Smart Ideas for Your Next Home Automation Project

Control4 and other automation manufacturers are changing our lives at home.Development in the field of science and technology has brought many changes in our lives. Today, we are using many machines and devices that our ancestors would have never thought of. Now days, home automation is having a deeper impact on lifestyle.  Manufacturers like Control4 are continuously coming up with new products.  The advantages of using modern home automation are too great to ignore, as it gives modern homes a new dimension where the homeowner has total control over the electric and electronic devices and appliances that they use everyday.

New Products for 2016

If you are interested in giving a new practical and safe dimension to your home, then custom home automation is just right for you. It allows you to do anything in your home with just a tap of your fingers, from anywhere in the world. Though it is difficult to believe, it is true, and thousands of homeowners in Canada have already adopted it. The result is simply amazing.

Just have a look at the important areas where home automation can be highly valuable:

Safety measures: Among all the advantages of custom home automation, this is probably the most important. With such a system working in your home, you control the safety devices (locks, cameras, alarm, locks) of your home, even if you are on vacation thousands of miles away. You can track an intruder in your home and intimate the police in no time.

Household tasks: You control your home from the palm of your hand, literally, as you can start, stop and control every device and appliance of your home with your smartphone or tablet, from inside your home, or from anywhere in the world. This may include your blinds, washing machine, microwave oven, vacuum cleaners, doors, windows, lights, and much more. With the help of your smartphone or tablet, you can send instruction to these gadgets and make them work even when you are not at home. Don’t you think it is sensational to wash and dry your clothes while you are working out at your gym? You can manage such tasks and find yourself just on right time in whatever you do.

Managing electrical appliances: Do you often come home late from the office? Does that make you worried about something? Forget this with your custom home automation working in your home. You can now switch on the electrical appliances and start cooking diner while in the elevator of your office tower.

Enhancing Your Home Lifestyle

You can even open and shut down the doors and windows of your home without moving from your seat. Talk to the experts at your local home automation store regarding the many additional applications that are available to make your life easier and safer. They are expert who understand your needs well and will be able to make suggestions and recommendations. You can rely upon their suggestions and capitalize on them. You can get a whole new atmosphere in your home where you can find things easier for you to manage. Your home can become a better place with these automated services. Are you still waiting? Go for it now..

Check out this video that covers the basics of turning your house into smart home.


Maximizing Your Home Theater Budget

media entertainment roomLet’s face it, home theater equipment is expensive.  If you want full listening and viewing experience in your entertainment room you’ll want the latest technology in home theater systems. Yes, home theater systems are indeed sophisticated nowadays and if you are having this kind of entertainment appliance. So if you want to install a new home theater system in your home, you should also consider maximizing the entertainment room where you would place your huge TV and speaker and other home theater components for your entertainment purposes.

Selecting the Right Room

The first thing that should be in your mind is the room itself. Yes, make sure that the room is well illuminated. Also, you may want to choose if the flooring is carpeted or you want it simple by installing wood parquet or any flooring design.

Of course the room should have enough space where you would put in your home theater system. It’s not just the TV set you would place but the speakers, sub woofers an also the seats as well. When it comes to the seat, make sure that it’s also maximized wherein your estimated visitors are able to sit comfortably. Of course you also have to make sure that your family will seat and watch comfortably.

Additionally when it comes to the space of the room, make sure that it is also well ventilated. You may want to include a ceiling fan or an air conditioning system. This is to make sure that your kids or your visitors are able to relax as they watch their favorite movies.

Now, you also have to make sure that the audio device are well placed. The speakers should at least surround the whole area. If in case your speakers are not enough, make sure that the sound is audible and everyone can listen to the music or the voice from the speaker. You can add amplifiers if you want to enhance the audibility of the speaker.

Heat Considerations

Many home theater components put off a great deal of heat.  For this reason equipment like amplifiers and surround sound processors should have adequate ventilation.  If stored in a cabinet, make sure there is a fan installed that will draw air out of the space.  Heat can severely shorten the life of electronic equipment.

The other devices or entertainment appliances should be placed in the proper place. For instance, the DVD or BluRay players should be placed in a secured place. These devices don’t create much heat so they can be stored on small shelves or even in drawers.  It is best to place a drawer or a simple cabinet where you would put such media players.

Now for the wiring, make sure that it is hidden or it cannot be easily seen. Wires can “damage” the decoration of your home entertainment room. So it’s best that you hide it by covering it with other non-flammable plastic wares for electrical and non-electrical wiring.

Keep in mind, to maximize the entertainment area for your home theater system, make sure that you have your own plan. This is just a suggestion so as to avoid any reconstruction or repairs in the room. Also, make sure that the entertainment appliances are already prepared so as to make sure that everything is placed in order and to avoid cluttering of space in the room. These are just some of the aspects you can consider in maximizing your home theater.

