 inches, or ones used for gaming, as computer displays, or for Blu-ray playback.
Anamorphic: Process that horizontally condenses (squeezes) a 16:9 image into a 4:3 space, preserving 25 percent more vertical resolution than letterboxing into the 4:3 space. For the signal to appear with correct geometry, the display must either horizontally expand or vertically squish the image. Used on about two or three promotional laser discs and many DVDs. This may also be referred to as “Enhanced for Widescreen” or “Enhanced for 16:9.”
HDMI: HDTV connection format using a DVI interface that transfers uncompressed digital video with HDCP copy protection and multichannel audio.
VGA: An input for a computer video signal. Many newer computers can use the higher-quality HDMI inputs instead, so VGA is not essential even if you plan to connect your PC to your TV.
ATSC: Advanced Television Systems Committee. This is a government-directed committee that developed our digital television transmission system. The ATSC tuner allows reception of digital television signals broadcast in North America, and is typically a standard feature in HDTVs.
NTSC: National Television Standards Committee. This is a government-directed committee that established the U.S. color TV standard in 1953. Also known, sarcastically, as Never Twice the Same Color or Never The Same Color due to the inherent difficulty in achieving proper color calibration. The NTSC tuner is for analog broadcast TV. These signals will not be used after the digital conversion this year, so don’t pay attention to this feature.
Composite: This is a low-quality video connector for older game consoles and VCRs, which is not able to carry a high-definition signal.
Component: A high-quality, three-lead connector for game consoles, DVD players and cable boxes, which is able to carry a high-definition signal, but is not quite as good as HDMI.
As a custom audio video dealer we looking forward to bringing you home theater or mobile satellite dish to life.

January 30, 2009 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LCD vs. Plasma: The Battle is On

plasma vs lcdAdmit it. When shopping for electronics, some of us are more gifted and knowledgeable than others. There can be so many factors in the decision of which television to choose for your home theater system, such as size, type, brand, and so on. And now, the answer to the question we’ve all been waiting for: “Which is better, plasma or LCD?”

Advantages of Plasma plasmatv

Color.

A plasma screen displays color more vibrantly. The black is a deep ink color, which creates better color contrast. This is good for those who use multiple film sources because it gives a more cinematic and three-dimensional picture. People and things in the picture look more realistic on a plasma tv. Plasma is a good choice if you can control the amount of ambient light in the room. Pioneer and Pioneer Elite are two brands that are best known for the use of the deepest black screen color.

Unlimited viewing angle.

The image on a plasma screen is consistent when viewed from any seat in the room. Plasma maximizes brightness of color and contrast, unlike an LCD, on which the picture vibrancy may fade if you are not sitting directly in front of the screen.

No screen blur.

Plasmas do not blur or smear images from motion on screen, like LCD’s are prone to do. Plasmas are known for image clearness.

Lower cost.

In general, plasmas have been less expensive that LCD’s. However, this is not always the case for top-end and larger size models.

Advantages of LCD

Brightness.

In a well-lit room, the screen display of an LCD tv will perform with excellence in the category of brightness. If ambient light is not a strong point in the room, a plasma tv may be a better choice.

No glare.

The screen of an LCD is designed with a matte finish. This is a prime difference between it and the plasma television, and is often a matter of personal preference when making the decision between the two. Keep in mind that not every LCD is this way, so double check before purchasing.

No image retention.

An LCD has one up on the plasma, in that a plasma may retain the imprint of an image if it remains on the screen for too long. This is an issue that some manufacturers have tried to counteract by creating a screen saver that enables after a certain amount of time has passed to keep the screen of a plasma protected.

Energy efficiency.

Typically, LCD’s use less power than plasmas do per square inch, making them more eco-friendly and wallet-friendly. Again, manufacturers are aware of this concern for consumers and are therefore creating energy-saving models for both types of tvs, so the significance of this benefit for LCD’s is diminishing.

Your way, right away.

Currently, there seem to be more choice in variety, style, and size for an LCD due to more market presence. Plasmas are out there and are becoming more popular as well.

