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  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Outdoor Patio TV Ideas: Transform Your Patio with an Outdoor TV

    Are you getting the most out of your outdoor space? Improvements in technology have made it possible to watch TV and entertain guests outside, and not just inside the home. With an outdoor TV, you can turn your patio into a place to entertain friends and family. So, your guests can enjoy BBQs, sunshine, the scenery, and watch TV all at the same time.

    A big screen TV with surround sound can turn your patio into an outdoor home theater. However, if you’re looking for outdoor patio TV ideas, you have to think beyond just furniture and an ordinary television. These ideas will help you create the ultimate entertainment space outdoors!

    Transform your patio with the right outdoor TV

    outdoor patio tv ideas

    You can’t just take an indoor TV outside. It’s not weatherproof and can’t withstand the sun, heat, or rain. But, a normal TV won’t give you the best picture either. If you want to create a great outdoor experience, you need more than just a decked-out patio and a television. You need a television designed for outdoor use.

    Sunbrite is a top-rated television that’s designed for outdoor use. It’s a great choice for any outdoor patio because of its affordability, 4K HDR picture, and durability. Sunbrite offers three series, each engineered to be used in different conditions. Their Veranda Series is designed to be used in the shade and can handle rain, dust, insects, humidity, and extreme temperatures. The Signature Series can be used in partial sun and the Pro Series can be used in full sunlight. All of Sunbrite’s TVs are designed to handle any weather condition.

    Add outdoor speakers to get the best surround sound outdoors

    If you want to create a home cinema experience outdoors, adding outdoor speakers to your patio is an excellent option. When you watch TV outside, seeing the television is important, but if you can’t hear it, it’s not going to be a great experience. Outdoor noise like kids playing, neighbors having parties and road traffic can be distracting. Adding outdoor smart speakers gives you full control over your music and sound. Your guests can hear the game or movie no matter where they are sitting.

    If you want to listen to music or TV outside, Origin Outdoor speakers are the perfect addition to your patio. These speakers are designed to look great in any environment and blend with your landscaping. Instead of disappointing audio, your backyard will get concert-quality sound. If you love entertaining outdoors, these smart and stylish speakers will make you feel like your favorite performers are right there with you.

    Top it off with smart outdoor lighting

    luxury outdoor patio

    Lighting is an incredibly important part of your outdoor decor. If you plan to entertain at night, outdoor lighting will make all the difference. Proper outdoor lighting provides more safety and security, too. Consider adding smart security lights, or in-ground path lights or bollard lights to highlight your landscaping or patio decor. Placing the right types of lights around your patio area will create an amazing effect and make night-time entertaining more enjoyable.

    A smart lighting system can help you design the perfect patio entertaining space. Imagine walking out to your patio and all the lights coming on automatically. You can automate pretty much any device with a Control4 smart home system, including your outdoor lights, speakers, and television. Want to create a spectacular setting? Automate your path lights to illuminate the path as your guests walk to their seats.. You can even control the lights, music, and television all from your smartphone.

    Do you love these outdoor patio TV ideas?

    We can professionally install a Sunbrite TV, so you have the best television watching experience. And if you want to add Control4 automation to your patio, we can handle that too! No matter how small or large your project, we can help you transform your outdoor patio into an entertaining paradise. Contact us today at (678) 392-2363. to discover all the options in outdoor televisions, speakers and entertainment.

  • Small Home Theater Room Ideas

    If you have a small room in your house that you’re thinking about using as a home theater, you may be unsure if it’s possible to make it look nice. The good news is, that you don’t need a big home theater room to have a great home theater experience. It’s very possible to turn a smaller room into an amazing home theater. If you’re ready to turn your small room into a home theater room, here are some small home theater room ideas to get you started.

    Although having a large room to work with is ideal, not everyone has one. If you have an extra room you are not using, you can still create a home theater with immersive sound, cool seating, and create your own cinematic experience.

    Raised or tiered seating

    tiered seating for small home theater room

    The next step to making your spare room into a theater room is adding the right lighting. There are some simple affordable ways to create the best lighting in a small room, or if you have the budget you can install recessed lighting or add smart lights to your room.

    Smart lights are really great because they can be automated to create a unique movie-watching experience. You can dim the lights with a voice command or set up smart home scenes for entertaining guests. It’s an awesome feature that will improve your small room’s overall entertainment value.

