Use the Best Commercial Audio Video in Your Texas Business
You could say that your conference room is the most important accessory in your business. You use it for important meetings, presentations and even special events with the staff. Is your room up to date? Read this blog to find out exactly what commercial audio video technologies your Beaumont, Texas business needs in the conference room to impress clients and improve efficiency.
Choose Between a TV and Projector
There are two preferred options when it comes to your visual display: a 4K flat screen TV or a projector and screen. A projector can create a larger video display, but some projector screens can be very sensitive to light. A special screen, like Screen Innovation’s Black Diamond screen will help prevent getting a washed out image, and you can also install motorized shades to prevent glare too. If you go with a 4K TV, we can ensure you can make presentations, show videos, and even take notes during meetings. Some TVs have touch screen capabilities and act as smart white boards.
Make sure there is no miscommunication during meetings with quality sound in your conference room. It all begins with the right placement and installation of microphones to avoid distortion or feedback. Make sure incoming calls are just as crisp with expertly laid out speakers that are installed in the ceiling. Using softer materials such as carpet and draperies helps to keep sound waves from bouncing off hard surfaces and creating echoes in the room. If you want to ensure all the sound stays in the room and doesn’t leak out, add acoustic panels and sound proofing materials. Your meeting will be private and also won’t disturb others in the building.
Use the Ultimate Control System
Often the biggest challenge during a meeting is making sure all the technology works together. We can create a custom system that gives you full control of your visual display, audio, phones, lights and even the temperature using a tablet, smartphone or touchpad. You can even create pre-set scenes to avoid fumbling with settings right before an important call or presentation. Simply press your saved “Conference” scene and the lights dim, shades close and your screen turns on and changes to its conference setting. All you have to do is dial the phone number and you’re ready to go.
Invest in a Reliable Network
All your technology upgrades won’t work unless you have the right network installed. With a strong network, you don’t have to worry about calls not coming through or images and sound lagging in the middle of a presentation. We create well-engineered solutions that work efficiently and consistently. We also ensure your network is secure enough to avoid any data breaches during conference calls.
Do you want to create a lasting impression for clients while increasing collaboration within the workplace? Contact us today and we’ll install a custom commercial audio video solution in your office.
As smart technologies have grown more popular over the years, we’ve started seeing an interesting trend: phones, door locks, light switches, and more have all gotten smarter in the average home, but those homes’ networks haven’t always kept up. The best practice is to invest in a professional home network setup, but you may be asking yourself if that’s really necessary for your Beaumont, Texas home.
To help you answer that question, we’ve put together a glimpse into the typical “before” and “after” scenario of a home network upgrade. If the “before” scenario accurately describes your home, then consider the difference that moving to “after” could make.
The typical homes we assess before doing a network installation have one or more of these issues:
Slow Internet Speeds
Even if you’re paying for top speeds from your Internet Service Provider, you may not see those fast page loads on a regular basis, especially if you have multiple smart devices running at once. That’s because a lot of things within your home network setup can cause bottlenecks for bandwidth. It’s important that the network is designed in a way that streamlines bandwidth allocation across all of your internet-connected devices.
Areas of the Home without Reliable Internet Access
Your router is always in one specific room, but it’s safe to assume that you’re going to want internet in more areas than just that space. If the router isn’t powerful enough or located in the right area of the home, you probably are down to one bar of Wi-Fi signal in the furthest rooms (if that).
Default Network Security Settings
Another cause of slow internet speeds could be that other people are stealing your bandwidth. If you have default security settings, it’s a simple process for someone to piggyback on your Wi-Fi. A bigger concern is that, if a hacker gains access to your network, they can view and expose emails, private files, or another sensitive information.
What do these issues mean for daily life? It’s usually not a huge deal (although it can be if the lax network security leads to a successful hack of your private information), but it can cause annoying inconveniences on a regular basis. You might have pages that take too long to load, videos that pause to buffer halfway through, areas of your home where you simply can’t relax and browse the internet on your tablet.
So how will things change after having a home network setup from professionals like Brock Technology Group? The short answer is that you will have quick, reliable, and secure internet whenever and wherever you want it in your home.
When you want to stream a movie in 4K Ultra HD in your media room, you simply pick out the film, press play, and enjoy. There’s no waiting on load times. If you want to set up a wireless whole house audio system, you won’t be limited to only the areas within 30 feet of the router.
