What is Freeviewplus?
FreeviewPlus is a television service delivered via aerial and broadband providing a state of the art EPG and seamless access to Catch Up TV across the Freeview networks, with the simple press of a button on the remote control.
How do I get Freeviewplus?
You can access FreeviewPlus from a FreeviewPlus-enabled television receiver, set-top box (STB) or personal video recorder (PVR). You then need to connect your FreeviewPlus receiver to an aerial and broadband internet to access FreeviewPlus. An ADSL2 or faster broadband connection is recommended.
Is Freeviewplus a free service?
The FreeviewPlus service is made available by Freeview Australia for free, however, this service requires a broadband internet connection. It is a metered service, that means the access and use of FreeviewPlus will count towards the data limit of your broadband plan.
Want to find out more about Freeviewplus?
visit the Freeviewplus website where you can find heaps of information and instructional videos.
If you are one of the many Aussies who haven't got themselves a SMART TV (or not every TV in the house is SMART)... You can still get your fave shows via Netflix - here's how.
Using a smart TV is just one of the many ways you can stream services like Netflix and Stan. There’s a number of options that you can use, to get your Netflix fix.
Using Apple TV
Apple TV is a relatively cheap (currently around $239 - $299) way to watch a variety of media from any television with an HDMI port (most from the last 10 years). What I love about using Apple TV to watch Netflix (and other streaming services) is that the navigation through your Apple TV remote is so easy. The app is right there on the home screen and you can browse through the many shows and movies so easily. Plus you get the other benefits that come with Apple TV, such as easy ways to enjoy photos, music and iTunes content on your TV.
Through Google Chromecast
Google's Chromecast option is a cheaper way to access your Netflix (or other content) to your TV (currently around $59). Chromecast is basically a simple way to stream content from a smartphone or tablet to a TV. To stream Netflix through Chromecast, simply plug the Chromecast dongle into the HDMI port in the back of your television and change your TV’s input to HDMI. Then you can "cast" content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV wirelessly. So once you've found your show in Netflix on your smartphone or tablet, simply click on the "cast" icon and the content will show up on your TV.
In my view, the setup of Chromecast is a little more involved and less obvious for the non-techy folks. But once you are up and running its pretty easy to use.
Using a compatible gaming console (Xbox, PlayStation and Wii U)
If you own either an Xbox (360 or One), Playstation (3 or 4) or Wii U, you can already access Netflix. Each of these consoles has an online store where you can download games and applications, including Netflix Australia. Simply download the application from the appropriate store (it’s always free to download), log in with your Netflix account details and you’ll be watching Netflix in no time. The only tricky part here is learning to use your gaming controls, to navigate your Netflix menu's. That can take some getting used to, but this is an otherwise easy way to enjoy Netflix.
Through a tablet or computer
Using the appropriate HDMI cable, (can vary depending on your available ports on your tablet or computer) connect your computer or tablet to your TV with an adapter, change your television to the relevant HDMI input and you should see the screen from your tablet or computer mirrored on the television. Then all you have to do is access Netflix via your web browser or mobile app and you’ll be watching Netflix on the big screen in no time.
There are a number of Netflix compatible devices now being developed such as Blu-ray players and Fetch TV, Netflix have kindly detailed these devices on their website to keep us all in the loop.
Here is the link to find out if your device is Netflix compatible. devices.netflix.com/en/
If you'd like some help getting your Netflix ready devices connected or would like to ask us about our Apple TV + Install Bundle, get in touch with us today.
Find out about the 3 silent killers, ruining your TV signal!
Just about everyone loves watching TV, and there’s nothing more frustrating than when your picture starts breaking up, or dropping out. If you’ve been having problems with your TV signal, you are going to want to hear this…
Of course there are a number of reasons why you might not be getting excellent quality TV signal, but we’ve identified the TOP 3 silent, but deadly killers of your TV signal. You’ll want to check these out before your signal dies for good.
