Press Coverage: Barron’s – New TVs, New Advisors

by Glenn Kenny

The world of home entertainment technology is evolving at breakneck speed. In the same way flat-screen televisions made the tube television as quaint as a rotary phone virtually overnight, the once familiar plasma display panels are now on the way out.

They are being replaced by 4K display, which delivers 4,000 pixels of resolution, a huge leap over the current home high-definition format, which maxes out at 1,080 pixels. The 4K display televisions range in size from 39 to 85 inches and prices, accordingly, range from $500 to $40,000.

Home Theater: The Prime Location

In the early days of home theater, it was a common practice to create a room dedicated to the sole purpose of movie viewing. Whether this involved closing off and finishing a portion of the basement or building a completely new addition, a dedicated theater was the way to go. Although dedicated theaters are still en vogue, there are many other existing areas in your house that can function just as admirably as a home theater. In fact, they may even be a better choice than building a theater from scratch, depending on your viewing habits and budget. Considering materials and furnishings alone, it will probably be significantly less expensive to convert a room that’s already finished, like a den, into a theater than it would be to construct something completely new. Also, when a room also doubles as a casual family room or a library, for example, your theater will likely be used more frequently than one that requires a trip downstairs every time you want to see a show.

Whole-House Video: Why It’s Such a Good Idea

Everyone can envision that one place in your house that you’d like to turn into a home theater. Maybe it’s the family room where everyone seems to gather after dinner, or perhaps it’s the guest bedroom that never gets used or the unfinished basement that currently serves as a storage space. Whichever area your home theater now or will eventually occupy, you can get more video bang for your buck by asking your home systems installer to configure a system that will allow content from this one main viewing location to be distributed to all other TVs in the house. Depending on the size and layout of your house and the sophistication of your home theater, sharing video sources among multiple TVs may not be less expensive than giving each TV its own Blu-ray player, for example, but there are other benefits that make it an appealing solution.

One of the biggest advantages of having a whole-house video system is how effectively it can clear away the “clutter.” If you covet rooms free of players, amps, receivers and other A/V gear, a video distribution system can single-handedly rid the area of all black boxes. Instead, these A/V components can be stored in a closet, utility room or in a cabinet in the home theater, and their content transmitted over high-speed cabling to each display in your house.

In addition enhanced aesthetics, a video distribution system can offer greater choice of video content. Whichever components have been tucked into that main equipment rack, you’ll be able to freely access—satellite receivers, Blu-ray players, media streamers, you name it. It’s all available with just a few taps of a fingertip on a handheld remote, tablet or other control device.

Finally, a video distribution system affords greater flexibility in how and where you watch movies, TV programs and other content. For example, you can start a movie in the theater, pause it, push it to the TV in the bedroom and resume watching right where you left off.  Your home theater may have the biggest screen, but you’ll be able to enjoy all the same great entertainment in whichever room you prefer.

Press Coverage: New York Times – How Smart Could I Make My Dumb Manhattan Apartment?

SOMEBODY in my apartment is not very smart, and since I live alone, it is obviously the machines.

Here is how clueless they are: If I hit the remote for the Bose CD player in the living room, the Bose iPod dock 10 feet away turns itself on. The DVD player, VCR and cable all have their own remotes, which refuse to communicate with one another. The radiator and air-conditioning units must be adjusted with a lever, and they have only three settings: Comfortable, until you get into bed; Too Hot or Too Cold, as you are falling asleep; and Shoveling Coal on the Titanic, at 3 in the morning. And while I have never left the house with the gas on — a fear that apparently is passed down genetically — I worry, as I grow older, that this might happen.