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Dad Who Shows Up

Hallmark-type TV stories have become common.  But this story struck a chord.  It’s about a Dad, a coal miner with soot still on his face, who shows up for his son.  It brought back memories of my Dad,  You can select this LINK to the story.

My Dad (photo) may not have had soot on his face.  But he often rushed from work, still in his work clothes, to watch my brother and me play baseball.
We would always see Dad in the bleachers with Mom.

Another favorite Dad memory occurred at my 1st high school B-team football game.  I spent the game on the bench.  It was an away game loss.
After the game, the coach gathered the team under the goalposts.
I headed in a different direction.

I saw my Dad standing nearby behind a chain link fence.  I ran to him.

Dad had arrived late to the field. He asked if I got into the game.
I said no.  He said, “You’ll get your chance.”  Then I heard the coach.
He was upset.  He was calling me to join the team.
Dad said, “You better go.” I did.

Confronted by the coach, he yelled, “What are you doing?”
I emphatically said, “That’s my Dad.”
And my 14-year-old naive eyes communicated, “And you’re not.”
To the coach’s credit, he immediately recognized his 2nd string status.
He calmly said, “Join your teammates.”

By the way, I started the next game, which continued into my varsity senior year.
And Dad and Mom were still in the stands.

Note:
Dad’s hat reads “World War II Veteran.”
He marched from Utah beach to victory in Germany.

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The Big Lake Called Gitche Gumee

North America’s Great Lakes are more sea than a lake.  Bygone ships that sank
in the Great Lakes make for intriguing sea/lake lore. Here’s an example of a
long-lost 120-year-old Lake Superior shipwreck from the Detroit Free Press – Link.

In 1976, Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
hit #2 on the Billboard chart. The song had the ring of a Great Lake lore,
a tragic tale of a sailing or steam-powered ship, right?  Well, no, it’s not.

For the uninitiated, select this Link for a listen.

I was a 25-year-old Southern Californian living in Duluth, Minnesota November of 1975.
My future wife and I arrived at the party of a good friend and close friend to this day.
It was a good time until the “Gales of November” rolled in from Lake Superior.

The wind began to howl as heavy blizzard snow dropped from a dark threatening sky.
It was time for a quick exit.  And we did in my Southern Californian winterized –
windows-rolled-up – 1973 Merc Capri. Hey, what are snow tires?

It was my first bonafide North Country winter experience; The path home, harrowing icy blinding snow, and slippery roads. I engaged my sunny beach body-surfing expertise to manage our slip-and-slide ride home.

I survived the ordeal. We were home. Bundled up and warmed by a serious basement
oil-fired boiler radiator heating system. Back west, Southern California Edison piped natural gas into a small floor heater.

To my North Country fiancé, it was just another Minnesota winter.  A-ha, just another winter night, right?  Over the next late-night hours and following days, the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald came to light.  Lightfoot’s song was not an old Great Lake tale.

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake, they called Gitche Gumee.
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead.”

By the end of January, I drove back with my Duluth Minnesota wife
to the winter sunshine of Southern California.

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Charlie Was Just A Bad Thief

Someone erroneously speaks, but you lack an immediately warranted rebuttal.  Later in a quiet moment, the perfect response reveals itself.  Yeah, but that ship sailed.  But every once in a while, you get it right.

It’s like connecting the sweet spot with a fastball.  It’s like striking the perfect resonant chord on a guitar.  It’s like, well, you get the point.  And it did for me long ago on a Friday night.

I worked my way through college at a liquor/convenience store counter.  I was a skilled clerk that could overcharge and short-change someone in one nimble-fast transaction.

However, I was an honest clerk who reserved this retail skill only for thieves.
On this long-ago Friday night, I did with a complementary string of just the right words.

Friday night at the liquor store was party night in the neighborhood.  One particular group lined up weekly at my counter with a case of beer, chips, dip, requests for cigarettes, plus impulse counter beef jerky.  It was a group purchase.

One member of the group Charlie, always stood hidden well behind his friends.
Yet I could still see him crouched at the candy rack as he grabbed at items that magically ended up in his jacket pockets.  I did not confront him.  I estimated his take.

Working the NCR cash register like a concert pianist with a hail of fast-talking banter, I added his ‘purchase’ and short-changed the group.

This event was a weekly exchange.
OK, it revealed my dark side.  But I did justifiably maintain store profitability.

The counter banter included each item logged via the mechanical cash register keys.  It also included a timely repeated vocal mumbled slur, “And another 50¢ for what’s in Charlie’s pocket.  Log in another legit item, then “And another 50¢ for what’s in Charlie’s pocket.”  Friday night party noise covered my repeated mumbled slurs.

