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When DIY Doesn’t Cut It: How an AV Expert Can Help

Hire an AV Expert

While many of us enjoy a good DIY project, when it comes to home AV projects and solutions, such as TVs, speakers, smart doorbells, thermostats, and everything in between, it’s almost always worth hiring an AV professional to help with the job. While there are certainly some AV solutions, such as a basic speaker or home theater set up, that can be installed by a capable DIYer, an expert is normally a good investment if you want the job done right the first time. The following are some guidelines on when a project can be completed alone and when it’s better to call in an expert.

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Smart Home Automation Hacks for When You’re Away on Vacation

Smart Home Vacation

Did I lock the front door? How is the dog sitter going to get in? Does the house look abandoned? These are all common thoughts of homeowners while on vacation. Nagging questions that can’t be answered remotely take away from the enjoyment and relaxation of a getaway; however, modern technology offers a solution to the worries and more: smart home automation.

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The Best Audio Systems for Theater-Like Sound

Best Audio Systems

To achieve the perfect home theater, there are two main technology components to consider: the television and the audio system. The perfect home television needs to be the perfect size for the space with a crystal-clear picture.

Options for televisions are numerous — so are those for audio systems. Audio systems include home theater speaker systems, soundbars, or a combination with a great subwoofer. Check out our guide for finding the perfect audio setup to get great theater-like sound.

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7 Simple Tips to Improve the Speed and Reliability of Your Network

Home Network Reliability

Ask anyone what the number one frustration of trying to live, work, and play with technology is, and most people will tell you it’s the quality of their home internet. Network speed and reliability are vitally important factors in making the most of time spent at home. Several factors can inhibit your internet experience, including the number of devices connected, bandwidth caps and your router’s location.

If you feel like your internet connection has slowed or performance is compromised, the following are some steps you can take to improve the network’s speed and reliability.

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What are the Benefits of Smart Home Touch Control Panels and Remotes?

Smart Home Control Panels

It’s hard to believe, but there was supposedly a time when Steve Jobs was not keen on the idea of allowing third-party apps to run on the iPhone. Obviously, he ended up warming to the idea. These days, the phrase “there’s an app” for that — first coined in a 2009 Apple TV commercial — has become true for a myriad of things. One of those things is the control of smart devices.

While not yet as popular and as ubiquitous as mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, smart home technology is gaining ground and becoming more mainstream every day. Smart lights, thermostats, and cameras are no longer only seen in the homes of the rich and famous. You and your neighbors probably have a smart device or three in your house right now.

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How to Integrate Technology with Interior Design

Tech and Interior Design

When designing a new home, it’s fairly common for technology to be an afterthought rather than a primary focus in the process. TVs, speakers, and electronics are often only thought about after all the design elements (paint colors, flooring, trim work, furniture, window treatments, etc.) have been carefully selected or even installed. The idea of ruining a room’s thoughtful aesthetic by introducing wires and a stack of black boxes can test even the best of marriages.

But technology and design can coexist without drastically compromising system performance or interior design. It simply takes a little creativity, careful planning and a partnership between your technology integrator and design professionals.

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How Security Cameras Bring Peace of Mind

Security Cameras

When people think of security cameras, they picture the grainy, almost unusable footage from a convenience store robbery. Today’s surveillance cameras have improved exponentially, with resolutions at high-definition or even 4K. Some high-tech security cameras can reach a resolution as high as 12 megapixels and offer multiple lenses with panoramic views from 180- to 360-degree coverage. Today's current crop of security cameras can capture the incredible detail of whatever is in their field of view. While we generally see cameras as a way to ward off or catch intruders, a well-planned security surveillance system can provide peace of mind in several other ways.

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3 Underrated Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are popular in WiFi-connected homes, allowing you to adjust the temperature of your home from your smartphone or other digital device and, more importantly, to save money on utility costs. The demand for smart thermostats is growing due to their WiFi connectivity, allowing homeowners the ability to adjust the temperature from anywhere in the world with their smart device, and more importantly, generating substantial cost savings on their utility bills. Below we go into more detail on the primary benefits of using a smart thermostat:

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Navigating the Many Options for Media Streaming

Options for Streaming

HDMI sticks, media players, Blu-ray players, and even TVs, are standard for streaming content. These powerful devices deliver a wide range of content on-demand, from the latest TV shows and movies to music to photos to YouTube videos — and more. Many companies have even introduced their own media streaming options like Apple TV and Google TV. Bottom line: With so many different options available, it can be difficult to know which is the best option for you. The following outlines the key features and differences between some of the market frontrunners.

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3 Ways to Make Your TV's Black Boxes Disappear

TV Black Boxes

How to keep your home theater looking tidy

TVs keep getting flatter and skinnier — some are almost as thin as wallpaper! But we still have devices that need to be plugged into them that must live somewhere. You don’t want to have the look of a clean and elegantly mounted TV ruined by exposed wires attached to stacked black boxes haphazardly placed across a fireplace mantle. With a bit of planning, the correct wiring, and the right equipment, you can keep things looking tidy.

