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  • Smart Cinema: How to Create an Outdoor Movie Space with Smart Elements!

    There’s something special about the long days of summer that makes you want to spend more time outdoors. And what better way to soak up those warm evenings than by transforming your backyard into the ultimate outdoor movie space? But we’re not talking just about any portable projector and sheet-screen setup — we’re talking about creating a smart outdoor movie theater!

    Of course, an outdoor movie theater will look slightly different than those huge home theaters you’ve heard of, but the comfort will be just about the same! So, what do these outdoor theaters look like? Don’t worry; We’ll walk you through what smart elements your outdoor movie space needs!

    The Location

    The first step to creating a magnificent outdoor movie theater is selecting the proper space. The best areas for your outdoor movie theater are the patio or other enclosed areas because you can add more smart elements to ensure your comfort! With a patio space, you can get a louvered room you can automate with sensors to open and close based on weather conditions so there’s no delay to movie night. You can also include LED integrated lighting, automate the projector screen, and add optional cooling and heating elements (like an automatic fire pit or fireplace!).

    Other smart elements to include in your covered outdoor space are bug-proof screens, automated water features (like a fountain, pond, or aquarium), and automatic glass doors to leave open when the water is nice and close when it gets too cold!

    Pro Tip: We can also help you create “scenes” to create the best movie-night ambiance at the touch of a button (like closing the louvered room, dimming the lights, and distributing the audio and video to the desired sources!).

    The Video

    Of course, the video is the most vital part of your outdoor movie space, so reviewing your options is critical! You can invest in an outdoor TV with a powered lift for glare-free images in full shade, full sun, or partial sun. Or you can have a projector integrated into a powered lift that only appears when you turn it on and lowers the screen at the same time.

    And like with audio, you can also distribute the video to multiple screens, so you don’t have to limit the viewing space to just one location. You can have a screen or TV by the pool, in the garden, by the bar, and play the same video on your indoor TVs so no one misses a single scene! So, if you have children who can’t sit still or always have to duck inside as the host, you can’t go wrong with distributed video!

    Pro Tip: Having your projector, TVs, and other electronic equipment on a powered lift maintains your home design and protects your electronics when not in use — we strongly recommend them!

    The Audio

    When it comes to outdoor movie magic, you need the best audio setup! This means surrounding your movie space with wall-mounted patio speakers, landscape speakers, and built-in subwoofers to recreate the reverberating feel of a movie theater. But that’s not all — you also need distributed audio!

    If someone needs to go inside during the movie, they don’t have to miss a beat of the same crisp, clean Hi-Fi audio distributed throughout the house. And you can control which speakers play the movie audio (like the kitchen and bathroom) along with the volume. Now you don’t have to pause and wait for someone to return from the restroom; they didn’t miss a thing!

    The Lighting

    While you might not think it, perfecting your lighting setup is essential to upgrade your outdoor movie space. With integrated lighting, you can include all the lights you have in your backyard space, like pool lighting, landscape lighting, patio lighting, string lights, etc., and control each section with a single device!

    You can set up the automation so that once you hit play on the video, it turns off the lights in the main viewing space and dims the other lighting so everyone can still see where they’re going in the dark. You can also assign colors for different sections or include UV sensors, so they automatically dim or brighten based on the amount of sunlight!

    Luxury Life in Action!

    And there you have it — the essential smart elements your outdoor movie theater must have! With control over every detail, from your audio and video to the space and lighting, you won’t go back to viewing movies under the stars any other way! So, if you’re ready to upgrade your movie experience to luxury status, contact us at [store name]!

    Our experts will sit down with you and help you plan every step for the best experience!

  • How Home Music Audio Evolved from the Gramophone to Wireless Speakers

    Gone are the days when listening to music at home meant playing a vinyl record on a gramophone. Today, we can access millions of songs with just a tap on a device. But have you ever wondered how we got here? The journey was incredible!

    From the birth of gramophones to the latest wireless speakers, let’s look at how far music audio has evolved to bring us the best quality and height of convenience!


    You might’ve seen the terms phonograph and gramophone used interchangeably, but they are two separate devices. The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877 while he was designing telephone transmitters and used tinfoil cylinders to capture sounds and engrave movements. The first recorded sound was Edison’s rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which he sang to his young children at the time!

    The phonograph had a hand crank to move the cylinders and produce sound through the acoustic horn, but the sound quality was poor and could only be played back once. The intention behind the phonograph was more to record and playback business-related diction and not music.


    After the success of the phonograph, other inventors challenged themselves to improve the technology further. Alexander Graham Bell had minor success with the graphophone, which used wax cylinders to record sound, but it was meant more for recording telephone conversations. It wasn’t until 1887 when Emile Berlinger made the gramophone, the first recording device to use grooved, flat disks instead of cylinders (the earliest version of the record player!).

    The gramophone itself used a turntable needle and a direct drive system to play music through the grooves on the flat 78s discs! By 1895, the first record players were mass-produced and paved the way for the introduction of popular music people could enjoy from the comfort of their own homes!

    Did You Know? The 78s records played at a speed of 78 revolutions per minute and could only hold up to three minutes’ worth of music!

