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Fiber Product Images

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is excited to launch new bulk fiber cable and fiber termination tools for installers at the 2019 CEDIA Expo. This product line provides reliable fiber installation at a competitive price and is a first for MHTG, who currently sells bulk category cable, speaker wire, security wire and coax cable. Existing fiber products from MHTG so far have been HDMI® cables from their Velox®, Helios® and Install Bay® brands, at lengths ranging from 3 feet to 330 feet. Now, customers will have the ability to terminate their own fiber lengths with 1,000-foot bulk reels of OM3 multi-mode fiber, available in simplex or duplex options in an easy-pull box. It is available in OFNR riser rated, making it suitable for indoor floor to floor applications or OFNP for plenum applications and designed for today’s 10 Gigabit applications in networks and data centers.

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Posted in Press By Metra
HDM-AIO2 product photo

Ethereal® by Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is introducing its next generation of the HDMI® All-in-One Correction Tool, the HDM-AIO2, at the 2019 CEDIA Expo. This exclusive product instantly fixes most of the common HDMI problems that installers experience in today’s home theater systems and now has a smaller footprint and lower price tag, along with a completely redesigned circuit board to increase efficiency and provide faster input switching. Its predecessor, the HDM-AIO, was a toolbox favorite for custom integrators and home theater professionals, allowing installers to get out a problem job fast. Now, the HDM-AIO2 will be shipping soon and on display at the 2019 CEDIA Expo booth #1338.

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CEDIA 2019

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is excited to host a workshop at this year’s CEDIA Expo featuring Jeff Boccaccio, president of DPL Labs and one of the industry’s leading experts on digital signaling solutions and HDMI®, along with Brent McCall from MHTG’s technical support and product development team. This one-hour long workshop session is hosted at MHTG’s booth #1338 on Thursday 9/12 and Friday 9/13 at 1:00 PM. Both days will have the same session topic and attendees will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win new products.

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Posted in Press By Metra

Consumer Benefits of Fiber HDMI Cables

Saturday, July 27, 2019 1:10:00 AM America/New_York

Fiber HDMI cables banner

Are you purchasing a new 4K home theater or gaming system but can’t understand why you would need a more expensive fiber HDMI® cable? Without a high-performance cable, your “upgraded system” is only as good as the cable connecting it all together, which may not be an upgrade at all. Why would you invest in a new display, expecting to experience higher resolution performance, only to use a cheap cable?

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Posted in Blog By Metra

AOC HDMI and You

Friday, July 19, 2019 4:29:51 PM America/New_York

Tech Tips Webinars

In this second live video webinar from 7/17/19, the Metra Home Tech Team discusses everything custom integrators should know about fiber HDMI cables and answers questions about durability, using conduit, "future proofing" and more. This 30 minute webinar also includes answering questions integrators asked during the live video stream to help installers determine which cable to choose for their next project. Stay tuned for the next live video webinar, every other Wednesday at 11am Eastern Time on the Metra Home Theater Group Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/EtherealHomeTheater

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Posted in Home Tech Tips Live Videos By Metra

Why Retailers Shouldn’t Ignore the 4K Gaming Market

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 7:00:14 AM America/New_York

4K Gaming Stats

Gaming has exploded into a massive industry and now 4K gaming consoles are here. Higher resolution gaming systems require higher bandwidth connectivity solutions to deliver 4K at its full potential. Retailers shouldn't ignore this opportunity to provide new, high-end HDMI cables capable of supporting 4K video content at 24Gbps.

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Posted in Blog By Metra

Top 3 Things You Need to Know About Upgrading to HDMI 2.1

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 8:26:09 AM America/New_York

Tech Tips Webinars

The Metra Home technical support and product development team discuss the top three things integrators need to know about upgrading to HDMI 2.1. They also unbox the CS-HDBTP2UK-70 HDBaseT extender to show you what comes in the box and how it works. This video also features questions asked by our viewers, which the tech team answers at the end. Stay tuned for the next live video webinar, every other Wednesday at 11am Eastern Time on the Metra Home Theater Group Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/EtherealHomeTheater

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Posted in Home Tech Tips Live Videos By Metra
Live Streaming Videos for Custom Integrators

The technical support and product development team from Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) will be live streaming short videos every other week to answer questions custom integrators are asking about home technology products. The topics will range from HDMI® to security surveillance integration, bulk wire, multimedia distribution, home audio and other technical issues seen in the field. The videos will stream live from Facebook and YouTube and be about 10-20 minutes in length, ending with an open question and answer session to discuss questions posted in the comments section. MHTG is planning to host these live videos every other Wednesday at 11:00 A.M. (Eastern time), starting July 3rd, 2019.

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Posted in Press By Metra
Visit Us At CEWEEK A Global Event graphic

Metra Home Theater Group® is excited to announce that Phoenix Marketing Group will be their representative firm in the southeast region of the United States. According to Phoenix Marketing Group’s Principal, Chris Gilray, “Our continued success is dependent upon our partnerships with our exceptional manufacturers, and with our loyal customers.” When asked about the new partnership, Gilray continued, "We are very proud to be a part of their team and represent the Metra Home Theater Group brand. The unique products and the array of custom installation products they have to offer complement our other product lines well and will help us in providing complete solutions for our customers."

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Posted in Press By Metra
Visit Us At CEWEEK A Global Event graphic

When experts assemble this week to judge the "King of TVs", the products connecting those electronics must deliver the best quality and be completely dependable for an accurate contest. Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is honored to once again connect the displays of the 2019 TV Shootout at CE Week with their products and HDMI® cables. It isn’t easy to put the best Ultra HD TVs on the market in a contest against each other, and not just in front of an audience, but a panel of experts, reviewers and calibrators from around the world. All the eyes of the AV world are watching every detail and judging its outcome.

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EDID and HDMI®: What Every Integrator Should Know

Friday, April 19, 2019 10:00:00 AM America/New_York

EDID and HDMI

Every custom integrator will encounter problems between HDMI enabled devices that are ultimately caused by EDID. Understanding what EDID is and how it will impact your system will give you a step up in the field when it comes to diagnosing and fixing EDID related errors. Read our latest blog post to learn more.

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Posted in Blog By Metra

D-Tools Offering Free Trial for Cloud-based Platform to MHTG Customers

Friday, April 12, 2019 9:21:22 AM America/New_York

D-Tools Free Trial

D-Tools, Inc., the worldwide leader in data-driven system integration software, is offering a free 45-day trial of its new cloud-based platform to Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) customers. D-Tools Cloud debuted at the 2018 CEDIA show as an affordable multi-OS, web-accessible platform, winning many awards for its innovative technology. The platform enables home technology professionals and system integration companies to better manage their project sales and design process – from pipeline and opportunity management through system design, quoting, proposal, acceptance, and procurement.

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Ethereal® Next Generation Gigabit Accelerator Now Shipping

Friday, April 5, 2019 9:46:00 AM America/New_York

HDM-GA2

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is now shipping its award-winning HDM-GA2 product. This next-generation Gigabit Accelerator features breakthrough and proprietary technology which can upgrade existing hard-wired passive HDMI® cables to 4K or even 8K resolutions by increasing their bandwidth. This product was introduced at CEDIA and won several industry awards, including the CE Pro BEST, TWICE VIP Product award, Residential Systems Best of Show and was a CEDIA Best New Hardware Product finalist in its category.

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Posted in Press By Metra

New 4K Resolution Surveillance Cameras and NVR Available from Spyclops®

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 10:34:00 AM America/New_York

Spyclops 4K Products

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is now shipping two new surveillance cameras and a Network Video Recorder (NVR) capable of supporting 4K resolution from Spyclops Surveillance Systems®. These new products allow for higher resolution surveillance and video recording over closed-circuit television networks for home or business systems.

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Posted in Press By Metra

The Two Most Common Apple TV Errors and How to Solve Them

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 6:06:00 PM America/New_York

Solving Apple TV Problems

Apple TV Error Messages

Recently we published an article about problems with Apple TV and DirecTV’s DSS Receivers in reference to the display, indicating an HDCP error. From that article, I received several comments concerning the validity of my conclusion about this being related to the voltage/current requirements of the source device. After re-reading the content, I realized detail on this subject matter needed to be explained further. The following is the updated text to reflect our real-world experience in dealing with these issues and their causes.

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Posted in Blog By Metra

Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces New Speaker Stands and Mounts by Helios®

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 4:02:00 PM America/New_York

Speaker Stands by Helios

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) announces a new retail product line from Helios® for speaker stands and mounts in various sizes and options. “Helios already manufactures TV mounts that are trusted by installers and retailers. Growing the product line to include mounts and speaker stands for home audio will allow us to provide additional accessories our customers have been requesting,” says Jessy Crabb, General Manager for MHTG. The new category includes eight different models of floor stands, wall or ceiling mounts and a bookshelf mount for speakers. These new products are sold as a pair and are now shipping.

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Posted in Press By Metra
MHTG at IBS 2019

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is heading to the 2019 International Builders Show in Las Vegas from February 19th to 21st to showcase their latest home technology products for builders. “Building smart homes wired to support the latest technology and 4K home theater systems has become a significant revenue source for builders and is forecasted to grow even bigger,” says Jessy Crabb, General Manager of MHTG. “With 4K becoming mainstream, higher bandwidth cables are needed to connect home theaters and we have cost-effective solutions that support 24Gbps,” she added. MHTG will be at booth SU648 in the South Hall Upper Level in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces a New IR Kit with Unique Features

Thursday, February 7, 2019 11:08:00 AM America/New_York

New ethereal IR Kit

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) announces a new infrared repeater system with IR controlled contact closure and code learning features that work with Ethereal® Voltage Control Trigger (HDM-VCT) and All-in-One (HDM-AIO) repair tools. This unique product allows custom integrators the ability to extend infrared signals of their remote control and provide an interface to relay a wide range of controlled devices, including a home theater system that is utilizing an HDMI repair tool for hot plug relay purposes. Previously, systems utilizing the HDM-VCT or HDM-AIO would require a high-end home automation system with available relay to trigger these devices. This kit will now allow integrators to utilize those repair tools without a control system, working with even the most basic system comprised of a cable box and TV. The CS-IRKITCCUS kit also has the ability to learn two IR codes from the most commonly used remotes and provide a dry contact closure interface to relay controlled devices.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Showcases 24Gbps HDMI® Cables at ISE 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019 10:44:00 AM America/New_York

2019 IES

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is showcasing more than 50 HDMI® cable products with 24Gbps bandwidth at booth 1-Q80 at the 2019 Integrated Systems Europe show in Amsterdam. MHTG’s HDMI cables are manufactured under Ethereal Home Theater®, Helios® and The Install Bay® brands, and available now in a wide range of lengths and options. These HDMI cables are designed to carry up to 6Gbps of video in all four channels for a total bandwidth of 24Gbps. “24Gbps bandwidth is in preparation for higher frames per second or bit rates in the 4K spec, or heading to the next step in 8K,” says Brent McCall from MHTG’s Technical Support and Product Development. “With the release of HDMI 2.1 in many new displays, higher bandwidth cables will be required to take advantage of the new content we expect to see coming in the future,” he added. MHTG’s higher bandwidth cables support 4K/60,10bit, 4:4:4 and are compatible with the new enhanced audio return channels (ARC and eARC) and all of the current HDMI specifications.

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Posted in Press By Metra

We are Prepared for the Future with 24Gbps HDMI Cables

Thursday, January 24, 2019 4:49:00 PM America/New_York

24gbps speed rate

24Gbps Cables

4K content and displays have become mainstream, but now the future holds something bigger: 8K! While HDMI hasn’t officially released the Compliance Test Specifications (CTS) for HDMI version 2.1 as of December 2018, we do know that the next step in 8K will require 24Gbps bandwidth by reassigning the 4th channel, currently used as the clock lane, to carry video.

We are prepared for the future and many of Metra Home Theater Group’s 18Gbps HDMI cables can already support 24Gbps. These cables were engineered to carry either clock or video in the fourth lane, as we anticipated and prepared for the new format and technology. These cables also support the new enhanced audio return channel (eARC*), in addition to 4K, HDR and more. This makes them ideal for the latest high-performance gaming consoles, which have exploded in popularity with more than 2.5 billion video gamers around the world (according to the European Mobile Game Market, 2016).

Whether you’re pre-wiring a new home, installing a home theater system for your client or selling retail products in your store, Metra Home Theater Group has you covered with the latest technology for AV connectivity.

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Posted in Blog By Metra

Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces Fiber HDMI® Cables with Detachable Headshell

Thursday, December 20, 2018 6:13:00 PM America/New_York

2019 CES New Product Rollout

2019 CES New Product Rollout

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is introducing a new series of hybrid active optical fiber HDMI® cables from The Install Bay® that feature a removable headshell for easy in-wall installation. This installer-friendly solution is designed for pre-wiring with a small connector cover and hook that makes pulling the cable through conduit easy. The hybrid active optical fiber technology supports up to 24Gbps (4x6 Gbps) bandwidth for 4K/60,10bit, 4:4:4 and all known versions of HDR, with no external power required*. These cables were introduced to a small group of integrators at the 2018 CEDIA Show for feedback and testing. After positive feedback and a quick sellout, MHTG is ready to introduce these new cables into full production.

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Posted in Press By Metra

HTSN and Metra Home Theater Group Announce Exclusive Partnership

Monday, December 17, 2018 6:36:00 PM America/New_York

htsn-and-mhtg-partnership

Easy Ordering, Fast Delivery and Unmatched Support Highlight Member Benefits

Home Technology Specialists Nationwide, the custom integration division of Nationwide Marketing Group announced a group exclusive program with Metra Home Theater Group, available to members of both HTSN and of Nationwide. The partnership brings to bear Metra Home Theater Group’s easy ordering portal, as well as the logistic capabilities of their six US warehouses.

Metra Home Theater Group enters the partnership with a rich history, having designed, engineered and produced the most innovative products in their industry for over 70 years. MHTG built their stellar reputation having been first-to-market with HDMI solutions that deliver higher resolutions and bandwidths at record-setting lengths. The MHTG family of brands include Ethereal Home Theater, Helios and Spyclops Surveillance Systems.

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Posted in Press By Metra

Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces HDMI® Switches, Splitters and More

Friday, September 7, 2018 12:10:00 AM America/New_York

metrahtg-cs-switches

2018 CEDIA Show Rollout

Metra Home Theater Group® Ethereal® (MHTG) is introducing a series of HDMI® switches with multiple inputs, two splitters and an audio breakout, all supporting HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 at the 2018 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, CA. MHTG’s Ethereal Home Theater® brand provides installers with the best accessory options on the market.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Introducing New HDBaseT HDMI® Extenders

Thursday, September 6, 2018 5:50:00 PM America/New_York

metrahtg-extenders

Metra Home Theater Group® Ethereal® (MHTG) is introducing three new Ethereal® brand HDBaseT HDMI® extender products at the 2018 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, CA. The extenders all support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 and are U.S. Type IR compatible. With 4K 60Hz, 4:4:4 and HDR, the CS-HDBTP2UK-70, CS-HDBTP2UKA-70 and the CS-HDBTLPOEU-70 offer the highest quality signal extension over category cable on the market today. These new products are simple to set up and will be available in different transmission distances and resolutions.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces New Line of Audio Velox Cables

Thursday, September 6, 2018 12:48:00 AM America/New_York

metrahtg-velox-xlr-cables

Metra Home Theater Group® Ethereal® is introducing an entirely new line of premium balanced Velox cables at the 2018 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, CA. The EHV-XLR1 and the EHV-XLR2 offer connections to provide the highest fidelity available on both analog and digital SPDIF (AES/EDU) audio devices. The EHV-XLR1 and XLR2 are sold as single cables and offer true two-channel analog featuring a woven flexible jacket, a precision terminal design and a lifetime warranty.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces Ethereal® MHX Series Ultra Slim Toslink Cables

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 1:17:00 PM America/New_York

metrahtg-mhx-toslink-cables

Metra Home Theater Group® Ethereal® MHX Series Ultra Slim Toslink Cables are being rolled out at the 2018 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, CA. The new audio cables can carry pulse code modulation (PCM) and multi-channel digital audio between Toslink enabled devices. These ultra slim cables feature the finest quality optical fiber to provide maximum resolution.

