audio video

Seamless Whole House Audio

One of my favorite features of my Control4 home automation system is the whole home audio. I have the ability to either the same song in all the rooms or a different song in each room. Control4 integrates with all the large internet radio apps so I can listen to all my favorite artists with ease. Some of the internet radio providers that it supports are Pandora, Deezer, Tune-In, and Rhapsody. It also integrates with 3rd party devices to provide you XM Satellite radio. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years then you know at least a few of these big names in the music world.

 

Just in case you can’t find what you are wanting to listen to on these sources you can always stream any song or playlist from your smart phone with Control4’s Share Bridge.

Control4’s wireless speaker point makes it possible to have distributed audio in existing houses that would otherwise be extremely hard, if not, impossible to run wires to ever speaker. If you already have an existing wireless Sonos system in your house Control4 can control that as well.

With digital music streaming throughout your house you can have scenes created to access your music at all the right times with ease.

               Party Scene - Your Control4 Dealer can create a party scene for you to execute at the click of a button. This Party Scene can set your favorite playlist to play throughout the house at a preset level. If the patio has a dance floor for your party, you can have it playing louder than the rest of the house where you might just want to have quieter background music. In addition to the audio control the Party Scene button can also trigger things like lighting control and set the thermostat to a lower temperature. When you are done with the party all you need to do is press the button one more time and the music shuts off and your house returns to normal.

               Wakeup Scene - If you hate waking up in the morning as much as me then you need all the help you can get. With a wakeup scene you can have a sequence of events triggered at the time you set the night before. So if you have to be up at 6:00am you can have the temperature in your house drop a few degrees starting at 5:30am. Then at 6:00 your music and lights can start slowly ramping up. You can even have your TV turn on to your favorite channel. When arm your alarm system before you leave for the day, your TV will shut off and the music will stop playing.

If you have any questions about Control4 or would just like to have a free consultation, please feel free to contact us. 

 

The Home Automation Backbone

A home network is the backbone of any and all AV systems. Whether you are installing a home automation system yourself or having a professionally installed system, it is vitally important to have professional grade networking equipment for the automation to run smoothly. If you want your lighting scenes to be triggered exactly when they are supposed to, to control your home theater, or to turn on your favorite music you need a strong network.

Consumer grade routers that you get from your Internet Service Provider or the ones you get from your local electronic store, cannot handle the amount of data traffic that will need to pass through and will prove to be unreliable. When too much traffic passes through your router the CPU and memory get overloaded and your router will crash. The magic fix is to reset the router but how many times will it take for you to do that before you get sick of it?

What all home automation systems need is an enterprise grade router. These routers are not created in China with cheap parts or designed just for the highest possible profit margin in mind. They are not just good enough for the mass market consumer. Enterprise grade routers have the fastest CPUs and the most memory and they are designed to be future proof. They are not only going to support the devices you have now but the new devices that might be invented five years from now. These routers will be able to stream UHD/4K contents, music, and allow you to surf the web all at the same time all through their gigabit ports.

One of the biggest benefits of getting an enterprise grade network device is the support you will receive. You will be able to go directly to the installer that you bought your router from with any issue instead of having to wait on hold with tech support for an hour to get someone that does not really know what they are talking about. This installing dealer will not only be trained but certified to handle almost any problem you run into. If there is ever an issue that you run into that cannot be quickly fixed, then the installer will work directly with engineers with the manufacture to make sure the issue is resolved.

At J&J Security we offer enterprise networking solutions for both homes and businesses. If you want to discuss your network needs in more detail, please feel free to give us a call.

 

What Exactly is an Automated Home?

Today more and more people want to simplify their lives. Homes are getting smaller and more of the space in being utilized for daily life. Some might think that automating your home will complicate things and it will be expensive. Those people could not be more wrong, it is the complete opposite.

Home automation is becoming the norm in peoples’ homes now as it becomes more and more affordable with solutions from companies such as Alarm.com and Control4. These companies were the first to make it possible for the average American to turn their home into a smart home. They integrate things like smart lighting, door control, wireless audio distribution, home entertainment, and control over your security system.

All from the touch of a button you have complete control over your home. When you are away you still can control your home from Control4’s smart phone app, or even from any computer. Imagine you are away on vacation and have a feeling you forgot to shut the lights off, lock the door, or arm the security system. If you have a smart home, you can have the peace of mind knowing you can check and correct all of these problems right from your phone.

These features are make life convenient but wait there is more. When you have an automated home when you sit down to watch a movie you can automatically have the lights dim and the volume on your TV or surround sound system to set to your favorite level. In the mornings each room can have its own wakeup seen, where the lights dim up over time, the thermostat adjusts to a cooler temperature, your favorite music starts playing and the TV turns on to the morning news.

At J&J Security we want everybody to be able to afford a smart home; that is why we have smart home packages starting as low as $99. If you are looking for something more custom like centralized lighting, a home theater, or even automating your business, we have a design team that can guide you through sales process. We have solutions that can fit every budget, and every need, no matter how big or how small. Call us today to find out more (866) 532-7233.

 

Control4 Vs. Crestron... Which is the Best Automation System?

The battle between two of the top home automation companies, Control4 and Crestron, is over. And the winner is… Control4. Both these platforms have a lot to offer and are extremely versatile. Crestron has been on the market since 1971 and for a long time was the top choice for corporate board rooms and large custom homes. Control4 on the other had was started in the early 2000s by three technology moguls, Eric Smith, Will West, and Mark Morgan. At first Control4 had its problems like most other technology companies when they first start.

 Their first controller, the Home Theater Control, moved at a snail’s pace compared to its competition. Despite it’s slow processing power it’s interfaces were easy to use and programming these systems took a fraction of the hours that a similar Crestron project would have. Control4 pricing was another major advantage over Crestron. Crestron’s pricing made it impossible for the everyday home owner to have a home automation system. Control4 on the other hand put affordable home control in the hands of thousands of people.

Still though with the limited capabilities of the first generation C4 home automation systems, Crestron had them beat. Control4 was quick to their feet with the release of the second generation HC-300 and HC-1000 which blew away their predecessors in terms of speed and capabilities. More and more integrators started moving over from other automation platforms to Control4. This soon became a movement and large players in the audio video market, like Sony, started integrating Control4 into their products.

I think one of the biggest indicators of Control4’s rapid race to the top, was when MGM Grand in Las Vegas decided to install Control4 controllers in all of its new rooms. There are two BIG reasons why Control4 was selected to be their automation platform. First off Control4 is so easy to use anyone can do it. On the other hand, its competitors require you to demo the equipment to a user so they can figure out how to control everything. The second reason MGM chose Control4 is because of their price. Since Control4 is just a fraction of the price of Crestron, and requires less programming time, MGM was able to keep their budget inline.

In the past couple years since Control4 went public they partnered with and bought several technology companies to advance their product offering. They purchased LeafAudio, an audio and video matrix company; Pakedge, networking company; and Extra Vegetables, a driver development company. Control4 paid top dollar for all of these companies because they knew it was just being what they need to perfect the home automation for everyone from your average Joe to your billionaire clientele.

With its newest release of the EA line of processors, competitors cannot compete on price, quality, or speed. The EA-5 boasts five independent audio outputs—two digital coaxial, two RCA stereo analog, and one HDMI—with an audiophile-grade signal-to-noise ratio of 118dB. A built-in music server delivers immersive, multi-stream, high-resolution audio with five built-in simultaneous audio streams from your local music collection, a variety of streaming music services, or from AirPlay-enabled devices using native Control4 ShairBridge technology.

I personally have owned, installed, and programmed both Crestron and Control4. With Control4 you not only get a price that cannot be beat but a system the is unmatched in speed, versatility, and ease of use. Control4 is so easy to use a 4-year-old can do it. I did just that when I taught my little niece how to use our home theater in just a few short minutes. Don’t over complicate your life with a system like Crestron. Why overpay for something just because it has been around longer. How many of us chose Google over other search engines like AOL because it just works better? AOL was around years before Google and we all know it just can’t compete. When you make the decision automate your life go with a product not “like Control4” but only Control4. You will not be disappointed… I guarantee it. 

 

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in getting a quote on us to design and/or program your Control4 system. We offer programming of Control4 systems nationwide. If you enter you information below you will receive 25% off your programming labor. 

 

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