Loading...

Follow Sound & Theater Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Sound & Theater Can Help You Design the Ultimate Media Room with Concealed Tech

Due to their flexibility and multi-purpose layouts, media rooms can be fun to design – until you have to incorporate the technology. From the TV display to the surround sound system, receiver, cabling, and more, interior designers and homeowners alike must be able to master the art of seamlessly blending A/V technology into their media room designs without intruding on style.

Our A/V professionals at Sound & Theater can help you craft the perfect media room with concealed and camouflaged audiovisual equipment and cabling so you never have to worry about bulky, obtrusive technology compromising your project in Orchard Park or the broader Western New York area.

Keep reading to explore three hidden A/V solutions we offer for a sightless, high-performance entertainment system in any media room.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways Smart Technology Elevates Your Home’s Design

Frame TVs

When not in use, TV displays are quite the eyesore. The bigger the display, the bigger the black hole is on the wall when it’s not in use. Frame TVs are the perfect solution to maintaining a beautiful aesthetic in your media room when the display is off.

Samsung’s Frame TV (pictured above) produces stunning picture when turned on but becomes beautiful art when turned off. These displays camouflage as framed paintings that add to your design instead of taking away from it. You or your clients can change the artwork as you desire by browsing through Samsung’s Art Store and then enjoy your favorite shows in QLED 4K UHD.

Architectural Speakers

Traditional sound systems can certainly add to your media room’s design, but those solutions are not always ideal when you consider speaker size, placement requirements, and your design taste. In that case, invisible sound may be your best bet.

Invisible surround sound is possible in any media room with in-surface speakers from SolidDrive. These high-fidelity speakers transform any solid surface – drywall, glass, wood, or fiberglass – into a beautiful sound source. With no visible wires or grilles, SolidDrive speakers create the surround sound you desire without distracting from your interior design efforts.

Universal Remote

The more technology you incorporate into a room, the more remotes will be required for controlling that technology. What’s the point of creating a beautiful, concealed entertainment system for your media room design when you or your client has to look at a pile of remotes on the coffee table?

Instead, opt for a universal remote that the entire family can use to control not only the A/V equipment in the room, but also the lights, window treatments, and thermostat. The universal remote by Control4 even allows users to personalize scenes for each room with just one button and works from anywhere in the home.

We can work with interior designers to program scenes that make your media room design look its absolute best for your clients. We’ll wow them with scenes for movie night, afternoon reading, and more to help your clients picture just how they’ll enjoy the media room that you have designed for them.

Ready to work together? Contact our team of professional A/V integrators today or send us a chat below right now to learn how our partnership can greatly elevate your media room interior design project in Western New York. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
These SunBriteTV Models Are Your Top Contenders

There’s a reason you don’t often see TVs installed in backyards and patios: The TVs found indoors are simply inadequate for outdoor use. Not only would their screens be virtually impossible to see due to sun glare, but their performance would quickly diminish from weather, temperature, and damaging UV rays.

Fortunately, your dream of backyard entertaining at your home in the Ellicottville, New York area can still come true. SunBriteTV, the leader in outdoor televisions, offers three series of all-weather, ultra-bright LED-LCD TVs precisely designed for outdoor use. These TVs feature technologies that make them perfect for year-round outdoor use, from their durable aluminum casings that protect against insects and weather to their built-in heaters and fans that allow the TVs to operate in temperatures as low as -24 degrees and as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Explore each SunBriteTV model below to decide which would be an excellent addition to your outdoor entertainment system.

SEE ALSO: 3 Technologies for the Ultimate Outdoor Living Space this Spring

Veranda- Full Shade

SunBrite’s TV lineup begins with the Veranda series. This model is fully weatherproof and functions under extreme temperatures, however, SunBrite’s Veranda TVs should ideally be installed in fully shaded areas, such as a covered patio, porch, or sunroom.

Veranda TVs offer 50 percent more brightness than your typical LED-LCD TV from brands like Samsung or Sony, which is perfect for shaded outdoor spaces but not quite bright enough to outshine direct sunlight. If your outdoor space is fully covered and offers no exposure to the sun, then the Veranda series is the perfect option for you.

The 4K Ultra-HD HDR Veranda series features several sizes, ranging from 43 inches to 75 inches, and even comes with a weatherproof remote and a warranty appropriate for outdoor use.