1. Death by loose / old connections...
Your TV and receiving system may be in dire need of a health check. Something as simple as a loose connector or damaged cable could be the cause of all your problems. Before spending money on new antennas or other signal boosting equipment, make sure you’ve completed our DIY Health Check to learn how to check for loose/faulty connections.
2. Tuned to death...
When you had your TV set up, the current channels would have been tuned in and set to receive transmissions from your closest transmitter. Over time, these things can change. New channels may be introduced, which require tuning, your local transmission station may conduct a system update (or retune), which can impact on your signals unless you retune with them. Also you may be in an area that can receive transmissions from multiple stations and you are currently receiving from the weaker one (note: ‘auto scan’ function does not guarantee that your TV selects the best available services). All of these things can impact on the quality of your signal. You may need to conduct a manual retune of your TV to improve the signal quality across the channels available to you.
By completing our DIY Health Check, we will give you step by step instructions on retuning your TV.
3. The elements are killing me...
Funnily enough, your antenna (and the parts and cables that sit with it) are up in the elements 365 days a year. They are asked to survive rain, wind, storms, birds, debris, growing trees and all of the other elements impacting them every day.
Good signal relies on 2 main things;
If you don’t have these 2 things, then there is a good chance you are getting signal issues and eventually will have no signal at all.
There are some simple ways for you to check to see if you’re antenna and receiving equipment are in good condition. Complete our DIY Health Check (below) to see what you can discover before getting a new antenna installed. It may be a simple matter of cutting back some trees to get good signals return.
Of course, your TV and receiving setup is a complex setup and there are a number of other things that may be causing your signal issues. We hope that this information will get you a step closer to perfect signal.
If it doesn’t, just remember that there are many parts to your setup, many of which you cannot see or access without the right expertise or equipment. That’s what we are here for.
If you are still experiencing signal issues, get in touch and book your appointment.
PLUS... By completing our DIY TV Signal Health Check, you'll get access to our exclusive 20% off Antenna Services offer. Click the above link to find out more.
As far as we are concerned, there is nothing more important than keeping your family and friends safe, especially the little ones. With the increase in flat panel TV's in the home, the number of injuries and deaths relating to TV's toppling is also on the rise. Scary!
It's not that difficult to safely secure your TV to the cabinet that it rests on with an anchor or safety strap, or better still, get the TV off the furniture (which can also topple) and get it on the wall. You still need to ensure proper safety procedures are followed and good quality parts (mounts, bolts, straps etc) are used, to ensure that your installation is safe.
Now is the time to make it happen, before it's too late.
If you would like to get professional help to install your safety straps, anchors or wall mount your TV - Get in touch with us. We will ensure that ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) recommendations and regulations are adhered to.
Stay Safe :-)
Image and postcard information source: www.productsafety.gov.au
For the average person, buying a TV these days can be confusing. So many buzz words and acronyms (like, 4k, OLED, HD, ULED etc), that your salesperson will throw at you to try and sell you the "latest and best" TV.
Don't be coerced by the buzz...
Do your research and know what you are paying for.
Here is a useful quick vid that will give you a little insight into what 4k will give you, and whether you should pay more to have it.
Video Source: Courtesy of CNET
When you leave your home, whether for a quick weekend getaway or a major family holiday, you’ll want to take some basic safety precautions to keep your house and belongings as safe as possible. Home security is not just for the wealthy, and it doesn't always mean fancy alarm systems and state of the art security cameras. If you are anything like me, you've worked hard to get the things you have and you want to protect them as best you can without going OTT.
Here are a few things that I recommend you consider doing before you leave your home alone.
1. Keeping up appearances
Some of the biggest give-aways to grab the attention of your local robber are the easiest ones to manage. You basically want to give the appearance that there are still people in the home (even if coming and going). Arrange for a trusted friend or neighbour to mow the lawn, collect the mail and generally check up on the house. If you are able to, set timers on a couple of lights or even the TV so that the home has the appearance of being occupied. Even some simple things like leaving a car in the driveway or leaving those pesky kids toys out that have been out there for the last 2 months. Basically, change as little as possible to raise red flags that no-one is home.