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Posted in Press By Metra
metrahtg-hdm-ga2

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) debuts its next-generation HDMI® GA2 gigabit accelerator at the 2018 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, CA. The HDM-GA2 technology breakthrough means an existing passive HDMI cable can be used for a 4K upgrade to a home theater system.

MHTG’s Ethereal® second-generation gigabit accelerator, the HDM-GA2, is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and transforms existing hard-wired passive HDMI cables by expanding their bandwidth capability to 18Gbps for up to 20 meters and an expected capability of 48Gbps for up to 9+ meters. The HDM- GA2 patented technology will support all available functions under HDMI 2.0b, and it will also support the feature sets and performance requirements of the new HDMI 2.1 specification. The product is low-profile and is designed to be used only with passive HDMI cables and installs easily at the display side of the system. It has already received the TWICE VIP Award for 2018, and is a finalist for the “Best New Hardware” award to be given by CEDIA at the expo.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Announces D-Tools Partnership

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 1:28:00 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) announced today its partnership with D-Tools, Inc., a worldwide leader in system integration software. This partnership allows dealers and installers at the design phase of a home installation project to access the entire line of Metra Home Theater products.

“We are pleased to join forces with D-Tools and excited to be a part of the D-Tools Cloud launch at CEDIA. We like the opportunities this provides our customers and know this partnership will realize a ‘next-step’ in making Metra Home Theater Group a top-of-mind choice during the design phase,” said Jessy Crabb, MHTG general manager.

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2018 CEDIA Pre-Show Rollout

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is pleased to announce it will sponsor an HDMI® roundtable discussion featuring three top industry trainers from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday September 7th at its Booth # 1715 at the 2018 CEDIA Expo being held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Introduces Helios® Surge Protection Units

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 1:13:00 PM America/New_York

2018 CEDIA Pre-Show Rollout

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is introducing its two newest Helios® surge protection units to support home theater equipment installations at the 2018 CEDIA Expo to be held in San Diego, CA in September. The AS-P-208U and the AS-P-207 are each designed with maximum efficiency and capacity. These surge protectors are a part of the MHTG complete line of products and accessories for the home theater installation community.

The AS-P-208U is designed with today’s tech-filled home in mind. It powers and protects up to eight 110 volt devices and can charge two mobile devices simultaneously via USB. The AS-P-207 is designed with ruggedness in mind and can power and protect up to seven AC devices and outlets housed in a metal-case power strip. These products will be shipping soon.

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Metra Home Theater Group® Spyclops® Showcases 12 New Products

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 8:01:00 AM America/New_York

2018 CEDIA Pre-Show Rollout

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) will showcase its 12 new additions and updates to its Spyclops® brand of surveillance security systems and accessories at the 2018 CEDIA Expo to be held in San Diego, CA in September. The 2018 updates are in response to customer requests and include POE cameras, as well as motorized autofocus and adjustable zoom. Many of the innovations make projects easy for the integrator by reducing installation time and adding flexibility for system upgrades. Providing tried and true technologies, MHTG offers installers U.S.-based responsive technical support. All 12 of these cameras will be shipping soon.

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2018 CEDIA Pre-Show Rollout

Metra Home Theater Group® (MTHG) is revealing its latest addition to its high performance Ethereal® passive Velox® premium HDMI® cables, the EHV-HDP10-R2, ahead of the 2018 CEDIA Expo in September.

“The combination of new manufacturing techniques and technologies used for the cable completely change what we thought was possible with long distance cable,” said Jessy Crabb MHTG general manager. The Velox cable features a new microwave RF design and supports 18 Gbps, 4K/60, 4:4:4 and HDR. It offers advanced features in metallurgy, topology, dielectric and shielding in the highest bandwidth on the market.

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Posted in Press By Metra
metrahtg-spyclops-control4

Award-winning M3B Pro creates flexible and reliable video distribution

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) is hosting a Lunch n’ Learn Session featuring Jeffrey Boccaccio, president of DPL Labs, one of the industry’s leading experts on digital signaling solutions such as HDMI® from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, September 6th and Friday, September 7th at its Booth # 1715 at the 2018 CEDIA Expo being held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

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Ethereal HDMI 18Gbps Cables Are Already Capable of Supporting 24Gbps

Friday, June 15, 2018 4:17:00 PM America/New_York

high-definition multimedia interface - version 2.1

As home theater enthusiasts and technology professionals eagerly await the rollout of HDMI 2.1, manufacturers are working to bring 4K/120, 4:4:4, 12 bit color, dynamic HDR and 8K into mainstream production. While details for Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables are still being finalized, we do know that the next step in 8K will require 24Gbps bandwidth by reassigning the 4th channel, currently used as the clocking lane, to carry video.

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Posted in Blog By Metra
View Security Cameras Remotely

Metra Home Theater Group® (MHTG) announced today its Spyclops® fixed position IP Security Cameras are now integrated with Control4 EA controllers, T3 Touchscreens and mobile application for iPhone and Android devices. The camera software drivers are available for free download on the MHTG website under the product files for each camera model.

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The First Step in 8K Will be 24Gbps Bandwidth

Friday, June 8, 2018 6:15:00 PM America/New_York

high-definition multimedia interface - version 2.1

HDMI Cables will Expand Bandwidth via the 4th High Speed Video Channel, Currently the Clock Channel

As HDMI version 2.1 continues its rollout, Metra Home Theater Group spoke with HDMI expert Jeff Boccaccio of DPL Labs to hear his take on the adoption of 8K content and how it will affect existing HDMI cables. Since version 2.1 is such a significant change regarding bandwidth, Boccaccio thinks that this change will be implemented incrementally, starting with 24Gbps.

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Right Now, No One Can Claim They Have HDMI 2.1 Certified Cables

Friday, June 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM America/New_York

high-definition multimedia interface - version 2.1

Are you hearing that HDMI® cable manufacturers already have 8K HDMI 2.1 cables and wondering how this can be? HDMI has not officially released the Compliance Test Specification (CTS) for HDMI version 2.1 (as of the original publish date of this article). So how can there already be Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables on the market?

According to HDMI, Ultra High Speed HDMI Cables are the proposed “format for the next generation of HDMI (officially HDMI 2.1), this new format may support bandwidths upwards to 48 Gbps. Please note however that the Cable Performance Compliancy Standards have not been finalized and that the entire transmission format has changed, this means that there is no way to test for this new specification”.

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How to Fix Issues with DirecTV & CATV Set Top Boxes and Certain HDMI Cables

Monday, April 16, 2018 9:03:00 AM America/New_York

DirecTV Issues with HDMI Cables

Recent Problems Have Occured with Active HDMI® Cables, Thinner Passive HDMI Cables and Also Longer Passive HDMI Cables.

4/9/18 UPDATE: This issue was first reported in April of 2017 with DirecTV. Now, we’re seeing it with CATV and also with thinner passive HDMI cables and have updated the article to reflect this new information, as of April 2018.

April 2018 - Our tech support team has recently seen an increase in calls about active, thin passive and longer HDMI cables not working with DirecTV receivers and CATV boxes. In every case the system had been working fine, in some cases for years, until sometime in the past 3 months. When the failure occurs the TV will display an HDCP incompatibility warning. This is a new issue and it has taken us a bit to understand the problem, however we think that we have this figured out.

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When to Use the M3B Pro for Easy HD Video Distribution

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM America/New_York

metrahtg-m3b-pro

Every custom integration project is unique, with the requirements, budget and project site providing its own set of challenges. By knowing which solutions on the market are the most cost effective and easiest to install for your specific project, you’ll provide a better service for your customers and a healthier profit margin for the company. In this article, we’ll cover when to use Ethereal’s M3B Pro System for HD video distribution and help you identify potential projects best suited for this system.

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Metra’s Award-Winning Velox Active HDMI Back in Stock After Sell-Out Performance

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:00:00 PM America/New_York

spyclops-junction-boxes

Longest HDMI® Cable Delivers 4K / HDR at 18Gbps for up to 30 Meters

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, announces that Metra’s popular new Velox Active HDMI Cables by Ethereal® are back in stock after an enthusiastic reception after their recent launch, selling out quickly and garnering extensive industry interest and media coverage. The popular Velox Active HDMI Cables won CEPro’s 2018 Top New Technology (TNT) Award at Integrated Systems Europe 2018, which recognizes the best in commercial and residential equipment unveiled at ISE.

“We knew we had an outstanding product but were frankly pleasantly surprised by industry reaction,” said Jessy Crabb, general manager of Metra Home Theater. “Product was literally flying off the shelves and we’re pleased to announce that Velox Active HDMI cable are available again.”

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Posted in Press By Metra

Velox Active 30 Meter HDMI Cable Wins Major Awards!

Thursday, February 15, 2018 11:35:00 AM America/New_York

velox-active-wins-major-award

The new Velox Active 30 Meter HDMI® Cable (EHV-HDT30) from Metra Home Theater Group has earned several industry awards for its innovative new technology.

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Metra Home Theater Group Launches New Spyclops® & Helios Accessories at ISE 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018 12:01:00 AM America/New_York

spyclops-junction-boxes

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, has launched new accessories to complement their popular Spyclops® IP and HD over coax cameras, in addition to new Helios power accessories showcasing at ISE from February 6 – 9, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The new accessories include junction boxes and 6-outlet wall-tap surge protectors with USB.

Metra Home Theater Group’s new large junction boxes are available in both white and grey, SPY-JB320W and SPY-JB320G, and are designed for use with the Spyclops® standard sized cameras. The smaller junction boxes are also available in white and grey, SPY-JB310W and SPY-JB310G, are designed for use with all mini size Dome & Bullet Spyclops® cameras.

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Metra Home Theater Group Set to Showcase M3B Pro at ISE 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:12:00 PM America/New_York

Award-winning M3B Pro creates flexible and reliable video distribution

m3b

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, announces the MultiMedia Broadcast Systems Pro (M3B Pro), showcasing at ISE from February 6 – 9, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Metra Home Theater Group’s M3B Pro, available as hardwired and wireless, enables integrators to install either a flexible multi-source video distribution system into any residential, commercial, hospitality and house of worship space using the existing coax and splitters or to a point to point long distance wireless system— without running cables back to the structured wiring source. The M3B Pro works up to 200 meters line of sight with full 1080p support allowing RF signal transmission through walls while eliminating wire runs to a centrally located matrix, requiring no networking skills for setup and no need for a control system.

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Metra Home Theater Group Launches Install Bay Active Fiber Cables

Monday, January 15, 2018 11:05:00 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, announces Install Bay Active Fiber Cables, debuting at ISE 2018 from February 6 – 9, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

install-bay-fiber-cables

Metra Home Theater Group’s Install Bay Active Fiber Cables combine high-performance with 18 Gbps, 4K/60, 4:4:4, Deep Color and HDR at HDMI 2.0 specifications. The Install Ball Active Fiber Cables features an ultra-energy efficient Rx/Tx chipset, removing the need for any additional external power and creating a more clean and simple installation.

Available in sizes ranging from 15 feet to 260 feet, the Install Bay Active Fiber Cables include Ethernet over HDMI support and CL3 or CMP Plenum Rating. With a robust head shell and jacket design, the Install Bay Active Fiber Cables create a reliable and reasonably priced solution for integrators.

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Metra Home Theater Group Launches Helios Active Fiber Cables

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 6:00:00 AM America/New_York

Metra Home to showcase ultra-energy efficient Active Fiber Cables at CES 2018

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, announces Helios Active Fiber Cables, debuting at CES 2018 from January 9 – 12, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

helios-active-fiber-cables

Metra Home Theater Group’s Helios Active Fiber Cables (AS-HDAOC) raise the bar to create a new level of value and performance with 18 Gbps at HDMI 2.0 specifications. The Helios Active Fiber Cables include an ultra-energy efficient Rx/Tx chipset, removing the need for any additional external power and creating a more clean and simple installation.

Featuring full 18 Gbps support, including 4K/60, 4:4:4, Deep Color and HDR, the Helios Active Fiber Cables are available in sizes ranging from 3 feet to 15 feet. The Helios Active Fiber Cables include ARC (audio return channel support), Ethernet over HDMI support and a durable cloth braided jacket. With a robust head, shell and jacket design, the Helios Active Fiber Cables create a more reliable install by protecting the cable and built-in electronics.

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Metra Home Theater Group Debuts Spyclops Bullet and Dome Cameras

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 7:54:00 AM America/New_York

Reliable wireless and ethernet powered cameras from Metra Home Theater Group to debut at CES 2018

spyclops-cameras-family

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, announces Spyclops Bullet, Mini Bullet, Dome and Mini Dome IP Cameras, debuting at CES 2018 from January 9 – 12, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Metra Home Theater Group’s Spyclops Bullet IP Cameras, SPY-BLTW3IP4 and SPY-BLTG3IP4 boast 4MP at 20fps or 1080 at 30fps. The new line of Bullet Cameras, available in both white or grey, are ONVIF complaint, 2.8 – 12mm manual varifocal lens, a 4MP CMOS sensor, built in Power over Ethernet (POE), and IR LED’s for viewing up to 40 meters at night.

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Metra Home Theater Group Launches Ethereal MHX and MHY Cables at the 2018 CES Show

Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:50:03 PM America/New_York

Ethereal MHX and MHY HDMI cables

New technology takes 4K at 18Gbps to longer distances

Metra Home Theater Group®, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories for the integration community, announces new technology and redesigned features in Ethereal’s popular MHX and MHY HDMI cables, debuting at CES 2018 from January 9 – 12, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethereal’s MHX and MHY HDMI cables feature high-quality construction and offer an incredible value for their price point. Using new technology, the MHX and MHY HDMI cables will take 4K content even farther. The Ethereal MHY high-speed HDMI cables with ethernet support 4K at 60Hz HDR, delivering 18Gbps from 0.5 to 10 meters, and 10.2Gbps at 12 to 15 meters. The Ethereal MHX high-speed ethernet cables have extended their length for delivering 18Gbps content to 7.5 meters. MHX cables between 8 and 12 meters deliver 10.2Gbps and the 15 to 17-meter cables deliver 6.75Gbps. For 4K/HDR content at 18Gbps, the Gigabit Accelerator (HDM-GA1) can be used with the 8 to 17-meter MHX cables.

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New Technology Takes 4K at 18Gbps Even Farther

lunch-n-learn

CEDIA attendees will see new HDMI® cables and electronics from Metra Home Theater Group’s Ethereal brand, as they unveil exciting new solutions for custom integrators. New technology and redesigned features in Ethereal’s popular MHX and MHY HDMI cables will be on display at booth #2325 at the 2017 CEDIA Show in San Diego, CA. Ethereal’s innovative and problem solving line of HDMI® diagnostic and repair tools will also be showcased.

Ethereal’s MHX and MHY series HDMI cables feature high quality construction and offer an incredible value for their price point. Using new technology, these cables lines will now take 4K content even farther. The new MHY high speed HDMI cables with ethernet support 4K at 60Hz HDR, delivering 18Gbps from 0.5 to 10 meters, and 10.2Gbps at 12 to 15 meters. The new MHX high speed ethernet cables have extended their length for delivering 18Gbps content to 7.5 meters. MHX cables between 8 and 12 meters deliver 10.2Gbps and the 15 to 17 meter cables deliver 6.75Gbps. For 4K / HDR content at 18Gbps, the Gigabit Accelerator (HDM-GA1) can be used with the 8 to 17 meter MHX cables.

