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5 Common Home Automation Mistakes

5 Common Home Automation Mistakes

Embarking on any endeavor for the first time can mean mistakes. And we humans are generally great at learning from our mistakes. Unfortunately, making a mistake when it comes to installing your home automation system can cost you both time and money, not to mention headaches. A lot of our new clients reach out to us initially to fix a home-automation system that was either ill-conceived or poorly installed. To keep you on the right path and help guide you through the process of creating the home automation system of your dreams, here are the top five home automation mistakes we often see and how to avoid them. Hiring the wrong trade Security contractors are great at alarm systems. Plumbers work wonders with pipes and electricians are whizzes with lights. Ask an unqualified and untrained tradesperson to work on your home electronics systems, however, and you are asking for trouble. For one, a trade, such as an electrician, won’t have the experience or insight to know what works based on years of trial and error, won’t follow the latest trends in technology and won’t have experience with the best gear and how it works. Stick with the pros and vet your installer. Calling your Electronic Systems Contractor (ESC) late in the game When it comes to installed electronics in the home, virtually every list of mistakes will have this one on it: Don’t make the mistake of bringing an ESC onto the project at a late stage. Getting us in there early will allow us to head off any problems before they become problems, wire your system correctly and... read more
The Ultimate Party Lighting

The Ultimate Party Lighting

So you’re having a big party, and you want it to be perfect. You can spend hours programming playlists, thinking of delicious canapés to be served and obsessing over flowers and décor. But have you thought about your lighting situation? Does the lighting in your space make people feel at home? Do they feel relaxed? Do they feel festive? Do they want to get up and dance? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then you need to rethink your party lighting strategy and consider personalizing your home lighting experience with some out-of-this-world lighting options. Here, we offer tips from taking your party from ennui-inducing to epic, with benefits that spill over into the morning after and beyond. Start simple The first thing you want to do is gain control over your lights, house-wide, via one centralized system. Whether this is an iPad app from a lighting-system manufacturer or a more extensive whole-home control system, total control is a must in this day and age, not only for optimal comfort, but for safety and energy savings as well. We’ve covered this subject in previous newsletters, so we won’t go into too much detail on all the wonders of a lighting system here. For our purposes, let’s just say that these control systems can do wonders for your party. For a party that starts at dusk, for example, we can automate your system so that the lights slowly come up over the course of an evening to preset levels. Heck, you can even program a scene to flicker the lights on and off when you are ready... read more
Hit the Links from Your Living Room

Hit the Links from Your Living Room

Golf Season is here and it’s time to perfect your swing. Can’t make it to the driving range? That’s ok. Golf simulators are the new trend in creating the ultimate home entertainment complex and let you do it right at home. Imagine driving balls on some of the most famous courses in the world or comparing your swing to masters like Tiger Woods, all without ever leaving the house. Interested? Here are some things to consider. You’re gonna need a little space Golf simulators allow you to hit real balls (not virtual ones) onto a screen. To prevent these little projectiles from breaking everything in sight, golf simulators come in a cubelike assembly that includes fabric, usually black, which, incidentally helps with onscreen contrast. That means dimensions for these simulators can be pretty large. Make sure you have a big space to install your simulator. We can help with planning and measuring, and have even seen homeowners excavate their basement floors to gain additional height. Analyze your swing If you are serious about improving your game, some technology gives you instant visual feedback on your swing using high-speed cameras. You can view your swing plane and even compare it to that of the pros or get stats on the impact of the club, whether your swing is open or closed, the angle coming into the ball, how fast you’re swinging the club and the revolution on the ball. Be social Golf is a social game, and your setup should be social too. Rather than escaping into a basement to practice your swing in solitaire in the dark, create an... read more
Experience the Dolby Atmos / Cinematech Theater At Digitech!

Experience the Dolby Atmos / Cinematech Theater At Digitech!

That’s right! We just finished up with a complete redesign of one of our demo theaters with a top of the line Dolby Atmos system, Cinematech acoustic paneling, furniture, and fiberoptic FiberStar ceiling, Sony 4k projector and 4k movie server, Bowers and Wilkins top of the line in-wall speakers, Savant integration control system, and all of best theater equipment we could pack into one enclosed room. This is the pinnacle of theater technology, and we finished everything the Digitech way for you to experience our quality service first hand. Whether you’re considering a new home theater or some modest upgrades to your current system, our Cinematech theater will open the door to the most immersive audio-visual experience, and it will allow you to draw upon personal observations with a greater understanding of what is available when budgeting for future projects. As always, we are excited and proud to show off some of the best services and technologies we have to offer! Call us to set up an appointment, and come showcase the pinnacle of the home theater experience in our new in-house demo... read more
Is it Time to Cut the Cord?

Is it Time to Cut the Cord?

When was the last time you watched something on cable or satellite TV? Do you have any idea what shows NBC or CBS are playing during prime time? Or are you too busy binge-watching Master of None on Netflix? If so, it may be time to cut the cord to your satellite or cable TV service. These days, the ability to order up on-demand content that’s mostly commercial-free makes cutting the cord to your cable or satellite service a desirable option. In fact, most teenagers and kids watch TV differently than their parents. They’re accustomed to video-on-demand, viewable on any device, whether it’s the TV in the living room or their iPad or smartphone. Virtually any content you can possibly want is available at your fingertips via streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV and Roku. Sure you might miss a presidential debate or a live sporting event, but if this content appeals to you, you can always get it online. And that’s exactly what cord-cutters are doing. According to Nielsen Media Research, an estimated 73 percent of CNBC’s October 28th GOP presidential debate viewers were 50 or older. However, social media surrounding the debate went wild with more than a billion posts relating to the upcoming elections. Sports is also something you’ll want to consider before cutting the cord. If you enjoy watching out-of-market sports shows, then you can always go to MLB.TV for baseball, NBA.TV for basketball, stream from NFL.com for football, or get Sling TV for ESPN and other sports packages. If you are ready to sever your relationship with cable or satellite TV, you’ll... read more
Take it Outside

