Custom Audio Video

972-524-6225

Outdoor Autumn Oasis

Connections Plus Texas - Sunbrite TV - Howie Foreman

September is no time to abandon your backyard! It’s been a brutal Summer here in Texas, so Take it Outside now that temperatures are beginning to drop.

We’ve got the perfect Sunbrite television for your Outdoor Autumn Oasis. Call Howie Foreman at Connections Plus on 972-524-6225. He’ll hook you up… literally. 

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Bose Home Speaker 500

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Bose has long made its name as the go-to brand for those who want great looks, solid sound, and ease of use when playing their favorite tunes at home or on the go. Recently, the company stepped even further into the forefront of home audio, offering a first for the brand in a new smart speaker to add to the ever-expanding genre. In addition, the company has two new smart soundbars, aiming to turn some heads and take some attention away from multiroom wireless company Sonos and its new Beam soundbar.

Each new option from the company is fully voice-controllable, featuring Amazon Alexa integration from the get-go, and according to Bose, other voice assistants to follow with software updates down the line (read Google Assistant). In addition, Bose says that Airplay 2 integration will be added in early 2019 to go along with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in.

Bose is calling its new smart speaker the Home Speaker 500. A small device that looks strikingly similar to the litany of oval pods in the market from Sonos and others, the Home Speaker 500 differs from many competitors in that it offers a screen on the front that displays what’s currently playing. We can expect that in the future the display will do more than just that, but Bose is keeping that to itself for now.

Wall-to-wall stereo sound from a single speaker

The speaker is also a stereo device, which should make music playback more lifelike than the mono sound of most competitors. Inside the Bose Home Speaker 500, two custom drivers point in opposite directions to bounce sound off the walls. The result? A sound-stage wider than any other smart speaker, powerful enough to fill any room with an astonishing stereo performance.

“Voice-controlled speakers aren’t new, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. But we had a different vision for ours, inspired by what we could uniquely do to make the experience better,” said Bose consumer electronics division manager Doug Cunningham in a press release. “All of our new smart speakers double up on functionality. It takes just one Home Speaker 500 to deliver true stereo separation — there’s no need to pair two.”

►  WALL-TO-WALL STEREO FROM A SINGLE SPEAKER

►  AMAZON ALEXA BUILT IN

►  SUPERIOR VOICE PICKUP

►  CONTROL WITH VOICE, TOUCH, OR APP

►  SIX PRESET BUTTONS

►  WI-FI® AND BLUETOOTH® CONNECTIVITY

►  PERSONALIZED BOSE MUSIC APP

►  MULTI-ROOM MUSIC

If you want to stream online content, Howie at ConnectionsPlus can easily set that up for you. Call Howie on 972-524-6225. 

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The Best OLED TV for 2018 LG C8

Connections Plus Texas - Howie Foreman - LG C8 OLED TV

You don’t have to take my word for it because the Wirecutter declared the LG C8 the best OLED TV for 2018 in July after testing Sony & LG models.

Chris Heinonen says “After spending 30 hours testing OLED TVs, we think the LG C8 is the best TV for people who want top video performance, especially with new HDR content. Although pricey compared with a good LCD TV, the LG C8 delivers a better picture than any LCD we’ve tested, and it performs as well as more expensive OLED TVs. It’s a great option for the videophile who values image quality above all else”.

LG C8 OLED
The best OLED TV
He goes on to say “The LG C8 produces the best HDR image quality we’ve seen, performs as well as higher-end OLED TVs for a significantly lower price, and is easy to set up and use.

The LG C8 offers superb image quality, supports the leading HDR standards, and has an extremely thin and attractive design. Its WebOS smart TV platform is easy to use and supports all the major video and audio streaming services. Videophiles will like that the C8 gives them more control over the image than competing Sony OLED TVs. Paying more for one of LG’s higher-end OLED models doesn’t get you better image quality at all, which makes the C8 an excellent value”.

So if you are ready to see the best OLED TV of 2018, give Howie Foreman a call on 972-524-6225 – he will help you make your best choice.

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Nest home security – meet the Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera

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Probably you associate nest most with the break through  learning thermostat; which by the way has had some significant updates in function since it’s introduction in 2011, but maybe you missed the fact that Nest now includes a wide range of other products for the smart home. One of them is the Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera which Nest bill as “Knows What to Look for in the Home, Tells You What’s Important. Its a Powerful, Intelligent Indoor Security Camera which Joins our Lineup of Top-Rated, Award-Winning Nest Indoor and Outdoor Cameras”.

