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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Best Picture Award Goes to LG’s OLED TV & Samsung Plasma

Best Picture Award Goes to LG’s OLED TV & Samsung Plasma


LG’s new 55-inch OLED TV and a Samsung Plasma series tied as the televisions that deliver the best picture quality in the 2014 Value Electronics annual TV Shootout. Value Electronics, a high end retail store in Scarsdale, New York, puts together an annual meeting of display experts as well as local videopiles to rate the picture quality as well as other attributes on several leading brand sets. Some of the features reviewed include color accuracy, black level, contrast ratio, as well as motion resolution.

This year’s competition included eight television, which was made up of five 4K TVs, one Plasma and two OLEDs. The highest scoring sets were LG’s OLED TV, model 55EC9300, and the Samsung PN64F8500 Plasma series, which tied for the top score. Those reviewers taking part in the competition gave extremly high marks to the LG set’s black level and contrast ratio. The Samsung Plasma series set received high praises for its motion resolution and color accuracy.

The new LG OLED TV, will be available in the next week (retailing at approx. $3,499), is the newest OLED TV from LG which believes the ultra-thin TV (less than one quarter of an inche thick) will soon become a dominent force in the sales market. The OLED TV combines the best features of both Plasma and LCD Televisions, displaying extremly deep blacks and high contrast levels.

One hitch in this plan though is that due to difficulties in mass producing the thin panels, Sony and Panasonic have stopped production of commercial OLED TVs and Samsung has slowed production in this category, saying it will take at least 3 or 4 years before it hits the mainstream market for consumers to enjoy.

LG on the other hand,  says it will continue to manufacture and sell OLEDs and this latest model is more proof of the company’s commitment to this series of televisions. LG recently introduced a 55-inch OLED model in 2013, but sales have not been what the company was hoping to see from this product launch.

 

The top-rated 4K TV at the above mentioned event,  was Sony’s XBR-85X950B.

 

 

DIRECTV Decides to Renew NFL Ticket

DIRECTV Decides to Renew NFL Ticket

DIRECTV is completing a long-term deal with the NFL which will allow them to continue offering the NFL Sunday Ticket as an exclusive package after the current contract they have expires at the end of the current season.This new is according to an article in today’s Sports Business Journal. The article states more details need to be hashed out, but that the two sides have agreed on the price and the length of the contract. According to SBJ,  DIRECTV’s annual payment will range between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion annually, which is a sizeable increase from The current four-year deal which calls for DIRECTV to pay $1 billion annually to the NFL.


Both the NFL and DIRECTV have stated that they would definately reach a new deal before year’s end. Up until now though, no details of this new agreement have been disclosed by either side.

The publication says no formal announcement is imminent, but both sides are in agreement on the deal’s major sticking points. DIRECTV has refused to comment on the contract negotiations,  while the NFL has stated negotiations are still ongoing, SBJ writes.

The new deal is expected to last through 2021/22 seasons, SBJ reports.

 

Chili’s Tablets Dine on Data to Boost Service

Restaurant chain Chili’s Grill & Bar is betting on table-top tablets to entertain guests and encourage their feedback, which it is analyzing to improve service.

The tablets come amid an industry shift toward using technology, such as mobile apps with reward incentives, to increase engagement. But Chili’s tablets take the engagement deeper, into the actual dining experience, and allow the restaurant more opportunities to gauge customer feedback to improve operations, says Chili’s President Wyman Roberts. The implementation also should boost Chili’s appeal among millennial consumers, he said.

Chili’s last month rolled out 45,000, seven-inch tablets, which guests in the company’s 823 corporate-owned locations can use to read news, pay to play games, pay for meals and inform the restaurant about their experience. The tablets enable some light ordering, including alcoholic beverages, coffee and desserts. But the chain doesn’t want to replace wait staff, which it sees as core to the guest experience, said Mr. Roberts.

Chili’s also expects to boost the pace and volume of customer feedback with the tablets. The table-top tablets, which are made by Ziosk and run Google Inc.’s Android software, ask guests to fill out a survey on the spot, after they pay their bill. Ziosk’s computer systems analyze the data and assemble reports based on how guests said staff and stores performed, says Austen Mulinder, CEO of Ziosk. Every morning, Ziosk sends the reports to restaurant and corporate managers, he said.

Chili’s chief information officer, David Doyle, and the IT team worked with Ziosk to ensure its technology integrated with the chain’s point of sale, wireless capabilities and other infrastructure to support the tablet rollout, which Ziosk handled. Marketing led the vendor selection process and, along with IT and other business units, managed the actual implementation. Marketing departments have become increasingly involved in technology implementations. Kristin Kelley, chief marketing officer of global staffing company Randstad NA, says marketing and IT departments need to communicate their respective needs and capabilities, and work together to manage third parties. “The expectation that everything you want is something the IT department is going to be able to deliver is a stretch,” she said during panel discussion last week sponsored by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association.

Chili’s will use this information to improve store operations, such as adding more servers during busier shifts, training them better, or assembling teams of kitchen staff that perform best, based on satisfaction trends, said Mr. Roberts. Over time, Chili’s hopes this data will enable it to optimize the performance of each store, which could make the difference between a customer choosing Chili’s over a rival across the street. “We can see patterns of where consumers are having or not having a good experience,” said Mr. Roberts.

