SoundVision Audio Video Shades

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/

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/

 

Switching Remote Sources Demystified

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

Switching Remote Sources Demystified! Last time we talked about why remotes seem to be so difficult.  We said that, if not designed correctly in a system that incorporates equipment that is new enough to have “discrete” codes, telling the remote if the TV, or any other piece of equipment, is on or off, for example, could create a big problem.

The second biggest PITA (pain in the -_- (you know)), is changing from one source to another.  Let’s say you are watching your Spectrum cable box and you want to switch to Apple TV (or Roku, a Sony Blu-Ray player, an Amazon Firestick, or any other source you can think of).  How do you do that?

To further complicate matters, there are three words used by manufacturers to make this happen.  Some call it a “Source” button, some “TV/Video” and still others “Input.”  Regardless, what this means is the ability to switch from one source of content to another.

Much like we said in the last blog post regarding the importance of having a true POWER ON and POWER OFF command, having direct access to EACH input is what’s important.  Whether you have a television or an audio video receiver (AVR), being able to access Input 1 versus Input 4 (or TV / Sat versus Blu-Ray, for example on an AVR) is critical so everything works smoothly.

Remember “Discreet Code”?

We are back to our old friend, the “discrete code.”  The products we recommend and use, all have codes for EACH INDIVIDUAL INPUT so that we can access them quickly, directly, and consistently EVERY TIME.  This makes your experience consistent and reliable.  What’s great is that, regardless of the brand of equipment used, we can mix and match so that when you press the WATCH ROKU button, everything happens behind the scenes in a “macro” (more on that word next time),  and you get to watch and hear your Roku player.

Oh, yeah, we subscribe to the Watch and Listen nomenclature.  This means, on the remotes we work with, most notably the Control 4 SR260 and Control 4 OS3 app, when you want to “watch” something you press the “Watch” button and when you want to “listen” to something, you press the “Listen” button.  The main difference being, if you listen to something, we typically don’t turn on the TV.

Learn More About Control4: https://www.control4.com/dealer/soundvisionllc11-28117/mooresville-nc/

So, now you get the jist of why these discrete codes are so important.  Next time, we will show you a little behind the scenes trick on how we do a bunch of things in succession and further cement why these codes are so important.  We will enter the world of macros….  Thank you for reading Switching Remote Sources Demystified!

In the meantime, if you have a question, give us a call at 704-696-2792 or email us at info@svavnc.com. Learn more about upgrading your home theater https://www.svavnc.com/home-theaters/

It’s Time for a Tech-up!

 

The transition to fall brings many changes; Our beautiful Lake Norman, framed in autumn splendor, mums everywhere, mild temps that have us rushing outdoors to enjoy fall festivals and pumpkin patches along with the onslaught of pumpkin-flavored everythings…and the slew of marketing messages stuffed into your bills suggesting it’s time to review all of your insurance policies!  Just like your homeowner’s, auto and health insurance policies are affected by the change in seasons and life stages, your home’s technology systems may benefit from an annual assessment too.

Imagine all of the devices connected to your personal “internet of things.” Which of those devices have been added since your network was initially set-up? And of those new devices, how many were added to your home media system? A network upgrade may yield a remarkable difference in your system’s performance.  Are you getting optimal image and sound quality? And how are they controlled? Some minor programming tweaks could go a long way in how your family uses and enjoys your home’s technology.

To Your (System’s) Health!

As a CEDIA professional, we recommend an annual “tech-up”, a comprehensive assessment of your home’s technology systems to ensure your system’s “health.” It’s also a chance to gauge how happy you are with it and what it provides.  We all know how time flies and, in “tech” years, that’s “amplified” even more. Whether it’s been a year, or 3 or 5 since your system was installed, chances are you’re not taking advantage of all it has to offer.

Let’s Talk Tech

Let’s set aside an hour to simply sit down and talk about how you use your home’s systems. We’ll talk through all of your technology questions; what can my new Apple watch do? How do I set up Alexa to control my automated shades and lighting with voice commands? Is my media room 4K ready? How do I integrate CDs onto a new platform? Can my new gaming console be integrated onto my remote control so I can stream movies? Are there any new security features available for my system?

There’s nothing we love more than to talk tech! Let’s get all your questions answered….maybe even some you hadn’t thought of! We’ll explore your existing system demands and we’ll determine if there are any upgrades available to maximize performance or add features. We can also address anything you’re currently wanting to add or change and, together, develop a strategy for implementing NextGen technologies.

It’s an exciting time in home automation. Systems are integrating more elegantly and efficiently than ever before and voice commands are at the center of it all. Art and technology are truly fusing to create innovative, sophisticated forms of concealment while google and Apple continue to influence everything that touches tech. No doubt we’ve got lots to talk about!

Make a Note!

Like prepping for any valuable appointment, as your technologist we recommend you start of list of things you’d like to discuss during our visit so that we get the full picture of your technology needs. Do a quick walk-through and think about how adding or tweaking a feature could be beneficial. Write down your questions, what you’ve added to your system and what you want to add!

Your home’s technology is a part of your everyday life and we appreciate you entrusting us with its care. Please know we’re here to answer your technology questions and help you make the most out of your systems, now and for years to come. We welcome the opportunity to reconnect and share with you the latest in smart home technology. Call now and schedule your annual Tech-up!

And be sure to check back soon. We’ll discuss optimizing your system’s health through a comprehensive preventative maintenance program that takes the worries out of everything from changing batteries in the smoke detector to checking for firmware updates. Stay tuned!

SERVICE

Clients can expect a response by noon the FOLLOWING BUSINESS day. For more IMMEDIATE support or if you are interested in a Service Membership to EXPEDITE service – PLEASE call (704) 696-2792 ext. (2) and leave a detailed message for our ON CALL Service Team. 

Custom Membership

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