SEE MORE:  Enjoy Fun in the Sun with Outdoor Home Audio Video

Signature- Partial Sun

SunBrite’s Signature series is designed for outdoor spaces that fluctuate between full sun and full shade. If your patio is only partially covered or offers open slats for sun exposure, then the Signature series may be a better option for you than Veranda.

Signature 4K UHD TVs are designed with anti-glare and OptiView™ technology for brighter-day and darker-night viewing. They’re also much brighter than the Veranda model, delivering up to three times the brightness of your typical indoor TV.

The Signature series also features a variety of sizes, ranging from 43 inches to 75 inches, is manufactured with a commercial-grade screen, and comes with a warranty appropriate for outdoor use.

Pro- Full Sun

Behold the most sun-resistant of them all: Sunbrite’s Pro series. This model is just as bright as the Signature, offering up to three times the brightness of a typical indoor TV, but the differentiator is its protective glass shield.

Though the Pro series does not feature 4K resolution, it is designed to withstand virtually any impact. It can sit defiantly in direct sunlight at up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and is completely UV-resistant so that performance does not wane over time. If your outdoor entertainment space offers no opportunity for shade and is completely vulnerable to weather and debris, then the Pro series may be the perfect option for you.

What’s more, the Pro series also differs from Veranda and Signature in audio quality. While both Veranda and Signature use 20-watt down-firing speakers, the Pro model includes a separate, detachable speaker bar.

The Pro series features several sizes as well, ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches, is manufactured with a commercial-grade screen, and comes with a warranty for outdoor use.

Don’t risk ruining a perfectly good indoor TV by installing it outdoors where it doesn’t belong. Instead, invest in a SunBriteTV model that will thrive for seasons to come no matter what the weather brings.

Learn more about the differences between Veranda, Signature, and Pro or take the next step toward upgrading your outdoor entertainment system by contacting our team today!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Ditch Your Traditional Blinds & Drapes for Smart Shades

Smart homes are on the rise largely in part to the convenience they bring to homeowners’ everyday lives, and motorized shades play a big role. Adjusting the blinds and drapes in your home is a daily recurring task, so why wouldn’t you want to automate it and save a few minutes for yourself?

Everyone likes to save time where they can, but motorized shades do so much more for you, too. Below, we lay out three unique advantages of motorized shades that traditional blinds and drapes just can’t beat at your home in the Amherst, New York area. Read on to learn more!

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways Smart Technology Elevates Your Home’s Design

Easily Adjust Hard-to-Reach Windows

Think of all the windows in your home. How many of those window treatments are hard to reach? Ceiling-high windows pose a problem when you need privacy or want to block heat from the sun but can’t reach the cord to adjust the drapes. With motorized shades, ditch the step stool and simply press a button to perfectly move your shades where you want them.

Manual shades are finicky enough, but they can be even more challenging for the elderly or people with disabilities. By replacing strings and cords with a remote, keypad, or smartphone app, you’ll eliminate the hassle and make it easy for everyone to adjust any and all window treatments throughout your smart home — no matter how high up they are.

Trick Intruders into Thinking You’re Home

Not only can you control your motorized shades with a single press of a button, but you can also set them to a timer to raise and lower while you’re at work or on vacation.

Before leaving your home for an extended period of time, you likely close all of your blinds and drapes to keep your property protected from the sun and outside onlookers. But if your shades stay closed for too long, potential intruders might suspect you’re not home. Trick potential trespassers by scheduling your shades to raise and lower at certain times of the day to create the illusion that you’re inside. You’ll feel safer about leaving home for a while, and intruders will think again before attempting to break in.

Wake Up Feeling Refreshed

Do you struggle with waking up in the morning? Those blackout shades in your bedroom may not be helping the problem. While light-blocking shades are a great tool to help you save energy by keeping out solar heat and the blistering cold, they could have a negative effect on your body’s internal clock that tells you when it’s time to wake up and when to sleep.

We don’t mean you should do away with blackout shades. They serve many positive purposes! Instead, replace them with motorized shades so you can schedule them to raise when it’s time for you to wake up. By creating the right lighting conditions at the right time, your brain will know to produce the cortisol hormone that makes you feel energized once that burst of natural light pops in from under your shades. Before you know it, you’ll find that waking up in the morning is a breeze.

