Blog

Questions to Ask When Planning for Home Automation

Home Automation AtlantaThinking about including Home Automation in your Atlanta home but not sure if it is right for you, how to begin, or maybe you are afraid of the cost.

In the past Home Automation was something that was something that was only thought of for high-end clients because of the price tag. Today with the advent of smartphone and wireless technology the cost of Home Automation has dropped substantially. In fact if you own a smartphone or tablet you already own a control interface that just a few years ago cost tens of thousands of dollars.

If it’s not knowing what you may want, need, or even what’s available take a look at this checklist to get you started thinking in the right direction.

• Do you consider yourself or your family tech-savvy?
• What lifestyle enhancements or solutions do you want your technology system to provide?
• How often do you watch TV?
• In which room(s) do you watch a TV?
• Do you prefer to have background music playing? If so, when, and in which rooms?
• What are the most frustrating technologies, products, or items you use today?
• Where do you spend the most time in your home?
• How do you communicate throughout the house?
• Is energy conservation important to you?
• What are the special circumstances, if any, of those living in your home?

With this information, the professionals at Digital Interiors can work with you to provide a custom Home Automation  solution to meet both your wants AND needs. From programmable locks to lighting control, audio, video and everything else we are a one stop resource for all your Home Automation and entertainment needs.

Call our Atlanta office at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website to schedule your consultation.

 

Ideas for the Ultimate Home Theater

Home Theater Atlanta GAAnyone contemplating a Home Theater should make the effort to ensure that this new room in their home has the best available technology for beautiful picture and great theatrical quality sound. At Digital Interiors we pride ourselves on incorporating the best electronic solutions to help our clients achieve this goal.

But if you are on a quest for the Ultimate Home Theater in your Atlanta home, don’t forget the items that take the home theater experience from good to great –

Tiered Seating

By placing seating on platforms or risers, you can ensure that every viewer gets a clear view of the screen and not of the back of someone’s head. This is why modern theater designs employ stadium seating layouts.

Food and Drink

Movies and popcorn go hand-in-hand, and a real popcorn popper in the room is not only a cool visual but also adds a wonderful, at-the-movies aroma. Another option is an actual concession counter stocked with theater snacks. Adding a bar to the back of the theater is another popular trend.

Stage

Many theaters incorporate a stage area in front of the screen which is a perfect element for hosting karaoke parties. A stage is also a wonderful place for any young aspiring actors in the home to put on plays or performances.

Curtains/Drapes

A screen concealed behind a closed curtain can create a sense of anticipation and allows for that dramatic moment of reveal as the curtain parts to reveal the large screen just like at the movies. Drapes can be perfect for blocking out any lighting to create a darkened, ideal movie watching environment.

The professionals of Digital Interiors in Atlanta have the expertise to take provide you with the Ultimate Home Theater experience. Call us at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website.

 

Image courtesy of Electronic House.com

Energy Efficiency and Home Automation

Home Automation AtlantaWhen many people think about ‘home automation’ their first thoughts are fancy home security systems that have remote viewing capabilities that monitor your home for fire, break-ins, and other possible problems. The other popular thought is controlling home entertainment systems such as TV’s, Audio and Home Theater Systems.

One of the most desirable and easily obtained results of installing home automation however is energy efficiency. Whether you are trying to reduce costs, or just be a better steward of resources, Home Automation can help.

One feature which is already very prevalent in many homes is a programmable thermostat on your heating and cooling system. But how easy do you find it to control? With Home Automation tools available today which include the ability to control and program your home’s heating and cooling system from an iPad or smartphone you may be able to finally maximize the use of this energy efficiency tool. In addition, modern Home Automation systems give you the ability to control different parts of your homes or “zones” setting the temperature higher or lower in unused portions of the home as the season or your schedule dictates.

Another energy efficiency use of home automation is lighting control. With automated lighting control, you can set the lights to turn on or off at predetermined times, control brightness and even turn off automatically when people leave the room. This can result in a major reduction to your monthly utility bill.

Are you of the opinion that window coverings are a decorating issue? That is only part of the equation. With automated window shades and blinds, you can set predetermined times for covering and opening windows depending upon light and heat patterns throughout the day.

If you are interested in increasing the “green” factor in your home through the latest in Home Automation tools and systems, Digital Interiors in Atlanta is the perfect partner to guide you through this journey. You can call our office at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website and begin to learn the advantages that home automation can bring to your life.

