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Enjoying the Very Best of High-End Audio With Bang and Olufsen

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There’s a common complaint among many Atlanta, GA homeowners when it comes to their high-end audio gear.

It sounds great, but it just doesn’t look very good.

For some, the best solution is to hide away their equipment. A great solution given current selections of hidden technology components, but it’s not always ideal.

What do you do with great-sounding, powerful floor-standing speakers? Or the soundbar sitting in front of your 4K UHD flat-panel?

The solution is simple. You lean in.

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Three Necessary Accessories for Every Home Theater System

Home theaters are becoming amazing popular with long-time homeowners. After all, who wouldn’t want to come home after a long and busy day and unwind with your favorite movie or television series? If you’re in the market for the perfect home theater complete with full surround sound audio, you can rely on Atlanta Audio and Automation to help you with everything from construction and design to wiring and full assembly. But what about the extras? Here are four things that every home theater should include for convenience and comfort.

Home Theater Seating

Comfortable seating is going to make the difference between an awesome time and a sore back. Fortunately, there are lots of options to choose from, including full theater-style reclining seats to cozy sofas and sectionals that can seat the whole family. You can even customize your seats with bass shaker systems that rumble whenever the bass of the movie begins to vibrate. It’s all about comfort and class when choosing our furnishings; make sure you love what you choose.

Universal Remote

Nothing will make your home theater setup more confusing than having to play with three or four different remotes. Instead of bothering with all that, take advantage of our Control4 user experience and control everything in your home theater (and your home) from one device! Change the channel, raise the volume, turn on steaming services, or listen to music. It’s all at your fingertips with our universal controls.

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The Most Important Home Theater Trends From CES 2018

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Home theater technology constantly is evolving.

Whether it’s the latest in picture resolution or audio quality, manufacturers continuously are improving their products.

This was as apparent as ever at this year’s CES 2018 – the annual consumer technology show in Las Vegas.

So, what did we learn at this year’s convention? And how might it impact the home theater in your Atlanta, GA area residence in the near future?

We answer those questions in the sections below. Just keep reading to find out more.

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Electronic House Names Atlanta Audio & Automation 2017 Home of the Year Awards Winner

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  May 31, 2017 - Framingham, MA - Electronic House, the leading information site for smart home consumers, announces the winners of the 2017 Home of the Year Awards, recognizing the best technologies, products, and services for the smart home.

"Our annual Home of the Year contest winners represent the finest implementations of smart home technology," says Electronic House editor Lisa Montgomery. "From creative integration of systems to innovative design and installation techniques, the winning home systems integration companies and projects serve as inspiration to any homeowner interested in incorporating smart elements into their own residences."

All entries were judged on integration and engineering, and specific ways in which the technology has enhanced the lives of the people who are using it.  

 Best Smart Home Less than $150K - Traditional Home

 Gold

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MP3 No More: The End of the Digital Music File Format

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Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise: the developers of the MP3 file format have officially killed it. Just like VHS tapes, standard-definition DVDs and 8-track cassettes, the once-pioneering format has gone the way of the dinosaurs. But what does that mean for your whole home audio system? Should you prepare to replace all of your music files once again? Not exactly. In this blog, we’ll explore what the end of the MP3 means to your system.

 

 

See Also: Is This the Era of Lossless Audio?

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Some Benefits of Working With a Control4 Home Automation Expert

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As one of the most popular integrated systems around, Control4 home automation is a perfect addition to your Georgia property. But many homeowners wonder why working with a professional integrator is such an important part of the process. After all, don’t you get the same level of service from a DIY system? The answer is more complicated than it may seem. In this blog, we’ll show you why you may want to work with a Control4 home automation expert if you’re thinking about upgrading your home.

 

 

See Also: Control4 Home Automation: A Smarter Way to Live

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All of the Ways You Can Enjoy 4K Right Now in Your Atlanta Home Theater

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If you’re a fan of technology, you’ve probably already had a home theater integrated in your Atlanta property. For some homeowners though, they expect limited content when it comes to 4K. After all, 4K Ultra HD was a big shift from now-standard 1080p, which requires increases in network bandwidth and upgrades to some of your home technology. But if you’ve gone through the trouble of integrating that new tech, you don’t want it to go to waste. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the ways you can enjoy 4K Ultra HD resolution right now. Read on for more.