Ready to upgrade your Amherst-area home’s traditional blinds and drapes to motorized shades? Our team at Sound & Theater can help you every step of the way. Get started by contacting us here or sending us a live chat below now!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Wow Your Friends & Family with an Elevated Outdoor Entertainment System

Spring is here, and it’s time to gear up for poolside parties, alfresco dining, and movie nights under the stars. But just how prepared is your backyard for months of outdoor entertainment? If you know your exterior living spaces could use an upgrade, now is the perfect time to get started as the weather here in Buffalo and Western New York continues to warm.

Explore three must-have technology solutions below for the ultimate outdoor entertainment system that will be sure to wow your guests, add value to your property, and elevate your lifestyle during the upcoming warmer months.

SEE ALSO: Enjoy Fun in the Sun with Outdoor Home Audio Video

Outdoor TVs

Enjoy your favorite movies or watch the latest sports game while relaxing on your patio with beautiful TVs specifically crafted for outdoor entertainment. Solutions like SunBriteTV’s durable LED-LCD 4K outdoor televisions deliver up to three times higher brightness, reduced glare, and a sharper picture than typical indoor TVs, so you can rest assured that you always receive an ideal viewing experience outdoors.

What’s more, SunBriteTV’s outdoor displays are entirely weatherproof and even resist the damaging effects of extreme temperatures and UV rays. Select from fully-covered, partial-sunlight, or full-sunlight models for your outdoor entertainment system, and transform the way you enjoy TV — no matter the time of day.

Landscape Speakers

Quality speakers make all the difference when livening up your outdoor parties with good music. Stream high-fidelity sound evenly throughout your entire exterior living spaces with landscape speakers by Rockustics that blend in perfectly with your backyard.

Rockustics delivers high-quality sound through speakers that are constructed to look like real rocks and stones so that they complement and blend in with your landscaping. Though there are other styles available too, every selection from Rockustics is weatherproof, fade-resistant, and combined with authentic environmental design to transform your listening experience outdoors.

Stream music from your favorite playlist or audio from your outdoor TVs, and enjoy high-performance sound from any corner of your backyard.

Smart Lighting Control

Top off your outdoor entertainment system with smart lighting control that adds convenience, decoration, and safety to your space. With a Control4 system, it’s easy to customize your outdoor lighting with just the tap of a button.

As soon as the sun sets, use your smartphone, tablet, or keypad to turn on walkway lights, patio lights, accent lights, and more. Dim and brighten on command, and even set them to a timer so that they turn on and off on their own.

Whether you want to brighten up the poolside, show off your outdoor architecture, or create a safe pathway around the backyard, upgrading the controls for your outdoor lighting with Control4 makes it easy to take charge of every fixture through one interface.

Give your Buffalo-area backyard a facelift this spring by creating the ultimate entertainment space for warm-weather enjoyment. Our team at Sound & Theater will do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on relaxing. Contact us here or send us a live chat below to get started today!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

About the author: Jennifer Karami is a writer at Redfin, a modern real estate brokerage that uses technology to help people buy and sell homes. With a 1% listing fee and full-service agents, Redfin is redefining real estate in the consumer's favor.

Imagine walking into your living room, bowl of popcorn in hand, and telling Alexa to “dim the lights, turn up the sound, and play ESPN.” Just a decade ago this possibility was reserved only for superheroes and billionaires, but today, smart home technology makes it not only possible, but practical and affordable to upgrade your home’s IQ.

A smart home device uses WiFi to connect with other devices around the household. Together with smart hubs and virtual assistants, these devices make up a smart home ecosystem, in which you can automate a series of actions using voice commands.

The living room is an ideal space to start building a home theater, since most modern TVs, stereos, and entertainment devices are already WiFi-enabled. Whether you have a vision of hosting game days with friends, bonding over family movie nights, or simply enjoying Netflix from the comfort of your home, smart tech will take your home theater system to a new level. We’ll cover the main options for smart hubs, the latest audio/visual devices on the market, and explain how to sync them to work together seamlessly.

Choosing a smart home hub

Before buying all the shiny new devices for your home theater, you’ll want to choose a smart home hub. This is the AI-powered helper that will talk to you and allow you to control all your devices from one place. Hubs typically have three components: the virtual assistant (AI), the speaker (hardware), and the phone app. The biggest players in the market are Amazon, Google, Apple, and Samsung. Depending on your lifestyle, there are pros and cons to each option.

