Archive | June 2015

Upgrading Meeting Rooms to Current Audio/Video Standards

We’ve all been there. The banquet hall with the sketchy sound system. Meeting rooms without easy to use connections for your devices. Halls with low quality projectors that use the wall as a screen. Or, dare I say it, empty rooms where you’re left to fend for yourself. It’s not what we’d call the ideal experience.

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Ok, so we know you wouldn’t do a meeting here. But this room does relay the same feeling you get when you walk into a room that you know isn’t adequate.

Banquet halls and meeting rooms can create a much better experience through a simple upgrade to their Audio and Video systems. Beautiful displays and projection screens, hi-quality sound dispersed evenly throughout the room, easy to use device connections – these are all upgrades that would be a solid investment. By bringing your meeting room up to current standards, you increase the value of your space and help to create a much better experience for its users.

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As technology continues to advance, the public’s expectations on meeting rooms does as well. For example, walking into a space that doesn’t have proper connections for common devices causes problems and disappointments. Not only are the connections themselves important, but also the quality. Today’s users expect clear, evenly dispersed audio and hi-definition (usually 720p or 1080p) video. Using a random projector because it was on sale at the local office supply store may not be the best use of your money.

Recently, Westcoast AV Gallery was tasked with upgrading the Audio/Video systems for the Harbour Room at the Vancouver Rowing Club’s facility (the room’s primary use is for weddings, banquets and general meetings). As with many established facilities, their system was around 12 years old and needed to be upgraded to current standards. Their needs were probably similar to most places:

  • upgrade current speaker setup to provide higher quality, evenly dispersed audio

  • upgrade current presentation setup (projector & screen)

  • add ability to connect a laptop as an A/V presentation source

  • add wireless connectivity of A/V sources from mobile devices (IE. Smart phones & tablets)

  • add A/V control system with a touch screen wall panel that is easy to operate

Simple needs that most meeting rooms would have, correct? We think so.

After viewing the space and understanding the needs, we planned a solution that included the following:

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The needs and appropriate solution for each meeting room will differ, but the current standards will remain the same. Depending on the primary use of your space and it’s audience, the solution to bring your meeting room up to current standards could be a lot simpler than you think. Whatever the case, you can’t go wrong with upgrading your meeting room to current Audio/Video standards.

At Westcoast AV Gallery, we pride ourselves in offering hi-end Audio and Video solutions. We’d love to help you find the right solution for your meeting room. If you visit our showroom at 408 Terminal Avenue, you could chat with our staff and even experience some of the products that may be part of your solution.

Hi-End Audio Performance with Wadia Digital

Audio devices engineered by audiophiles. That’s an accurate description of Wadia Digital – a hi-end audio technology company based out of New York state.

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Founded in 1988 by a team of engineers from the 3M corporation, Wadia quickly became one of the first companies dedicated to the advancement of high performance digital audio reproduction. Disappointed with the sound quality, design and build specifications of early digital audio equipment, Wadia Digital committed themselves to applying advanced technology to improve the performance of digital audio components. Read More…

Dolby Atmos: What It Is and How You Can Get It.und soun

Most people have experienced Dolby surround sound – whether it was at your local theatre, or even at home with a simpler setup. Literally surrounded by sound, speakers are placed in front, behind, and on the sides of the listening area. Surround sound is great and does a pretty good job of bringing you into whatever you are watching.

Enter Dolby Atmos.

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What It Is.

Dolby calls Atmos “the most significant development in cinema audio since surround sound”. Atmos is not simply the addition of extra speakers, but a shift in how the surround sound system works. Instead of simply surrounding the listening area with speakers, Dolby Atmos is configured to provide a true 360 degree audio experience.

Here’s an example. Have you seen the latest Avengers movie? (It was released in Dolby Atmos on May 1st of this year. If you haven’t, consider this your spoiler alert. You have been warned).

Related Reading: Movie releases in Dolby Atmos

Towards the end of the movie, there’s an epic battle between the Avengers and Ultron and his robot army. Explosions and weapon fire are all around. Fighter jets and other aircraft are flying overhead. Each of the avengers are engaged in battle on different fronts. It’s an action-packed section of the story with a lot going on.

With Dolby Atmos, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the movie as the technology makes the listening experience realistic. Dolby Atmos creates a true 360 degree listening experience where audio elements move within your sound system in correlation to what’s happening on the screen. The helicopter wings beating the air, the explosions all around you, the Hulk smashing things to bits; each and every sound is ‘placed’ where it would be as if you were the person at the centre of it all.

Whatever the content, Dolby Atmos really is the best way to experience audio in your home. With more and more compatible content being released, it’s time to get your system up to speed.

How You Can Get It.

A Dolby Atmos setup does have specific requirements. As a reference, we’ll use the Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 home theatre setup from our 408 Terminal Avenue in Vancouver:

Other Notes:

  • As listed above, a 7.2.4 Atmos setup requires 7 speakers, 2 sub-woofers and 4 ceiling speakers. It is possible, however, to achieve Dolby Atmos surround sound with less speakers (5 main floor speakers instead of 7, 1 sub-woofer instead of 2 and 2 ceiling speakers instead of 4).
  • Be sure to set your player to bitstream audio.

Here’s a look at the finished product at our showroom:

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Traditional surround sound brings audio to the front, back and sides of the listening area. With Dolby Atmos, the audience is hit with sound from all angles, creating the most immersive audio experience to date. Having hi-quality sound is one thing. Becoming a part of the action through a Dolby Atmos surround sound experience is something completely different.

Experience it for yourself at our showroom on Terminal Ave in Vancouver. We’d be glad to help you create the Dolby Atmos experience in your own home.

5 Benefits of Home Automation

Have you realized the benefits of automation for your home? I’m not talking about a setup like Tony Stark (Iron Man). Although it’s super cool, a built-in artificial intelligence acting as your do-it-all butler is probably not possible just yet.

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Unlike Iron Man’s equipment, the home automation technology that we offer at Westcoast AV Gallery is made for you. It’s easy to use and offers a lot of benefits.

When most people think about home automation, the conversation seems to revolve around simple environmental controls like lighting, heating and air conditioning. Although these areas are very helpful, they only scratch the surface of what is possible. Read More…

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