See Also: Using Sonos for Excellent Audio in Your Georgia Home Theater Part 2

4K Physical Media and Digital Downloads

It seems like forever ago that we were talking about 4K Blu-ray first hitting shelves. Today, many of your favorite movies are getting prestigious 4K UHD re-releases on home video. And just about every major studio blockbuster of 2016 received a simultaneous HD and UHD release when they hit home video. If you’re in the market to bolster your collection with more discs featuring 4K UHD and Dolby Atmos compatibility, you won’t be shortchanged at the local video store.

However, as 4K UHD continues to grow, digital downloads are becoming more and more common. Homeowners are waving goodbye to their physical collections and replacing them with digital downloads. Companies are offering full 4K video storage servers that minimize space requirements while hosting a wide selection of full Ultra HD movies.

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Control4 Home Automation: A Smarter Way to Live

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Technology is cool, right? Whether you want to surf the web on your smartphone or ask Alexa to order you a pizza, you can do more than ever with the devices in your Atlanta home. But with added convenience comes increased complexity – unless you invest in a system that simplifies everything for you. A Control4 home automation system can streamline the controls of every device in your house with a single, easy-to-use interface. Control4 seamlessly integrates all of your favorite devices for enhanced convenience. Read on to learn more.

The Devices You Love

Are you a fan of Sonos? Or Amazon’s Alexa? Control4 was among the first smart home manufacturers to announce compatibility with both. Why? Because they sensed a change in what homeowners want: instead of an exclusive system that only offers proprietary compatibility, users want to select the brands they love without sacrificing the convenience of a single control interface. In a recent press release, Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn said this:

“Everything working seamlessly together is central to the connected home experience, yet fluid interoperability remains the number one frustration for consumers, especially when bringing new connected products into their homes. The power of Control4… helps to remove that frustration and delivers the required orchestration and personalization of the connected home to every member of the family.”

Along with the aforementioned Sonos and Alexa, Control4 seamlessly integrates with Nest, Somfy and Lutron. It’s also Z-Wave certified, so it can control most Z-Wave devices as if they were native to the Control4 interface.

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Is This the Era of Lossless Audio?

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For the past few years, lossless audio has been slowly creeping into the minds of music fans across the country. First there were the lossless files like FLAC and DSD, but they were too big to store on easily-accessible hard drives. When high capacity hard drives began to shrink in size, streaming services began to dominate the market. For a long time, it looked like “better than CD-quality” sound was just a pipe dream. Today, two major streaming services, Tidal and Spotify, are competing to be the top lossless streaming service. Find out what that means for your Atlanta whole home audio system after the jump.

See Also: Is iTunes Gearing up to Replace the Movie Theater?

Spotify Hi-Fi         

First off, the big news from earlier this month: in order to compete with the announcement late last year that Tidal would be streaming lossless audio as part of its highest tier subscription, Sonos has unveiled their very own hi-fi streaming service, appropriately called Sonos Hi-Fi. According to The Verge, a number of Spotify subscribers were offered a chance to test the service in late February, including a new pricing tier for the upgraded subscription.

So it looks like Spotify is serious about the move to lossless streaming. That makes it the second service to offer high fidelity streaming after Tidal. Will this spark a new generation of streaming wars? And where does Apple Music fit into all of this? Only time will tell. Until then, it’s best to get your whole home audio system ready.

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Using Sonos for Excellent Audio in Your Georgia, Home Theater Part 2

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Last month we highlighted why Sonos makes a perfect addition to any secondary home theater, thanks in part to the wireless capabilities and compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the new products and technology upgrades the wireless audio giant is releasing to take center stage in surround sound. If you’re looking for a way to enhance a second home theater in your Georgia property, or you want to begin building a small, entry-level system, this blog will show you where to start. Read more after the jump.

See Also: Using Sonos for Excellent Audio in Your Atlanta Home Theater

The Sonos Playbase

One of the big releases this year is the Sonos Playbase. The Playbase isn’t Sono’s first foray into home theater or media room tech – their Playbar remains a strong contender in the soundbar market. But the soundbase offers an added kick, particularly for homeowners with a smaller setup.