2. Hide the Hide-a-key
It just seems to be the done thing these days, that you leave a hide-a-key somewhere on the property for those unfortunate "locked myself out" moments or for the teenage kids. While you may think your hidey spot is awesome, it really is leaving an open door for sneaky thieves who do their homework. Before you leave, give the hide-a-key to a trusted friend or neighbour or perhaps consider a "key-locker". These are a smart little mini safe that can be installed with a combination lock and when opened, has just enough room for your door key. Only those you trust with the combination can get inside to the key.
3. In “Safe” keeping
This might be a good time to invest in a fire/flood proof safe or lockable suitcase. It’s a one-time investment that will serve you for years to come. Not only can you use these devices to secure your important items (e.g. deeds, birth certificates, wills, jewellery, cash etc) while on holiday, it will protect these items in the event of fire or flood.
4. Hold the Broadcast
Sadly, you can’t be too sure who might see your exciting social media post, broadcasting the 2-week holiday you are about to take. The difficulty with even the most security conscious social media user, is that you don’t know who your “friends of friends” are or their security settings. Also, once something is out there on the internet, anyone can share your information without your knowledge or permission and there isn’t a whole heap you can do about it. Your broadcast might be sending the perfect details to a seasoned criminal, for their next “job”. Maybe keep the details of your social broadcasting to a minimum and double check your security settings.
5. Be ALARMED… Our SECURITY is working
Obviously, where possible, we would recommend installing some kind of security system to provide your home with the ultimate protection. With the amount of technology now available to consumers, you might be surprised to find out that it is not always a hugely expensive exercise to install a home alarm &/or CCTV systems. Products range from the very basic to the high-end systems (with live monitored alarms and CCTV which you can view from your mobile phone). According to your home and your budget, I believe you can usually find a solution to suite your needs.
If you aren’t in a position to install working security systems, you do have another option. You can purchase fake CCTV cameras, which are battery operated with flashing lights and can be attached to any area of the home very easily. You can also get generic security signage to make it look like the home is protected by alarms. These are viable options and will give your potential intruders a good reason to leave your home alone, just in case.
Whatever you decide – ADVERTISE your security.
Get cameras with flashing red lights on them. Use security signage to highlight the security measures that protect your home. Be sure to keep this signage non-specific to brands or alarm types.
Security options available at AV Made Easy
What do you do to protect your home?
There is quite a lot to consider when you are looking at installing a TV antenna. If you google it, I’m certain you will find instructions or video’s on how to install an antenna. If you are quite handy, have the right tools at your disposal, have plenty of spare time for research and doing the work – maybe you could give it a go. HOWEVER, this comes with a huge caution, because it’s not always as simple as it’s made out to be.
Here are a few other considerations before you even begin spending time or money on a self-installation:
The right tools
Professional TV antenna installers will have particular tools and equipment to ensure excellent digital reception to all TV points. The most important of these elements is the digital signal meter, which will detail the exact strength of signal for each TV channel at each TV point in the home. This equipment is worth thousands of dollars and isn’t accessible to the average home installer. As such you may be relying on a simple “point & shoot” method to get good reception, which is not reliable and doesn’t guarantee good quality signal across all channels.
Distance between the TV and antenna.
Digital TV signals can deteriorate through coaxial cables over longer distances. We recommend your antenna is placed within about 20 metres of your TV. If the antenna needs to be positioned at a further distance than this, then it’s important that the antenna is powerful enough to mitigate any loss of signal. Alternatively, you could install an amplifier to boost the signal.
Where to mount and point the antenna
You will need to start by finding out where your local TV station transmitters are. You can usually google this information or contact one of your local TV stations and ask them. Best signals will be gained when the antenna is directed at your nearest TV transmission station. This part can be trickier than it may seem at first;
Cable and wall plates
Of course if you are installing a new antenna or new TV points, you will need to factor in the cost and skills required to run the cable from the antenna, through the wall/ceiling cavities, to the TV point/s in the home. This can be tricky business for the home installer and can take an understanding of the structure of the home and how to safely get cable through the cavities. Please ensure that you have checked the relevant building and electrical codes prior to running cable, to ensure that you are installing safely. Be sure that you stay a safe distance from power cables (min distances vary by state depending on building codes).
