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Tag Archives: audio/video installation

SGU Now Offering Free Services to New Businesses

 

Attention new small business owners: SGU wants to help you!free IT services

We understand that in these hard economic times, it’s difficult to make your mark as a new business – especially when you’re struggling to establish a technological base. That’s where we come in.  To help give new businesses a boost, we’re offering our technology services …drum roll please…FREE!  SGU will survey the technological infrastructure for your business free of charge – assessing what you have and what you need in order to help your business take flight.

Why are we giving you something for nothing?  

Miles Ramboyong, the founder of SGU, is personally invested in the challenges that new businesses may face: “The odds against small business success are what drive me to succeed and help others to do so. Startups need to be as efficient and productive as possible, as saving time and money go hand in hand. Technology is a tool to help them succeed – it’s a key component in the efficiency of every aspect of a business, starting with the accounting system…I’m rooting for the underdog. As a business owner myself, I want businesses to succeed.”

What will you get?

Our offer means you can take advantage of our free assessment in 1 of 3 areas: Help Desk and Network Support, Audio/Video Installation and Integration, or Web Design.

  1. Help Desk and Network Support: It is important for new companies to have a strong communication platform: this includes hosted email exchange, data sharing and file storage. The internet configuration – usage of a modem, router, server, firewalls, and other devices – will also be vital to doing business. We’d like to  come in with solutions to these network design challenges to help you start off with a solid infrastructure.
  2. Audio/Video Installation and Integration: Conference or Board room setup contains various A/V elements such as TV placement and installation, video conferencing specifications, shades, lighting, and other design components. SGU can examine equipment and configuration to ensure your space is optimized.
  3. Web Design: SGU will create complimentary home page mockups for new businesses. Collecting information – including website goals, style preferences, target market, and overall functionality – will establish the focus needed to produce an effective website and drive revenue.

Where do I apply?

If you are a new business owner, visionary, and/or entrepreneur with a strong business plan, click here to contact us, and simply complete the form.  You may also email us directly at info@sguconsulting.com.  In addition to your business concept, please tell us about your role in the company, a little bit about your business plan, and the technology challenges that you’re currently facing. This way, we can more quickly determine how we can help.  We look forward to working with you and  helping you make your way towards success.

 

Can’t I Just Use Geek Squad?: The Audio Video Installation You Need

 

If you’ve ever had a new TV installed, you know there are a lot of different vendors out there that can get the job done. It may seem like they all do the same thing – and, to an extent, they do – but in the end, every service is unique.  Some companies provide more comprehensive and suitable services for your needs than others.audio video installation

Geek Squad, for example, has become a household name in the past few years, and it may seem simpler just to go with what you know. And if you use Geek Squad, you will most likely have a new TV properly installed in your home.  However, if you look a little deeper, you might find you can benefit from a company with more comprehensive and customized service offerings.

 

The Limitations of the Geek Squad

So you’ve got a new TV, or you’ve moved into a new home, and you’re ready to get settled in as soon as possible. There may even be a big game coming up, or the season finale to your favorite show, and you really want to get your TV installed in time to watch it. What you really want is same-day availability from your installer, which Geek Squad can’t always provide. When you’re paying for a service intended to make your life easier, there’s no reason to be waiting around for setup.

Because the Geek Squad is affiliated with Best Buy, their services will be centered around Best Buy products. We’re not suggesting that you can’t buy your television or any other home theater products from Best Buy, but wouldn’t it be great to choose from a wider selection of brands and models? There should be no restrictions on the vendor and the date of purchase, no cookie cutter model that your home theater has to fit into. Because different people and homes will require different equipment, there should be no limit to the options open to them.

Geek Squad does not guarantee personalization.  Ideally, you want to engage a technician or service provider who has taken the time to learn your needs through means other than electronic order processing and appointment setup.  Also, it’s great to know who you’re letting into your home. 

 

The Alternative

SGU Consulting offers same-day availability for audio video installation. We know how precious your time is and so we want to get the job done as soon as possible. Plus, we want you to start enjoying your time with your new TV instead of worrying about how to install it.

