Vancouver-based home automation experts shed light on this important question
Acquiring your own high-quality home theater is a tremendous personal achievement; however, there is a “bigger picture” to consider: Will investing in a home theater increase your property value? The answer is YES! When a home theater system is integrated correctly, your home immediately advances to a higher value. Multiple top-tier real estate agents agree: For the right buyer, a home theater is a huge draw. In certain markets, the addition of “smart” features, like home theaters, are seen as a must-have amongst high-end house hunters. There’s no question about it, once you experience an integrated home, you never want to go back!
Quality is Key
Buyers in this market are fully aware of the available brands. They are looking for names like Control4, Lutron, Samsung and other top-tiers. High-end brands are more likely to return their investment when it comes time to sell. It is slightly different at the mid-market level. Having a home theater in a suburban home is less likely to dramatically increase your property values, but they are still excellent for making your home stand out in the market. A fully-furnished home theater in a basement, for example, will give your home significant market appeal and opens the door for you to increase the asking price over comparable properties in the region.
In the Final Analysis…
For many situations, a well-outfitted theater can actively boost your property values and adds a great amenity to showcase when you are trying to make a sale! When you’re ready to learn more about home technology, give us a call or visit our showroom. We make it easy.
Vancouver-based Audio Video firm offers professional insight on the exceptional listening experience
What makes home audio exceptional? Is it a properly built system with a leading pair of speakers and expensive electronic components? Or is it more than that?
Listening to music becomes an emotional and passionate experience when the system and its components work in unison to transport you to another world. This is our definition of exceptional audio. With that in mind, what are some of the qualities necessary to create genuine home audio mastery? And what are the relevant issues that audiophiles face today?
Digital files such as MP3’s are nothing more than an “audio pancake”. All sounds have been flattened to one tone. Digital media has created a pattern of increasing the volume in order to give the impression that the music sounds better (provided you believe “louder” equates to “better”). In doing so, they’ve begun to limit the dynamic range: what we sense as the difference between soft and loud sounds in our music.
While music can sound passable when using a pair of ear buds with your iPod or MP3 player, when it comes to sound clarity for your home audio system, these digital devices lack the dynamic range necessary to hear the highs and lows of every instrument.
Digital Cause & Solution
What can you do to improve the clarity of your favorite track on your own system? Music should be recorded without any compression and played back through a quality home audio system that is fitted with a professional pair of speakers and an amplifier.
Top-notch speakers can effortlessly reproduce a wide range of sounds (i.e.: orchestral music, ambient background, recording effects, etc.) and make it seem like the concert is in your living room. If there are a variety of instruments, sounds, and dynamic range, smaller speakers can have a difficult time reproducing every nuance from a track. When possible, compare different speakers to listen to the variances before committing to any purchase.
Best Audio Companies for Your Dollar
Some consumers are merely looking for systems that offer convenience and/or invisibility for certain rooms (such as the kitchen or a study), which is fine. However, there are times when you want to simply sit comfortably, listen intently, and be transported by the excellent tunes emanating from the quality system into which you invested top dollar. Companies such as Leon, Jamo, Anthony Gallo, and Cambridge Audio all make fantastic products for those seeking the best in home audio achievement. They are manufacturers we recommend often for audiophiles seeking a high-quality listening experience. For more information, feel free to contact us. We have a friendly staff that is here to help.
Vancouver Home Theater Design: Your Dream Home Theater
Do you dream of owning a home theater? It’s one of the ultimate ambitions of a true movie fan: to have a truly great home theater with all of the comfort, all of the sound, and all of the visuals as a Cineplex, only without crying children and random cell phone conversations interrupting the film.
Home theaters have been around for a long time, and the technology that powers them continues to get better every year. Today, you can have a home theater setup that rivals any commercial theater, with digital picture THX surround sound, and even 3D! Why would you ever go out to the movies again? If you would like to learn what a state-of-the-art home theater looks like continue reading…
Building The Best Modern Home Theater… Ever
You can’t have a home theater without a projector. There are dozens of solutions on the market, but for the best cinema displays, we recommend a SIM2 Multimedia Digital Projector. With ultra-bright LED bulbs and a full dynamic color range, these projectors have the absolute best picture quality. The projectors even support 3D!
Of course, it’s not a real film until you add sound, unless you’re watching a Chaplin classic. For speakers, the options are endless. Leon manufacturers some of the best quality speakers, and they are the brand we use most with our home theater installations. Their ultra-thin, yet ultra-high quality speakers can be set flush inside nearly any wall space, giving you sound to rival that of the multiplex.
To power the speakers, we recommend Sherbourn pre-amps. These amps can handle a wide range of speaker configurations, up to a 7.1 surround setup, which [offers a sound quality not found in many public theaters. If you integrate the theater with an Integra THX-certified video player you will also be getting the most from your Blu-Ray collection. THX is still the standard for theater audio, and Integra works closely with LucasFilm’s sound wizards to ensure it meets their exact standards.
Finally, with a Control4 home automation system, you would be able to control the entire home theater from a touchscreen device. You can change your lighting and sound settings, switch movies, or even install mechanical shelves that slide in and out of sight at the touch of a button.