High-quality networking equipment is one of the best home technology investments you can make. It provides a far better experience for something you use every day: the internet.
If you’d like to improve your Texas home’s network, we’re here to help. Call us today at (409) 832-0276 or fill out this quick contact form to learn more about the different options.
Alarm Monitoring Services Help to Keep Your Business Safe
Business security is a big concern for companies throughout Beaumont and the surrounding area, and with good reason. You need to protect your investment in your business, and security systems are an effective way of doing that. It really is an instance where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – you don’t want to find out the hard way the disadvantages of leaving your business unprotected.
But that leads to a pertinent question: are all business security systems equal? The short answer is no. Keep reading to learn about basic security measures and more advanced approaches, such as alarm monitoring services.
If your business does not currently have any security measures in place, then now is the time to change that. Here are some of the most common, effective ways to make your building more secure:
1. Surveillance Cameras
Studies have actually shown that simply having surveillance cameras visible at your business can deter crime. The cameras are a clear sign that your business has taken steps to protect itself, so the thieves move on to easier targets. That said, surveillance cameras can also be used to catch or provide proof of wrongdoing.
2. Access Control
An access control system can ensure that your building is only open to authorized individuals at the appropriate times. You can set access levels and permissions for different employees or agencies and then track who is entering and exiting the property.
3. Alarm System
If surveillance cameras aren’t enough of a deterrent to crime, an alarm system likely will be. Your alarm system could set off loud noises if someone attempts to break in through a door or window, alerting anyone inside and scaring off the burglar.
The Advanced Approach
If you feel that a simple system won’t get the full security coverage your business needs, there are more advanced technologies and services that you could take advantage of:
1. Commercial Automation
Commercial automation is a growing technology trend in Texas. By adding an automation system to your building, you gain numerous benefits. The system can aid with energy efficiency, ambiance, and security. With a commercial automation setup, you can combine your alarm system, access control, surveillance cameras, and other building functions such as lighting and climate into one streamlined, easily managed system.
2. Alarm Monitoring Services
What happens when the alarm in your business’ building gets triggered? If no one is monitoring the system, it could just blast noise without any positive end result for your business. Instead, the better approach is to use an alarm monitoring service. With this service, a triggered system immediately alerts dispatch, who then alerts the relevant authorities (Police, EMS, fire station, etc.) depending on the need. Dispatch will also alert any key personnel in your business so that you can stay in the loop and respond if needed.
Business security is not one-size-fits-all. Instead of a cookie-cutter solution, it’s best to evaluate the exact needs of your company (from both a building security view and a business investment view) and design a system that gives you the functionality you actually need. You may find that, when combined with the other benefits that commercial automation offers, an enhanced security system is actually a better investment for your company, or you may find that a simple setup is perfect for your needs.
In short, the best first step is to talk with a commercial security expert to see what your options are. If you would like to learn more, please contact us by calling 409-832-0276 or filling out this quick questionnaire.
Explore the Possibilities for Smart Home Automation
If the idea of one day living in a smart home excites you, we have good news: you don’t have to wait for a time in the distant future. Smart home automation makes it possible for homeowners throughout Southeast Texas to enjoy the many benefits of technology in every area of their property. But what exactly does having a smart home entail? Below, we cover the eight most popular things to automate within your home.
Imagine being able to turn off every light in your home at the push of a single button. Or how about having the brightness in a room adjust to just the right level without you having to lift a finger? With lighting control, it’s easy. Smart lighting sensors can track the amount of natural and artificial light in a room and automatically keep that room at optimal brightness for comfort. And every light fixture is connected to a central management system, so if you want to turn a lamp on or dim the overhead light, it’s as simple as pulling up the app.
2. Window Treatments
The same technology that controls your lights can also be used to adjust window treatments. Command the blinds to close or the draperies to open halfway. These motorized shades can close automatically to keep your home from getting too hot in the summer or protect furniture and décor from damaging UV rays. And that annoying glare from the setting sun won’t ever stop you from relaxing on the couch—just use the remote or tablet to close the windows from where you sit.