This weekly scene continued until Charlie eventually heard me.  Charlie asked, “What did you say?”  I responded, “What?”  He said, “You called me a thief?”
I replied, “No, it’s not stealing if you pay for it.  And you always have.”

Fortunately, his friends laughed.  But Charlie was not happy.  He was angry.
So I repeated, “It’s not stealing if you pay for it.”
Charlie says, “You’re calling me a thief.”

So I continued, “Charlie, look.  I sometimes see a child pilfer bubble gum.  As they grow, some move from penny bubble gum to 10¢ candy bars.  Some move on to steal cars and rob banks.  A select few become Congressmen.  But Charlie, you’re still stealing penny bubble gum.”  His face exploded into a shade of flaming red.

I wasn’t just calling him a thief.  I exposed him as a pathetic bad thief.  Charlie charged and attempted to jump the counter.  But his friends caught him in mid-air.  They offered, “Wow, Ed!” as they carried Charlie and the beer out the door.

The following Friday night played out like normal, except for a defeated look in Charlie’s eyes.

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Good News. Consumers Are Fed Up.


69% of Gen Z and 51% of boomers are fed up with retail giants.*  That’s the finding of an ActiveCampaign survey.

ActiveCampaign offers marketing services for small & medium-sized businesses (SMBs).  Although the survey may include an SMB bias.  My SMB’s limited empirical evidence accepts their finding.

This is great news for small retailers.  It’s particularly good if small retail identifies and exploits what the public dislike about giant big Box retailers.

For example, small business retail districts offer outdoor sidewalk escapes from the massive reverberating agitating noise of a generic enclosed concrete big Box.

Parking can be a problem for big Boxes and small retailers; particularly during the holiday season.  However, small business district parking, mitigated by sidewalk street-lined window-shopping, offers an entertaining alternative to a long hike on the expansive black-top acreage of big Box parking.

Personal sales are also an exploitable opportunity for small retail.  An on-the-floor motivated business owner, plus his knowledgeable staff, holds a huge advantage over a bureaucratic corporate-trained army of big Boxers.

A big Box perceived advantage still lies in their selection and price.  However, business district associations can promote the wide selection offered by dozens of retailers.  Then each retailer must include a sampling of competitively priced items.  Given the dislike toward big retailers, this tandem can be enough to negate the big Box selection/price perception.

Finally, district associations should take the lead in creating a unified campaign.
A campaign that highlights small business district advantages.  A promotional campaign that includes traditional advertising, street signage, and point-of-purchase materials.  The association should also assist or build its retailer websites.

This plan can exploit the good news.  What say you?

*Link to MediaPost: Small Wonder Consumers Dislike Large Stores And Prefer SMBs.

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Lost In Translation

The online marketing magazine, The Drum, repaid a visit to an age-old problem, taking an advertising slogan global.  For example, Bensi, Mercedes Benz’s advertising name for Chinese consumers, translates as “rush to your death.”

The 1970s Coors slogan, “Turn it loose,” promoted its new twist-off cap translates in Spanish-speaking countries to “Drink this, and you’ll suffer from diarrhea.”

But my all-time favorite translation was not included in their story.  I grew up with 1960s LA television kid shows Sheriff John, Engineer Bill, and Tom Hatton’s Popeye.  Many of their sponsors’ advertising jingles are stuck in my brain.
Do any of you gray-hairs remember BOSCO chocolate syrup?

My wife grew up in Duluth, Minnesota.  She is of Finnish descent.
She laughed almost uncontrollably when I sang the BOSCO jingle.

I love Bosco, so rich and chocolatey. Chocolate-flavored Bosco is mighty good for me.  Momma puts it in my milk for extra energy.  Bosco gives me iron and sunshine vitamin D.  Oh, I love Bosco! That’s the drink for me!”

I don’t remember why I sang this golden oldie.  But I did.
Bosco translates in Finnish to “shit”.

The point, be careful when speaking to a global community.
Select this the LINK to The Drum story.

 

 

 

 

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Banned In Boston


In the mid-20th Century, the “Banned in Boston” label became a valuable promotional tool for publishers, studios, recording labels, and agents of books, movies, music, and comedians. 
I admire and respect how the label of censorship flipped to the label of endorsement.

The Puritans of Boston’s Watch and Ward Society had engaged and enforced censorship in Boston for decades. They silenced many voices to protect the “ignorant-innocent.” The Inquisition, King George, and Boston Puritans claimed to protect huddled masses from Galileo, colonists from Thomas Paine, and audiences from Lenny Bruce.  In truth, they were protecting themselves from being exposed.

Today, government, in concert with cronies in media and commerce, engages censorship. Again justification protects the “ignorant-innocent” from words, images, and misinformation.  One form of censorship lies in the weapon of online cancellation.

