Monthly Archives: August 2017

Constructing the Ultimate PC Based TV Entertainment Center

[ad_1]

You likely already use your TV as a great source for entertainment. You probably also use your computer for a large amount of entertainment. With the combination of a properly configured computer and your TV, you can unleash so much more potential for entertainment and make everything so much easier to access.

Entertainment system will include

At the center of your entertainment system is going to be your TV. I of course would strongly recommend an HDTV to those that can afford it. Also, while size isn’t the only important factor in the quality of an HDTV, I do have to say, bigger is better. For this setup we’ll assume that you have an HDTV that supports HDMI input.

As I mentioned, that TV is great and all, but we’re going to use a computer to make it do so much more for you. So that brings us to the computer you’re going to want. I would strongly recommend a Windows 7 based PC that includes Media Center. If you don’t know what Media Center is, we’ll get to that. The computer should also have a nice video card to ensure that your computer can play high quality HD content without stuttering or being slow. You’ll want to make sure this video card has a built in HDMI port with audio support. This will make it as easy as possible to connect the computer to the HDTV. Also, it usually doesn’t cost much to add a Blu-Ray compatible drive to a computer and it is definitely worth the cash. If you haven’t used Blu-Ray on your HDTV you’re missing out on a true movie watching experience.

In addition to the TV and the Computer you’ll want to make sure you get a Media Center compatible remote for the computer. This will allow you to control everything we’ll install on the computer from the comfort of your couch.

Software and set up

As I mentioned you’ll want to run Media Center on the computer. This will be the base of everything we do on the PC. The reason for this is that it has an interface designed to be controlled with the Media Center remote so you don’t have to have a mouse and keyboard on your lap while doing all of this.

In addition to that you’ll want to install the Netflix Media Center plugin. This will give you access to all of Netflix’s streaming catalog right through media center. This way you can browse, search, and watch anything that Netflix has available. Netflix does require a subscription in order to have access to the streaming material, but it is definitely worth it to have access to all sorts of movies and TV shows instantly.

Another one you’ll want to install is the Hulu desktop application. This application gives you access to the same free streaming content that is found on their website, but it will also work with the media center remote. Hulu does not install itself into the Media Center application, but we can still make it work. You’ll want to use a program like Media Center Studio. Media Center Studio is a free program you can download that will let you make changes to the Media Center menu. Using this you can add a launcher icon for Hulu. Then you can launch Hulu Desktop from Media Center and when you quit the Hulu program it will bring you back.

Media Center does not come with built in support for Blu-Ray movies. If your computer came with a Blu-Ray drive it may have also come with a plugin to add support to Media Center for that. If not, you’ll need to purchase one. There are lots of options available online. Just whatever you purchase, make sure it includes a Windows 7 Media Center compatible plug in. This will ensure that you can control your Blu-Ray movies with that same remote and without having to leave the Media Center software.

The last real step for configuring your computer is to copy your music, video, and photo libraries over to the computer. Assuming the music and videos aren’t protected by non-WMC compatible DRM you will be able to listen to and view any of those files through the Media Center software.

Connect PC without HDMI

Some of you may already have a PC you want to use, or have just picked one up on some killer deal only to find it doesn’t have HDMI. Fear not, you can still connect it to the HDMI port on the TV, with some work. Your options are varied. First you can install a new video card in the computer that has HDMI. This is the best option for older computers that could stand to have an upgraded video card anyway.

Another option is to use a DVI to HDMI cable from any computer that has a DVI video port on it. This will get the video to your TV with no problems at all. Be warned though, that DVI ports do not output audio so you’ll have to run separate audio cables. Hopefully your TV has an input next to one of the HDMI ports on the TV to allow for that.

If your TV has a VGA input, you can simply use a VGA to VGA cable from the VGA port on the computer to the TV. This will work great in most cases. Some TVs don’t support full 1080p through the VGA port, however, so be cautious of that. Also, VGA doesn’t carry audio either so you’ll need to run separate audio cables in this situation also.

Let’s say you’ve got VGA on your computer, but you need to go to HDMI on the TV. You can use a VGA to HDMI signal converter to convert from the analog format to the digital, allowing you to use the full 1080p input of the HDMI port. These converters will generally support sound conversion to put it on the HDMI line which can help a lot in setting it up.

