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
Why You Can’t Go Totally Wireless: 4 Network Topologies to Consider

Committing solely to wireless technology is ‘a recipe for failure’ for integrators. Here are the four home network infrastructure options to consider for every project.

Commitment certainly has its place in this world, like in relation to spouses or sports teams. But over-committing to a singular technology? That can be a risky move.

While Wi-Fi is the technology buzzword, particularly with homeowners, those of us tasked with actually fitting the myriad of modern electronics and digital services into a high-functioning, seamlessly networked home must understand the whole landscape.

What makes the current 802.11 Wi-Fi standards so alluring is the convenience of its mobility, ubiquity, and interoperability between so many devices. While the appeal is that Wi-Fi is seemingly in everything—our computers and smartphones, our televisions and cameras—that is also part of the problem. The 2.4GHz spectrum is being shared by all of your Wi-Fi devices, all of your neighbors’ Wi-Fi devices, and even proprietary devices such as baby monitors.

That’s quite a load. When the physical limitations of RF bands are strained or exceeded, it reduces the quality of service for every device, and consequently every person relying on them.

Those limitations are the source of audio drop offs, buffering delays or reduced definition during a streaming movie, and latency in competitive multiplayer video games. These nuisances undermine the intent of quick, reliable access to content, which is the very point of incorporating many technologies into the home. Your customers deserve better than that.

Part of the solution can be to use the 5GHz band for 802.11n or the upcoming 802.11ac standard to help alleviate some bandwidth traffic, but these options are not without their own limitations. First, the 5GHz band has less range than 2.4GHz and struggles to pass through walls and other building obstacles. Second, many devices today only communicate on 2.4GHz. While additional devices are expected to be dual band, 2.4GHz will continue to be the most used band in the near future.
So, truthfully, the real solution is recognizing wireless is not the be all, end all. And that’s okay. What a network needs to be about is uninterrupted access and content, and it falls on the installer’s shoulders to ensure the best user-experience.

Networking a home with a strong wired backbone remains the best practice to achieve top performance. Should an existing home have only a limited wired Ethernet network, a coax network using the MoCA standard, or a powerline network using the HomePlug AV standard, may be able to bridge the Ethernet service to the desired destination. Both of these wired technologies are affordable and easy-to-install networking alternatives that can relieve the Wi-Fi network of its highest bandwidth responsibilities. This will ensure superior performance for streaming and surfing on mobile and smart devices.

At the end of the day, all customers really care about is streaming that movie on Netflix with a pristine picture, synced audio, and no interruptions. Committing solely to a specific technology is a recipe for failure. Employing multiple technologies to build a complete, robust networking solution that can handle multiple applications is often the best solution.

Knowing Your Networking Options

When it comes to home networking, some technologies get more press than others these days (like, wireless). However, there are many viable options out there, each suited to address particular needs and overcome specific obstacles. Understanding all of the technologies available allows you to make the educated call on how best to accomplish each stage of designing a strong network for the technology-filled home.

Here’s a quick roll call of the networking players:

The Not-Extinct Ethernet Option: This option remains tried and true. Despite the introduction of newer alternatives with impressive stats and advantages, the truth is that nothing is faster, more reliable, or more secure than wired Ethernet systems. The solution already offers throughput capabilities of up to a Gigabit per second in a 1000BaseT network and 10Gbps for a commercial oriented 10GBaseT network using Cat 6a.

And innovation hasn’t stopped finding new uses of Ethernet, either. HDBaseT has made it viable to use Ethernet cables for transmitting HDMI signals over long distances, enabling streaming of high definition video and audio around to multiple areas from a central location. Though retrofitting Ethernet installations into existing homes can be costly and labor intensive, it is the best option for steady, high-quality performance.

 

The Up-and-Coming Coax Option: For existing homes with a limited Ethernet network, coax networking is emerging as a feasible alternative technology. Commonly referred to as MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) in deference to the technology’s leading standards body, this technology is already built into most cable boxes for multi-room DVR functionality. MoCA works reliably by transmitting over a frequency band unused by cable TV transmissions.

MoCA can also be used to stream video and audio to areas of the home that were previously without streaming service. The most frequently used MoCA standard today, 1.1, has a throughput of 170Mbps. The speed and reliability of this offering, paired with its ease to employ and cost-effectiveness, make it an attractive choice.

The Not-To-Be-Overlooked Powerline Option: The powerline option uses the readily available electrical lines to extend a home network’s reach. Though early powerline technologies encountered many issues, making some installers wary of the technology, the more recent standards from the HomePlug Powerline Alliance deserve due consideration due to better performance and greater stability. The HomePlug AV2 specification, introduced in 2012, delivers a maximum throughput of 500Mbps. It’s also the simplest of networking equipment options to configure. Merely plugging in two powerline networking modules gets a quick auto-confirmation of the connection within seconds. The modules then act as transmitters or receivers for data signals over the electrical line, and with most hardware, provide extra Ethernet ports for incredible flexibility.

Like all technologies, this one also has limits and obstacles. One obstacle is surge protectors, which can block network transmissions. Powerline also suffers from greater signal loss and more noise than Ethernet cable or coax, making it the third best option for high-bandwidth applications. However, for a simple and convenient solution, powerline technology may be the best fit for a fast extension of the wired network.

The Ubiquitous Wireless Option: Wireless is the new “it” thing. It’s the enabler for all mobile applications and often thought to be the networking option that makes your customer the true master of his or her space . It’s an undeniably flexible solution, which can offer speed and convenience to both you and your customers. Since its formation in 1999, the Wi-Fi Alliance has governed the evolution of the most commonly used standards. The most recent standard, 802.11n, was released in 2009 and boasts an impressive maximum speed of 300Mbps with the capability to broadcast over two frequency bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

The convenience of Wi-Fi is why it’s so frequently turned to for streaming our entertainment. But it also has limitations: Scarce bandwidth, range limitations and vulnerability to interference all need to be considered in the network design, and many of these limitations or shortcomings can be avoided by offloading high-bandwidth applications to wired networks where possible.

