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Christmas is a fantastic time of year – and this is certainly true for television viewing.

What better way to enjoy the cosy break than catching up with the latest television drama?

There is always plenty of hype surrounding the major Christmas television shows, but will you be able to watch them all is the question?

 

With excellent content spread across terrestrial channels there is plenty of quality available via Freeview, but Sky also has some big-hitters lined up.

Then there is the streaming services, which offer an endless array of Christmas films and have plenty more planned in for a timely release.

Not to be left out on the box-set binging that the Christmas break allows time for, the BBC is also getting in on the action with offering viewers access to some of its biggest hits for a limited time.

The choice is yours – as long as you have the right service set up.

Christmas television highlights

Highlights for fans of Freeview will include the end of Peter Capaldi’s run as Dr Who, while Little Women is billed as the period drama to watch this Christmas – both on BBC 1.

Julia Donaldson’s book The Highway Rat will be turned into an animated film and is sure to be a big hit with families. With an adaptation of The Miniaturist and a new thriller McMafia scheduled in the BBC has certainly stepped up to the mark this year.

Sky is bringing back last year’s hit Delicious for a second instalment, while David Walliams’ Ratburger promises to entertain.

Fancy a film?

As ever the Christmas television listings will be packed with favourite films, but if you can’t find the right festive onscreen feast Netflix will no doubt fill the void. The online streaming service has classics such as Scrooged and Arthur Christmas to offer, as well as adding Love Actually on December 14.

With such an enticing line-up of Christmas television ahead of us it’s best to make sure your television set-up is up to scratch – and gives you the choice you want.

For support and advice on installing cable TV or Sky and improving reception, contact Aerial Services.

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The nights are getting darker and colder meaning one thing: more TV and more films.

Yet while our appetite for watching the latest block-busters and binge-watching TV series after TV series goes unabated, two fairly mainstream services shut their doors recently.

Both LoveFilm and the BBC Store called it a day just as we entered into prime television watching territory with the onset of winter.

One thing this development highlights more than anything is the speed of technological change. The change in the formats that we watch television and films has moved swiftly.

Out with the old, in with the new

Younger generations will never have the disappointment of picking up a video from the rental shop that the person before forgot to unwind, never mind popping in a top-loading tape.

In some homes, fully switched on to the digital revolution, youngsters might not even be familiar with the DVD that won’t play thanks to sticky fingerprints.

Streaming, digital downloads and cable TV are certainly our technology of choice at this point in time.

Although Netflix was created in 1997, it took some considerable time before it became part and parcel of everyday life. Now with wider, faster bandwidth and a dedication to creating its own quality productions, Netflix has become a leader in TV and film media.

The sheer convenience of a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, or an on-demand service such as Sky TV, has pushed aside services such as LoveFilm as television viewing has become an all in one package.

Content is available at the push of a button for all the family – at a set charge. Unless of course you want to watch the latest film release, but then that is easy to download from Amazon or iTunes or to watch on Sky Movies.

Top quality viewing has never been more accessible or affordable. And it could be here where the BBC Store fell short. The iPlayer service is fantastic – and it’s free, so it is a great way to catch up on the BBC’s repeatedly quality productions in the short-term.

But with monthly payments going out for Amazon Prime, Sky or Netflix, consumers are happy to wait until a television series or film is available at no extra cost – after all there is always something else just as captivating to watch.

For more information on installing Sky TV contact Aerial Services.

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Problems with radio reception are all too common and can be incredibly frustrating.

radio receptionThat familiar buzzing, different shows fading in and out, loss of signal and channels being unavailable can interrupt your listening pleasure in the car and at home.

The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to boost your reception at home.

The introduction of DAB radio was intended to improve both reception and choice, with more channels being available.

And while choice certainly has improved, decent reception can be a problem for some, which is largely down to the distance from the nearest transmitter.

Rather than the hiss of FM channels suffering poor reception, DAB radios make a sort of digital bubbling noise when the signal is inadequate. There can also be difficulty picking up certain stations.

Improving radio reception

Despite the improved choice of radio stations on DAB, many listeners have stayed with FM, or bought radios that support both formats. This is largely down to the reliability of the signal.

DAB reception has still not improved widely enough for the planned digital switchover in the UK to take place, or even be scheduled.