Just whatever you do, DO NOT purchase a VGA to HDMI cable. Those things have been floating all over the web, but they are a scam. VGA is an analog signal and HDMI is digital and you cannot just use a cable to convert from one to the other. If you purchase a cable like that you’ll really just be wasting your money.

Conclusion

Once you have your TV, PC, and remote all connected you’ll be all set to enjoy all these forms of entertainment from a single device. We’re talking viewing Hulu, Netflix, Blu-Rays, DVDs, listening to MP3s, stored video files, pictures and much more all from one device, and all from the comfort of your couch. I have personally been running a set up like the one described here for about 3 years, and it is continually improving as new sources of media come out. This is the ultimate home entertainment device.

[ad_2]

The Power of Publicity – Finding Your Media Niche

[ad_1]

Whether you are the owner, manager, or public relations director of a company, chances are, you’re always looking for ways to get your name in the public eye. While advertising is a great start, enhancing your advertising with publicity creates a perfect marriage of exposure for your company. What is publicity? It’s non-paid communication to promote your company in a positive light using media vehicles like television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. Through publicity you build mutually beneficial relationships between your business and the public on whom your success or failure depends.

When it comes to publicity, most people believe they can write a press release, send it to a TV station, radio station or newspaper and just wait for the avalanche of phone calls. But time goes by… and after they realize there aren’t any reporters beating down their door, they make a few phone calls to the newsroom only to discover that no one even read the press release. All of that time and work goes down the drain. You’re back to square one and you start over, but to no avail. So how do you end the vicious cycle of disappointment?

Research can make or break your pitch

Research. Plain and simple, you need to know your audience and know your media market. And research is the key to both.. So first and foremost you need to take a look at your message and ask yourself a few questions–is it newsworthy? Is it consumer-related? Does it have a local twist? Is it a visual story? What demographic am I targeting–how old is my audience and what is their target household income? The answers to these questions will help you craft your ‘pitch’ and determine which media outlets you should target.

While most people go for the saturation effect, seeking radio, television and print media simultaneously, the reality is that your message might not be a good fit for all media. So that brings us back to the research table. Now it’s time to do a little homework and figure out where your message stands the best chance of garnering media attention.

How do I get on TV?

TV newscasts communicate to their audience through pictures and conversation. Producers look for newsworthy topics that are visual and entertaining or informative ‘how-to’ segments. They want compelling conversation and pictures that will grab the viewers’ attention. They don’t want a ‘talking head’ rattling off statistics or blatantly plugging a new book.

Worried that your message isn’t visual? Try this- ask yourself how you’d explain your message to a child? Did that help you think of any pictures or simple words that fit your message? Those pictures or simple words can translate into graphics for a TV story. We once had a life insurance agency that wanted us to arrange local and national TV appearances for their CEO. The pitch we created offered interviews discussing the importance of life insurance and why it’s vital for women to protect themselves for the future. Sounds like you could sleep right through it, right? But we offered more than just the interview. We had the client prepare graphs and bullet points with short information snippets showing the mortality rate of women versus men. The TV stations turned them into graphics and voila– it became a very powerful visual story that was successful for our client and the media.

Keep in mind too, that the morning, noon and evening newscasts are each geared towards a different audience. The early morning shows are usually watched by working adults and families getting ready for school. Notice how the news formats shift into more of a talk and lifestyle segment that’s sprinkled with news ‘updates’ after 8AM when most commuters have already left for work?

Saying Your Piece on Talk Radio

Radio talk shows engage their audience through words rather than photographs. Most radio stations are turning to local angles for interviews. So it’s important to figure out if your message has a local tie-in or is important to your community.

Because radio doesn’t require visual props or photos, it’s a great fit for just about any message, so long as you can discuss your topic for a good 30 minutes. Because what you’re really doing is having a conversation with the listeners, you need to be well-versed in your topic and able to handle plenty of questions. Your message should be topical too; something people want to talk about at the office water cooler or over coffee.

Radio talk shows, which are found mostly on the AM dial, also vary from morning to night. Morning shows have shorter interviews during this “drive time” to work. Talk show hosts don’t have time for a 30 minute interview because morning shows are jam-packed with news, weather and traffic updates.