    Vinyl Record Player

    Gramophones were the norm until they produced the first vinyl records in 1948. At this time, the first 12-inch Long Playing (LP) 33 ½ RPM and 7-inch 45 RPM singles came on the scene, creating an affordable solution for the middle classes after the war. From then on, record players had three speeds available: 33RPM, 45RPM, and 78RPM; some were portable, battery-powered, and featured a built-in amplifier and speaker!

    But it wasn’t until the 60s and 70s that new and improved record players took the world by storm. These were the first turntables to provide stereo playback and reproduce high-fidelity sound, which made the 20 minutes worth of audio on either side of the LP worth listening to!

    Did You Know? Record players are making a comeback as they’re still one of the best ways to hear music as the artists intended and recorded in the studio!


    The birth of radios in the home was in direct competition for record players, especially since radio programs gave access to sports scores, voting results, soap operas, lectures, weather reports, comedians, political commentaries, and stores (like early podcasts!).

    But by the 50s, these all-service stations gradually changed to the top 40 stations since it required less equipment to devote the program solely to music, which eventually led to popular music as we know it today! And since the invention of the transistor allowed for radios to be made smaller, it made portable music a reality by the 60s and 70s!

    One-Piece Hi-Fi Audio System

    Even though portable audio was becoming necessary for consumers, one-piece Hi-Fi audio systems were still popular. These devices came as a result of the booming suburbs happening post-WWII. They featured wooden-built consoles featuring amplifier-powered stereo speakers with a turntable and radio hidden under a lid in the center. The fancier ones even had full bars and TV sets implemented— think of your home entertainment center and home bar in one, and you’ll get close to what these were.

    But it wasn’t until 1968, when Harman Kardon developed the first stereo receiver featuring a radio tuner with wider FM bandwidth, an amplifier, and a preamplifier, all in a complete chassis, that the Golden Age of Hi-Fi audio started!

    Component Stereo System

    By the 70s, technology improved on the one-piece audio system with a component stereo system. Instead of an all-in-one setup you couldn’t control, these component stereo systems had multiple pieces, including an amplifier, speakers, radio, turntable, and a tape (or CD player in later years) player. The ability to customize your sound took audio enthusiasts by storm, as they could assemble high-end audio better than any pre-packaged item.

    Not to mention, these stereo systems made it easier for families to enjoy music without having to switch from one system to another.


    From the 50s to the 80s, most music was recorded on tape. In fact, the first home use machine to use tap was the reel-to-reel player, which offered the most fidelity and improved analog audio playback. But the more popular 8-track tape and compact cassette tapes became the norm.

    • 8-Track Tapes was the first viable portable tape player that was also included in many classic-era muscle cars like the ’66 Mustang and Thunderbird.
    • Compact Cassettes were introduced simultaneously as 8-track and gained popularity with their improved technology, better high-fidelity, and hyper-portable audio players!

    CD Players

    While tapes were an authentic way to reproduce sound, the introduction of digital audio through Compact Discs (CDs) revolutionized home audio. The first commercial CD was produced in 1982 and quickly made digital music more portable at a larger scale for the first time. And CDs let people choose what music they wanted and allowed skipping through to preferred tracks at the click of a button — which was a first at the time!

    Soon CD players were incorporated into all the latest component stereo systems!

    Did You Know? The first commercially released CD was Billy Joel’s sixth album, 52nd Street, on Oct. 1, 1982!

    MP3 Players

    Speaker of portable audio, when MP3 players came on the scene, they quickly changed the music scene. The MPEG III audio codec that allowed digital audio compression from CD quality was standardized in the 90s, making storing and playing audio files easier!

    And while the devices were portable, they could easily be adapted to a stereo system with an iPod dock or a 3.5mm aux input. So, you had even more control over your music through curated playlists and the benefits of no more skipping from scratched CDs!

    Wireless Speakers

    With the rise of smartphones and streaming in the early 2000s came the need for wireless speakers. More and more manufacturers started making internet-connected speakers so you could connect to your favorite content on a streaming platform while at home.

    Today, more wireless speakers have Bluetooth, making connecting several speakers much more manageable. And with multi-room audio, you can have built-in wireless speakers in any room and have them play the same playlist simultaneously with no lag or completely separate playlists. You can even apply this to your outdoor music setup!

    Rock All Night!

    As you can see, home audio has come a long way from the first gramophone. Now we have more Hi-Fi audio options you can integrate into any part of your home! Of course, you don’t have to create or plan your audio system yourself — leave it to the experts at [store name]!

    We’ll create a home audio or theater system that’ll leave your ears singing for more! So, don’t wait to get started; contact our team today!

  • 7 Striking Reasons Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your Smart Home

    There are tons of technology to make your home life easier, especially with smart home automation. While you might think you can cobble a few smart devices together, you’d miss out on a true “smart” home and what it can do.

    Smart home integration requires several steps and a complex setup to create a smooth working system. When you have a few devices, all you have is the ability to control a few aspects of your home — not the whole thing. So, while DIY-ing your smart home seems like a great idea, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t!