There’s no need to leave the A/C blasting all day while you’re out running errands. Why not save on energy while also being greeted by a cool home? A smart thermostat makes it possible to adjust the temperature from wherever you are. Just pull up the app and select the ideal temperature. You can even set schedules for the future. The neatest feature of a smart thermostat is that it can actually learn your temperature preferences over time and then work automatically to keep the ideal climate in every area.
4. Security System
A standard security system simply can’t compare to one that’s connected to a smart home automation system. First, you get the benefit of being able to access your surveillance footage and security information from anywhere, so you always know if your home and loved ones are safe. Second, all the smart technology (lights, window shades, whole house audio, etc.) in your property can actually work together to keep you secure in the event of a break-in attempt.
5. Hidden Technology
If you want a home that will impress guests, consider adding hidden technology to your smart system. Press a button, and the cocktail cabinet will appear from behind a panel or the television will descend from the ceiling. You can hide electronics behind artwork or even have a television appear inside a mirror! This technology keeps your home looking sleek and uncluttered while also giving you full access to the devices when you want them.
You can do more than just make a TV appear; you can turn the TV on and off, adjust the volume, or start playing the latest movie. You’re probably thinking “I can do that with a regular remote,” but here’s the cool part about smart home automation: you can control every video display using the same tablet, phone, or remote. Swap from watching a movie in the living room to watching it in the bedroom with ease—it’ll pick up at the exact same moment so you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding that movie on Netflix and fast forwarding to the right moment.
The same goes for audio. With a whole house audio setup, we can place high-quality speakers throughout your property. Then, when you want to listen to music, just pick the area and your playlist from the central control system. You can play music in every area or set up specific audio zones so that every member of your family can enjoy their favorite music styles.
Check to see if the Jacuzzi is at the right temperature or turn on the jets from your phone. Adjust the pool lighting to be a fun color for an outdoor cocktail party or turn on water fountains in the backyard. Because all of these water features are easily accessible from your tablet or smartphone, you’ll be able to do more with them than simply set them on a timer.
Of course, the cool thing about smart home technology is how versatile it is, so you don’t have to stick with just the eight options listed above. Use your smart system to control your lawn irrigation or manage the right environment in an aquarium – whatever you want to make smarter around your home, we can try to make happen.
Want to learn more about any of these technologies for your Southeast Texas home? Give us a call at (832) 680-0276 or fill out this quick contact form, and we’ll walk you through the options that fit your needs.
Give Your Texas Business a Smart Technology Upgrade
Building automation is becoming more and more popular for businesses across every industry, and fitness centers are no exception. With any commercial automation technology, it’s important to develop a system that is tailored to the unique needs of your business. In our experience designing, installing, and maintaining custom automation systems for gyms throughout Beaumont and Houston, here are the best technologies to have.
Maintaining the right temperature in gyms can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to keep a cool and comfortable environment for all of your clients as they work up a sweat, but on the other hand, you don’t want to waste energy blasting the AC at times when there aren’t many people working out.
The solution is to add a smart thermostat that can monitor temperature and actually learn the climate needs of your business. For example, if you offer group classes at certain times of the week, the thermostat will identify the habitual increase in body heat and automatically adjust the climate control system to address that pattern.
Obviously, you’re going to want television screens and speakers throughout your facility to provide your patrons with entertainment while they work out, but it’s how you set up the entertainment system that really matters. In these environments, the best approach is to use an audio/video distribution system.
With this setup, all of the televisions, speakers, Blu-ray players, streaming services, and more are connected to one central system. There are several advantages to this approach. First, it’s much easier to manage all of the different equipment. If you want to lower the volume, change the music playlist, or turn on all of the television screens, it’s as simple as pushing one button. The second advantage is that you don’t have to invest in redundant equipment like cable boxes—instead, one device can stream to every screen in the facility.
It’s always a smart idea to ensure that your business is protected. We recommend combining the traditional security system elements with surveillance cameras so that you have footage in the event of an equipment mishap or attempted break-in. Other useful security technologies include access control for all the entrances so that employees or gym members need only swipe their badge or input a code to enter the facility.
