The Invisible, Yet Most Indispensable Component in Your System

Today’s A/V and home control systems are far more complex than they were even five years ago. One of the biggest shifts has been the integration of almost every major component with the Internet. We live in a world of constant communication with our computers, phones and tablets. Even our A/V devices need to communicate with manufacturers for firmware updates. Get wired and wireless For all this communication to happen, it requires a home network and most homes will need a combination of wired and wireless communication. Systems integrators still believe the most reliable connection is wired and will advise their clients to keep major systems such as whole-home A/V, climate control and security on the wired network. However, for various devices to interface or share content and information in the Cloud, a wireless connection is equally necessary. It’s really not an either/or situation, you need both and they should be as robust and stable as possible. Small but powerful… The one device that is now the most indispensable component is small, and probably rests in a closet or equipment rack somewhere. You don’t see it or really think about it on a daily basis but without it you’d be stranded, figuratively speaking. The router has become the most critical component in our homes, capable of allowing us to connect to other computers, smartphones, tablets, our A/V gear and the Internet. At first, routers were only wired and allowed us internet access. Then we were able to download firmware to devices like A/V receivers and Blu-ray players. Now, we need them so that all our various devices can communicate...

Universal Remote Controls: Your Best Friend

Have you ever had a system where you needed to use one remote for your TV, another for the A/V receiver, and yet another for the cable box or satellite receiver? Or even worse, there was only one person in your home who could actually make the system work on a consistent basis? A universal remote can rescue you from this situation and make it easy for everyone to enjoy movies, music and more. When most people think about their dream home theater, whole home A/V or other home entertainment system they first think about TVs, electronics or speakers—the remote control system usually isn’t at the top of the list. But the remote is what you touch every day. It’s how you can control everything your system can do without frustration. A universal remote can control all of your A/V gear; no more juggling multiple remotes. It doesn’t matter if you have components made by different manufacturers, one remote can control everything. Plus, most universal remotes or control systems can do multiple commands with the press of one button. These series of commands are called activity based commands or macros. For example, without a universal remote, to watch a DVD you would need to: Turn on the TV, Select the right input on the TV Turn on the A/V receiver Select the right input on the A/V receiver Turn on the DVD player Select Play for the DVD player If you have a remote system that can do macros, you would simply press ‘Play DVD’ and the remote would take care of the all the needed commands. After the...