While the Playbar is designed to be mounted on the wall underneath a hanging TV screen, you’ll place your display directly on top of the Playbase. The added real-estate that the TV balances on is put to good use, with plenty of room to emphasize deeper bass notes. The result is a system that offers a lot of power in a relatively compact package.

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Helping Our Heroes: Smart Home Systems for Wounded Veterans

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Some companies measure success by how much money they make. Others by how many return customers they acquire. But when we look at our success, we have another measurement: how we give back to our community. We pride ourselves on serving Atlanta and the surrounding areas with accessible, easy-to-use Elan g! and Control4 home automation systems, but we also strive to do more for the people around us. That’s why we’re proud to share that we’re working with the Gary Sinise Foundation Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E) initiative to provide specially adapted smart homes to wounded veterans.

See Also: How Smart Home Automation Is Changing in the New Year

Smart Automation: A Helping Hand

When you think of a smart home, you might think of the convenience that comes with one-touch controls of your everyday devices. But for wounded veterans like US Army Master Sergeant Cedric King (Ret.) of Duluth, GA, who have given up so much in the name of duty, a smart automation system is the helping hand they need to complete everyday tasks.

We’ve partnered with Elan g!, Snap AV, Core Brands and Seura to help give Master Sergeant King a home that simplifies his lifestyle based on his unique needs. With a single iPad or iPhone he can control the security and surveillance systems, lights, shades, audio video, thermostats and more.

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Using Sonos for Excellent Audio in Your Atlanta, Home Theater

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If you know anything about us, you know that we work hard to create the perfect Atlanta home theater experience. You can enjoy the sights of stunning 4K HDR displays and immersive Dolby Atmos audio in a dedicated space. But what if you want to expand home theater tech to another space – say a room above the garage or pool house? A wireless solution by Sonos just may be the answer. In this blog, we’ll explore the ways you can craft a secondary home theater with Sonos audio.

See Also: Home Theater Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

Perfect for Surround Sound

When building a secondary home theater for guests, space is always a major consideration. Often the same area will have to accommodate sleeping arrangements as well as entertainment options. That’s where Sonos shines, by offering unobtrusive audio equipment that can be placed just about anywhere.

The best part? Your guests can still enjoy full 5.1 surround sound. By combining a Sonos sound bar – which offers three distinct channels – a sub and two satellite speakers, your secondary home theater can sound great without cluttering up the limited space. You can even select between the substantial Play:3 or the top-of-the-line Play:5 for a fully customizable sonic experience.

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The Benefits of Using a Sonos Sound System

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Are you trying to figure out what sound system you should purchase for your home? Learn about some of the advantages of using a Sonos home sound system.

It’s Wireless

The major benefit of any wireless system is not having to deal with wires. You can avoid the following issues:

  • Making sure everything is plugged into the right place
  • Starting over from square one when the wires don’t reach the desired speaker location
  • Worrying about a messy, cluttered look with wires all over the place
  • Spending extra time trying to hide the wires

Plain and simple, going wireless gives your space a cleaner look without all the extra work.

Calls Don’t Disrupt Your Music

Most wireless speakers systems stream music via Bluetooth connection. This means that your music is constantly getting disrupted whenever you receive a text or phone call.

With Sonos systems, music is streamed through a wireless Internet connection, meaning you won’t have to worry about interruptions. The music just keeps playing!

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How Smart Home Automation Is Changing in the New Year

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There’s no denying that 2016 was a huge year for smart home automation, but the biggest changes to the integrated technology landscape are still ahead. With the growing popularity of voice-control features and increased desire to turn every aspect of the home “smart,” we’re seeing plenty of developments that could radically alter your home this year. In this blog, we’ll highlight some new smart home features that you should know about. Read more after the jump.

See Also: Is Gesture Control the Next Smart Home Automation Command Method?

Voice-Controllable Security              

Security systems are among the most important aspects of any smart home solution because homeowners love to stay in-the-know about what’s happening when they’re at home and away. But as ultra-safe features like biometrics and remote-monitoring become more common, there’s a desire to make systems more convenient and user-friendly. And what’s simpler than voice-control?