While listeners using dual function radios can enjoy the best of both worlds it does mean that the quality of reception can still be an issue.

The very simplest steps to improve radio reception include:

  • Retuning the stations
  • Moving the radio to a different room
  • Fully extending the integrated aerial
  • Redirecting the aerial

A more permanent solution though is to have a radio aerial installed. Both FM and DAB aerials can be fitted to properties wanting to boost their radio reception, and can often be added to the TV aerial.

Aerial Services can offer expert advice on how to improve your radio reception and can fit both FM and DAB aerials – to find out more get in touch.

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Choice – the must-have television accessoryThere is a generation of younger people who cannot remember when there were just four television channels to choose from.

Back in the day, the dawn of Channel 5 was a huge event.

Today there are so many channels that the majority of people would not be able to name them all – or get anywhere near.

But choice is what the consumer demands as home entertainment reaches ever higher levels of quality, with a huge variety of sports and movie packages on offer, along with television shows made to cinematic standards.

There is something for everyone – all the time: Rolling 24-hour news, back-to-back children’s favourites, arts documentaries and golden oldies on repeat.

To keep up with conversation you’ve got to be on the ball. The best way to make the most of television’s dizzying array of choice is to sit down and take a look at what you watch, what you’d like to watch and, most importantly, what you can afford.

Freeview

A great place to start is with Freeview. Subscription-free, it boasts some of the best content courtesy of the so-called ‘terrestrial channels’. Connected to Freeview you can enjoy BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – along with their offshoots, including the excellent Film 4. The only equipment you will need is a digital aerial and a TV – many of which come complete with Freeview.

Sky

Sky is a long-term big-hitter and is home to some of the most talked about shows of recent years, such as Game of Thrones.  It also allows movie buffs to watch the latest releases and sports fans to follow top level action, including an impressive number of premiership matches. To watch Sky you will need to have a box and dish installed as well as pay a monthly fee.

While there are other satellite service providers, Sky stands apart with its own high calibre choice of channels.

Online providers

Then there are online portals, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. First an on-demand service for films and TV shows the channels have now branched out into creating their own content. Netflix, in particular, has seen great success with programs including House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black. Subscription is needed but some televisions come with access to the app.

For more information on installing Sky or investing in a new television, contact Aerial Services.

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One thing is for certain the devil is certainly in the details when it comes to television technology.

tv wall mounting

HD, ultra HD and now 4k televisions all vie to catch our attention – or more specifically to catch our attention and keep us mesmerised by the intricate details they display on our television.

Picture quality and attention to detail has transformed the home viewing experience, particularly for films and sports, where greater depth of presentation allows for a more immersive experience and brings the programme to life.

Bring the screen to life

The main selling point of the 4k TV over previous HD models is the huge leap it offers in picture quality. The resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 means the picture benefits from a massive number of pixels to deliver phenomenal details on screen.

In addition to this 4k TV brings more intense colours and a faster frame delivery to TV viewing.

Obviously 4k TV can only be experienced at its best when displaying 4k content – so where does this come from?

Where to watch 4k TV content

At the moment 4k content is still only available in limited form. Netflix 4k, Sky Q, Amazon Prime and YouTube all have 4k content available, while 4k Blu-ray players are available as films are increasing being shot in 4k.

While content may still be at a fledgling stage, there has been a big shift toward 4k TV content as the technology offers a solid foot forwards that is likely to remain at the cutting edge of home entertainment for some time.

Not all 4k television sets are created equal though and just because a set boasts high end technology does not mean it is a sure fire winner – quality is still key. So do your research, shop round and – quite importantly – see what will suit your home before taking the plunge and investing in the latest 4k TV experience.

For advice on installing 4K television in your home get in touch with Aerial Services today.

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When did televisions become the new focal point in homes?

There would have been a time in the not very distant past when if the question ‘where are you going to put the TV?’ was met with ‘above the fire’ it would have been seen at the very least as laughable.

Fast forward a few years and here we are in 2017 and wall-mounted televisions are a regular feature in modern, design-orientated homes.

A leap in technology

Where thousands of mirrors once proudly sat, reflecting the light to give the illusion of a larger living space, another world now exists – that of internet-streamed television shows.

A serious reason not to be underestimated in the move upwards for televisions is their reducing size. Televisions quickly moved from the point where a plasma screen was a fabled gadget owned by the few who could afford it, to a point where flat screen TVs were standard.