Vancouver Technology Design Integration: Hidden Television Tips
When constructing and designing great homes and businesses, it is important to have a winning team of contractors, interior designers, and architects. If one element is out of line, it could jeopardize the timing and craftsmanship of an entire project.
As an audio video integration specialist, we have been called upon to work with many Vancouver interior designers and craftsman to assist in the technology design process. Everyone loves the benefits of technology, but getting technology into a given space without compromising the integrity of the interior designer’s vision takes skill and experience.
Almost every designed space has a television, but sometimes the client or interior designer would like for it to fade away into the intended design when it is not in use. In these cases, there are several techniques that we use to create the appearance of a non-existing display or television in a room. To integrate many of these techniques, it is vital for all craftsman and designers to work together. When everyone works together, the final results can truly be amazing!
Here are a few ways we hide a television when integrating a project.
There are many types of television lifts. They can come from under a bed, from the ceiling, or any piece of cabinetry. It is of the utmost importance for the interior designers, AV integrator (West Coast AV) and other craftsman to work together in incorporating a TV lift to make sure all elements and spaces are in place and allocated.
Why have a plain black screen in the middle of your living room when it could be a mirror? Besides just the living space, mirror TV’s are great to embed in master bathroom mirrors, so you can watch the morning news while getting ready for work!
If you want to get super fancy, you can frame your TV like a piece of art, and incorporate a motorized painted canvas to roll up and down as the TV is turned on and off. When the TV is not being used, there is a piece of art on the wall!
Everyone loves his or her technology, but sometimes it’s best for it not to be seen. We help interior designer realize their vision while still incorporating all the conveniences of modern technology.
Control 4 is an affordable residential and commercial automation solution that can make your home or business smarter and more efficient. With control 4 your home’s audio, video, lighting, security, thermostat and even jacuzzi can be controlled from a keypad or touch screen device. However, there are many home automation choices on the market, so how do you know if Control 4 is the right solution for your home or business? Here is some friendly advice that will hopefully clear the confusion.
The three most popular manufacturers in the automation industry are Crestron, Savant, and Control 4.
Crestron has been around for 40 plus years and is the grandfather of the “smart home” automation industry. Crestron systems are usually used for large-scale homes that are 5,000 square feet or more, Crestron is also used for government buildings, educational facilities, and medium to large corporate buildings.
Savant is similar to Crestron in price, but lacks the 40 plus years of experience in the market. They offer a solution unlike Crestron that is slightly easier to program for projects that do not require a lot of customization. Savant hardware is comprised of a Mac Mini making many to believe that Savant is the Apple of smart home automation. They also use exclusively Apple products for control like the iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. However, these control devices and apps are also available for any other control system you may choose to use.
Control 4 was born on the philosophy that you do not need to be living the life of luxury to enjoy smart home automation. The Control 4 market targets homes and businesses that are less than 5,000 square feet and do not require a lot of customization. The control 4 programing is extremely simple to configure compared to Crestron or Savant. This ready to go out of the box approach Control 4 adopted creates huge savings for consumers looking to save money on expensive programming costs.
Our team here at West Coast Audio Video Gallery uses Control 4 frequently to make homeowners lives easier while not breaking their bank when doing so. Control 4 is not the right solution for every project, but if you have a small to medium sized home or business, it may be the right solution for you.
Even as a group who has spent most of their lives as avid technology enthusiast, we still occasionally get amazed at just how far we’ve come in the last couple decades. When we were kids, signs were made of nothing but metal, plastic, or neon, and the closest they came to being interactive was sending some teenager up on a ladder to update how many burgers McDonald’s has served this week.
Now, we have digital signage, which improves on traditional signs in practically every way. Yes, these signs do cost more up-front, but they offer impressive benefits far beyond traditional signage. Whether we’re talking modern LED display boards or more traditional flat-screen monitors, a digital sign can be a tremendous boost to your business.
Five Great Features of Digital Signage
- Visual Impact. Whether you’re talking about a bright, high-resolution, animated LED display, or a wall of monitors taking up one wall of your establishment, digital signage gets eyeballs fast. No other form of sign is as easily seen or as eye-catching as a digital sign, especially one playing video, and that means more people walking in your door.
- Interactive ordering systems. Forward-looking cafes and restaurants have been experimenting with interactive digital menus, which both cuts down on labor and makes the process more entertaining for customers. This digital signage concept could be expanded to virtually any on-demand sales product.
- Infinite message potential. Unlike a traditional sign, digital signage can be updated with any message you want, at any time of day, as many times a day as you need. All it takes is a couple minutes at a computer to completely redesign the board and send a new message to it. This vastly increases the number of people you can reach out to in a day.
- Engage customers. Why use standard books and brochures? A phalanx of touchscreen-based tablet PCs makes a great display section that’s fun for customers to play with to boot.
- Get social! Digital signage can easily be hooked into social services such as Facebook and Twitter. You could display Facebook wall posts, or keep up live Twitter conversations with visitors on a large display. Digital signage is a perfect way of bringing social media into your business.
At West Coast Audio Video, we have installed screens, av equipment, cabling, for Samsung, Blenz, Wireless Wave, TBooth and have handled the logistics and planning of over 500 stores across Canada!
Key Takeaway: No matter what sort of business you’re in, digital signage makes an impact on your customers and helps make your location a place people want to visit.