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velox-active-4k-hdmi-cable

Velox Active HDMI Cable Delivers 4K / HDR at 18Gbps for up to 30 Meters

Metra Home Theater Group is launching exciting new solutions for custom integrators at the 2017 CEDIA Show in San Diego, CA. The most exciting announcement is the launch of their latest Velox Active HDMI cables, showcasing new technology that delivers a verified 18Gbps UHD, HDR signal up to 30 meters (98 feet). This is currently the longest distance a copper HDMI cable has ever been verified to deliver content at 18Gbps to support UHD, HDR and 4K video applications. See a live demonstration at Metra’s CEDIA booth #2325, unveiling this new technology in action.


To discuss the technology behind the cables, Jeff Boccaccio, President of DPL Labs, returns once again as the featured speaker at Metra’s 12th Annual Lunch N’ Learn event at CEDIA. Thursday and Friday’s training sessions titled “Going Long with 18Gigs” will have standing room only. Boccaccio will discuss how the chemistry, electronics and wire layout of an HDMI cable can extend its distance for 18Gbps. His presentation will also cover “the art of taming the equalizer beast” and deliver facts to help integrators choose between fiber and copper HDMI cable solutions. Boccaccio will also give a live demonstration of the new Velox Active cables and end the training session with a discussion about how HDMI Rev 2.1 and the transition to 48Gbps will affect and impact current HDMI products on the market.


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Metra Home Theater Group Unveils New Spyclops Security Surveillance Products at CEDIA

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 5:40:15 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group has expanded their product line to now offer structured wiring panels. Helios, their brand for retail audio and home theater accessories, will introduce new TV mounts that are redesigned with functional new features. New products will debut at the 2017 CEDIA Show in San Diego, CA.

bullet-uni-mount-cameras

Among the new products were Bullet Uni-Mount Varifocal Cameras, utilizing 4-in-1 hybrid technology. The 4-in-1 hybrid technology supports AHD, TVI, CVI or 960H Analog video formats, which are the most popular camera technologies. This versatile feature for integrators allows the cameras to be added to an existing compatible system, allowing for expansion without purchasing all new equipment. Another popular feature of the camera is the single HEX screw required for adjusting the position, which allows integrators to set up cameras in even less time. Traditional cameras require several HEX screws, making position adjustment more time consuming. The built in IR LEDs allow objects to be seen from up to 60 meters away in the dark. The cameras are rated IP66 for outdoor use and have a 2.8mm to 12mm manual varifocal lens with a Sony 2.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor. Overall, the Spyclops bullet cameras offer a great value for their price point, with 1080P resolution. These cameras are available in gray (SPY-BLTG34N124) or white (SPY-BLTW34N124).

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Metra Home Theater Group Introduces Structured Wiring Panels and New TV Mounts at CEDIA

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 3:59:13 PM America/New_York

structured-wiring-panels

Metra Home Theater Group has expanded their product line to now offer structured wiring panels. Helios, their brand for retail audio and home theater accessories, will introduce new TV mounts that are redesigned with functional new features. New products will debut at the 2017 CEDIA Show in San Diego, CA.


Adapting TV Mounts for Today’s Needs

Metra Home Theater Group has redesigned and expanded their Helios product line of TV mounts to solve the problems of today’s custom integrators. “We listened to integrators who are in the field everyday to see how we could adapt our products to better serve their needs. Their feedback helped us redesign our next generation of Helios TV mounts,” says Stewart Denton, manager of product development for Metra Home Theater Group.


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Metra Home Theater Group Unveils Innovative New Products at the 2017 CEDIA Show

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 3:02:52 PM America/New_York

HDMI® and Audio Cables, HDMI Extenders, Surveillance Solutions, TV Mounts, Structured Wiring Panels and HDMI Diagnostic and Repair Tools Announced

lunch-n-learn

Metra Home Theater Group unveiled many exciting new solutions for custom integrators at the 2017 CEDIA Show in San Diego, CA. The manufacturer expanded their product lines and updated technology in existing brands, including all of their Ethereal and Velox HDMI cables. The most exciting announcement was the launch of their latest Velox active HDMI cables, showcasing new technology that enabled the cables to deliver a verified 18Gbps UHD, HDR signal up to 30 meters (98 feet). This is currently the longest distance a copper HDMI cable has ever been verified to deliver content at 18Gbps to support UHD, HDR and 4K video applications. This product won a 2017 CE Pro BEST Award and a live demonstration was held at Metra’s CEDIA booth #2325. Jeff Boccaccio from DPL Labs delivered a training session on Thursday and Friday discussing the technology behind the cables.

Jeff Boccaccio, President of DPL Labs, was the featured speaker at Metra’s 12th Annual Lunch N’ Learn event at CEDIA. Two training sessions titled “Going Long with 18Gigs” had a packed audience with standing room only. Boccaccio discussed how the chemistry, electronics and wire layout of an HDMI cable can extend its distance for 18Gbps. His presentation also covered “the art of taming the equalizer beast”, and delivered facts to help integrators choose between fiber and copper HDMI cable solutions. Boccaccio ended the training session with a discussion about how HDMI Rev 2.1 will affect and impact current HDMI products on the market.

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Jeff Boccaccio Returns as Featured Speaker for Lunch N’ Learn Event


Metra Home Theater Group will be launching a variety of innovative solutions for custom integrators at the 2017 CEDIA Show. New HDMI® electronics, updated HDMI cables, security solutions, and HDMI extender products will be showcased at CEDIA booth #2325, from September 5-9, 2017 in San Diego, CA. Most notably, Metra’s premium line of Velox active HDMI cables will be extending their reach for delivering 4K / HDR at 18Gbps - going farther than any other cable manufacturer has ever gone. To see how far they can go, visit Metra Home Theater Group at CEDIA booth #2325 for a live demonstration, as they will be unveiling the new Velox cables on opening day of the show.

Spyclops Surveillance Systems, Metra’s line of security cameras and accessories, is expanding their line of NVRs and All-in-One Kits for residential and commercial security solutions. Additional 4-in-1 hybrid technology products will be released, including new bullet cameras that are compatible with the most popular camera technologies. This versatile solution for integrators allows additional cameras to be added to an existing compatible system, without purchasing all new equipment. For all new system installation projects, the fast and easy NVR kits provide everything needed for installation, including 1080p bullet cameras, a multi-channel NVR, pre-terminated Ethernet cables, a pre-installed 1TB hard drive, 15V power supply, USB mouse and quick installation guide. The integrated POE connections allow the network cable to also run power, so that integrators can install the system without needing to run both a power and network cable to each camera. This results in a significantly faster and easier installation, especially in locations with limited accessibility to power distribution. The NVR kit is a closed system (not compatible with other camera models or systems), and is IP66 rated for indoor/outdoor use with IR LED’s for night vision and a 3.6mm fixed lens. It is available in 4 or 8 channel options, with or without the pre-installed hard drives.

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Easy to Install and Even Easier to Sell

Helios Tailgate TV Mount

The award-winning TV Tailgate Mount by Helios will be ready to meet consumer demand for football season, and is now being offered as a package deal with the Helios Amplified Antenna. This retail package will turn a trailer hitch into an instant entertainment center, just add a flat screen TV and power supply! Helios is a home theater accessories brand for retailers, manufactured by Metra Home Theater Group and specializing in TV mounts and audio solutions for distributors.

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Consumer Warning: Competing Category, Coax and Bulk Speaker Wire Products Don’t Hold Up to Spec Testing


failed-coax

Metra Home Theater Group can legitimately advertise that when it comes to our category, coax and bulk speaker wire, our brands meet or exceed specifications. How do we know this? We perform rigorous 3rd party testing on our bulk wires to ensure that once sealed inside walls, integrators won’t have an issue with our products. While other competitors state that they’ll “replace any wire that doesn’t work”, ripping out wires from a wall isn’t always an option for integrators.


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The New Junior+ is the Answer to Simple and Reliable EDID Repair


junior-plus-edid-regenerator

Custom Integrators are challenged with maintaining a high quality audio / video output, despite many issues that occur along the signal path connecting HDMI® devices. To address this issue and fulfill the unique needs of the Integrator, Metra Home Theater Group has developed the Junior+ (HDM-JRPLUS) as the new “go to” EDID problem solver. This easy to install solution minimizes system failures and increases compatibility between devices that have different data tolerances or between devices with multiple brands of HDMI-enabled electronics.

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Brent McCall to Educate Custom Integrators on All Things HDMI


pacific-nw-expo

Metra Home Theater Group will be educating custom integrators at the 2017 Pacific Northwest Consumer Electronics Expo about HDMI. The session, titled “HDMI Today, Tomorrow, and Into the Future”, will be held on Tuesday, May 23 at 11:00AM in Seattle, WA. The speaker, Brent McCall, has more than 39 years working in all facets of the A/V industry, on both the retail side and in the field as a Custom Integrator. He’s spent the last 18 years as part of the research, development and technical support team for Metra Home Theater Group, with a strong focus on HDMI and its custom installation requirements.

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New 8-Channel Wireless Spyclops Kit is Now in Stock and Shipping

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 3:17:59 PM America/New_York

All-in- One kit Features Network Video Recorder, Cameras and Power Supplies


HDMI-2.1-Answers

Metra Home Theater Group is now shipping their new 8-Channel Wireless NVR Kit (SPY-NVR8720W). This highly anticipated security kit from Spyclops Surveillance Systems is an all-in-one solution designed for simple installation.

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New Hybrid Security Surveillance DVRs Are Now in Stock and Shipping

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 2:50:16 PM America/New_York

Available in 4, 8, and 16 Channel Options with Versatile 4-in- 1 Technology


HDMI-2.1-Answers

Metra Home Theater Group is now shipping their new line of Hybrid Surveillance DVRs, encompassing the four most common video technologies. This new product line includes options for 4, 8 and 16 channel DVRs, each available with or without hard drives.

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Metra Home Theater Group wins CE Pro's 2017 Quest for Quality Award

Monday, April 3, 2017 2:03:07 PM America/New_York

Quest-For-Quality-2017-Press-Post.jpg

Holly Hill, Fla. - April 1, 2017 - Metra Home Theater Group is proud to receive CE Pro's Gold Quest for Quality Award for Best Training Program in 2017. Jessy Crabb, General Manager, says that “Metra Home Theater Group is dedicated to developing products that not only solve today’s problems, but products that are built to support future technology. By doing so, we also understand the need for providing integrators with training programs that support the products we’re innovating.”

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Questions Every Integrator is Asking About HDMI 2.1

Thursday, March 30, 2017 6:30:25 PM America/New_York

HDMI-2.1-Answers

The announcement of HDMI™ 2.1 being released in the near future has raised many questions among custom integrators, and rightly so. As technology changes faster than most of us can even keep up with, changes in HDMI specs could results in outdated accessories or systems.

Since the initial announcement about the jump to 48 Gbps made one day before CES 2017 opened, the final details of this new spec are set to be announced this spring, with products potentially being shipped late 2017 or early 2018. Are you ready for this change? Metra Home Theater Group’s Brent McCall takes us through the top questions (and answers) that every integrator is asking about HDMI 2.1.


What does HDMI 2.1 change from the 2.0 version?

From what we know so far, the HDMI terminal will not change but the data rate will increase quite a bit. In a nutshell, it will allow for a much higher bandwidth, from 18Gbps to 48Gbps, in preparation for higher resolutions of content. Specs are still being finalized, so more information should be coming soon.


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Top Reasons Dealers Should Shop Online with Metra Home Theater Group

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 4:31:13 PM America/New_York

Home Theater Accessories Shop Online

The Internet has revolutionized the way we shop. Because of the numerous advantages and benefits, more and more people prefer buying things online. One year ago, we launched the new and improved Metra Home Theater Group website, which offers our complete product lineup available for dealer or distributor purchase online. It’s been a huge benefit for our customers, but not everyone is aware of all of the online store features. Below are our top reasons for dealers and distributors to shop the online store:


Home Theater Cables Shop Online

Convenience to Buy Anytime, Anywhere.

This is by far the best reason to shop online. No need to worry about getting back to your office to browse through a catalog to place an order with a sales rep during business hours. Our office is open online 24/7. Order whenever and wherever it is convenient for you. The new Metra Home Theater Group website is optimized for ordering from any device; smartphones, tablets or desktop computers.

Dealers can also see inventory levels and choose the most convenient shipping locations for their business.


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4K Technology Education

Metra Home Theater Group has stressed the importance of being educated on 4K technology and explained last year how it was going to impact Custom Integrators, Installers and Home Technology Professionals. Some people were uncertain it would be adopted quickly by consumers, since initial sources for 4K video content were limited. Others felt 4K would be like the 3D TV fad, and may not catch on at all. Then there were those who thought that the high price tag combined with limited content would make mainstream 4K adoption something that happens far into the future, if adopted at all.

Fast forward to Q3 of 2016 and the adoption of 4K by the consumer is now faster than the adoption to HD, as stated in this article by the Consumer Technology Association. Just about every TV over 50 inches and almost half of all TV sets sold are 4K Ultra HDs. While price tags on certain brands or models can still be pricey, they’ve come down quite a bit and consumers can buy a 43” 4K TV for as low as $299. Watching 4K content has also been made easier, with many newly released movies in 4K, along with instant streaming for all of Netflix’s original series and a sizeable selection of content from Amazon Video.


The adoption of 4K technology is no longer coming — it’s here. Which gives even more reason to be educated on all aspects of it.

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Metra Home Theater Group Highlights from CEDIA 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:27:35 PM America/New_York

The 2016 CEDIA Show was an impressive experience for the staff of Metra Home Theater Group. This year’s theme to “Think Big” for the future of business was apparent in all aspects of the show, from the innovative products to the training sessions and speaker topics. As the world’s premier showcase for home technology, we were excited and inspired by all of debuting products and news of what is on the horizon for our industry. We met a lot of amazing people at our booth while introducing our newest products and innovations. The enthusiasm from attendees didn’t slow down, as we had a constant flow of traffic all three days of the show. In case you didn’t get to travel to Dallas, here are the highlights of our exciting CEDIA Show:

CEDIA Wrap Up Booth
  • Lunch ‘N Learn. Our annual Lunch ‘N Learn event with Jeff Boccaccio, President of DPL Labs, has become a highly anticipated CEDIA tradition. This year Jeff discussed HDR, 4K Deep Color, and fiber interoperability in his two part presentation series, “Making the Jump”. Both sessions had the highest attendance to date with standing room only, overflowing into the aisles.
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New Spyclops Surveillance App for Apple and Android Devices

Friday, August 26, 2016 6:04:35 PM America/New_York

Spyclops Mobile App

Metra Home Theater Group is making it easier than ever for users to “Spy from Anywhere” with enhanced security solutions for SPYCLOPS® Surveillance System owners. The SPYCLOPS mobile app is now available for both Apple and Android smartphone or tablet devices. Users can keep an eye on their home or business from anywhere in the world using the free, secure, and newly updated app.


SPYCLOPS Mobile App Features

The remote viewing application is designed to easily view live and recorded video from your SPYCLOPS DVR surveillance systems. Connect using your 9 digit device ID or with direct IP access. The app can support single or multiple DVR’s. Users can also create custom groups with cameras from multiple locations for simultaneous viewing within the application…

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Metra Home Theater Group Introduces the M3B Pro Series

Monday, August 22, 2016 8:00:00 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces the M3B Pro – an enhanced solution based off the award winning M3B (Metra Multimedia Broadcast) System. The M3B Pro Series, designed specifically for the custom installation market, enables integrators to install a flexible multi-source and multi-display video distribution system into any home without running cables back to the structured wiring source.