    Wall sconces can create a warm and inviting ambiance, as well as make the room look bigger. They can be adjusted to shine light in different directions, and they can also project light onto the floor or wall. Sconces are a great way to add some romantic lighting for a date night or for a movie night with friends.

    Hidden surround sound

    The sound in your theater room is even more important than the lighting, and the look of the room. If you want to add surround sound to your small home theater room, ceiling or in-wall architectural speakers are an excellent choice. This makes the sound much more immersive but with a cleaner aesthetic that most clients are looking for. Your guests may not realize why the room sounds so amazing because ceiling speakers can be recessed or hidden.

    Acoustical panels are another great addition to any small theater room. It’s the final step in providing great sound quality and “Immersion” and is an often overlooked detail. Not only can the right panels make the room sound better but also add to the visual appeal.

    Flat Panel Install

    beautiful small home theater

    No home theater is complete without a flat-screen television. An amazing picture will make your home theater stand out.

    A flat-screen television is an essential component of any small home theater. A stunning picture will make your place stand out. When shopping for a TV, there are many options and features to consider. Should you go with 1080p, 4K, or 240 Hz? You also need to decide whether to go with a smart TV, Plasma, LED or OLED. It can be confusing, so it’s helpful to get professional advice before you decide

    If you are planning on installing a home theater, there are many things to consider. You shouldn’t try to do everything yourself. Mounting a TV on the wall is difficult and if you’ve ever tried to mount a television, you know that getting it in the right location securely is not as easy as it seems.

    If you would like features like hidden wiring, such as concealing your TV’s power cord behind a wall, this is best left to a professional. It is not only dangerous but also illegal because it violates electrical code.

    If you need help with turning your small space into a gorgeous home theater room, get in touch with our professional staff at Intuitive AV.

  • Home Theater Lighting Ideas

    Is your home theater dull and uninspiring? A great home theater requires the right setup. Although there are many ways to make your home theater more fun and exciting, great lighting makes the biggest impact. The right lighting can turn your home theater into an incredible, immersive movie theater-quality experience Here are a few home theater lighting ideas to make your home theater more exciting.

    7 Home theater lighting ideas

    Your home theater lighting should enhance your movie-watching experience. You don’t want the room to be too bright or so dark you can’t see. You want the lighting to create the right mood for relaxing and watching a movie. The immersive sound in the room should be matched with immersive lighting. There are several things you can do with the lighting in your home theater to make watching movies more enjoyable.

    Eliminate Natural Light

    To create a cinematic experience in your home theater, eliminate any natural light. How you go about this will depend on where your home theater is located. If it’s in your living room you may not be able to eliminate all the natural light from the room. But, if your home theater is in a separate room, use black shades or curtains to reduce the amount of natural light entering the room. If your home theater is in your living room, you can close the curtains and turn off any lights in the surrounding rooms.

    Overhead Ceiling Lights

    Overhead ceiling lights are essential for any home theater room. These are the main source of lighting in the room. When nobody is watching movies, they should be able to illuminate the entire room. The best way to use ceiling lights in a home theater room is to install two rows of dimmable LED lights along the ceiling. This makes the room bright enough for everyone to see when nobody is watching movies. Then, when you want to watch a movie, all you have to do is dim the lights.

    Column Lighting

    If you want to recreate the feeling of being in a theater, use column lighting in your home theater. You can buy theater columns to put in your room or use LED strip lights to make it look like there are columns. Simply place the lights along the wall of your home theater, spacing them out evenly so they create the illusion of theater columns.

    Wall Sconces

    Wall sconces are a great way to create ambiance in your home theater. Attach them to the walls of your theater room. They can cast light on the walls and floor, or they can be used to direct light at different angles. These lights can provide soft lighting during movies and are a great way to add dimension to your home theater. They can also remain on without distracting you while watching a movie.

    Recessed Lighting

    You can add a nice touch of elegance to your room by using recessed lighting. These lights can be seamlessly integrated into the ceiling, so you don’t notice them. They can provide ambient light or accent lighting to the room, depending on how they are installed. Installing recessed lighting in your theater room will give you better control of the lighting in the room. If you need extra lighting, you can turn on the lights and make the room brighter. But if you want a darker room, you can dim them.

    LED Strip Lights

    LED strip lights can be used in several different ways in your home theater. You know how a movie theater has lights along the floor to light your path? You can use LED strip lights to create the same effect in your home theater. Place them along the floor to create a path on both sides of your seating area. They are a great way to make your home theater look like a real movie theater.