The Nest Cam IQ indoor security camera, offering best-in-class imaging and intelligent features to serve up the most important, actionable information – like knowing your child arrived home safely, or that there’s a stranger in your home – so you can spend more time living your life, and less time managing your security.

Instead of just showing you what’s happening, Nest Cam IQ is smart enough to differentiate between a person and your cat and can alert you accordingly – with no subscription required. When it detects a person, it can send a person alert to your phone and will automatically zoom in on and track the person in the frame so you can get better information about who they are and what they’re doing. And with a Nest Aware subscription, you can even get personalized alerts based on who is in the house (e.g. the name of a family member, the dog sitter or a stranger).

“When designing Nest Cam IQ, we focused on what we’ve learned from our customers, which is that people don’t want more information, they want insights,” said Matt Rogers, Nest co-founder and chief product officer. “So we combined intelligence with excellent image and sound quality to deliver the insights customers need, at the right time. These insights can range from telling you the kids are home from school to sending an alert if an unfamiliar person is in the living room.”

The Nest Cam IQ indoor security camera has a strong foundation of hardware and software:

• High-Quality Video. — A unique combination of premium hardware, advanced software, and a great app experience. Nest Cam IQ uses a 4K image sensor (8 Megapixels), 12x digital zoom and enhance, and high dynamic range (HDR) imaging to make sure you won’t miss key details. With two powerful 940 nm infrared LEDs, Night Vision evenly illuminates the scene, even when it’s dark – and without a red glow.

• HD Talk + Listen Audio. — Nest Cam IQ’s speakers are 7x more powerful than the original Nest Cam and an advanced three-microphone array also delivers noise suppression and echo cancellation for a clearer audio.

• Thoughtful Design. — Nest Cam IQ features a clean white polycarbonate design with a patented swivel mount for flexibility of placement and quick, simple setup.

• Built-in Security. — Nest Cam IQ encrypts your video on-device before streaming and storing video content, using 128-bit AES with TLS/SSL secure connection. With two-step verification, you can select an optional extra layer of security for your Nest account, and with automatic over-the-air updates, your camera can be automatically updated against the latest threats.

And that is just a beginning; with personal alerts and “Supersight” providing both a detailed image of the “intruder” with a wide field of view of the room; and it can check faces against family to indentify strangers in your home and send the alert as well as providing things like audio information which is off camera. This camera is phenominal. Check out this man’s story on the Nest Labs website.

Brad says “The man broke into my house at 1:47 pm. I was able to witness the police entering my apartment and they had the man in custody by 2:17 pm. When I bought the Nest Cam, my fiancée told me it was a waste of money and I was being overly protective for no reason. After what happened, she fully understands why I bought the camera”.

Call Howie Foreman on 972-524-6225 – he will help you choose the best products for your home security.

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ONKYO SHIPS NEW ‘TX-NR787 9.2-CHANNEL NETWORK A/V RECEIVER’

Connections Plus Texas - Howie Foreman - Onkyo TX-NR787 9.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver

When you first see this you might think you are dreaming! A THX certified select 9.2 receiver with all the latest 4K video technology, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X for under $1,000. Pinch yourself the new TX-NR787 is on sale for under $700?

A 100 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC) or 220 W/ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 10%, 1-channel driven) A/V receiver, the TX-NR787 is engineered for enthusiasts seeking seamless top-to-bottom, front-to-back, and side-to-side coverage through 5.2.4 or 7.2.2-channel speaker layouts for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtrack immersion, or for music fans wanting a 5.2 or 7.2-channel home theater with app-controllable powered digital*1 and analog audio distribution to stereo speakers located in up to two additional zones.

Dynamic Audio Amplification featuring discrete non-phase-shift amps is proven by THX Certified Select for theater-reference volume within strict THX sound-quality parameters. Certification comes after thousands of independent bench-tests covering every aspect of product design.

As well as decoding DTS:X® and Dolby Atmos® formats, the receiver features Dolby Surround and DTS® Neural:X™ up-mixing technologies. Both cross-compatible solutions work with legacy Dolby® and DTS® soundtracks, enabling 3D reproduction through any speaker layout, including those with height channels, from sources such as DVD, Blu-ray Disc™, and selected video streaming services.

The TX-NR787 has universal pass-through support for 4K HDR video formats, including HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), HDR10, and Dolby Vision™, as well as BT.2020 color space, 4:4:4 color sub-sampling, 24-bit video, 4K/60p video, and HDCP 2.2 via six rear HDMI® inputs, Main Out, and Sub Out. A front HDMI terminal*2 is intended for temporary device connections, and the Sub Out*3 for a projector. Enjoy state-of-the-art movie formats on Ultra HD Blu-ray™ and selected video streaming services from external media players with truly spectacular sound and vision.

