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You've arrived in a virtual vault of tips, reviews and information about today's:

  • Surround sound receivers and 2 channel audio systems
  • 4K TV, 8K televisions and home theater projectors
  • Outdoor speakers and outdoor TV
  • Universal remotes, smart home technology and home automation
  • Technology blogs and our Youtube video reviews of the latest audio/video components
  • Streaming devices including Apple TV 4K, Roku, Fire devices and more
  • Audio streaming systems including Sonos, Heos, MusicCast and others
  • Best WiFi mesh systems, networking products and methods to enhance your home WiFi

Check us out frequently for information about monthly audio/video sales and tidbits about the electronics industry!



AppleTV4K problems? See below for AppleTV tutorials and tips


We’ve had a bunch of questions lately about how to use an AppleTV streaming device. Thanks to our star actor (and fantastic technician) Will, we’ve been able to put together some videos that go over common AppleTV questions. See links below to make your AppleTV behave!


How to add apps to AppleTV:


Airplay vs Screen Mirroring? How to Airplay and how to screen mirror:


How to fix AppleTV – Frozen AppleTV, apps not working or no sound on AppleTV:


These steps will work for most AppleTV4K or AppleTV streaming devices. Please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to our channel if these videos help you make sense of today’s technology.

- San Diego smart home and streaming experts…Aire Theater Designs



2020…well, that was horrible. Although there were about 432 things wrong with last year, there were some great elements, particularly with audio/video products. We’re listing below our own personal “Best of 2020” list for televisions, surround sound receivers, home speakers, WiFi products, universal remote controls and more.


Sony TV 05112017

Best TV for 2020: Sony A9G OLED TV. This TV is the best set that we’ve ever seen at the consumer level. You may have read our prior articles about OLED technology and why it is awesome (SEE LINK HERE).

Sony has taken this OLED technology and overlaid it with their world-class color and motion processing. The end result…a picture that in our opinion, is unparalleled. P.S. You can buy Sony’s A8H OLED set for a lot less $$$ and get most of the features and performance of the A9.


Marantz SR8015

Best surround sound receiver for 2020: Marantz SR8015 surround sound receiver. In the past, you would normally choose a separate pre-amp and amplifier combo when you want HIGH-PERFORMANCE out of your audio and video system. With Marantz’s new receiver option, there may be no need for this added expense. This 11.2 channel X 140 watt having, Dolby Atmos providing, 8K processing, multi-room sending, toroidal transformer possessing, 38.4 pound weighing BEAST is unbelievable. Sonos vs. Heos? It’s got Heos built-in which saves you $$$ over buying a separate music streamer. The best surround sound receiver we’ve installed.


Martin Logan XTi60r

Best tower speaker for 2020: Martin Logan XTi60. We love when we get a new product and are blown away…especially when they are speakers. Home audio speakers and audio in general have an emotional component that you don’t get out of wireless routers, TVs, etc. These speakers sound SOOOOOOOO good! This 66 pound monolith features 2 X 8” drivers, 1 X 6.5” mid-range speaker and Martin Logan’s reference 2.4” Folded Motion tweeter. More importantly, they provide a presence and presentation of music that made one of our in-house listeners simultaneously want to cry and then fight, depending on the content being played. That emotional response is what great audio and speakers can provide. We like these so much we got a pair for our San Diego showroom.


Eero San Diego dealer

Best WiFi for 2020: Eero Pro 6. With WiFi, we have a couple features that we see as very important. 1st, it’s just got to work. We’ve worked with other WiFi companies (we’ll omit the names so we don’t get sued) where every other job is a nightmare of slow speeds, devices not working and that have no concrete resolution from the manufacturer’s tech team. Eero just works with no nonsense. We’ve got hundreds of Eero and Eero Pro 6 mesh WiFi extenders in the field that attest to this. 2nd, Eero gives us a way to “see” your WiFi network remotely so we can tell you if it is up or down, if your connected device is misbehaving, if an Eero mesh extender is unpluggged, etc. This is VERY important for us to be able to service our clients in a quick and efficient manner. See link HERE. Want better WiFi San Diego? Eero Pro 6 is the answer!


URC Total Control San Diego resized

Best universal remote for 2020: URC universal remote. In this category, we are picking a universal remote company instead of a specific product. URC is the best universal remote company for 2020 in our opinion because: 1) Things just work. We get calls frequently from people that have universal remotes from other companies and they HATE them because their systems aren’t intuitive and their home automation products get out of sync constantly. This doesn’t happen with URC. 2) Multiple solutions: URC has universal remotes that can “talk” to your WiFi network and ones that don’t. Want a universal remote for your 93 year old grandparent to watch TV? You DON’T want something that relies on the Internet. When the Internet or WiFi is down, Grandpa can’t watch TV. URC has remotes for Grandpa and for someone that wants an Elon Musk-level of technology.


Want the best home technology in 2020? We sell all of these products. Come to Aire Theater Designs for the best TV, stereo and WiFi that you can buy. P.S. Stay tuned for our "Best Outdoor TV of 2020" and "Best Outdoor Speaker of 2020" blog...coming soon!

Airplay on Roku

Airplay is now available on Roku devices!


Airplay: "AirPlay lets you share videos, photos, music, and more from Apple devices to your Apple TV, favorite speakers, and popular smart TVs." (definition from Apple’s website).


Want to take something you’ve filmed on your phone and “zap” it to your TV? Use Airplay.

Want to play something on your 4K television from a website you’ve accessed on your iPad? Use Airplay.

Want to use your GIANT 123” TV as a monitor for your iMac laptop: Use Airplay.


As you can see from the examples above, Airplay is a neat feature that can provide a lot of utility and fun. In the past, Airplaying video content to your surround sound system was only possible through an AppleTV streaming device. There are many popular streaming devices on the market (Roku, AppleTV, Fire Stick, etc.) and this was one of the reasons that people would sometimes choose an AppleTV over a Roku in a “Roku vs AppleTV” challenge.

However, Roku has just added a feature that allows you to use Airplay through their newer devices. If you have a Roku Ultra, Roku Premiere4K (we sometimes call it “Roku Orange” as it has an orange box) and their 4K Stick, you can now Airplay to Roku without having an AppleTV streaming device!

Our technician Will was nice enough to film a video below showing how to do this. Check the link below. Thanks Will!

How to Airplay to Roku Video HERE

Got questions about which streaming device is best or why you should choose AppleTV vs. Roku? We install these things every day! Give us a call and let San Diego’s Roku experts go over the pros-and-cons with you.


2020…this year has really been a bummer. One of the only good things we’ve seen from it are some of Sonos’s new products! Sonos has some fantastic new products for 2019 and 2020 that have made listening to your favorite music more impactful, easier and better-sounding than ever. Listed below are two of our favorite new Sonos products; the Sonos AMP powered streaming amp and the Sonos ARC reference soundbar.

Sonos AMP

Sonos AMP - $649.00: This piece has become our go-to when powering areas of audio, especially when these areas are separated from where all of the audio/video equipment is housed. In the past, you would need to walk to where all of the equipment was located, pick your music, push a few more buttons to make speakers in other areas play and then walk back to the area you wanted to listen in. Now, you can be in any room with speakers, touch a few buttons on your phone and you’re rocking! This is great for outdoor areas or large homes where the equipment is located in a room/closet that is far away.

The included 125 watt X 2 channel amplifier is powerful enough to drive most speakers on the market. In fact, this will make most existing audio systems sound MUCH better than they currently do. This is because many existing whole-house audio set-ups are using amplifiers that deliver 5-30 watts/channel to the speakers. This increase in power from using the Sonos AMP will in most cases, give you better bass, clearer highs and more-defined sound. NOTE: If you already have amplifiers or a surround sound receiver, you can use the Sonos PORT streaming device to provide these streaming services without the power that the AMP provides. The Sonos AMP also includes the Sonos “brain” which gives you access to almost every app known to Man such as Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, Apple Music, etc. You can use Sonos AMPs to power different areas of the house or landscape. If you opt to do this, each area can either have its own source (ex: one room could have “The Smiths” on Spotify while another room has “The Beatles” station on Pandora) OR you can touch a button and all of the areas are playing the same thing! This is great for gatherings or parties.

NOTE: When using the AMPs in large homes or in spacious backyard settings, you need to ensure that your WiFi network is sufficient to provide adequate range and bandwidth. See our article HERE that discusses a great WiFi network.

Sonos ARC

Sonos ARC - $799.00: The Sonos ARC is their new soundbar for 2020 that replaces the Sonos PLAYBAR model which was their staple for many years. This 8 woofer, 3 tweeter, 11 channel marvel sounds fantastic, allows you to play the Sonos music sources detailed above and can be incorporated into surround sound set-ups with the separate Sonos SUB subwoofer and Sonos ONE rear speakers. The limitation of most soundbars in the past is that they have frankly, sounded middling at best. Thin mid-range, minimal bass and operational issues have been the norm (the need to power cycle cheapy soundbars is very common…this is when they lock up, won’t do anything and you have to unplug them/plug them back in to get them to work). This isn't the case with Sonos. The Sonos ARC can provide GREAT sound in a soundbar format, which can be cheaper and easier to wire than a conventional surround sound system. We give it two thumbs up!

Looking to see how Sonos can enhance your life with music? Call us! We are the experts on Sonos 2020 products AND everything they've ever made! We also have Sonos on display in our by-appointment only San Diego showroom.


Sonos experts are here! We've been selling Sonos since it came out! 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, Point 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 CA, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Cielo, The Bridges, The Crosby, The Lakes, Torrey Pines, Alta Del Mar, Carmel Mountain, Carmel Valley, Coronado, Fairbanks Ranch, 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, Lennar or other builders? We can help! 

Martin Logan speaker sale

RIDICULOUS speaker and subwoofer sales are here for a limited time!


In our industry, if you can save sales tax on an item, that's a good deal. Saving 25% as you see above...that's INSANO! For a limited time, save 25% on in-stock speakers from one of our favorite speaker brands. The Dynamo series of Martin Logan subwoofers and the Motion series of bookshelf and tower speakers are all 25% OFF until May 31st!!!!!!!!

We are currently offering free delivery on Martin Logan purchases of $400.00 and up. Want to get some amazing sound and have some change left in your pocket? Give us a call. Our client Roy just took us up on a wonderful set of Motion35 bookshelf speakers and his quote "These things sound amazing!" is the common response from new owners. 


Subwoofers: Dynamo400, Dynamo600, Dynamo800, Dynamo1100, Dynamo1600 - Put some boom in your room and depth in your music without the distortion found in many subwoofers.

Bookshelf/tower speakers: Motion15i, Motion35XTi, Motion20i, Motion40i, Motion60XTi (these are our favorite!) - These provide clarity and accuracy that we don't hear out of many speakers.

Center channel: Motion30i, Motion50XTi - Dollar-for-dollar, this and your subwoofer are the most important speakers in your surround sound system. Go big and bad here. You won't be saying "I can't hear what he said!" anymore!

Surround speakers: MotionFX, Motion AFX - Put yourself into the movie with amazing surround effects from these on-wall/on-table surround speakers.


Need a sound or audio expert? We are Martin Logan dealers and know the line! 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, Point 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, Torrey Pines, Alta Del Mar, Carmel Mountain, Carmel Valley, Coronado, Fairbanks Ranch, 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, Lennar or other builders? We can help!





smash TV


During this strange time, we’re understandably getting more questions about computer and network health than ever before. We wanted to provide you with some technology health elements and troubleshooting tips. These are points that may help to cut down on frustration and make you more productive. This is somewhat of a long read but please check it out as we’re confident this can help now and in the future. See below:


Got an important Zoom or video call tomorrow on your computer?