Midday shows were once known to target women, but that’s changed because so many people listen to the radio at work. Now, you’ll find many business shows air during typical daytime work hours. After work, you’ll find the second “drive time” of the day. Unlike in the morning, listeners are more relaxed. They’re on the way home from a long day at work and there’s more time to air a 30 minute interview.

During the evening, it’s a mixed audience of people listening from home. And don’t discount the reach of overnight interviews–while you may think no one is listening, think again! Overnight talk shows (from midnight to 5 a.m.) are very important due to overnight jobs that bring in listeners – 2nd and 3rd shift factory workers, public service employees and many other industries that operate all night long.

Getting Yourself in Print

Print publicity includes magazines and newspapers. While they are two different vehicles, their requirements are similar to television. Your pitch needs to be newsworthy, entertaining, informative, and in some cases, even visual. Newspapers work on tight deadlines, so make sure you don’t wait a week after a hot story is released to offer your expertise or an interview on the topic. Magazines, on the other hand, often have a 30 to 60 day lead time. Research the publication you want to contact and make sure they have a reporter who covers your topic or message. It’s also helpful to offer quality visuals. For example, restaurants offering a recipe, a gym offering tips to a tighter tummy, even the latest trends in jewelry, can all be accompanied by photographs to support the story.

I’ve Narrowed the Search, Now What?

Once you know the types of media you want to target, how do you know which TV stations, radio stations, or print publications are in your area? You can always subscribe to some sort of media list, but why would you do this when the internet is full of free media information? Some websites you may find helpful are www.radiolocator.com, www.usnpl.com, www.newspapers24.com , www.mondotimes.com and www.newslink.org. You can also use a basic search engine and search for your city + media, for example type in “Tampa Media.” You’ll find a whole list of media outlets at your fingertips.

Now that you’ve found a list of media contacts, you’re well on your way to creating a Power Publicity campaign to drive business to your company. Now that you understand why it’s so important to find your media niche, next up in our series, we’ll focus on creating a powerful message. To be successful at publicity, you must create your message specifically for your target audience and then find the best media vehicle to drive your message home. That’s why pushing those standard press releases didn’t work for you in the first place.

About Marsha Friedman:

Marsha Friedman is the CEO of EMSIncorporated, (EMSI) a leading publicity firm that has represented many well known clients such as Motown’s Temptations, Teamsters Union President Jim Hoffa, Jr., National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, Bristol Myers Squibb, Financial TV personality, Jim Rogers and Dr. Barry Sears.

About EMSIncorporated:

EMSI is a nationally-recognized publicity firm specializing in arranging interviews on radio shows around the country, appearances on local and national TV and obtaining editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines.

[ad_2]

Television Watching – A Thief Of Family Time?

[ad_1]

Television Watching is popular throughout the whole world. At the early stage of television in 1931, the chairman of the Radio Corporation of American said “the potential audience of television in its ultimate development may reasonably be expected to be limited only by the population of the earth itself”. The numbers of television worldwide is estimated to stand at 1.5 billion, with many more viewers, love it or hate it; television plays a major i.e. in people’s life.

Television Watching can be a powerful teaching tool. By means of it, we learn about lands and people we may never visit, “we travel” to tropical jungles and polar ice caps, to mountain peaks and ocean depths. We pee into the intriguing worlds of both atom and stars. We watch news as to happen in the other side of the world. We gain insights into politics, history, current events and culture. Television Watching captures the lives of people in both tragedy and triumph.

The time that many people devote to Television Watching is astonishing. Recently, global study showed that, on average; Television Watching per person is about three hours each day. North Americans watch four and a half hours daily. While the Japanese top the list at five hours per day. These hours add up. If we watch four hours daily, by age 60, we will have spent ten years in front of the screen. Yet, none of us would want inscribed on our tombstone “Here lies our beloved friend, who devoted one sixth of his/her life on Television Watching.”

How are Television Viewers affected by a steady diet of Television violence and sex? Critics charge that Television violence causes people to act aggressively and to be less sympathetic towards victims of real-life violence. They also assert that the portrayal of sex promotes promiscuity and undermines rival standards.