We’ve already seen Alexa-compatible security systems, though it hasn’t made much noise in the security market. However, the announcement of a Homekit-compatible system debuting at this year’s CES, it could be the next big step in protecting your property.

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Home Theater Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

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With the New Year now in full swing, it’s time to start looking ahead at the new technology you’ll soon be able to enjoy in your Georgia home theater. Everything from advanced display technology to top of the line audio gear means you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more in your private cinema this year. In this blog, we’ll highlight some of our favorite trends to look out for in 2017. Read on for more.

See Also: Is iTunes Gearing up to Replace the Movie Theater?

Displays

High-dynamic range and 4K Ultra HD have taken the world by storm in 2016, so what’s next on the horizon? There’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months. Here are some of our favorites:

OLED: While OLED technology has been around for a while, it’s been a bit slow to catch on in the mainstream market. For a long time LG was the only major manufacturer producing TV displays with the backlighting technology, but with big announcements from Samsung and Sony that they would be jumping on the OLED bandwagon soon, it looks like this year may be its time to shine.

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Choosing a Speaker Setup

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With so many speaker styles on the market, it can be hard to know what kind of speakers are best for your situation. There are a lot of factors to consider, like design, space, and budget. Take a look at some of the most popular sound system options for home theaters and media rooms, and see which one matches your needs best.

Freestanding Speakers

These have long been the gold-standard of sound systems, and for good reason. A dedicated freestanding speaker system offers amazing sound. And since they’ve been around so long, they’ve had time to evolve to fit a lot of different niches. They come in a number of sizes and styles to match any room and any décor. The drawback? The space they occupy. A single pair of stereo speakers isn’t often a problem, but some people don’t like that look. And when you’re upgrading to a 5.1, 7.1, or 12.1 surround sound system, the amount of space required by the speakers can begin to seem considerable—not always great for smaller rooms.

Soundbar

Soundbars are great step up from a TVs built-in speakers, offering fuller sound and even the ability to simulate surround sound without multiple speakers throughout the room. A more extensive sound system can offer even more, of course, but in a family room or media room that isn’t dedicated wholly to the audiovisual system, a soundbar is an economical and space-efficient upgrade.

In-Wall Speakers

One of the most elegant solutions for dedicated home theater rooms, in-wall speakers are built flush into the walls, and can even be completely hidden, either by the drywall itself or by artwork or other décor. The sound quality, of early in-wall systems couldn’t match freestanding systems of the day, but, as we’ve written about before, modern in-wall systems sound great. Cutting into the walls and running the wires can get costly, though; it’s often best to build an in-wall sound system into the room from the very beginning. And speaker placement has to be flawless, as once it’s done, adjustments are almost impossible. But done well, the results are amazing.

In-Ceiling Speakers

Speakers can also be built into the ceiling of your theater or media room. These speakers are installed in recesses cut into the ceiling, and can, like in-wall speakers, be completely hidden behind drywall. There are a few important differences between wall speakers and ceiling speakers, however. First, even though the installation is similar to an in-wall installation, the wiring for in-ceiling speakers is usually a bit simpler, because the wires only need to be run up one wall and can cross the ceiling without needing to put holes through studs and firebreaks. The primary drawback of in-ceiling speakers, though, is that all the sound comes from above, which can sound unnatural.

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Home Security: Is your home secured for the holidays?

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Burglaries are on the rise in December

You’re not the only one window shopping this season. Every year, there is a rise in home burglaries for the last two weeks of December. That’s because criminals have been peeking through your windows, going through your garbage cans, and waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. And what better time to rob someone than right after Christmas? New TVs, gaming consoles, computers, and other expensive gifts are all left home when you travel for the holidays; or even return to your day job. When you can’t always count on a neighbor or friend to watch your home while you’re away, what can you do? With today’s home security systems, you can keep an eye on your home from anywhere.

