Now Showing Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise

Have you ever thought of how cool it would be to have your most anticipated movie release available in your home, right away, without waiting in line at a theater?

Bethesda Systems has—and we finally decided to do something about it.

Thanks to modern technology, and our tech-obsessed team, Bethesda Systems can finally offer you the true home theater experience.

In late April, Bethesda Systems partnered with PRIMA Cinema—a system that allows you to view first-run movies in the comfort of your own home—no tickets, no lines, free popcorn.

Cool, right?

The PRIMA system is comprised of a rack-mountable PRIMA Cinema Player and the PRIMA Biometric Reader. Just through internet connection, first-run films are automatically delivered to your PRIMA Cinema Player over the Internet. The Player then outputs A/V over HDMI to the home theater’s display and audio system.

But PRIMA Cinema isn’t just your regular movie player; in addition to streaming just-released movies only available in theaters—and maybe a mere handful of other select entertainment programs and companies—their video is enabled for 1080p24 FullHD for 2D and 3D content.

Yeah, we know you’re thinking, “Ok, 3D, I can get that on another system, no big deal.”

Wrong.

PRIMA Cinema videos offer twice the sharpness of Blu-ray.

Is your mind blown yet?

Well, in case you were curious about the audio, it’s enabled for 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound—which means you practically are living in the movie as it plays on your screen. You know, because the quality is twice as better as Blu-ray already.

Why PRIMA Cinema, you’re wondering? Well, wouldn’t you want the quality and product backed by not only media and technology veterans, but also by one of the greatest major motion picture companies, Universal Pictures?

Yeah, us too. You can’t go wrong if Universal Pictures supports your next home theater purchase.

Sparked your interest? Contact us at 301 656-2548, or by email: sales@fpasupporttest.org.

Bethesda Systems Upgrades Children’s Inn at NIH

The Children’s Inn at NIH has an all-purpose room for their residents, where the children can watch movies and hang out. In addition, this room serves as a conference room for board meetings. Earlier this summer, the Inn reached out to us seeking a much-needed renovation of this room.

Reaching Out

Bethesda Systems was happy to help. We provided an all-in-one solution, featuring a new projector and a new server for the room. In addition, we transformed each child’s room into smart media room, where they are now able to stream movies, and use the internet right from their own televisions. With several donations set up by Bethesda Systems, the Children’s Inn paid less than half of what the initial renovation costs were.

Andy Cabrera, Bethesda Systems: “The room looked like a school cafeteria before. It was plain, and not livable. When we took on the project, we wanted to create a warmer atmosphere where these kids can really relax on a Friday night.”

Donations

We were able to partner up with Runco, a home theater projector manufacturer, and Kaleidescape, another business focused on home entertainment, to provide the Children’s Inn with free new products. Runco donated an LS 7 projector, and Kaleidescape donated a Cinema One movie server.

With the Cinema One movie server, the Children’s Inn was able to upload and store over 25 DVDs for children to watch on the theater system, or in their own rooms. Also featured in the all-purpose room is Apple TV.

In addition, Cuddlebag also donated four of their products to the Children’s Inn too!

Smart Media Rooms

In each room, we incorporated the Google TV interface using Verizon FiOS. Samsung flat panels were installed as well, on an evo wall system.

 

Bethesda Systems becomes Pepco Trade Ally

BETHESDA, Md.—On October 31, Bethesda Systems received news of its official acceptance in becoming a Pepco Trade Ally.

A Pepco trade ally is a technical partner to Washington, D.C.’s prime utilities provider, Pepco. As a trade ally, Bethesda Systems will be able to assist Pepco customers with increasing awareness of, and meeting their energy efficiency goals. In addition, as a trade ally, Bethesda systems acts as an advisor to Maryland Pepco customers and instructs and applies ways customers can take advantage of the energy saving incentives Pepco offers.

Catering to both residential and commercial projects, Bethesda Systems offers a multitude of different products and services to help customers throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia cut down on energy loads and save on energy bills.

The integrators are well-versed in energy-saving practices that involve energy automation systems, installing LED lighting, and offering energy storage products.

A recent green project Bethesda Systems performed was for local Bethesda sports bar, Caddies on Cordell. Bethesda Systems performed an LED retrofit for the bar. Before the retrofit, Caddies went through 10–15 incandescent bulbs per week, and their lights were kept on for at least 14 hours per day.

An incandescent light bulb consumes almost five times the amount of energy than an LED light bulb. An incandescent also burns out over 10 times faster than an LED bulb.

The incandescent light bulbs Caddies used before the retrofit constantly burned out. The solution Bethesda Systems provided them yielded the business an 82% reduction in energy consumption through lighting, saving the bar $5,000 per year in energy savings.