    1. Complex Home Installation

      You might think installing your smart home device by device is simpler, but it’s quite the opposite. If your home has complex building materials like interior stone, radiant floor heating, or mirrored walls, getting those devices to connect wirelessly is challenging.

      And some devices will require more wiring than anticipated, which means tearing up more walls. And if you mess up the first few times, you’ll have an easier messier home installation, especially if you plan to install multiple devices.

      Pro Tip: Our team will work with you to review what you want your smart home to do, and we’ll plan the installation down to each wire!


    2. Privacy and Security

      You’ve undoubtedly heard that a smart home system will upgrade your security, and that’s true of a fully automated system. But when you DIY with individual devices, you leave yourself more vulnerable to privacy and security flaws. For instance, some off-brand devices will store and sell your personal data or have hidden settings that leave you more vulnerable.

      And when you set it up yourself, there’s no guarantee that your network is secure enough to handle every device. However, when a professional (like our team) sets up your fully automated smart home, they’ll secure your home (and your information!).

    3. Programming Apps
      women using tablet

      When you have multiple, singular smart devices, you have different apps for each. Each device will have its own system, which means there’s a learning curve to figure out each one, and you’ll have to program them individually. This makes it harder for all the devices to communicate; if they’re incompatible, they might not speak to each other at all.

      Not to mention, you’ll also have to deal with separate remotes for each one!

      Pro Tip: Professionals like us will set up a fully automated smart home system that works and communicates seamlessly and connects to a singular control. This control can be a separate control panel or a single app on your preferred smart devices!

    4. Incomplete Systems

      Another drawback of DIY-ing your smart home is that your system won’t be complete, even if you have devices for every aspect of your home you wish to control. Instead, you’ll have essential control functions, but none of the automation features that truly make for a more convenient and luxurious lifestyle.

      For instance, you won’t be able to set scenes like an “Away” mode that turns off the lights, locks the door, and lowers the thermostat when the system senses no one is home. Or set a “Home” mode that senses when you’re close to home, immediately sets the thermostat running to your preferred temp, and turns on the porch lights if it’s dark.

      Pro Tip: If you’re interested in a system you can tailor to your needs, contact our team! The sooner we hear from you, the better we can plan what you want your smart home to do for you!


    5. Lack of Custom Options

      The beauty of smart homes is that you can customize them to your needs — which isn’t possible when you DIY. When you buy individual smart devices, you get the standard options from the manufacturer, so you can’t customize them to your needs.

      You can’t get options like customized lifts to fit your TV, specify your outdoor audio setup, create a themed cinema room, or have a resort-worthy backyard complete with automated water features and screens.

      Pro Tip: The earlier you contact our team, the more customized options we can give you, so always plan in advance!

    6. Lower Home Aesthetic
      smart home wall

      You might not think it, but DIY for your smart devices could ruin your home’s aesthetic. With the individual devices, you’ll have more difficulty hiding the wires and making the tech appear seamless. Instead, there’ll be more obvious tech in your home décor that could ruin the vibes you want to go for. And if you don’t install them right the first time, you’ll have to deal with more holes in your walls and other installation damage.

      When you hire professional custom integrators (like our team), we will wire everything discreetly and hide your tech when they’re not in use so you can have the best of both tech and your home design.

    7. Network Challenges

      Did you know that smart devices work only as well as the network they’re on? With a seamless network setup, you’ll have minimal interruptions, which isn’t likely if you try to connect everything yourself. And when you build out your smart system by device, it can put undue stress on your network and cause lagging, buffering, and network failures.

      Pro Tip: Avoid network failures by getting our team to set up your smart home system from the start — we’ll handle all the connection issues!

    Bonus: The Labor

    After all those challenges of DIY, the biggest one is the labor — doing it yourself is more complicated than you might think! You have to spend hours researching which devices to buy, how they work together (if they will work together), how to configure each device, wire the sensors, and connect them to the router.

    Not to mention that installation could also involve pulling wire through crawlspaces, attics, or climbing up on the roof. But if you leave it to the professionals (aka us), we’ll handle all the heavy lifting and plan the ideal places to get it done!

    Pro Tip: If you’re building a new home or remodeling your current one and want an automated smart home, contact us as soon as you start planning — the earlier we’re involved, the easier the installation will be!

    Leave it to Us!

     While DIY-ing your smart home is tempting, you’d miss out on the actual benefits of a real automated smart home! One that you can control every aspect and fit your needs! So, don’t miss out — contact our team at [store name] today to get started!

    All you have to do is let us know what you want, and we’ll devise a plan to customize your smart home to your needs!

    Do you feel tempted to DIY your smart home? Don’t! There are more drawbacks than you think — let the professionals do it instead!

    That way, you won’t miss out on everything your home can do!

  • Hidden Sound Solutions vs. The Full Sound Experience: Which is Best for You?

    Did you know that there are multiple ways to customize your home audio? You can have completely hidden sound solutions so the sound happens like magic or have designated listening areas that show off what your speakers can do. But how can you choose?

    Maybe you don’t even have to choose! Let’s go over the benefits of each and how you can improve your sound!

