DIY: How to Improve Your TV’s Picture and Sound

When shopping for TVs, most of us set a budget and choose the biggest and best-looking screen in the store’s flashy TV department, regardless of how large or small our living space is. Sound about right? But once plugged in at home, that glossy high-definition TV often doesn’t look or sound as great as it did in the store. What gives? Never fear. With a few simple furniture moves and some easy math, your HD or Smart TV can provide a home-theater-like experience. Try these free and easy DIY tips to improve your TV picture and sound quality right now.

1. Don’t mount your flat-screen TV over the fireplace like a painting. That’s too high for comfortable viewing. Your TV should be on or near eye level so your eyes are perpendicular to the screen, website Rtings.com advises.

2. Don’t sit too close to or too far from your TV. Sitting too near the TV doesn’t make you, your dog, or your kids nearsighted, a new study that tracked the vision of thousands of children over 20 years confirms. But it may dull your movie experience by causing you to see the pixels in the picture of the new 1080 hp resolution screens. By sitting further away, TV picture density increases, producing a smoother, more realistic image. For the ideal home cinematic experience, the Society of Motion Picture Theater Engineers and THX say the ideal viewing angle from your couch is 30 degrees.

3. That’s great, but how far should my couch be from my TV? Wondering what 30 degrees looks like? Basically, it’s about 1.6 times the diagonal measurement of your television. So if you have a 55″ television, multiply that by 1.6, which gives you 88 inches or 7 feet and 4 inches. When placing the furniture, be sure to measure from where your eyes are, not the front or back of the couch. Too much math? Use this handy calculator to tell you exactly how near or far to sit: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

how close to sit to tv

4. Calibrate your TV picture. Brightness, Contrast, Overscan and Movie vs. Vivid TV settings can make a big difference in how rich your favorite movies and TV shows look at home. To set these, simply download and burn the *free* AVS HD 709 Calibration disc files. (Lifehacker.com walks you through the process here.) Or if you or your kids are a little more tech-y, connect your PC to your TV via HDMI or DVI, and use the built-in Windows display calibration utility.

5. What about surround sound? Audio snobs make a big deal out of surround sound and home theater systems. But it’s not that complicated. Basically, a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound setup uses five or seven main speakers, plus a sub woofer for low-bass tones. These speakers should be set up as close to ear-level as possible with at least 3 feet between each. But for small rooms or apartments, you may just want to go with a sound bar below the TV and a sub woofer, Samsung TVs advises.

6. Use canvas art, books and rugs to improve your movie and music sound. Wood and tile floors are all the rage, but they make the sound from your TV bounce and echo like crazy. A sofa helps absorb these sounds but rugs, shelves filled with books and simple painted canvases (without glass frames) can too. Remember you can also enjoy your music on many of today’s Smart TVs. Samsung Smart TVs have the MyMusicCloud app built right in, so you can play, mix and search your entire music library right from your couch. Find out more about How to Activate MyMusicCloud here. Learned something cool from this post? Click the “Follow” tab in the bottom right corner to get more tech and music updates.

15 Great Baseball Walkup Songs

Baseballsongs

The crack of the bat, the scent of hot buttered popcorn, and, hey, is that Journey’s Steve Perry trying to get a stadium sing-along started? (He’s a crazy Giants fan.) This week, we’re celebrating that grand old American game, baseball.

Besides the home runs and stolen bases, one of the great things about modern baseball are the heart-pounding snippets of music blasted in-between plays. Whether it’s metal, country, hip-hop, or a player’s wife’s single (yes, we’re talking to you, Ben Zobrist), today’s pro-baseball players get to show off their individuality by choosing the walkup songs played aloud as they get up to bat or stroll onto the pitcher’s mound.

So whether you’re getting ready to watch the World Series with your bros, or just the weekly game with your kids, here are 15 great baseball walkup songs to get you in that relaxed, beer-sipping, and peanut-crunching mood. Make a MyMusicCloud playlist and stream it through your smart TV during the 7th inning stretch, if you like.

1. Carlos Beltran

Team: New York Yankees

Song: Echa Pa’lla – Pitbull

2. Andrew McCutchen

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Song: Find You (Feat. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant) – Zedd

3. Buster Posey

Team: San Francisco Giants

Song: Hell On Wheels – Brantley Gilbert

4. Coco Crisp

Team: Oakland A’s

Song: Let Me Clear My Throat – DJ Kool

5. Ryan Flaherty

Team: Baltimore Orioles

Song: The Wild Rover – Dropkick Murphys

6. Jose Bautista

Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Song: Trophies – Drake

7. Branson Arroyo

Team: Arizona Diamondbacks

Song: Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers

8. Yasiel Puig

Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Song: Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil John

9. Prince Fielder

Team: Texas Rangers

Song: Man of The Year – Schoolboy Q

10. Yu Darvish

Team: Texas Rangers

Song: Crank That – Soulja Boy Tell ’em

11. Ryan Braun

Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Song: A Dream – Jay Z

12. Evan Longoria

Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Song: Down and Out – Tantric

13. RA Dickey

Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Song: Game of Thrones Theme – Game of Thrones Orchestra

14. Brian Mccann

Team: New York Yankees

Song: Homeboy – Eric Church

15. Jose Valverde

Team: New York Mets

Song: The End of the Line – Metallica

Watch How Easily MyMusicCloud Works Between Your Phone, Tablet, TV

We often talk here on the blog about how MyMusicCloud stores and syncs your music across any device, but what does that look like, really? Well, our product team whipped up this short video to show you exactly how our music storage app works.
In this quick 3-minute video, our product manager navigates between his MyMusicCloud accounts on his MacBook, Samsung Gear 2 watch and smartphone, iPad, and Smart TV. He shows how you can play, pause, and restart the same song seamlessly on each device. Cool, right?
The video was actually shot for the Samsung Gear App Challenge, a contest to discover the best multi-device app featuring lots of cool cash and prizes. But we thought you’d find it helpful too. Watch below and if you have more questions, simply type “Help” into the search field in the right-hand corner of this blog. Happy listening!