The Conclusion?

To sum it up, when purchasing a television, you get what you pay for. A higher end model of either LCD or plasma is a great investment long term if you can afford the price tag. Although LCD’s have been more expensive in the past, the price for larger televisions of both types are becoming closer and more competitive, as the focus has now been put on the product features and performance.

For more information on RV Mobile Satellite check out our website at http://www.advtechservices.net

January 17, 2009 Posted by | General Information | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

LG makes a splash at CES

By Joanna McDonald

logo_lgHome theater enthusiasts have some new toys to look forward to from LG to upgrade their home theater systems. At the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas, LG debuted gadgetry that allows you to watch TV wirelessly. A box, placed on a TV stand or tucked discreetly out of sight, uses a 60GHz channel to send an uncompressed 1080p image to your wall-mounted flat-panel. This is great on the home theater design front too—if you install an outlet on the wall directly behind the TV, and you’ll eliminate all those impossibly messy wires for a sleek, clean look.

There was also news that will cause Netflix lovers everywhere to swoon, and likely head in droves to the nearest retailer of LG products. (Netflix, of course, is the online DVD rental king that allows subscribers to choose DVDs, receive them in the mail, and return at their convenience, sans late fees. It’s been massively popular and has been actively building partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, TiVo and Samsung.) LG will start peddling TVs with Internet connectivity that can stream any of Netflix’s 12,000 offerings. You may already be aware that one of LG’s Blu-Ray players has the Netflix-streaming capability, but who needs a Blu-Ray player when…umm…you don’t need one?

The LG-Netflix partnership does have notably stiff competition in this field of content streaming. Amazon.com and Roku announced last week that they’ll be pairing up; California-based Roku will produce a set-top box through which users will be able to buy, rent and watch the 40,000 movies and TV shows that Amazon has.

One other notable feature LG unveiled at CES was blur reduction, which they’ve coined “TruMotion.” It’s gotten mainly good reviews for helping to reduce the blur that occurs during fast motion scenes.

January 14, 2009 Posted by | Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

America: Not Ready for the Digital Switch

By Dawn Hatchard

Everyone, in theory, is supposed to be ready for the analog to digital switch for television reception. The big day is slated for Feb. 17, 2009.

The government has been educating Americans with commercials about the converter box, coupons and the deadline since January, 2008. Are you one of the estimated million people who has been procrastinating getting your government coupon for a converter box?

With 10 million coupons yet to be redeemed, there is a lengthy waitlist for the issue of new coupons. Apparently, they have exhausted funding and ran out of the coupons themselves. This may be particularly troublesome for rural low-income families.

If you are simply a procrastinator you have other alternatives. Going without your fix of evening news, daytime court shows or favorite network sitcom may not be necessary.

This could very well be your golden opportunity to update and upgrade your home entertainment experience. Satellite services are more affordable than ever, offering more channels and HD satellite quality for less than you spend a week on your favorite beverages.

Rabbit ears and rooftop antennas may be troublesome to obtain decent reception, not to mention unattractive. Similar reception issues are expected with the new digital system. There may be less fuzz in the picture, but there will be lag and pauses in programming as your converter box searches for a signal.

With satellite services, even the most rural residents get the reception needed to follow HDTV Switchprogramming. The major Satellite television companies also offer free DVR (digital video recording) capabilities built in to their boxes. DVR is the best thing since motion picture itself, trust me on this one. It also happens to be user friendly. You will not be able to imagine how you ever watched TV without it.

January 13, 2009 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Government Runs out of DTV Coupons

By Jonathan Ruspil

Well it looks as if the Government has overspent once again. If you are looking to upgrade converter-boxyour home theater systems it is time to do it now. The Associated Press has reported that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has already used up all of its 1.34 billion dollar budget that it allocated for DTV coupons. These coupons are good for 40 dollars off the price of a DTV converter box that will be needed come February 17th 2009.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has been lobbying congress to give them more money towards the program or allow them to issue more coupons to full fill the demand it is encountering. The NTIA is projecting (according to the AP) that roughly 350,000 coupons expire each week from people who fail to use them within the 90 day time period they are given. So although they have run out of money technically they are getting 350,000 coupons back each week to reissue to people that are on the waiting list. If you have not applied for a coupon yet you can apply for one at DTV2009.gov. The quicker you can sign up and get on the waiting list the better.