With the unit, Onkyo’s introduces AccuEQ Advance, a new premium multi-point room-acoustic calibration system that eliminates standing waves (dead areas where sound-wave peaks don’t move spatially, and compromise reproduction quality when sounds of the same frequency interact). Users can place the setup mic in three positions to assure optimal imaging across an expansive soundstage following an easy automated calibration process. AccuEQ Advance is enhanced by AccuReflex™ technology, which aligns the phase of directional and non-directional sounds for cohesive, comfortable, and well-organized object-based audio reproduction through Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker systems.

As well as analog audio distribution, powered ZONE 2 and powered ZONE 3 speaker outputs are serviced by dedicated DACs to share all digital input sources*1 for simultaneous playback of single or unique sources in any or all rooms. Zone 2 line-output can share the multitude of content*1 available to the receiver to a hi-fi system featuring a line-level input.

With 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi® connectivity and support for a variety of network audio distribution platforms, the TX-NR787 can fit in with compatible network speakers and audio systems of almost any brand, allowing users to structure an intuitive multi-room music ecosystem to suit their needs.

These platforms include DTS Play-Fi® technology, which distributes audio to grouped speakers via Onkyo Music Control App*4; FlareConnect™*5 for analog/digital source distribution, including phono; and Chromecast built-in, an easy-to-use casting technology for supported unique or grouped audio systems from Chromecast-enabled apps for iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, Mac®, Windows PC, and Chromebook™. Chromecast built-in works with the Google Assistant, and users can cue and control streaming audio by voice.

AirPlay® is included, while Bluetooth® wireless technology expands easy steaming capabilities from a broad range of phones, tablets, and personal computers. Amazon Music, TIDAL, TuneIn, Deezer, Pandora®, and Spotify are built into the receiver*6 for easy selection via the Onkyo Controller*4 or Onkyo Music Control*4 App.

Wow, Call Howie on 972-524-6225 while the introductory special is still available.

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Picnic – take along the new Revolve speaker from Bose

Bose’s new Revolve Bluetooth speakers look great and play sound in every direction.

Little speaker. Big goosebumps.

Meet SoundLink Revolve, one of Bose best performing portable Bluetooth speakers yet. It delivers true 360° sound for consistent, uniform coverage. Place it in the center of the room and everyone gets the same experience. Or set it near a wall and sound will radiate and reflect around the room, immersing you. Taking it outdoors? Great, it’s meant to go where you go.

Bose launched this speaker with two variations, the Resolve is 6 inches tall with a 12 hour battery life and the Resolve + is just over 7 inches tall with a larger diameter and a 16 hour battery life and plays louder as well as longer. Two speakers can be joined together for a wider stereo soundstage.

Resolve is water resistant (IPX4) so will keep going through a little rain. Don’t have your phone handy? Don’t worry. You can still make dinner reservations or send a text message. Just press and hold the multi-function button to access the voice input for Siri and Google Now™ right from the speaker. Problem solved.

For a limited time, Bose are offering a bundle of the SoundLink Revolve speaker with the Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa. Playing music is easier than ever with voice access to streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn. And everything else that Alexa can do  played back in surprisingly full sound.

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The Best Outdoor TV You Can Buy

Connections Plus - Sunbrite TV - Howie Foreman - Outdoor TV

Summer is almost here and our thoughts are filled with living around the pool or leisurely dinners in the cool evening air on the patio. Why not bring along an outdoor TV and make a movie night of it, or for the Dad’s, keep up with the game or PGA golf while keeping an eye on the kids?

If you want to install a TV on a covered patio or in a similar outdoor setting, you have two options. First, you can try using a regular TV, only to have the set damaged by temperature fluctuations, moisture from rain and condensation, and exposure to bugs and the elements. The better option is to get a TV built for outdoor use. The SunBriteTV Veranda is a 55-inch 4K TV that offers protection against the elements and 4K picture in one set. You’ll pay extra for the weatherproofing and optimizations for outdoor viewing, but it’s a better deal than burning through a standard 4K TV in a matter of weeks.