 

Image courtesy of sippakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Must Haves for Home Security Systems

Home Automation AtlantaOne of the first items that people have in their home that is related to Home Automation is a security system. A properly installed and operating security system is a very effective deterrent to thieves from entering your home and stealing your valuable possessions. A system is most effective when it can alert police, the fire department and even the neighbors.  If you have a system with connected cameras it can also catch burglars in the act and help law enforcement identify them.

But what add-on features should you consider when installing a home security system?

Smart Locks

It may not seem like the most high-tech part of the security system, but it can be. Smart locks are all the rage these days. Some tie into a larger home security setup, while others work nicely alone—or at least in conjunction with a smartphone or other web-enabled device.

Sensors

There are several different types of sensors. These are basically “switches,” which can trigger the alarm system in case of an emergency. Some sensors are designed to alert the system when a door or window has been opened. Some can even alert you to breaking glass or when water is present in a place where it shouldn’t be present. Once a sensor is triggered, it can alert your system to sound an alarm, send a text message, or even notify authorities. In some cases, the sensor can trigger cameras to start recording.

Integrated Smoke Detectors

If your smoke detectors are tied into a security system with monitoring, you can get a super-speedy response from police and fire departments.

Security Cameras

Cameras have become a vital part of the home security setup. There are plenty of hardwired options, but stand-alone, web-enabled cameras have recently become a very popular security option. Just place the camera wherever you want it, plug it in, connect it to your home network, and you can get a live peek at your property from any device with a web connection.

No matter what your home security needs, the professionals with Digital Interiors can design and install a Home Security system to meet your needs. Call us at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website.

 

Information via Electronic House

Photos – Cigar & Scotch Tasting

On February 27th we had a great crowd come out to our Experience Center in Alpharetta to enjoy fine cigars from Cutters Cigars paired with several nice Scotch varieties. Attendees included Brandon Trotter with Cutters Cigars and Jack Smith, president of the Metro Atlanta Scotch Club (MASC).  We had people who knew Cigars or Scotch well and some who wanted to learn not just about Cigars and Scotch but also Home Technology and Automation.

Those on hand also got to enjoy live demonstrations of Home Theater, Lighting Control, Motorized Blinds and Shades as well as the latest in High Tech Security Systems.

We were also excited to introduce the newest, most affordable media server by Kaleidescape, the game changing Cinema One which combines pristine picture quality with high-fidelity sound to transform your living room into the ultimate home theater. Unlike streaming services, Cinema One lets you enjoy all of your movies in true bit-for-bit Blu-ray and DVD quality—whether imported from CD, DVD, or Blu-ray, or downloaded from the Kaleidescape Store. It stores up to 600 DVD or 100 Blu-ray quality movies and automatically catalogs your library in an award-winning user interface. What’s more, you can simply download Blu-ray quality movies right from the Kaleidescape Store—the only store that offers movie downloads with the same audio/video fidelity as Blu-ray discs.

 

Here are some photos from the event.

click on any image for larger version

Building Your New Home with Home Automation

 

Home Automation AtlantaAs people become more tech comfortable, especially younger consumers that have grown up with technology, the expectation has become that technology should be involved in all parts of their lives including their homes.  This is why the ability to connect to and control the devices in a home is fast becoming an essential feature in homes built today. 

In a recent video released by Control 4 some of the following comments were made by leaders in the new home industry. 

Stehen Hann, Chairman of the Custom Builders Council of the National Association of Homebuilders:. “Home automation is here to stay. And, as we can see, the cost keeps dropping and the ease of implementation just continues to get easier.”

Randall Duncan of DataSmart: “Today’s homebuyer has come to expect technology in their new home.”

Below is the full video with several builders explaining why Home Automation is fast becoming a standard feature in the new homes that they build. 

If you are in the process of building or remodeling your home, the professionals of Digital Interiors can work with you to integrate Home Automation in to your Atlanta home and lifestyle. 

To reach us you can call 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website.

 

Image courtesy of Archipoch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Cigar and Scotch Tasting at Our Experience Center

On Thursday February 27th we will be hosting a Cigar and Scotch tasting at our Experience Center in Alpharetta.  From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. we will be enjoying fine cigars from  Cutters Cigar Emporium on Windward Parkway and sampling several nice varieties of Scotch.

In addition we will be presenting the newest most affordable media server by Kaleidescape – the game changing Cinema One.  We will also be giving live demonstrations for Home Theater, Lighting Control, Motorized Blinds & Shades, and high tech Security Systems.

Plus we can show you how to control all of these home automation systems from your smartphone or iPad.

Home Automation Atlanta

 

For more information or to RSVP call 770-844-5800 or email cschlick@diiatl.com

Digital Interiors Featured on Electronic House

The team at Digital Interiors was excited and honored to recently have one of their Home Theater and Automation installations featured by the popular website electronichouse.com.

The Atlanta area installation features a theater area adjacent to the home’s main living area, a fact desired by the homeowners but one that represented special challenges in the areas of managing light and sound.

The light problem was solved by installation of blackout shades and curtains along with a Lutron RadioRA2 lighting control system which is operated by the home’s Savant home automation system.

Digital Interiors performed all electronics installation and calibration, installed the Savant and Lutron automation systems and wired the home’s 16 audio zones which included outdoor entertainment areas.

To view the full story on the Electronic House website – Click Here

Photos of the completed Home Theater –

 click on any image for a larger version

Digital Interiors specializes in designing and installing unique integrated home solutions throughout the Atlanta area. Call us at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website.

 

All Images Courtesy of electronichouse.com

 

Products That Can Replace The Blu-ray Player in Your Home Theater

Home Theater AtlantaIt wasn’t that many years ago that having a Blu-ray player for your Home Theater was a “Must Have” and those who didn’t have one wanted one. Times are continuing to evolve and while we don’t necessarily advise tossing out your current Blu-ray player at your city’s next electronics recycling day, there are some new alternatives to consider.

Instead of taking up valuable AV real estate, many home theater owners are ditching the disc for alternative entertainment methods.  Some of which we have listed here – 

Media Servers

Media servers come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of price tags. However, the ones we’re talking about here are full-on media servers like the ones from Kaleidescape, VidaBox, Dune HD and Fusion Research. There’s even the Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player (FMP-X1), which can deliver a slew of streaming 4K options. Unlike NAS devices, these products can serve up Blu-ray-quality movies from a disc or purchases made through the web.

DVR 

Why have another component in the mix when your DVR can do so many things? Chances are, you are paying a monthly fee to have this box, so you may as well maximize its potential. Many DVRs can stream video-on-demand selections, in full HD. However, DISH Network’s Hopper can also do Facebook and Pandora, while TiVo offers Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and tons of other apps, so you never have to fumble with another disc. Both are also working with home control companies to make the DVR better than even the most immersive Blu-ray experience.

Game Consoles 

Like the DVR, having a game console eliminates the need for another component. That’s because these devices actually have Blu-ray players built in. Remember when fans were frothing to the PlayStation 3 because it had a Blu-ray player? That was almost eight years ago. The new PS4 also has a Blu-ray player (with a one-time activation), but without the option for 3D. That said, it does deliver all sorts of streaming entertainment through the PlayStation Store and Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services. Also, Xbox finally got on the Blu-ray bandwagon with the Xbox One, which has a built-in player as well as a variety of digital entertainment options via OneGuide, Xbox Live, and more.

At Digital Interiors we pride ourselves as being among the cutting edge home entertainment specialists in Atlanta. Whether you are just beginning on the journey or are looking to upgrade an existing Home Theater are your one stop design and installation source. Call us at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website.

 

Image courtesy of Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In Home Theater “The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts”

Home Theater AtlantaA regular comment that we hear at Digital Interiors in Atlanta is that “I can just go to my local store and buy everything I need to make a Home Theater”. Yes that is true but to borrow an old saying – “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. This is especially true when it comes to the design and installation of a Home Theater.

The integration of the various components that make up a Home Theater can be a complicated process involving lots of different products, and many, many decisions. Our team of Home Theater professionals aren’t just big gorillas who bring in boxes and magically everything works. Much of what we do is really actually art rather than just installation.

This art hinges largely on our ability to design the perfect complement of pieces to create the right performance to meet your expectations as well your needs. Just as an architect designs a plan for the construction of a house, a Home Theater professional designs a plan for the installation of the electronics. The design is what drives the installation. Consequently, if the design is under par, so might be the installation of your wiring network, screens, speakers, streaming components, etc…

In addition, after installation a professional Home Theater design and installation Company will test all the components to be sure they are working properly, tune the audio system to ensure it sounds its best and calibrate the video monitor. We then will show you how to operate your system and any controls as well as be available to answer your questions.

Less expensive options than using Digital Interiors to install your Home Theater system exist, but when you want to achieve the best value for your dollars spent and have the best viewing experience possible, the choice becomes a simple one – contact Digital Interiors.

You can reach us by phone at 770-844-5800 or use the convenient “Contact” feature on our website.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net