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pioneer releases long-awaited Elite KURO Signature Series

By Joanna McDonald

Everyone, from the amateur home-theater enthusiasts to the guys who review the latest and greatest technology for a living, has been blown away by Pioneer Elite KURO Signature Series Monitors. The word kuro means “black” in Japanese, and they aren’t kidding. Hometheatermag.com’s Geoffrey Morrison mistook the monitor for being off the first time he saw it: “One had that subtle and comforting glow that any flat panel has when displaying ‘black.’ The other panel was clearly off. Then an image appeared–on both screens. It was a ruse; the other panel wasn’t off at all. It was on. The black level was that good-CRT good.”

pioneer-elite-kuro-signature-hdtvPioneer has released only two sizes, the 50-inch PRO-101FD and the 60-inch PRO-141FD. They were specifically designed for custom home-theater installations with a cash-rich consumer in mind (not very many of us, these days), and the price tags—$4,500 for the 50-inch and $7,000 for the 60-inch—ensure that they’ll stay true to their Elite name.

The black level in these monitors is .004 ft-L. That’s .002 foot-lamberts lower than the previous record, held by the Sharp LC-52D92U, and that’s an LCD. It’s the deepest, purest black you can buy in a flat-panel right now.

Home-theater gurus will love the multitude of features Pioneer makes available. Five of the seven picture modes can be completely adjusted. There’s a room-lighting sensor that automatically adjusts the picture to look its best for the conditions. Color, noise, brightness, contrast, and detail can all be adjusted. Six high-definition and five standard-definition aspect ratios allow you to fine-tune for just the right picture. The menu setup is a little different; it minimizes the picture to the right side of the screen, but allows you to preview any adjustments you make to the picture. Internet connectivity allows the picture to be adjusted remotely, among other things

The styling of the unit itself is what you’d expect from a high-end flat-panel: glossy, streamlined black frame and non-swivel base, detachable speakers on either side of the display, a simple gold “Elite” embossed on the bottom of the frame like a code—if you know, then you know what it is. As a Pioneer dealer I would recommend you check one of these out!

January 8, 2009 Posted by | HDTV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

February 17th – Everything Goes Digital: Preparing for the Change

Are you prepared for this big change?

converter_box_program_dtv
One simple thing you can do to guarantee that you will be able to continue viewing your favorite television shows once the changeover from analog to digital signal is complete. Order cable or satellite service! Some cable companies are primed and ready for the transition from analog to digital signal. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about putting a dent in your checkbook, because cable and satellite can be as inexpensive as $14.99/month for basic service. Basic service offers 24 channels and you will still be able to catch Dancing With the Stars, The Mentalist and all your favorite shows.

Another solution is to purchase a converter box. These boxes range in price between $50 and $70. The government is currently offering a $40 coupon toward the purchase of a converter box (maximum of two per household). Each coupon is valid for 90 days and is good for only one box. In order to get your coupon(s), visit the website at http://www.dtv2009.gov or you can call (1-888-DTV-2009) to have one shipped to you. The converter boxes can be complicated to set up, so feel free to contact us with any questions at contact us.

A third option is to replace your current television with an HDTV that comes ready with a digital tuner. This will eliminate the need for the extra piece of equipment (the converter box) in your entertainment cabinet. Retailers nationwide will be trying to increase sales in response to this change in technology, so be on the lookout for great deals on electronics from your favorite local shops. Look for deals on brand like Pioneer Elite , Pioneer , Samsung , and LG . Advanced Technology Services has a great line of products as well and is motivated to help you find the exact TV you are looking for. If you don’t have the money for a new television right away, try one of the first two options mentioned above instead.

