Now Is the Perfect Time to Build Your Own Home Theater System

Now Is the Perfect Time to Build Your Own Home Theater System

Create a Superior Cinema Experience at Home Recently, Regal Cinemas, one of the largest commercial movie theater companies in America, announced that they were temporarily closing over 500 theaters, including 9 in Illinois. This unprecedented move resulted from a decrease in business due to the ongoing concerns of the pandemic. Additionally, the health crisis also slowed down the production of new movies, resulting in fewer theatrical releases over the past several months. It’s no surprise to anyone that we’ve had significant economic impacts from the pandemic, and much of that has meant spending much more time at home. While we hope commercial cinemas come back soon, you can still enjoy the cinematic experience at home – in many ways, better than at the cineplex. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into creating a private home theater system in your Naperville home, now is a perfect time. There is a plethora of options in equipment, seating, audio, and more to customize your cinema experience completely. What’s more, there’s a staggering array of content to enjoy in a home theater. Just recently, Disney announced a major reorganization to focus more on bringing its massive collection of content directly to consumers, meaning even more choices at home. Keep reading below to see how to take an underutilized space and turn it into your personal movie and media entertainment zone! SEE ALSO: Building a Home Theater: What Architects Need to Know   Where to Put Your Theater? In some ways, you can create a home theater experience in almost any room in your home. If you have a little-used guestroom or extra storage...
Meet Crestron HomeTime, the Home Video Teleconferencing Solution

Meet Crestron HomeTime, the Home Video Teleconferencing Solution

Stay Connected with Family and Friends with Pro-level Videoconferencing at Home The Coronavirus pandemic has yet to run its course, and right now, many of us are still doing the majority of our work and education from home. Chicago public schools reopened in September virtually, employing platforms like Google Classroom to facilitate remote learning. Major technology companies like Google, Facebook, and many others have announced plans to continue remote work for professionals well into 2021. In this environment, connectivity, communication, and collaboration from home have become essential. But communication is not merely for work and school; it’s important to keep up with family and friends and continue participating – however remotely – with your social groups. Crestron has long been a worldwide leader in home automation, as well as a staple in Fortune 500 conference rooms with commercial automation and audio-video solutions. They have brought their considerable expertise to bear on a new home video teleconferencing solution, one that can turn your Chicago living room into a comfortable boardroom for keeping touch with anyone and everyone without hunching over a laptop. Ready to learn more? Keep reading! SEE ALSO: 3 Ways a Stronger Network Improves Home Technology   Taking Home Conferencing to the Next Level Crestron’s unique capabilities with automation and AV make it the perfect company to take video teleconferencing into the living room. The company partnered with Logitech, which also has broad experience with both consumer and professional products, to use the Logitech MeetUp 4K camera for wide-angle videoconferencing. The MeetUp’s 120-degree field of view lets the whole family sit on the sofa and hold a conversation...
4 Ways to Get Ready for Fall with Home Automation

4 Ways to Get Ready for Fall with Home Automation

Let Automation Ease You into New Routines for Work, School, and Play Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year. In so many ways, our lifestyles have been upended. But as always, Americans are resourceful and keep pressing forward. Part of the challenge has been managing so much of our activities from home. Work, school, and entertainment are all happening at the same time from home, which tends to blur the lines between those activities. At this writing, Naperville and Chicago area schools are preparing to start the school year with remote learning – so more family time at home is a given. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t adjust! We have some useful and fun ways to make the most of family time at home, using smart automation to get back into a routine, have fun, and stay safe. Check out the ideas below, and call your local home automation installer – Barrett’s Technology Solutions – for more ways to make your home comfortable and safe not only for this fall but for years to come. SEE ALSO: Why Hire a Professional Home Automation Company?   A New Way of Awakening Kids love summer for many reasons, not the least of which is the ability to sleep late. Does it seem like schools start even earlier than when we were kids? Whether that’s just a fuzzy memory or not, we can use smart automation to make waking up, dare we say, a bit more fun. A smart home system like Savant has the brains to manage your lights, AV, motorized shades, and temperature in many ways. How about...
How to Test the Mettle of Your High-End Audio Speakers

How to Test the Mettle of Your High-End Audio Speakers

These 6 Songs Can Give any System a Sonic Workout Those of you with an audio obsession – often referred to as audiophiles – you are always on a quest for the perfect sound quality. Of course, you probably know it, but it’s more of a journey than a destination. There’s always some new amplifier, speaker, turntable, or piece of equipment that takes things up another notch, right? There’s nothing wrong with your obsession. It’s what makes audiophilia a fun, if sometimes expensive, hobby. And isn’t it fun to hear your favorite music reproduced with the kind of impact and presence as if the artist or band is right there in the room playing just for you? Most likely, when you audition new speakers you might want to buy, you have some go-to music that you know well that helps you evaluate how that new component will perform. That’s an excellent way to see if the new equipment will move the needle for you. Along that line, we’d like to suggest some songs that can help you evaluate your next high-end audio upgrade for your Chicago home. These were chosen for the way they push the envelope of a speaker and system’s capabilities. Ready to test these out? Let’s go! SEE ALSO: Elevate the Listening Experience on Your High-End Audio System   The Line on Bass Bass is important. We know, so much of today’s pop and rock music tends to be “all about that bass.” We won’t even mention rap and hip-hop; it couldn’t exist without bass. Nevertheless, even if you love listening to classical music all day...
3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

3 Features to Look For in Home Surveillance Systems

Gain More Flexibility and Security with Pro-Level Solutions You don’t have to look hard these days for home security devices. A myriad of cameras, video doorbells, sensors, and other consumer electronic devices are available for do-it-yourself home security and surveillance. So are these products effective home surveillance systems for your Chicago, IL home? The answer depends on your needs. The devil, as they say, is often in the details. We won’t tell you these consumer solutions are not effective; they are. On the other hand, we’d like to point out some of the advantages you get with a professional-level solution. And, when consumer solutions start offering the level of features that professional solutions have, their pricing starts looking much more expensive as well. Let’s take a closer look and give you a better awareness of three critical features of home surveillance systems, which will help you make informed choices. SEE ALSO: Our Summer Safety Checklist for your Home Surveillance System   Higher Grade Cameras When it comes to TVs and smartphone cameras, you likely know that 4K is rapidly becoming the new standard for video. In surveillance cameras – especially consumer systems – that has come more slowly. If you want to capture footage in the best quality and detail, you might consider future-proofing your system with 4K capability. Luma, one of our preferred surveillance camera brands, has recently released its 410 Series outdoor cameras with 8MP 4K resolutions. The higher resolution sensor captures more light and detail and also improves contrast and low-light performance. Why is higher resolution important? The more data, the more you can analyze. Just...
Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

Wow Your Clients with Luxurious and Stylish Motorized Window Treatments

Motorized Shading and Window Treatments Are the Crowning Touch for Smart Homes As an architect or designer, chances are you have something that distinguishes your work from the rest. It may be a specific design flair that you include in every project, and your clients may even seek you out specifically for that signature design element. We would humbly like to suggest another element that will be sure to capture your clients’ imagination – and continue to please them every time they use it. Motorized window treatments can be the epitome of luxury and convenience in your Chicago residential projects, whether for a high-rise condominium off the Magnificent Mile or a townhouse remodel in Lincoln Park. One of the best names in powered shades and window treatments is Lutron, the same company that leads in lighting control solutions. Keep reading to explore the best features of two of Lutron’s high-end motorized windows treatment options. SEE ALSO: Why Are Motorized Shades and Blinds an Essential Smart Home Feature? Lutron Palladiom If you’re working on a condo project with a magnificent view of Lake Michigan with a modern aesthetic, Lutron’s Palladiom line would be an excellent choice. Palladiom’s design language is one of contemporary, form-follows-function style. Palladiom does not hide the roller or brackets behind a facia; it exposes them in the way that Audi’s R8 supercar shows off its engine under glass – so you can appreciate the craftsmanship. Palladiom doesn’t hide the technology; it celebrates it. Palladiom – along with all of Lutron’s shading solutions – features some of the most powerful yet quietest motors in the business. You...