Similarly, it has been difficult to prove that violence seen through Television Watching causes crime and antisocial behavior. Many studies do suggest that there is such a link. It is hardly surprising, then that there are opposing points of view. A Canadian psychologist wrote. “The scientific evidence simply does not show that watching violence either produces violence in people or desensitizes them to it.” “However, the American psychological Association Committee on Media and Society said. “There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of Television Watching of violence are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior.”

Increasing number of Television viewers are becoming addicts. Though Television Watching offer much that is worthwhile, heavy Television Watching can cut into family time, hinder reading and academic performance in children and contribute to obesity. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Based on the cumulative evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude the viewing violence poses a harmful risk to children.”

The National Institute on Media and the Family puts it this way. “We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that there should be ‘NO TELEVISION WATCHING for children ages two and under.’ These children, who are undergoing tremendous brain development, need active play and real people interactions to promote their developmental, physical and social skills”

[ad_2]

All Media Is Fiction

[ad_1]

All media is fiction. Every thing you see, hear and read, in print and on any screen anywhere is a fabrication that has been altered, edited, censored, and pointed towards a preconceived agenda. It is not true, it is not real, it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination-which it is, but it’s not really anyone’s imagination either.

It is a corporate product; a mind game conceived of by faceless committees meant to dupe anyone within view or earshot into complacent consumerism. It is calculated manipulation with no genuine content that can remotely be thought of as the truth. It only appears real after it has been focus grouped and cut to fit commercial standards, no matter how amateurish or incompetent the final results appear. It has been approved-and that alone determines it as fake.

From cartoons to pornography, from news to soap operas, to game shows and antacid commercials, it is all contrivance. You will never see anything truthful or even factual in the media. Even the weather is approximate. The weather is taped. File footage is not news. The latest trend is ‘reality’ TV not ‘truthful’ TV. There is no one in the media or Hollywood interested in the truth, regardless of being ‘breaking news’ or ‘based on a true story’. Truth is simply one buzzword among many used to conceal and distort reality.

By its very definition media cannot depict reality because media is not real. At its best it resembles the most pedestrian dinner theater; at its worst, it simply is what it is, a transmitter and signal. It is not a mirror, though it uses mirrors, lenses, cameras, tape, film, lights, overrated actors, make up, under appreciated writers, whatever. The fact is so obvious that making the very point becomes painfully tedious-and moot, since for all of the interactive, real time, ripped from the headlines, video game chat rooms, no one seems to care one bit. The entire investment is in making the delusions of others tangible in one’s own life. One must believe what one is fed through the media, or else…or else what?

Let me give an example. War. War is not real for you and me but it is for the people in a war zone. When we turn off the set or change the channel, all of that suddenly disappears. Reality does not suddenly disappear. If you’re of a certain age you remember what TV looked like before black people existed. If you’re of another age you remember what MTV looked like before black people existed. I suppose if you’re even older you remember what war looked like before black people existed. That was a long time ago, but my point is this; war looks like whatever the media tells you it looks like and that is war. Nowadays war looks like a video game, except, of course, to the people in the war.

[ad_2]

How to Set Up the Multi-Media TV

[ad_1]

This article will explain how to connect your PC to a Big Screen TV, and experience the ultimate in HD picture and HD sound, using the existing PC outputs. The set up is actually very simple, and will most likely only require an additional minimal purchase of an HDMI cable to connect the PC to the TV. The HDMI (High Definition Modular Interface) cable will carry both HD sound and picture to your TV.

Before you begin, you will need to verify that the Motherboard on your PC has an outlet to plug in a second display. Most of the newer motherboards contain both VGA and HDMI outputs on the same board. You will also need to verify that your TV has an HDMI input.

To complete the installation, first install (1) end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI output on the back of the PC. Plug the other end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI Input on the big screen TV. Then, configure your PC for using dual monitors. To configure your PC using the MS -Vista O.S., Click on the Vista Start Logo, Click on Control Panel. Click on Personalization, Click on Adjust screen resolution. You should now see the Display Settings window with the existing computer monitor (labeled 1), and a second smaller monitor (labeled 2).