Design and Durability
The SunBriteTV Veranda is built for a very specific set of circumstances. The outdoor television is designed to bring 4K display quality to full-shade outdoor environments. Think covered patios, uninsulated garages, poolside cabanas and screened gazebos. As such, the construction of the set is heavy-duty, with a sealed aluminum shell serving as weather-sealed armor against rain, snow and extreme temperatures. The Veranda can operate in temperatures ranging from minus 24 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees and can be safely stored in temperatures of up to 140 degrees.

The metal exterior looks sharp, thanks to a black powder-coat paint job, but the real impressive stuff is the weatherproofing. The chassis is sealed against moisture, including a protective closure around the AV inputs in back.

The locking door cinches shut with two thumbscrews and is ringed with a thick foam-rubber gasket that allows cables to snake in and out of the compartment, but seals around the cables to protect the actual ports from moisture. Built into the bottom bezel is a sealed IR sensor for the remote control.

The TV measures 50 x 29 x 3.86 inches and weighs 51 pounds, which is heavy for a TV of this size, but not surprising when you take the metal exterior into account. The TV is compatible with 400-millimeter VESA wall-mounting hardware, or you can opt for SunBrite’s own all-weather stand. The optional stand is also made of heavy-gauge, powder-coated aluminum and provides a rock-solid base for the 55-inch Veranda TV.

For improved visibility in indirect sunlight – the TV is meant to be used in shaded outdoor installations – the brightness has been ramped up considerably.

Open up the weather-sealed compartment in back and you’ll find four HDMI connections, two USB ports, an RF connector for over-the-air broadcasts and both component and composite video inputs. A digital optical port gives you output for surround sound.

The SunBriteTV Veranda has no internet connectivity built in, and doesn’t include any smart TV functions. If you want to stream online content, Howie at ConnectionsPlus can easily set that up for you. Call Howie on 972-524-6225. 

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Top Home Theater Trends for 2018

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Online Streaming
New technological advancements are changing the way that people consume media and creating a shift in the entertainment industry. With a reported 49 million plus Wi-Fi-connected homes in the U.S. streaming content from a subscriber service such as Netflix, consumers’ love for binge-watching will only continue to increase in the foreseeable future.

Streaming services continue to generate millions of new subscribers annually, and this will continue the rising trend of home-theaters. In fact adoption of premium home-theater equipment is expected to rise astronomically. Everyone expects an uptick in consumer demand as well as the need for manufacturers to further differentiate themselves to maintain a competitive advantage.

Voice Control Integration
Tech giants continue to unveil new technologies across the wide spectrum of products and services that define the home entertainment space. One innovation gaining widespread acceptance is the integration of voice-control systems. Voice control will continue to be embraced as 50 percent of all searches are expected to be via voice by 2020, allowing home theater to play an integral role in the adoption of more smart-home technology.

Wireless Surround-Sound Home Theater
The home-theater industry has been witnessing a steady rise in technological advancements, which is transforming how music and movies are enjoyed. This massive growth in innovation will continue to increase the demand for home-theater audio systems in North America and revolutionize the marketplace — especially due to the growth in wireless audio solutions.

Many key factors are contributing to the quickly growing needs of consumers who are demandinmg more convenient, high-performance home theater without the wires. Because the existing manufacturers will naturally move to meet the increased demand and additional manufacturers and brands will capitalize on this trend by introducing more new wireless audio products into the marketplace.

Wearable Home Theater & Virtual Reality
Until recently, the ability to enter into a virtual reality only occurred in science fiction. Today, experiencing virtual reality through wearable technology is finding its way into our homes and transforming our movie-watching experiences. As the integration of home audio systems with wearable devices continues, manufacturers will feel compelled to develop smart and networked home-theater speakers that support VR, especially since the industry is projected to be worth $215 billion by 2021.

Social Networking
Today many, many people consider seamless connectivity to be necessary, sports fans and TV junkies alike desire the opportunity to join real-time conversations across various media platforms.

For instance, people want to chat alongside others when a new episode of Game of Thrones is airing, which is one of the most tweeted-about shows in the entertainment industry. In fact, 72 percent of TV “superfans” reported that social media plays an integral role in their regular TV viewing.

Home theater viewers will soon have the privilege to tweet, comment, and share reviews while watching favorite programs on home-theater screens as TV manufacturers continue to unleash new social media features in their Smart TVs.

Product Value
No one can argue that the price of high-quality premium home-theater products has dropped significantly at the same time that features and performance continue to grow dramatically. With a wide range of product offerings in the marketplace at various price points, home theater owners can maximize their entertainment experiences at a fraction of the recent costs. Products that also rank high in simplicity and ease-of-use — such as wireless home-theater audio systems — eliminate the need for expensive installation costs encouraging the adoption of a wider variety of home-theater products.

