Myths About Smart Homes

Smart devices are so abundant that the term “smart” is worn-out to the point that it is almost meaningless. The term “smart” began several years ago with smartphones and has extended to thermostats, doorbells, alarm systems, and kitchen appliances. Misconceptions about smart homes are dominant and create confusion in the marketplace.

Here are a few misconceptions about smart homes:

APPS ARE SMART

Everyone knows that apps are convenient and relatively easy to use. It seems that there is an app for everything generally speaking. Although it sounds too good to be true, it is also too good to pass up for many people. That fact is that apps are not smart, they don’t control anything. In order for them to control anything they must connect to and communicate with a control system. That is what most people don’t understand.

SMART DEVICES WORK TOGETHER

There are so many smart appliances and devices on the market today so it is understandable that the average consumer might think that they actually communicate and work together. That unfortunately is simply not the case. Even if all the smart devices operate using Wi-Fi communications doesn’t mean they will work together. When updates are made to either the hardware or software, functionality may be affected for some period. That is a way of saying the device or system won’t work and there is no way of knowing for how long.

IT’S A DIY PROJECT

The next myth is that the average person can do it themselves. But unless you are a skilled professional, you shouldn’t take on a smart home project. If you want to use Alexa or Google Assistant virtual assistant software to turn on and off a light, then go for it. But a smart home takes more planning and expertise. 

NEED A PROGRAMMER TO MAKE CHANGES

While professional help is needed for the initial install and setup, the system is easy to manage once it is up and running. Which makes life so much easier for both dealer and customer. Before when smart homes were the new thing, if the cable provider changed something, the homeowner would have to call the dealer or programmer to reprogram the system.

 

 

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 

 


How to Adapt

We ended the school year last year by doing some sort of distant learning. Now our kids have to start school doing distant learning this year due to the current circumstances. Schools have had more of an opportunity to figure out how to properly do remote learning and virtual classes during the non-existent summer. 

Learning can take many forms, but even with the best technology, settling into the school mindset at home can prove a real challenge. Here are a few tips to help your family balance living, working and learning at home together. 

DESIGNATE A STUDY STATION

A lot of us grew up doing homework at the kitchen table while one of our parents made dinner. This was a tried and true method as your parents could answer questions and it got the kids away from toys and televisions.

With remote classes requiring access to a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet and a reliable internet connection, older students may need a full learning center setup. Whereas younger children will only need space for worksheets, art supplies and hands-on-learning tools. A private desk area can make studying easier without the outside distractions.

STRUCTURE YOUR DAYS

Sticking to a schedule is helpful for everyone. Working parents will need to be able to plan ahead and children need some of the same boundaries they had when they were still in a typical classroom. 

The school may have a schedule as to when or how homework should be turned in. You should help your child plan out their day and discuss how much time their projects should take. Have them keep a planner to track assignments. They need to be able to take breaks to stand up and move around. 

LIVING IS LEARNING

The entire school system and experience has changed, what it feels like overnight. So, when things don’t feel normal it could be easy to lose motivation and focus. You shouldn’t be discouraged if your child is having a hard time sitting down for hours in front of a computer screen, most adults have the same issue.

It is important to remember that learning is not separate from living and there are a lot of lessons to be learned around us. The boundaries of a classroom are limited to your imagination. There are life skills you can teach your child outside of the classroom.

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Wiring Your Home

Building a new home can be exciting and also stressful because you get to customize it the way you want. If you are looking to rewire a pre-existing home, it may be a little more work, but it is doable. You will have to start by contacting an architect to get plans drawn up.  After you talk to an architect you are going to want to talk to a building contractor.

Regardless of whether or not you are building a new home or retrofitting a pre-existing home, you are going to want the wiring done properly. Wiring this correctly can save you time, money and frustration (not just for you but for the technicians that are going to install your audio video equipment.)

CONSIDER A 10-YEAR PLAN

While you are in the planning stages you will want the wiring that is going to be installed to last throughout the years. You are going to have to think about the devices that you may want to add in the future.