    Smart Lighting

    Smart lighting is a great addition to any home theater. If there was ever a cool place to have smart lighting, your home theater is it. Adding smart lighting to your theater room allows you to have complete control of the lights. You can dim the lights all at once, or set up scenes to create the lighting experience you want when you watch a movie or entertain guests.

    If you are interested in implementing any of these home theater lighting ideas in your home theater room, get in touch with us at Intuitive AV. Our professional installers can take your ideas and bring them to life.

  • DIY TV Mounting: Why Mounting your TV Shouldn’t be a DIY Project

    You purchased an amazing flat-screen TV and now you need to mount it. You might be thinking about doing it yourself. What could go wrong? While it may be tempting to save money by doing it yourself, you really should leave this project to the professionals.

    Before you decide to do it yourself, we are going to explain all the reasons why you should work with a professional to make sure your TV set is mounted safely and correctly.

    7 Good Reasons to Hire a Professional to Mount Your TV

    two men mounting a flat screen tv

    Finding the Best Place to Mount Your TV Isn’t as Easy as You Think

    You have the TV, now where should you place it? You know you need it mounted securely, but your TV also needs to be mounted in the area that creates the best viewing experience. In order to mount your television securely to the wall, the TV needs to be secured to a stud in the wall or multiple studs depending on the TV size and mount type. What if the location of the stud is not where you want your TV set mounted? What if you can’t mount it at a comfortable viewing height? This is where a professional can help. They can help you find the ideal location to mount your television, and may have solutions such as an automated TV lift to allow you to move your flat screen up or down.
    Hiding Power Cords Can Be Dangerous

    To mount your TV safely, doing it yourself isn’t a good idea. If you want your television wiring to be hidden behind a wall, you can’t just run your TV’s power cord behind the wall. It’s illegal and dangerous since that is against electrical code. But, a professional can conceal your electrical wiring safely behind your wall, while maintaining electrical code standards.

    Unsafe Mounting Injures 18,000 People a Year

    Imagine what could happen if your television is mounted incorrectly. What would happen if your television suddenly came crashing down? You might not think this will happen, but it happens more often than you think. According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 18,000 people a year are injured from falling televisions, mostly children.

    A professional knows the best method for mounting your television, as well as the weight limits for the brackets being used. Additionally, mounting your TV may require a combination of brackets to ensure that it’s safely mounted to the wall, or wherever it is placed.

    beautiful home with flat screen tv

    Concealing Wires is Challenging

    Nobody wants an unsightly setup for their entertainment system. Hiding wires requires technical know-how and the right kind of wiring. One of the ways to conceal wires is to hide them behind a wall. However, this is not something you want to do yourself. Not only does this come with electrical safety concerns, how to do it without damaging your walls can be tricky. A professional can assist you with the best plan for concealing wiring, either through in-wall cables or other solutions.
    Mounting a TV to a Brick Wall Requires Special Care

    Trying to mount your tv to a brick wall, tile, or stone? This comes with a lot of challenges. If you have never mounted a television to a brick wall before, don’t assume that you can just follow a DIY YouTube video. Mounting a television to a brick wall requires experience and knowledge. Drilling holes into a brick wall can damage your wall, and even create structural issues with your wall if done incorrectly. You also can’t just throw cables behind a brick wall. Before you damage your home, call a professional. They know the correct way to do this so that your television is mounted securely without damaging your walls.

    tv mounted above fireplace

    Mounting a TV Over a Fireplace Should Never be a DIY Project

    Even if you’ve mounted a television before, mounting a television over a fireplace, requires the right kind of fireplace, television, and mounting methods. A fireplace puts off a lot of heat. Heat and electronics are not a good combination. If you’ve seen a fancy house with a TV mounted above the fireplace, it’s almost guaranteed that it was professionally installed. Before you even attempt to put a tv above your fireplace give Intuitive AV’s professional team a call, to let us evaluate if this is a feasible option for your home and the best way to mount it.
    A Professional Installation Comes With Cool Features You Can’t Do Yourself

    Want a television with automatic lifts? How about a TV concealed in artwork or a bathroom mirror TV? You can even have an outdoor television mounted on your patio or deck. These kinds of features you can’t do yourself. They are not only cool but add value to your home.
    A Professional Mounting is Fully Insured

    One of the biggest reasons to hire a professional is because all of the work is licensed and insured. If you do it yourself and damage your television or home, you may not be able to get your home owner’s insurance to cover it.

    If you are interested in professional TV mounting services, give Intuitive AV a call to see how we can help.