Take it Outside

The popularity of outdoor entertaining has been increasing every year, and such the need to add high-performance audio to these new living spaces. In the past, outdoor loudspeakers usually meant a couple of speakers hung under the eaves, but now there are many more options to choose from. Outdoor aesthetics Speakers that look like rocks have been available for many years, and the performance and aesthetics have improved dramatically. There are many in-ground subwoofers on the market as well. Subs can be quite large, but with this option most of the subwoofer is buried underground leaving only a small port exposed. Indoors and outdoors Many outdoor speaker systems also work with a whole-house audio system that lets you have the same music playing outside as inside, if you choose. Or you can play different music in different areas. Things to consider When deciding which outdoor sound system is right for you, ask yourself a few questions: Will this system provide background music or do you want a high-fidelity system that can play louder? Will there ever be dancing? What medium are you going to be listening to: AM/FM? CDs? Satellite radio or maybe streaming audio from Pandora® or Spotify or similar streaming-music providers? Or, will you be listening to downloaded music from your tablet, phone or MP3 player? How big of an area do you want the sound to cover? Larger areas need more speakers to create a consistent sound level. Too few speakers usually end up with parts of the space where the sound is too loud or not loud enough. Will this be the audio part of... read more
Experience Dolby Atmos® for Ultra- Realistic Sound

Experience Dolby Atmos® for Ultra- Realistic Sound

Imagine experiencing a movie at home that sounds so realistic, it feels as though the jet onscreen is flying through your home theater. The details are amazing – you can pinpoint a mosquito hovering near your ear! This is the type of ultra-realistic sound that Dolby Atmos technology provides at home, surpassing what traditional 5.1- and 7.1-channel surround sound available today. It’s the kind of effect that will make your friends’ jaws drop and envelop you in the ultimate theater experience at home. A different approach Dolby Atmos goes beyond the “channel” approach of these traditional surround sound systems by freeing the sound stage and allowing audio elements to be placed anywhere in the room, even above the audience. Dolby refers to this technology as “object-based” audio because any sound can be mixed as a single audio element—an object—that’s independently placed in three-dimensional space. Sounds are choreographed along with the onscreen action for an über-precise soundstage that makes you feel like you are truly there. The resulting home cinema experience becomes that much more rich, immersive and lifelike as the picture and sound are more closely woven together. With the ability to support up to 128 simultaneous objects, Dolby Atmos lets you experience a soundtrack as you would in a real-world environment. While Dolby Atmos was first to the object-based audio arena, competing surround sound technology company DTS followed suit in April with the announcement of its version, DTS:X object-based surround. To enjoy the technology in your home theater, in addition to a Blu-ray and/or streaming media player, you’ll need a Dolby Atmos A/V receiver (or preamp/processor), which will handle all of the necessary signal processing to reproduce the audible objects where they need to be... read more
JL Audio Subwoofers

JL Audio Subwoofers

Powered Subwoofers JL Audio powered subwoofers will unleash the full dynamics of your audio experience. JL Audio’s award-winning lineup of powered subwoofer systems begins with proprietary subwoofer drivers and amplifier designs, precisely optimized for their intended physical envelopes and design goals. Because of this, they are not limited by which sub-assemblies are openly available on the world market. Instead, each system is fanatically engineered and precision-built in Miramar, Florida factory to reflect thier passion for spectacular audio and product quality. We invite you to audition them. Gotham®: Your first look will tell you that you are looking at something special… your first listening session will confirm it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Fathom®: Compact subwoofer systems for those who enjoy demanding program material and will not settle for compromises. Fathom IWS®: There is no need to lower your expectations when selecting this remarkable in-wall solution… it’s a real Fathom®. E-SubTM: These beautifully crafted powered subwoofers offer a compelliong combination of high performance and outstanding value. DominionTM: Our latest solutions deliver a unique answer for applications that require a compact, more affordable subwoofer. In-Wall Subwoofers Fathom IWS®: There is no need to lower your expectations when selecting this remarkable in-wall solution… it’s a real... read more
78 Home Automation Ideas

78 Home Automation Ideas

Home automation is much more than a one-trick pony. When you build on a strong foundation, such as an advanced operating system that powers your whole home, the possibilities are endless. We could list home automation ideas all day long —but here are 78 to get you started.

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Samsung Announces World’s First Uhd Blu-Ray Player

We all knew it was just a matter of time. Since licensing began for the next-generation Blu-ray UHD format late last month, those of us who still love our shiny discs and who’ve been waiting for the format to make its way to store shelves have been chewing our fingernails to see which manufacturer would be first out of the gate with a new player, and when exactly that player would make its way to market. The winner? Samsung, with its UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, which made its official debut at IFA 2015 late last week. Details are a little light on the ground, but here’s what we know so far: the player will support both Ultra HD resolutions, as well as, of course, High Dynamic Range video. 4K streaming services are also onboard, although there’s no indication of exactly which ones. As for discs, we can also confirm that Fox is onboard and promises to deliver all of its big upcoming releases, day and date with their standard Blu-ray offerings. What we don’t know, though, is the exact price. Nor do we know the exact release date. The UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player is set for release in Europe in early 2016, but rumors and rumblings from the IFA show floor indicate that a holiday 2015 release date for the U.S. isn’t out of the question. Our friends at Digital Trends are in Berlin at the moment, and gave us this first look: That’s not the only big UHD news to come out of Samsung at IFA, though. The company also announced that it’s first out of the gate with... read more