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Installer Tips for Buying Large TV Mounts

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 1:50:45 PM America/New_York

Large TV Mounts

Larger flat screen TVs are in high demand, and mounting them to the wall is one of the most popular options for homeowners and businesses. The TV mount becomes one of the most important accessories, and it does more than just secure the screen to the wall. Its position, if installed correctly, enhances the entire viewing experience. However, larger, heavier screens present a challenge for installers to safely mount and still maintain a full range of motion. How do you know which TV mounts will work best for larger screens? Metra Home Theater Group’s tech team recommends looking at four key things; range of motion, weight capacity, VESA pattern range and quality construction.


Range of Motion

Full motion TV mounts, or articulating TV mounts, provide larger televisions the freedom to move for optimal viewing positions. However, these are not all the same and you should pay careful attention to the specs! Many mounts tend to have a reduced range of motion for larger screens. We disagree with this. Larger displays should not have to sacrifice range of motion. The mount should tilt up and down and have an arm to come out from the wall to offer plenty of viewing options. The recommended specification for a full motion TV mount is an arm that extends 31 inches out from wall and a swivel angle of +/- 90 degrees. Anything less and you’ll be limiting the potential viewing options for the screen.

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Protecting your Electronics with HDMI Surge Protectors

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 3:52:52 PM America/New_York

TV Shootout 2016

Summer storms mean lightning strikes and power surges, which can wreak havoc on every HDMI® electrical device in the building. While you may think your electronics are safe, a typical surge protector does not protect HDMI interfaces from electrostatic discharge (ESD). HDMI ports are very vulnerable to ESD and even small surges could render the entire electronic chain useless, despite having a power surge protector in place. The best way to protect yourself is to have an HDMI surge protector specifically designed to prevent ESD in line for all of your HDMI devices. The correct HDMI surge protector will defend against intruding voltage spikes that can damage HDMI components.

What is Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)?

The ESD Association states that “To many people, Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is only experienced as a shock when touching a metal doorknob after walking across a carpeted floor or after sliding across a car seat. However, static electricity and ESD has been a serious industrial problem for centuries.” Additionally, “as electronic devices become faster and the circuitry getting smaller, their sensitivity to ESD in general increases. This trend may be accelerating.”

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TV Shootout 2016

When more than 80 TV experts come together to judge the picture quality of the best Ultra HD TVs on the market, the connecting HDMI® cables and accessories have to be top quality. After all, this isn’t your novice audience, it’s a panel full of TV experts, reviewers and calibrators from around the world, whose sole purpose is to judge the color accuracy, perceived contrast, black level, motion resolution and overall performance quality of the displays. The output requires flawlessly delivery from each component in the system in order to accurately provide a non-biased review of the TV displays. This was no small job and CE Week’s TV Shootout knew they needed the best professionals and products for this task. Metra Home Theater Group’s Velox Cables and Gigabit Accelerator were requested to deliver this high quality content by the professional custom integrators at Murideo / AVProConnect, along with their AVProConnect’s 18 GBP/Sec Switching and reference signal generator for distribution, Minolta’s cameras and Panasonic’s UHD players (currently unavailable in the USA).

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Breaking Industry News from the CI Source

Breaking Industry News from Metra Home Theater Group’s CI Source!

This article came across the wire this week and caught our attention:

HDCP Pro 2.2 Could Lead to Black Screens
By Paddy Baker On June 08, 2016

InfoComm’s Future Trends sessions generally flag up new opportunities for the pro-AV industry, rather than dire warnings. In Tuesday’s event, however, L. William Nattress, Director of Channel Strategy at Biamp, advised delegates that failing to observe the requirements of HDCP Pro 2.2 content protection could lead to displays going black across entire campuses.

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Choosing Best DVR Security Surveillance System

When it comes to installing a professional surveillance system, Digital Video Recorders are the heart of the security camera system and single most important component. Installers have many affordable options to choose from, but they aren’t always high quality or customer friendly. While our Spyclops brand of surveillance products has high-quality features, the latest technology and affordable pricing, we want you to understand what to look for in a DVR and how it affects your project. This will help you pick the best Digital Video Recorder for your customer’s needs.

Read Metra Home Theater Group’s recommendations for professionals on choosing the best DVR for a security surveillance system:

  1. Check the DVR’s Recording and Playback Resolution Specs.
    The recording resolution and playback (live video) resolutions are not always the same quality. Commonly, the live video is of a much higher quality to free up video storage space. You may have a playback resolution that is the same as what the camera can record but notice a big difference when you review older footage, which is of lower quality. The recorded resolution is important when trying to look at previous footage to identify a license plate number, person’s face, or currency numbers on money. The details make the difference, and the specs like frames per second (fps) are a key indicator as to how clear the video footage will be, with 30 fps being the best frame rate. Pay close attention to the DVR’s resolution and frames per second when comparing models.
  2. Don’t Pay to Access Security Camera Footage.
    Customers like having control of their security system from any high speed internet connection in the world. Most systems offer a smartphone app for remote viewing, as this is the most convenient way to check your system. This must-have service should also be free and secure.
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Hands on With Sony VW5000ES Laser Projector

Monday, May 23, 2016 5:57:54 PM America/New_York

Integrator Dallas Dingle of Supercalibrations replaces Sony Qualia 004 with new $60,000 VPL VW5000ES 4K laser projector, plus complete 4K ecosystem, and … Wow!

Sony Projector with Ethereal Gigabit Accelerator Dallas Dingle – May 20, 2016

I always get excited when Sony introduces a new flagship projector, the latest being the VPL VW5000ES, a 5,000-lumen 4K laser-based super projector.

I awaited this unit just as eagerly as I did earlier top-of-the-line designs from the venerable electronics giant — the VPH G90U CRT-based model sometimes referred to as "projector of the gods" and more recently the Qualia 004, the first in a long line of 1920 x 1080 SXRD projectors from Sony.

On this occasion, one of our favorite clients called to request a replacement bulb for an 004 we installed in 2005.

Considering Sony had just introduced their new 4K-capable VW5000ES, I suggested updating the projector instead of replacing the $3000 Xenon bulb in his now-elderly 004.

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How to Fix 4K Ultra HD TV Connection Issues

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 7:59:42 PM America/New_York

How To Fix 4K TV Display Issues

When setting up a home theater system with a new 4K Ultra HD television, one our customers came across the following message on their TV’s display:

“For optimal picture quality, connect your 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player to a Television that supports 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range.”
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TV Wall Mount Installation Tips for the Experts

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 2:38:02 PM America/New_York

TV Wall Mount Installation Tips

A homeowner may think they know where their TV should be mounted but it’s up to the experts to guide them with the best decision. Being able to consult the homeowner with your installation expertise adds value to what you do as a professional. Mounting a TV can be a quick and easy way to change the look of any room but there are a few things to consider before any holes are drilled.


Ideal TV Mounting Height

Determine the Proper TV Height

Just how high should the TV be? The basic rule of thumb is that the middle of the television should be eye level when seated. This is critical for bedroom TV screens, make sure that you are not looking through your feet or up too high, where you have to move your neck to look up. Since most people spend hours watching TV, mounting a television too high may cause neck strain. If your television must be mounted high, use a tilt mount (AS-TX86) to reduce neck strain by tilting the screen downwards. Be careful not to mount too low, as this will cause you to get tired and lethargic as you will be blocking airflow in your neck as you look downwards for a long period of time.

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What You Need to Know Before Buying a 4K TV

Thursday, May 5, 2016 2:00:44 PM America/New_York

What to Know Before Buying 4K TV

So you want a 4K television. You are not alone. It’s all anyone can talk about on social media. The terms 4K, HDR and UHD are everywhere. At four times the pixels of 1080p, about 8 million pixels, the picture is incredible! Consumers love the latest technology and want 4K televisions in their homes. But before anyone runs out and makes an investment in a 4K TV, here is what you really need to know to make an educated purchase:


Is it Really 4K?

The packaging and store display may say it’s a 4K TV, but is it REALLY? Does it support 4:4:4 color where every pixel in the television gets color info? Read the specs on the television carefully. Unless you can confirm that this is a real 4K TV, you shouldn’t move forward with your purchase.


Does it Have HDR?

HDR is the biggest change to come to television in the last 10 years. HDR aka High Dynamic Range takes the brightness and contrast controls to a radically new level of performance, this provides much greater detail and shading than ever before possible. To purchase a new TV that doesn’t support HDR would be a waste of money. Read the 4K TV specs carefully and look for HDR or High Dynamic Range. If it’s not listed, move on to the next TV!

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Top 5 Trending AV Tech Words You Need to Know

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 8:54:02 PM America/New_York

In the AV industry, you’ll see technology terms and phrases being thrown around from credible, and even non-credible sources. Sure, you’ve seen them, but do you really understand what these phrases mean and how they could impact your next installation project? Do you know what HDR stands for and why it’s different than 4K? Or why 4K is called 4K? Metra Home Theater Group believes knowledge in power, so we’ve defined five AV industry tech terms we feel every home technology professional, custom integrator and installer needs to know.

Top 5 Trending AV Technology Words You Need to Know:

HDCP 2.2

This references the Intel chipset designed to protect copyrighted digital content from being stolen. This is an upgrade from HDCP 2.0, and is not backwards compatible. You may not be able to have a firmware upgrade to HDCP 2.2. In addition, if your signal path had the HDCP 2.2 chipset anywhere in the line, all devices must have this latest technology for it to work. That includes your soundbar or receiver. They may have HDMI® 2.0 but that doesn’t mean they have HDCP 2.2.

What this means to you: Every step in the HDMI (4K) chain must support this new HDCP protocol. It also means (at least in the short run), that there will be some compatibility issues between devices. Fortunately, most of these will be resolved with firmware updates in your devices. If you or your customer are investing in a 4K TV, make sure it has HDCP 2.2 so it is as “future proof” as possible.

HDMI does not support 4k UHD Content
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Theater Group Awarded Platinum in Quest for Quality

Friday, April 22, 2016 8:03:34 PM America/New_York

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – April 22, 2016 — Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, earns recognition from industry leading publication, CE Pro, as the Platinum Quest for Quality award winner for Best Technical Support.

Quest For Quality 2016 Badge

With nearly 7,200 reader votes, the sixth annual Quest for Quality award recognizes manufacturers and distributors who provide their customers with superior service in categories such as customer service and communication, technical support, sales and marketing assistance, shipping policies, website portals, dealer incentives, training programs and other beneficial services for dealers. The individuals that nominated Metra Home Theater Group for the award are not only CE Pro readers, but also customers that work with the respective vendors and manufacturers on a daily basis – making the award recognition truly special. Metra Home Theater Group received platinum accreditation for Best Technical Support. Metra Home Theater Group believes that educating customers and providing in-house round-the-clock technical support is the best way to support customers.

"We are honored to be chosen by the thousands of CE Pro readers as the Platinum winner for the Quest for Quality award,” said Stephanie Casimiro, marketing director for Metra Home Theater Group. “To be recognized by our customers for providing them with strong technical support is something that is very important to us at Metra Home Theater. We want to give our dealers the proper tools to excel in their businesses and it’s great that they recognize the support that is available to them.”

About Metra Electronics / Metra Home Theater Group
Metra Home Theater Group is a division of Metra Electronics which has been the world leader and “The Installer’s Choice™” for vehicle installation kits and car audio accessories for over 65 years. Headquartered in Florida, Metra Electronics strives to create innovative, high quality products to satisfy and astonish our customers. Metra's brands include: Axxess™, The InstallBay™, Shuriken™, Raptor™, Ballistic™, Ethereal™, Helios by Audio Solutions™, T-spec™, InstallBay Safety™, Spyclops™ and EHD™. For ordering information and pricing, visit Metra Home Theater Group online at or call 800.221.0932.

Press Contact:
Morgan Roush, Public Relations Manager
Marketing Matters
Tel: (954) 925-1511 ext. 1
Email: morgan@marketingmatters.net
Web: http://www.marketingmatters.net

Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater

Video surveillance systems have become an affordable and effective way for homeowners and small business owners to securely monitor their properties. With the influx of hundreds (if not thousands) of different types of surveillance cameras into the marketplace, how do you know which camera will work best for your needs? Metra Home Theater Group has listed the most important questions to help you choose the best security camera for your home or business surveillance system.

Choosing The Best Surveillance Camera Systems
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Theater Group’s HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator Makes 4K Upgrades Easy

Monday, April 18, 2016 2:14:02 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group helps JVC bring 4K to home theater projection technology with its HDM-GA1, transforming hard-wired passive HDMI® cables into full 4K and HDR capable systems.

JVC and Metra

CE Pro Editors — April 13, 2016

HDM-GA1
HDM-GA1

JVC launched its new 4K e-shift4 projectors at CEDIA Expo 2015. The new projectors added support for full spec 18Gbps HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2, which could challenge many of the current HDMI cable options that are available to dealers. And without the right connection, it's impossible to take advantage of the new projectors' impressive performance.

That's why JVC partnered with Metra Home Theater Group. The HDM-GA1 from Metra transforms existing hard-wired passive HDMI cables into full 4K and HDR resolution capable transmission systems.

JVC had worked with Metra in the past, so the company felt comfortable turning to Metra once again for a workable solution. Of course, JVC had stringent needs.

“A 4K signal is much more demanding in terms of the required bandwidth. This is magnified even more with the capabilities of the new JVC projectors and the new UHD 4K Blu-ray players. In the past, 10.2 Gbps was adequate for a High Speed HDMI connection. Now signals are being passed that can require the full 18 Gbps. Our new projectors are the only ones in their price class that meet those standards of a full spec 18 Gbps HDMI connection with HDMI 2.0a and HDCP2.2, assuring our projectors are ready for the future of 4K,” reports Chris Deutsch, product and training manager for JVC.

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Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater

Three Most Common Technical Questions for Spyclops Surveillance Systems

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 2:33:44 PM America/New_York

Spyclops Tech Support 3 Most Common Questions Answered

Security surveillance cameras have grown in popularity for both small business and residential use. Owners can easily monitor their properties 24/7 with peace of mind — and without spending a fortune. They seek professional installers to help plan camera placements, install equipment, and setup a turn-key surveillance system with video feeds. As surveillance systems become more widespread, installers will see this area of home technology as a growing and viable revenue stream.

Metra Home Theater Group’s line of Spyclops surveillance systems offers a variety of styles, features and easy to use technology — making them a favorite among installers and home tech professionals. In addition to a great product, we continually win awards for our top notch technical support and customer service. Our tech team is comprised of top CIs who answer questions immediately. This means you’ll talk to a real person with real field experience in custom integration and home technology. In an effort to educate installers and help with future troubleshooting, we’re featuring the three most common questions and answers regarding Spyclops surveillance systems:


Question 1: Why is my remote viewing app not working? It goes on and off line.

Your feed will work 100% of the time if:

The internet connection to the DVR is running uninterrupted and at high speed, and you have internet of 4G or higher on the mobile device. Keep in mind that video feeds require a lot of bandwidth — if you are attempting to view your feed remotely from a mobile device, make sure you have full reception or are connected to high speed internet. If reception isn’t great, then the video feed may go on and offline. Closing other open apps on your phone that are also using internet will help dedicate your available bandwidth to the video feed (yes — that means you should close your facebook app and stop streaming music). Try this and see if the feed is back online.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

The increasing demand for smart home automation, surveillance and technology requires running more wires. Whether it’s an existing home or a new home construction, running more wires is a huge undertaking. The former CIs in Metra Home Theater Group’s Research and Development department anticipate a shift to a more complicated installation process, with more wires requiring more ports. As the future of installation projects becomes more difficult, we will be ready with time saving solutions for home technology professionals, customer integrators and installers. Taking what we’ve learned on the job from real projects requiring more ports, we’ve developed a simple solution: the Decora Style Multi Port (CS-PCDEC08).