Unlike Boston’s Watch and Ward Society, online cancellation extends far-beyond city limits.

Many online voices live in economic fear of being canceled, much as Galileo and Thomas Paine accused of misinformation.  But a rising tide of new voices wears and exploits the cancellation label as the “Banned in Boston” once was.

I am aware that many fear this potentially chaotic wave of freedom.
They should relax unless they fear exposure.
They should trust in free speech. And trust our fellow Americans.
Our freedom has worked and protected us since 1787.
Prepare to welcome the flipping of another label of censorship.

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Old School DEIB


DEIB is an important business issue?”

I’m a gray-hair raised in working-class culture.
I recently found this acronym DEIB.
And I didn’t have a clue what it meant.

I found an explanation. It stood for Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, and Belonging.
I also found the following statement; “Initiating DEIB policies are among the most important initiatives in the business world today.
Is DEIB among the most important business issues?

Before I address the question
My first real paycheck was as a high school part-time stock boy in a liquor store.
It didn’t take long to recognize that the customer walking through the front door … “buzz” … mattered most.

Without the “door-buzz”, there was no reason to unlock the door.

Marketing
I chose business as my college major.
Intro to Marketing was the first class that drew my interest.
Marketing then was not the current popular understanding of the term marketing.  The current meaning seems limited to what we had described as promotion; advertising, promotional events, point of purchase material, and personal sales.

In any case, our young hip marketing professor sat legs folded on his desk.
It was one of his many methods of drawing our attention; an effective promotional concept.  He initiated the course with customer orientation.
Orient ALL business activity toward the customer.

As I discovered in my high school part-time job, business starts with a customer,
a focus on their problem, and a proposed solution.
He opened the marketing door, “Buzz.”

DEIB
Some recite this acronym with sincere feeling as they forgo diligent business strategic and tactical thought.  They suspend the focus on the customer.
That’s a problem.  Because all business activity should orient toward the customer; no door “buzz”, no business, and no place for DIEB.

Customer-Focused DEIB.
DEIB has a place in business if oriented toward the customer.
Hire staff that understands the targeted customer problem/solution.
Seek a ‘hire’ who welcomes customer diversity, equally and expertly shares problem-solving, earns customer trust with focused inclusion of their needs and wants, and gains loyalty by creating a feeling of belonging.

DEIB focused on the customer has always been the most important business issue.  That’s how to keep the door “buzzing”.
What’s your take?

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Peter L. Jensen

Locals and tourists pass by this Napa California sidewalk monument daily. Like many ignored sidewalk/roadside monuments, it marks a historical figure. This concrete and metal fixture pays homage to the history of audio pioneer Peter L. Jensen.

Peter Jensen is much to audio as Henry Ford is to the automobile. I was reminded of his place in audio history when I came across his sidewalk monument.

In 1915, Jensen unveiled and demonstrated his groundbreaking dynamic loudspeaker in front of a crowd of 75,000 San Franciscans. That’s more than the attendance of the 2022 Super Bowl. Peter Jensen secured the dynamic speaker as the technology used in nearly all of our audio systems. Who can lay claim to creating such a successful promotional event today?

As a young audio salesman, I sold cases of Jensen Coax and Triax car audio speakers, unaware of Peter Jensen’s achievements. In time I came to recognize his life’s work.

I will add one last comment. I may have breached an audio enthusiast wall of etiquette. I used the image of Peter Jensen and other audio pioneers to draw attention to my patent-pending SandTrap. If I’m guilty, I hope this spotlight on Peter Jensen’s place in audio history will afford me clemency.

The following links offer the milestone achievements of audio pioneer Peter Jensen.

  1. How Peter Jensen transformed the world of audio.
  2. Jensen, the man, the company.
  3. Peter Laurids Jensen.
  4. Jensen Company History.

Installing in-ceiling speakers?
“Rescue the performance you paid for”
SandTrapAudio.com

 

 

 

 

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The Mounkes Method


The Mounkes Method is a subject I periodically replay.  If I had to pass only one practical-audio-setup application to friends, this is it.  It is an entry-level audiophile tweak that squeezes more performance without spending a dime.

Many moons ago, my late friend Steve Mounkes introduced me to a simple stereo speaker placement method.  He didn’t invent the placement method, but he religiously applied it.  It was his 1st step toward opening a magical high-fidelity 3-dimensional window.

The Mounkes Method requires a tape measure, calculator, pencil, and notepad.

Start with the tape measure & notepad.
• Create a simple & quick sketch of your floor plan.

Measure the room width.
• Divide the room width by the values 3,5,7, and for larger rooms, 9.
• Measure & mark the results along the room width, from the front left corner.
• Then measure & mark the results from the front right corner.