Amazon Alexa ecosystem

Assistant: Alexa

Speaker: Amazon Echo

App: Amazon Alexa for iOS, Android, and Google Play

Pros
  • Alexa was the first smart home assistant to arrive on the scene, so it comes with industry leading technology at a reasonable price point
  • Open source development means it won’t be hard to find options that work with Alexa - it currently pairs with over 7,000 third party devices
Cons
  • The Amazon Echo speaker is not very robust - consider upgrading to the Echo Plus if you intend to use it to play music or watch TV
Google Assistant

Assistant: Google Assistant

Speaker: Google Home

App: Google Assistant for iOS, Android, and Google Play

Pros
  • Google Assistant is built into Android phones, so Android users will experience a seamless integration
  • Google’s sophisticated AI can answer almost any question because it is enabled by the Google search engine
Cons
  • Google’s privacy policy surrounding data collection is ambiguously worded, leaving users to wonder if their device is spying on them
Apple HomeKit

Assistant: Siri

Speaker: HomePod

App: Home for iOS

Pros
  • Apple’s stringent privacy standards mean the Apple HomeKit is extra-secure with your data
  • Seamless integration for Apple enthusiasts
Cons
  • Apple developer technology is closed source - meaning HomeKit won’t work with most third party apps
Samsung SmartThings

Assistant: Alexa or Google Assistant

Speaker: Samsung SmartThings

App: SmartThings

Pros
  • The SmartThings Hub is broadly compatible with all kinds of sensors, devices, and smart home products. The virtual assistant is compatible with Google or Alexa, making it awesome for managing all your devices in one place.
Cons
  • SmartThings only works from a smartphone app and is not compatible with Mac or PC
Smart devices for home theater

Once you’ve chosen your hub, you’ll have a better idea of what options are compatible to start building your home theater. The most important thing is to look at the product description of the device you intend to use and make sure it is compatible with your hub. For example, to ensure a device works with Alexa, be sure to look for “Works with Alexa” in the product description.

You can hardly have a theater without a TV. A smart TV allows you to directly stream programs from the internet, and learns your viewing patterns to suggest shows and movies to watch next. Roku TV is the industry standard, but don’t worry if you’re in love with your current HD flat screen. Most TVs built in the last decade have the capacity to become “smart” with the addition of HDMI devices like Roku player or Apple TV. These gadgets connect to WiFi allow you to stream web-based content like Netflix, Hulu, etc.

For an authentic theater feel, you can add a smart projector to your home theater ensemble. Unlike their vintage predecessors, smart projectors come with full HD capability and support streaming, mirroring, and casting from your laptop or mobile device, so you can instantly watch movies and TV.

These days, full surround sound can be achieved in less space than ever, as speakers and subwoofers become more streamlined and compact. For a truly immersive home theater experience, consider the Sonos Soundbar, a smartphone-controlled speaker that sits right under your TV. You can also incorporate subwoofers for pure, deep sound, even at low frequency. Quality of sound can make all the difference between a good movie and a great one.

In terms of lighting, you’ll likely want the option to dim, brighten, and turn off the lights in your theater room. The Phillips Hue is a bulb that you control from an app on your phone.You can adjust the brightness settings by sliding your finger, as well as change the color. To fully blackout the room, convert your existing shades to smart shades or use motorized window treatments. These shades allow you to adjust amount of daylight in your space to increase comfort, save energy, and protect interiors from UV rays.

How to get them all to work together

Instructions for syncing smart devices vary depending on the hub and the device, however, most installations are fairly similar. To set them up at home:

  1. Make sure the devices are connected to the same WiFi network.
  2. Open your Alexa/Google/HomeKit/SmartThings app.
  3. Click the plus sign or “add device” to add a new accessory. You can also use your voice to ask Alexa to discover new devices
  4. Select the device you want to pair.
  5. Once the devices have paired, you can play around in the app to adjust the particular settings, or try giving Alexa a command to see how the new gadget works.