So, whilst it is possible to install your own TV antenna, it is highly recommended to get a professional installer. The use of professional signal meters alone, will save possible hours in trying to find signal and align the antenna, and get the best possible reception on each TV channel. Experience also affords professional installers plenty of tips and tricks to antenna placement and installation that might just make the difference between OK TV signals and fantastic TV signals. Of course the other major factor in considering a professional installation is safety. Professional installers are trained to work at heights, trained to run cable safely within the cavities of the home and are insured in case anything goes wrong.
If you want to save yourself, time, stress and money, get a professional to help you install your TV Antenna. You won’t regret it.
If you are anything like me, you probably walk into your local electronics retailer and are totally baffled at the sheer volume of TV’s in there. Why are there so many to choose from? What can we possibly need from a TV that warrants this huge selection and variety?
Well, truth be told, you aren’t just buying a TV anymore. You are buying a device that is capable of delivering a variety of media and entertainment to your home. A device that is connected to the internet and is capable of far more than the old screen that has a few TV channels on it. You are now buying a SMART TV, and they’ve come a long way from the first release of smart TV’s, that to be honest, weren’t that smart.
So how do you choose a TV that is right for you when there is so much variety?
Here are my top 3 tips to selecting a TV that is right for you and your family.
1. It’s still all about picture quality
I’ve listed this as the first point, because despite what the new model TV’s are capable of doing, for most people the thing you will be doing the most with the TV is watching television… Shocking I know but it’s still the overwhelming number 1 use of the TV. Perhaps gaming is a close 2nd but even if you are racing a virtual Ferrari around some mountainous track in the Himalayas, you are still going to want excellent, crisp, quality picture from your TV.
So what do you need to consider with picture quality?
My advice, ignore the specs sheets for the most part. You will be confounded with stats for each TV such as refresh rate (120Hz, 240Hz, 600Hz etc), CRM, TruMotion, MotionFlow, SPS, display resolution (1080p, 1080i and 720p) and so on. Whilst some of this information is relevant and useful, all you need to do is take a really good look at the TV’s on display to understand the picture quality. So here are some hints to help you choose the TV with the best picture quality when shopping.
2. Bigger is better
It’s an age old argument, not just for TV’s, but it is an important one. In my view, with TV’s bigger is always better. There is simply nothing better than being totally immersed in your movie or TV show and with a bigger TV, this feeling just comes so much more easily. I would recommend a size of at least 32 inches for a bedroom TV and at least 50 inches for a living room TV (or your main TV), although 60 inch plus is even better.
Of course, you must first consider the space that you have to put the TV in and the seating arrangement. Second you must consider your budget, like most things, the bigger it is the more expensive it’s going to be.
So here’s how I’d sort through my choices:
3. Now what about all the other stuff…
In my view we’ve covered off the 2 most important factors of buying your new TV, but there is still so much more to consider to really cement the decision. I recommend covering all of the following off with your salesperson before you make your final decision.
Ok so it’s now almost impossible to buy a TV that doesn’t have some SMART functionality, so it’s part of your buying decision whether you like it or not. Now you may choose not to use the SMART functions on your TV, but you should still have a fair idea of how it works because a) one day you might find yourself accidentally inside the SMART menu and need to navigate your way out and b) in the majority of homes, there will be at least 1 person who will want to use the SMART features (particularly if you have kids in the home).
SMART technology and the apps available through SMART TV’s has come quite a way since the first released TV’s. In my opinion the new SMART features are getting better all the time, but still have a way to go to achieve excellent useability and customer friendliness. Some of the leading brands are doing this better than others, for example Samsung seem to be leading the pack at the moment as far as I’m concerned when it comes to the TV’s SMART functionality and user friendliness.
