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New News is Good News!


[Apple & Sonos Product]


    New product and feature from two big names.



    Sonos has a new sound-bar coming out. Called “Beam”, it’s basically a smaller version of the Playbar, more suitable for smaller rooms. Beam also features Alexa voice control built-in and comes at a lower price point of $399 opposed to $699, it’s expected to start shipping next month.



    Apple Airplay has been around since 2010. This cutting edge technology was/is very impressive. However, in 2010 I had requested that Apple enable features to allow us to use their product for multi-room music, including party mode to sync each devices output (like Sonos does).

    Well, better late than never - Apple has now released this Airplay2 feature available to MOST of their product.  This is great news however, still a slight disappointment as they haven’t enabled this feature on their affordable Airport Express.

    The "Airport" line of products (including the Express), is becoming discontinued however, I have read they are working on “upgrading the firmware” to enable the Express. My optimistic guess is Airplay2 will be available with a new Express replacement, not yet announced. 

    Once (and if) they enable this feature on the Express or offer it's replacement at a matching price, it could be good news for some Apple users on a budget with a multi-zone house to fill with music (because you could just buy an Express at $99 per zone instead of, for example, a Sonos Connect for $349).


[Ambient is the New Off]


    Aside from the great picture, built-in voice control, and other new features of the 2018 Samsung QLED lineup, one of the most - could be - appealing features is their “Ambient is the New Off” feature.  The TV can be a chameleon to match the wall it’s mounted to.  Colors, texture, and even patterns like brick and wall-papering. When in Ambient mode, the TV “disappears”.


    Yes wall-paper is in if you haven’t heard ;). Our first house had wall-paper, I recall my wife and I joking as we peeled it off the walls wondering why would this ever be accepted.  Yet now, less than ten years later, we’re looking to paper our current Dining Room.


    This new TV feature stirred a thought; after paper, how about we add a new QLED and dual-purpose the Dining Room into a Conference room.   You don’t want a big TV in your Dining Room but, you need one in a 2018 conference room, perfect right!  Lol, not sure my wife will buy the idea but, it’s now an option for those who run a business from home.


    Please know this new feature of the Samsung TVs isn’t a competition to their “Frame” TV lineup, instead it’s an alternative;  The Frame TV is intended to be mounted where there should be a picture on the wall and the new Ambient is off TV is intended to go on a wall that should have nothing on it..


    For more info on the new 2018 line, check the “confidential” dealer webinar link below. It is long so, as a consumer I wouldn’t expect you to watch the entire thing (& not sure why it’s confidential but, the link may only be available to click for a limited time if I find a reason).


Link -


[Few Thoughts on a Few Categories]


    We’ve been so busy lately I just realized I haven’t written my “monthly” article yet this year, already March!  So here a few thoughts on a few categories, with some speculation.



    Network equipment has still been at an all-time high performance technology. The past year in network equipment has leapt huge hurdles but, I’d guess it might level off soon, at least before the next reign of technology rolls through, which could be any-day.     



    Surveillance installs have also been keeping steady as more affordable and high-performance machines are now at hand. Lots of systems without wiring lean towards the likes of Ring products (or similar) with simple-battery-powered installs (also dependent on good WiFi) and video intercom bells and whistles. Pretty cool and functional stuff there.


A/V -

    Yeah 4k TVs with HDR, Atmos/DTS and other surround fields are still impressing but, now becoming standard. I keep finding myself missing some seat shakers (transducers attach to your couch to shake you into feeling the bass that’s too low a frequency for you to even hear) and finding the best way to hide a TV/screen in the room that’s not really a theater, Samsung’s FrameTV, pop-up/down solutions I’d think would be evolving given the real estate of the now 65” “standard” TV size, eating up your living walls.


    Anyone need some better sound in their yard for this coming summer? I might suggest checking the Sonance Sonarray system. Sourced with some Sonos and voice-controlled “Alexa”.


We’ll be here to help whatever the solution may be..

- Paul T. James


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