Measure the room length.
• Divide the room length by the same values.
• Mark these points along the room length from the front left and right corners.

Place the speakers.
• Use the points to create on-the-floor grid lines.
• Observe the coordinates established by the width and length points.
• Select a pair of practical coordinates for your left and right speakers.
• Then, place the listening position in an equilateral triangle with the speakers.

Yeah, that’s it.
The Method is an obvious audible demonstrable step that minimizes the compromise of distorting room mode resonance.  It works for modest mid-fi as well as audiophile systems.  You can expand the Method to include a multichannel surround-sound speaker system setup.
If interested, select this LINK.

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The Dave Grohl Speech


I received a YouTube link from my daughter to an SXSW keynote-speech, by former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl.

In the 70s & 80s, I tuned in to the descendants of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, Richie Furay’s & Jim Messina’s POCO, Chris Hillman’s & Graham Parsons’ Flying Burrito Brothers.  Add Dylan, the Beatles, Kinks, Dire Straits, Emmylou Harris, John Mayall …. stop me, I can go on forever.  They were my musical fix.

By the 90s, my wife & I were raising four kids.  Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” didn’t make our family playlist.  Raffi had taken over my audio system.  My laserdisc player endlessly repeated Disney’s, Robin Hood.

I’m not complaining.  My family is the high point in my life.

Belatedly Dave Grohl finally entered my awareness with this keynote speech.  He sketched out how to create the soul of pure, honest music.  I ‘cracked up’ as he demonstrated how to multi-track record with a $30.00 portable cassette.  His point, you don’t need money to find your voice, do it.

I am taking the liberty, for us non-musicians, to respectively transpose Grohl’s “find your voice” to chart your path, then don’t think, throw. Revise and do it again.

Select this LINK to Grohl’s speech.

Refer your audio/video friends to SandTrapAudio.com

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It’s A Matter of Scale

Grayscale
Accurate luminance reproduction precisely ascends and scales, from absolute black to specified white light.  It’s a scale or grayscale that generates accurate colors, much as audio frequency response generates musical timbre.  The grayscale is a prerequisite for high-performance HDR UltraHD video reproduction.

Contrast
The contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest screen images.  The difference establishes the dynamic range of luminance plus shades of color, much as the dynamic range of an audio system that recreates shades of harmonic detail to the concussive exploding sound.

There are two types of contrast ratio measurement — dynamic and ANSI static.

Dynamic
The contrast ratio is the most quoted by manufacturers, e-zines, and magazines.  Dynamic contrast refers to the deepest black versus the brightness white that a television, studio monitor, projector/screen can display.  But not at the same time.  Dynamic contrast is an all-on versus all-off test.  This simple test can generate impressive numbers such as 20,000:1 or much higher. But not necessarily impressive video.

ANSI Static
The ANSI static contrast ratio uses a standardized checkerboard test pattern of black and white rectangles.  The ANSI standard simultaneously measures the difference between the darkest black and brightest white displayed side by side on the screen.  This spec more accurately predicts potential performance.

Key Point
Grayscale and dynamic range are baseline specs.  They set the table for high-performance HDR UltraHD home theater video reproduction.

For more information, select this link … Ed’s AV Handbook chapter 4 page 8

 

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It’s a good year for custom AV


Custom AV is in good shape.

Home theater system sales have spiked.
Nearly half of all installations include multiroom distribution
with 4 zones, 8 loudspeakers, which included an outdoor zone.

Outdoor Speaker System | Have more fun.
Outdoor backyard audio issues are similar to an outdoor concert.
The lack of reinforcement from indoor boundaries significantly decreases the decibel level.  Simply raising the volume can overdrive speakers, create harsh sound.

If the speakers can handle it, doubling the db level requires nearly
10 times the power.  That’s expensive.  Doubling the db level is achieved, at a lower cost, by doubling the number of speakers.
Then add a decent stout reasonably-priced amplifier.  The additional speakers deliver dynamic warmer sound even at a moderate lower volume.

Home Theater & Multiroom | Add the SandTrap
The in-wall or in-ceiling speaker is the solution for many installations.
However, speakers mounted in sheetrock create harsh sound and decrease in decibel level.  Rescue the system performance.
Add the SandTrap.  It revives the performance customers paid for.

More Money | Give them what they paid for.
Customers paid for better.  Better costs more.
Conservatively given at least 2 indoor zones plus 4 speakers in the home theater system, this adds up to at least 6 SandTrap reinforced speakers.

At $69.99 per SandTrap + $20/speaker additional labor,
that adds about $540.00 to each job.

The result sounds better.
That’s what customers paid for.

Captain Ed
SandTrapAudio

Refer a custom AV dealer friend to SandTrapAudio.