START WITH A FLOOR PLAN

Working with the architect you will get your floor plan, next you are going to want to pencil in where you want your devices to be installed, anything from your streaming devices to your smart lighting keypads. You are going to also want to put in what types of solutions you’d like in each room. 

MARK YOUR WIRING AND OUTLETS

On the plans you are going to want to mark where the wall outlets are located in each room you will be automating. Your audio/video technician, such as us, or your builder can help you with this.

RUN SPEAKER WIRE

You are going to want to run speaker wire to every room that you are going to have speakers in. Your audio/video technician should be able to run this wire properly. Because you don’t want to run the speaker wires too close to power wires in order to avoid interference.

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.


Ultimate Home Theater

Big audio-visual enthusiasts probably find themselves daydreaming about the ultimate home theater, especially with the global pandemic. You are probably asking yourself; what tv would best display my favorite movie, what sound system would rock the house, or what seats would make me never want to leave? First things first you need to come up with a budget, but if you have an unlimited budget then there is a list for you.

SCREEN

There are a few ways you can go about your home theater screen. You can get a projector and projector screen, or you can get an enormous television screen. For a projector screen you’ll have to choose between a fixed screen or a motorized. 

Samsung has a 98” television that has real 8k resolution and is full HD. It has astounding clarity that has concentrated zones of precision-controlled LEDs displayed with ultra-deep blacks and pure whites. 

Screen Innovations has quite a few options for any budget. Once you figure out if you want a fixed screen or a motorized screen, then you have to decide which size you want. Projector screens come in so many different sizes, so just choose the location you want your screen and we will help you chose the correct size for you.

For projector options there are quite a few, but to get an amazing home theater you would want a Sony projector. They have different options with different features.

SPEAKERS

After you figure out your screen next you will want to figure out what type of sound you want. You’ll be surprised with the different speakers you could get. Do you want in ceiling or in wall speakers. Do you want round, square or rectangle? 

Sonance has a wide variety of different speakers, not only in shape or location but in size as well. You can get 4”, 6” or 8” in ceiling speakers. They also have a new invisible series that has motion flex technology which is a suite of advancements in invisible speaker engineering for unparalleled acoustic performance from an invisible speaker.

EQUIPMENT

There are different types of equipment you should look into. 

Do you want to control your home theater system from an app? Then you are looking into home automation with either Crestron or Control4, which are leaders in home automation systems. 

For a receiver you’ll want the best and Marantz just released a few 8K receivers, that range in price to fit your budget.

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Normal School Environment from Home

Schools have been shut down since before spring making children have to learn remotely. A lot of parents were having the same issue, how can they keep their child’s lives as normal as possible. One solution is that all available rooms with a tv now become usable for work, class, and extracurricular activities. 

 A lot of schools are providing Chromebooks, but kids can’t just sit at the kitchen table or in their rooms because they get antsy. It can also be a distraction to have multiple kids on an interactive call at the same time in the same area.

SCENARIOS

Using the television in your living will make remote learning seem more personal. Also using a HDMI quickport in the wall will make it where you can hide the HDMI when not in use. You can setup the laptop and connect it to the television via the HDMI quickport.

Music class

A music class is more vibrant on the big tv screen and through the surround sound system that is already installed in your home. 

Dance class

Because of the shutdown of the country all of the kid’s extra-curricular activities have been canceled. Now a lot of extra-curricular activities are doing online alternatives. 

Work from home

Some people still prefer their laptop and monitor for most of their meetings. But for some meetings it is nice to have the large screen. It can be tiring wearing a headset all day long.

Done with class or work?

After the long day of classes or meetings it is simple to shut everything down, just the push of one button. 

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Home Theater

Everyone loves going to the movie theaters because they have the best surround sound, the big screen, the darkness and popcorn. There is something special seeing the lights dim and the movie starting. The mystery behind the movie magic will always be part of its charm. Today, we are armed with the latest technology that can bring the theater to your home.

STARTING NEW

You are starting from scratch on your home theater and you have blueprints. You are already one step ahead of the game. You will collaborate with a building contractor and create a custom home theater that fits your style and character of the rest of your property. 