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How Circadian Lighting Improves Sleep and Energy Levels

Circadian Lighting

Improve your health and sleep with circadian lighting

Circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock that tells us when it is time to sleep or wake, depending on the light levels and the signals our eyes send to our brain. These days, most of our daily light exposure comes from artificial lighting, either in our homes or our workplaces, and it doesn’t follow the natural daily rhythm. Light quality has a direct effect on our energy levels, and typical indoor lighting is often too dark to raise daytime energy levels or too light to wind down to. Research shows that extended exposure to low-quality lighting can have a negative effect on our health, resulting in a low mood, fatigue, lack of concentration, and poor sleep quality.

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What Is IoT, and How Can You Implement It Into Your Home?

IoT- and Tunable Fixtures

IoT can add a great deal of convenience and flexibility to your home

The “internet of things” (IoT) is a catch-all term for devices that are connected to the internet and exchange or communicate information. Until fairly recently, IoT was primarily reserved to describe applications in commercial, industrial, or infrastructure sectors. Now, with the rise of smart homes, connected vehicles, wearable technology, connected health applications, and the like, IoT has migrated into our homes and offices.

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Why a Quality Home Network is Important

Quality Home Network

Don't Settle for Slow Internet Speeds

Your smart home is only as good as its network. Having a fully functioning home network keeps day-to-day life running smoothly. It’s not just TVs, smartphones, and tablets that connect to a home network, it can be lights, audio systems, surveillance systems, outdoor speakers, and even appliances. Connectivity for these devices can happen in one of two ways: wireless and wired — either connecting devices via a WiFi signal or a physical Ethernet cord.

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Building a Home That’s Smart, Inside & Outside

Outdoor Home Audio

Here's how to set up a connected home designed for efficiency inside & out

Today’s home building and design processes tend to be more focused on the interior of the home. People often don’t give a lot of thought to the exterior until much later in the process. That is especially true when it comes to outdoor technology. If you want to add tech to your outdoor space, it’s best to plan for it at the same time you’re thinking about indoor tech. That way, you get the correct wiring and infrastructure in place, and everything can be integrated to work together.

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Adding Comfort to Outdoor Spaces with Motorized Shades

Motorized Shades

Motorized shades let you decide when to let sunshine in and when to enjoy more privacy

While it’s probably safe to say that most of us enjoy spending time in the backyard when the weather is nice, that can quickly turn miserable if you end up just baking in the sun. Motorized shades not only add shade to your outdoor environment, but also give you the flexibility to control when, where, and how much shade you want. No more messing around with trying to get the umbrellas in just the right spot. No more turning cranks until you can’t feel your arms. Just flip a switch, grab a remote, or open an app on your smart device and voilá!

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Choosing the Best Projector & Screen for Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor Projector & Screen

Looking for an outdoor projector & screen? We can help.

Outdoor projectors are a great choice for social gatherings, offering convenience and portability, not to mention a safer way to enjoy a movie with friends or family in an open-air environment. Paired with a good-sized screen and some comfortable chairs or loungers, the sky’s the limit for entertainment value.

The following are a few things to take into consideration when looking for an outdoor projector and screen.

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How Advanced Home Lighting Control Can Set the Mood for Fall

Advanced Home Lighting Control Header

Mood is everything. Mood can be the difference between a room that sparkles and shines and one that is too lit, or one that is just the perfect amount of aromatic atmosphere and one that is so dark everybody is tripping over themselves.

A great way to control mood is through lighting – and advanced home lighting solutions make this easier than ever! And, with Halloween on everybody’s mind, mood becomes even more important. To help celebrate the season — and also educate you on the greatness that is home-lighting control – we put together this list that will help all of our customers deck out their homes for Halloween, and the many seasons to come!

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What Is Preventive Maintenance, and Why Do I Need a Service Contract?

Preventative Maintenance Header

Here are the benefits of investing in a service contract

Technology solutions in your home or office can help you complete day-to-day tasks in many ways. If your systems stop working one day and you didn't know who to contact, you will end up spending time and money just to get your electronics functioning again. That's why preventive maintenance and service contracts are so important.

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Benefits of Smart Door Locks

Smart Door Locks Header

Looking for added security? Smart door locks are what you need

Smart door locks are one of the new technological advancements smart homes are starting to utilize more often. If you’re tired of losing your house key, looking for added security, want your kids to be able to access the home when you’re not home or want to let guests in remotely, smart door locks are what you need.

A smart door lock is just one more advantageous feature to add to your smart home — here’s why:

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Planning for a Dedicated Home Theater

ci-dedicated-home-theater-header

Bring the cinematic experience into the comfort of your own home

Dedicated home theaters, designed for watching content on the big screen, bring the cinematic experience into the comfort of your own home. These rooms are becoming increasingly popular with new technologies, allowing you to personalize the lighting, seating, sound, and other features of the room — maximizing the experience.

There are a lot of factors at play in a home theater. Considering each aspect can help you curate the perfect home theater for your space.

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