8 Port Wall Plate Before photo

The Challenge:

The more wire you have, the more ports you need. Custom wall plates with more than 6 ports are hard to find. Organizing and hiding all the wires can become a real challenge. Applying drywall to cover large holes made for the wires requires additional costs and even more time. When a customer is in a rush to move in or finish a project, extra time for drywall may not even be an option.


The Solution:

Our CS-PCDECO8 is an 8 port decora insert panel made out of durable heavy gauge steel and powder coated. Metra Home Theater Group is one of the few (if not the only) providers of an 8 port panel plate, and we’ve designed this larger plate to cover existing holes.

This photo is from a job where the new home had wire run that needed to be organized before the customers moved in. The after photo shows the 8 port panel in place.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Theater Group’s Good, Better and Pro HDMI Cables; Deconstructed

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 6:22:42 PM America/New_York

Best HDMI Cables

Metra Home Theater Group provides a range of sophisticated HDMI® cables to support all types of sources and displays regardless of your technology requirements. Our cables come in a range of prices and technology capabilities to cover your various installation needs. Here are three of our lines, broken down by when you’ll use them in an install:

Good — The MHX Series Cables:
The MHX series of HDMI cables interconnects incorporated advanced engineering, quality materials, and expert construction to give high performance at an affordable price. This means a great picture and sound. These cables offer a premium quality abrasion-resistant high temperature PVC jacket for maximum durability, as well as low-loss foam-skin polyethylene dielectric maximum signal transfer and superior picture quality.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Five Basic Installation Tips for Custom Installers

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 7:21:31 PM America/New_York

Basic Custom Installer Tips for CIs

Whether you call yourself a Custom Installer, Home Technology Professional or Custom Integrator, today you must be better educated for new technology than ever before. With all of this emphasis on “new” information, we should still be mindful of the installation basics. In this post, the former CIs at Metra Home Theater Group explain their top five most useful tips for Custom Installers that will keep you organized and efficient when in the field:

Velox Cables In Use
Velox Cables color coding system in use.

  1. Have Quick Equipment Access: The ideal component rack should give you full access to both the front and rear panels so all wiring and controls are easily accessible.
    Remember, time is money so make sure your setup is as efficient as possible.
  2. Use Adequate Ventilation: Most rack installs need to have a thermal management plan depending on the equipment.
    For example, amplification gear can produce a lot of heat when in use and if left to accumulate around your gear, this heat will damage your system components.
  3. Prepare with Location Planning: On new construction jobs, never assume the builder is wiring for technology integration. A quick discussion in the planning process can save a lot of time later on. Whenever possible, the optimal location for a rack is within 50 feet of the display. Having the master equipment this close to the display will certify less problems down the road. Plan ahead whenever possible!
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Potential Installation Issue with New TV Displays

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 3:05:04 PM America/New_York

Common Home Theater Problems

As a Custom Installer, it’s common knowledge that the source does not provide the voltage and current for its own digital output. This is instead provided by the display’s HDMI® input. What installers probably do not know is that 4K, 4:4:4 color and HDR has now changed how TV manufacturers are making their displays.

To provide 4K, 4:4:4 color and HDR, display manufacturers have to cut corners and stay competitively priced. To provide this technology at a lower cost, manufacturers reduced the number of display side power supplies. In addition, there is less power provided and only enough to go about two meters to your source using a passive cable.

If your install is somewhere between 5 meters to 20 meters and you are using an active HDMI® cable powered by the display, you will not have a picture!

What do you do?

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Can Passive Cables Support 4K and the Future?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 7:30:21 PM America/New_York

This year we witnessed the release of the first 4k Ultra HD Blu-Ray video, The Martian, and are seeing more and more 4k media become widely accessible to consumers. This is no longer just for early adopters and movie fanatics. With this new technology comes the discovery that existing passive cables may not fully support 4K/60, HDR and SUHD. However, home theater customers are still expecting the latest and greatest without having to buy new cables and rewire their entire system that was installed just a few short months ago. Nowadays, a Custom Installer not only has to know how to install a top notch home theater system, they are expected to “future proof” these systems for new technology. How exactly can Custom Installers prepare their home theater projects to support 4k and the future? We turned to the technical experts at Metra Home Theater Group for their advice.

If you have passive cables already installed in the system, the multiple award winning Ethereal Gigabit Accelerator (HDM-GA1) will upgrade passive HDMI® cables to 18 Gbps, 4K/60 HDR capability up to 17 meters. This product has gone through extensive outside testing and continues to provide reliable 4K/60 HDR capability time after time. The HDM-GA1 is a stand-alone equalization product to bring your installs into the 4K world we live in today - and beyond. It’s easy to mount at the display side of your system and powered by an included USB. Total time to install is less than 10 minutes.

Upgrading 4K Passive Cables
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

ISE 2016 Show Review

Friday, March 4, 2016 8:13:03 PM America/New_York

ISE is now officially the world’s largest AV and systems integration tradeshow. We look back at some trends and highlights for the four days of ISE 2016.

When one considers how crowded some of the aisles and escalators were at the show last year, particularly on the middle day, we can be thankful for the addition of a fourth day at ISE 2016 – particularly bearing in mind the fact that attendance increased by just over 10%. This year’s total attendance was 65,686, making ISE officially the world’s largest AV and systems integration tradeshow.

While the final day – Friday – undoubtedly saw lower visitor levels than the other three days, it was always going to be something of an unknown quantity. The hope is that, as ISE MD Mike Blackman said in his interview in Installation last month, that both exhibitors and attendees become accustomed to treating the final day as a ‘proper’ show day; and initiatives on ISE’s side, such as the Friday Keynote and other events – organised under the FRDY@ISE umbrella – continue to attract visitors to the latter part of the show.

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Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater

Fred Harding, Brent McCall: Tips, Tools and the Current State of 4K Ultra HD

Friday, March 4, 2016 7:40:35 PM America/New_York

Two industry technical sales pros outline key considerations for 4K Ultra HD, including HDBaseT, HDMI® 2.0, HDCP 2.2, high dynamic range (HDR) and some problem–solving tips and tools.

HDM-GA1

Fred Harding and Brent McCall — March 4, 2016

4K, UHD, HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0, HDR, HDBaseT … It’s complicated. Two of the industry’s most popular techies — Fred Harding of Capitol Sales and Brent McCall of Metra Home Theater — lay it all out for integrators, highlighting the benefits of 4K–related technologies and the challenges of creating an end–to–end UHD experience for the consumer.

Fred and Brent wanted to keep this piece free from product ads, but since CE Pro feels it’s important to talk about specific products where warranted, with Fred’s permission we have inserted them into the story. As always, we thank Fred and Brent for their contributions. – CE Pro

 

THE NEXT BIG THING IN THE WORLD OF VIDEO is Ultra High Definition video, aka 4K. The concept is simple – or at least it should be: essentially delivering four times the resolution as 1080p, a widely accepted standard for high definition television.

To implement a 4K signal, lots of things need to happen. First, the display needs to be capable of producing an image with 3,940 x 2,160 pixels. (For discussion purposes, we’ll refer to the device that the picture is seen on as the display; it could be a projector providing the image, or a flat or curved panel using LED, OLED, or some other technology.)

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Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater
Misleading Packaging

Metra Home Theater Group’s tech team has fielded numerous phone calls about home theater cables not supporting 4K — even though the packaging says it will support this technology. The practice of misleading consumers is not new but in the world of 4K technology, it is causing problems for custom installers.

Velox Cables
Velox Cables

How can electronics companies get away with these false claims on their products? We’ve seen other manufacturers sell a cable claiming a “rated” bandwidth of 27 Gbps or even 31 Gbps on their HDMI® cables. However, it doesn’t work with 4k.

This is what we call “magic” math. If a signal can be measurable, certain manufacturers are measuring this and including this number to reach 27 and 31 Gbps. Keep in mind that this signal is not usable signal. This will make their cable “specs” look better, but it does not in any way make it perform better.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

What Causes TV Screen Sparkles?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 3:39:06 PM America/New_York

What Causes TV Screen Sparkles in the Picture?

If your entertainment system is using passive HDMI® cables longer than 5 meters (16’), odds are you will have sparkles in your television picture. These long HDMI cable runs can cause disruption in the High Speed Data1 (*TMDS) causing the “Eye” pattern to collapse, which in turn causes sparkles in your picture.

Depending on the specs of your system, Metra Home Theater Group offers three options that will rebuild the “Eye” pattern and get rid of the sparkles:

  • If you have a 1080P TV and your cables are distances of up to 30 meters (100’), use the HDM-SR1A in line at the display. This product has low speed data accelerators built in to keep the Eye Pattern intact.
  • For 3D televisions and cable distances up to 30 meters (100’), use our HDM-SR1HS in line at the display to fix the eye pattern and get rid of sparkles.
  • Our HDM-GA1 has built-in DDC Correction Circuitry and repairs EDID rise time while working in both directions. This product works to support 4K/60, 4:4:4 and/or HDR up to 17 meter (60’) cable runs and is installed at the display.
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

ISE 2016: Metra Home Theater Group Shows GA1 Gigabit Accelerator

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:18:49 PM America/New_York


Metra Home featured their Ethereal™, Helios™, Spyclops™ and EHD™ brands at ISE 2016 last week. Featured products included the new Velox cables up to 15 meters for UHD and 4k, robust Helios TV mounts for displays up to 90”, the award winning M3B systemtransmitter and receiver, which enables integrators to install either a flexible multi-source HD video distribution system into any home using the existing coax and splitters, as well as a point to point long distance wireless system, and the HDM-GA1, which allows installers to utilize existing in-wall passive HDMI® cables up to 17 meters in length to upgrade and support the full 4k/60, 4:4:, HDR signal.

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Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater

Three Products Every Custom Installer Needs

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 6:26:32 PM America/New_York

A Custom Installer is only as good as the tools in his or her toolbox. Without the right tools for the job, diagnosing common home theater installation issues will be tricky and time consuming. Furthermore, without the latest technology, you may be cutting your home theater installation project short of its full potential.

We asked the pros at Metra what every Custom Installer should bring to their installation project. Here are the top three must-have products from Ethereal for every CI’s toolkit:

  • HDM-JR — This speeds up switching, removes audio dropouts, and stops HDCP failures as well as mode out of range problems.
  • HDM-DAD — This is the tool for EDID diagnostics and monitoring. Check your HDMI® system for correct 5V, hot plug detect, clock, and data. See the status of the data tested via LED indicators.
  • HDM-SUPERDAD — Under our EHD brand, this product takes low speed data to new levels. In addition to cleaning up the corrupted EDID signals, it also repairs 5–volt issues and hot plug detects. The SUPERDAD also allows for some unique installation specific solutions. For example, the EDID and CEC can both be disabled via dip switches on the side of the chassis.
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Common Home Theater Problems for Custom Installers

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:32:00 PM America/New_York

Common Home Theater Problems
Don't let this be you!

Most likely at some point in your career as a Custom Installer, you’ve walked into your home theater and turned on the system only to see it is not working properly. Nothing is more frustrating. The question is, where do you start to troubleshoot your home theater issue?

At Metra Home Theater Group, we receive technical support calls weekly from Custom Installers about troubleshooting common home theater problems. In our experience, HDMI® is the cause of most problems and creates a host of issues with entertainment systems.

Here are the two most common problems, causes and recommended solutions from Metra Home Theater Group’s technical support team:


Problem: The source or the display may not be set to use compatible signals.

Cause: Cable and satellite boxes are set to use analog connection by default instead of HDMI.

Solution: Simply access each device’s menu settings and choose the correct option, which may be listed as HD or HDMI®.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

See Our Weekly Specials

Friday, February 5, 2016 7:16:49 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group Specials

Metra Home Theater Group is featuring online product specials for dealers. New products will be showcased every Friday (you must be logged in to view promotional details).

This special is valid online only for registered Metra Home Theater Group dealers. Please login at MetraHomeTheater.com to view this special.

If you’d like to become a Metra dealer, call 1-866-839-9187 or visit MetraHomeTheater.com/apply to sign up and place your order for all your install needs.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

How to Install an M3B System

Friday, January 29, 2016 7:51:48 PM America/New_York

How To Install M3B Systems

We have made multi–room AV distribution easy with our M3B system and this post will outline out the easy steps to install this system.

You will need to answer the following questions to begin designing and laying out your M3B system:

  • How many sources and displays will be in this system?
    There are two primary devices: the source side encoder (M3B–TX1) and the display side decoder (M3B–RX1). You will need one of each of these devices for each source and display in your system.
    For example, if you want your DVD player to display on the two TVs in your system, you will need a source side encoder (M3B–TX1) for the DVD player and two display side decoders (M3B–RX1) — one for each TV in the system.
  • What is the total amount of COAX you will need for this system?
    “RF” components such as Coax, Splitters, and “F” terminations are also needed in addition to your sources, displays, and HDMI® cables.
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

A Storm is Brewing for HDR

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 9:24:38 PM America/New_York

A Storm is Brewing for HDR

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an advancement in picture quality that will quickly find a market. It will change the AV industry more than any other display technology that has debuted in the last few years. The upgrade to HDR is easy to see by the customer and will establish a foothold in the market quickly due to its stunning dynamic range of brightness — like really, really stunning. HDR creates pictures in the same way that the human eye does and makes videos come to life with shadows and shading details the likes of which we have never seen on other displays. Viewers can instantly notice the difference and begin imagining it in their homes and businesses. Yet, we are facing one problem to implementing HDR — this upgrade has a lot of technology behind it that will not be understood by everyone.

The most prominent issue is that HDR requires the maximum bandwidth specified in the HDMI® 2.0 spec — up to 18Gbps for support of the full–color spectrum and detail it provides. The components, the cables and accessories must all meet the full specification. The problem is that HDMI products can legally state, “supports HDMI 2.0” when they only fall into the minimum specification range of HDMI 2.0 under 10.2Gbps making them unable to support the bandwidth requirement for HDR. Making it even more complicated is that the hardware specification for HDR is HDMI 2.0a. Luckily, making the move from HDMI 2.0 to 2.0a is going to be done with a firmware upgrade on most devices. Therefore, the products that only meet the HDMI 2.0 minimum–specification will not support HDR.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

HDMI education: What you don't know about the latest technology could cost you

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 7:14:35 PM America/New_York

New releases in the home theater industry’s product technology are never ending! By the time you learn about the latest and greatest technology, it’s already being replaced with something newer and better. What you thought was emerging is now obsolete, and you haven’t even had time to review, no less educate yourself, on all the details of what’s changed.

HDMI logo

This can be costly if you don’t know the details of the new HDMI® 2.0 and 2.0A specs. Education is more important than ever due to the hot–button feature everyone is talking about: High Dynamic Resolution (HDR).

With all the hyperbole about this new technology being thrown around, along with the talk about new cable certifications, it’s easy to get confused quickly.

Here’s an example that occurred in our office last week. One of our staff members received a typical sales email from a manufacturer that read:

Dear friend,
Good day. Attached is our HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2 100m extender (HDBaseT) for you.

Whoa, wait a minute! HDBaseT has upgraded to HDMI 2.0 and can therefore now support 4k/60, HDR and 4:4:4 color? Without a clear understanding of HDMI 2.0, 2.0A, 4K and HDR, one would think this HDBaseT was something to consider purchasing for use with the new 4K, HDR components because of the “HDMI 2.0” listed spec.