The key to constructing the most robust home network is assessing the best solution for the right application. There is no single solution that meets the performance expectations and budget of every application. Installers must understand the strengths and limitations of each solution so they can best service the needs of their customers.

By Tom Cunningham

http://www.cepro.com/article/why_you_cant_go_totally_wireless_4_network_topologies_to_consider/?utm_source=CEPWeekly&utm_medium=email

Custom Installation Services, LLC – First choice for low voltage wiring and home networking in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas

Posted in Automation, Blu-ray, Bose Dealer, Gaming Systems, Home Theater Design, Home Theater Setup, i-Pad, IP Cameras, Linksys, Low Voltage Contractors, Luxul, Multi Room A/V, Netgear Routers, Network Setup, News, Structured Wiring, technology, Wireless Network | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Don’t Underestimate Your Installation Costs
 

C.I.S. : Charlotte NC's Source for HDTV setup, Installation & Questions!

C.I.S. : Charlotte NC's Source for HDTV Setup & Installation!

Big-box installations may wind up being pricier than you think, so here are some suggestions and questions to keep in mind.

It’s become cliché to talk about $99 TV installs from those big-box guys. $99? Where did that come from?

Let’s take Best Buy’s Geek Squad, although the offerings are similar for Zip Installation and other national installer networks. The price for mounting a 42-inch-or-larger TV starts at $350.

For that, the Geeks will unpack the TV (!), mount it, conceal the wires in a wall (assuming a single stud bay and no insulation), hook up two video components, “neatly dress” exposed wires, program a satellite or cable remote to operate the TV, and teach you how to use it.

Add $50 to connect to the home network, and $99 each for anything special, like an additional component, unusual mounting surface, motorization, multiple-stud bay, remote control programming … you get the picture. 

So that ends up being, oh, maybe $600 or $700 for a modest install. You bring the mount and the cables. And although they might be able to “neatly dress” your power cords, the Geeks certainly can’t plant them behind the walls. For that, you’ll want to hire an electrician at $100 per hour, bringing the installation to at least $700.

Now, $700 is a great deal for mounting a nice TV, as long as it is done well. It should be a two-hour job for the pros and possibly a four- to eight-hour job for the uninitiated do-it-yourselfer.

If that price works for you, why not give your local A/V shop a call?

Asked to review pricing from Geek Squad and other national providers, custom electronics pros say their own fees are on par or slightly higher. Often, they’re more capable, better trained and more committed than their mass-market counterparts. Plus, many of them have electricians on staff.

While the national guys usually can only “neatly dress” your power cables, “We would likely install an actual electrical outlet,” says CE pro Michael Philpott of MultiMedia Interiors, San Diego, Calif. “We’re licensed to do it, it’s less expensive, and it looks better.”

10 Questions to Ask the Installer

With all that in mind … what started out as a $399 job may end up to be much more than that. Here are some questions to ask to keep the price in check:
1. Do you supply the mount? The cables?

2. If the components you hook up don’t work (HDMI issues, for example) will you troubleshoot the system?

3. Do you use finish plates where the wires go in and out of the wall?

4. Do you patch holes made for fishing wires?

5. What if my interconnects are not CL-2 rated for a behind-the-wall installation?

6. Does your “consultation” include the placement of the television for optimal viewing?

7. How long are you willing to “train” me on how to use the system?

8. What happens if something goes wrong in six months, like glitches with cable service? Will you come back out?

9. What if one of my components is an A/V receiver? Will you establish the proper connections and volume controls?

10. If you charge for hooking my TV to the home network, will you guarantee that it will work?

 by Julie Jacobson

http://www.electronichouse.com/article/dont_underestimate_your_installation_costs/

Custom Installation Services, LLC - Charlotte NC ’s Home Theater & Technology Experts!

Posted in 3D TV, Flat Panel TV's, Home Theater, Media Rooms, News, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


URC Network Series Offers iTunes Control

C.I.S. - Charlotte NC's 1st Choice For URC Remote Controls & Programming!

C.I.S. - Charlotte NC's 1st Choice For URC Remote Controls & Programming!

MX-6000, MX-5000 and KP-4000 products “will get you to your [iTunes] playlist faster.”

URC has added iTunes control to its Network Series controllers, which include the MX-6000 Color Touch Screen, MX-5000 Wand Touch Screen Remote and KP-4000 In-Wall Touch Screen Keypad.

The Network Series products can control iTunes on any PC, Mac or Apple TV in the house with a wired or wireless connection via Apple’s Airport Express.

A URC Network Series controller will display iTunes cover art and browses and selects all iTunes content. “Without switching to IR control, users can switch from browsing on the TV to personal browsing on the Network Series controller,” URC says.

If you want to control just the volume in iTunes, URC says its controllers will communicate via standard RF and don’t need to be connected to a wireless network.

“This is a breakthrough for iTunes users who are frustrated with the old-fashioned ‘hunt-and-click’ method,” says URC VP of technology Eric Johnson. “We get them to their iTunes Playlists faster.”

by Steve Crowe

http://www.electronichouse.com/article/urc_network_series_offers_itunes_control/

Custom Installation Services, LLC - Charlotte and Asheville NC’s Source For Your Custom Home Electronics and Automation Needs!

Posted in Automation, Home Theater, News, technology | 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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