When building from the bottom up, you can plan ahead and include the wiring you’ll need for lighting, audio, video, shades, etc. before the walls are even built. You can even decide if you’d like to mount a retractable projector, cinema quality seats, or add extra sound dampening insulation.

STARTING OVER

Starting over with an existing garage, attic, basement, or side room will require a bit more creativity and time. You’ll have to look carefully at the room you have chosen to be your home theater. Understanding and optimizing your room’s existing acoustical characteristics will go the furthest toward creating an immersive environment. The placement of windows, walls and other furnishings will significantly impact the acoustics and operation of every component you choose. 

Draw up plans to help avoid any construction challenges before you tear down or into your walls. You’ll want to confirm that the space has enough room to accommodate a 100-120” screen, the throw distance will match your projector to the screen, and can you make the space you chose completely dark when it’s time for the movie to start?

ELECTRONICS

Choosing the right electronic equipment will elevate your movie-watching experience. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you want to make sure that the equipment you do purchase is going to last and sound great for years to come.

Audio

You’ll want to start by looking at the speakers and subwoofer options. Make a budget for all acoustical components you’ll need to gain a three-dimensional audio experience. Every cent spent on a great surround system will be worth it. 

Depending on how you designed your theater room, you may have 5, 7, 9, or 11 speakers and one subwoofer. For a traditional Dolby Digital 5.1 you will need five speakers. You may want a in wall subwoofer that way it will not take up the floor space.

Visuals

By picking a home theater specialist you won’t have to worry if your projector and your screen will match up, the specialist should be able to figure that out for you. When it comes to the projector screen, you have two options; fixed and retractable. A fixed screen will help everyone’s eyes focus on the picture because they generally have a border around them.

Lighting is the last component. With either Crestron or Contro4’s smart lighting, your home theater’s functionality will be even better. You won’t have to get up to turn on or off the lights before or after your movie.

 

About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Motorized Shades

With the intense summer heat can affect more than your outdoor activities. When you don’t have some type of shading installed on the windows on your home the sun can have an unfavorable impact on the indoor environment. If you don’t have some type of shading installed when the sunlight comes through the window it can drive up the temperature in the house. 

There is also damage that can occur from the incoming UV rays. UV rays act as a natural bleaching agent. The natural lighting can cause your upholstery, flooring, and artwork to fade over time. The glare of the sunshine can also be hard on your eyes and health. You will notice it when you are trying to read, watch TV, or get a good night’s sleep. 

Covering the window glass with shades, blinds or draperies is the obvious solution to the sun issue. You will actually need to use the window treatments that you install to realize their full benefits. A study from the U.S. Department of Energy states that at least 75% of window coverings remain in the same position on a daily basis. The reason is because adjusting each shade manually can be a terribly tedious exercise, especially if the windows are hard to reach. 

MOTORIZED SHADES SAVE TIME AND MONEY

You can find motorized shades in a wide variety of styles to suit your home décor and the shape and size of your window. Most motorized shading systems can be integrated with smart home devices, like timers and sensors. Using the integrated shading system can leave you out of the equation as you won’t have to remember when to move the shades up or down. 

For the ultimate shade control, you can invest in a compatible home automation system, like Crestron or Control4. That will allow you to sync the lights and thermostats with the movement of the window coverings. For example; when the shades are up during the day exposing the sunlight there is no need to use lamps or other artificial lighting. 

A home automation system can switch all the lights off, close the shades and lock the doors just by pressing one button on your remote. 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Video Doorbells – Hikvision

In this final installment of video doorbells we will tell you about the Hikvision doorbell.

Hikvision doesn’t just sell security cameras, they now sell video doorbells as well. With a Hikvision doorbell you can answer your door and monitor your home from anywhere with the new 3MP video doorbell camera. You would be able to see, hear and speak with anyone at your door from your smartphone or tablet using the Hik-Connect app.

Hikvision’s doorbell camera comes with adjustable passive infrared motion-detection zones to focus on the most important areas around your door. When someone enters a pre-set motion-detection zone near your door, or when the doorbell is pressed, an alert will send a notification on your phone or tablet. 