DR, one would think this HDBaseT was something to consider purchasing for use with the new 4K, HDR components because of the “HDMI 2.0” listed spec.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

HDMI and Thermal Issues

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 10:03:01 PM America/New_York

Avoid Thermal Overload

Thru the years the complexity of HDMI® based installations have grown, because of this we have seen a marked increase in “system failure” support calls. This can be very upsetting to dealers, consumers and causes stress on the support side.

The most common “system failure” is as follows: everything was working great for about a week or so, then we started to see [insert one/more of the following] sparkles, picture fade, and/or dropping of resolution until there is no picture or sound. Trouble shooting this can be a real problem due to the fact that at our end we rarely can get a truly complete picture of the install over the phone.

We think Thermal Overload is the problem.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Theater Group Announces Easy to Install Spyclops Camera Kits

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:56:32 PM America/New_York

New surveillance cameras and accessories featured at CES 2016

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – December 14, 2015 – Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces new Spyclops cameras, DVRs and power distribution boxes to their growing lineup of security products at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new NVR Kit 4 wireless 720p bullet cameras features a four-channel wireless connection with high-definition 720p resolution, VGA and HDMI® outputs and 3.6 mm fixed lens. The IP66 rated camera can be viewed simply on Android and iOS apps and include 1 terabyte of hard-drive space. The NVR Kit requires only a singular Ethernet cable to provide power and data to the entire unit making it an easy install option for any home or office.

The new Hybrid Security DVRs include 4-channel capabilities with embedded LINUX operating system that supports analog 960H, 720p, 1080p and IP (up to 1080p) cameras. The Hybrid Security DVR’s playback in the recorded resolution with a multi-camera view, up to 30 frames per second recording per camera and feature 1080p on all channels.

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Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Brings New Innovation to CES 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:49:37 PM America/New_York

Updated and new products to debut

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – January 04, 2015 – Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces additional features to the award winning Ethereal HDM-GA1 and Velox Cables along with new Helios mounts.

HDM-GA1
HDM-GA1

The Residential Systems CEDIA EXPO Best of Show and CE Pro Best award winning HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator now supports in-wall cables extending up to 17 meters. The Ethereal HDM-GA1 allows the installer to utilize existing in-wall passive HDMI® cables to upgrade and support the full 4K/60, 4:4:4, HDR signal now available in many video products. The compact in-line Gigabit Accelerator has a 2” by 1” aluminum chassis that is powered from an external USB power supply through a USB mini connector - and is simple for anyone to install.

Velox Cables
New Velox Cables

The Velox Cables from Ethereal are now available in various sizes up to 15 meters, compared to the previous 12 meters. The evolutionary designed cables support the latest generation of HD, Ultra-HD and 4K video applications with the new Targa 1 Module developed in In-Visions Technology, Inc. The Velox UHD cables support 18 Gb/s HD signal for higher resolutions, frame rates and colors over HD digital interconnects. Like the Ethereal HDM-GA1, the Velox Cables are proudly assembled in the USA.

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Posted in Press By Metra Home Theater

HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator Makes 4K Upgrades Easy

HDM-GA1

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – December 1, 2015 – Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces the Ethereal HDM-GA1 to its lineup of products. The Ethereal HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator allows the installer to utilize existing in-wall passive HDMI® cables up to 15 meters in length to upgrade and support the full 4K/60, 4:4:4, HDR signal now available in many video products.

The compact in-line Gigabit Accelerator has a 2” by 1” aluminum chassis that is powered from an external USB power supply through a USB mini connector - and is simple for anyone to install. The HDM-GA1 rebuilds the video channels to a level that exceeds the HDMI 2.0A standard while repairing the data timing clock channel. The simple ‘plug and play’ device from Metra takes micro-technology and transforms any quality 24-gauge passive cable up to 15 meters to 4K with full signal integrity. This new innovation from Metra gives dealers with a very simple way to upgrade current installations to the latest 4K technology, meeting 4K/60, 4:4:4, HDR standards with existing HDMI cables.

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Metra Home Theater Group Introduces the M3B Metra Multimedia Broadcast Systems

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:30:25 PM America/New_York

M3B Greatly Expands HDMI® Installation Ease and Versatility

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – September 24, 2015 – Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces the M3B (Metra Multimedia Broadcast) Systems to its lineup of products. The M3B Systems which comes in two flavors, hardwired and wireless, enables integrators to install either a flexible multi-source video distribution system into any home using the existing coax and splitters or a point to point long distance wireless system.

M3B Systems

The coax-based M3B System consists of receivers (RF RX), transmitters (RF TX) and a robust wireless system. This M3B System allows integrators to provide multiple sources to multiple displays at 1080p over common coax and splitters with easy setup and a simple source selection via any programmable remote, thus eliminating the need for a control system. Source selections are made by changing the input on the on the display side receiving unit. No networking skills are required for the installation.

The RF TX transmitters make it simple to setup sources via provided channel selection buttons and include an LED channel display and 100-channel output selection. The RF RX receivers include the remote control for source selection as well as a complete Hex code setup for learning remotes, an IR receiver and the same LED channel display and 100-channel output selection seen in the RF TX transmitter.

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Metra Home Theater Group Launches Versatile HDMI 4K Switcher

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:24:33 PM America/New_York

Latest switcher supports HDMI® Rev 2.0 and HDCP 2.2

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – January 4, 2015 – Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces the CS-HDM5X1SW HDMI® switcher to support integrators with projects varying in size and using a transmission line that can support the new functions supported under HDMI 2.0 and 4K.

Metra Home Theater Group’s CS-HDM5X1SW supports HDMI with five inputs and one output while allowing integrators to install it on a small job with two to three sources and leaving the option to add more sources in the future if, or when, a customer expands their system. The CS-HDM5X1SW HDMI switcher supports HDCP 2.2 along with 1080p, 3D and 4K up to 10.2 Gbps to conform to the new specifications of HDMI 2.0.

"The new CS-HDM5X1SW switcher will make it simple for integrators with new and upgraded installs with multiple 4K or HDCP 2.2 sources,” said Jessy Crabb, general manager of Metra Home Theater Group. “The CS-HDM5X1SW will debut at CES 2016 booth in Las Vegas and we invite dealers to stop by our booth to check out this and the plethora of other solutions we have to offer them.”
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Metra Introduces New CS Series Mud Rings

Monday, December 28, 2015 3:20:28 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater has expanded our installation accessories category with the introduction of single, dual and triple gang mud rings. We listened to the most common complaints regarding mud rings from our installers and addressed the most common issues. These complaints included rings that were flimsy and not holding their shape when mounted, flanges that are not large enough to cover mistakes and the wall plates being sold at Big Box Stores and Electrical Supply houses are now mid-sized. Our new “CS” series Mud Rings (CS-SGMR, CS-DGMR & CS-TGMR) address each of these concerns.

Our new mud rings push the flange size and rigidity up a notch and now it fits the newer “Mid-Sized” plates being used now at major stores and Electrical Supply houses and the ring will not change shape when tightened down.

The new CS series are a very strong and reliable mud ring mount that you can count on out in the real world.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Six Handy Products for Christmas from Metra Home Theater Group

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 2:54:16 PM America/New_York

At the office we recently have redesigned our catalog. At home I have been working on my Holiday Gift List. One would not think these two lists would have anything in common, but you would be wrong. In spending several weeks reading and proof reading the catalog, we have products that will come in handy this Holiday season if you are purchasing new technology.


Here are the top six products:


  1. Metra Multi-Media Broadcast System (M3B)
    Metra Multi-Media Broadcast System (M3B)
    — If you want to watch the bowl games but the kids want to play their new PS4, you need this product. This system will allow the kids to play games on a TV, bowl games to be viewed on another, and movies to be watched on a third television. All without moving the sources to the various TVs. This product will make everyone happy this holiday season.
  2. LED Lights
    LED Lights
    — Have a covered back porch or entrance way? Do you want to decorate them with lights for the holidays? Use our LED lights and you can leave these lights up all year to save time for future holidays.
  3. HDM-GA1
    HDM-GA1
    — Are you purchasing a new 4K TV? You will need to make sure the existing cables will work with this new fancy 4K television. Our HDM-GA1 will update your passive cables to provide content.
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Happy 1st Anniversary!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 3:43:29 PM America/New_York

Today marks the one year anniversary of our blog. Here is to another year of great education and commentary from Metra Home Theater Group.

1 Year Anniversary
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Happy Thanksgiving from Metra Home Theater Group

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 5:54:30 PM America/New_York

Happy Thanksgiving from Metra Home Theater Group
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The Back Story of the M3B

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:20:00 PM America/New_York

Our Metra Multi-Media Broadcast System (M3B) caused quite the stir at CEDIA this past October. While discussing the back story with one of our product developers on how Metra Home got the idea for this product, I found it extremely interesting. I thought others might find it intriguing as well. Please let me know your thoughts.

How did the idea of M3B come about?

M3B

Product Developer:
I was standing in a train station noticing how clear the information signage panels looked. Not being one to pass up a learning opportunity, I looked at the video cables and I realized that there was only a single coax running from each display to the next (at one point going through a splitter). This got my attention. Like most old school guys I am familiar with “RF” modulation products, but I had never seen one look this good. Armed with this knowledge we were able find and modify the technology for CI needs.

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Why You Need Our HDM-GA1

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 8:40:35 PM America/New_York

HDM-GA1

In previous posts, we discussed our HDM-GA1 and the three awards it won during CEDIA 2015 in Dallas. Awards are great but if our customers do not understand WHY this product is winning awards, then Metra Home is not educating our customers. Education is key to staying on top of the CI game and here at Metra Home we want to be the go-to resource for CI questions.

We made our name in the early days of HDMI® by providing the first “Made in America” long distance HDMI cable solution, and we have continued to develop and refine these capability with our latest (and still) “Made in America” extender the HDM-GA1.

4K and HDR are real, products will be shipping this Christmas and in the hands of your clients by the first of the year. How will this affect you and more importantly how do you plan your installs to accommodate this expanded bandwidth requirement?

Well… if your jobs are based around category cable extenders or current Redmere enabled cables, you will be in a world of hurt as neither of these technologies truly support 4K/60 4:4:4 or HDR content. If instead you use the older style passive HDMI cables (up to 15 meters in length) you can take your jobs forward and include ANY capability that HDMI 2.0A by using our HDM-GA1.

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CEDIA 2015 Wrap Up

Thursday, October 29, 2015 7:51:17 PM America/New_York

In the craziness of returning from Dallas last week - this post was not posted on the blog. We apologize.

Whew! What a whirlwind CEDIA 2105 was in Dallas. It was the best show Metra Home has had to date and it is largely due to the combination of great products and staff. Seriously, our staff is the hardest working staff I know and no other company can touch our products. My co-workers are a great group of people. As I sat in the front desk during the show, I overheard things being said by staff and attendees and I made up a list:

2015 CE Pro Best
  • WOW nice booth!
  • My feet hurt.
  • Don’t lean on the front desk.
  • Who left coffee on the front desk
  • Where is my coffee?
  • My feet hurt.
  • You sure that is the correct price?
  • Are you seriously taking an order on a trashcan?
  • I have not eaten all day
  • My feet hurt.
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Part 6 of 6 - Construction of a HDMI Cable: Testing Procedures

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 7:59:41 PM America/New_York

If you have made it this far in the series you have seen how important each part of the cable is at least in our option. The real question is, how can this be validated as truth and not just be set aside as the ramblings of a PR/Marketing department?

Let us return for a moment to a contributing factor in what triggered this series, Still More Reasons Why All HDMI® Cable Are The Same and "4K HDMI Cables Are Nonsense". The issue here for us is the testing methodology, all that was done to verify the quality of a given cable was (A) borrow a tone generator/scope and sweep/Eye pattern test one channel at a time of the three video channels and (B) plug the cables in between a source and a display. This is not a good or accurate way to test as timing of the 3 channels together is critical and without this concurrent channel testing results will be skewed.

So, how can you know if a cable is worth a damn? DPL testing that’s how.

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CEDIA Expo: Metra Readies Retrofit Solutions For Video Distribution

Friday, October 23, 2015 8:51:53 PM America/New_York

By Joseph Palenchar, TWICE

Metra Home Theater Group is targeting retrofit installs and upgrades with three new video-distribution products that will be displayed at the CEDIA Expo and shipped Oct. 15.

They include the M3B (Metra Multimedia Broadcast) System, which comes in two versions to let installers add a multisource video-distribution system to a home using either wireless RF or existing coaxial cables and splitters.

The $349 coax-based M3B System consists of receivers and transmitters to send multiple video sources to multiple displays at 1080p resolution. The receivers come with an IR remote to control remote-source selection, and a complete Hex code setup is available for learning remotes. The transmitters provide channel-selection buttons and include an LED channel display and 100-channel output selection.

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Metra Home Theater Group Announces New Spyclops HD and IP Camera Lineup

Friday, October 23, 2015 8:47:45 PM America/New_York

SPY-BLTG2IP24 Spyclops HD IP Bullet Camera in Grey
SPY-BLTG2IP24 Spyclops HD IP Bullet Camera in Grey

By HomeToys.com.

Metra Home Theater Group, a leading provider of home theater products and accessories, announces the addition of ten new Spyclops Surveillance System camera models, including two HD IP cameras and eight analog HD (AHD) cameras.

The two new Spyclops HD IP bullet cameras, SPY-BLTG2IP24 in grey and SPY-BLTW2IP24 in white, include IP streaming, 2.8 mm to12 mm manual varifocal lens, 42 IR LEDs for up to 40 meters of distance at night and HISILICON DSP, wide dynamic range. These models feature 2.4 MP for 1080p viewing.

Four new Spyclops HD bullet cameras include both the grey SPY-BLTG2AHD24 and white SPY-BLTW2AHD24 with AHD streaming, 2.8 mm to12 mm manual varifocal lenses, 42 IR LED's for up to 40 meters of distance at night and 3D noise reduction featuring 2.4 MP for 1080p viewing. The grey SPY-BLTG2AHD and white SPY-BLTW2AHD1, bullet cameras have the same feature set with 1.0 MP providing 720p resolution.

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10 New Networking, Communications and Problem-Solving Products at CEDIA 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015 8:39:56 PM America/New_York

By CE Pro

Ethereal HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator
Ethereal HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator

Metra has introduced its Ethereal HDM-GA1 Gigabit Accelerator, designed to update existing in-wall passive HDMI® cables to be able to handle true 4K at 60Hz as well as 4:4:4 and HDR.

The small 2-inch by 1-inch device features an aluminum chassis and it is powered by an external USB power supply. The HDM-GA1 rebuilds the video levels to exceed HDMI 2.0A levels of performance and it repairs the data timing clock channel. Designed to perform as a plug-and-play product, the device works with 26-, 28- and 30-AWG cables up to 10 meters in length.

Click here to view original article.

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By RavePubs.com

CEDIA 2015: Metra Home Theater Group Demos M3B Video Broadcast System over Existing Coax

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Behind the Scenes at Family-Owned Metra Electronics

Friday, October 23, 2015 8:35:25 PM America/New_York

By CE Pro, Jason Knott, October 2, 2015

Jessy Crabb, Miranda Grantham and Brent McCall
(From left) Jessy Crabb, Miranda Grantham and Brent McCall head up the Metra Home Theater Group division of Metra Electronics. The company recently doubled the size of its R&D team and separated out the Tech Support into adjacent offices on the huge corporate campus

Driven by a passion for the industry and for its customers, family-owned Metra Electronics, parent company of well-known Metra Home Theater Group, makers of Ethereal HDMI® cable, might be the most unassuming company in the custom electronics business.

Indeed, the 69-year-old company’s stature is something it should be shouting from the mountaintops.

Metra Electronics was founded in Brooklyn in the 1940s when they designed and fabricated a bracket for taxi cabs to be able to hold radios and meters. Soon, Metra Electronics was making brackets for police vehicles and other cars.

