by Theatron | Dec 23, 2015 | Control4, Home Automation, Home Security, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Our Blog, Security Cameras, Smart Thermostat, Touch Panels, Whole House Audio
With the holiday decorating, shopping, and cooking in full swing, there has never been a better time to automate your home. Home automation can help you manage the wonderful chaos, entertaining your family when they come to visit, setting that special ambiance that inspires the holiday spirit, and keeping your valuables and loved ones more secure than ever. Control4 can help you custom design your smart home to sync with your existing products and spread the holiday cheer.
Light Up Your Home
Home automation allows you to step up your game when it comes to holiday decorating and setting the vibe for the season. You can sync your lights to your holiday playlist, customize your holiday tunes to play at certain times of day, and completely control the light patterns and colors to fit your decorating visions. Home automation can help you make all of your holiday decorating dreams come true.
Share the Classics
An automated home theater system helps you share the classics like never before. With the push of a button on the Control4 Touch Screen, your living room sets itself up for prime viewing. The shades lower, the lights dim or turn off, and the movie begins. If cooking and other activities are going on throughout the home, no one has to be left out of the viewing-you can stream the classics to all of the rooms. If you prefer newer movies, you can also stream the latest hits or newest holiday releases.
Spend More Time with Loved Ones
With smart timers, alerts, and synced appliances, you can spend less time turning things on and off and more time enjoying the company of your loved ones. With the right oven, you can keep an eye on what’s cooking, control your oven and stove settings, and receive alerts about the food right from your phone. You can also control all of the lights in the house from your Control4 Touch Screen and set up timers to lock doors, change the temperature, raise or lower blinds, and many other functions.
Sleep in Peace
When it is time for bed, an automated home can set security systems, lower blinds, and lock doors with the push of a “Goodnight” button. With compatible cameras tied to the Control4 system, you can look at security views or check in on the baby, right from the Control4 App. You can also adjust fans and make sure all lights are off from the comfort of your bed.
If you are interested in finding out how a personalized Control4 smart home can make the holidays more enjoyable—along with every other day of the year—give us a call at 703-883-0970 or contact us.
by Theatron | Dec 23, 2015 | Home Theater
The party this New Year’s is at your house — in your home theater. A movie party is super fun to plan and host, and the best part is that you don’t even have to brave the cold or travel anywhere to have a great time!
Your first order of business is to decide what movies you’re going to show. Sure, you could choose New Year’s Eve, but that might be a bit too obvious. You might want to choose 200 Cigarettes instead, but if there’s a chance children might be wandering in and out of your party, mmmaybe not. If you’re looking for something G-rated, you could always turn on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Select a Genre
It’s fun to choose a theme independent of the holiday — horror, science fiction, action. Once you decide, you can ask guests to dress up as their favorite characters from the movies on your list. You might get Freddy Kruger, Darth Vader or the Terminator!
Your guest list may depend on your seating arrangement. If you have theater-style seating, you’ll be limited by the number of chairs you have. If you have more space, you can use the floor for seating, or set up folding chairs once you’re ready to start the screening. Unless your chairs are affixed to the floor, you can push them to the perimeter before or after the movies to make more room for mingling.
Don’t forget to plan your menu ahead of time. Of course you have to have popcorn. Consider renting a commercial popcorn maker, and get some red-and-white-striped bags for authenticity. Have boxes of Mike and Ike’s and huge candy bars on hand too (but don’t charge your guests $4 apiece for them — that’s too authentic).
Hard and Soft Drinks
Of course you’ll want champagne, but also get some 44-ounce plastic cups for servings of soda so large they’d outlaw them in New York! If you look online, you might be able to find cups to match your movie choices, providing they’re recent and/or really popular (read: Hunger Games, Star Wars, etc.).
Go all out with the invitations. If it’s possible to snail mail them, make up cards that look like movie tickets and tell your guests they must bring them for admission. Don’t use cardstock that’s too heavy, though, or you won’t be able to tear them in half easily.
Home theaters are great for parties, small get-togethers, children’s sleepovers and date nights with your sweetheart. To learn more, contact the experts at Theatron Home Theater and Smart Home Automation . Stop in for a free consultation — we can help you with all aspects of your home theater — setup, seating, installation, upgrading and more.
by Theatron | Dec 11, 2015 | Home Theater
What’s the perfect gift this season? A home theater, of course! It’s way better than a sweater or another pair of slippers.
Of course you can’t wrap a home theater up for the holidays. But try this clever substitute: Wrap the projector — or better yet, just the bulb! — and a box of popcorn separately and wait for your recipients’ faces to light up when they figure out what you’ve gotten them. If you’ve got kids, put everyone’s names on the boxes — then you won’t have to buy as many presents!
