home audio

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. 

 

Is getting a “smart home”…smart?

 

I remember years ago there was a movie that came out about a family who got to move into a fully automated dream home. This house did everything from cleaning, cooking and even played with the dog. Are you feeling like a mango and banana smoothie for breakfast? This house would have you covered and you could just sit back and enjoy without having to do the work. While technology has come a long way over the last 15 years…we aren’t exactly there yet. However the capabilities you CAN have for your home are amazing and can help make life a little easier, safer, and even a bit more fun! Plus it’s more affordable now than ever. What used to be an option only for the wealthy is now found in homes across America.

Alarm.com allows you to not only interact with your security system from your smart phone or tablet, but can also control everything in your home from lighting, televisions, audio equipment, air conditioning, and more. We all know the feeling of worry and questions that run through our mind when we are away from the house…

-Did I remember to arm the system before we rushed out the door?

                (Just check the virtual keypad on your phone. It allows you to arm and disarm your system remotely. There is no more need to give out your code to a babysitter or housekeeper. Just swipe to disarm the system when they arrive and arm it again when they have left.)

-Did Mia get home safe from soccer practice?

                (Motion activated cameras can show you when the kids arrive at the front door)

 

-Did I remember to shut off the lights?

                (Turn your lights on and off as needed with just a swipe of your finger on your phone.)

 

-Is the babysitter doing a good job keeping an eye on the kids?

                (Just check on one of your live streaming cameras in the play room)

-Did we leave the air conditioning down low when we left for the vacation?

                (Turn the temperature up and down as needed, even when you are away. You can also get text alerts in conjunction with temperature or water sensors to help alert you in case of a flood or fire)

 

All of these questions and more can be answered with the help of Total Connect 2.0. Call our office today to learn more about what’s smart about making your home smart! 877-532-SAFE

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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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TV Tip-Over

Televisions can be a huge safety issue in your home if they aren’t secured properly. Families often overlook just how dangerous they can be until it is too late. Did you know that every hour a child is rushed to the hospital because of a TV tip-over? Even more saddening is that every 3 weeks a child unnecessarily dies from a TV tip-over. Together we can help make sure this doesn’t happen to your children by learning about the issue and figuring out how to help keep kids safe. 

The statistics show that 34% of child fatalities due to TV tip-overs involved children climbing on furniture or the televisions themselves and that 47% of child fatalities with a TV tip-over occur in a bedroom. Securing furniture to walls is always an important safety step when you have young children living in your home. Young children love to climb and we can’t keep our eyes on them 24/7. Making sure large pieces of furniture are secured to the wall is an essential step to helping keep kids safe when it comes to general home safety and not just in regards to the furniture holding your TV. Since 7 out of 10 children that are injured in that kind of accident are under the age of 5…talking to your children about being careful around the television is NOT enough. SECURING THEM IS KEY and if you have an older CRT TV we have tips for them as well below. We recommend the following tips for television safety:

-Secure your flat screen televisions properly with a wall mount that has a safety certification from an independent laboratory. If you have a new television that you want professionally hung, our certified technicians can help hang them safely on your walls using proper wall mounts.

- 37% of households still have the heavier box style televisions. When you are dealing with an older CRT TV, they should be placed on a low and stable piece of furniture that is appropriate for the size and weight of the television. (A 36” box style CRT TV falling three feet will create the same momentum as a 1 year old child falling from a 10 story building)

- Don’t forget to recycle your old TV’s. Consumer electronics are now the fastest-declining portion of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. Together we can help by visiting www.greenergadgets.org to find a location near you that will safely and responsibly recycle your TV for you.