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Sales & Referrals


I read a
Forbes.com story by a corporate ad agency CEO.
He used wordy big-corp price-enhancing vocabulary.

For example,
he referred to his ad agency as a “demand generation agency.”
Yet his ultimate point was valid and relevant. Word-of-mouth,
a low-cost-powerful-
effectivemethod, increases sales.

It was not news to me.  In 1973 my business mentor declared,

Satisfied customers are a gold mine. Work this mine again & again.
They will generate new sales plus word-of-mouth referrals.”

With the assistance of my official
SandTrap Audio d
emand generation hat,
may I suggest generating sales and word-of-mouth
with the following?

Find a free date on your installation calendar.
Call a customer.
Set up a FREE house call.
Offer a FREE system check-up and re-calibration.
Return to your calendar and repeat.

Customers love FREE plus ….

House calls lead to questions.
Answers lead to upgrades.
Upgrades improve performance.
• Improved performance creates a happy customer.
• A happy customer generate
s referrals.

May I also suggest the SandTrap as a quick and inexpensive upgrade?
Use it to improve performance, promote your custom expertise,
and make more money.

And refer a custom AV dealer friend to
Captain Ed @
SandTrapAudio.

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8K Magic or Hype?

The Magic Window
Your TV screen is a flat two-dimensional magic window.  Increasing video resolution, expanding color volume, and a faster frame rate extend the magical illusion.  The best magic windows attempt to convince us the window is reality.  Does UHD 8K TV expand the magic window?

Pixels
At a comfortable viewing distance, it’s hard to see the pixel difference between HDTV and UHD 4K TV.  It’s even harder to see the difference between UHD 4K and UHD 8K.  Of course, this differs with screen size.

HDR + Frame Rate
Current TV screens have nearly achieved Digital Cinema P3 color space.  HDR (high dynamic range) has opened the gateway to the next color goal of reproducing 76% of visible color — CIE REC 2020.  120Hz frame rates have also entered the scene.  120Hz is the portal to virtual and augmented reality.

Real World
How can 8K improve the magic window?
We view the world within an infinite depth of field of visual electromagnetic energy.  Our perception includes an array of physical and psychological elements.

8K Answer
Our perception is the combined result of the left-eye + right-eye + the brain.  Our brain responds to what our eyes do not see.  8K resolution adds near-invisible sensory detail.  The brain interprets broader color volume, faster frame rate, plus increased 8K video resolution, as being closer to that real-world window.  8K  is a valid step toward achieving the ultimate magic window.

Captian Ed
SandTrap Audio

 

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Should I use an architectural speaker back box?


A speaker back-box can be used to protect an architectural
in-wall/ceiling speaker from construction insulation and/or comply with commercial fire codes.  And if the box is also audio-engineered for the speaker, you’re good.  However, a generic back-box can severely compromise audio performance.

I sourced the following information from reputable manufacturers*, plus my 5 decades of audio experience.

Engineered
The best manufacturers engineer their architectural speakers for the intended enclosure.

In-wall
Unless an engineered cabinet is included, better in-wall speakers
are designed for a sealed acoustic suspension enclosure of 2.79 cubic feet.  That’s equal to 2″ x 4″ wood studs, 16″ on-center, a layer of sheetrock, by 8 feet high.  The sealed enclosure also prevents out-of-phase front/back sound waves from canceling each other.  A smaller cavity compromises low-frequency bass performance.

In-ceiling
Better in-ceiling speakers are designed for an infinite baffle enclosure.
This is based on 2 criteria.  A typical residential ceiling meets both.

1. An enclosure volume of more than or equal to 10 times the Vas of the woofer.

Yeah right,
try and find the Vas of your architectural speaker. However, I was once informed* by 2 reputable manufacturers, that 5 or more cubic feet qualify.

2. As the acoustic suspension design, isolate the front sound wave from the back wave.

Construction
Enclosure construction is also important.  Wood wall studs & ceiling joists are a good start.  But sheet-rock severely compromises the enclosure. Distorting out-of-phase sheet-rock resonance creates significant loss from the lower bass frequencies through the vocal ranges.

3 Solution Options
1. Rebuild the wall with a material of more mass/weight.
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panels work well.

2. Build and insert a reinforcing MDF sub-baffle on the back of the sheet-rock.

3. Insert a sand-filled SandTrap sub-baffle.

If the 1st option is not feasible, then consider option #2.  However, option #3 is easier and more effective.  Sand offers more mass than MDF, and re-tunes system resonance to a lower more audibly suitable frequency.  That’s my choice.  But I’m biased.  I am the captain and owner of SandTrap Audio.

