TV - 4K On the Way: Part 3 of 3

sound options

Great picture… where’s the sound?

Now that we’ve talked about 4K and the future of content, let’s talk sound quality.

Sound coming from today’s televisions lacks the ability to engulf us in the world we’re watching on screen.

With old-school televisions of years past (cathode ray tube or CRTs), it was easy to hide large speakers inside that produced deep and commanding sound. As televisions have gotten smaller, most around an inch or less in thickness, sound quality has diminished greatly.

Our current TV speakers are very thin and are being placed wherever the manufacturers can find room, usually pointing down or away from you.

Why is this important to know? When you watch your favorite show, do you have to keep hitting rewind on your DVR, or do you find yourself asking the people around you what was said?

Without the ability to produce the highs and lows from quality speakers, you lose the ability to hear dialogue clearly and your cinematic experience will fall flat on the floor.

Exterior speakers can come to the rescue!

There are four main kinds of speakers that can help:
  • Sound bars – Can be a versatile, and affordable item if you’re looking to not run wires in and around your entire room for a surround sound system. Some models feature faux-surround sound just from one sound bar, thus giving you superior sound without the hassle.
  • In-Ceiling/In-Wall Speakers - For those with extreme cinematic needs, surround systems featuring these speakers are a better way to go. They can deliver better treble and bass thus engulfing you in a lifelike scenario. These systems will require wiring and installing speakers in to your ceiling or walls, so they are best put in before the walls and ceilings are finished. For those not afraid of some home improvements and dust, you can always install them at any time.
  • Tower speakers - Tower speakers, floor standing speakers, are aptly named because they stand on the floor, and may deliver the performance you desire. Some brands even offer wireless options allowing you to place them wherever you need sound.
  • Book shelf speakers – Are generally smaller box speakers that can be placed nearly on any entertainment center or shelf (hence the name), and they offer a great amount of sound. These as well can be purchased wireless, allowing you to set them anywhere in the room.

The best part is that any of these speakers can be used as stand-alone options, or you can combine them depending on your needs.

Manufacturers are currently trying to produce televisions sets with high quality sound, but the technology just isn’t there yet. So, no matter what kind of 4K television you purchase, it would be a good idea to include speakers in to your budget.

You’ve got the look of a cinema, so why not have the sound to match?

TV - 4K On the Way: Part 2 of 3

Last week ZIO introduced you to 4K Television. Now we’ll give you a little information about the future of content for your new 4K set.

What content is currently available?

At the moment there is no 4K content broadcasting through cable and satellite providers, but the content is coming. They will hopefully begin broadcasting 4K content in 2015, but it may take them a little longer. Until then, there will be plenty of other options.

Currently 4K content is available via the internet:
  • Netflix has their original show “House of Cards” available, will be offering “Breaking Bad” later in the year, and will hopefully have movies coming out in 4K soon after.
  • YouTube and Vimeo have both designated 4K channel.
  • Sony has an HD media player, released in 2013, which downloads content overnight to a hard drive. You can also rent or buy new content via their online service.
  • Samsung currently has a USB hard drive with two nature documentaries. Later this year they will release a UHD video pack on a 1TB hard drive device that will feature documentaries, and five films.
  • Panasonic currently has no media player available, but launched an online 4K channel for their smart TVs which only carry short nature documentaries and other short-film content.
  • Digital camera maker Red offers a digital player which will play files from their professional 4K, 5K, and 6K cameras via a download service called Odemax.
  • NanoTech Entertainment has released a 4K streaming player which includes Netflix and Amazon Instant; however the player only upscales 1080p content for 4K televisions.
Upcoming content will consist of:
  • Comcast will deliver an Xfinity 4K online app through Samsung’s UHD TVs that will stream content from a variety of UHD movies and On Demand TV shows later this year.
  • Amazon will begin filming original content in 4K, but hasn’t yet released when the content will be available online. More than likely, they will try to release it this year to compete with Netflix.
  • M-Go will also be releasing, via an app, 4K content soon.
  • DirecTV plans on releasing an app, just like Comcast, to stream content via the internet.
  • 4K Blu-Ray players may not be available until 2015. Currently Blu-Ray player’s content will only be upscaled from 1080p to 4K with the new TVs.
In order to stream any of the online content in 4K, you will need internet speeds of 15 mbps or greater, and HMDI 1.4 or greater. HDMI 2.0 will be emerging allowing for process speeds of 50/60 fps, improving on the current 30 fps that HDMI 1.4 offers.