 

Connections Plus founder, Howie Foreman has been a driving force in the AV industry for over twenty years, so his experience and knowledge is outstanding. A conversation with Howie can save you loads of time and avoid potentially costly mistakes if you are in the market to upgrade or purchase your Home-theater syatems. Call Howie on 972-524-6225. 

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Video Walls

Thinking of a video wall for your business?
What is a video wall? A video wall is an array of high quality commercial or professional grade monitor screens placed together to create a larger screen. Video walls come in many different sizes, applications, configurations and varieties including LCD, LED, blended projection screens, rear projection screens (DLP), mosaic tiles and direct view LED panels just to name a few.

Video walls are usually made from large size screens with narrow or ultra-thin bezels. The smaller the bezel, the more the video wall will portray a seamless image. Video walls are typically constructed of commercial grade materials, meaning they can be operated in work environments up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have longer life spans than traditional consumer displays.

Budget
Video walls may appear to be as simple as an oversized TV but there are many factors that play into the overall cost of a video wall. Monitor size, type, weight, screen resolution, dot pitch, and information to be processed and displayed all play a key role in the cost of a video wall. Knowing your budget before you begin your research will aid you in quickly defining what type of video wall is right for you, how much sophistication and complexity you can afford and what functions and features are most important to you.

Where to place your video wall
Now that you’ve determined how much money you have to spend on your video wall you will need a place to put it. The Installation of your video wall is an important consideration for numerous reasons. As they say in commercial real estate, “location, location, location”. The same applies for the installation of video walls. It’s important to maximize visual impact and ROI on your video wall and that means placing it in a “high traffic” area, or for interactive walls, at the right height for your customers. This location may be your lobby, an informational kiosk, a retail outlet, conference room or command and control center. How large does the wall need to be, how far off the floor does it need to stand, from how far away do you need people to be able see and read it? These are important questions that help determine what type of wall is right for you and where to install it.

Video Wall Content
Content is your message.
Your message is your purpose.
Your purpose is what you want your video wall to convey.
Is your purpose to assist and inform the public using mapping or way-finding? Is your purpose to entice or motivate shoppers such as taking advantage of a current sale? Is your purpose to influence and create emotion with content such as moving art, photography or imagery? Identifying your purpose up front will help you define your message which will aid you in determining your content, how it is to be conveyed, and how to go about creating it.

If you are thinking of adding a video wall to your business we can help you get to the right solution for your project. Call me Howie Foreman, owner of Connections Plus Custom Audio Video. 972-524-6225. 

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The Great Outdoors Deserves Great Music Quality

Connections Plus AV - TIC Inground Outdoor Speakers

You know what my Labor Day Weekend party needs, you’re probably asking yourself. Great music! Music piped in all over the property from great speakers!

Here’s the problem. Most people don’t want to mount speakers to their house, but you can’t really think of any other place to hang them. There’s a much better solution. Let me recommend TIC In-Ground Speakers for the great outdoors and here’s why:

Sound Quality
Of course, the most important thing to consider when you’re speaker shopping is what kind of sound quality you’ll get from your selection. The TIC GS-3 150-Watt Outdoor In-Ground Speaker has true 360-degree omnidirectional sound. This means that you’re able to place the speaker virtually anywhere in your yard and still get great sound all over your yard. Your favorite tunes seem to flow into your party’s atmosphere from nowhere. In truth, your omnidirectional speaker is the source of the music, hidden somewhere in your shrubs or flowers. The deep green color of the TIC GS-3 makes it almost invisible in the foliage while producing a perfectly clear sound that can be heard above all the distracting outdoor noise. Your Labor Day party guests will love that!

Because sound isn’t true to original without great bass, you also need a speaker with an ample sized woofer and a decent tweeter. The TIC GS-3 150-Watt Outdoor In-Ground Speaker has a full eight-inch woofer and a two-inch aluminum cone tweeter, which is more than ample to give you the sound quality you really want.

Equally important is the frequency response range because this determines how high and low the pitch of the sound can go. Many speakers start at about 50Hz and go up to 15,000 or 20,000Hz. These speakers have an amazing range of 38Hz to 22,000Hz. The high number may not be so impressive since the human ear does not hear much above 20,000Hz, but the low range of 38Hz helps play a deeper and clearer bass.

Speaker Efficiency
The next question you’ve got to ask yourself is, will theses speakers be strong enough to provide a great outdoor sound.