In my experience (and to be clear I am often installing and educating about 4-6 customers per day on using their new TV’s), retailers aren’t bothering to show customers how their TV’s SMART features look or function. In fact, most retailers don’t even bother having remote controls available for customers to test out the features and menus on the TV. In today’s market, I find this shocking. The user friendliness of the menu’s and functions on the TV is important and should be part of the customers buying decision. So if you are planning to spend your hard earned money on a new TV, I’d be asking to have a demonstration of the SMART features and menu options on the TV before buying it.
Trust me, I’ve had so many customers who I’ve installed the TV for and they are shocked or disappointed at the way that the SMART features work or the availability of particular apps with particular brand TV’s. For example; Spotify, Quickflix, Bigpond Movies, YouTube and other such apps may not be available with your brand of TV. If you know you want particular apps – you need to check that they will be compatible with the brand of TV you are using.
So, be SMART and ask to see the SMART features on your preferred TV before you buy.
The Remote Control
OK this one sounds a bit silly, but again, now days you aren’t just getting a remote control with labelled buttons on it… You are getting a SMART remote. Most of the 2014 model TV’s are only coming with the SMART remote (or clicker) which functions very differently from a traditional remote. In most cases they are interactive in several ways;
As you can see from this list, things have changed when it comes to remotes. If you aren’t too tech savy or have a preference about how you interact with your TV you simply MUST ask your salesperson to demonstrate the remote control.
Thanks to HDMI, connecting devices to your TV has become so much easier, almost everything uses HDMI connection. So all you need to do is simply count the number of devices that you plan on connecting to the TV and make sure that the TV you are choosing has enough (and I suggest a couple of extras for future proofing). This is not really a big deal these days as the majority of TV’s will have ample HDMI ports.
If you like the idea of displaying photos or accessing external content, USB inputs and an SD card slot are nice to have.
You only need to worry about analogue ports if you plan on connecting older devices such as Nintendo Wii.
If all new TV’s don’t currently have 3D capability, they soon will. In my view this should not impact your buying decision at all. I consider 3D just an add-on that the majority of people won’t use (or will use once or twice), after all there is very little content available to watch. If you are interested in 3D the only thing I’d be asking is how many pairs of glasses we get and how expensive is it to get extra?
Styling and Installation
We spend loads of energy selecting, buying and placing furniture in our homes that look great and function well, TV’s are no different. If you don’t like how it looks or don’t think it’ll fit with your décor, then you should probably keep looking.
If you are planning on setting up the TV on a cabinet, be sure to check your cabinet dimensions with the dimensions of the TV stand. Sometimes the two just aren’t compatible or pose a safety risk if not correctly sized.
If you are planning on mounting the TV on a wall, there are some different considerations such as wall space, mount type, viewing angle and such that you will need to consider. Take a look at our article Should I wall mount my TV? for more useful information about wall mounting.
With the new curved TV style, you may also want to pay particular attention to the mounting requirements and the room setup before deciding to wall mount.
I hope that this info has helped to make your TV shopping exercise a little easier and effective.
If you would like to talk to us about installing your new TV and connecting up all your devices, give us a call.
The optimal height to mount your flat screen will vary depending on the following factors:
In our experience every case is different, the rooms, the layout and the way in which people intend to use the TV is different, so we recommend starting with the following steps to help you decide how high to mount. It’s important to note here that most people when mounting their TV’s themselves, mount too high. Try to be aware of this as you want to avoid neck and eye strain as well as ensuring optimal picture quality of your HD TV.
Here are my top tips for a common installation scenarios:
For most lounge room installations where you will be sitting while watching, the centre of the TV will usually be 1 - 1.3 metres from the floor. Standard (static or low profile) mounts will function well in this situation, as you will be looking at the TV directly at eye level.
If however, you prefer the look of a higher installation or if you’re mounting over a fireplace, you will need a tilting mount. Tilting mounts will allow you to point the TV downward so you can still view the TV easily. The average height for most tilting mount scenarios is 1.3 – 1.5 metres from the floor (sometimes more where an obstacle is involved (e.g. fireplace).
