The Most Popular Movies on Netflix During Lockdown

With the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns across the world, this year has definitely brought some challenges and changes to all our lives. Trying to be positive has been difficult for many, but if there’s one good thing to come out of staying at home all day, it’s all that extra time for Netflix binging!

Here at JL Audio Visual, we know how important a home theatre system can be, especially during these socially-distanced times! Being able to achieve quality visuals and audio from the comfort of your own home is now more relevant and desirable than ever.

Things are slowly starting to return to normal as the movie industry gets back on its feet. In the meantime, there are plenty of films in the Netflix library to be getting on with.

But what were some of the movies that kept us company during the depths of lockdown? Netflix are famously secretive about their viewing stats, but through looking at what frequently appeared on their ‘Top 10’ feature and what was most talked about on social media, we can get a rough estimate of some of the most-watched movies during the lockdown period!

Contagion (2011)

This is an unsurprising if slightly indulgently macabre result. Those who aren’t familiar with the movie might be scratching their heads as to why a 2011 release got a massive boost in renewed interest. To put it simply, this movie depicts a hauntingly similar situation to the one we were all facing at the height of the pandemic.

The movie follows the discovery of a deadly virus after a woman dies suddenly, which seems to catalyse a series of fatal cases. The virus explodes into a global pandemic, and society begins on the path of collapse.

This was probably such a popular choice because many felt it reflected the world’s recent situation. There are no zombies or aliens in this apocalypse, just a virus and the very real-world panic to contend with. Many viewers felt this was a cathartic if eerily prophetic watch.

A map marked with virus outbreaks

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

This movie marks a trend of people revisiting old favourites. What’s more comforting than kicking back with a bucket of popcorn and watching a tried and tested classic?

The epic drama follows a former banker who is found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit. He must come to terms with the horrors of his new life in Shawshank prison while holding onto his hopes and dreams. Our main character befriends another inmate (played by Morgan Freeman); they help each other find solace and eventual redemption.

You can see why themes of hope and redemption might have been something viewers were looking for during all the lockdown uncertainty!

Red boxes full of popcorn

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)

This recent release appeared on Netflix just before lockdown hit and continued to be a favourite for many over the following months. As a sequel to the much-loved original teen rom-com, this film was bound to have a strong and enduring presence on social media.

Based on the trilogy of books by Jenny Hann, the film continues to follow the relationship of two young high-schoolers and the light-hearted drama that such relationships inevitably bring. The visuals are colourful and cosy, providing the perfect solution to lockdown cabin fever.

It’s sweet, fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, the perfect ingredients for a much-needed comfort film to get people smiling when there wasn’t much else to smile about!

Pink heart lights

These movies show the kind of variable viewing experiences that viewers were reaching for. From all too realistic apocalyptic settings to cheesy high school dramas, lockdown saw it all. There was certainly time to expand upon typical tastes and find some new favourites!

If lockdown made you realise the value of a quality home cinema system, we can help you realise your home theatre dreams! For more information about how we could help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

https://www.jlaudiovisual.com/services/home-cinema

Why Should a Professional Install Your Home Cinema System?

It is exciting when you are finally ready to invest in the complete home cinema experience. Understandably, many homeowners want to get stuck in and take charge of the installation themselves. They want to make sure everything is perfect and meets with their requirements.

However, installation is often far more complex than many people realise. To get the desired level of perfection, your best bet is to hire a professional to install your system.

At JL Audio Visual, we have over 15 years of experience in home cinema installation. With this knowledge, we understand how important it is to get your cinema system just right.

We look at the benefits of having a professional install your home cinema system, so all you’ll have to do is sit back, relax and immerse yourself in a good film!

Speaker Positioning

Professionals will be able to assess your space and figure out the best places to install surround sound speakers. Sound will be an essential part of your cinema experience, so ensuring speakers are in the optimal position will greatly benefit you.

A professional av consultant will be able to consider room insulation and acoustics as well as seating placement when deciding on the most appropriate sound system layout.

Sound Quality

As previously mentioned, sound will be vital for your home cinema. Good quality sound is something that you will want to invest in. A home theatre technician can provide advice on the best speakers for your space and will be able to recommend how to improve sound quality across all your devices.

A TV surrounded by speakers

Screen Advice

The most important part of any home cinema is probably the screen. To ensure that you have the best possible tech for your space and budget, professional installers will advise you on how to get the best viewing experience.

It may not be immediately apparent to you which sized screen is the most appropriate for your room, but a professional will be able to evaluate this.

Cables

For many, dealing with the nest of cords and wires involved in home cinema installation can be a daunting prospect. This is where professionals can help. They can ensure that wires and cables are tucked neatly away and out of sight while also confirming that everything is functioning at full capacity.

Safety and Efficiency

If you install everything yourself, there is a higher chance that something may not be correctly fitted which could lead to safety issues. With the help of a professional, you can have peace of mind that all safety regulations were followed. There is less chance of things going amiss if you don’t go down the DIY route.

Hiring a professional will also allow you to get it right the first time. Problems with connectivity and sound or picture quality can be frustrating and costly. If initial installation is done correctly, your experience will be much better!

Three people watching a big screen

Research and Tools

Ultimately, it is just easier to have the help of someone who knows what they are doing! There is no need to watch confusing video tutorials on various installation methods when a professional is on hand to do it all for you. They will have all the necessary tools needed which will also save you more hassle if you were to attempt installation yourself.

find your perfect home cinema

Have you got your sights set on the best possible home cinema experience? Why not contact our team of trained installation technicians to find out how we could help!

How Does a TV Aerial Work?

With the ever increasing availability of tech, we’ve all had to become more adept at dealing with various technical issues in our homes. Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of how everything works and how everything needs to be fixed.

As experienced audio visual consultants, we have extensive knowledge about the technology and equipment in your home; this includes TV aerials.

You don’t necessarily need to know the ins and outs of a TV aerial to sit back and enjoy your favourite show. However, it can be helpful to understand how they work in case things start going wrong and your TV’s picture quality isn’t up to your standards.

For the curious mind, we’ve put together a quick summary of how a TV aerial actually works!

What is a TV Aerial?

Essentially, a TV aerial or antenna receives broadcasted television signals from the TV station. Aerials are split into two categories: indoor and outdoor. Indoor antennas are usually located next to or on top of your television set, while outdoor antennas are mounted on top of your house and are exposed to the elements. 

The type of aerial you have can often depend on where your house is located. Outdoor aerials are more appropriate for fringe or rural areas that are far from the transmission stations and therefore more likely to be blocked by natural obstructions like hills and forests. 

You probably don’t give much thought to your television aerial, but they are essential to your viewing experience!

How Does it Work?

So you know where it is, and that it receives signals from the TV station, but how does an aerial actually work?

A TV aerial is made out of metal which allows electromagnetic waves to carry TV signals to the aerial and induce small electrical currents. Your television will then select the appropriate audio and visual information from within the signal.

An aerial is made up of a series of rods and parts. The dipole is the main part that picks up signals and sends them to your TV through the aerial cable.

The directors, as their name suggests, perform the task of directing the signal towards the dipole. The more directors there are on an aerial, the more signal will be directed towards the crucial point; some aerials have between 50 to 90 directors.

The final main part of an aerial is the reflector, also known as the wing. There are usually two reflectors between the dipole. This part of the device both stops the signal from being directed past the dipole and prevents unwanted signals from being received from the back end of the aerial.

What Affects Aerial Performance?

As mentioned before, it is always useful to have a basic understanding of how things work so that you can get the most from them and realise when things have gone wrong!

Many things can affect your aerial’s effectiveness and therefore your TV’s performance.

If your aerial becomes unaligned by poor weather, it will affect the signal you receive, thus interfering with your TV’s picture quality.

Issues like this can be hard to spot and fix on your own, so speaking to a trained engineer is your best bet if you think alignment issues might be your problem.

The aerial cable can also become disconnected or faulty. When you get that ‘no signal’ message on your TV, it could be that your cable has just become loose. This can be remedied easily by making sure it is plugged in securely. If cable problems persist, you may need to replace it.

find your perfect home cinema

Here at JL Audio Visual, we are committed to giving you the best at-home visual and sound experiences. To find out how we could help provide aerial solutions for your home, contact us today!

What is 4K? A Guide to High Definition Television

4K TVs have been around for a while now – since 2012, in fact. A few years ago, they were mainly seen as a novelty, but over the last few years, the amount of 4K content has exploded, meaning the technology is more relevant than ever.

The question is, are 4K TVs now worth the investment?

Here, we look at what precisely 4K means, the differences between HD and 4K and whether now is the right time to purchase.

What Does 4K TV Mean?

4K is currently the highest widely-available TV resolution. It is called 4K as its width resolution (3,840) is almost 4,000 pixels. 4K TV is also sometimes referred to as Ultra High Definition (UHD).

How Clear are 4K TV Screens?

Currently, the majority of households have Full HD screens which offer a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. 4K doubles this, providing a whopping 3,840 x 2,160 pixels!

The pixels are what provide colour and clarity to your screen, and more pixels mean more precise images. To put the difference from HD to 4K into context, every pixel on your HD TV would fill just one-quarter of an identically-sized 4K display.

Of course, it’s hard to explain the difference in quality without taking the time to see it for yourself. However, many people say that 4K TV, compared to HD, provides a jump in clarity similar to that experienced from SD to HD. Furthermore, the increased pixels means that 4K screens can be built in much larger sizes while still providing improved visuals.

Netflix on the TV

What Can I Watch in 4K?

As mentioned before, back in 2012, 4K technology was primarily a novelty being showcased during major events but not much else. However, as the technology has developed, it’s now easier than ever to create 4K content. As a result, there are now plenty of opportunities to enjoy 4K visuals, no matter what you watch on your screen.

4K Netflix and Movie Streaming

Many of us now use streaming services for our at-home movie nights and weekly entertainment. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and all other major streaming services now offer a plethora of 4K or 4K-enhanced shows that allow you to make the most of your improved visuals. If you want to watch the latest blockbuster at home, you can now enjoy them in better clarity than ever before!

4K Sport

4K in more traditional television has been a little slower on the uptake, so options in this regard are currently still limited. However, sports events on subscription services like Sky and BT are now regularly offered in 4K clarity. At the same time, major free-to-air events like Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup are also being provided in 4K, allowing you to experience the action like never before.

4K Gaming

Another recent development has been the creation of video games with 4K UHD graphics. Next-generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles are being designed to provide 4K visuals; having the setup to match can take your experience to the next level.

Watch HD TV on a 4K Screen

It should be added that, as a general rule, 4K TVs also offer slightly better clarity when it comes to viewing regular HD content. While only slight, the improved technology can enhance your everyday viewing.

Two people holding PlayStation controllers while playing on a 4K TV

Is 4K Worth Buying?

Ultimately, whether 4K is worth the upgrade depends on how much you value your time watching TV.

One thing to bear in mind is that, to experience the real benefits of 4K TV, you need to ensure you purchase a screen larger than your current HD monitor. Generally speaking, the larger your TV is, and the closer your seat is to it, the bigger the difference.

If you are considering purchasing a 4K TV, make sure you have everything you need to enjoy it to the full. Our home cinema installation covers everything, from sourcing the perfect screen to installation, setup and extras including surround sound. If you’re interested, why not give our South-East England team a call and see what we could do for you?