The advantages of switching to digital are that the quality of sound and images are so much greater than they were with analog. Digital allows for more programming choices because it is much more efficient than analog due to the rate of compression. If you have cable or satellite, digital service provides more channels and includes some high-definition channels. Once the crossover to digital is complete, you will encounter fewer problems with your programming, due to the fact that digital is not affected as easily by double imaging and noise.

To some, hearing the words “February 17th” may bring the same feeling of dread as the words “April 15th”. There is no reason to be worried if you are informed and you know you are in good hands. We want to be here for you to help answer your questions and find the products and services you need during this time of change and in the future, so don’t hesitate to contact us

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Digital Conversion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Getting the best picture on your HDTV

Have you purchased a new HDTV only to get it home and be disappointed by the quality of the picture? Is it just not quite as crisp, clear, and vibrant as it was at first sight? Is the surround sound puny compared to the boom you felt at the store? If your electronics salesperson did not explain the importance of HD feed alongside the purchase of an HD television, Advanced Technology Services is here now to repair the damage. HDTV and an HD feed go together like bread and butter. You can’t have one without the other and be satisfied.

These six “need-to-knows” will provide answers your problem:

1. An HDTV set requires an HD feed

You won’t get an HD picture on your new set unless you contact your provider for a set-top box and/or a satellite dish upgrade. Be sure to ask about HD-specific plans and the offering of HD channels. If you use an over-the-air antenna, a high-def tuner box may be a necessary purchase.

2. SD is still common for most programs

Most major broadcast networks display news and a prime-time show in HD, but the majority of other programming is still broadcast in standard-def. The SD signal is not able to be converted to HD signal for an HDTV, so these programs must be watched in their original format. Many programs are broadcast secondarily in HD on a different channel from the original. These channels will be found further down the list in the triple digits.

3. An HDTV will display an SD signal with poor quality

Be prepared: The HDTV screen multiplies the low-quality of the SD signal in the same way a low-megapixel picture distorts when you zoom in on it. The small screen size of your old tv hid these imperfections, but your larger-than-life flat screen is meant for bigger and better things.

4. SD screen size is not wide screen like HD

That short and stout picture you can’t get rid of comes from an SD screen size (4:3) that is being stretched to fit an HDTV with a 16:9 ratio. This can be easily fixed by adding sidebars to the SD channels through the settings menu.

5. Proper configuration is essential for HDTV, cables, and set-top box

Even if you have an HDTV and HD feed, incorrect wiring set-up can prevent the HD signal from being viewed as it should be. One of the following 3 inputs must be used: DVI input, HDMI input, or the component video input (RCA type – which is often red/blue/green). Check your television’s display and output settings as well to insure that 720p, 1080p, or 1080i is selected, whichever is correspondent to your HDTV’s resolution.

6. Standard DVDs are not converted to HD by an upconverting DVD player

Upconverting DVD players do not change SD signal into HD, they simply adjust the screen size to 1080i or 1080p. The quality of the picture will not improve just because it is viewed on an HDTV. If the original source is SD, you will be viewing an SD picture. Blu-ray and HD DVD players are the only DVD players that produce a true HD signal.

If you are still shopping for an HDTV, these manufacturers are all producers of high-end sets that will tickle your fancy:

Samsung Mitsubishi Pioneer Pioneer Elite Toshiba

December 31, 2008 Posted by | HDTV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Motosat’s Nomad SD

As an authorized  MotoSatdealer , Advanced Technology Services, Inc. is bringing you the latest news on the release of the new Nomad SD. The Nomad SD is a controller that is used with mobile satellite. The previous version of the device, Nomad 3, is expected to be replaced completely by this new generation. Nomad SD has been tested over the last few months and is being publicly released with the purchase of any HD-SL5 DirecTV system. It is also available for purchase separately.

Prime features of the Nomad SD include:

-smaller size: 1.250” height / 5” width / 8.750” length / 1 lb. 2 oz. weight

-SD card compatible for:

software updates

storing a log of system operation for diagnosis

-operational buttons:

Power / Find / Stow

December 31, 2008 Posted by | Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments