This is the place to find out about the latest television and stereo sales, why 4K TVs are great and which surround sound receiver is best for you. Check us out frequently for information about monthly audio/video sales and tidbits about the electronics industry.
Ring vs Nest Differences - San Diego Ring and Nest Installers are here!
UPDATE! The below is from a previous article that we completed. Above is another reason to go with Nest. That's right...chunks of alligator lizard tail.
The other day, I opened my front door and surprised a roadrunner on my front porch who was participating in consuming my favorite alligator lizard. He jumped over the rail and ran away with my friend in his mouth. After I chased him unsuccessfully, I hoped to have video footage of the assumed epic battle. Unfortunately, I have a Ring doorbell and it doesn't have continual live recording. The motion may have been too brief or the roadrunner may have been too small to trigger the recording function of the Ring doorbell. However, if I had a Nest doorbell camera in place, I would have been able to see what happened as they have up to 30 days of LIVE recorded history.
I was disappointed that I couldn't watch my friend get devoured. If you like the idea of live recording, Nest cameras may be the choice for you.
Which camera is better, the Nest Cam or the Ring Camera? To us, there really is no right or wrong answer. Each security camera has its pros and cons compared to the other. Figuring out what features are important to you is going to be the key factor in choosing one of these over another. So I thought it would be nice to go over a few of the key features of each of these cameras for you. We have personal experience with both of these. I have a couple of the Nest Indoor Cams in my house and we have an installer here that has a couple of the Ring Cams at his home. I am simply going to compare these side-by-side and give you some important notes as needed.
San Diego Smart Home - Smart lighting, smart thermostat, smart audio, video and smart TV all in one picture!
The new catchphrase regarding today’s technology is equipment that turns your house into a “Smart Home”. Walk into most big-box stores today and advertisements for this gear bellow ”Smart Home Smart Home Smart Home” everywhere you look. If you’re wondering what a “smart home” can do, see our earlier article here:
However, there are some key points to consider when adding this smart home technology to your home that isn’t being discussed. Here are some elements that need to be considered when outfitting your home with today’s technology.
Your Network: Most of today’s smart doorbells, cameras, Smart TVs, whole-house music systems, etc. all run off of your wired or WiFi network. Got a good network? You may be OK. Are you using the cable company-supplied router? You may run into issues with slow speed, limited functionality or both. Adding a better WiFi network will help to ensure that these smart technologies will work reliably in your home. See post below for some details.
Off-Site Visibility: Are you a technology genius? If so, congratulations. If not, you’re probably like most of our clients. You don’t necessarily know or want to know how this stuff works…you just want to use it and to enjoy what the electronics provide. There are a couple of things that we do to guarantee your optimal experience. Initially, we install equipment in tandem with smart home products to ensure that we can “see” if your WiFi network is operational. This allows us to troubleshoot your system, even if we’re on vacation in Costa Rica! We also have pieces that will allow us to power-cycle your equipment remotely so you don’t have to figure out how to unplug your AppleTV, cable box or TV to watch Netflix. NOTE: We consider this off-site visibility to be the most IMPORTANT element to supply when we are putting a smart home system together. There is no way we or other home automation companies can adequately support you without this crucial element.
Future Support: This industry is vastly different than it was 20 years ago. Back then, we would sell you a turntable, a CD player and a home stereo and we’d see you in 10 years. These days, you will be married to the company that you choose to provide your smart home services. We would recommend going with a home automation business that has been around for a long time (like us) and someone that specializes in home automation and smart homes (and not security, an electrician or your contractor). Go with a business that has a showroom or store vs. the trunk of their car. Opting for a smart home professional will ensure that these electronic toys bring the enjoyment and convenience to your life that they are supposed to. We have performed MANY “take-over” jobs from people that started with one of these trades and got frustrated quickly when the technologies didn’t work, they couldn’t reach the business again or both.
Sounds complicated? Fortunately, it isn’t because this is what we do and you now know about us. If you’re interested in some of these smart home technologies for your house, give us a call and let San Diego’s audio, video and Smart Home experts show you what’s possible today.
Smart Home San Diego installation with Lutron Caseta lighting, RTI universal remote app and Nest thermostat
The term “Smart Home” is everywhere today. However, depending on who you talk to, the definition of “Smart Home” can have many meanings. Here’s our take on “Smart Homes”, how to get one for yourself and some of the pieces and parts that make up this category.
We’ll cover three types of Smart Home solutions. These will be:
Smart Home DIY: These are products for people that would like to install some of these smart home conveniences on their own. We love DIY! (with limits…see below) so we carry many of these products for this reason.
Smart Home Installation LIGHT: These Smart Home solutions provide home automation solutions for audio, video, lighting, climate and more.
Smart Home Installation GENIUS: This type of installation is truly intuitive where your home environment changes automatically as you move from room-to-room…read on!
Smart Home DIY
What’s great about DIY smart home products is that they are prevalent now whereas 5 years ago this category didn’t exist. Some of these solutions offer price-points 1/10th of what they used to be. This allows you to experience comforts such as front door cameras, whole-house lighting control, whole-house music, room-to-room intercoms and more. Some of these brands and solutions are:
Sonos: This wireless music solution provides a ton of today’s music apps, easy set-up and good sound utilizing your existing WiFi.
Lutron Caseta: This whole-house lighting control allows you to control the lights in your house ALL with a single touch. You can also have your lighting system do things like automatically turn on when you pull into your driveway, turn on/off at specific times of the day and more.
Nest Thermostats: Hate coming home to a 90 degree house in summer? Like the idea of turning your AC on BEFORE you get home? Nest thermostats allow for this! They also help to save money by automatically turning off when no one is in a specific area.
Yale doorlocks: Want to open the door for a babysitter or houseguest while you’re at work? How about knowing when people go in-and-out of a particular door? Add Yale WiFi locks for some awesome home automation capabilities!
Here are some of the possible issues with Smart Home DIY products.
Smart Home Installation LIGHT
This is the type of Smart Home installation that we perform for most of our clients. This makes up solutions such as universal remotes that control your surround sound and TV, seamless whole-house lighting control, whole-house music, climate control, etc. The big difference between Smart Home DIY and Smart Home Installation LIGHT is that with the latter, all of these Smart Home elements work in tandem as opposed to having to
Smart Home Installation GENIUS
Smart Home Installation GENIUS systems are truly a smart home where your house (equipped with our programming and products) “knows” what is going on as you go from room-to-room. Do you and your significant other like different music? Your Smart Home knows this and turns on different music for each of you as you enter the room. Want your TVs to display art when you walk in the room and turn it off when you leave? How about when you pull up in your driveway, your favorite music comes on, the temperature and lighting changes and the Jacuzzi jets turn on? Smart Home installations at the GENIUS level do this and more.
Smart Home GENIUS installations also use one app to control all of your household systems. Do you want to go in-and-out of your audio/video app to control your TV, lighting app for your whole-house lighting control, security app to see your CCTV cameras, pool app to turn your Jacuzzi on, etc.? If you have a Smart Home GENIUS installation, you don’t have to.
Got questions about Smart Homes San Diego? We’ve installed these types of Smart Home products in thousands of homes over the last 12 years. Give us a call and let San Diego’s smart home experts guide you in your quest to have the smartest home on the block.
Looking for smart home products San Diego? Aire Theater Designs proudly serves all of San Diego County which includes Del Cerro, Talmadge, Kensington, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, El Cajon, Blossom Valley, La Mesa, Lake Murray, Friars, North Park, Balboa Park, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach, Pt Loma and Downtown San Diego. We also gladly serve those in North San Diego County which includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Elfin Forest, Oceanside, Escondido, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Alta Del Mar, 4S Ranch, Santaluz, Torrey Pines, Carmel Valley, Carmel Mountain, Coronado, Fairbanks Ranch, La Jolla, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo. Need help in Murrieta, Wildomar, Temecula, Fallbrook or Bonsall...we're there too. House by Lennar, Shea, Pardee or other builders...we can help!
Control your Smart Home with an iPad, phone or hand-held universal remote
A Smart Home brings simplicity, peace of mind, convenience and security to your life. What if your home seemed to move and change around you as you walked through it? What if it responded
San Diego Home Automation - Control your audio/video, smart home, thermostats, lighting, cameras and more from anywhere!
What if your smart home seemed to move and change around you as you walked through it? What if it responded to your movements and changed its state to complement your schedule and your life? In the past we had to take the time to change our home environment the way we wanted at any given time. We would have to walk to each light switch and turn it on, go to each blind and curtain and open/close it, walk to the thermostat and turn up the heat/air when we got home from work, turned up the heat in the spa so it was hot for an evening dip, do a walk around the house to each perimeter door to make sure they were locked, etc. What if your home did all these things for you without you even lifting a finger? What if simply pulling up into your driveway activated your home to welcome you in with the perfect amount of light, the perfect air temperature and with inviting background music playing throughout? Today, we can make all this possible for you through "home automation".
There are many different types of systems that are available now that fall into the home automation world. There are smart lighting systems from Lutron, smart blind/curtain systems by Lutron as well, smart HVAC systems by Honeywell and NEST, smart home systems by URC and RTI, smart Pool/Spa systems, etc. Now even though all these systems may be made by different companies and all seem completely isolated from the other, we can setup them all up to respond to each other and work together. We can program your home to respond to your movement or to your voice. We can program your home automation devices to run on customized schedules or patterns that you want. It is incredible what we can do with these systems these days. All you really need to do is have the initial meeting with us. We can then gather exactly what kinds of things you are looking for, how you would like your home to respond to you and form to your life and schedule. With that, we can design the home automation system that is perfect for your specific needs and lifestyle. We design these systems around you. Home automation is no longer in the future. The future is here now. Give us a call and allow us to bring the future to your home today. We are San Diego's Home Automation experts!
San Diego's home automation experts proudly serve all of San Diego County CA especially the communities and cities of Central San Diego County which includes Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Talmadge, Kensington, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, La Mesa, Lake Murray, Friars, North Park, Balboa Park, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach, Pt Loma and Downtown San Diego. We also gladly serve those in North San Diego County which includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Elfin Forest, Oceanside, Olivenhain, Escondido, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Alta del Mar, 4S Ranch, Santaluz, La Jolla, Poway and Rancho Bernardo. We aren't forgetting about our East County friends in El Cajon, Blossom Valley, Lakeside and Alpine. Need help in Murrieta, Temecula or Wildomar? We're there too.
Ring vs Nest - San Diego Ring and Nest Installers are here!
Ring doorbell - San Diego smart home
Heard about Ring doorbell and Ring camera products lately? This can be a great way for you to feel secure and to slowly transform your house into a "San Diego smart home". This product line allows you to protect your home and loved ones while you are away AND provides some cool features while you are home.
With Ring you can:
See who rings your doorbell while you are home: This is a nice safety feature that ensures that you aren't answering the door for someone that you shouldn't. You can then...see below.
Use the Ring doorbell as an intercom: You can now talk to whomever is at the front door, even when you are away! This could prevent some of the latest robbery schemes where criminals knock to see if anyone is home before breaking in.
Motion detector: This feature allows you to see anyone in proximity of your front door or other areas that you want to monitor. You can check on packages that are due to arrive, scare off (with the Intercom) someone at your front door or remotely watch areas such as garages, parked cars or a children's nursery (use as baby monitor).
Interested in how to protect your smart home (or not smart) with the Ring camera and doorbell products? Call San Diego's smart home and Ring installation company for a talk! We are San Diego's Ring Doorbell, Ring Camera and Smart Home experts.
Alexa Home Automation - San Diego Universal Remote Control
What is this, the year 2419? Is this Buck Rogers technology? Voice control for our home theater systems? Ladies and gentlemen...it is here! Meet URC Total Control + Amazon Alexa.
A driver has just been completed by URC that allows you to speak to your surround sound system to control it (Universal Remote Control...they are the largest manufacturer of universal remotes in the world). A driver is the conduit that allows the Amazon Alexa pieces to "talk" to the URC universal remote pieces. For example, with and Amazon Alexa piece, the URC Total Control TRC-1080 universal remote and the URC MRX-8 processor, you can control your complicated audio/video system entirely just by saying:
"Alexa...turn on cable TV."
"Alexa...turn on Blu-Ray player."
"Alexa...turn off system."
"Alexa...turn on music throughout house."
We will be integrating this into our home theater showroom today and then taking appointments to display this technology afterward. Interested in how to make your audio/video system work reliably AND how to engage surround sound voice control? Call San Diego's Alexa home automation experts for a showing! We are San Diego's smart home, audio, video and home automation experts.
Have you noticed that you can't just watch TV anymore? For most systems, the series of commands goes TV ON>CABLE BOX ON>AUDIO/VIDEO RECEIVER ON>TV INPUT>AUDIO/VIDEO RECEIVER INPUT>AUDIO/VIDEO RECEIVER SURROUND MODE just to watch television. What a nightmare! This process includes multiple remotes and if something gets pushed that shouldn't...you may never be able to watch TV again. However, we here at Aire Theater Designs have the cure to the above insanity...the universal remote.
In a nutshell, a GOOD universal remote will allow you to push ONE button and all of the commands above magically pop out of the remote, summon your surround sound system to behave and ta-da!...you're watching TV. Good universal remotes also ensure that the system can't get out of whack so if someone pushed a button they shouldn't have, one push of the universal remote puts everything back where it should be.
We say a "good universal remote" as many popular brands of remotes actually don't make the system behave if the wrong button gets pushed. Sounds odd, doesn't it? We agree but we've been fixing systems for years for clients that have these particular brands that don't allow systems to work flawlessly. We recommend two brands of universal remote. They are URC (Universal Remote Control) and RTI. Here's why.
In a nutshell, both these remotes have what we call "smart" or discrete codes. These codes allow the remote to know if elements of the system are out of whack. For example, if half of your components were ON and half OFF, these remotes from URC and RTI would know and would make sure everything is ON or OFF when you need them there. Some of the other brands on the market DON'T know so if you try to turn the system ON in the above instance, half of your components would still be OFF!
Now that you know what brand to buy, what remote is best for you? Here are some things to consider:
1) Screen size: Typically the more expensive the remote, the larger the screen and the easier it is to see the buttons. Here's an example of a GOOD remote (URC MX780i) next to a BETTER remote (URC MX980i). The difference in screen size is apparent.
2) What will you be controlling? If it is a single room or a basic surround sound system with a few rooms of music in other areas, something like the GOOD or BETTER options above work great. If you are thinking about controlling elements such as lighting, smart home features, surveillance cameras, thermostats or other home automation systems, one of our BEST options may fit the bill. These typically include some form of iPad control and well as hand-held remotes.
RTI iPad solution for dedicated theater, lighting control, thermostats, cameras and whole-house audio - Murrieta
3) Do you want to hide your surround sound equipment? All of our remotes have separate options so your cable boxes, receivers, Blu-Ray players, etc. can hide out-of-sight behind closet doors or cabinet fronts. You don't have to see any of the equipment!
Interested? Make an appointment to stop by our office. We've got many different models running our systems and we can recommend what will be best for your particular set-up. We are Aire Theater Designs, San Diego's URC and RTI universal remote experts. P.S. You now have smart home capabilities with most of today's remotes. Control your favorite smart features like lights, thermostats, shades, etc. in addition to your surround sound system!
San Diego Home Theater showroom Aire Theater Designs proudly serves all of San Diego County which includes Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, Talmadge, Kensington, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, El Cajon, Blossom Valley, La Mesa, Lake Murray, Friars, North Park, Balboa Park, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Imperial Beach, Pt Loma and Downtown San Diego. We also gladly serve those in North San Diego County which includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Elfin Forest, Oceanside, Escondido, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, 4S Ranch, Santaluz, La Jolla, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo. Need help in Murrieta, Wildomar, Temecula, Fallbrook or Bonsall...we're there too. House by Pardee, Shea or Lennar? We can help. We also serve Torrey Pines, Alta Del Mar, Carmel Mountain, Coronado, Fairbanks Ranch, Cielo, The Bridges, The Crosby, The Lakes.