Audio Video To Do’s for 2011

1. Ditch that pile of remotes: Aren’t you tired of having at least three remotes to simply watch anything on TV these days? My biggest pet peeve is going over to a friend’s house and trying to watch the game, or anything for that matter, and taking forever to figure out which remote from the ‘80s that happens turns on the TV, which one turns on the cable box, and which one turns on the receiver for audio!!??!!

Do yourself a favor and buy a Universal Remote already — it will make your life so much easier and manageable (assuming that the programmer makes his Macros drunk proof, but that is another story).

2. Buy a set top box: 2011 is the year of the set top box and streaming media. They are not new to us, but they are now more convenient (bringing us media that we previously had to go out to the store to get that is now at your command at the push of a button) than ever before. With even major TV networks hopping on board there is no reason not to go out and get on of these devices. And there are so many to choose from, such as Apple TV, Logitech Revue, Roku, Boxee box, etc… And if you haven’t heard of HTC’s Media Link (DLNA enabled), you will very soon during CES in the next few days — and let me just say that DLNA is going to be making a bigger appearance in devices this year.

3. Buy a Blu-ray player: Yeah, I know that that this one seems silly, but I know that there are plenty of you out there who still do not have one yet. I’m sure you have good a reason that you haven’t done so already, be it because you use you think that Beta Max is coming back in a big way like disco in Japan or you just can’t give up laser discs. Whatever your reservations are let me tell you why you should buy one. A Blu-ray disc is capable of storing up to 50 GB. That’s enough to store a 7.1 channel 24bit/48khz pcm soundtrack. Did you know that Blu-ray discs provide not only HD video, but also HD audio as well? You get to hear bit-for-bit what the mixing engineer heard in the studio! Also most Blu-ray players are loaded with extra features when connected to the internet, Pandora, YouTube, Netflix, etc…

4. Rip high quality music to your music library: When clients come into one of our (Vsys Automation) showrooms, I always give an audio demonstration with Blu-ray discs so they can hear HD audio. Often I will tell them to bring in their own music so that they can hear what it will sound like and not just the music I have supplied so that they get a full experience. What I have noticed amongst the younger generation and even some of the older generations is that when they bring in an iPod with their music, the quality of music is horrible because they either didn’t want to take the extra time to rip their music at the best quality available or they are just misinformed about what is possible. Please take time for the best listening experience available; you won’t regret it.

5. Store and back up all your media: Take the time to store all that precious media you have collected over the years and store it on something as simple as the Classic iPod Touch. Depending on how much you have, you may want to consider buying an external hard drive or two. Take the time to build your library at the highest quality possible, as I have previously mentioned. This might take more time than you might think, but you won’t regret it. I recently started digitizing my massive vinyl collection so that it is easily accessible in alphabetical order and I don’t have to spend way more time to looking for it than needed.

Now that your media is all stored digitally, you can easily and effortlessly get to it with that new set top box that I told you to buy, and all through a beautiful Graphic User interface (GUI).

So what are you waiting for? Go out and get your new year started on the right foot.