Despite its name, the TIC GS-3 150-Watt Outdoor In-Ground Speaker has a full range 200 watts sound, with a total RMS power output of 75 watts. The sensitivity of the speakers is basically it’s ability to transform power into sound and determines how efficiently it will run. Anything over 87db is considered efficient. This speaker has a sensitivity of 89db, making it the perfect outdoor speaker.

Overall Product Design
So as I said, the TIC GS-3 150-Watt Outdoor In-Ground Speaker has a shrub green finish that fits in perfectly with trees and greenery. You will barely notice them in your yard in among the shrubbery. They’re a little over a foot high and wide and weigh 10-pounds each, making it secure in the ground with an impact-resistant ABS cabinet. They also have a double insulated cable that adds extra protection to the speakers.

These speakers are built for the outdoors and are weather resistant. The TIC GS-3 150-Watt Outdoor In-Ground Speaker is built to withstand very high and low temperatures, rain, ice, and snow. Renowned for their rugged design and ability to withstand extreme weather, TIC supplies many of the nation’s amusement parks who use this exact speaker to play music in their parks. Big entertainment companies like this only invest in well-made products because the expense of having to replace all the speakers in their parks would quickly become a liability they can’t afford.

Guaranteed
Finally, TIC offers a one-year warranty with the purchase of their in-ground outdoor speakers. My customers become life-long friends, so I’m always happy when a company offers at least a one-year warranty for products I recommend to them. TIC is a company we can trust because they always stand behind their product.

The TIC GS-3 is my favorite outdoor speaker, but my wife prefers the TIC “rock speakers” because “they’re pretty.” Regardless of your individual taste or style, I believe the TIC in-ground outdoor speaker range will fit all your outdoor speaker requirements and provide great sound for all your outdoor activities.

Call me and I’ll be happy to show your the TIC line.      Howie Foreman – Connections Plus AV

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SONY TV’s for 2018

 

The world’s largest electronics trade show, the Consumer Electronics Show or CES gathered monster tech companies in Las Vegas in January to show off their newest products. Sony was there, of course, with their amazing televisions for 2018.

Sony TVs in general are a safe bet with great picture quality and loads of polish. Even Sony’s TV “build quality” in their budget models hold their own in the line, but their high-end and especially their mid-range TVs are industry winners.

Sony’s “Bravia” branded models (XBR model name) are definitely contenders for the Best TV’s available in 2018 according to CES.

BEST SONY 4K TV

Reviews site the Sony A1E 4k OLED TV as having the best picture quality ever seen due to its use of OLED technology. Because each pixel can be turned completely off, the TV reproduces perfectly deep and uniform blacks, giving it an infinite contrast ratio. It’s amazing to see.

In addition to its striking design and great picture quality, the A1E is a very versatile TV overall. Thanks to its great handling of motion, great viewing angles and great handling of reflections, this Sony TV is hard to beat. Its ability to reproduce a wide gamut of colors also makes it a top performer for HDR.

The experts at CES thought the A1E to be the best Sony TV currently available.

BEST MID-RANGE SONY 4K TV

The Sony X900E packs a punch and makes a great mid-range TV. In its price range, it’s very difficult to beat.

This Sony LED TV offers most of the performance of the more expensive X930E, but for about 60% less money. Contrast is about the same and both feature a nice local dimming feature that enhances it even more. The X930E edges it on that aspect a little bit and gets significantly brighter, but that still makes for a fairly small difference.

The Sony X900E will please the vast majority of television looking for great TV at a mid-range price.

BEST BUDGET SONY 4K TV

If you’re looking to get an entry-level Sony 4k HDR TV, the X800E is the best Sony in that range reviewed this year. It has a wider than average viewing angle, so it’s well suited for a living room where you’ll often be watching it from the side.

It doesn’t have as good a picture quality as the pricier TVs above, but it will still provides a great watching experience, especially if you don’t plan on watching your TV in a dark room all the time. It’s great for watching sports and playing video games thanks to its low input lag and low motion blur. Games feel snappy and fast moving element aren’t blurry or followed by long and distracting trails. It has some HDR capabilities too, thanks to its wide color gamut and 10-bit color support.

Call me and let me compare and contrast for you my three preferred television manufacturers, LG, Samsung and Sony. Making the right choice of all the TV’s currently available can be mind boggling. Let me help you make the choice uniquely right for you. Howie Foreman, owner of Connections Plus Custom Audio Video. 972-524-6225. 