Although this data collection is fairly new, the immediacy of completing surveys on the sport is already resonating with guests. In roughly two months since Chili’s and Ziosk completed the implementation, customers have shown that they are 20 to 30 times more likely to participate in a guest satisfaction survey using the tablet over the traditional method of leaving feedback, says Mr. Roberts.

That traditional method included prompting, at the end of the bill, guests to fill out satisfaction surveys online. This approach hinges on guests filling out the survey on the Chili’s website from their home computer. The percentage of guests who left feedback was small enough that it would take one to two months to accumulate enough data to get a picture of how a restaurant was performing, Mr. Roberts said.

As challenging as the rollout of the tablets themselves, Chili’s has had to address the cultural challenge of training staff at using the tablets so they can serve as technical advisers to guests who require help.

These hiccups will be worth it, said Mr. Roberts. “We’ll see positive business results [using the tablets],” he said.

According to Clint Boulton reporter for  The Wall Street Journal on June 17, 2014

DIRECTV STATES THAT AS MANY AS 50 CHANNELS MAY BE REMOVED

DIRECTV STATES THAT AS MANY AS 50 CHANNELS MAY BE REMOVED

The heated fee fight between Satellite TV provider  DIRECTV and Raycom Media is ramping up with the latter notifying their DIRECTV viewers that they could lose their local channel signals in the nine days.Negotiations are now taking place for a  new carriage agreement that, if not successfully agreed to by August 31, could mean the loss of more than 50 local stations from the satprovider’s lineup for its’ customers.

 

At the begining of this month, Raycom’s local stations began posting barely seen notices on their web sites and on social media pages that alerted their viewers that the negotiations with Directv were still ongoing. But now, the stations have moved the notices to the top of their websites’ home pages with large, alarming-looking banners that are hard to miss and  urge DIRECTV viewers to click “For More Information.”After the customer clicks on the banner, an article page appears that suggests DIRECTV subscribers can switch to another service provider to ensure they keep receiving their local channels.

At DIRECTVPromise.com, the satcaster’s designated site to comment on programming disputes, the company earlier this week said it was working hard to keep Raycom’s stations on the air, but acknowledged there could be a short blackout. However, DIRECTVPromise.com has removed the notice and now has no information about Raycom at its site.

 

DIRECTV and Raycom engaged in a series of heated contentious negotiation in 2011 before they were able to come to terms, finally signing a new deal.

As is usual in these negotiations and discussions, the companies are at odds over how much money DIRECTV should pay Raycom to carry its signals for customers to watch.

Most of the Raycom stations are located in cities throughout the Southeast, such as New Orleans, Savannah, Augusta, Georgia and Birmingham. But the company also owns stations located in the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas.

 

 

Vizio Moves to Recall 245,000 TVs That Could Potentially Tip Over

Vizio Moves to Recall 245,000 TVs That Could Potentially Tip Over


Vizio along with the Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued a consumer alert stating that 245,000 39-inch and 42-inch Vizio TVs have been sold with a defective stand that could cause the set to tip over, which could result in injury or damage to the TV itself. 

The company states that the sets in question — model numbers  E390-BO, E390i-BO (39-inch TVs) and E420i-BO (42-inch TV) — should not pose any danger if they are mounted on the wall properly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a statement saying that there have been a total of 51 reports of the TVs tipping over, although no injuries have been recorded, to date.Vizio states that the sets in question were sold between December 2013 and June 2014 and that set owners should immediately remove the TV stand, place the TV in a safe location and then contact Vizio for a replacement stand assembly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also adds that consumers who have already had the TV wall mounted, should request a replacement, too, in case they ever decide to use the TV in a non wall mounted setting.


Vizio says it’s extending the one-year warranty on the sets to two years in light of the stand issue.
If your TV is included in this recall, please call Vizio immediately at 855-472-7450 for assistance.

DIRECTV is Seeking to Keep 50 Raycom Stations On Their Menu

News
DIRECTV is Seeking to Keep 50 Raycom Stations On Their Menu

DIRECTV and Raycom Media are currently negotiating a new contractual agreement that, if not completed by August 31 2014, could mean the loss of more than 50 local stations from the satprovider’s menu lineup for customers in those areas.Raycom’s local stations have posted small notices at their web sites and on social media pages that alert their viewers that the  two companies are in negotiations to resolve this issue. The problem is that the messages so far are small and non-threatening, which suggests the company’s belief that a resolution will be worked out before the deadline hits, and viewers are left in the dark.DIRECTV has  also posted a small notice at on its’ own web site, DIRECTVPromise.com, that seems downplays the seriousness of the discussions, and what could happen if an agreement can not be reached on time.

“We are working with Raycom to retain its permission (to air its signals) and look forward to resolving our business matters privately so that none of these customers are unnecessarily inconvenienced,” the statement reads.


 

However, with less than three weeks left before the current agreement expires, the downplaying of how serious this is, can be disturbing to customers that will be afftected. DIRECTV and Raycom engaged in a similiar contentious negotiation in 2011 before finally signing a new deal, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

As is the case in most of  these types of  discussions, the two companies are negotiating over how much money DIRECTV should have to pay Raycom to carry its signals to customers.

The Raycom stations in question are mostly located  in cities in the throughout the Southeast, such as New Orleans, Savannah, Augusta, Georgia and Birmingham. But the company also owns stations in the Cleveland and Cincinnati markets as well.

 

 

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