The Alexa Routines feature (called Rooms/Automation/Automations in HomeKit, Google, and SmartThings respectively) is your best friend to get all your devices working together seamlessly. It allows you to create a flow of actions in each room based on your commands. For instance, you can create a group called “Home theater,” that closes the blinds, dims the lights, and turns on the TV simultaneously. These automations make it possible to walk into a room with a bowl of popcorn, give a command, and have Alexa handle the rest.

No matter which type of home automation ecosystem you choose, it is important to assess your current connectivity and network speed. Every new device will put an additional strain on your wireless network, and you will need to make sure you have the bandwidth to support everything you plan to purchase.

If this seems like a lot of technological information all at once, don’t worry. Setting up a home theater system has long been the domain of professional audio and visual technicians, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. If your wires are getting crossed, Sound and theater professionals can help. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Installation
  • AI
  • Hidden speakers and video displays
  • Flush-mount controls

Our local professionals cater to homes and offices in Williamsville, NY; Buffalo, NY; Amherst, NY and surrounding areas. Whether or not you’re a customer, we’re always happy to answer questions - drop us a line.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
A Smart Home Installation Doesn’t Mean the Detriment of Your Property’s Style

It’s a common misconception that smart technology hinders a property’s interior and exterior design. Many homeowners and designers still think a beautiful home and a future-forward smart home are mutually exclusive.

So, we’re here to set the record straight: Not only are today’s smart home installations perfectly fitting for any type of home design, but certain solutions can even add to your property’s style. Read below for three smart home technologies you can be sure will boost the fengshui inside and outside your Buffalo, NY home.

SEE ALSO: Here’s Why You Should Rethink a DIY Smart Home Installation

Landscape Speakers

A beautiful outdoor entertainment space serves multiple purposes, from big-party gatherings under the stars to a sunny day of solitude by the pool. Whatever you use your outdoor patio space for, equip it with a high-fidelity speaker system that blends in perfectly with your landscaping.

Solutions from Rockustics give you the great sound you want for all your outdoor spaces with speakers that are constructed to look like real rocks, stones, and even planter pots. Each speaker is combined with authentic environmental design to transform your outdoor spaces into a high-fidelity haven. Stream music, the audio from the latest sports game, and more from weather-proof, fade-resistant landscape speakers that complement any outdoor design.

Motorized Shades

The benefits of motorized shades are vast, including their power to elevate the interior design of any home space that has windows. Solutions from QMotion offer top-notch technology and leading fashion sense for stylish homes of all types. Choose from a variety of fabrics, styles, and colors to add personality to every room in your home that is exposed to the outdoors.

For your kitchen, select a sheer weave style that protects your furnishings from UV rays but still allows natural light to brighten your space during the day. For your media room, choose from a variety of blackout styles that complement the room’s décor but also block out all sunlight when you’re ready to watch a movie.

No matter the style of QMotion motorized shades you choose, control them all with ease by just the press of a button. Schedule scenes for them to follow, or even set them to the astronomical clock to rise and fall with the sun. With smart shades, you’ll save energy, gain added convenience, and elevate your home’s style all at once.

Customizable Keypads

Smart home keypads make controlling events around your property a breeze, but they can be an eyesore on your walls if they are not sleek and beautiful in design. Fortunately, Control4 keypads offer any homeowner a variety of sophisticated options that can either blend in or create a complementary pop of style in any space of the home.

Control4 keypads come in many stylish colors, each with either a gloss or matte finish. Mix and match faceplate and button colors as you desire, from white-on-white to ivory, bronze, midnight black, satin nickel, and more. Control4 keypad buttons are also backlit and programmable to be any color you choose for added aesthetics and easy readability.

Configure your Control4 keypads to create customized scenes in and outside your home, shut off everything entirely as you leave for work or turn in for bed, and more. As your keypads control events in your home, they’ll look beautiful doing it, too.

Want to learn more about the many smart technologies that elevate your property’s design? Contact our team of smart home experts here or send us a live chat below now!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Your Residential Lighting Control Upgrade Made Easy

Smart lighting control is not just a utility. It’s an aesthetic used to create ideal experiences for family and guests at your home. With the unparalleled convenience of one-touch controls and integrated scenes, it’s no wonder smart lighting control is making its way into new-construction projects at a growing rate.

But what if you’re looking to make a smart lighting upgrade in your Orchard Park, NY home that’s already built and lived in? Such a task would require tearing into your walls, rewiring all your lighting, and spending loads of cash on an extensive retrofit project, right? Think again!

