Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home audio and Video Services in Matthews, NC.  TV installation, Surround Sound, Home Entertainment Systems
Time to Tune Up Your Home Theater?

Make your old system new again

Home theaters have been around for some time now. Sure, the screens have become bigger and the speakers more powerful. Throw in a media streamer or server, and the way a home theater looks and behaves today is a lot different than it did just five years ago. So, veteran owners of home theaters, is it time to update? Should you invest in new gear? Or, maybe there are some simple tweaks you can make that’ll have your home theater humming like it’s brand new.

We asked a few seasoned custom electronics professionals (CE pros) for their recommendations. Some of the suggestions you might be able to do yourself; for others you will probably need the help of a pro. Regardless, “A/V systems need maintenance just like anything else we use daily, like cars, HVAC systems and computers. There will always be maintenance needs and costs associated with your system,” says Jason Voorhees of Cantara Design, Costa Mesa, Calif., Many CE pros offer home theater tune-ups as part of maintenance package. Expect to spend between $125 to $300 for the service, which may include just a few updates or many, depending on the system specifics.

Dust off your equipment: Dust can cause home theater components to run at a higher operating temperature, potentially decreasing their lifespan. Any components that have accessible filters (projectors, media servers, PC, etc.), should be cleaned once a year.

Audio Tuning: If you originally tuned your system (or had a professional do it) right after taking your speakers out of their boxes, it’s almost a given that the elastic properties of your drivers have changed over time. As the drivers loosen up from use, the sound they produce can change. It is probably time to re-tune.

Settings: Assuming your home theater system is 1080p capable, make sure all of your devices are set to output at 1080p, include satellite and cable boxes, Apple TVs, etc.

Brightness: One thing that can decrease over time is the brightness of your video display, especially that of projectors. Every display has some built-in picture modes; these settings are often called Vivid, Dynamic, Movie, Standard, 3D, etc. You may find that by simply adjusting a picture mode that you suddenly have a better looking video display.

Update: If your system isn’t 1080p and HDMI, it should be. You’ll open your theater up to a world of high-def and streaming services.

Calibrate: refocus and recalibrate the projector; recalibrate the surround-sound system.

Firmware: Install and test new firmware updates for every part of your system. The updates may fix bugs or may make new features available.

Seats & Curtains: Clean and test all of the theater seating, and repair if necessary. If the theater has curtains, they should be cleaned also.

Batteries and Bulbs: If any components use rechargeable batteries (remote controls, power supplies, etc.), test them and replace if necessary. Replace dead light fixtures.

Clean the Screen: Use a tape-based lint roller on the black fabric frame (if you have a fixed screen). You’ll be amazed at how much dust this material attracts. For a fixed screen use a soft horse-hair brush to gently brush off the screen surface. If you have a roll-up screen, bugs like to fly into the roller and get embedded into the screen. Call the manufacturer to determine what kind of cleaning solution is best.

Test Tone: How do you know if a tweeter or a crossover is blown on one of your speakers if you don’t spend 20 minutes doing a simple test tone sweep on each speaker? Not sure if the tweeter is working? Put your hand over the tweeter and listen to the speaker. If the sound doesn’t change, you probably have a problem. Your listening tastes may change too, and by calibrating yearly for level, distance and speaker position (if your speakers are moveable), you’ll be able to tune-up according to your changing tastes.

Delete: Spend 10 minutes deleting channels you don’t watch from your DirecTV or cable TV on-screen guide.

Reboot: Reboot your DVR every 2 months. You might be surprised at how much faster it will operate.

New Additions: Many older home theaters have a set-top box, a DVD player and a local library of content on a media server, but may not have a streaming media player. It’s time to get an Apple TV, Roku or some other device that can stream content to your home theater. This might also involve reprogramming your remote and adding new cabling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Lisa Montgomery

http://www.electronichouse.com/article/time_to_tune_up_your_home_theater/D1/

Custom Installation Services, LLC – Your Home Theater Tune Up Specialists Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

 

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Integrator Serves Up 87 Restaurant Speakers

Boston’s Post 390 blanketed with SpeakerCraft speakers and Crestron automation.

Providing audio, video and automation for a bar and restaurant is rarely easy. It’s even more difficult when the restaurateur has various and specific goals in mind.

Take Post 390, for example, which is located steps from Boston’s most bustling office buildings, making it an after-work cocktail location. It’s also located a couple of blocks from Boston Back Bay’s bar scene, making it a night-on-the-town location.

But Post 390 is located a stone’s throw from Boston’s trendy South End restaurants, making it an up-scale eatery.

In other words: Post 390 needs to be a chameleon, adjusting to the needs of various guests – and its audio, video and automation need to reflect that.

“One of our early marketing slogans was ‘Find your Post,’” says Paul Dias, senior VP of operations for the Himmel Hospitality Group, which runs Post 390. “We looked at it as a place for a casual lunch, for a business lunch, a place to meet for beers, a place for a formal dinner. So every part of the restaurant had to be able to [reflect] the ‘Find your Post’ theme.”

Photos: Integrator Serves Up 87 Restaurant Speakers

Sound Approach

Dias enlisted North Easton, Mass.-based Audio Video Intelligence (AVI) to design and install Post 390’s electronics.

The restaurant is two floors, with a bar area on each floor, and the dining rooms blend into the bars. There are two areas that can be dedicated for private parties, complete with drop-down Epson projectors and Da-Lite screens, that require separate automation and audio zones.

The biggest challenge for Jim Shapiro, president of AVI, was providing seamless sound – a dilemma he describes while walking across the length of the restaurant and listening for hotspots. “In a restaurant, more speakers are generally better. If there are too few, the system has to play louder and that’s when people get upset.”

As such, AVI installed 87 SpeakerCraft speakers and subwoofers, mostly in-ceiling, in the 12,000-square-foot space.

AVI’s design called for even more speakers. “Yeah,” Dias recalls. “You [as a restaurant integration client] really have to come to terms with the number of speakers. You have to compromise. You only have as much money as you have to spend.”

Automation Made Easy

Speaking of money, Post 390 didn’t skimp when it came to automation. Post 390 staff use Crestron automation to control audio, video, motorized screens, lighting and climate. It’s always a challenge anytime various employees need to interact with a control system, so Dias wanted it to be as simple as possible.

During the design phase, Shapiro sent Dias screen captures of the customized Crestron interfaces AVI programmed for Post 390. He liked what he saw.

Dias, whose Himmel Hospitality Group runs other prominent Boston and Cambridge restaurants, has been burned before by difficult-to-use automation systems.

“Paul knew he needed reliability and it needed to be simple to control,” says Shapiro. “He had experiences with systems that aren’t as powerful and fast for [audio and video] switching.”

Post 390 demonstrates extreme confidence in its Crestron automation system by including in-wall touchscreens in the two private dining areas. Nothing is stopping a customer in one of those rooms to select music, turn down volume or even lower the projector and screen – although it’s obviously not encouraged.

The private rooms are only private when Post 390 designates it so. The larger of the rooms includes a large glass door that can be opened when that room is simply used for dining space and closed when privacy is needed.

The audio zones need to reflect the rooms’ usage and Post 390 staff uses Crestron audio switching via touchscreen to change on the fly.

Staff training was a snap, Shapiro recalls. He remembers being on-site for a soft opening and waiting for employees to ask questions about how to use the automation system but hardly getting any. For him, that’s a measure of success.

For Dias, he measures success by reflecting back on his initial goals. “We were trying to create a certain kind of environment here and we wanted a sound system that would help us do that. And we wanted consistency.”

Walking through the restaurant, Dias says his goals were met. Then he adds, “See? No dead spots.”

 by Tom LeBlanc

http://www.commercialintegrator.com/article/integrator_serves_up_87_restaurant_speakers?utm_source=ci&utm_medium=topic

Custom Installation Services, LLC - Charlotte, NC’s Source For Restaurant and Sports Bar Audio/Video Sales, Service and Installation

Posted in Audio Systems, Automation, Flat Panel TV's, LED, lighting control, Multi Room A/V, Outdoor Speakers, Panamax, Structured Wiring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off


Happy New Year To Everyone!

Custom Installation Services - Charlotte's Source For Home Theater!With the holidays and our busier than normal schedule over the past month, it has been a while since I have posted a blog.  So, this will be different than my normal format of product news.  I wanted to post a personal blog to thank all of our loyal clients for your support over the past year.  2010 was a good year for C.I.S., with new product offerings added to our lineup, as well as new and exciting technology trends.  None of which would have been possible without everyone’s continued support!

A new direction for us this year was to “dabble” in more commercial A/V installations.  These included sports bars as well as an overhaul of the video at Lance, Inc.  This has opened up a new revenue stream for C.I.S., and one we will continue as we move forward into the future.  As part of this new commercial business, C.I.S. has partnered with ZEE-VEE, makers of high definition boxes that enable 1080p over coax for long distance runs and combining signals to existing channels for ease of use.

Another new product in our lineup is from SpeakerCraft, with their addition of the “FloBox”.  The FloBox is a single unit that allows you to dock your iPod, iPhone or iPad, play a CD, stream from the internet, access iTunes or listen to FM radio.  Combined with substantial amplification, quality drivers and a sleek, futuristic cabinet available in five finishes, the FloBox will transform any room into a concert hall at the push of a button!

I would like to again thank everyone for your continued support, and to a great 2011!  Stay tuned for more of my traditional blogs with product news and updates!

Don Miller

President

Custom Installation Services, LLC - We specialize in fixing the $99 TV install by our “competitors”!

Posted in 3d movies, 3D TV, Audio Systems, Automation, Blu-ray, Flat Panel TV's, Gaming Systems, Home Theater, i-Pad, LED, lighting control, Line Conditioners, Lutron Radio Ra II, Media Rooms, Multi Room A/V, Music and Movies, News, Panamax, recycling, Structured Wiring, technology, Theater Seating | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Custom Installation Services, LLC | P.O. Box 132 Matthews, NC 28106 | 704-400-8701 | dmiller@cis-nc.com
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