Investing in energy-efficient lighting really helps to reduce operational costs each month. This goes beyond simply replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs. With lighting control, your building automation system can track lighting usage and optimize it throughout the day. For example, on sunny days, the system can automatically dim the overhead lights, then brighten them if the day grows cloudy. That way, you’re not wasting energy on lighting sunny areas, but also ensuring your gym is bright and welcoming. Add in occupancy sensors for areas like bathrooms so that the lights turn off automatically when the areas are not in use.
There are other technologies to consider, such as smart controls for indoor pools, but the best way to find out the right mix of building automation solutions for your gym is to give us a call at (409) 832-0276 or fill out this quick questionnaire. One of our automation experts will speak with you about the different possibilities so that you have a better idea of how this technology can help your business grow.
A Professional Home Network Setup is Essential for Automated Systems
Here at Brock Technology Group, we like to think of home networks as the foundation of smart home automation systems. Just like you wouldn’t want to build a home on a cracked or uneven foundation, you wouldn’t want to try to run an automation system on a network that is unreliable, unsecured, or weak.
And yet many homeowners throughout The Woodlands, Texas area are relying on basic routers or networking packages from their internet service provider. The result is that you have areas of your home where you can’t get a reliable Wi-Fi signal, you can’t stream media to multiple devices at once, and slow or lagging performance is the norm. Not good.
Fortunately, there’s a way around all of that. Keep reading to learn how a professional home network setup works and how it can impact the performance of your smart home.
How It Works
A typical home will have one router for the entire property. This router is responsible for sending out a wireless signal for all of the smart devices throughout your home. However, very few routers are strong enough to provide full wireless coverage in every room. Instead, the signal is usually strong around the router, then tapers off as you get further away.
Depending on where your router is located, this could mean that entire areas of your property can’t reliably connect to Wi-Fi. It’s also worth mentioning that thick walls or large appliances such as refrigerators can also significantly weaken the wireless signal.
That’s where a professional home network setup comes in.
The Better Networking Approach
Your networking professional will assess your home’s layout and décor, then design a networking solution that will ensure top performance in every area. Using a variety of technologies such as wireless access points or secondary routers, the networking expert will strategically install devices that will boost the wireless signal. So instead of having gaps, like in the previous example, your home’s internet coverage will look more like this:
How It Affects Smart Home Performance
Having a professional networking solution is about more than just being able to browse the internet on your mobile device. It’s about having your smart home automation system operate as smoothly as possible—no matter how many smart devices you’re using.
Here’s what you can expect to see happen after upgrading your home network:
Faster Media Streaming:
Say goodbye to the frustration of trying to get a movie to load, dealing with buffering on a video, or listening to music that is chopping or delayed. Instead, all media will load quickly and stream without a hitch.
It’s terribly common for homeowners to leave their networks on the default settings, which in turn leaves their network exposed to hackers. With automation systems, this is a big concern. You don’t want a hacker to gain access to the information stored on your network. A professional setup will include all the best security features to keep your home and information protected.
Fewer IT Issues:
If you keep having problems with your network, it’s probably because it wasn’t set up correctly. A professional network should operate smoothly at all times, without any of the hiccups that cause frustration on a daily basis.
If you’re planning on adding an automation system to your Texas property, it’s important to choose a smart home company that will create a complete, reliable, and secure solution for you. Brock Technology Group has more than a decade of experience delivering custom automation systems that exceed our clients’ expectations.
To learn more about our smart home systems and services, give us a call at (409) 832-0276 or fill out this quick questionnaire and a member of our team will reach out to you.
Find Out if this Technology is Right for Your Business
Commercial automation is hitting it big in the Houston, Texas area. Since this technology is so new, you may not have a strong understanding of what automation is or if it’s something your business should adopt. That’s okay—continue reading for a clear definition, some helpful use cases, and examples of potential return on investment.
Commercial automation is a technology system usually implemented to control various aspects of a building, such as the lights, temperature, window shades, audio, video, etc.
Instead of controlling each of these components individually, automation combines them into one easily managed system. Everything works in unison, which in turn helps your business save on daily operations.
Businesses adopt commercial automation systems for many different reasons. See if any of the uses below could apply to your company:
How often are the lights on in unused spaces? Does your business have lots of windows that are letting in the hot Texas sun? Do you find that electronics such as projectors or digital displays are often left on overnight? We can implement technology that automatically monitors energy usage throughout your business. On sunny days, motorized window shades can lower to block solar heat gain. Motion sensors in bathrooms or boardrooms can cause lights to turn off or dim if nobody is in the area. The energy management system can even power down all devices at the end of the business day.