Control4’s wireless residential lighting control solutions make it easy to upgrade your lighting control system without the hassle of gutting your home in the process. Keep reading to learn about Control4’s cost-effective wireless lighting control solutions below.

SEE ALSO: 3 Essential Benefits of Home Lighting Control

Wireless Switches

Control4’s wireless switches provide on/off control for a variety of load types throughout your home, from incandescent to fluorescents, LEDs, and more. Control your loads from one switch or add multiple switches around your home to control certain areas of your property — one for upstairs, one for downstairs, or one for each room in your house.

Custom engraving is available for all wireless switches to clearly note which lights or lighting areas each switch controls around your property. Even add to your home’s interior décor by choosing from a wide selection of styles and colors that perfectly complement any design.

Control4’s wireless switches enable you to control any and all lights in your home from anywhere you are with the integrated Control4 mobile app. Whether you’re sitting in your bedroom or away on vacation, you’ll have complete control in the palm of your hand.

Wireless Dimmers

Replace any ordinary dimmer with sophisticated Control4 wireless dimmers that will not only provide smart control of the lighting inside or outside of your home but can also be programmed to respond automatically to your desired light levels.

Like the switches, Control4’s wireless dimmers are compatible with a variety of load types and offer custom engraving options to note which lights or lighting areas each dimmer controls throughout your home spaces. One dimmer panel can be configured with two to seven control buttons, giving you many options for controlling the light levels in multiple areas in and outside your property.

With Control4 wireless dimmers, unlock the power of one-touch control for all the lighting scenes in your home.

Wireless Keypads

Control4 wireless keypads provide a beautiful interface for your Control4 smart home system, combining flexible button configuration with sleek style to complement the design of your home.

With just a touch of a button, activate scenes that allow events to happen simultaneously as you’re headed to work or turning in for the night. Control more than just your lights by configuring scenes that also control your music, movies, locks, shades, thermostat, and more.

You no longer need to travel from room to room turning off individual lights and TVs or adjusting your shades. With the Control4 wireless keypad and mobile app integration, you can do it all at once from anywhere you are.

Don’t stress about your smart lighting control upgrade. Wireless solutions from Control4 make it easy.

Let us help you get started today by contacting us here or sending us a live chat below to talk to one of our team members now.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Turn a So-So Media Room Design into a Jaw-Dropping Experience

There’s a lot of good to be said about home media rooms. Compared to home theaters, media rooms provide more flexibility for social events, from chatting with friends during the big Sabres game to hosting a movie night with family. To put it simply, media rooms are more practical for those who want to do more than just sit in a quiet, dark environment and watch films.

But because of their more “general-purpose” design, media rooms can lack the proper essentials needed for that jaw-dropping movie experience. So, how can you have your cake and eat it, too? Keep reading to learn about three media room design essentials that will turn any so-so media room in the Amherst, New York area into one that’s movie-buff approved.

SEE ALSO: 3 Easy Ways You Can Enjoy Whole-Home Audio and Video

Motorized Blackout Shades

Because media rooms are so versatile, they’re usually placed in more open, high-traffic areas of the home that are exposed to windows for natural lighting. This setting can be great for watching the morning news or chatting with friends over a mid-day sitcom, but when you’re ready to shift into movie gear, transform the viewing experience with motorized blackout shades.

Motorized blackout shades from QMotion are specifically made to transform your space for total darkness. Choose from a variety of colors and materials to match your media room during the day when they are rolled up, and then use one-touch control to lower them when you’re ready to conceal the daylight and block out glare from the sun.

Control any or all of your QMotion roller shades as you desire with a multichannel remote, voice control, or your Control4 interface for custom convenience. Even set them on a schedule to raise and lower automatically when you know you’ll need them.

Tunable LED Lighting Control

Lighting design can either make or break the ambiance of a media room. Because a media room is multi-functional, your lighting should be, too. Tunable LED lighting is perfect for setting the tone of your social event.

You may be thinking, “Won’t I just turn the lights off during a movie?” Although that may be true, you also can use your lights to set the mood for both movie-watching and socializing. In that case, use your QMotion shades to block out bright, natural daylight, and then dim your tunable lighting to a low, warm temperature similar to that of a candle’s flame. You’ll receive relaxing lighting that helps you see but also complements the viewing experience. With some tunable lighting technologies, you even can turn the lights in your media room blue or red, if you want to add extra flare to the viewing experience.

