Posts by Jason Williams

Does Speaker Cable Matter? How To Get the Best Sound Out of Your System

Does Speaker Cable Matter

The speaker cable debate is one of the most contentious in the audio arena. Some claim that speaker cables don’t make any difference, while others say that you should be spending thousands on your audio cables.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here, we’ll give you a deeper look at how much speaker cables affect the sound and whether they’re worth the investment.

The Difference Between Good and Great

Speaker wires are often the difference between good sound and great sound. The bulk of the quality will come from the sound system itself, but the wire that connects the speaker to the source has an important role as well.

The Biggest Factor

There is a lot of sales jargon regarding selling speaker wires. The most expensive on the market use rare materials and convoluted processes that change the quality of the sound incrementally.

An untrained ear probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a cable worth a few thousand and a cable worth a few hundred. You would, however, be able to tell the difference between a $20 speaker cable and a $500 speaker cable.

The biggest consideration you need to take is resistance. Long cables offer more resistance, which means there isn’t as much room for the electricity to pass through. The ultimate result is a sound that isn’t as pure as it could be.

When you’re searching for speaker cables, make sure to prioritize thickness to reduce resistance. The resistance will make much more difference than the material of the wires.

Spending on a Speaker Cable vs. New System

If you have an old, outdated, or cheap sound system, then high-end speaker cables aren’t going to make much of a difference. Sure, the sound will be crisper and cleaner on high-end sound systems, but this isn’t the case with cheap or old products.

We recommend prioritizing spending on your speakers ahead of spending on your cables. Even the best speaker cable won’t change the sound very much of budget speakers. On top of that, high-end speakers dwarf the cost of speaker cables.

Does speaker wire matter? Yes, but not enough to turn a bad sound system into a good one. A nice impact audio cable will do wonders to improve the sound of an expensive system, but little if the hardware you’re using isn’t up to the task.

We recommend spending some extra money on your cables, but only after you’ve bought a sound system that fits your standards. After that, you can choose the best speaker cable for the money and enjoy the sound you hear.

Working Within Your Budget

Most people don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to shell-out on speaker cables. Fortunately, you can find a high-end speaker cable that limits resistance and improves sound for a relatively low price if you know where to look.

Speaker cables affect the sound that comes out of your sound system, but only to a degree. Prioritize getting a good sound system ahead of spending additional money on cables.

Need some more audio tips? Take a look at our blog!

4 Home Theater Design Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind!

Home Theater Design Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind

A home theater can be an absolute dream room. Coming up with the right home theater design ideas is a part of the planning process that can be fun and exciting as you prepare for your new room.

Imagine the entertaining and fun you’ll have in your home theater.

You just have to think through the right design.

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, take a look at these incredible home theater design ideas.

1. Home Theater with a Bar and Kitchen

Why go to a sports bar when you can have one at home?

If your space is large enough, there’s no reason why you can’t have your home theater staged like a sports bar.

You can have the bar in the center of the room, with a full kitchen on the other side.

Over the bar, you can hang TVs, and hang sports memorabilia around the room.

The downside of having a home theater of this nature is that you’ll never get your guests to leave.

2. Home Theater Design That’s Better Than a Drive-In Theater

One creative home theater idea is to create an open sky in the room.

That doesn’t mean you have to install a skylight. The ceiling is designed just like the night sky, bordered with purple lighting for a modern look.

Additional lighting is on the floor, so you can see where you’re going.

With this design, you just turn down the lights, the sky opens up and it’s like watching a movie outside. Except you’re in a comfortable, temperature controlled room.

 

3. Large Screen and Curtains

You can give your home theater a typical movie theater look, but with better seating.

You can have a large screen on one wall with curtains on either side of the screen. Of course, the curtains can be automated.

The color scheme that you go with will make or break this style of a room. You can opt for natural beige tones throughout the room.

Another option is to use natural tones with vibrant accents to make the room stand out. For example, you can use beige and have red curtains that will stand out and draw attention to the screen.

4. Give Your Home Theater a Playroom Look

If your home theater is more for the whole family and less for entertaining, why not make the room something that your kids will love?

Use bright colors like green, red, and yellow to create a bright and playful environment that your family will enjoy.

The Home Theater of Your Dreams

A home theater can be the perfect room in your home. It can be used for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying a movie or your favorite TV show.

When you’re planning out the room, think about how you’re going to use it. You can then plan around it.

These are just a few ideas to give you the inspiration to design a home theater. If you have any questions, we’re here to help.

Give us a call today to see how we can help you design and install the home theater of your dreams.

Security Tips to Remember When Moving to a New Home

When you’re moving to the house of your dreams, the chances are that security isn’t the first thing on your mind. You’re too busy worrying about whether you’ve chosen the right realtor to sell your old property, and if you have enough boxes to transport all your stuff to think about alarms and locks. That’s one of the many reasons why burglars and thieves consider new homeowners to be a prime target in any neighborhood.

After you’ve just spent a significant portion of your savings on moving up the real-estate ladder, the last thing you want is come home to find your new home trashed. Since burglaries occur as much as once every 15 seconds in the US, it’s important to put security at the top of your priority list when you’re moving home. The following tips could help.

1.     Always Change the Locks

This detail might seem simple enough, but it’s something that’s frequently overlooked by new homeowners. Changing the locks on your doors should be the first thing you do when you move to a new house, otherwise, you’re opening your home up to anyone who still has a key. Even if you happen to live in one of the safest neighborhoods in Atlanta, failing to change your locks means that you’re never quite sure who has a key to your home.