Located immediately below the monitor icons, you will see the drop-down selector box with both monitors listed. By default the number (2) monitor will be the Big Screen TV. Immediately below the selector, check the (2) boxes, This is my main monitor, and extend the desktop on to this monitor. Click OK and Close the window.

Now for an example, resize your I.E. browser window, so it is about half the size of your computer screen. Grab the top of the browser window, and drag it over to the other monitor. After dragging the window, you should now see the I.E. browser window open on your other screen(TV). Now the fun part! Go to one the new free movie sites like Hulu, and now you can watch the show on your big screen TV courtesy of your PC.

[ad_2]

Becoming a Media Planner

[ad_1]

Taking a client’s advertising ideas and creating a plan for the best advertising campaign is the job of a media planner. They work with the ad copywriters and the clients, to design a an advertising campaign and then work out the most appropriate medium to advertise on, eg TV, radio or print media? Which channels? Target audience? What time to play the ad? etc. The person that takes on this role needs to be a creative visionary with a good eye for what works in advertising. They will also need the ability to develop ideas that will make an advertising campaign successful. Sound intriguing? Some tips below will give you an idea of what it takes to become a media planner.

Get a degree. Media planning is a professional field which requires a good education. There is no dedicated course to study for media planning but it is a good idea to pursue classes in media, marketing and advertising. These courses will be a great place to start.

The right skills. You will need not only a good education, but the right skills set to become a media planner. A sound knowledge of advertising, including what kinds of products can be marketed to a particular target audience and on what form of media that advertising should be presented eg print media, TV, radio? Media planners should be knowledgeable about brands, and be able to design plans on how to brand particular products. Really good people skills are important also, since you’ll be working closely with both clients and advertisers to create a campaign. You should be prepared for a lot of fine tuning in this line of work to ensure that the brand is aimed at the correct audience.

Work experience. Don’t expect to jump right into a position as a media planner – often the way to get started at advertising agencies is by working in lower-down-the-ladder jobs. If at all possible, get an internship with an advertising agency. The relationship to media planning doesn’t have to be immediately obvious – it is more important to get general experience in the industry. You can work your way up the food chain later.

Apply for work. When you are very familiar with the media and advertising campaigns, then you can start going for jobs as a media planner. Talk to the employer that you are currently with regarding positions available at that company. If you’ve worked hard and have proven yourself, you have a good chance of getting promoted to media planner.

If you seek employment outside of your current company, ensure that your résumé is recent and the cover letter is tailored for the company you’re writing to. List all of your relevant experience in media advertising, emphasize your ability to work with clients and advertising professionals to design a successful ad campaign. Be ready to provide samples of your work. With the right grounding and a good interview, you have no problems getting a job as a media planner.

[ad_2]

TV and Media – Electric Fireplace

[ad_1]

The leading manufactures of the electric fireplaces have out done their selves with the invention of the  TV  and  Media  Consoles and the electric wall fireplace. These innovative styles and designs have opened up a new way to heat with style. With both of these designs being vent free electric fireplace, you will not have to worry about a chimney. Not remodeling that might require a roofer or the building contractor. This will help to keep the cost down if you are trying to remodel a room. The  TV  and  Media  Console and the electric wall fireplace are both great pieces of furniture that will add a new depth and interest to any room.

The  TV  and  Media  Consoles will allow for a place to place the TV and have plenty of shelves for your entertainment system. With plenty of shelves, some that are adjustable, you will have a location for the CD’s and the DVD’s. With the mantel designed to hold you TV, you could always hang a flat screen on the wall and use the shelf for other objects. To be able the hang a fireplace on the wall is surly something to talk about. Either of these two electric fireplaces will quickly become the focal point of any room.

Most of theses electric fireplaces will come with a remote. On certain models you may be able to control the flame brightness. Another great option will be able to turn off the heat but still have the fire on. The crackle that some of the electric fireplaces can also be turned off and on. The safety features have not been over looked on these electric fireplaces. The glass is cool to the touch so there is no worry if a small child is in the room.

There is nothing that can kindle thoughts of the warmth and cozy feelings like the electric fireplace can. If you imagine your friends and family sitting around a fireplace in your home, consider the electric fireplaces. The wood look will come in mahogany, cherry, pecan, walnut and oak electric fireplace. The black or white is also available. There is something to fit every type of room decor.