We have no affiliation with specific brands and so we’re free to recommend what is right for you, and not what we’re required to recommend. Instead of pushing certain products, we evaluate you as an individual before suggesting a product.

We also have the benefit of not being an anonymous provider. Here at SGU Consulting, we’d love to have you contact us throughout the setup process – whether it’s just to ask questions, have us install your TV, or even just give you our equipment recommendations. We can give you more comprehensive audio video installation as both your home theater designer and your installer.

 

Take Advantage

You want your office or home theatre to reach it’s maximum potential.  Who knows, you might be able to acheive more than just watching your shows on a new flat screen.  By choosing a comprehensive A/V consultant like SGU, we can help you explore the possibilties.  Let us come to you and offer our professional advice – take advantage of our complimentary A/V site survey today!  For inside trends and daily insight, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

audio/video installation

How To Connect Your iDevice To Your Home Audio Equipment

 

It’s safe to say that iDevices (iPod, iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone) have become must-have items in our lives; with their portability and fun features, most people rarely go anywhere without them. But what about when you’re at home? Shouldn’t these essential fixtures in our lives be just as easy to use around the house as they are when we’re out and about? Well, they are – you just have to have the right tools to connect them to your home theatre.

 

Various Solutions To The Same Problem

Run a Cable.  One of the simplest ways to connect your iDevice with your home audio equipment is with a cable. There are a couple different cable options you can use, depending on your receiver:

  • Most stereo systems and receivers, regardless of age, will work with a 3.5mm to RCA audio cable.  That means the 3.5mm end goes into your iDevice headphone jack and the Y-type RCA ends go into the receiver audio jacks.  All you have to do is look for the RCA-type connections on the back of the stereo to connect your cable to, usually marked AUX IN (auxiliary input). This is typically the cheapest method of playing music from your iPod on your home theater system.
     
  • A 3.5mm audio cable comes without RCA ends too–it has the same end on each side (called male to male).  Simply run it from your iDevice headphone jack to the 3.5mm port on your receiver and you have your favorite songs pumping through your home audio. For those receivers that don’t have a 3.5mm port, you can purchase a 6.5mm adapter and use the same audio cable.  Did we lose you?  Here are what all these cables look like:

    AudioCables for blog SGU

Use a Dock.  If you’re willing to pay a little more to spruce up your home theater, buying an iPod dock is a great option. There are a few different kinds of docks available, so you have to choose one depending on how you plan to use your home audio equipment.

If you have a receiver with a specialized dock connection, many companies sell specially-designed docks that work exclusively with their products. These docks have remote control functionality and you can view and navigate your music library on a TV screen.

If you don’t have a specially-designed receiver, a third party iPod dock could be right for you. It works with all TVs and receivers and still has the on-screen display with remote control functionality.

If you’re home theater is a bit more extensive, you can’t go wrong with a specialized dock for multi-room or backyard applications. Your iPod is connected to your home audio equipment, but you can control it from any room by using a remote that has its own display, instead of the display appearing on your TV. This is the most expensive of the three docking options, but you get your money’s worth in entertainment.

** Important note!  If you are planning on snatching up the iPhone 5 when it’s released, the pins have changed in the new model.  This means the connection to all docks will be different, so you need an adapter to use the new iPhone with your dock.

Go Wireless. For the super hi-tech connoisseurs out there, you can add to your current stereo set up and do away with wires and cables altogether.

  • The wireless bluetooth music receiver hooks up pretty easily to your stereo through a 3.5mm jack, just like we described above.  It produces high-quality sound for your iPod or iPhone music, and you can control your playlist directly from your device.
     
  • It’s only natural that the company that puts out the iDevices should create a way to play the music wirelessly through a bigger system. Apple has a feature called AirPlay, which can stream your tunes and play them through your stereo.  In order to use this feature you have to have a couple things in place:
    • A receiver (or Apple TV) that has wireless and AirPlay capabilities
    • Have the receiver hooked up to your home network, either wirelessly or via ethernet cable.
    • Use an iDevice with an AirPlay enabled operating system (iOS 4.3 or later). This includes the iPhone 3GS or later models, iPod touch 2nd generation or later and the iPad.  An additional feature of AirPlay is that you can also stream directly from your computer!