    The Hidden Sound Experience

    Aperture speakers hidden behind stylish bezels

    If you dream of having music appear in your home like magic, you’ll undoubtedly be a fan of the hidden sound experience. With hidden sound, speakers are integrated into the wall or ceiling (even behind the drywall!) and blended with your home’s aesthetic.

    You can use other techniques like custom art speaker grilles, small aperture speakers you can hide behind artwork, or create an entire visual feature that camouflages your speakers. There’s no limit to how you want to disguise your speakers!

    Benefits of Hidden Sound Solutions

    So, what are the benefits of hidden sound solutions? The most significant one is how they blend with your home aesthetic — there won’t be any obvious signs of tech anywhere, but everything works like magic! To that effect, our team of custom integrators can help create bespoke covers, bevels, and custom power lifts to hide your equipment.

    The second benefit is having smooth background audio for any activity, whether at home relaxing or entertaining your friends for get-togethers. However, the one drawback is that the sound won’t be as dynamic as in a fully treated room tailored to your listening experience.

    The Full Sound Experience

    Comparison of a two-channel system vs a home theater

    The second way to customize your sound is with the full sound experience, meaning you have a fully treated room with speakers facing toward you. And there are two ways to achieve this: 2-channel audio or an 11.2 home theater surround sound!

    2-Channel Audio

    With 2-channel audio, you will see all the audio equipment, including speakers, receivers, amplifiers, and music sources. But the room will focus on human binocular hearing, which tailors the sound to your ears for a full room audio sound or a designated listening sweet spot.

    11.2 Home Theater Sound

     2-channel audio is typically for a listening room, but an 11.2 home theater sound is precisely that — for your home theater! These systems involve multiple speakers (up to 11) and a subwoofer angled toward your seating. So, whether the speakers are in front, above, to the sides, or behind you, there isn’t a single spot your audio misses!

    Benefits of the Full Sound Experience

    The idea behind the whole sound experience is receiving the clearest, crispest audio tailored to your hearing, which audiophiles love. But even if you’re not a designated musicophile, you too can benefit from a fully treated audio room — you get to hear content as close to how it was recorded in the studio!

    This brings out the emotion of everything you listen to, so you can feel every bit of it in your chest! You get a mini concert just for you! The only drawbacks are that you’ll see more of your audio equipment, and your listening experience will be limited to the treated room.

    Can You Do Both?

    A blend of hidden home audio and virtually seen speakers

    Absolutely! You can have both hidden sound solutions and a full sound experience together! And it’s up to you how you want that to look— our custom integrators will do the rest!

    So, if you want the benefits of hidden audio in your living areas, bathrooms, studies, home office, and a dedicated listening room, there’s no stopping you. And the best part is that tons of new speakers are works of art themselves with colorful glazes, so they’ll even enhance your home’s aesthetic.

    Pro Tip: If you want multi-room audio you can control and schedule, let us know! We can customize your listening experience even further!

    What’s Your Sound?

    Now that you know more about the difference between hidden sound solutions vs. the full sound experience, are you ready to get started? If so, our team at [store name] is ready and waiting for your call! We’ll set you up with a consultation appointment where we’ll review the scope of your audio needs and work up ideas on how to meet your audio needs!

    All you have to do is point at what you want, and we’ll do the rest!

    Did you know there’s more than one way to customize your home audio? 🤯

    Yup! There’s custom hidden audio solutions and the fully treated sound experience — which one will you choose?

  • How Smart Home Technology Has Evolved from the Beginning to Today!

    You might not think it, but a “smart home” isn’t as new of an idea as you’d think. Sure, there’s always the example The Jetsons set, but the idea goes back even further than this beloved cartoon! In fact, the concept of consumer-oriented automation wasn’t thought of until Nikola Tesla created a remote control for a toy in 1898!

    But it would still take several years for the true concept of smart home automation to get off the ground and evolve as we know it today!

    Did You Know? At the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, there was an exhibit called the “Home of the Future,” where the creators included their idea of future home technology but didn’t have the tech to show the ideas properly.

    1975 & the X10 Revolution

    Retro room from the 70s

    As we said, the idea of a “smart home” has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until the invention of X10 that smart homes started getting off the ground. X10 is a communication protocol that uses the home’s AC wiring to enable communication between devices and control modules. It sends digital information through radio frequency bursts through the wiring, allowing people to control devices in their homes remotely.

    While this invention was a breakthrough, it had several drawbacks. It was super expensive, slow, unencrypted, and unreliable because of the signal loss and interference. You could even accidentally turn off the lights in your neighbor’s house with it — oops, sorry, Ted!

    Progress & Hello, Internet (80s to 90s)

    IoT depiction

    With the invention of X10, the world of “smart homes” started growing. By the 80s, motion-sensing lights, automatic garage door openers, programmable thermostats, and security systems were more affordable and prevalent. And in 1984, the term “smart house,” as we know it, was coined by the American Association of Home Builders!

    During the 90s, the progression and evolution of the internet enabled more smart devices to become available, especially with the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, IoT was born from a challenge during this time, which revolved around controlling a toaster from the internet! This got the ball rolling for remote access, but the then-current smart systems were still using X10 systems for wired devices and simple automations.

