Audio News for May 1, 2015

Importance of Surge Protection – A professional electrician strongly recommends protection against electrical surges that are a dangerous problem. They can lead to fires, but also damage sensitive electronics used in people’s everyday lives. Those living in areas plagued by lightning storms have an even greater concern. Audio equipment, appliances, TVs and computers can all be destroyed by common power surges, electrical spikes and voltage impulses. The cost of replacement can be from $10,000 to $20,000 or more. It is recommended that homeowners fully protect their electronics investment with two-stage surge protection – a primary protection at a home’s service entrance and a second protection at the point of use of the equipment. This will protect from even the most powerful electrical surges that can wipe out electronics instantly, as well as small everyday electrical surges that can degrade electronics slowly over time.

Batteries Are Getting Cheaper and Finding More Uses – One way to avoid electrical surges is to use battery power. There have been many new studies on batteries that power electric cars and might someday help power your home. Their cost is starting to decline, and one report says that within ten to 15 years in some places, the most economical choice for home energy could be a solar-plus-battery system. The traditional electrical grid might be having a great deal of “load defection.”  Tesla Motors is building a huge new factory near Reno to produce both lithium ion batteries for their cars and eventual storage batteries for the home. But so far there aren’t many ways to make a home energy storage system investment pay off. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, rooftop solar has grown by over 50% in each of the last three years. But it is felt that storage is about ten years behind solar photovoltaic generation today.  Tesla says that consumer electronics and electric vehicles are making storage economical and that’s going to drive further cost reductions.

Find the Right AV Receiver – ABNewsWire has some suggestions about making sure your investmnt in a home AVR is well spent. The first thing is to stick to the budget level you have set up and not be tempted by AVRs out of your price range. Then write down the features that are essential to your home, such as working with a cell phone or tablet, streaming media, or automatic setup of the speakers such as provided by Audyssey. If you have a large family, consider if the AVR can handle mutiple zones, and if you are watching a lot of recent movies, consider the surround sound capabilities of the AVR. You might also try out units on just plain two-channel stereo with recordings with which you are familiar, as well as video sources.

Samsung & LG Make 40% of the Global Smart TV Market – The two Korean smart TV manufactuers led the way last year in TV sales. The smart home market is expected to each $48 billion in the U.S. this year and $111 billion by 2019. Smart TVs play an important role in the smart home market, and together with home entertainment made up nearly 58% of the market last year. In Korea, smart TV sales is expected to exceed that of non-smart TVs this year.

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