 

*Note: I recently tried to reconfirm the manufacture’s recommended cabinet data.  I was confronted by phone-tree-staff that could only recite less than helpful scripted generic information.  It appears the techs are no longer available.

Check out my favorite website Links:
Ed’s AV Handbook SandTrapAudio

 

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#4 Next Wave / OLED IOLED Contrast Ratio

Part 4 of 4

Goodbye LCD

Your video source defines potential possible performance.  Connected AV components and interconnecting cable must allow the video to pass unaltered.  Your TV determines the ultimate result.  

OLED & IOLED

The organic light-emitting diode’s contrast ratio has led OLED TV to the high-performance leader.  Advanced inorganic light-emitting diode technology, IOLED, is coming.  Both consist of single-pixel points of light that range from full-on brightness to full-off. 

Nit Picking Difference   

A Nit is a measure of brightness.  For reference, the noonday sun measures around 1,600,000,000 nits.  The night sky around 0.001 nits.  UHD LCD TVs currently achieve a brightness level of 1500 nits.  OLED screens measure 540 nits. 

Whoa, LCD is far brighter than OLED.  Yes, but LCD TV can only achieve a black level of 0.05 nit, while current OLED screens achieve a black level of 0.0005 nit.  High dynamic range lies in the contrast difference. 

It’s a Difference of Ratios.  

The dynamic range of video is the difference between the darkest black level and the brightness white.  The ratio of the black level to the brightest level equals the contrast ratio. 

LCD TVs have achieved contrast ratios of 30,000:1.  Current OLED models approach 1,000,000:1.  OLED contrast ratio is the HDR gateway to a more lifelike natural colors.

LEDs and Q-Dots

Current OLED TVs border the DCI P3 color standard.  But the future lies in the REC.2020 color specification.  Steps toward that goal have begun. 

Samsung plans to ship its new QD-OLED televisions in 2021 or 2022.  The Q corresponds to quantum-dot.  The quantum dot is a molecular semiconducting particle that produces light when struct by UV or blue LED light.  Samsung uses blue LEDs to stimulate and create red and green quantum-dot sub-pixels of light.  Their remaining blue LEDs produced the blue sub-pixels.  Their QD-OLED TVs will further improve contrast and color gamut. 

They have also announced the future release of QNED TVs.  Again the Q corresponds to the quantum dot.  But the organic LEDs are replaced with inorganic LEDs.  Inorganic light-emitting diodes are substantially brighter, which further extends the contrast ratio.  QNED TVs should approach 12bit REC.2020 color.

Don’t get caught up in the numbers and acronyms.  The salient UHD HDR point — all real LED pixel-based displays can turn a pixel off while an adjacent pixel is full-on.

OLED and IOLED contrast ratio, and its expanded color gamut, plus advanced manufacturing development has led Samsung to announce their planned discontinuation of LCD production.  Say goodbye to LCD.

Pothole Warning   Avoid bumps in the AV road.  Confirm the essential specifications of all connected electronics and interconnecting cables.  For example, if a TV does not explicitly specify a list of HDR formats, then assume it does not support HDR at all.  A ULTRAHD Premium logo confirms support for Premium Alliance specs.  The best UltraHD products exceed their standards with support for HDMI 2.1, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HGL.  

Catch the Wave

A new era of AV magic lies in your AV professional hands.  It’s a mix of nits, contrast ratio, color gamut, light-emitting diodes, wide-bandwidth Internet access, audio/video streaming, and off-air antennas.  It’s a new wave of profitable opportunities.

 

Additional Note: 

Web Search Confusion – A web search did not easily reveal QNED as inorganic technology.  The ‘N’ in QNED stands for nanorod LED.  Inorganic tech is hidden in nanorod LED illustrations.  Look closely at the labeling.  GaN is gallium nitride.  Gallium nitride is an inorganic material.  Therefore, a nanorod LED is an inorganic LED.  And QNED is IOLED TV.

Web Search Correction – A web search produced many Samsung QNED stories that incorrectly identified quantum dots as color filters.  Quantum dots are not filters.  Quantum dots are points of illuminating light.  

Check out my website Ed’s AV Handbook & business site SandTrapAudio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 Next Wave / UltraHD (UHD), 8K UHD, HDR

Part 3 of 4

UltraHD (referred to as 4K) quadruples video resolution from about two million HDTV pixels to more than eight million pixels.  That’s good.  Pixel count is easy to explain, but difficult to see. 

8K UltraHD doubles UltraHD (UHD) resolution, which quadruples the number of UHD pixels.   Again, the pixel-count is easy to explain.  Yet even more difficult to see. 

HDTV            1080 lines x 1920 pixels/line = 2,073,600 pixels

UltraHD          2130 lines x 3840 pixels/line = 8,294,400 pixels  

8K UltraHD    4320 lines x 7680 pixels/line = 33,177,600 pixels

As the early days of HDTV, 8K UHD video sources will be in short supply for some time.  The current resolution benefit of 8K, with the assistance of AI-upscale software, is primarily focused on wall-sized screens. 

The Viewable Difference  

High Dynamic Range is more complicated to explain but easy to see.  HDR expands the difference between the darkest black and brightest white pixel.  It creates an expansive grayscale that produces more detailed side-by-side simultaneous dark-bright light.  This extended broader grayscale also increases color gamut.  This may be the most significant difference since the introduction of color. 

UHD HDR Color

The C.I.E. is the international committee of color standards.  Their C.I.E. color chart defines the visible range of color and sets video standards.  UltraHD HDR employs two C.I.E. color standard options,  DCI P3 and REC.2020.

Digital Cinema Initiative P-3 represents 45.5% of the C.I.E. color chart.  REC.2020 equals 75.8% of the color chart.  For reference, HDTV REC.709 equals 35.9% of the chart. 

DCI P-3 satisfies current UHD standards.  REC.2020 is the future objective.  In either case, both support more lifelike natural colors that are considerably more visible than UHD  pixels. 

HDR  Caveat  

HDR utilizes competing formats.  Your choice of video sources dictates the format.  The TV must decode the format.  Front running formats include HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HGL. 

HDR10 is the baseline default format for all HDR sources and TVs. 

Dolby Vision has become the high-performance option.

HDR10+ is an alternative to Dolby Vision.

HGL is the NextGenTV broadcast format.

HDMI Caveat

HDR formats are dependent on HDMI specifications.  Non-compliant interconnecting cable or AV components produce blank screens or downgrade the video to standard dynamic range. 

HDMI 2.0a supports HDR10. 

HDMI 2.0b adds support for HGL. 

HDMI 2.1 adds support for 10bit HDR10+ and 12bit Dolby Vision. 

 

The UltraHD Premium Alliance, an association of manufacturers, studios, and others, established baseline UltraHD HDR specifications. 

3840 x 2160 video resolution. 

LCD 0.05nit to 1000 nit brightness. 

OLED 0.0005nit to 540 nit brightness. 

10bit Color. 

90% of the DCI P3 color gamut. 

The UltraHD Premium logo validates product meets their standards. 

 

Continue to part #4 “OLED, IOLED, Contrast Ratio”

Visit my website Ed’s AV Handbook  & business site SandTrapAudio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 Next Wave / Channels Of Distribution

Part 2 of 4

I travel a strip of historic US40 almost daily.  Long ago, the interstate highway system drove the old highway off the road map as an obscure alternate route.  Remnants of its past still lie in the trees and brush at the side of the old road — the foundation of a gas station, bent rusty motel sign, a worn and dated bridge.  

It’s an age-old story.  US40 shelved the old Lincoln Highway.  The Lincoln Highway ended the Union Pacifics’ near-monopoly of an east-west US trade route. The railroad ended east-west ship-by-sea via Cape Horn’s dominance of commerce.   It was also a welcome alternative to travel by horse-drawn wagon. 

Each new channel of distribution stunted the economic clout of the existing primary channel.  Each created a new profitable opportunity.  And 5G cellular networks and NextGenTV are primed to do much the same as they accelerate cable and satellite cord-cutting.  

5G Networks 

5G is a new and improved 5th generation cellular network.  It is also a nationwide Internet hotspot that enhances wireless Internet access.  5G broadcasts via three radio bands — mmWave, Mid-band Sub6, and low-band.  Each has a distance, speed, or signal obstruction advantage. 

mmWave 24GHz to 90GHz

mmWave provides tremendous data speeds.  But mmWave is short on range and has trouble penetrating windows and walls. 

Mid-band Sub6 3GHz to 4GHz

Mid-band Sub6 lies between 4G-LTE and WiFi.  It has fewer solid obstacle issues but still boosts data speeds.  Plus, it provides coverage in densely populated areas. 

Low-band 700MHz 

Low-band forms the backbone of 5G.  It offers reliable coverage via existing 4G-LTE sites.  Low-band data speeds are marginally better than 4G-LTE but more than sufficient for most needs. 

5G’s mobile “Wi-Fi hotspots” offer more convenience than being anchored to home-based WiFi.  5G offers more security than public WiFi.  Plus, 5G’s multiple bands allow users and providers to individually manage bandwidth and coverage needs. 

NextGenTV 

Internet protocol-based over-the-air NextGenTV has launched in many US markets.  NextGen provides two sources of UltraHD HDR video  — local broadcast channels, and Intenet streaming access.  It is poised to become a cord-cutter’s primary source of UltraHD HDR video. 