Hikvision’s doorbell camera has a wide field-of-view up to 180-degrees vertical, making it easy to see the entire area and visitors from head to toe. The doorbell camera comes with 3 different colored faceplates, black, gray and white. 

Featuring live on-demand video streaming, two-way audio, built-in IR illumination for night vision up to 16 feet, and weather-resistant design, your home will be protected around-the-clock, day and night, rain or shine. With the Hik-Connect app you can have your video cameras and the video doorbell all on one app.

There are two ways to save or store the video recordings, either on a MicroSD card or Hikvision NVR. With the Hikvision video doorbell whether you are on vacation, away on business, or just too busy at home you will be able to answer your door from anywhere, at any time. 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Video Doorbells – Nest Hello

In this second installment of video doorbells we will tell you about the Nest Hello.

Nest doesn’t just have thermostats and cameras anymore. They have a video doorbell as well. Nest is a Google owned company. You want to do everything you can to protect your home from intruders and the first thing you should do is add a video doorbell. 

The Nest Hello video doorbell combines the convenience of a video doorbell with the image quality and intelligence of a Nest Cam. The video doorbell has an HD camera and has a 160-degree view with a 4:3 aspect ratio designed to show people head to toe. The video saves to cloud so it is kept safe and private.

Nest Hello is a little different than other video doorbells. It can tell the difference between a person and a thing, then it will alert you, even if a visitor doesn’t ring the bell. It can also let you know if it spots a stranger or someone you know with Nest Aware. 

Nest Hello requires a wired doorbell, chime and the right power transformer. If your house doesn’t have the existing doorbell wires or the right power transformer you can use the indoor power adapter. 

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.

 


Video Doorbells - Ring

In the first installment of video doorbells we will tell you about the Ring doorbells.

There are a few different video doorbells that you can use at your home. Video doorbells take the place of a traditional doorbell and you can talk and see the person at your front door. A video doorbell will also record motion. Ring is a popular company that makes a few different types of video doorbells. 

The Ring video doorbells:

VIDEO DOORBELL 2nd GENERATION

The ring video doorbell is an upgrade from the original video doorbell. It has 1080p HD video, better image quality in day and night modes, and updated motion zones. With a built-in rechargeable battery, you won’t have to worry about the battery dying. 

VIDEO DOORBELL 3 AND 3 PLUS

You can see, hear and speak to visitors from anywhere with the video doorbell 3 and 3 plus. You can customize the motion settings to focus on key areas. The 3 and 3 plus have a more reliable connection due to enhanced Wi-Fi. They have 1080p HD video, live view and night vision. There are a few ways to power the video doorbell 3; rechargeable quick-release batteries or hardwired to an existing doorbell system.

VIDEO DOORBELL PRO

The Pro has a 1080p HD video and 160-degree field of view. Included in the box is also 4 interchangeable faceplates so you can match the finish of the Ring Pro to your front door and your style. This video doorbell works with Amazon Alexa. It will illuminate and send announcements to Echo devices when visitors press your doorbell button or when motion is detected. This doorbell has to be hardwired to have power.

VIDEO DOORBELL ELITE

The Elite is a professional-grade, flush-mount, hardwired doorbell. It also comes with 4 interchangeable faceplates so you can match the finish of the doorbell. The video is 1080p HD and 160-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical field of view. The Elite also works with Amazon Alexa.

PEEPHOLE

With the peephole cam you can enjoy all the benefits of a video doorbell in a sleek, compact form that was designed for apartments with a compatible peephole. The peephole has knock detection, customizable privacy settings, 1080p HD video and two-way talk.

 

 About the Author

Experience Audio Video has been serving Orange County and Area since 1999 for residential and commercial audio, video and security camera  installation services. 5 Star Yelp Ratings, Thousands of Referrals, there is not a better choice than Brian Chappell and the Experience Audio Video Team (License #804783). One phone call and you will know right away the difference in working with Experience Audio Video vs. others in the area. Contact us now at 714-744-4455 or info@eav-inc.com for a Free Consultation.