These widely-available flat screen TVs are also of a size and weight that can safely be supported on a wall.

The pros and cons of a wall-mounted television

So, what are the main benefits of choosing to wall-mount your television on the wall? To start with it certainly frees up a corner to be used for something else if the media unit becomes obsolete. Extra floor space is a definite plus.

Wires can be hidden within the wall making for a tidier living area – and also keeping them, along with the television itself, out of the reach of young children.

While it could also be seen as some sort of replacement for an artwork or photograph, that argument perhaps lacks authenticity – after all not all TV shows can be described as a work of art…

A serious consideration when choosing whether to wall-mount your television or not is viewing ability. It needs to be positioned a point that is comfortable, but also that can be seen by everyone who may be watching at any one time. The bigger the family, the more challenging this may be. There’s a reason why corners have had a lasting appeal with television owners.

In choosing to wall mount a television you do not want to take away from the experience of a night in front of the TV, by straining to see or getting a stiff neck.

The writing is on the wall

As long as your home boasts the space to comfortably house a wall-mounted television, it is down to a matter of taste – and storage space.

For homeowners looking for a modern feel to their home – the writing is on the wall, or at least the TV is in most cases.

If you are considering wall-mounting your television, contact Aerial Services for expert advice.

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Are you a Baby Boomer who remembers the original Sony Trinitron TV? Or was the 90s wide screen TV, complete with extra large depth more your era?

tv wall mounting
Whatever distant memory the first household TV holds for you, the size and shape will have been somewhat different to the modern screen of today.

Bringing home cinema alive

With the development of technology, families can increasingly enjoy the cinematic experience in their own front room with exhilarating picture quality and high definition clarity. Add to the mix high-octane surround sound and a bucket of popcorn and it’s hello comfy couch, goodbye stadium seating.

Watching your favourite movie or television serial is so much more than just family time, a gathering of friends, or a chance to relax on your own. Flicking on a rerun or binge-watching a box set is an experience. It’s an experience that can increase your heart rate as the euphoria of an action movie unfolds, or unleash the tears as a heartfelt tragedy is realised.

What’s important – the size of your TV or the viewing area?

Television screens have increased in size and even changed shape from the must-have flat screen to the highly desirable curved display. But advanced technology and the latest trends also carry a hefty price tag. Once considered a large TV, 42 inch screens are being replaced with 60 and 70 inch displays quicker than you can change the channel, right up to 100+ inches in an attempt to emulate the Vue or Cineworld experience.

Large screens are also important for gaming enthusiasts as highly detailed landscapes and life-like characters are a must for perfecting the virtual reality experience.

But have you considered the alternative to the colossal TV screen?

The alternative is a projector and screen and, whilst there may be some loss of definition and intensity, one of the main benefits is flexibility.

Projectors are favourable when it comes to price point but also unobtrusive when not in use. Projectors are fairly small and screens can roll up and away. This fact may be advantageous if you have a TV buff and a bookworm in the home. Think of it as a compromise!

Review these expert opinions of the best TVs of 2017 here.

Review the best projectors here.

Position is all part of the experience

The size of your TV is nothing if you don’t achieve the right balance in room aesthetics. The finest TV screen in the world will still provide a poor experience if it is skewhiff. Be sure to measure the centre point of the room, or position symmetry seating for everyone to enjoy the experience from an excellent viewpoint. The ideal would be a straight, head-on view.

Another important aspect to consider is the optimal viewing distance. This can vary greatly when it comes to screen size.Have a read of the Which? TV distance and TV size guide here.

People often scrimp on the finer details and finishing touches but these details are all part of fashioning the ultimate ambiance. You won’t find trailing wires, irregular lighting or smudged screens at the movie theatre now would you?

If you need help to install your TV screen or projector unit, no matter what size, the team at Aerial Services is here to help – give us a call on 0207 582 8888.

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Buying a home cinema system requires installation which you may or may not know how to do effectively. Here is a quick guide to setting up a simple home cinema system:

How to set up a simple home cinema system

1. The first thing to do is to plug in the system. Cables should be attached to the speakers and then to the amplifier, in that order. The amplifier should be off. Do not do this step the opposite way as it can cause short out to your home cinema system.