Take it Seriously
A home theater purchase shouldn’t be made lightly, however. It’s an investment, not just for the personal enjoyment of you and your family, but for your home’s value.
Your first step in making any big purchase usually is to do some research on your own so you have an idea of what you want before you talk to a salesperson. If, however, movies are exciting to look at for you but high-tech electronics make your eyes glaze over, you may want to flip the order.
Starting your search with a knowledgeable salesperson can be a good idea — just don’t make the mistake of assuming you will find anyone like this in a big-box chain store. It’s possible, but it isn’t likely.
Isn’t That Special?
Specialty stores are called that partly because they are so special, and also because they specialize in one area rather than trying to spread themselves too thinly. Think about it: The stores that sell the cheapest products are the ones that are selling snow tires, frozen ravioli, bathing suits and haircuts — too much diversification.
One-stop shopping is fine if you need Scotch tape, socks, a greeting card and some lunch, but if you’re dropping a few grand on a home theater system, you want knowledgeable professionals who can guide you through your purchase.
When you head in for your consultation, bring some basic info with you.
Where do you plan to set up your home theater? Basement? Garage? Spare room? Do these rooms have windows? Carpeting? What type of lighting? What are the dimensions of the room? What do you plan to watch in your new home theater? Basketball? Movies? Game of Thrones? Will you use it to play video games?
How many people will use your home theater? Different combinations call for different types of seating. Do you have toddlers who like to lay on the floor with blankets? Teenagers who want to have their friends over? Will it primarily be just you and your spouse?
Bring your lists of questions and answers in to the experts at Theatron Home Theater & Smart Home Automation. We’ve been installing the best in home theaters for years throughout Northern Virginia , DC and Maryland and beyond. If you want to surprise that special someone with a home theater this year, come in and see what is new in home theater techonology.
by Theatron | Sep 24, 2015 | Home Theater, What's New
Imagine experiencing a movie at home that sounds so realistic, it feels as though the jet onscreen is flying through your home theater. The details are amazing – you can pinpoint a mosquito hovering near your ear! This is the type of ultra-realistic sound that Dolby Atmos technology provides at home, surpassing what traditional 5.1- and 7.1-channel surround sound available today. It’s the kind of effect that will make your friends’ jaws drop and envelop you in the ultimate theater experience at home.
A different approach
Dolby Atmos goes beyond the “channel” approach of these traditional surround sound systems by freeing the sound stage and allowing audio elements to be placed anywhere in the room, even above the audience. Dolby refers to this technology as “object-based” audio because any sound can be mixed as a single audio element—an object—that’s independently placed in three-dimensional space. Sounds are choreographed along with the onscreen action for an über-precise soundstage that makes you feel like you are truly there. The resulting home cinema experience becomes that much more rich, immersive and lifelike as the picture and sound are more closely woven together. With the ability to support up to 128 simultaneous objects, Dolby Atmos, lets you experience a soundtrack as you would in a real-world environment. While Dolby Atmos was first to the object-based audio arena, competing surround sound technology company DTS followed suit in April with the announcement of its version, DTS:X object-based surround.
The right equipment
To enjoy the technology in your home theater, in addition to a Blu-ray and/or streaming media player, you’ll need a Dolby Atmos A/V receiver (or preamp/processor), which will handle all of the necessary signal processing to reproduce the audible objects where they need to be in your home theater room. You will want overhead sound capabilities, which means standard overhead speakers or new Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, which are engineered to direct sound upward, where it reflects sound off the ceiling to produce lifelike sound effects. Whether you choose to add to your existing speaker system or opt for a completely new system is up to you, thanks to Dolby Atmos’ backward compatibility.
Call Theatron Home Theater and Smart Home today to hear for yourself how exciting, how moving, and how utterly cool this technology can be in your own living room or media room. You won’t believe your ears as your home theater is rocked by explosions, soaked in rain or trampled by dinosaurs.
Call Us Today:
Mclean VA: 703-883-0970
Purcellville VA: 540-882-9613
by Theatron | Sep 23, 2015 | Home Automation, Home Theater
Do you have a jumble of remotes on your coffee table? Would your speakers look great at the
Brady Bunch estate? Are you watching video that looks like something from the VCR era? If
you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you are due for an A/V upgrade. And there
is no better time to do it than summer—before back to school and the upcoming holidays
require your undivided attention. Plus, major advancements in video quality, wireless
technology, surround sound and sources mean that even swapping out one or two components
can make a world of difference in performance. Here are a few ways we recommend stepping
up your A/V game.
Up your resolution
4K Ultra HD is the latest in video, at four times the resolution of HDTV. With larger TV sizes,
the image look so good, you feel like you can reach out and touch it. Anything you watch—
whether it is Blu-ray discs or HDTV content—will look better on a 4K Ultra HD set thanks to
their internal video processors.
Bigger really is better
Perhaps it’s not the resolution you’re concerned about in your media room, but the size of
your set. The old adage “Bigger Is better” has never been more true, and—thanks to enhanced
HD and Ultra HD resolution—you can sit closer to the screen than ever before and still get a
great image. If you are ready to go really big, consider a two-piece projection system (a
projector and screen). The industrial design on screens these days is phenomenal, with some
manufacturers producing edgeless rigid screens that look great when not in use, and look
even better fired up, with a gorgeous ‘floating image’ effect that will impress friends and
family. Dark, ambient-light-rejecting screens even look great in media room with less than
ideal lighting situations. You really don’t have to sit in a pitch-dark room anymore to have an
immersive home theater experience.
Get ready for bone-shaking surround
Have two speakers and want a more enveloping, cinematic experience? Then consider upping
your audio game with true surround sound. Come in or call us to experience the latest
formats that offer an über-realistic 3D sound field. The most important speaker in any sound
system is the center channel. The center channel reproduces all of the dialogue or vocals and
up to 60% of the audio signal. We also have an array of subwoofers that will literally rock
your world. You won’t believe your ears.
New audio options for all
If you have a smaller room where a full surround system isn’t feasible, there are many
fantastic sound bars that simulate surround sound and offer audio much better than what you
can get from your TV’s speakers. Flat panel TVs, due to their elegant slim design, are not able
to house speaker elements that can deliver the audio quality George Lucas or Neil Young
intended you to hear. Sound bars don’t necessarily require a receiver because many can
perform the HDMI switching needed for all your high-definition sources. Wireless speakers are
also extremely popular, and some sound great, allowing you to inexpensively outfit your home
with wireless multi-room audio without having to run cables. Come in for a demo to see if
wireless is right for you home.
Whether you need audio or video upgrades or want to see how Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes can subtly enhance your
system with content options like on-demand streaming sources. We’ll show you how to make your system the envy of the neighborhood!
Call today 703-883-0970
by Theatron | Sep 16, 2015 | Home Theater
There’s nothing as jarring as a home theater with bad acoustics. Because human hearing is tied into balance, poor acoustics can not only be unpleasant, but downright disorienting. The good news, though, is that with the right configuration, your home theater can sound better than you could ever image, and can bring your movies, music, and more to life. Let’s go through a few key considerations when tweaking a room.
Absorb reflecting sound
Picture your room as a pool table with the cue ball as the sound. Hit it with a little force, and it goes bouncing about the room with a hefty dose of energy. To stop these reflections from ricocheting out of control, a little acoustic treatment can go a long way. Absorptive panels eliminate unwanted reflections by swallowing them up, making your audio crystal clear. Acoustic treatments have come a long way aesthetically and can actually enhance your décor. You can also install panels (and speakers, for that matter) behind acoustically transparent fabric walls to make them invisible- just remember to use an acoustically transparent screen if installing speakers behind the fabric.
Get bone-shaking bass
Subwoofers are a tricky species, but when positioned correctly and treated appropriately, they can provide the low-frequency energy your room needs for dynamic and exciting soundtracks and sound effects. We can help you to position your subwoofer to create optimum sound and deliver the fierce punch they’re intended to pack.
Most cinephiles and audiophiles aren’t worried about annoying the family with sound escaping the theater. Rather, they’re concerned about the outside world invading their room and taking away from their experience. Unfortunately, quiet moments in films can often be subject to this kind of interruption, and pumping up the volume just won’t do the trick. We have the know-how and techniques to avoid these problems, whether you’re building from the ground up, remodeling, or just looking to optimize your sound.
Control interior noise
While noise from the outside world is certainly a problem, noise generated from equipment can be too. We seek to locate all of your components in a separate closet to control noise in the theater, making your room rumble with the sound of your music or movies, not your equipment.
Whether your problem is echo, boominess, feeble bass, outside noise, or all of the above, getting control of your theater acoustics maximizes your equipment’s audio performance and your experience. With just a little acoustic tweaking, you’ll feel like part of the action onscreen!
Call Theatron Home Theater and Smart Home at 703-883-0970 for all of your home theater design and equipment needs in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC Metro Area.