Protect your home with Video Surveillance and Smart Security

With the growth in technology, it’s time to upgrade the alarm system. Video surveillance and smart security will give you the ability to peek in on your home from your iPad, iPhone, or Android device. The live video feed will give you access to view who’s at the door, who’s inside your home, and who’s lurking around the perimeter. Forgot to set the alarm when you left? No worries. You’ll be able to arm and disarm the alarm system from your device, even if you’re thousands of miles away from Atlanta. And with only a staggering 13.6% of burglaries resulting in arrests, you’ll be glad you upgraded your alarm system. Burglars leave hardly any evidence behind, making it difficult to find the intruders or your stolen objects. That’s why it’s smart to have video surveillance in your home. You can use the live video feed to alert police if there are intruders in your home. With the capability to record and play back video, you’ll have the evidence to put an end to their ‘shopping spree’. Smart Security and Video Surveillance is a must have in the world we live in today. You wouldn’t browse the web without security on your computer, so why leave your home without an alarm system to thwart the physical criminals.

Protect your home, family, and belongings from the Grinches of the world this holiday season. To learn more about us and our solutions, or to speak with a professional about your needs, visit http://atlantaaudio.com/our-solutions/security-surveillance

Is Gesture Control the Next Smart Home Automation Command Method?

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Now that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are making waves in the smart home automation market, many homeowners are beginning to experience the convenience of voice-control. But some manufacturers are looking beyond the coming months and trying to determine what comes next. For some, that just might be gesture control. What does that mean for your Georgia property? This blog may help answer that question. Read on for more.

See Also: Is Google Assistant the Next Big Thing in Smart Home Automation?

The First Steps in Gesture Control

While the perfected technology may still be years away, some manufacturers have begun taking the leap into gesture control. The latest adopter is smart thermostat company NEST, who have collaborated with eyeSight Technologies to integrate their optical system with their products. According to Electronic House:

“eyeSight Technologies is making it possible to operate a NEST thermostat with the introduction of  singlecue Gen 2. In the singlecue app, users can add Nest Thermostat as a climate device and create a new climate activity on their singlecue Gen 2 device. Once users sync their singlecue Gen 2 device with the app, they can control the temperature (up or down) by a simple wave of a finger.”

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Is iTunes Gearing up to Replace the Movie Theater?

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Remember the days when “direct-to-video” was synonymous with “low-quality”? Today that’s no longer the case with being able to easily access streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that produce celebrated original content, and higher-end services like Prima Cinema who put Hollywood blockbusters in your home the same day they premier in theaters. Maybe that’s why Apple is starting to make waves in the day-and-date streaming market. But what does that mean for your Atlanta home theater? Find out after the jump.

See Also: The Secret to Stunning 4K UHD in Your Atlanta Home Theater

Same Day as Theaters? 

As movie theaters start to wane and studios look for new ways to push out their content, your home theater stands to gain a lot. Now that Apple is entering the discussion, you may even be able to stream first run movies on iTunes. According to Bloomberg:

“21st Century Fox Inc., Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures all confirmed over the past week that they are looking to offer high-priced, home-video rentals of new movies shortly after they open in theaters.”

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The Secret to Stunning 4K UHD in Your Atlanta Home Theater

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The autumn is the perfect time to integrate upgrades to your Atlanta home theater system. With the major holidays right around the corner – and don’t forget the Super Bowl hitting early next year – you’ll want to begin upgrading your space with full 4K UHD HDR picture quality. But not all systems are created equal, and there are some issues you’ll want to address before you can enjoy the beauty of higher resolution and color range. In this blog, we’ll show you what to look out for. Read more after the jump.

See Also: The Coolest Things Atlanta Home Theater Owners Will Love From CEDIA 2016

Cabling

The most common – and most frequently overlooked – issue with upgrading your system is ensuring the proper amount of bandwidth. Remember, 4K UHD offers four times the resolution of 1080p HD, and that means your cables need to support four times the information. Throw HDR into the mix and you could suffer from a downscaled signal or even no picture at all.

So upgrading your cables is essential. For any devices contained within the theater, say a local UHD Blu-ray player, you can connect them with HDMI 2.0 cables. For any hardware racked neatly in the basement, you’ll want to fortify your signal with fiber optic cables which, unlike HDMI 2.0, can transmit 4K signals over long distances.

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