SoundVision Audio Video Shades

Simplifying Life Through Home Automation Part 1

Simplifying Life Through Home Automation Part 1

SEASON: 2
EPISODE: 6

On this episode of “Simplifying Life Through Technology,” Mark and Andrew from SoundVision sit down to discuss Part 1 of Home Automation.

“Enhance Your Lifestyle”

We Talk About:

  • What is Home Automation
  • How Home Automation is used in your home
  • Home Automation Possibilities
  • What can be controlled through Home Automation
  • Professional vs DIY Automation
  • Pros of Home Automation

Common Home Automations:

  • Security
  • Lights
  • Door Locks
  • Thermostats
  • Voice Control

To learn more about SoundVision:

https://www.svavnc.com/

To listen to more “Simplifying Life Through Technology” podcasts:

https://www.svavnc.com/podcast/

SoundVision Wins ProSource Award

SoundVision wins ProSource Award

On March 6, 2022 industry trade group ProSource named SoundVision, LLC Member of the Year for the Sourtheast division at the Caesar’s Palace Expo Forum in LasVegas, Nevada. On hand to receive the award were SoundVision owner, Mark DiPietro, his wife Kristen DiPietro, Zach Simpson Vice President of Design, Michelle Ferlauto, Vice President of Marketing and Project Manager Phil Harrington. SoundVision has been a partner with ProSource for over 5 years.

“Each member selected for this award is an innovator,” says Dave Workman, CEO and president of ProSource. “The award is based upon a member’s ability to meet or exceed the established criteria, including a member’s participation within the group, support of group brands, conducting business in a manner that stands as an example to other members, and selection for industry awards and recognition. We extend our heartiest congratulations to each of the 2021 Members of the Year, honor their ability to evolve and adapt to the rapid changes in technology and market trends, and applaud the investment they have made in their people to create a winning team.”

SoundVision Wins ProSource Award

“I am very impressed with the team that Mark DiPietro has put together at SoundVision,” says Frank Marengo, ProSource District Manager for the Southeast Region. “Their business model includes custom audio/video, shades, and now lighting fixture sales and design, and they focus on their direct relationship with the end user. I admire their focus on elevating their staff and always being positive, and the level of service they provide to their customers.”

Read more here: https://www.cepro.com/peopleplaces/prosource-honors-2021-members-of-year-integrators/

The award reflects the hard work by ALL SoundVision team members.  SoundVision was founded in 2011 my Mark DiPietro and has been serving the great Lake Norman community ever since. 

SoundVision Gives Back

SoundVision Gives Back with IDS Society Narrow Passage Davidson

SoundVision gives back by sponsoring three show homes at The Preserve at Narrow Passage in Davidson. The event was organized by the Interior Design Society of Charlotte to benefit multiple local charities https://idscltshowhouse.com/charities/. SoundVision was involved from the prewire stages of wiring to completion. Each show home was sponsored by a different local builder. The builders included Southern Cottage Homes, Augusta Homes and Plattner Custom Builders. Although the home tours did not occurdue to COVID19, a fair amount of money was raised for several local charities.

The co-chairs of the  2020 IDS CLT Showhouse Organization are Starr Miller of Starr Miller Interior Design, Cornelius, and Audrey Clawson of Audrey Clawson Interiors, which has locations in Lake Norman and Connecticut.

This video endeavor will benefit Motor Racing Outreach, The Dale Jr. Foundation, The Hendrick Family Foundation and Operation Finally Home.

The Interior Design Society Charlotte Chapter partnered with three award-winning custom homebuilders: Ken Wrench of Augusta Homes Inc., Cornelius; Karl Plattner of Plattner Custom Builders in Davidson; and  Chris Hoffman of Southern Cottage Corp. in Lake Norman.

The Interior Design Society (IDS) is an independent national organization comprised of more than 2,000 members. One of the country’s largest design organizations dedicated to serving the residential interior design industry, IDS embraces four core values including professionalism, community, influence and growth. The IDS National headquarters is located in High Point, NC, the world’s home furnishings capital. Founded in 1973 by the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) to support interior designers based within furniture stores, the Interior Design Society has long since expanded its focus to provide support to professional interior design entrepreneurs nationwide.

Read more about new construction projects https://www.svavnc.com/new-construction/

SoundVision and its’ industry vendors donated over $35,000 in equipment and services to the effort.

 

Cyber Security for Your Home

Cyber Security for Your Home is on the forefront of our minds for a number of different reasons.

The cyber security concern extends to our businesses and has a global face. It is less thought of in the way that maybe it should be MOST recognized, in our homes.  The security of our home network is PARAMOUNT to keeping our personal information safe.

Cyber security has the potential to affect our lives in ways we aren’t typically conscious of.  Let me give you an example.  There have been documented cases of hacking into networks, looking at folks medication and changing them.  Someday, this will likely be a case that is brought before the courts because it is crime that is on the rise and is not recognized as a serious threat.

The home wifi network has become a utility that is necessary in your home.  You have to have electricity, plumbing and heating and air.  You do not have to have audio and video.  A strong network is a must have for work, school and entertainment.  That network connects you to the outside world.  The problem is it connects the outside world to you too where cyber security can become an issue.

This all begs the question, “What should I be doing to make sure my family is safe?”  Herein lies the remainder of this blog post.

How is Your Cyber Health?

It seems that we’re seeing more and more “big data” breeches among major retailers and, with the holidays fast approaching and many of us shopping online, we need to be diligent to protect ourselves from cyber-crimes  and be smart and take every measure to ensure the security of your networks, both at home and in your business. If your infrastructure is outdated, make it a priority to upgrade now!

Password Check Up

What is your network password’s strength?

It is critical to your network’s safety that you keep your passwords as strong as possible.  Using things like “buddy123” or “password” (that’s the actual worst btw) is just like inviting hackers in.

Even one step up in password, like your cell phone number, your favorite sports team, your kid’s names and the like are things hackers can easily find online.  These are not safe!

At SoundVision, we create passwords that are NEVER universal (meaning, we don’t use the same passwords for multiple homes), and conform to the latest in cryptography standards to ensure your network is safe and current with cyber security standards.

How about updates

Make sure your network is safe by having your wifi network professionally managed and updated.

With the internet changing things at literally light speed, these updates come at regular intervals.  One of the biggest reason for the updates is to keep up with the latest encryption standards, which, in turn, keep hackers at bay.  Your internet service provider (ISP) takes care of the modem directly.

Think of it like being the only home on a dark street that’s lit up at night.  Thieves are more likely to target another home because it’s easier.  Having the latest security measures on your devices works the same way.

All the networks we deploy include commercial grade equipment and allow us the ability to manage them remotely. This give us the ability to service your network without even coming to your home.  If needed, we can reboot and even install the latest software updates remotely for you.  We can even see what your in home internet speed is, to make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

All of this is accomplished through a safe and secure portal, protected by the encrypted password protocol mentioned above.

This is where our Service Memberships come in.  Depending on the level of service you choose, we can take all the hassle out of it for you.  We can manage everything for you and make sure your network is as safe and secure as it can be.  In the event of an urgent issue, we can guarantee same or next day service.

Give us a call at 704-696-2792 and we can set up a time to take a look at your set up.  We can recommend solutions ranging from additions to improve coverage.

And look out for our upcoming YouTube videos for more on the subject of networking, WiFi and cyber security. Check out some of the products we suggest to ensure a safer cyber security network. https://www.commscope.com/ruckus/

Why is this remote so &!;!!?? complicated!!!! – Non-Video Equipment

In our last post, we outlined the power of macros with the Control4 remote configuration. How they can make your life easier by doing some of the things you do every day (or night), all the time, and automate those same tasks.  We went over how, with the press of a button, many different devices can turn on or off.

Now, let’s elaborate a bit more, with respect to non-audio video equipment.  If you will take my word for it, there are a number of pages, like the one you see below, all activated by the previously discussed macro.

I don’t want to belabor the point; rather, I wanted to give you a glimpse into how many different things a single macro, or group of macros can do.  For example, see below….

This string comes in the programming right after the one we showed in our previous blog.  To take a look at that one, click here.

The above macro first checks to see if the garage doors are open, and if so, closes them.  As an aside, guys, how many times have you been in bed and your wife asks you if the garage doors are closed?  This fixes that request.  BTW, the app also shows you when the doors are opened or closed.  I’ve included a screen shot below to show you what this looks like.

Garage door opened and closed

 

Next, the macro tells the system to lock the Yale door lock on the basement door.  This is SUPER helpful once you are in bed, upstairs, and asked if the basement door is locked. There is another icon on the app confirming this as well.

The system then runs the bedtime lighting scene.  It turns off over 15 lights at this time, all at different times.

The system then waits 55 seconds (which is the rough time it takes us to get our things together to head upstairs to bed), and turns off the basement lights and ceiling fan.

After another 60 seconds of waiting, the system locks the Yale door lock in the Great Room and arms the Honeywell alarm system to Instant mode for bed.

Finally, after waiting another 46 seconds (about the time it takes us to get ready for bed), the system turns on the TV in the Owner’s Suite (my wife has to watch a show before she falls to sleep) and starts a 90 minute timer to turn the TV off in the event we fall asleep and forget.