As an official Pepco Trade Ally for Maryland Pepco customers, Bethesda Systems can continue offering its services, guaranteeing quality work, as the integrators will have full, instant access to the latest news on Pepco incentives, as well as the latest energy efficient practices to help minimize its customers carbon footprints, and maximize energy and monetary savings.

All LEDs Are Not Created Equal

By Soriana Stern 

Meet the Juno WarmDim, the LED that dims like an incandescent. Pretty cool—or should I say, warm—huh?

LEDs and Dimming
LEDs typically give off blue or white light, even while dimmed. The WarmDim technology, though, warms as it dims. Many LEDs maintain the same color temperature even as it dims. The appearance of the room stays the same; the light stays the same bluish color. But, with the WarmDim lighting technology, the light turns yellow as it is dimmed.

Below, you’ll find a chart comparing several different lights, and the benefits of choosing WarmDim for your retrofits.

Bulb
Lumens/Watts
Hours
Juno Generation 3 WarmDim LED Downlight
600/14
50,000
GE Incandescent R30 Flood Light
700/65
2,000
Juno Generation 3 LED Downlight
600/11
50,000

 

LEDs Over CFLs
Although CFL light bulbs are a popular replacement for the outlawed incandescent light bulbs, CFLs aren’t really meant to work with dimmers. Here’s why:

CFLs generate light through gas. Dimmers work by lowering the voltage in the bulb, giving off less heat, thus lessening brightness. When you cut the voltage to a CFL, the CFLs tend to go out instead of dimming since there isn’t enough voltage to keep the gas ignited.

Just picture a gas stove. Imagine how sensitive it is to the knob to ignite it. When you turn the stove lower, it is difficult to keep the gas ignited—that’s how CFLs work.

Also, CFLs tend to take at least 10-15 seconds to reach full brightness. Some CFLs can take up to three minutes to reach full brightness. It is counterintuitive, and a waste, to use CFLs for dimming, when they don’t even turn on right away in the first place.

Why Dimmers?
Dimmers allow you to control how much light illuminates your room, thus saving energy, and money. Dimmers are most desirable for any room. Reducing the light by 25% yields at least 20% in energy savings. Even though 25% sounds like a lot, it really isn’t. The human eye usually cannot notice a 15-20% reduction in light, so even though less energy is being expended, the change in light output is unnoticeable, as if nothing is changed.

From a design perspective, interior designers actually recommend dimmers because they allow you to “set the mood,” if you will, of your space, creating ambience lighting.

2-Channel Audio Installation in Maryland

By Lynn Hopffgarten.

Of the bells –
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!

—Edgar Alan Poe, “The Bells”

I reported last spring about the magic Sonus faber Stradivarius speakers combined with Naim’s top-of-the-line CD Player, pre-amp, and amplifier brings to a diverse music collection. Since that time, our client has moved to a new home, which has a room dedicated for audio of approximately 18 x 24 ft. with a sloped ceiling. The room is a work-in-progress, and our next update will be when the furniture and acoustic paneling is in.

Nonetheless, we made a startling and stunning improvement this past weekend with the delivery of the new REL “Gibraltar” series G-1 subwoofer (it is hiding in the back left corner).

However, we must first clarify that “subwoofer” is a colossal misnomer; the G-1 is a sub-bass system. With its highly refined crossover and volume controls, the G-1 embraces the entire room, creating and ideal acoustic space for music reproduction.

My first—and really, only—criteria when evaluating new equipment, speakers, or even potential upgrades is: “Am I listening to music, or equipment?” From the first note of Bob Dylan’s re-mastered, “Tangled Up in Blues,” we—my assistant, Irving, and our client—knew we were in for something magical: the music just came to life throughout the room.

This is the first thing this sub-bass system accomplishes: by launching a bass wave below the normal listening range, the G-1 creates a platform upon which the music literally rides, and helps complete its overall harmonic structure.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking: “Wasn’t this what you said about the Strads last spring, Lynn?”

Yup, absolutely. The 2-pi baffle of the Stradivarius definitely creates a large and deep soundstage. But even the most refined, integrated room setup can’t fill a large volume with the low-frequency energy possible in a great sub-bass device.

From Dylan, we went to the client’s favorite recording—which has become mine as well—of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “The Pastoral.” The G-1 provided a stunning overall warmth, coherence, and three-dimensionality to the piccolos as well as strings. It was if the fast transient of these high-frequency instruments was clearer, and had greater body because the G-1 helped complete, while not damping, the overall harmonic structure.

But the most remarkable experience was perhaps with the least likely of demo tracks—AC/DC’s “Hells Bells.” The G-1 created the illusion of actually standing inside the bell-tower, as opposed to listening to iron bells from a safe distance… hard not to think of Poe no longer living in silence after The University Church was built in his Brooklyn neighborhood in 1845…