    Did You Know? During this time, Microsoft also predicted its version of what a smart home would have today, like security systems, environmental controls, smart locks, and lighting controls!

    Riding the Z-Wave (Early 2000s)

    In the early aughts, innovative technology came on the scene — Z-Wave & Zigbee! Also known as the “Z-Wave alliance), these two platforms opened up smart home capabilities because they didn’t require routing cables through the walls to work. With these wireless systems, smart homes could use encrypted communication to keep everything more secure.

    And the bonus benefit is that both these technologies can communicate and operate with each other, which means having more interoperability between your devices! It’s no wonder this technology is still used today (although our team handles all compatibility issues!).

    Did You Know? The Z-Wave platform operates on a sub-1GHz band, which isn’t affected by interference from Wi-Fi or other wireless technologies like Bluetooth!

    Going Wireless (2010)

    Smart panel allocating how much energy and gas usage

    By 2010, using at-home wireless Internet to run your systems became more prevalent — it just made everything more manageable, especially with smart home thermostats! And since technology was advancing, a new method of power data collection became available. This means smart homes could track how users operate the system and provide analytics.

    These analytics made it much easier to make changes to your smart home automation so it can run smoother!

    Today & Tomorrow

    Woman using smart control to turn on lights

    It’s amazing to see how much smart home automation has grown! Today, smart homes are more effective, with budget-friendly and extensive systems you can use to make all parts of your life convenient. Whether that means helping your kids stay on their routine, saving on your energy bill, maximizing your home entertainment, or improving your home’s security, there’s extraordinarily little your smart home can’t do.

    And the smart home systems of “tomorrow” will go even further yet! Experts suggest that virtual assistant technology will shift from passive to active so they can anticipate users’ needs, and AI fundamentals like video recognition and multi-language understanding will continue to improve!

    Do You Have the Smarts?

    Smart home technology has come a long way and will only continue to improve! So, why not get on the automation train at [store name] today? Our team of experts has years of experience transforming regular homes into the homes of the future!

    Call us today to schedule your consultation appointment, and we’ll review your ideas and what you want your smart home to do!

    Wait — smart homes have been around for how long?!! 😱 No way!

  • A Guide to Whole House Audio

    If you want to listen to music in every room of your house, whole-house audio is the way to go. It’s incredibly popular, but many people don’t know how to set it up. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know what “whole-house audio” is.

    Our guide to whole house audio will walk you through the process of setting up this type of audio system in your home and help you decide which options are best for you.

    Whole House Audio Explained

    What is whole-house audio? It is the best way to play music throughout your house without having to buy a sound system for every room. You can play music and other audio sources such as movies, sports games, or the morning news through your whole house with just one audio system.

    If you’ve heard of whole house audio before, you may have heard it referred to as multi-room or multi-zone audio. All of these terms refer to the same thing, which is basically a system that plays music (or other audio) through multiple rooms, or zones in your house. A multi-zone system lets you play one audio source through numerous speakers in your home. But, if you want to play different music in each room, your system will also need to be multi-source.

    With a whole house audio system, you can play different audio sources through your home all at the same time. For example, you might play your favorite music in the living room and dining room, while playing the ball game in the hallway and bedrooms.

    A whole house audio system can be installed professionally, or by using DIY methods. We don’t recommend DIY, but you can set up your own multi-zone audio system by using multiple audio components and speakers to play music throughout your home.

    We’re going to explain how to set up a whole house audio system in your home. We’ll start by looking at the DIY methods and then explain why a professional installation is generally the best option.

    Planning Your Whole House Audio System

    Before you start planning out your audio system, you first need to decide how many audio sources you want to connect to your system. Do you just want to be able to play music through your system, or would you like it to connect to your TV and streaming devices as well?

    Once you’ve figured out how many audio sources you want to connect to your audio system, then you must decide how many zones you want to have. A zone can be a room or any area of your home that you want to be able to play music in. A multi-zone/multi-source system allows you to connect to several audio sources and then send these sources to speakers in different areas of your home.

    DIY Whole House Audio Systems

    If you want to do it yourself, there are a few ways to do it. Some options are more difficult than others, but most require a solid understanding of audio components and wiring. If you have a small budget and aren’t a pro, you may want to go the DIY route.

    Smart speakers

    The easiest and most affordable option is to purchase smart speakers. There are tons of smart speakers to choose from. This won’t give you the sound quality or features of a professional system, but you can simply purchase smart speakers and connect them to your wifi. Then, you should be able to play music through all the connected speakers in your home.

    Wireless multi-room audio system

    You can purchase a wireless multi-room audio system. There are many brands selling multi-room systems. Sonos is one of the more well-known and respected brands of wireless multi-room audio systems. These systems are easy to use and include everything you need in one complete system.

    Keep in mind if you go with this option, you may not be able to upgrade your setup down the road. They usually come with a set of speakers that only work as part of their system. So, if you want to add speakers to it later, they may not work with it.

    Multi-zone/multi-source receiver and speakers

    If you already have a receiver, you can simply add more speakers to it. This won’t give you the functionality of a whole house audio system, but it will allow you to play music in several areas of your home.