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Why I Believe in LG Televisions

 

Connections Plus Custom Audio Video - LG Televisions

From time to time, I’m asked why it is that I so enthusiastically endorse LG TVs, so I thought this would be a good time to lay out some of the reasons I do that.

I think it’s important that the company that makes your TV can demonstrate a solid track record of longevity in business. You need the reassurance that there’s a high likelihood they’ll continue to be in business for a long time. After all, your television’s warranty is only as good as the company behind it. No one wants to invest the latest, greatest and biggest TV without the confidence that the manufacturer will be around to take care of any problems they may have in the future.

Buy LG Televisions from Connections Plus in DFWLG is a strong company with a long, distinguished past that started way back in 1958 as Goldstar. Notably the company now employs 82,000 people in a 119 subsidiaries worldwide and, in 2014, LG global sales were $55.91 Billion. This is a strong company with many n0table achievements involved in pretty much all areas of home electronics and appliances. By the way, if you are wondering if LG manufactures in the USA I have good news there. Rapid growth by globalization saw the company establish its US production facility in 1982. In 1984, the company adopted the name LG Electronics and, in 1985, acquired the US television manufacturer, Zenith.

LG has many accolades in the TV arena, one of which is developing the first 60″ plasma TV in 1998. It’s my belief that LG provides excellent products in all throughout it’s television line up.

LED TVs
Deliver smoother, cleaner pictures in a streamlined, slim design. These energy efficient TV uses LED back lighting to deliver a brighter and more vivid picture.

OLED TV
Designed to give lifelike color and richer imagery, discover a display that can be viewed clearly from virtually any angle.

OLED 4K TV
Offers incredible detail with LG’s ultra-high definition resolution, double that of full HD TVs. You will feel immersed in the action with an OLED 4K TV from LG.

Smart TV
LG’s line of smart TVs let you do it all. From movies and music to games, videos and so much more, LG smart TVs feature everything you want, all in one place.

3D TV
LG’s 2D-to-3D conversion feature lets you turn virtually any TV show, movie or sporting event into a total 3D experience.

I know that making the choice of the best TV for your particular needs can be a bewildering process. Call me and let me help you. I can compare and contrast my three preferred television manufacturers, LG, Samsung and Sony for you. I’ll be happy to help you make the choice uniquely right for you.  Howie Foreman, owner of Connections Plus  972-524-6225 

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Samsung’s “The Frame” Television

Connections Plus DFW - Samsung The Frame TelevisionPlacing a television in a formal living room is an interior decorator’s worst nightmare. That big, black rectangle overshadows any motif and screams “look at me” to your guests, but not in a good way.

Want an elegant room where you can practice the ancient art of conversation? Then hide the TV. Connections Plus has been making their client’s TVs virtually disappear for years. Samsung just made that task a whole lot easier with a television that vanishes when you’re not using it!

Samsung’s “The Frame: The most beautiful TV you’ve never seen.”

Designed in a collaboration with industrial designer Yves Behar, The Frame disguises itself against your wall as a picture frame so well that it just received the CES 2017 Best of Innovations Award.

Connections Plus DFW - Samsung The Frame TV on wallForbes magazine calls Samsung’s The Frame “The Clever New Near-Invisible TV.” Forbes contributor, David Phelan is quoted as saying “It really is convincing. In fact, the only way I knew whether I was looking at a picture or “The Frame ” was that the regular pictures showed up reflections of the lights falling on them and the Frame didn’t!”

Currently, The Frame comes with about a hundred works of art, but also allows you to add your own photos through the USB port or Samsung’s Smart View app. Samsung is working with museums and curators to add to even more pieces to their “art collection.” Eventually, there will be more than 300 additional works for you to display in your home when you’re not actually watching TV on your Frame.

Watch the 30 second introduction video of The Frame:

The Frame television can also turn off and go into Art Mode on its own by way of a built-in motion sensor that lets the TV know when people enter and leave the room. The Frame also comes equipped with an ambient-light sensor that changes the picture’s color temperature and brightness automatically.

Connections Plus guru, Howie Foreman has been a driving force in the AV industry for twenty years, so when he’s this excited about a new product, it must be outstanding. Let’s just say, Howie’s over the moon about The Frame and he’d love to tell you the details! 972-524-6225Connections Plus Audio Video flourish2

 

Connections+ Puts a Ring of Security Around Your Home

Connections Plus - Ring Doorbell Home Security System

Howie and Aaron Foreman, owners of Connection Plus, believe that preventing a break in at your house is better than sounding the alarm after the burglary is in progress.

Eighty percent of break ins start or stop at the front door. Criminals prefer to break into an empty house than one that is occupied, so knocking at the door with some ruse lets them know if someone’s inside. The problem is, you can’t stay at home all the time, or can you?

Ring Doorbells certainly make it appear that someone is always home at your house because they allow you to speak to whoever rings your bell, even if you’re actually on the other side of town. Ring Video Bell even lets you see whoever is on your front porch. Videos made by Ring customers show that many burglars aware of these devices will flee the scene before attempting to break in through the front door.

Connections Plus - Answer Ring Doorbell at the BeachAnswering the door” from anywhere with the Ring video doorbell, makes guests or potential intruders believe you’re home and that you see them. Ring’s HD camera is fitted with night vision to provide a clear view of the front door around the clock. Ring’s motion detection alerts are sent to your phone via the Ring app, alerting you of guests and deliveries. With the Ring doorbell, you’re “always home” and aware of what’s happening at your front door.

If you add Ring’s Stick Up Cams in conjunction with the Ring Video Doorbell, you get a full ring of security around your entire home. It picks up motion on your property and alerts you on your phone no matter where you are. It’s weather resistant and wire-free. Just like with the Ring doorbell, you have full control over motion detection zone sensitivity. It has two way audio to communicate with visitors and possible intruders from anywhere. All videos can be saved and shared via the cloud video service.

The Stick Up Cam allows you to keep an eye and ear on all activity surrounding your entire home. You can monitor arriving guests, check when kids get home from school or spot anyone snooping around your property day or night.

Connections Plus can show you how the best home security smart devices on the market, how they work, and how they prevent crime before it happens. They can literally place a ring of protection around your home with the Ring System.Connections Plus Audio Video flourish2

Change Your Mind, Change Your Mood. It’s Your House

Twenty plus years of audio video experience enables the custom installers at Connections Plus to integrate the newest technology with your favorite existing components. Whether you simply want to connect your current sound system to your flat screen TV or yearn to integrate your music, lighting, security and HVAC systems, our technicians can pull it all together for you.

If you have thought of the possibilities of streaming all your favorite music to any room, or every room, and how to control your music with one simple app to fill your home with pure, immersive sound then you should take a look at Sonos. Sonos offers a variety of speakers in different shapes and sizes for any or every room of your home.

Not only that, Sonos now integrates with third-party home automation systems that make your choices virtually limitless! Of course, smart-home systems have integrated with Sonos for ten years or more, but now certain sanctioned partners have the great support that Sonos provides for its own products.

Change Sound, Lighting and Temperature on a Whim

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Take the integration of Lutron and Sonos. A fabulous seam free integration which gives gives consumers direct, one-touch control of any Sonos speaker alongside lights, shades and temperature, when used with Lutron’s Caséta Wireless, RadioRA 2, and HomeWorks QS smart home systems. Play, pause, skip tracks, and adjust volume, in exactly the same way that you control lights and shades from your nightstand or from the wall. Lutron has developed a new Pico Remote Control for Audio just for this purpose which puts audio and lighting control in the palm of your hand.

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Design Your Own Mornings

There are several benefits when integrating a RadioRA 2 or HomeWorks QS system, with Lutron Connect, with a Sonos system. Sonos speakers can be added to any single action scene button on an in-wall, tabletop keypad, or Lutron Connect app keypad. For example, music could be layered in with the lights, shades, and temperature control of the Morning scene, setting the perfect atmosphere for waking up in the morning and getting ready for the day.

You Theme Song Could Announce Your Arrival Home

Coming Home to Your Theme Song - Connections Plus Custom Audio VideoSonos could also be included into the “arriving/leaving home” feature to automatically start playing music upon your arrival home while pausing them when you leave. Also, you can use the new Pico remote for audio to control your Sonos speakers from anywhere in your home. Imagine arriving home to Hail to the Chief or God Save the Queen!

“Music sounds better when the lights are just right,” says Michael Smith, Lutron vice-president of sales. “Imagine settling into the couch with a glass of wine and you can adjust the lights and music right from the Pico remotes on your coffee table. Or as you pull into your driveway, the entry lights automatically turn on and your Sonos Home Sound System starts playing to welcome you through the front door. Music lovers will truly appreciate how easy it is to sync your music and lights and get immersed in the experience.”

Lutron’s “geofencing” feature allows you to schedule immersive sound and lighting scenes to begin even before you get out of your car. Kind of gets the house in the mood before you arrive home!

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  • Buy LG Televisions from Connections Plus in DFW