Remember, a macro is only limited to our or your imagination! This truly shows the power of the automated or “smart” home.

The power of remote control macros!

The power of remote control macros! Now that we know what a macro is, let me give you an example of how powerful a macro can be. Below is a screen shot of a macro I use in our home every day.  The idea behind this macro is when we turn off the TV at night and are headed to bed (from between the hours of 8:30pm and 11pm on the weekdays and midnight on the weekends) the following sequence of events happens.  The reason I have chosen to have specific ending times, is I have recognized that if someone is up extra late, and other folks are sleeping, I don’t want lights or TVs coming on and waking them up.

Spoiler alert!!!  This one is VERY long and detailed.

OR you can reach out for a Service Call and we can help! https://www.svavnc.com/contact-us/

The macro starts simply enough by turning off some audio / video devices.  This is a very common use of a macro (i.e. to turn off (or on) any number of devices from TVs to audio video receivers (AVRs) to anything you can think of).  After turning these off, things get a bit interesting.  You can see a lighting scene, called Intermission is activated.  What this does is slowly bring up the lights to a level that allows us to see and take up and dishes or glasses or else we might have (as the lights were probably off while we were watching a movie).  Yes, that would be another macro.

Macros also allow for you to select certain times they can be run.  Here, you see that if it’s between 7pm and 12:30am, ANOTHER macro (called a nested macro (which, in English means one macro inside another macro)) is run for the thermostats to go to specific “sleeping” temperatures.  After a few delays, another “nested macro” runs a Bedtime series of steps.

As an aside, you might be asking, why have a macro inside a macro?  Why not just list all the steps under one main macro.  The reason is, this way, you can change things associated with one and use it in different places or instances.  Let’s say I want the temperature to change when I go to bed and be executed EITHER when I press the off button on the TV remote OR when I press a button on a lighting keypad in our bedroom.  I can insert the same Temperature Night macro under both buttons.  Now, let’s say I want to change the temperature from, say 68 degrees to 70 degrees, every time I press either button.  I can change this in ONE place, the Temperature Night macro, and it will change the action when I turn off the TV or when I press the button on the lighting keypad.

This is one the first step in a long series of this one macro that we live with every day.  I will go more in depth, next time, showing you alarm arming, door locking, lighting changes, ceiling fans, TVs turning on and off, delayed lighting scenes and more.  For now, just remember that macros are intended to do anything action you normally do, over and over, and automate that action to happen how and when you want it to.

If you have any questions, give us a shot at 704-696-2792 or email me at mark@svavnc.com.  We LOVE talking about this stuff!

https://www.control4.com/dealer/soundvisionllc11-28117/mooresville-nc/

Remote Programming Macros Demystified

Why is this remote so &!;!!?? complicated!!!!

Remote Programming Macros Demystified. Over the past few days, I have been explaining some of the challenges we have regarding making your system more consistent and reliable so that it just works when you want it to. Having a remote control in your home theater or even media room can make the experience so much more enjoyable!  https://www.svavnc.com/home-theaters/

I have tried to explain why sometimes remotes seem complicated and why, if not programmed correctly, using discrete codes, remotes will not function reliably.  These discrete codes were defined as independent commands for each function that you have (e.g. Power On and Power Off versus simply Power that toggles between on and off on each push).

There is another reason discrete codes are so important and that is because, with them, we can develop macros.  When we go to continuing education (yes, we do that), instructors tell us never to use the word “macro” around a customers.  The reason is, if you are not in the information technology (IT) field, it will just sound like a fancy word that means nothing to a customer.  And they are right.

Macros are the secret to making the magic happen

Ever wonder how ALL your equipment turns on, the input changes on the TV and your AVR (audio video receiver), the channel changes to your favorite or the movie starts playing with the touch of one button?  Of course you haven’t!  But, that’s a macro.

Simply put, a macro is a series of steps that are programmed in a particular sequence after a something else happens first.  The most common of these is after the Power On button is pressed.

Once this “trigger” happens, the system can process the event (pressing the Power On button) and then tell other components to turn on, go to particular  inputs, change channels, dim the lights, lower the shades, change the volume or any other host of things you might want to happen.  The amount of things that can happen are infinite and only limited by your imagination.

What are discreet codes?

This is another reason that discrete codes are SO important.  One series of events can happen when the Power On button is pressed. Another series of events can happen when the Power Off button is pressed.  Macros are not limited to power commands either.  They can be “triggered” by any button press, time event (think dawn or dusk or midnight or when you wake up), motion from security sensors, doors opening or closing, and the list goes on and on.  Essentially, anything that is tied to your system’s brain, can trigger anything else tied to the system. Remote Programming Macros demystified.