Why should I buy 4K?
  • It’s the future – There may not be content readily available now for normal broadcasting, but providers all over are already planning out how to make it a reality. It’s not like the 3D option, which was just a fad and is mainly used as a 2D option.
  • It makes current TV better – Whether or not the content is 4K, the 4K televisions enhance current content. They deliver smoother looking images because their pixel densities are four times greater, and they increase the data coming through.
  • Four times the resolution - Faster frame rates, greater contrast dynamics, and deeper colors will create more natural and detailed looking pictures. Also great for your photography!
  • Home movies – Camcorders, smart phones, and other cameras will soon be rolling out with 4K ability, so anything you document will be taken to the next level.
  • Gaming – Although there may not be any 4K games at the moment, the technology will surely open a new era in gaming.
Now that we got the content out of the way, next week we’ll talk about sound quality in today’s TVs. Great picture… where’s the sound? Be sure to read all about it next Friday in Part 3.

TV - 4K On the Way: Part 1 of 3

We all have television sets in our homes, and some of us have more than 1 or 2. But, have you heard about the newest TVs out there? 4K Televisions are here – promising to deliver a truly cinematic experience!

When you watch true 4k content, you’ll feel like you’re right inside your favorite show or movie, and the detail will surely amaze you. What used to look like a blur in the background now can be seen clearly as people running from an explosion. With the right content, no matter what you’re watching, you’ll be right there in the action; from swimming in the ocean, flying through the sky, getting blown up, or being thrown through a wall. 4K television will immerse you in it all.

Don’t believe us? Watch this video:

What does 4k mean and why is it better than HD?

4K television increases the current lines of pixels which improves the resolution. Resolution of a screen is measured by lines of pixels:

  • Current HD is 1K, 1920 v x 1080 h = 2 million + pixels
  • 4k or UHD is 3840 v x 2160 h = 8 million + pixels

In simple terms, this means that you have 4x the number of pixels, for the same size screen, which allows images to be much more clear and defined. With each line of pixels added, the image becomes fuller and crisper allowing the viewer to have more of an improved image quality. This ends up giving you an even more cinematic feel than ever before.

As you saw in the video, everything becomes more lifelike in 4K and it really blows our current HD out of the world.

What’s the optimal viewing distance for 4K TVs?

Because of how the human eye processes information, you’ll have to sit closer to the television in order to get the full benefit of 4K TV. The closer you sit to the screen or the bigger the TV, the more important resolution becomes. For HD, with a 65” TV, the recommended distance would be a little more than 9’. With a 4K TV, the recommend seating distance would be a little over 6’.

To find out what size television and the distance you should sit from it, go to RTINGS Website.

Because the 4K televisions have such pixel dense displays, manufacturing will begin at 55” and increase from there. This is good news for Man Caves everywhere!

4K will not be a fad like 3D television sets. Most people end up using their 3D TVs as 2D options because it is more convenient and there’s not a lot of content available, but with 4K television that won’t happen.

If it’s time to purchase a new television, you may want to consider purchasing a 4K TV since it seems to be emerging as the new standard.

It will be as if you had a cinema screen in your family room, media room, or living room. You’ll just have to pick the one that is best for you based on your needs: price range and space available.

What content will be available for your new 4K?

You’ll have to check back with us next Friday to see Part 2 where we talk about content and go a little more in depth about 4K.


The battle looms on as tech giants across the globe fight to dominate the airways, and cables intertwining our lives. Netflix’s agreement to pay Comcast for direct access to their broadband network would give Comcast the green light to become the dominant broadband provider in the US.

Netflix has been in a standoff with all of the major broadband providers, including Comcast, AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and Time Warner Cable Inc. As congestion grew, negotiations between Netflix and Comcast heated up. The gloves have come off, and have been replaced by pens.

How will this effect consumers and providers alike in respect to net neutrality? Only time will tell.

Visit The Washington Post for more information.

High-Tech Healthcare


The health care industry is poised to become the fastest growing market for AV systems in America. The health care industry is undergoing a major transformation, where AV systems will have plenty of useful applications in the field. 

Read more: High-Tech Healthcare

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