These very innovative designs of the major manufactures of the electric fireplaces have taken away the look of the old, ugly, metal boxed thing and has left us with a piece of furniture that we will be proud to show off. The units of today are more a work or art then the boxed heater that our grandparents might have stuck in the back room.

[ad_2]

Best Media Player For Your New 1080p High Definition Television

[ad_1]

This Christmas a lot of people rewarded themselves with a new 1080p HDTV. Sure it is possible to use your existing DVD player or get a shiny new Blu-ray player to use with your new TV. But what is really the best media player for your new system?

Some say an HD media player would be the best choice. These are the size of an external hard drive and play audio and video from USB storage media. There are many different brands to choose from but for an example we’ll use the popular WD TV HD Media Player by Western Digital.

With this device you can play content from any connected USB drive in full HD 1080p with DTS 2.0 digital sound. It plays most audio and video formats and allows you to browse and organize your files from the easy to use interface. You can also transfer and organize files from a digital camera or camcorder. In order to use the media player an additional USB hard drive is required. The unit itself does not come with storage capacity. By using external drives the storage capacity is unlimited. There are many other HD Media Players with similar features.

The newer models also come with streaming media. There are many different brands that offer streaming HD, including D-Link, ASUS, MvixUSA, and Buffalo Link Theater. So what is streaming media? Streaming media is a player with an Internet connection. Some use an Ethernet connection and some are wireless. Either way this should allow us to access all of the media on our computers and network and organize, play, and view files.

So what can we do with these players? We can stream movies and TV shows that we have downloaded from the Internet, as well as watch You Tube videos, listen to our music files, listen to Internet radio, and view our photos and videos on the large screen. If we are entertaining we can set up a cool media show on our set to play in the background, no more burning log DVDs. In the future these devices should continue to improve but for now these are inexpensive and a great way to organize and enjoy your media collection.

[ad_2]

5 Alternatives to Cable and Satellite Television

[ad_1]

Cut your monthly entertainment bill by getting your fill of movies and television shows from streaming media players or an HD antenna. Here are five excellent alternatives to your pricey cable or satellite television subscription.

HD Antenna

An HDTV antenna gives you access to the free broadcast channels in your area, so you can watch them on your digital TV. Choose from a wide selection of HD antennae, from indoor types to bulky roof-mounted ones. Prices vary according to antenna type and model. Refer to TVFool.com for the channels that are available in your location. It also gives you the antenna direction for which to capture the available broadcast channels that you want to watch.

Roku

You don’t have to scrimp on the number of broadcast channels when you finally cut ties with your cable or satellite television carrier. The popular Roku streaming video device gives you access to over 750 broadcast channels. Roku’s streaming stick is priced at $49.99. The streaming media player’s most recent incarnation, Roku 3, is equipped with expandable memory and allows for Ethernet connection. Roku 3 costs $99.99.

Chromecast

Google’s $35 streaming media device can be plugged into the HDMI port of your computer monitor or TV. Chromecast streams a full 1080p display and works with many devices such as PCs and Macs, as well as mobile devices powered by Android and iOS. When you connect the Chrome OS version of Chromecast to your home Wi-Fi network or your TV, you can watch media content through your mobile device on any available HDMI TV.

ASUS Cube with Google TV

Priced at $111.99, the ASUS Cube is a good investment for your cable-free entertainment needs. If you already own or favor Google TV, then the sleek, futuristic-looking ASUS Cube makes for a sensible complement to your multimedia viewing routine. Giving you access to media content on multiple devices, ASUS Cube comes with a custom user interface with a handy voice-enabled search functionality, as well as 50GB of file storage on the Web plus a two-sided universal remote with motion sensors and a microphone.

Apple TV

If you are an Apple fanatic or an avid user of iTunes, you might want to look at Apple TV as a viable alternative for streaming media content. For a price tag of $99, Apple TV streams multimedia content from popular outlets such as HBO Go, Hulu, and Netflix. And with AirPlay Mirroring on your Apple TV, you can simultaneously stream Web-based video on your iOS device.

[ad_2]