If you are likely to be watching the TV from various angles (such as lying down in bed or standing up at different points in a room such as kitchen or bar area), you should consider a swivel TV mount. These mounts not only tilt downward but swivel left and right as well. Swivel mounts provide the greatest flexibility to adapt to the environment and the viewing activity. Like the tilting mounts, Swivel mounts are also typically mounted about 1.3 – 1.5 metres from the floor.
If you are looking for the most suitable mounting solution for your TV, give us a call and we’d be happy to provide a free assessment and quote for mounting your TV.
This article outlines some considerations for wall mounting your TV and highlights the TOP 5 BENEFITS to wall mounting.
There has been much debate over the benefits of wall mounting your TV vs. setting it up on a cabinet or stand. While there are many benefits to mounting your flat screen TV (of which I’ve outlined my top 5 reasons here), there are some things to consider before you decide for sure.
TOP 5 BENEFITS of wall mounting your TV.
1. Looks stylish and sleek
Let’s face it, flat screen TV’s are designed for mounting. Nicely mounted in the optimal position in your lounge room (or bedroom, entertainment area, sports bar etc) with the wiring concealed creates and ultra clean and stylish look for your room. Most mounts are slim and place your TV between 2 and 8 cm from the wall which looks very sleek. Using modern technology or smart TV functionality, you can also turn your TV into an awesome wall display with family photos or slideshows when no one is watching TV. Very cool!
2. Save Space
Regardless of whether you are considering wall mounting for a TV in your lounge room, bedroom or another area of the house, there is no doubt that wall mounting is a space saver. By mounting the TV on the wall you remove the need to have bulky cabinets or furniture to support the TV. In addition, the variety of mounts available make mounting really flexible – for example in a bedroom you can get a corner mount to have the TV in the top corner of the room and avoid using up any valuable bedroom space. Or a swivel mount that allows for a TV to be viewed from a family room or a kitchen depending on where you want to watch from.
As we’ve already said, flat screen TV’s are designed to be mounted. They are built with holes in the rear of the TV where bolts are fitted to attach to the mounts, which are sturdy and designed to bear a particular weight (very important to ensure you have the right mount for the size & weight of your TV). Correctly mounted, the TV is firmly affixed to the wall and will not come loose or fall even if pulled or bumped. Conversely a TV (particularly a larger size TV) that is sitting atop a cabinet, is not secured and risks falling or moving. Very dangerous in a home with small kids in particular, but a risk regardless – accidents happen!
4. Optimal viewing angle
There are 2 main considerations when deciding on the height that your TV should be mounted. The height of the TV should be optimised to ensure that;
1. There is little risk of incurring neck or eye strain when watching the TV.
2. The viewer obtains the full advantages of high definition viewing.
With the variety of mounts available, achieving the optimal viewing angle is much easier than being forced to have your TV on a pre-built cabinet or stand at a static height. There are many factors involved in knowing and achieving the optimal viewing height, you can refer to our article How high should I mount my TV? for further information.
5. Cost effective
Despite how amazing a wall mounted TV looks, it’s not that expensive to achieve. There are a variety of mount styles and suppliers out there, so you can shop around or ask your installer (AKA AV Made Easy) to provide a suitable and cost effective mount. Price of installation may vary depending on the size of the TV and environment for mounting, but our prices start at $199. Compare that to the cost of TV cabinet or built in shelving and I’m sure you’ll agree that mounting as a cost effective option.
So, we’ve established that wall mounting a TV has benefits, but…
Should I wall mount my TV?
Some of the things that you should think about before you wall mount include;
If you have considered all of the above and agree that wall mounting your TV is the way to go… Give us a call to arrange a quote for your TV mount job. Alternatively if you have decided that wall mounting is not the way to go at this time, then we’d be happy to set up your TV on a cabinet, stand, bench or other location and our prices for this start as low as $99.
Either way happy viewing!
I get so many questions and calls from customers who just want some help or advice relating to their audio visual technology. I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing some of the common questions and try to provide an online resource for people to get information. So, I hope that you will find some of the information contained in these articles useful. I will try to add as many new relevant subjects as possible to keep you all in the know. I really do want to make AV easy for you too.