ALR Projection Screen

There will be times when it just won’t be appropriate to blackout your media room during a movie, particularly if you’re multitasking or keeping an eye on your kids in the next room. With an ALR screen and projector combination, you can still get a premium viewing experience with your lights on.

Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screens are designed to give you a big-screen picture with beautiful high contrast and solid color saturation, even in a lit room.

As opposed to the common matte white projection screen that is easily washed out by ambient light and does little to enhance the displayed image, ALR screens are designed to filter out ambient light to provide premium brightness and contrast levels that are equal to, and even surpass, that of TV panels.

The ALR screen and projector setup is great for media rooms that serve as spaces for parties, gaming, midday TV watching, and other socializing where your lighting preference will change depending on the event.

Does your media room need an upgrade? Our team members at Sound & Theater are leading experts in designing and installing custom, high-end media rooms for residences in Amherst and the larger Western New York area. Let us know the goals for your media room, and we can make it happen!

Just contact us here or send us a chat below to get started.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Wow Clients and Staff with a Conference Room Design That’s a Step Above the Rest

As a business manager, you have enough responsibilities to tackle without letting daily operations distract you from the bigger picture.

This year, turn your focus toward the success of internal operations by upgrading your office’s conference room design with top-grade technologies that improve operating efficiencies and put your Buffalo, NY business a step above the rest.

Ready to move your company forward? Prepare your conference room for the future with these four must-have technology solutions.

SEE ALSO: Here Are the Energy-Saving Features of Conference Room Automation

Motorized Window Treatments

Few things are more distracting than the glaring sun when trying to give a presentation or meet with clients in your conference room. Motorized window treatments are the perfect solution to keeping your conference room visually comfortable throughout various times of the workday.

What makes them better than manual shades or blinds? Motorized shades grant you the power to control every shade in your conference room from one device, without the hassle of pulling drawstring blinds. Just press a button on a touchscreen panel and watch as shades instantly and quietly rise or lower. For more convenience, configure your motorized shades with daylight sensors that can automatically lower them when direct sunlight is hitting your windows and causing glare inside your conference room.

What’s more, by integrating your shades with a smart thermostat, your shades can adjust to appropriately control the amount of solar heat or winter air that gets into your conference room, helping you to save on electricity.

Smart Lighting Control

Many conference room designs underestimate the importance of effective lighting for increased comfort and productivity. Smart lighting control enables you to create the perfect ambiance in your conference room for more constructive meetings.

From one interface, control all the lights in your conference room to brighten and dim as desired, and even program them to turn on and off on a schedule to help save energy.

Tunable lighting that simulates natural light is perfect for boosting productivity in the conference room. Preparing for a day-long meeting? With tunable lighting control, your lights’ temperature can gradually change from cooler tones to warmer hues throughout the day to stay in tune with the sun, putting less strain on your staff’s eyes and optimizing their energy levels.

Video Conferencing

The rise of telecommunication today is allowing for more flexibility when it comes to meetings and productivity. More employees are working from home or locations other than a standard office, creating a more dispersed workforce.

When staff members work from remote locations, or your clients need to meet but can’t drive to your office, an upgraded cloud-based video conferencing system can eliminate time and space barriers so anyone can communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere.

With an upgraded interactive video conferencing system, with 4K Ultra HD video cameras, microphones and an enterprise network installed in your boardroom, you’ll never have to worry about a lull in productivity. Our team can install a custom system that works quickly, reliably, and stays connected so your staff always has access to each other no matter how many are working remotely or are in the office.

Integrated Control System

Tie all of your smart technologies together in one control system to ensure more time management and smoother operations during conference room meetings.

With a control system, you can integrate the controls for your motorized shades, lighting, video conferencing system, and more into one easy-to-use interface to help maximize the power of your conference room design.

Control each technology separately from the same device, or automate them to work together by setting scenes that turn on your lights, close your shades, lower your projection screen, turn on your projector and video conferencing system — all at the press of one button.

Our team at Sound & Theater specializes in state-of-the-art conference room designs. We transform conference rooms with cutting-edge technology from top brands and lead the process from consultation and design to installation and ongoing support.