MyMusicCloud Help: How to Access Your Music on Your Smart TV

If you have a Smart TV, you already know you can log into Facebook and Twitter, watch YouTube videos, and stream movies on your TV screen. But did you know that you can also access your entire music collection on it too?

It’s totally true. Our MyMusicCloud app makes your music library available on all Samsung Smart TVs (the most popular brand), so you can play your favorite songs, make party playlists, or check out the latest releases from your favorite singers right from the comfort of your couch.

So how does it work? Once you have a free MyMusicCloud account, it’s simple to tap into it from your Smart TV. On Samsung TVs, just go to the Smart Hub and follow these steps:

1. Click the Smart Hub button on your remote control. If you don’t see the MyMusicCloud app on the front page of your Smart Hub, go to “Samsung Apps.” Press the down button to highlight the text box for searching, then use the voice controller to say the app name, or type it in with either a blue-tooth keyboard or your remote control.

2. Once you see the MyMusicCloud TV app, click it. You’ll see a TV activation URL (format: www.mymusiccloud.com/XXXXX). The activation code is embedded in the URL; it’s the letters and digits after the ” / ” in the URL.

3. Type this URL into a browser on your computer, cellphone or tablet. If you choose a mobile phone, it sends you to the App Store or Google Play to download the MyMusicCloud app. Download it. (Note that this URL is only valid for 1 hour, so if you get up to make snacks, text or answer a phone call and an hour passes, you’ll need to close the app on your TV and reopen it to get a new URL.)

4. Sign in to your existing MyMusicCloud account with your usual login and password, or create a new account by clicking “Sign In” on that same screen where you entered the URL. (For first-timers, learn how to import your music by reading this step-by-step post.)

5. Check out your TV screen: It should now show that your account’s active and your music will be right there, ready to browse and play. (If it doesn’t work, post a message in our comment section and we’ll try to help.)

Not sure what a Smart TV is exactly? It’s really any TV that has internet access built in so you can watch video on demand, use social networks and search the web. But only those branded “Smart TVs” have dashboards that can download apps from stores like Google Play (otherwise you’ll need a second device like Chromecast or a gaming console to reach your favorite apps). Check your TV manual for more details.

For Samsung Smart TV owners, here’s a quick video on how to use your Samsung Smart Hub …

 

Having trouble? Get personal help from our Support Team by filling out this form …

5 Cool Speakers, Headphones & More Music Gadgets from CES 2014

Rapper 50 Cent talked up his new line of Star Wars-themed SMS Audio headphones and Nick Cannon (“America’s Got Talent”) declared, “DJs are the new rock stars,” at this week’s packed Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Each January, celebrities and electronics company pitchmen fly to CES to give the press a peek at the newest TVs, sound systems and gadgets developed for the upcoming year. Below, we’ve rounded up 5 of the coolest new headphones, smart TV and music accessories coming out in 2014 …

Android TVs: Phillips is one of several brands, including Roku and HiSense (with its VIDAA series), to produce smart TVs running the Android OS. With Android, Philips hopes to bring many of the apps available on Google Play, like MyMusicCloud’s music delivery service, to its future Ambilight Smart TVs as early as spring 2014 in Europe. HiSense is aiming for March.

50 Cent Gives Props to Star Wars:  You may not have guessed it but “I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was a kid,” 50 Cent said. Partnering with Lucasfilms, he and his SMS Audio on-ear STREET by 50 headphones will soon bear Stormtrooper, Rebel Alliance, Boba Fett and Imperial limited edition logos, plus enhanced bass and custom 40 mm drivers  (about $199.95 each this Spring). He also showed off his brightly colored STREET by 50 Sports sets (waterproof, wired or wireless and sweat resistant, starting at $79.95).

Invisible Speakers:  Speaking of sci-fi, like something out of Star Trek, ClearView showed off its Clio “invisible” wireless speakers, which use a vibrating 1 millimeter-thin vertical sheet of acrylic glass to create sound so you can actually see through them.  All the electronics, a 2 inch woofer and stereo dipole speakers,  are in the base,

In-“fall”- ible Earbuds:  “Yurbuds” says its Inspire earbuds are “guaranteed” to stay in your ears, no matter what you’re doing. Sound too good to be true? Well, it credits its intuitive TwistLock system for this breakthrough, and the new wireless versions do look kind of like screws. These Bluetooth-enabled earbuds also promise six hours of battery life and are sweat-resistant.

Ultimate Fighting Headphones? Monster Shows Off UFC star Anthony Pettis & Nick Cannon: Monster introduced several new headphones including DNA Pro over-ear styles, $449.95 (about £274.18, AU$501.95), and Ultimate Fighting Championship-sponsored, over-ear cans called Octagon, which will run you about $280 (about £170.62, AU$312.36). Both are available later this year. Nick Cannon also DJed at Monster’s Ncredible party Tuesday night.

Watch 50 Cent Discuss His Star Wars Headphones with Engadget

Check out the Clio Invisible Speakers