This is one reason why, at SoundVision, we implemented the 30 day “live in” program.  We will, AT NO CHARGE, come back out to your home and make programming changes and RE-TRAIN YOUR FAMILY.  This give you the opportunity to live with the system for a period of time and actually figure out what you would like these magical macros to do.  

Next time, I’ll elaborate a bit more on macros and actually show you some from our projects. This will give you some ideas on how we can make your home or place of business smarter.  It’s just another way we are trying to Simplify Your Life Through Technology.

If you have ANY questions, please feel free to reach out at info@svavnc.com or give us a call at 704-696-2792.  We are here and happy to talk with you.

For more information on smart home automation: https://www.control4.com/dealer/soundvisionllc11-28117/mooresville-nc/

 

Protecting your security

Protecting your Security…It is a new world and our personal security is again weighing on our minds. We’re constantly reminded of day to day security risks. We find ourselves asking, ”What can I do”?

Stay Alert

First and foremost, we must be alert. Take a proactive role to ensure the cybersecurity safety of your family, employees, clients and community. Install a CCTV (closed circuit television) camera system. We’ve all seen how effective doorbell cameras are. Visible cameras are an excellent deterrent for would-be criminals. A monitored system is invaluable when tied in to a comprehensive life-safety and security system that includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, motion and glass-break detectors and window sensors. Imagine the comfort of having a single panic button to call out to police, fire fighters or paramedics.

Criminal’s Dreaded Foe

Light it up! Automated Lighting and motorized shades can be an effective deterrent for would-be criminals because they can be programmed to mimic occupancy. Interior and exterior landscape lighting can be programmed to sunset or sunrise.  Protecting your security with automation can help!

Protecting your security with automation can help!

It seems that we’re seeing more and more “big data” breeches among major retailers and, with the holidays fast approaching and many of us shopping online, we need to be diligent to protect ourselves from cyber-crimes. Take every measure to ensure the security of your networks. Your home and business are worth protecting. If your equipment is outdated, make it a priority to upgrade! Smart home automation can help take the guesswork out of security.

SoundVision prides itself on using companies who will not sell your data or breach your personal security. Many companies will seel your information because they profit from the data sale. This is not the case with “Do it youself” products. Check out how Control4 automation protects your privacy https://www.control4.com/company/privacy-and-security/

Be Proactive and Prepared

Take time to formulate a plan. What will you do in the event of a robbery or natural disaster? Does everyone know how to alert authorities, access fire extinguishers, engage smart door locks, etc.? Take the time to check your community’s resources and formulate a plan.

Please share links to any resources you’ve found to be valuable from your school, our local law enforcement and fire departments, etc. Together, we can make our community a safer place.

Additional Reading from our blogs: https://www.svavnc.com/soundvision-blogs-check-out-the-soundvision-blog/

 

 

 

 

 

How to combine smart technology and your home’s style

Home AV Lake Norman, NC

Outfitting your home with smart technology transforms any living space into the epitome of style and comfort.

Aesthetics and accessibility are critical to any home’s design; and incorporating smart technology into your design gives you full control of your favorite spaces. Equipping the most-used rooms in your home with technology provides endless comfort, while complementing your decor.

Seamless built-in panels, hidden television units and in-ceiling speakers are just a few ways you can customize your audio, video and lighting experience, without compromising your home’s style; because your style is key.

By implementing the right smart technology for your needs into your design, “you can have full control of the technology in your room, and around your house for that matter, from the convenience of your bed.” For instance, enclosing televisions in a unit that match your home’s décor, with in-wall speakers covered by your wallpaper, bulky and aesthetically unpleasant equipment are hidden discreetly.

The possibilities don’t just extend to your bedroom and living room, though. Imagine catching your favorite show while you’re in the shower, or listening to your favorite station while you’re making dinner. More often, homeowners are deciding to add technology in their bathrooms and kitchens, making constant accessibility within reach.

But the outside is just as important! Outdoor spaces benefit from smart lighting, video and audio technology just as the inside spaces do. Concealed surround sound speakers and personalized mood lighting provide comfort and style in any space. Let’s get started!

SERVICE

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Membership Clients can expect a response by noon the FOLLOWING BUSINESS day.

MEMBERSHIP CLIENTS  EXPEDITE service – PLEASE CALL (704) 696-2792 ext. (2) and leave a detailed message for our ON CALL Service Team. 

Clients without a membership have a 24 hour best effort response window. 

Custom Membership

Send us your contact info and we will contact you to discuss our custom membership option.