Our industry professionals are ready to help you upgrade your conference room this year to maximize your meetings and ultimately grow your business.

Just contact us here or send us a live chat below to get started!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Here’s a Glimpse into the Future of Home Theater Displays

Another year of the CES exposition has come and gone, and with it more than 188,000 techies who traveled to the show in Las Vegas. Every year, CES welcomes a wide range of companies, from tech titans to small startups, to show the world what technology innovations it can expect to see in the coming year.

Despite the sheer number of products showcased at CES every year, TV displays reliably steal the show. And this year didn’t disappoint. From whopping 219-inch displays and MicroLED technology to 8K picture and even rollable TVs, the exhibit floor was impressive.

If you stayed home in Amherst or in Western New York and missed the show, here’s a brief rundown of some of our favorite TV displays showcased at CES, some of which could even make their way into your next home theater installation.

SEE ALSO: A Beginner’s Q&A on Home Theaters: What You Need to Know

LG Signature OLED TV R

LG arguably stole the show with its flagship rollable TV that literally rolls into a base and disappears when not in use. Coming to the market in late 2019, this 4K Signature 65-inch rollable OLED TV moves in and out of its base like a roll of paper to perform a variety of use-cases.

At its tallest, the TV stands at a standard 16:9 ratio but can change its height to match a 21:9 cinema-wide ratio, which eliminates the black bars that often appear at the top and bottom of your screen when watching films. Bring the TV down further to be a small informational display for smart TV notifications, photos, and more. This could be perfect for hybrid home theater installations, in rooms that might serve multiple purposes in your house for example.

LG 88-inch Z9 8K OLED TV

For those who enjoy a more traditional display, LG showed off a variety of its OLED and LCD TVs, with an impressive one being its 88-inch Z9 8K OLED model. 8K may still be a ways from the market, but it’s certainly closer to customers’ hands now than it’s ever been. It’s currently the highest UHD television resolution in digital television and digital cinematography today.

This display features Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technology for a truly immersive audio visual experience, and it also features Alexa support in addition to Google Assistant so you can pick and choose the voice assistant that runs your smart home.

Samsung 219-inch MicroLED TV

Another jaw-dropping TV showcased at CES was Samsung’s whopping 219-inch UHD MicroLED display dubbed “The Wall.” This giant is created with modular MicroLED technology that aligns micro-metered-sized LEDs tightly together to form a screen. Similar to OLED, the modules emit light on their own but last longer than OLED technology. This creates a vibrant image with deep blacks and stunning, immersive contrast.

Don’t have a 219-inch space in your home theater for this TV? That’s okay. Samsung also showcased a 75-inch version aimed more toward smaller spaces. Both TV displays can perfectly blend in with your interior décor when not in use, which is a nice feature if your display is literally the size of your wall.

Samsung 98-inch QLED 8K TV

TV size was certainly a wow-factor at this year’s CES, and Samsung’s 98-inch QLED 8K display was no exception. Outsizing its 85-inch 8K display showcased at CES in 2018, Samsung keeps going bigger for those who desire a true home theater experience.

Samsung’s QLED 8K displays feature A.I. technology that can recognize and upscale any content, regardless of the native resolution, to near 8K quality no matter what you’re watching. You can also use voice commands with these TVs, as Samsung’s Bixby personal assistant is built right in.

Intimated by the behemoth 98-inch model? Samsung says it will also offer it in smaller sizes, from 65 to 85 inches.

Sony 98-inch Z9G 8K TV

The size competition continued on the show floor with Sony’s 98-inch Z9G 8K display. The largest of its TV lineup called the Master Series, the display includes the same Picture Processor X1 Ultimate as the rest of its Master Series collection. This processor has a unique algorithm for 8K that intelligently detects and analyzes every object in the picture, resulting in exceptional detail and contrast that more closely represents what the creator intended.

Although many of these impressive displays are not yet on the market, they’re certainly on their way. Our team at Sound & Theater takes pride in staying on top of the trends to bring the latest innovations to your home theater for optimum convenience and luxury.

Thinking about getting started on a home theater installation at your property in the Amherst area or elsewhere here in Western New York? Our team love to answer any questions you have and help get you started.

Just contact us here or send a chat below to talk to a team member today!

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview