Howie Foreman’s 9th AV Gift of Christmas is the Conklin Electric 7 String Bass guitar.
Although not a guitar dealer himself, Howie says, “If there’s no great music, what’s the point of great stereo?”
Of the twenty plus guitars that Howie Foreman plays, his very favorite is the Conklin Electric 7 String Bass guitar. He likes his, so we’re pretty sure the bass player in your life will enjoy getting one on the Ninth Day of Christmas.
Howie Foreman’s 8th AV Gift of Christmas is a SunBrite All Weather, Outdoor TV.
January 1st is the time we look into the future and plan for the New Year. What better time to buy the one you love a great new television that will make their 2018 Spring, Summer and Fall backyard entertaining much more fun?
All SunBriteTV televisions share the features that make them the right choice for outside use like brightness many times brighter than indoor televisions and all are water proof with weatherproof cable connections and valid warranty for outdoor use.
The model you select depends on where you plan to your outdoor television. There’s the Veranda Series that are made for use in full shade like covered patios, porches and sun rooms. Then there’s the Signature Series, designed for partial sun or areas with high ambient light like pergolas or partially covered deck. Finally, there’s the Pro Series. These SunBriteTV models thrive in full sun and active areas such as poolside and full-sun, outdoor seating areas. They also have anti-glare, heat-resistant screens with a protective tempered glass shield.
Call Howie Foreman at Connections Plus Custom Audio Video will be happy to discuss your outdoor television plans with you to help you choose the best outdoor TV for the best price possible.
Howie Foreman’s 7th AV Gift of Christmas is JVC’s Quad Proof Everio Full HD Camcorder GZ-R10R.
Not only does the GZ-R10R by JVC take stunning HD video, it’s designed to thrive in adverse conditions. The term “Quad Proof” means that it’s water proof, dust proof, shock proof & freeze proof. The Quad Proof Everio Full HD Camcorders laugh in the face of rain, snow, swimming pools, off-road events and 14 degree blizzard assignments. The letter R denotes the beautiful jewel-tone red color of the camera that is also available in blue and black.
Legendary JVC video quality with a high performance HD zoom lens, high bit-rate AVCHD recording, zoom microphone and advanced image stabilizer would be impossible for a typical smart phone or tablet.
On the 7th day of Christmas, also known as New Year’s Eve, you can get some great shots of Seven Swans a Swimming without worrying at all about the splashing or the weather!
Call Howie Foreman at Connections Plus Custom Audio Video for information on all the great JVC products.
Howie Foreman’s 6th AV Gift of Christmas is the BOSE SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II.
The SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II is designed for life on the go. The wrap-around silicon body gives it the compact durability you need to toss it in a bag or backpack and take it anywhere. It’s light weight and rounded with a soft-touch surface, so it’s still easy to carry in your hand. SoundLink Color II is water resistant and tough, with a design that keeps your music portable.
Control multiple functions with the press of a button, like answering calls on speakerphone, skipping tracks and switching between connected devices. Wherever you go, you can confidently take SoundLink Color II along, without missing a beat of your music. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives you up to 8 hours of playtime.
The only question left to answer about the SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II is what color to buy for each of the folks on your Christmas list!
Call Howie Foreman at Connections Plus Custom Audio Video to join the Bose SoundLink family.
Howie Foreman’s 12 AV Gifts of Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some great music, so for the 4th Day of Christmas how about giving 4 great CDs.
There were lots of good Christmas albums released in 2017. Here is a selection of four great new Christmas albums Howie thinks everyone would enjoy.
Gwen Stephani first performed her new Christmas song, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, on The Voice as a duet with fiancee, Blake Shelton. The release of her album and NBC Christmas special under the same name soon followed.
Alabama’s new American Christmas album is the first Christmas album the group has released since 1996. Filled with great Christmas classics, the album is a gift to their loyal fans who have supported them all these years.
Coming off her stint on Dancing with the Stars, violinist, Lindsey Stirling released her first Christmas album, Warmer in the Winter and then set off on her holiday tour. Pledgemusic says, “Prepare yourself for a potpourri of different styles, sounds from all different sides of Christmas music. All of which is sprinkled with a good dose of Lindsey pixie dust.”