Ease of Control

Having a properly programmed universal remote is critical to allowing EVERYONE to get enjoyment from your system.  It allows for easy one touch on and off operation.  It also cuts down on the amount of time you’ll be providing tech support to your wife and kids.

Another option is a home automation system that controls all of your equipment for you.  These sorts of systems should be installed by home theater specialists.  You can read more here.

Oftentimes a smart home system will be used to control audio video gear in a home theater.  This allows for one touch operation of on and off functions, making operation of the system much simpler.  There are a variety of home automation systems out there including Crestron and Control4.

A home theater system can be expensive, but if you build a solid budget there’s no reason why shouldn’t be able to get full enjoyment from your system without breaking the bank.

What’s the Best All-In-One Remote for Your Theater System?

all in one remote

A high performance home theater system is a great investment for those that enjoy movies and sports.  Today’s surround technology is so good that it makes you feel like you are in the middle of the action.  You feel every hit, jump at every explosion, and experience the full emotion of powerful musical soundtracks.  While all of this sounds, many people suffer nothing but frustration in getting their equipment to operate easily and consistently.  This is why having a programmed universal remote control is an absolute must.

A Coffee Table Full of Remotes

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another.  You’ve bought all of your home theater gear and gotten it all hooked up and configured.  And since you’re the one that installed it, it’s no big deal for you to push the right button on all the remotes to get it up and working properly.  But for anyone else, just trying to watch TV is an exercise in frustration.

You end up with a sheet of paper that hangs out on your coffee table along with the 5 remote controls.  This complicated list is supposed to help your wife and kids navigate through the half dozen steps required to turn on all of your equipment.

God forbid you ever have to go out of town.  Next thing you know your doing tech support so that the wife and kids can just watch a movie.  It doesn’t have to be this way.

All In One Remotes

Most people have heard of universal remote controls by this time.  But many don’t realize just how easy they are to setup and program now.  Let’s take a look at a couple of the more popular brands and models that make turning your system on and off a one-touch operation.

Logitech Harmony Remotes

Logitech came out with their Harmony line of remotes starting in 2005.  The idea was to create a programming interface that allowed users to program their remote from a web application.  It contained a huge database of equipment so that users could quickly and easily select the components in their system.  The interface then created macros that turn all of your components on with the touch of a button.  Once all of the components have been turned on, the remote then changes the inputs until everything is as it should be.

The beauty behind this system was the interface.  Up until this point universal remotes required you to learn to use a software package that had a relatively small number of devices in their database.  Harmony built their interface to be as user friendly as possible.  And while it wasn’t customizable to the extent other remotes were, it was ideal for users that weren’t totally tech savvy.
The newer generations of Harmony remotes have built upon this technology and interface.  Programming a remote with their system is a breeze even for those with no technical knowledge or inclination at all.

Universal Remote

Universal Remote has been making all in one remotes for decades.  They have a wide variety of models that are designed to be programmed by end users and custom integrators alike.  The big advantage of these remotes over the Harmony remotes is the ability to completely customize the program.  This includes specifying delays within macros, discrete codes for power on, off, and inputs, and anything else you might wish to do with your remote.

The downside is that these remotes aren’t as easy to program as the Harmony.  They still require that you download software onto your computer and then figure out how to use it.  They do have videos on their website that are intended to help you with this process, but it can be frustrating if you don’t enjoy this sort of thing.  All but their lower end models are meant to be installed by a custom integrator such as Twist Technology LLC.

Their remotes range from models with small LCD displays to touch screen models.

A Note On Touch Screen Remotes

While touch screen remotes are often much more elegant looking, you should give hard button remotes serious consideration.  Touch screen remotes are much more prone to breaking when they are dropped.  They are similar to smartphones.  They are relatively durable, but not designed to take the shock of being dropped on the hardwood floor over and over again.

Secondly, a touchscreen remote has no ‘feel’.  When you want to change the channel you don’t want to have to look down at the remote to do so.  A hard button remote allows you to learn the layout and use it without looking down each time.  Some touch screens offer tactile feedback, but it’s rarely the same as a hard button remote.  Even some the more sophisticated home automation companies such as Control4 have gone to hard button based remotes.

If you’re tired of going through a cheat sheet of instructions every time you want to turn on the TV, take a look at some of these all in one remote options.  You, your family, and your friends will all appreciate it.

The Acoustical Challenges of Backyard Theaters

outdoor home theaterWhile most people would just be excited beyond belief to have an outdoor theater in their backyard, there are those that have taken the phenomenon of outdoor theaters to a whole different level.  From star glass screens to speakers hidden amongst landscaping, many of these theaters rival traditional home theaters in terms of audio and video performance.  These types of systems are especially popular in coastal areas like Tampa, Fl.