    Another option is to buy a multi-zone/multi-source receiver. This may be difficult to set up and not recommended for beginners. You will need to be sure the receiver is multi-zone and supports multiple sources. You will also need to buy compatible speakers. If you want your system to play in more than 2 or 3 areas of your home, however, this option won’t work.

    To Have the Best Experience in Whole House Audio Work with the Pros at Intuitive AV

    We are experts in home audio systems and we’re also fully licensed and insured. Wiring an audio system is complicated and can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    A professionally installed system is really the best option for whole house audio. Although you can set up a basic audio system using some of the DIY methods above, if you want your system to play music through your entire home and not just one or two rooms, you will need a professional to help you.

    We understand that the aesthetics of your home is as important as the sound quality of your system. We can install your whole house audio system, and incorporate hidden in-wall speakers or ceiling speakers to make sure your home looks and sounds amazing when we’re done. We can even integrate it with a home automation system if you’re ready to have the best experience in luxury, convenience, and immersive sound.

    If you’re ready to experience whole house audio in your home, contact us today at (770) 317-7016 to get started.

  • Take Your Home Theater to the Next Level with Smart Automation

    If you are considering upgrading your home theater, there are a lot of options available. You might want to buy a bigger TV or improve your sound system. Or perhaps you want to add some extra lighting. All the options can make it tough to decide. But if you really want to take your home theater to the next level, smart home automation is something you should definitely consider. We’re going to go over some of the amazing things it can do to level up your home theater.

    Let’s start by talking about the viewing experience. If you want to enjoy a cinematic experience, you need the best lighting and screen. We can help you select the best television or projector for your space, and optimize your viewing experience. Then, depending on the size of your room and your budget, we can help you create an immersive and realistic theater experience using home automation.

    Create the Perfect Movie-Watching Setting

    Want to have the perfect setting for watching movies? With smart home automation you can program scenes that happen automatically with the push of a button or a voice command. Set the scene for watching movies by programming your lights to dim automatically with a simple voice command like, “start the movie”.

    You can make this scene even better by adding additional automation. For example, if your theater room has windows, adding motorized shades to your room can give your theater an amazing touch. Program the blinds to lower when you say “start the movie”. This will make your home theater feel just like the movie theaters – and maybe even better.

    Level Up Your Theater Room Lighting

    When you watch movies in the theater, the room is completely dark. This gets rid of any glare from the lights and creates a more vibrant display. This is the ideal setting for watching movies. But when you’re at home, turning all the lights off can make it hard to see if anyone needs to get up to use the bathroom or get more popcorn.

    One way to create a movie-theater-like experience is to add LED strip lights to the floor. These lights will illuminate the pathway between the seating area and the entrance. This way, your guests can find their way back to their seats when the room is dark.

    You can automate any of the lighting for your theater. You have complete control of the ceiling lights and floor lights, and you can even adjust the speed at which they dim. When the movie is done, you can slowly make them bright again so that everyone’s eyes have time to adjust.

    Hide the Speakers and Television

    If you use your home theater room for other activities like playing pool or games, you might not want a big television taking the spotlight. Consider adding hidden speakers or a hidden TV. Your television can be mounted to your ceiling with an automatic lift. This way you can lower it using home automation when you’re ready to watch television or hide it when you’re not using it.

    There are also really cool art-hide televisions that disguise your television as a mirror or artwork. This is a great option for people who use their theater room for other things besides watching movies.

    Listen to Your Movie Through Your Whole House

    Never miss a minute of your movie, sports game, or other event. Consider adding a whole-house audio system. It’s not just cool for watching movies or listening to music, it’s great for entertaining as well. Whole house audio is a sound system that plays any connected audio source throughout your entire home.

    It’s not like an ordinary sound system. You can play the movie in different rooms of your home, such as the bathroom and the living room while playing something else for the kids.

    Control Everything Through One System

    If you have a lot of remote controls, you will love the simplicity of a Control4 system. A Control4 system is one of the best and easiest to use. You can use one remote to control all your electronic devices. This includes your home theater system, your shades, and the lighting in the room, allowing you to turn everything on with just one button.

    The full power of the Control4 system can be extended to your entire home. It can control your lights, thermostat, security, and just about any electronic device in your home — all through one convenient control panel or an app on your phone.

    Are You Ready to Take Your Home Theater to the Next Level?

    If you’re interested in creating the ultimate home theater or home automation, Intuitive AV can help you get started. We’ll work with you to design a home theater tailored to your needs. Let us bring your ideas to life. Contact us today at (770) 317-7016 to learn more.

  • 5 Spooky Smart Home Halloween Ideas that Kids will Love

    Halloween is right around the corner. Why not use your smart home to create the spookiest house on the block? Using your Control4 system and a few little tricks, you can create a spooky atmosphere that will amaze the kids and impress the whole neighborhood.

    You already have a lot of the devices you need to make your house the most fun on the block for trick-or-treaters. Using your home automation system and a few tips from us, you’ll be able to create a scary show with lighting and sound effects from your favorite scary movies. You can also create spooky and fun surprises for kids in every dark corner of your yard.

    Here are a few spooky smart home Halloween ideas that the kids will love!