Appearances matter. If you’re conducting a meeting with an important client or board member, are you currently taking them into a conference room with outdated tech, cluttered cords, or devices that don’t work reliably? Instead, why not take them into a well-designed, sleek meeting area that, with the push of a single button, transforms before you into the perfect environment for a presentation?
Your employees likely interface with technology on a regular basis. Take a sports bar for example. At the start of the day, employees have to go throughout the building turning on each television to the appropriate channel and sound levels, turning on the lights, adjusting the shades, etc. In a corporate boardroom, you might have to designate an employee to get the meeting system ready fifteen minutes early. But with an automation system, you can replace all of these manual tasks with one button push. Everything is programmed to work seamlessly, giving back more time each day for other employee duties.
Security and automation often go hand in hand. You can create a robust security system that protects your business goods and information across all areas: network attacks, physical intrusion attempts, etc. From surveillance cameras to automatic flood lights to smart door locks, we can design a system that meets your business needs.
If you own a business that caters directly to customers, such as a medical office, restaurant, or retail store, you know how important it is to create the right atmosphere. Your automation system can include digital signage that is easy to adjust with the latest specials every day, a business sound system with multiple zones for smooth audio in every area, programmed lights and shades that keep your business at the appropriate lighting, and much more!
There’s no black and white guarantee on how much return you will get from investing in commercial automation, but the use cases listed above highlight the various ways your business can benefit.
Energystar.gov found that businesses waste an average of 30% of energy annually. As a basic calculation, see how much you would save if your company’s energy bill were 30% lower each month. That’s not even considering any tax rebates you could get from implementing energy-saving technologies.
How much value can 30 more minutes of productive employee time bring to your business? How much more revenue will you bring in with a fantastic atmosphere that keeps clients coming back? There’s one way to find out for sure, and we’d love to help you get started.
If you’re interested in developing an automation system uniquely fitted to the needs of your Houston business, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Fill out this quick form, and a member of our team will reach out to you to discuss the possibilities.
Learn the Ins and Outs of Commercial Audio Video Distribution
We work with a lot of different businesses throughout the Houston, Texas area, and one of the most popular types of commercial audio video technology that these companies want is AV distribution. If you’ve heard about AV distribution and want to learn more about how this technology can impact your bottom line, then read on for the answers to some of the most common questions about it.
Q: What is AV Distribution?
A: Audio Video Distribution is a method for centralizing all of your media and then sending it out to any speakers or displays throughout your home or business. Instead of having separate cable boxes, Blu-ray players, or other media devices hooked up to each video display in every room, you can stick to one rack system or closet of equipment that sends the audio or video information wherever you want.
Q: Why Should My Business Use It?
A: Businesses have a lot to gain from investing in an AV distribution system. Here are just a few benefits:
Cleaner Look: Skip the clutter of cords and equipment in favor of a video display that blends seamlessly into the environment.
Easier Management: The struggle of searching for the right remote to adjust the volume on the sound system or change the station on the television is a thing of the past. You can manage all of your audio video components at once or select an individual one with ease.
Lower Costs: Instead of having to purchase redundant equipment or services, you stick with just one. That saves money on both the initial device costs and recurring monthly fees for streaming or cable services.
A: Because all of the audio video components are connected, you can control it all at once using a central management device such as a tablet or smartphone. The system has an intuitive interface with each area of your business clearly labeled so that employees can make changes to displays and sound at the push of a button.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Add AV Distribution to My Business?
A: This one doesn’t have a clear-cut answer because it is dependent on so many different factors. A full commercial audio video setup for a live music venue will be very different from the installation process for a sports bar or conference room. Is it new construction or a retrofit? Are you incorporating existing devices or starting from scratch? Will the system encompass one room or an entire building? The answers to all these questions and more will be helpful in defining the scope and timeline for the project.
Q: How Do I Get Started?
A: By giving Brock Technology Group a call at (409) 832-0276 or filling out this questionnaire. We follow a proven process for developing, installing, and maintaining commercial technology systems that are the perfect fit for our customers’ needs. Contact us today to get started on a tailored solution for your business.
Effortlessly Lower Operational Costs for your Houston Business
At the start of the new year, it’s common for companies to develop plans for improving operational efficiency. Business owners might evaluate staffing needs or process improvements, but one often overlooked area is energy usage. Cutting down on the amount of energy needed to run your business gives you extra funds each month to improve other areas. To learn the role that lighting control plays in energy-efficient operations for Texas companies, read on.
Stop Lighting Unused Rooms
How often do your boardrooms, conference rooms, or even bathrooms stay completely lit up when not in use? Yes, you can impose a “last one out turns everything off” rule, but there’s no way you can ensure that the rule is actually followed. For lean operations, use motion sensors to automatically turn off the lights (and power down electronics for even more energy savings) after a set period of time. Then, when someone enters the room or area again, the lights can brighten immediately without any effort on their part.
The hot Texas sun is responsible for many large AC bills, a fact that many businesses simply accept as a necessary expense. But with smart shading solutions, you can mitigate one of the main factors that contributes to high air conditioning costs: solar heat gain. Especially for buildings with lots of large windows, the sun essentially bakes each area, causing the temperature to rise significantly.
By investing in a commercial automation system with lighting control and motorized shades, you can protect your building from the sun’s hottest rays. Subtle sensors keep track of the light and temperature in each room. If the temperature next to a window rises beyond a certain threshold, heat-blocking shades automatically lower in the room. To keep the area well-lit for use by your employees, the overhead lights immediately brighten as the shades go down. Then, as the day starts to cool down, the shades can respond by opening back up.
Find a Happy Medium
Your lights don’t always have to stay at one extreme: super bright or completely off. Automatic dimmers can save thousands each year simply by lowering the brightness in rooms that are already well lit by natural sunlight. Beyond improving energy efficiency, dimmers can also actually improve employee productivity. Studies show that lighting levels can significantly impact mood, so you can set up your lights to automatically increase brightness when workers enter the post-lunch slump, for example.
Make 2017 the year that your business thrives and grows. To learn more about how lighting control and other commercial automation technologies can help, contact us today.
Commercial Audio Video Technology Gives Boardrooms a Needed Facelift
Your boardroom should be a space where things get done—deals close, partnerships form, and innovative ideas come to life. However, many boardrooms in The Woodlands, Texas area rely on outdated technology that makes conducting meetings a hassle and leaves prospective customers less than impressed. Don’t let an outdated boardroom hold your business back. Keep reading to learn how adding the latest commercial audio video technology can give your boardroom the boost it needs.
Stop Wasting Time on Fickle Technology
For many businesses, employees just assume that a meeting scheduled for 9:00 will actually start at 9:15. By the time the presenter gets all of the equipment turned on, successfully connects to the projector, and then troubleshoots why the display isn’t working correctly and the speakers aren’t connecting to the laptop audio, you’ll be lucky if your meeting is just 15 minutes late.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Technology has come a long way in the last few years, and the primary focus has been all about ease of use. With boardroom automation, getting ready for a presentation is as simple as pushing a button. The automation system connects all of your commercial audio video equipment so that you don’t have to wrestle with 10 different remotes or Frankenstein a mishmash of devices together just to get your presentation to show up. Instead, the system is designed to handle all of the communication for you so that you can focus less on the technology and more on your business issues.
Give the Right Impression
What does your boardroom say about your company? If you’re relying on outdated, clunky, or inefficient devices, you’re subtly hinting to prospective customers and business partners that this type of technology and design is your standard for operations. First impressions matter, so make sure you’re presenting the right business image with sleek, modern boardroom technology.
Instead of taking that 15 minutes to struggle with the devices in the room, imagine sitting down with a client and tapping on the touchscreen integrated into the boardroom table. Immediately, the presentation equipment will power on, the shades will lower and the lights will dim to create the right lighting levels for the projector, and your chosen information will display on the screen. Want to start a teleconference on the fly? Again, just tap your tablet or control panel and invite the participants. The hidden speakers throughout the room will provide clear audio without any hassle.
Are you ready to see what the latest commercial audio video technology can do for your business? Contact Brock Technology Group today at (409) 832-0276. With more than a decade of experience designing, installing, and maintaining automation systems, we have the experience and skill to create the customized solution you need to succeed in this competitive business market.