  • PREPARE: If your meeting is at 8 AM, don’t start doing updates and tweaks at 7:50 AM. If you do, you’re not going to make that meeting. Do these updates the day before DURING TECH SUPPORT HOURS and go onto the needed web platform to ensure that you can connect. Updates can cause certain functions to stop working so you want to make sure that tech departments are open in the event that you need to call to get support.
  • DON’T USE THE INTERNET FOR OTHER THINGS: While you’re on your call, tell your children to stop playing video games, no Facebook Live, etc. These types of activities can slow up your network drastically and can contribute to glitching, delays, etc.
  • DON’T CALL THE CABLE COMPANY IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO: With everything that is currently going on, the cable companies are more taxed than they have ever been. This is not the time to raise your Internet speed (see our point below about the Gigabit lie/Internet speed and why it isn’t that important), attempt to change providers, get new services, etc. We would recommend waiting on any non-essential tweaks until things get back to normal. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  • CHECK YOUR BACKGROUND PROCESSES: If you have anything going on such as Carbonite back-ups, Dropbox syncing, iCloud uploads, etc. these services can all cut down on your Internet bandwidth and can cause issues with video conferencing. Turn these off if you have important video calls that need to be perfect. NOTE: If you do turn these off, make sure you turn them back on.


Want Healthy web browsing?

  • RESTART YOUR MODEM AND ROUTER REGULARLY: This will help to prevent lock-ups and disruptions in your Internet service.
  • RESTART YOUR LAPTOPS, TABLETS, PHONES, ETC: Restarting your devices regularly (turn off power, wait 30 seconds and then power them back up) will help to keep your electronics working properly.
  • CLEAR YOUR BROWSER CACHE: Another phrase for this is “Don’t have 57 windows open on your laptop”. Close these unused browser windows and history for better surfing performance.


Random tips and opinions

  • DON’T WORRY ABOUT INTERNET SPEED: The cable companies have been advertising their Gigabit service very frequently. Don’t believe the hype as you don’t need 1 Gbps for quality Internet connections. Here’s why Gigabit is good and bad:
  • Most of our clients that have “gigabit” service are receiving 250-400 Mbps (25-40% of Gigabit speeds). Based on speed solely, ANYTHING in the house will run perfectly with this. Typically, most networks at 100 Mbps+ will allow household networked devices to run properly. Another point about this is that ALL of your devices, wallplates, connections and cables need to be Gigabit to theoretically get Gigabit speeds. Unfortunately, they almost never are. Our recommendation is not to get hung up on the idea of getting specifically Gigabit speed but just to know that having a Gigabit package will allow you to get GREAT speeds that should work with anything in your home.
  • Throughput vs. speed: Throughput is how much network information (packets) gets to a location successfully. Elements such as using wired connections when possible, being in rooms/areas close to your WiFi routers and practicing good device health (see points above) will do more for your throughput than just concentrating on speed alone.
  • ONE DEVICE WON’T CONNECT: If you have 1 device that won’t connect but 39 others that do, focus on the device that won’t connect as opposed to working on the other 39. If everything else works aside from one component, do the potential updates, resets, etc. on the device that won’t connect before you start resetting everything else.
  • “IT AIN’T GOT NO GAS IN IT”: In the movie “Sling Blade”, this is one of Carl’s iconic lines. The point being made in this movie is that Carl looks for the simplest solution first. If your lawn mower doesn’t work, don’t take it completely apart and starting oiling the motor…check the gas first. Getting back to networks, if you have something that isn’t working, think about what might be the simplest thing first. This picture is of an Ethernet cable.

Ethernet cable

My computer stopped connecting to the Internet the other day. All of my other wired devices were working as well as my WiFi devices. Therefore, the simplest thing was to replace my Ethernet cable. TA-DA! My computer was working again! There was no reason that the cable should have gone defective…but it did. The point is that most problems are fixed by doing the simple stuff first.


We hope that this information helps you to become more Internet-savvy and that your devices behave. Need further help in San Diego with WiFi, computer troubleshooting or electronics...give us a call! NOTE: LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to our Youtube page below for future tips, reviews and information.

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