With over a billion YouTube views for their 50 plus music videos in their back pocket, The Piano Guys released their new holiday album, Christmas Together. Christmas Together features collaborations with major music greats and is the seventh studio album by The Piano Guys.
Christmas isn’t over quite yet, so keep the celebration going with great Christmas music all the way through January 5th, the Twelfth Day of Christmas!
Howie Foreman’s 3rd AV Gift of Christmas is a tried and true Bose stereo system called the Acoustimass® 5 Series V stereo speaker system20.
The 3rd AV Gift of Christmas is a Bose stereo system called the Acoustimass® 5 Series V stereo speaker system.
Clear, lifelike stereo sound without cluttering your living space. The Bose® Acoustimass® 5 Series V speaker system includes two small Direct/Reflecting® Series II satellite speakers, plus a hideaway Acoustimass module for a stealthy system that delivers big sound. Inside each sleek, low-profile satellite are two precisely angled drivers that provide the perfect mix of direct and reflected sound for a spacious music-listening experience.
The compact Acoustimass module can be placed out of sight, anywhere in your room so you can enjoy deep bass that seems to emanate from the tiny satellites. Could the thousands of loyal Bose customers who swear by Acoustimass be wrong? No way. Think Acoustimass for Christimas!
Howie Foreman’s 2nd AV Gift of Christmas is a pair of BOSE SoundSport Free wireless, in-ear headphone ear buds designed for people with an active lifestyle.
When you open your gift of BOSE SoundSport Free Wireless Ear Buds, get ready for clear, powerful sound from the first truly wireless, in-ear headphones that BOSE has ever made. They’re engineered to stay in place and stay comfortable during even the most active lifestyle.
The technology inside these earbuds is focused on every detail from tuning the circuits for improved sound to tweaking the antenna position for maximum Bluetooth® signal strength. The result of this fine design is in-ear headphones that play consistently and clearly whether your phone is in your hand, in your pocket, strapped to your arm or sitting on top of the treadmill, with never a wire in sight. The volume-optimized EQ and Bose digital signal processing make music sound full and balanced at any volume whatever you’re doing.
The SoundSport Free Wireless In-Ear headphones have an unmatched combination of comfort and stability because the specially engineered nozzle of their StayHear+ Sport tips that spread contact evenly around the inside of your ear, while the fin conforms naturally to the shape of the upper ridge of your ear. Consequently, the BOSE SoundSport Free Wireless Ear Buds are comfortable, but won’t fall out.
You don’t have to be a body builder, sprinter or extreme sport enthusiast to enjoy BOSE SoundSport Free Wireless Ear Buds. Anyone who works up a sweat will appreciate the water-repellent mesh in the open ports to keep what’s inside dry come rain or sweat.
By the way, these ear buds come with a case that is much more than just a case. When you’re finished working on site or working out, place your BOSE SoundSport Free Wireless Ear Buds back in their case. It will not only protect them, but it can provide two additional full charges for up to 10 hours of battery life. Plus, a quick 15-minute charge will give you 45 minutes of battery.
For the specifications, pricing and details, call Connections Plus Custom Audio Video.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
Connections Plus was founded in 1992 by Stanford University graduate, Howie Foreman. After earning a degree in music education, Foreman began his career selling musical equipment. He actually moved into the technical world of audio and video equipment from the prospective of how it affected the music.
While watching the drastic evolution of the A/V industry over the years, Howie Foreman noted that the emphasis was always placed on cutting edge sound and video components instead of connectivity. Howie was able to exploit that void in the industry and turn it into a thriving installation business. That’s exactly how Connections Plus came to be.
Family-owned & Operated
In 1996, Howie brought his son into the business. Aaron Foreman literally grew up in the A/V industry, so when he left Southern Methodist University, joining Connections Plus seemed an obvious career path. The move turned out to be a perfect fit and today, Aaron is indispensable to the success of Connections Plus.
In 2006, Howie Foreman’s son-in-law, Clyde Neal came on board and is now an integral part of Connections Plus. Together, our team has come to be known for providing our customers with personal attention unparalleled in the industry.