But what does all that have to do with Metra Home Theater Group, the division familiar to integrators that makes Ethereal premium cables, Helios retail cables, TV mounts and accessories, EHD Cables with exclusive long-run cables for integrators, and Spyclops surveillance systems? A lot.

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CE Pro Announces 2015 Best Awards Winners

Friday, October 23, 2015 8:30:18 PM America/New_York

By CE Pro Editors, October 15, 2015

The winners of the 2015 CE Pro Best Awards will be presented during CEDIA Expo 2015. Awards recognize the most noteworthy new products and technologies for 2015.

2015 CEPro Best for Cedia Expo

CE Pro is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 CE Pro BEST (Best Electronic Systems Technologies) Awards, recognizing the most noteworthy new products and technologies for 2015.

“The BEST Awards offer by far the greatest amount of exposure for every submission ... not just the winners ... more exposure than any other awards program in the custom installation industry,” says Jason Knott, editor-in-chief at CE Pro.

All submissions will appear on CEPro.com and in the December 2015 print edition of CE Pro.

An unbiased judging panel of a dozen credible industry leaders, along with the editors of CE Pro, performed the judging independently. Each of the 182 submissions was judged on its own merits for innovation, functionality, competitive advantages and benefits to the integrator. Since the products were not judged against each other but independently, this year CE Pro is presenting multiple winners for high-scoring products in certain categories.

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Residential Systems and TWICE Name CEDIA Best of Show Winners

Friday, October 23, 2015 8:06:37 PM America/New_York

By RS Staff, October 17, 2015

NewBay Media’s Residential Systems and TWICE have named their 2015 Best of Show Awards for CEDIA 2015, honoring outstanding products exhibited at the show.

RS / TWICE Best of Show

NewBay Media’s Residential Systems and TWICE have named their 2015 Best of Show Awards for CEDIA 2015, honoring outstanding products exhibited at the show. Manufacturers submitted products for nomination prior to arriving in Dallas, then a panel of anonymous professional integrator and journalist judges evaluated the entries based on written submissions and visual inspections on CEDIA show floor. A CEDIA exhibiting manufacturer could nominate its product for either Residential Systems or TWICE, or both.

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Part 5 of 6 - Construction of a HDMI Cable: Termination

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 8:17:23 PM America/New_York

In the previous installments of this series, we have discussed everything needed for the best performing HDMI® cable and to improve overall performance in a system. With that being said without the proper termination quality parts will mean nothing and the cable will not provide top performance.

It is very important to control the heat, silver content, quantity and flow of the solder. Less is more in this application and of course “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Extra solder closes the gaps between the connection points and that can/will create its own RF field. To add insult to injury, when it comes to the soldering process ROHS (Federal Lead standards) has mandated that lead be mostly removed from solder for safety reason. Unfortunately this means that solder most be applied at a higher temperature for it to flow. Higher temps mean a greater chance of thermal damage to any board level components.

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Part 4 of 6 - Construction of a HDMI Cable: Silver Content

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 8:22:00 PM America/New_York

Now we are starting to get into the more esoteric physics of an HDMI® cable. For many years, mainstream analog audio cable manufacturers talked about “Skin Effect” and how higher frequency’s tend to migrate to the surface of a cable and that lower frequencies stayed in the middle. As it turns out, there is some truth to this statement. Oh, not in the analog audio domain, that is still BS (in our opinion). However, in the high speed world of HDMI surface silver content and the type of dielectric do play a part in the performance of a HDMI cable. Now just throwing a thicker cost of silver onto the copper is not the complete answer. There must be a proper balance. Copper provides a stable high tinsel substrate for the silver plating, this will help the wire to keep its original length and shape which is necessary for the higher bandwidth and speeds (see #1 & #3).

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Part 3 of 6 - Construction of a HDMI Cable: Bandwidth and Speed

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 5:05:00 PM America/New_York

Photo of traffic

Bandwidth and Speed are very important when discussing the construction of a HDMI® cable. One has to have a general understanding of how these two words pertain to cables as well as how they play into the cables functional capability. Bandwidth and Speed are a very difficult and confusing concept for most people to grasp.

What is Bandwidth? What is speed?

Although bandwidth and speed have much in common, they are different and are frequently and incorrectly used by both consumers and the manufacturers to express the same thought.

  • Bandwidth refers to how much data can pass thru a device at the same point and time.
  • Speed refers to how quickly a device can create the data.
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Part 2 of 6 - Construction of a HDMI Cable: Shielding

Thursday, October 1, 2015 6:35:00 PM America/New_York

Velox Cable Cutaway

The second part of this blog series we are discussing the two types of shielding and why they are important. The two types of shielding that a HDIMI cable should have to provide the best protection are braid and foil.

A braid shield keeps outside noise from interfering with your HDMI® cable by cutting down the 110/60Hz interference. If outside RF/EMI noise penetrates the HDMI cable it can cause all sorts of havoc. Since pretty much everyone has had some experience with HDMI Cat/x Extender failure due to high voltage switched devices (lights, motors, etc.) cause a short term dropout of the HDMI signal, there is an understanding of this issue.

Foil shield reduces the high frequency interference and keeps the noise within the cable. A foil shield also protects components from damage caused by spurious HDMI noise from running amok in your system like a gremlin. Foil shielding around the TMDS feeds of a HDMI cable also keeps the noise from causing problems with infra-red components and RF control systems.

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Part 1 of 6 - Construction of an HDMI Cable

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:52:24 PM America/New_York

HDMI Construction Part 1

We talk a lot about our cables while we are planning our displays for the CEDIA booth. Hours are spent grouping our cables together by category and the different technology they provide. I ask questions about each of our cables and when I started looking at my notes I saw these questions:

“What is the truth regarding HDMI and is there in fact a difference from one cable to another? Is there a reason to buy a better HDMI cable?”

In getting these answers, this blog post was born and over the next six weeks we are going to discuss the six parts of an HDMI cable and why customers should purchase a better (and preferably one of Metra Home’s) cables.

As most dealers know Metra Home has been a DPL member (www.dpllabs.com) since its inception. In our association with DPL we have learned that the vast majority of claims made about HDMI and HDMI cables are confusing and misleading. Metra Home has been fortunate to be associated with DPL and has over time received a reputation for good working, reliable and affordable products due to this association.

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Executive Q&A: Metra Home Theater Group Talks HDMI, EHD Line and More

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 5:58:48 PM America/New_York

Jessy Crabb
“Our R&D lead is a working custom installer, so all of the items are fully tested in real–world applications before they get into our dealers’ hands.” - Jessy Crabb

Jessy Crabb, General Manager of Metra Home Theater Group, discussed HDMI® 2.0, Ethereal products, and handling technologies including HDR and HDCP 2.2.

By CE Pro Editors, September 04, 2015

CE Pro went one–on–one with Jessy Crabb, General Manager, of Metra Home Theater Group.

Q. HDMI is moving into the 2.0 specification. How would you assess this transition?

A. We have found that with all the conflicting information in the industry dealers have been left confused and wary, just like with every other revision. Custom installers not only have to worry about making sure the sources and displays are capable of HDMI 2.0, they have to make sure that with double the bandwidth, their cables and accessories will go the distance to make their components work.

Q. How is Ethereal helping dealers make the transition from 1.4 to 2.0 technologies?

A. We focus on dealer training at trade shows, distributor shows and on a one-to-one basis. We provide ongoing, YouTube videos that are a great way for the dealer to keep up to date on the latest technology. We also have regular meetings with DPL Labs to keep both ourselves and our dealers in the know, and our tech support is available seven days a week…

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Why You Need to Visit Our CEDIA Booth 4942

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 7:00:53 PM America/New_York

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New Videos Are Posted

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 7:04:59 PM America/New_York

We are gearing up for CEDIA 2015 in Dallas and this process includes shooting informational videos. The first batch of videos are up and ready for viewing. Here are the new videos:


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Top Five Products and the Problems They Solve

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 7:16:00 PM America/New_York

Lists are always popular on blogs but lists can also be boring. This list is informative and important, just like our staff! Please leave comments and let us know if you agree.

  1. HDM-DAD
    HDM-DAD

    HDM-DAD

    What it does — verifies that all the EDID signals have the necessary integrity.
    Problems Solved — Provides analysis of the Low Speed Data Stream which includes the 5 volt feed from the source to the display, the Hot Plug Detect return voltage from the display to the course, the Data line and Clock feed. The LED display lights on the top of the case indicate the status of these EDID components. If there are issues with any of these feed the DAD will repair them.
  2. HDM-JRPLUS
    HDM-JRPLUS

    HDM-JRPLUS

    What it does — Less expensive EDID repair tool to leave at the job site to solve all the same issues of the HDM-DAD.
    Problems Solved — Audio drop outs, long sync times between sources, “HDCP not supported” issues on your display screen, “Mode not supported” on your display screen, “Mode out of range” on your display screen, black screen on your display and Picture and Sound drop out for a few seconds and then returns are all solved by this product. The HDM-VI2 is fully HDMI® 2.0, 18 Gbps compatible meaning this product will fulfill your needs of today and into the future.
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Our Annual Lunch and Learn Event

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 7:43:22 PM America/New_York

Lunch and Learn CEDIA 2015

Space is limited so reserve your chair and complementary lunch today. Click here to reserve your seat.

This is a very well attended event and there will be limited standing room.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

CEPro Top 100 Summit

Monday, August 24, 2015 8:05:31 PM America/New_York

Miranda Grantham, National Sales Manager and Zak Yarnell, West Coast Regional Sales Representative, manning the booth.
Miranda Grantham, National Sales Manager and Zak Yarnell, West Coast Regional Sales Representative manning the booth.

Our staff wrapped up the CEPro Top 100 Summit in National Harbor, Maryland today. We are all getting excited for our next show CEDIA in Dallas, TX.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

A Question Came Up In The Office Today

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 8:16:37 PM America/New_York

4K made with photos

A customer asked this question: How does HDBaseT claim 4K performance when it does not support 18 Gbps?

Well now that is a very good question.

I know I have posted about 4K versus UHD and all the confusion that surrounds this subject previously and it seems like this issue is not any clearer for our customers. In the helping our customers make more educated purchases when it comes to this new technology, let us revisit this 4K/UHD issue one more time by using an actual issue that came up in our office.

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A Typical Day

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 8:22:07 PM America/New_York

Products

In the past year, we have seen a spike in the return of “defective” extenders. This trend upset our sales and management team because there had to be a reason. The technical support staff collected all the defective units, ran some tests and came to an interesting conclusion. So interesting, that I wanted to include it on this blog as an example of the lengths our customer service team goes for our customers.

The technical staff found that all but one was NOT defective and after talking with one of the installing companies’ job supervisors on how these were being installed our tech staff cleared up the entire issue.

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Get Your HDMI Questions Answered

Monday, July 20, 2015 8:31:28 PM America/New_York

HDMI Questions

We pride ourselves on helping to educate our customers and support their business. It is because of this that we are sponsoring a special webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, July 21 at 2 p.m. EDT featuring Jeff Boccaccio, president of DPL Labs and a columnist of CE Pro's "HDMI Corner". This webinar is free and not intended to sell you on HDMI®. It's designed to help you make the best cabling decisions possible.

To sign up for the webinar please go here. Do not miss this opportunity to have all of your questions answered.

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Into the Future of HDMI

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 8:42:51 PM America/New_York

By C. I. Source

In Part 1 we discussed “In the Beginning”: specs, roadblocks, software, hardware, cables, standards, and more. Now, let’s look Into the Future of HDMI®.

Here is what we will need to do to continue to work:

Now that you are completely flummoxed and plotting your escape from the world of “CI” to a job flipping burgers, how do you salvage your career and start planning for the future? You will do this by looking forward — great scott! For years we wired the world with coax in various forms, from one to six cables per bundle. It worked pretty much every time. Then along came HDMI. We had to switch over to Category X cables to get some distance. At first, it took Cat/X 2 cables, but now we are down to one — or are we? Yes, there are cables that will support the UHD standard of 4K/60, 4:2:0, some even up to 100’. Ethereal Evolv cables are an example and we do have a new “true” 18 Gbps cable in the new Velox series, now shipping.

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History of HDMI: In the Beginning

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 8:50:46 PM America/New_York

By C. I. Source

Although HDMI® 2.0 has been out for a while, this technology still has a dark shroud of mystery surrounding it. Dealers and manufactures are afraid of HDMI while customer demand is looming. We’ll examine some of the issues we’ve had to deal with as we get underway with this new frontier in Part 1. Be sure to watch for Part 2, Into the Future of HDMI in our next installment.

The question is: “As an industry, how do we salve the fears and provide the client with what they need to move forward with the new HDMI interface?”

To fully understand the new technology, let’s review. Let’s look at how we evolved, where we are presently, and where we are headed in the future:

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HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015 1:06:36 PM America/New_York

4th of July

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!

FROM METRA HOME THEATER GROUP

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Introducing C.I. Source

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 1:16:00 PM America/New_York

Picture of C.I. Source

In an effort to better engage and inform our customers, Metra Home Theater Group would like to introduce our mascot - C.I. Source ! C.I. Source (appropriately named after the Custom Integrator audience he will serve), is an adorable, approachable, tech-savvy, and slightly frazzled-looking, home theater enthusiast created to provide brand recognition for Metra Home Theater and serve as a tool to educate and provide solutions to our customer base.


To ensure customers fully appreciate our new mascot, we gave C.I. Source a rich history:

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Most asked Spyclops Tech Questions

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 1:55:49 PM America/New_York

Spyclops logo

Our Spyclops tech department is busy helping customers and I happen to sit in the same room. So the thought came to be one day, “What are the most asked questions?” I fired off an email and asked “What question do you answer the most regarding our Spyclops line?”

I was given the top three most asked Spyclops tech questions:

  1. I am having issues connecting on my phone with ESEE, HELP?
    Make sure you have full signal on your Smartphone or tablet to pull the video through, especially if you have more than four cameras connected. Videos pull more bandwidth than games or regular apps.
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The Easy Way To Digital Audio Back To Your AVR

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:03:52 PM America/New_York

D2D Sketch

Today everybody has a smart TV with all kinds of built in Apps. The most common problem that “CI's” face is getting the Digital Audio from these TV Apps back to the AVR. One answer is of course the ARC function back thru the HDMI® cable and while this is a “simple” one cable solution it is NOT a simple one button user solution.

Here is a simple one button user solution and if you can get a piece of coax (RG/6 or RG/59) between the display and the AVR you can make this happen.

Directions: First, on most displays there is an Optical output connection that supports Dolby Digital, come out of this with a short optical cable and go into our CS-D2D optical to coax format convertor. Second you will adapt the “F” connector to an RCA connection at both ends, plug the coax into one of the SPDIF connections on the back of your AVR. Third program the remote to select that SPDIF input when your client wants to watch in TV apps.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

5 Tips for Easy Spyclops Set Up

Thursday, May 28, 2015 2:20:44 PM America/New_York

The determining factor for me when I am purchasing any type of electronic system is how easy it will be for me to install and use. Our Spyclops systems fall into this category — easy. Here are five tricks to make your set up quick and easy:

  1. Print the quick start guide located at www.spyclopsusa.com for step-by-step set up instructions.
  2. After you checkmark DHCP and ESEE, rebooting the DVR may populate the ESEE number quicker.
  3. Verify the hard drive is formatted and that either overwrite or auto delete is selected or it will stop recording when the hard drive is full.
  4. Double check your time and date at the bottom of the main screen to make sure your recordings times will be accurate.
  5. Look for one of three (3) icons, manual record, timed record or motion record, in the upper right corner of your camera view to verify it IS recording in the format you desire.

If these tips do not solve your set up problem, we are always available to help. Call us at 866-839-9187 ext. 2393 for more tips and answers to all questions regarding Spyclops.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Have Happy Holiday Weekend!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015 2:38:09 PM America/New_York

American Flag - Memorial Day
Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Theater's Smart Service

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:49:55 PM America/New_York

Smart Service

If you saw our ad in this month’s CEPRO, you saw our own Technical Support and Product Specialist Brent McCall featured as the figurehead for the Smart Support we provide our customers. In fact, he is one part of an extensive package of smart support we provide. Our Smart Support includes a designated tech support professional for our Spyclops product, a highly trained sales staff on the latest technology as well as Brent McCall providing Custom Integrator support.

Notice that Brent is described as the “Custom Integrator” tech support, not the Metra Custom Integrator Product support. This is an important distinction because Metra Home Theater believes in supporting the CI – not just selling our products to the CI. In other words, he will try to help no matter what the issue. Brent is available to take your call from 8am-10pm*. The asterisk is there because Brent will not answer his phone if he is at dinner with his wife or in his convertible Miata for obvious reasons. You can leave him a message and he will return your call promptly.

Deanna Miller is tech support primarily for our Spyclops product line but provides tech support on all Metra Home Theater products. She is available to answer any and all of your questions related to either installing or operating a Spyclops system in addition to being another tech resource for all of our products. Deanna also assists in product development of the Spyclops line with her input coming from feedback she gets from the customers like you who she speaks with every day. She is available Tuesday thru Friday 9-6:30 pm and Saturday 10-4:00 pm.

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New Spyclops Videos

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 2:54:34 PM America/New_York

Good Morning! It has been crazy here in sunny Holy Hill, Florida and we have been very busy. This week's post will be short, sweet and hopefully free of errors! I apologize for the mistakes in my last post. It was nice to hear so many people point out the mistakes. It means Metra Home Theater Group has an audience. I like to look on the bright side. :-)

We have uploaded our latest videos highlighting our Spyclops products on our YouTube Channel. Go here and view all of our videos. Feel free to comment on them and suggest more video topics. We listen to our customers.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

We Are Having a Great Sale!!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 2:56:45 PM America/New_York

Flowers

Just in time for Mother’s Day! Metra Home Theater Group is offering the deal of the season on our Audio SolutionsTM Audio MountsTM for flat panel TVs- buy three and get a fourth one free. At this price, one could knock out all Moms on their Mother’s Day shopping list. For more details on the sale go here to see our coverage on Home Toys web site.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Feedback From Las Vegas

Thursday, April 23, 2015 3:07:55 PM America/New_York

ISC WEST 2015

Last week Jason and Bob were at the ISC WEST Show at the Sands in Las Vegas. This is the first time Metra Home Theater Group has exhibited at this show and we featured our Spyclops line. I hear the show went well and the booth looked fantastic. When the staff returns, I like to ask a few standard questions to get a feel for a show and how it went, how to improve, etc. I email them the questions and they answer them within the first few days of being back in the office. I work with some funny people and sometimes these answers make me laugh. This was one of those times. I decided to make it my ISE Show Wrap up post because it shows why we are such a tight group here at Metra Home Theater Group. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

  1. What did you learn at the show? Las Vegas is just as hard on us Floridians in April as it is in January when we are there for CES. When breaking down the booth we need to make sure our crates get there on time. It’s difficult to work hard when your body is craving humidity.

  2. What did you think about booth location? I think by the time people got back to us, they had seen it all and they gave us a glance and turned around. Still got some good leads in between nose bleeds. Also, we need to make sure we do a nose check during the show. Nose bleeds can happen at any time and scare people off no matter where we are located next year.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

New Videos Are Ready for Viewing

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 3:25:14 PM America/New_York

YouTube Logo

Have you visited our YouTube channel? Metra Home Theater Group uses the channel to educate our customers (current and potential) on the products we provide. YouTube is another great way to feature our best asset – our dedicated staff.

We just wrapped our latest installment of videos and they are uploaded and ready to view at your leisure. Go here to check out the latest videos featuring our own Brent McCall and Miranda Grantham. If this is your first visit to our channel, surf around make sure to view older videos and see why we are #MoreThanProducts.

Please feel free to leave a comment suggesting a topic for our next round of videos we plan on doing to kick off our countdown to CEDIA 2015 in Dallas.

Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Spyclops Surveillance Systems Showcase

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 3:14:25 PM America/New_York

Spyclops Logo

Metra Home Theater Group will showcase the Spyclops Surveillance Systems line, April 15 to 17, 2015 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

Jason Lundell and Bob Pancari will be attending the ISC West Show in Las Vegas, NV this week. This is the first time Metra Home Theater Group has attended this show and we are excited. We have been in Vegas for other shows but they have been held in the HUGE convention center. ISC West is held in the Sands. We feel that the more intimate booth conditions will give future customers a more one-on-one experience. These conditions are where customers learn about our best feature - our award-winning staff which is why we are #MoreThanProducts.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Welcome Changes to Metra Home Theater Group

Friday, April 10, 2015 3:22:38 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group has made some changes to continue providing our award winning customer services.


  • Please welcome our new Northeast US Territory Manager, Bob Pancari. Bob brings with him 15 years of sales experience.

  • We also have a new Regional West Coast Sales Representative, Zak Yarnell. Zak has worked in the manufacturing industry for last 5 years and brings with him extensive sales and supply chain knowledge.

  • Miranda Grantham has been promoted to National Sales Manager.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

The Confusion Surrounding 4K

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:29:07 PM America/New_York

Last week, the blog discussed what 4K means to the customer and it caused quite the stir with my CI co-workers. In an effort to clear things up a little and to add to the controversy of the subject, this post will outline some of the topics discussed in our offices.

Right now, 4K to the CI means confusion. This is because 4K, to most people (consumers), means twice as many pixels horizontally and twice as many pixels vertically to make up the picture on the TV. 4K meant the HD picture quality had to be improved for the consumer wanting bigger and bigger TVs. Non-4K TVs have a 1080p picture with 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically. Since the 4K televisions double both the number of horizontal and vertical pixels, we get: 2 x 1920 = 3840 and 2 x 1080 =2160. Meaning 3840 x 2160, which equals 4K for the consumer. This doubling is where the consumer gets the term 4K. Here is a visual that helps people grasp exactly what that math represents:

4K Resolution ExampleRead More
Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

What is 4K?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 3:50:20 PM America/New_York

4K Accessories

4K ready cables. 4K televisions. The term “4K” is being thrown around a lot lately and does anyone really know what it means? I recently tried to explain the importance of 4K and how it will impact everyone’s life one day over dinner with a group of friends. I was met with “I just don’t get it” comments. Undeterred, I went to work and started a conversation on what is the best way to educate the consumer on the importance of 4K. Other co-workers have had similar conversations with their friends and family members.

“What is this 4K I keep hearing about? Should I care? Is this something that should be important to me?”

“I understand that it is something to do with TVs, but does that mean I have to replace all my other gear to go with it – a new Blu-ray player, a new AV receiver, new Blu-rays, new set top boxes or even new cables?”

“Will I have to upgrade my subscriptions to services like Netflix?”

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

The Installer Institute Offers New Custom Integration and Home Automation Training

Thursday, March 19, 2015 3:56:30 PM America/New_York

Installer Institute

With Bike Week over and spring getting ready to start here in gorgeous Florida, it is time again for some training and I am not talking about baseball spring training. I am referring to the new ADVANCED TRAINING - CUSTOM INTEGRATION AND HOME AUTOMATION classes starting next week on March 23rd at Installer Institute.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Spring Break and Bike Exhaust

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 4:11:16 PM America/New_York

74th Bike Week

The traffic has gotten horrible here in gorgeous Florida, which means Bikers and Spring Breakers have descended at the same time. We are currently halfway through Bike Week 2015. For those of you not familiar with Bike Week, and have no idea what I am talking about, let me try to explain it in a nutshell.

Bike Week is when about 500,000 people of all ages travel to Daytona Beach area with their motorcycles and leather. You may be thinking Sons of Anarchy and Jax Teller – um, not everyone looks like Jax Teller. Disappointing, I know. This event does provide the best people watching east of Mardi Gras. It is the spring break event for grownups with motorcycles. There is an official Bike Week Calendar online that includes events like Amateur Arm Wrestling and David Allen Coe concerts. All the fun is located from downtown Daytona Beach to US. 1 in Ormond Beach.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

What is the Internet of Things?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 6:44:02 PM America/New_York

The Internet of Things

The term "Internet of Things" (or IOT for short) is everywhere. Do you know what this means? Do you know how this effects you? I took some time to read up on the Internet of Things to educate myself because frankly, the phrase annoys me. It sounds pompous. This phrase reminds me of rich people saying “money does not solve everything.” Really? Money does not solve everything? I am pretty sure money would have solved my problem of trying to figure out how to pay for books for college. With that being said, the IOT sounds like it might solve everything. The IOT is being thrown around in articles about everything from kitchen appliances to smartwatches. Yet no one has explained exactly what the Internet of Things means. There is a hashtag to following and everything – yet no explanation.

Until last Friday.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Wearable Technology: A Game Changer

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:48:43 PM America/New_York

People Running Picture

A month after CES 2015 in Las Vegas and one topic keeps popping up everywhere: Wearable Technology. The wearable technology market is set be a game changer especially the fitness wearable. As the various newsletters and emails are delivered to in boxes every morning the topic of “fitness wearables” can be found. I cannot get away from hearing about all the different types of products out there that can help one lose weight, track runs and get healthier. The various wearable fitness products are set to change the workout world much like the waffle running show did for runners in the early 80s.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Top Ten Things Learned at ISE 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015 6:53:53 PM America/New_York

ISE 2015

In a few hours our staff is flying back from Amsterdam after exhibiting at the Integrated System Europe Show. Unfortunately I did not attend this show but I was in hourly communication with the staff to say informed and engaged on social media. Trying to cover a show while not being at the show was a challenge and sometimes humorous.

Here is a list of the top ten things I learned from ISE 2015 while not attending:

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Our Staff - The Best Reason to Follow this Blog

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 6:57:26 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group Staff
The Metra Home Theater Staff at CEDIA 2014

To be relevant today in the electronic industry one must be online. By online, I mean online on all of the relevant platforms. How do you determine which platforms are relevant? Well, as the new (and first) Marketing Director at Metra Home Theater Group I started using the platforms I used personally. With that being said, it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t start with a strategy. I have pared down this list and decided to start with a blog for Metra Home Theater Group with the goal of giving our customers more information that they can use in their businesses.

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ISE 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015 7:03:45 PM America/New_York

Our staff leaves this weekend for the ISE show in Amsterdam, NL. Put our booth # 7-R165 on your schedule.

ISE-2015Read More
Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Customer Service - Metra's Key to Success

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 7:08:25 PM America/New_York

RESI Award

Metra Home Theater Group is a leading source of electronics accessories for over 65 years, and this longevity is greatly due to the manufacturer’s investment in taking the time to understand the needs of residential integrators. We believe that customer service and technical support includes professional troubleshooting and brainstorming installation questions right alongside the customers. Product manager Brent McCall—who picks up the customer service line from 8 am to 10 pm seven days a week—understands that integrators need to both comprehend the installation inside and out as well as look great in front of their client.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

CES 2015 Wrap Up

Friday, January 16, 2015 7:14:52 PM America/New_York

Whew! CES 2015 was a whirlwind of excitement and it set the tone for 2015. The booth was the best one yet. Professional booth builders were shocked to learn we build our own booth. Some booths built by professional booth builders did not look as great. Our booth got some attention at CES which lead to a great way to kick off 2015.

CES Booth 2015Read More
Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Metra Home Theater is Exhibiting at CES 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 7:19:47 PM America/New_York

Anthony at CES

Today is the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Metra Home Theater Group is ready for the crowd to visit booth #12434. Some of the staff flew out here on December 27th to begin putting together the booth. Here is picture of the booth in progress with one of our hard working staff.

We kick off our year at this tradeshow and it is always a great show. We have a feeling that it is going to be the best show to date. Why you might ask? Well, for starters the booth was up WAY ahead of schedule something that has not happen in a long time. Everyone is calm, relaxed and rested for the show to kick off January 6th at 10 am. Also, we are exhibiting our new kits. Our customers wanted kits and we delivered Spyclops and 4K Accessory Kits. In addition, as the industry leader for 4K accessories, we are showing our Ultra HD cable line at CES. These HDMI® high speed cables are designed for HD connections utilizing displays with 4K/60 capability for superior high definition picture and sound.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Happy Holidays from Metra Home Theater Group

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:29:00 PM America/New_York

Metra Home Theater Group wishes everyone a
Happy Holiday Season!

Happy Holidays

If you are attending CES in January,
come see us at booth #12434

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Customer Service: Our Edge Over the Competition

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 7:33:21 PM America/New_York

Spyclops Booth at CES

Have you ever purchased a product and got home or to the job site and found that you have issues but can’t get support? Then you call the help line only to get a computer or even worse some foreign help center?

This is one example of how Metra Home Theater Group stands out from the pack when it comes to customer support. We have (GASP!) live people in our office that answer the phones, one of which is our head tech and product guy Brent McCall. Brent has been in the electronics industry for 40+ years playing every role from sales and support, to product design and installation. He is an important part of the exemplary customer service that Metra Home Theater Group provides to its customers.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Continuing Education to Build Relationships

Friday, December 12, 2014 9:16:06 PM America/New_York

On our first post for this blog, we introduced our affiliation with the Installer Institute and the training that it can provide home theater custom integrators. This was not by sheer happenstance. We at Metra Home Theater Group strongly believe in continuing education for our sales staff. We provide monthly sessions with our entire staff just to touch base and hear what our customers need and are asking for. In addition, we require all of our sales, product and support people to attend product training, most often on our own time to learn the latest technologies and how it will affect us and our customers. One of the top reasons to buy from us is that we strive to educate our entire staff so we can pass along this knowledge to you our customer.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 8:44:49 PM America/New_York

In the electronics industry, products age faster than dog years and it is difficult to keep customers informed of the most recent and best on the market. Recently, moving from analog to digital smoothly with the most reliable products has raised questions. Answering these questions and being there to support our customers is what we strive to do here at Metra Home Theater Group.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Ten Products That Will Not Be Re-Gifted

Friday, December 5, 2014 7:15:47 PM America/New_York

If you have some tech people on your gift list that you never know what to give them for Christmas, here is a list of Metra Home Theater Group’s products that they will love and never re-gift:

  • HDM-SP2 – a compact product to protect your component investment. This little guy will sacrifice itself to save your system.
  • HDM-JR - Are you experiencing audio or video drop outs? Metra Home Theater Group's HDM JR can fix that.
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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

White Papers: Just Another Tool Provided by Metra Home Theater Group

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 7:11:11 PM America/New_York

Good morning! In continuing with the theme of introducing Metra Home Theater Group, and all we have to offer our customers, today’s post is going to focus on White Papers. A white paper is an authoritative report or guide to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. When we see a need to address an issue Metra Home Theater Group drafts a white paper to discuss the latest topic in home electronics, or will focus on a specific product we are developing. Sometimes our customers even ask for these documents from our tech support and Metra Home Theater Group is happy to comply.

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Posted in Blog By Metra Home Theater

Installer Institute: The Leading Provider of Education Programs

Monday, December 1, 2014 6:48:02 PM America/New_York

We at Metra Home Theater Group are extremely excited to debut our blog! It will be your primary destination to stay informed on all things Metra Home Theater Group. Providing more than the most innovative and highest quality products to our customers, Metra Home Theater Group delivers the best customer service, the most knowledgeable sales team and industry leading product training for all your custom integration needs.

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