2. When it comes to tuning in, you should be aware that most of the receivers come with preset functions. The receiver searches and memorise stations with just a simple touch. However, sometimes automatic scan takes time and is often inaccurate, so try entering the stations manually if you experience problems.

3. The third step is placing the speakers. Because most living rooms today are not ideally square, you should pay attention to the following in order to get the best out of your home cinema system:

Front speakers should be placed a meter apart right and left from the TV, directly facing your sofa.
Centre speaker should be as closest possible to the TV, ideally below it.
The subwoofer should be placed in the middle of your front wall, or if that is not possible, then place it in the closest free corner.
Rear speakers should be installed on the opposite room corners, at the back or side of the main viewing position.

4. Next step is setting up the system by programming it in a way in which it will recognise the distance of the speakers from the viewer by using the remote control. This step is important if you want to enjoy surround-sound of your home cinema system. Speaker levels should be set to sound like they are at the same volume. Take some time to adjust until you hit the best sound. Because each room has different layout and shape, and because the furniture can also affect the sound, adjust the volume levels and sound delay to desired levels.

If all the above sounds like too much hassle and you would prefer a professional installation, please get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

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Many people think that having a Smart House is an expensive investment which is complicated to use. However, Smart Homes are not only affordable options for homeowners but, thanks to the technology, also very easy and intuitive to use. You can control every device and make your life much more convenient and efficient. The following are just some of the advantages of having a Smart House.

Smart home
  • 1. Smart Houses offer great comfort. You can set everything up in the way you want. You can set up the lighting according to your preferences, you can set music to start when you enter the room, you can set alarm systems to enable and disable automatically, you can set house temperature at optimal levels, and many more options.
  • 2. Security of your house is also greatly increased by using a smart system. You can set movement sensors to detect motions by the house doors and windows, and if motion detectors are activated while you are outside of your home you will quickly get notified through your smartphone. Smart fire alarms and smart cameras are a couple of other options too.
  • 3. All devices can be controlled very easily. Everything can be controlled through one simple terminal like your tablet or smartphone.
  • 4. One of the biggest advantages is that everything in your house is monitored and connected. This saves lots of energy, as well as money.
  • 5. Smart Houses are ideal for people that want easy access to everything in their homes. People can control everything with their voice, including TV, lights, electricity, heating, music systems etc.
  • 6. By having a modern Smart House, you will impress all your friends! There is no point to having a modern house with smart features and not being able to share that with your closest ones, so invite your friends and show them the latest modern technology and how your life is enhanced by it.
  • 7. Another great advantage of having a Smart House is that it increases the re-sale value of your home. There is a big demand on the market for those homes that are modernised with smart features, so their selling price is higher than regular homes without these features.

Do you want to make your home smart? Contact us now to discuss the options available.

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What is the perfect TV? There is no universal answer to this question because it all depends on your individual/family needs. The ideal TV is the one that can provide the best experience when you watch specific things you like to watch. Here’s a quick guide on what to look out for:

Picture quality

This is one of the most important things that you should take into consideration. The two basic elements that determine the quality are resolution and processing rate. Generally speaking, the more pixels the screen has, the better and the higher the processing rate will be. Full HD TV has more than two million pixels while 4K Ultra HD has more than eight million pixels. 4K Ultra HD TVs are becoming more popular even though we still have limited content in 4K Ultra HD.

Screen size

This is the size measured from one corner to another diagonally. Thanks to modern technology, people can now buy bigger TVs without worrying about ruining their eyesight! The general rule is to choose a TV that’s between 40 and 45 inches if you are sitting 2 to 2.5 meters from the TV; 46 to 55 inches for 2.5 to 3 meters and over 56 inches for over 3 meters.

Screen technology

The most important things to take into consideration when it comes to screen technology is whether you want LED or OLED and whether it’s a good idea to choose curved screens. OLED provides richer colours, but it’s more expensive. Curved screens are relatively new and they can deliver a more immersive viewing experience.

Smart TVs

Smart TVs are TVs that help users connect to the Internet and use applications directly on their TV screen. This is standard today, so if you are buying a new TV then you should definitely opt for a Smart one.

Sound

You need to decide whether you will rely on your TV’s sound or whether you want a separate sound system. Modern TVs have great sound, but if you want to create that home cinema experience, you’ll need an appropriate sound system.

Need more advice? Please do not hesitate to get in touch.