Sound In Outdoor Spaces

One of the first things you’ll notice when listening to music or movies in an outdoor space is that it takes a LOT more volume in an outdoor space to get the same impact that you get inside.  This is due to in large part to the fact that there are no walls or ceilings to trap sound waves.

The smaller a room is, the less power you need to fill it with music.  When you remove these boundaries you suddenly need a much more substantial system to get high quality sound.   A perfect example is the setup that concert venue’s use for their sound systems.  They often include dozens of extremely high powered speakers.

The same acoustical principles apply to an outdoor theater.  You need plenty of power, and if possible, structures that can help to trap the sound within the space.  This can be accomplished.  But it takes a good deal of planning and preparation.  Coordinating with your architect to build a space that is suitable for sound is a must.

If you’re looking at doing this in a backyard, this can be easier than it sounds.  For starters, your home itself can serve as one large acoustical surface.  In most cases the home would serve as the back ‘wall’ of your theater.  If you then include some small walls or an outdoor structure such as a summer kitchen you will then have your front ‘wall’ as well.

Proportions are Important

Having the proper back yard structures is important.  But it you want to get high performance sound you also need to take proportions into account as well.  As with normal theaters you need to take into account the distance from the speakers to the listening positions.

Generally speaking the speakers are a matter of compromise.  You want to get good sound, but most likely you don’t want to see the speakers.  This means that you must find a good balance.  More powerful speakers will of course be larger and easier to see.  There are a whole host of outdoor speakers that are designed to be practically invisible.  They are shaped like landscape lighting, planters and even logs or mushrooms.  They vary greatly in sound quality.  But speakers that don’t look like speakers can often be located more closely to the listening position without drawing attention.

Once you’ve determined the overall proportions of the listening area it’s only a matter of implementing the plan.  Finding a contractor that specializes in home theater systems is your first step.

Innovative Sight & Sound of Tampa is a good place to start.  They specialize in home theaters and home automation systems.  They can also custom design a system for your backyard as well.  Coastal style installations are their area of expertise.

Controlling Your System

Once you’ve got your system designed, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easy to control.  Oftentimes outdoor systems require a great deal of automation including dimming lights, raising a screen, and turning off water features or pool lights.  A Tampa home automation system is a great method of accomplishing this.

The Best Home Theater System Review

If you are a beginner you should buy the next two products. Although it does not represent an official offer manufacturers as HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) package, A / V receiver AVR 142 and speaker HKTS 11 naturally are referred to each other as belonging to the same price range, technically fully fit and, of course, encourage from the same house.



Tested A / V receiver is the beginning of supply manufacturer, and thereby belongs to the previous generation of these devices. However, given the fact that one can not expect that the base model is equipped with the latest technologies, this receiver proved to be quite equal the requirements that an average user home theater system should have. Characteristic design that fosters manufacturer for several generations back is questionable from the point of view of aesthetics, which is a matter of taste, but it certainly is functional: the front panel is exempt from the excess, the lines are sharp and simple, large display and clear, and the keys perfectly integrated and optimally dimensioned . In the lower part are placed more and frontal audio / video connections, concealed behind cover, as well as a headphone output, a known rotary commander with internal lighting is entered every time a grain of magic and make us smile. The last page contains a sufficient amount of necessary connections, including three HDMI inputs and one output, component video inputs, as well as five line audio inputs.


Speaker package consists of four identical satellites intended for front and rear channels, the center speaker is very similar in size and subwoofer, which gauges the appearance and somewhat stands out from the rest of the system. The satellites are equipped with wall brackets, which can be dismantled when installed on a stand or shelf, and the package includes all the necessary cables: RCA length of 4.5 meters for the subwoofer and speaker cables length 6:12 meters, designed satellites and center channel. The design does not bring anything new, and finish in imitation piano lacquer as it becomes standard in its class. However, thanks in large nets, mentioned finish on satellites hardly notices, and overall, the HKTS 11 is visually very good fit with the receiver. The satellites include two midrange drivers diameter of 7.5 inches and one tweeter diameter of 1.9 inches, a center speaker is equipped with the same units, but in the horizontal setting. All drivers are magnetically shielded, declared the sensitivity of the speaker is 86 decibels, and the recommended amplifier power is 10-120 watts into eight ohms. Compared with the satellites, subwoofer operates more serious: an integrated amplifier power of 200 watts, driver diameter of 25 inches and weight of less than 22 pounds, have encouraged us in the hope of this system we expect something more than the average, if for no other reason, at least for fame the name it bears.