 

Need Some Help?

There are a lot of options, a few of which may seem right for you, and SGU Consulting can help you figure out which one will best suit you. We can help you set up your home so that you can enjoy the music on your iDevice through the power of your home theatre system–whether it’s the one you currently have or an souped-up version.  Want more insight into your home theatre potential?  Set up a free A/V Consultation today!

home audio equipment survey

Audio/Video Installation: Setting Up Your Conference Room Right

 

Here’s a true story.  It didn’t happen to a client or stranger.  It happened to yours truly.

We spent weeks preparing for a guest presentation on Internet Security at a prominent law organization.  We practiced all day, prepared a top-notch power point presentation and suited up for the show. When we arrived on site with our laptop and spare HDMI cable, the site rep guided us to the projector and screen in the conference room.  

Houston, we have a problem.  The HDMI input on the projector wasn’t working.  No video was appearing–the on-site projector and our laptop couldn’t communicate.  What’s more, the room was bigger than we anticipated with no microphone.  So we had no video and many of the conference participants were unable to hear.  We stumbled over the hurdles as best we could and eventually crossed the finish line.

You may be bringing in a guest presenter or, more likely, holding regular physical and/or virtual meetings in your conference room.  You want to create the ideal experience for all parties involved–you work hard enough without unexpected technical glitches throwing off your game.  Proper audio/video installation for a conference room is very important, for the benefit of the presenter, the participants in the room and for the participants who may be videoconferencing.  A/V design, equipment, and network considerations can help you configure a winning conference space.
 

 conference

 

Designing The Room

When designing your conference room, you have to first ask yourself what the aim of the room is. This will determine the layout of the room, not the least of which is the chair and table configuration. For example, if your conferences mostly revolve around informational presentations, a classroom style setup, with all of the chairs facing the presenter, will be more useful than a U-shape setup, which allows for conversation between the audience and the presenter. What this boils down to is that you have to consider where to place the screen for presentations will be so that everyone can best view it and hear it.

The room acoustics are another important factor. Sound absorbing materials are a great addition because they will prevent against reverberation or echoes from microphones and speakers. The aim is to eliminate distractions.

Buying The Right Equipment

Once you’ve designed your conference room, you have to make sure you’ve got the right equipment and software to really hit the ball out of the park.

For the visuals, consider whether you would rather use a projector or a flat screen.

  • A projector can cover a large area while also costing you less. Projectors are, however, more subject to problems with glare and bright lights. Models with very high lumens can counteract this, but then the prices go up and you may not be saving money any more. If you do choose to use a projector, make sure that you have the right cable to hook it up to the computer. You don’t want to find yourself trying to hook up an HDMI cable to a projector that only takes DVI in the middle of a conference.  
  • The other option is to use LCD or plasma flat screens, large enough so that they can be comfortably viewed from the back of the room. The other benefit of using TVs is that you can have dual monitors. One screen can display your video chat with colleagues while the other displays a slideshow, or whatever else you need.

    Hint:  You might try having a stationary computer permanently connected to your projector or flat screen.  Guest presenters or employees can email their presentation files, so you can avoid incompatibility issues altogether.  This could have prevented the SGU law society debacle!   

Don’t forget to amp up the audio as well as the visual! There are special video conference microphones that are very sensitive, great for picking up every detail of the conversation. Depending on how large the conference room is, you can either have a microphone placed in the middle of the room to pick up everyone around it, or, for larger rooms, have microphones placed in several locations.

The number of people virtually signing into a conference will influence what kind of software you need. If one or two people are videoconferencing, Skype may be just the program you need, for example. It never hurts to test out a couple of different programs to see which one best suits your needs.

Once you’ve designed the room, chosen your equipment and software, there’s still one more integral step: make sure you have the proper internet bandwidth. We often only look at the download speed, because this is all that matters when streaming videos and music, but upload speed is just as important for videoconferences. To give you an idea of what you should be looking at, Skype’s minimum requirements for bandwidth are 1.5 Mbps/1.5 Mbps, or, 1.5 Mbps for download and upload. This is only for one person, so these requirements will change depending on how many users they are.

Making This A Reality

SGU Consulting can help you will all aspects of audio/video installation, from designing your conference room setup, to recommending equipment and the software you’ll need for videoconferencing. SGU will also install these devices for you, turning an idea into an actuality.  Take advantage of our FREE SITE SURVEY–we come to your office, assess your setup, and provide an estimate completely free of charge.  Schedule now!

AV site survey with button

Is Bigger Always Better?: The Right TV for Your Home Theatre Design

 

 

 home theatre design bigger betterWe’ve all thought about it. For you it may have been when you were growing up and your parents insisted on keeping their old, small TV. For some it could be after a big promotion, when everyone feels like rewarding themselves. For others it was in college, when the most accessible screen is on a laptop. Buy the biggest TV you possibly can. And for many this may prove to be a good decision, but is it right for you?

What to Think About When Buying a New TV

Big screens are great. They just are. But you have to revise that mantra from buy the biggest screen possible to buy the biggest screen that your room will accommodate. You can still enjoy a large screen without having it take over the room. You’re already buying a new TV – you don’t want to have to buy a whole new house to go with it.
 

One factor to consider is the viewing distance, or how far away your beloved sofa is from your TV set. A good rule of thumb is that the distance between you and your set should be 1.5 to 2.5 times the size of the screen. That means that if you want to buy a 50 inch screen, it’s best to view it from 6’3” to 10’6” away – or if you know that you have 7’ between you and where you want to put the set, a 50-inch would suit you perfectly. Keep in mind that HDTVs can be viewed from a shorter distance and still look just great without getting pixelated like other TVs. Don’t forget that the screen size is a diagonal measurement of the screen, not just straight up and down!

 

Another factor to think about is the room motif. A family room is going to require a very different home theatre design from a decked-out bachelor pad. You have to think about how much focus you personally want on your TV in order to work out what size best fits your vision. When you walk into your room, is the first thing that pops out your TV, or the atmosphere you’ve created around it? There’s no right answer, just a right way to achieve that.

 

This leads to where your TV will go. TV placement is at its best when the middle of the TV screen is at your eye level. Some sets will require TV stands or wall mounts that will all have their own effect on the room. Along with where on the wall it will fit, you must think about sources of light like windows and lamps that will change how clear the picture is. Strong light can create a glare, but not all light is bad: some light on the back wall will reduce eyestrain and enhance the picture on the TV.

 

Where to Start

There’s even more to consider when updating your home theatre design than just these three steps, and it’s easy to forget some of the details.  It could also be that you’re having trouble deciding what you want. That’s where we come in. SGU Consulting will give you a free A/V assessment to determine your perfect TV size. Your TV should enhance the room it’s in, not compete with it.

 a/v installation survey

Home Theatre Design: Can I Really See a Difference? Blu-ray vs. DVD

 

In recent years, movie lovers have been encouraged to trade in their outdated and beloved DVD players for a new system: the Blu-ray player.  The hype tells us all that a Blu-ray player is better than anything – so what exactly is all the craze about? Here are some cold, hard facts on exactly how a Blu-ray player plays into your home theatre design.

Better image qualitydvd blu ray

Blu-ray players possess an array of features that appeal to movie lovers, but it is most popularly known for its promise of better image quality. The Blu-ray players’ high screen resolution provides viewers with a more detailed image which surpasses even movie theater experience. This is because the Blu-ray player uses a better video compression method which allows for more contrast and richer colors. This feature is enhanced especially when paired with an HDTV or projector.

Better sound quality

What better way to enjoy the vivid imagery provided by your Blu-ray player than with impeccable audio capabilities. The sound quality of a Blu-ray player is identical to the studio master, which means that you will be hearing things exactly as the director and audio engineers intended. No need to rewind, you will catch every last one of your favorite actors’ lines.

More space

The traditional DVD player reads and writes on discs with a red laser beam. The Blu-ray player uses a blue-violet laser beam, hence the term blu-ray. The blue laser beam works on shorter wavelength. This makes it possible to focus the laser with greater precision and as a result allows data to be packed more tightly and stored in less space. Blu-ray players save up to three times more data than your standard DVD player.

Upconverting

Don’t throw out your DVD’s just yet. The Blu-ray players are capable of playing standard DVD’s as well as improving image quality through a process call upconverting. During upconverting, the Blu-ray player reads the DVD with such precision that it enhances the picture quality to match that of the Blu-ray player.

 

I know you’re probably thinking by now, “Well what’s the catch?” It seems too good to be true. Well here are some disadvantages of the Blu-ray player:

Cost: The Blu-ray players are more expensive than standard DVD players.  They cost between $100-200, with the movies costing up to $25 each.  DVD players usually price under $50.

Avaliable titles: There are 970 Blu-ray discs available compared to the 90,000 on a standard DVD player.

Load times: Some Blu-ray players have a longer load time with about 1.5 minutes on average.  Higher-end players may take less time: 20 seconds.

Compatibility: Blu-ray discs will not work on a standard DVD player. This might be a problem if, let’s say for example, you have a built-in DVD player in your car. You won’t be able to view Blu-ray movies on your road trip.

 

The Verdict:  Yes, you can see a difference between a Blu-Ray disc and a regular DVD.  Although there are some drawbacks with the Blu-ray player, overall it seems that the good outweighs the bad when compared to a standard DVD player. The Blu-ray player may be just the home theatre design essential to achieve that movie theater feel.

 

Have questions?  SGU can provide answers as well as assess your home theatre potential.  Call now at 212-380-1333 for a free A/V site survey!

Audio Video Design: Why So Many Types of TV Wall Mounts?

 

So you’ve just bought yourself a new flat-screen TV and are chomping at the bit to get it set up for the big game, or the season finale of your favorite show.  But there are so many different types of wall mounts, you don’t know which one to choose. Why on earth would there be so many different ways to mount a television? All you want to do is be able to watch it, not worry about the mount. Turns out, your TV’s mount affects your viewing experience, so it couldn’t hurt to know a little more about what you’re dealing with.

tv mount

Learn the Types

  • A flat mount is the most basic TV mount, making your television parallel to the wall. If you want your TV to be the main focus, meaning that the mount isn’t seen at all, you can buy a low profile or flush mount that is conveniently covered by the TV screen.
  • You can also install a tilt mount so that you can adjust the screen depending on how high it is on the wall. If the only spot in the room for a wall-mounted television is above other furniture, for example, you don’t have to compromise the view because of space.
  • Similar to the last option is a tilt/swivel mount, which can also be adjusted from side to side. This is ideal for rooms that have more than one viewing spot.
  • The articulating mount is the most versatile wall mount. It has the widest tilt and swivel range with an arm that extends while you use it and folds back when you’re done.

What To Consider

You should consider various aspects of audio video design before choosing your mount; avoid simply buying the cheapest or the coolest looking mount you find. Your decision should include these different factors:

  • Weight: how heavy is your television? Not all wall mounts are designed to hold some of the heaviest TVs, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a flat screen only to have it fall and break on the floor.
  • Mounting pattern: check the screw hole pattern on the back of the television to make sure the configuration matches that of the wall mount. It will save you the extra trip of having to return the one you bought and trade it in for the one you need.
  • Adjustment capabilities: consider what you need your mount to do and how you will view the screen. If you want your screen always facing one direction, you don’t need to worry about this, but you need to think about how flexible the wall mount should be if you want to change the screen position often.
  • Aesthetics: you don’t want to impulse buy based on just looks, but they’re still important. As long as the style you like can physically accommodate your television, choose a wall mount you won’t mind looking at all the time and that complements your audio video design.
    • Wall composition: how will the TV look on the wall with all of your other possessions? This may take a bit of redesigning to get the set-up that you like best.
    • Placement: which wall do you want your TV mounted on? If you want it in the corner of the room, a flush mount won’t really work, whereas an articulating mount could be just what you need.
  • Size: this goes hand in hand with aesthetics – you don’t want your wall mount to be larger than your TV. Make sure you get the right size for your TV.
  • Quality: just as when you consider the weight of your TV, be mindful of the quality of the wall mount. Brand name wall mounts are made of material that give you more bang for your buck. It’s not worth it to save on a cheap mount if you then have to pay for television repairs.
  • Number of TV inputs: you want your cables to fit between the mount and the TV so that once you set it up, everything actually works. Fitting too many cables into a tight space could cause damage and affect performance.

Where To Start

SGU Consulting will work with you to choose the best possible wall mount for your television. We will consider all of these important factors while also keeping in mind your vision the whole way – and the cherry on top is that we can then install it for you, so you don’t have to do a thing!  Call us at 212-380-1333 for a FREE audio/video site survey!

A Simple Remote Solution

 

It’s 8pm on Saturday, and you and your family decide to have a movie night. The popcorn is buttered up and ready, pizza has just arrived and everyone is comfortable and ready to watch their favorite movie.

You reach for the remote to turn the DVD player on but quickly realize you have the television remote in-hand instead.

Now you’re searching for the DVD player remote.  In fact, the whole family is on a massive manhunt to find it.

When you finally find the remote, you realize you haven’t used it in so long that you don’t even know how to work it! It has too many buttons with commands and functions you’ve never heard of. Fifteen minutes have already gone by, and you are all anxious and past the state of annoyance.

Sound familiar? See, all of this could have been avoided. If only you had a simple remote control…

A Universal Answer to a Universal Problem

The Universal Remote  is a great remedy for home theatre headache, because it works to combine each of the various remote controls for your home theater system. This simple remote provides you with the ability to multitask and consolidate, by controlling the functions of DVD player, DVR, surround sound system, cable, television, music player and more. With a concise and compact remote controller that possesses all of the functions necessary to operate your home theater system, things have never been more simplified.

Why struggle and juggle with countless remotes and buttons when you can have all that you need in one package? The universal remote provides you with:

  • Efficiency
  • Convenience
  • Effortless style

Perfect for those movie nights alone or when entertaining guests, you can just whip out your touch screen universal remote control.  With the click of a few buttons, you’ll appear to be quite the technological genius–when in fact it does all the work for you.  Don’t worry.  We won’t say anything.

                                                                                       

Want to find out more about the universal remote?  Download our FREE Whitepaper!

 

Universal remote whitepaper

 

 

The Universal Remote: A Smart Controller for a Smarter Home

 

The Perfect Home?
Look around your house, in particular, take a good long look at your living room. Every little thing is in its place, just as you like it – a sort of “organized chaos.” Sure, when your in-laws visit, it takes a bit of explaining to get them to understand where the coasters are, what part of the couch you normally sit on, and probably you have to go over again and again which remote control goes with what device. Why don’t they understand that the controller with the red “on” button is for the TV and the one with the blue button is for the stereo and the black button is for the cable…or wait, is it the other way around?

 

The Real Story
If you’re like many, it could take you more tries than you’d like to admit to get everything working just the way you like it. Maybe you put up with it because you’re used to the clutter and confusion, but in less time than it takes to find the right remote, you can get used to ease and convenience instead.

 

What You Can Do About It
The universal remote eliminates all of the mayhem from what should be your time to relax after a long day of work. There’s only one gadget to keep track of, making it easier to find and making your house neater. That’s only one benefit of this smart controller, so look forward to spending more time relaxing and less time running around your home to turn different things on, change the volume, change the channel – you get the idea. This do-it-all remote will save you time and impress those in-laws with how tech-savvy you are. 

 

What We Can Do About It
If you decide that you’re ready to finally enjoy your downtime, SGU can help you figure out which universal remote is best for you and your home, as well as help you configure the smart controller with the rest of your devices. Just like the universal remote, SGU Consulting is here to take the load off your shoulders, doing the work so you don’t have to. Now that’s a perfect home.

Download our free whitepaper to find out more about the smart controller!

Download SGU's Free Smart Controller ePaper