NextGenTV broadcasts cover greater distances and extend deeper into buildings than HDTV.  Local NextGen UHD broadcasts are free.  Cable and satellite cord-cutting savings should more than cover the cost of streaming services, antennas, and installation.    It may also connect to mobile devices — cell phones, tablets, laptops — with included tuners. 

TV manufacturers can integrate a NextGen tuner or offer a set-top box.  The tuners include an off-air RG-6 antenna jack, plus WiFi and a hard-wire RJ-45 jack that provide connection and distribution to home router networks. 

Rooftop Antennas  

A TV picture is only as good as its input signal — garbage in garbage out.  The antenna is the NextGenTV portal.  A quality rooftop antenna produces RF signal gain.

Targeted RF gain improves the signal-to-noise ratio.  A high signal-to-noise ratio produces a clean picture. 

Rooftop antenna pricing ranges from about $80.00 to $300.00.  Add the cost of a mast, mounting hardware, and quad shield RG-6 coax.  You may also need a preamplifier, distribution amp, antenna rotator, splitter, combiner, filter, additional antenna, plus installation, which adds up to a profitable opportunity. 

If you’re new to the antenna category, then get kick-started with the following websites.

FCC DTV Reception Map

The FCC website offers broadcast data based on specific channels.

  • Distance from your location to broadcast tower.
  • Signal strength
  • Repack status of VHF channel numbers to a UHF frequency

Consumer Electronics Association Antenna Selection

The CEA partnered with Channel Master to assist antenna selection.

Continue to part #3 “UltraHDTV HDR”

Visit my website Ed’s AV Handbook & business site SandTrapAudio.

 

 

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#1 The Next Wave

(1st of 4 parts)

Virtual events, trade-mags, and web-search cannot replace personal meetings with friends and reps.  Trade shows, product seminars, and distributor events, and our sales reps are primary sources of industry news and first-hand product information.  I count on their hands-on experience to separate noise from meaningful information.  This hands-on exchange of information is even more important this year. 

New channels of distribution plus communication and television technologies are transforming our AV landscape.  5G cellular networks offer a flood of Internet-based services — video conferencing, Internet of things, augmented & virtual reality, plus easier-access wide-bandwidth wireless streaming.

NextGenTV, based on Internet protocol, provides free over-the-air UltraHD HDR broadcast plus another access-point to AV streaming. 

UltraHD doubles HDTV resolution.  UHD-8K doubles UltraHD resolution.  More significantly, both pave the way for High Dynamic Range video.  HDR offers the potential to more than double color-gamut. 

And HDR’s potential shines on near infinite contrast ratio OLED and advancing IOLED television technology.  Individually each is a game-changer.  Collectively, they spearhead a new wave of AV magic and profitable opportunity. 

However, the magic disappears in the wrong interconnect, missing HDMI 2.1 support, an absent HDR format, and insufficient specification.  At worst, the picture is lost.  At best, the video downgrades to standard-dynamic-range. 

This 4 part blog aims to stand in until you resume hands-on conversation with your custom AV peers.

Next Part #2 NextWave Channels of Distribution

 

Visit my website Ed’s AV Handbook & business site SandTrapAudio.

 

 

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Keep Pace

Keeping pace with our industry and technology is essential.  Reliable sources of information and instruction are needed.  We must maintain a solid foundation in the basics of audio and video, which are too often assumed.  More on that soon. 

Primary resources include industry associations, manufacturers, and distributors.  For example, CEDIA offers training at a cost.  Manufacturers and distributors offer free seminars that also include lunch. 

Industry-recognized blogs such as CE Pro and Smart Brief publications are trustworthy choices.  In addition, e-mags such as Home Theater Review, Audioholics, Tech Hive, TV Technology, C/Net, Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, and AVS Forum offer solid insight.

Internet sites such as Wikipedia offer dependable explanations of technologies.  But be wary of opinionated unqualified amateur online sites. 

Now, let’s return to neglected assumed AV basics.  I first recognized this condition long ago while conducting product sales training.  It was visible in the glazed looks and anxious demeanor of many trainees.  The root cause was assuming everyone was on the same playing field of knowledge; they were not.  I witnessed their distress in basic terms such as ‘stereo’ and ‘high fidelity. 

I resolved the problem by adding introductory basics to the sales training, including elementary terms, a sketch of AV physics, plus how stuff works.  The result was eye-opening — more than anticipated.  Recruits and even seasoned staff thanked me. 

My original training outline expanded into a personal binder that included upgraded explanations of AV physics, technology, and related subjects.  Ultimately that binder morphed into this website and blog.  Use them to get new recruits up to speed or to refresh what you already know.  Join my quest to ‘save the world from poor fidelity.