    Spooky-Up Your Doorbell!

    To give your home a spooky feel, ditch the typical doorbell sounds and use scary ones instead. There are tons of options available. You can choose from various screams, a witch’s cackle, howls, creaky doors, ghosts or even songs like the “Monster Mash.” The easiest way to do this is to replace your doorbell’s chime with one of these scary sounds on Spotify or another music streaming platform..

    When trick-or-treaters visit your home, you will be ready for them. If you want to create a little mystery and fun, you can even use your cameras and intercom system to interact with them.

    Set up an Automated Halloween Candy Shoot

    Surprise the kids with an extra treat, and set up a Halloween candy shoot. This is incredibly easy to do and you can automate it too. All you need is a photo shipping tube (you can order this on Amazon or any shipping supply store). Then decorate it in Halloween colors. You could paint it orange and string purple or black Halloween lights around it. Or, add paint it black and cover it in Halloween stencils or stickers.

    Then, you can use your Control4 4sight subscription to set up a when>>then personalization to create a simple Halloween automation. Use an extension cord or smart plug to connect your lights to your home automation. Then program the Halloween lights to automatically light up when the door bell rings. When you drop the candy down the shoot, the kids will be thrilled!

    Light up Your Front Porch with Color Changing Light Bulbs

    Smart lighting is a great way to trick-out your home for Halloween. You can buy color changing smart light bulbs and use them to illuminate the path to your door and create a creepy entrance.

    Philips Hue has a ton of great options for outdoor Halloween lighting, from spotlights to strip lights. They also have a motion sensor that you can use to automate your lights. When kids walk by, the path automatically lights up.

    Another option is to buy some Halloween themed string lights and plug them into smart plugs. You can connect them to your smart home system and automate them or turn them on and off with your phone when kids walk by.

    Digital Decorate your Windows

    If you haven’t heard of digital decorating, this is something you have to check out. Digital decorating is a new trend that kids — and adults love! AtmosFX offers a variety of spooky animations like ghosts, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns that you can project onto a screen or wall..

    You simply purchase a digital download. Then you can use a projector and screen to project the spooky animation on the screen. You can even play the download on a television. This would be a great way to use your outdoor television for Halloween. You could create a haunted backyard for the kids or have a killer Halloween party for the grownups.

    Use Outdoor Smart Plugs to Automate Your Outdoor Halloween Decorations

    You can use smart plugs to decorate your house for Halloween and to save money on electricity. Smart plugs are easy to install and set up. Just connect your smart lights or outdoor decorations to your smart plug and you’ll never have to worry about turning them all off manually. You can program them so that the lights automatically turn off at night, or whenever you want.

    They’re also a terrific way to automate your smoke machine, digital decorations, or pop up Halloween inflatables. Just pair them with a motion sensor and let your home automation create the special effects. Kids and adults will love the way all of your outdoor Halloween decorations turn on and off like magic.

    We’re the Experts in Home Automation

    Whether you want to make your house the spookiest on the block for Halloween or have the most convenient home automation system ever, we can help. Contact us today at (770) 317-7016 to learn how to make your home a smart home.

  • 4 Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Smart Technology

    Businesses are always looking for more ways to generate more revenue, reduce expenses, and improve efficiency. Smart technology can help businesses do all three of these things. Adding smart technology such as smart lighting, smart security cameras, or an intelligent meeting system can help your business run more efficiently. This will save you money in energy costs and improve workplace productivity.

    If you’ve never put much thought into smart technology, we’re going to explain a few ways your business can benefit from it.

    Smart Lighting

    One of the best ways to utilize smart technology for your business is to install a smart lighting system. No matter what kind of business you have, it is an easy way for you to implement smart technology. It will not only save you money, but it will provide better lighting for your retail store, restaurant, or office space.

    Aside from the fact that lighting is essential for any business, lighting also affects how we feel. Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when it’s overcast and gloomy outside or how the sunshine brightens your day? Artificial light has been used to treat seasonal affective disorder and depression. It may improve the mood and energy of your employees. This in turn can make them happier and more productive. Your customers will also benefit from it, as it has been shown to affect buying habits.

    Adding automated lighting to your office or workspace can save you money as it’s much more energy-efficient than traditional lighting. You can program your lights to turn off at times you don’t need them. Or, you program the lights to dim when there is more natural light. Just dimming the lights by 50 percent will reduce the cost of your lighting by 50 percent. And, smart lighting can reduce your overall energy costs by as much as 30 percent. If you have a large energy bill, these savings could be substantial.

    A Smart Thermostat

    If you are still using an old thermostat or programmable thermostat for your building, you will find that investing in a smart thermostat can do much more than just adjust the temperature. For example, it can tell when people are in the building or not and adjust the temperature accordingly.

    A smart thermostat adapts and learns from the behaviors in your building. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your space, so that it doesn’t engage the heating or cooling system every time you change the temperature. This is a huge money saver. When you change the temperature manually, the heating and cooling system has to fire up each time, which wastes a lot of energy.

    A smart thermostat is another easy way to add smart technology to your office or retail space. If you combine a smart thermostat with an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, you will see immediate money-saving benefits.

    Smart Security Cameras

    Every business owner wants their office or retail location to be safe and secure. Smart security cameras are an excellent way to keep your business secure. Unlike other security systems, a smart security system does more than just monitor your property. The cameras can be viewed from anywhere. You can check in on your location from anywhere right from your smartphone.

    A smart security system allows you to monitor your business remotely. This way you can take immediate action if there is an emergency. If there is a break-in, the system will alert you and can take high-resolution photos of any intruders. You will have peace of mind knowing you can remotely view cameras inside and outside of your building to keep an eye on the situation until police or emergency crews arrive.

    Intelligent Meetings and Conferences

    As more businesses embrace remote and hybrid workforces, video conferencing has become a must-have for many companies. It allows people to participate in meetings regardless of their location, and makes meetings more convenient for everyone. Companies can make their meetings more effective and productive with an intelligent video conferencing system. You don’t want to waste time trying to get a meeting started with technology that’s difficult to use.

    Beyond 1, a leader in intelligent video conferencing is now part of Creston. They have designed cutting edge tools that allow for more realistic video conferencing. Their solutions are much more advanced than other video conferencing systems like Zoom or Google Meet. Their intelligent conferencing uses multi-camera technology to automatically focus on the person speaking, which makes it easier to follow the conversation.

    Even when a speaker is moving around, the cameras will focus on them. This system is remarkable at keeping track of the conversation. It makes participants feel like they are in the room, even if they are participating remotely. This is an innovative solution that will make your business stand out from your competition.

    Are You Ready to Add Smart Technology to Your Business?

    If you would like to add smart technology to your business, our team is ready to help you get started. Whether you’re looking for a smarter lighting system, security system, or video conferencing, we can design a custom system built around your needs. Contact us today at (770) 317-7016 to find out how smart technology can improve your business.

  • Millennials Love Smart Homes: Here’s Why

    Even bigger than the baby boomer generation, millennials are grown up now and buying homes. Many of them are buying smart homes. These young adults love smart homes, but you might be surprised about some of the reasons why. When it comes to home ownership, they aren’t like the previous generations. They want homes and lifestyles that reflect their values. This is one reason they are willing to spend a little more for a smart home. We’re going to discuss the reasons why millennials love smart homes and what they are looking for in a home.

    Millennials grew up around technology

    Millennials are a generation that was raised on the internet. They’re always connected, constantly texting, sharing videos and are digital natives Unlike their parents’ generation, they never experienced a world without rapid technological change. For millennials change and technological advancements are normal.

    They are used to seeing a new brand of technology each year. Naturally, they want to invest in the latest and greatest technology — not just the latest iPhone. They want their home to be as advanced as their smartphone. This is just one reason they love smart homes.

    Millennials care about the environment and sustainability

    Millennials have a completely different mindset than previous generations. They are aware and passionate about climate change, reducing our carbon footprint, and our reliance on fossil fuels. They embrace new technology and energy efficiency. Millennials and Gen Z are charging the way in the market for sustainable products and services. Since a home is their largest investment, they are looking for homes that are smarter, energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

    Unlike baby boomers and Gen X, millennials have been slower to buy their first home. The Covid pandemic, student debt, and the housing market has made buying a home more challenging for millennials. Because of this, they want to make sure that when they do buy their first home, they get the best value for their money. For them, a smart home is an investment in their future.

    What millennials want most in a smart home

    millennials enjoying their smart home

    Smart home features that are popular with millennials include voice control, remote access to their home, and energy-saving systems. They love everything from smart thermostats to smart lighting, and smart watering systems.

    Smart Thermostat

    Millennials must-haves include a smart thermostat. They want the ability to use voice commands and operate their thermostat remotely. They also like advanced features such as a thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature based on their habits or how much energy they are using. They are interested in energy efficiency and the long-term savings you get by using a smart thermostat.

    Smart Lighting

    Smart home lighting is incredibly popular and is sought after by everyone, not just millennials. With smart lighting, you can use voice commands, schedule lights, and even control your lights remotely. And smart lighting can save energy too, which appeals to millennials. With smart home lighting you can schedule your lights to turn on and off automatically, adjust interior or exterior lights, and do much more.

    Smart speakers

    Another smart home category that millennials love is entertainment. These days, almost everyone has a smart TV and smart speakers. In fact, 25 percent of Americans already have smart speakers in their home. However, millennials want more than standalone speakers. They want built-in wireless speakers and a sound system that they can control with voice commands or through a smart control panel.

    A fully integrated smart home

    The millennial generation is looking for the whole package when it comes to smart homes. They realize that in the future, smart homes will be the standard. They are willing to pay the upfront cost to have a truly smart home.

    With smart home systems like Control 4, anyone can have a fully-integrated smart home. Control 4 is a leader in smart home technology.Thousands of brands and smart devices can be integrated into a Control 4 system. Control 4 is perfect for younger millennials with a limited budget, who might want to add smart features to their home and have the ability to scale over time.

    If you’re interested in learning more about a Control4 smart home system, give us a call at (678) 392-2363. We can help you design a customized smart home system tailored around your needs and budget.