2.     Install a Professional Security System

An alarm or security system is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your family are protected against burglary. These systems can be as complicated or simple as you like, depending on how much security you need. Most of the time, however, they will include technology like alarm systems that alert the local authorities, and some even come with smartphone apps and motion sensing technology to provide complete peace of mind. Though a lot of people wait until after they’ve moved into a new home to set up their security systems, experts recommend getting your alarm ready before you transport your belongings.

3. Get to Know the Neighbors

Whether you’re moving to Atlanta for the first time, or you’re simply switching neighborhoods, it helps to know the people you live beside. Your neighbors can make up an important first line of defense against a possible home invasion. They know the details of the area, and they can watch over your property when you’re away. Make an effort to build relationships as quickly as you can and consider getting involved with any neighborhood watch systems.

4. Light Up Your Landscape

It’s much easier to protect yourself from criminals if you make sure that they have nowhere to hide. Trimming bushes and trees around your home can help with this, but it’s also worth lighting up your home at night with motion-sensor technology. An intruder will often feel less inclined to take the risk of breaking into your house when there’s a spotlight on them. Talk to security professionals about adding lights to your system.

5. Add Security Signs

Finally, a lot of security providers will also be able to provide you with window decals and yard signs that inform any burglars that you have a security system in place. The very presence of these signs can be enough to deter criminals, who often attack houses that seem like an easy target. Remember, thieves are often opportunistic, they’re less likely to bother you if your house seems to be well-protected.

How Many Things Can You Do with Home Automation?

Home automation can turn your home into the smartest home on the block. Not only will it be smarter, it will also be safer, and even make life easier for you!

You have so many options with home automation. You control the whole house from your tablet or cell phone, with the app that you can easily download. The power to control your home is in the palm of your hand. It is home automation with the ability to control multiple systems, all from one application.

With WAV&S home automation, you can control these features of your home:

  1. Let there be light: You can turn the lights on or off with the click of a button on your control panel (or tablet app) but you can also set the lights on a timer, dim the lights, or set them to come on in the morning to wake you up! Lighting options are way more than just an on or off switch.
  2. Surround sound can be taken to a whole new level! By being able to control the audio (or stereo sound) in multiple rooms of your home, you can have the same music flowing all over the house. You can turn off certain rooms, or use your home automation system to play the music throughout the house.
  3. The best energy efficiency is from an automated home. Save on energy costs by controlling the heat and the air with the click of a button. Set up timers so that the air or heat comes on when you need it to. There’s no need to run the heat or ac systems at the optimum temperature while no one is there. Just start them up when you are on your way home, from your phone app! Warm your home up, or cool it down, before you even get there by setting your heat or air on the perfect temperature, through the home automation settings.
  4. Stay safe with home automation security cameras and motion detectors. You can watch the security cameras from your phone or tablet, and get alerts when the security cameras are set on motion. If the motion in the camera is triggered, you can get an alert on your cell phone or see a pop up window from the app. Your home automation system cameras can also record and playback footage if needed. Digital video footage can also be downloaded if it needs to be saved.
  5. See who’s coming to your home, with door cameras. These come in handy for people who work from home, or people who don’t want to be bothered during certain hours of the day. You can see who is at the door without even getting up, by using the camera at the door, and watching it on your app. There’s no need to answer the door for that salesman…You can tell them that you’re busy right from your tablet’s microphone or your cell phone.

These are a few of the options that users of home automation really find to be their favorites. If your favorite automation option isn’t seen above, call us and ask about our home automation options. We have a lot of choices for home owners.

Home Security: When One Size Doesn’t Fit All

home-security-system-size

Security isn’t a one-size fits all industry. What works for your neighbor next door, may not work for you. When it comes to home security, using the same service as the other people in the neighborhood may not be the best idea.

When it comes to the protection of your family and home, never settle for a discount service just on price alone. There are a lot of factors to consider when getting security for your home.

Home security systems have come a long way over the years. A simple keypad with 3 buttons evolved into a complex alarm system that is now able to monitor every entrance and window in the house. Now, you can even see who is at the door and have a conversation with them before you even get out of your chair. Homes are now “smart homes” when equipped with digital security options. You can control more than just the alarms!

As technology continues to expand and improve, homeowners have a myriad of options when it comes to protecting their homes and families.

In many cases, a typical home security system is a “one-size fits all” ordeal. They offer the minimum to get you started, but have very little flexibility for the customer. An alarm on the front door is a great start, but you may immediately see the need for a larger system with more options.

Williams Audio Video & Security (WAVES) provides home security systems customized to their customer’s needs. Instead of telling you what they do, WAVES will identify your security needs and build your system around what you want.

Basic Monitoring System

A basic monitoring system might be a great start in some cases, but what if your security needs are different? A basic security goal may be stopping a home invasion, but many families have other needs to consider.

  • Monitoring baby sitters or nannies in the home
  • Knowing when a child arrives or leaves
  • Controlling exterior lights or cameras from your smart phone
  • Knowing when packages arrive
  • Foot traffic around your home

If your security needs aren’t met, it doesn’t make sense to spend your hard earned money on a system that you aren’t happy with. The first step is consulting with a WAVES professional to talk about what you want and what’s important to you and your family.  In addition to security systems, WAVES also specializes in home automation. These areas of expertise are far from mutually exclusive. We are able to put the details and control of your security system at your fingertips via your smart phone, tablet or computer.

Home security in today’s world isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. A system that is created for you is also a necessity. The professionals at WAVES will listen and give you an honest assessment of what it will take to give you and your family the peace of mind that will comes with complete home security.

Home Automation: Convenience At Your Fingertips

home automation convenience

A typical day in the life of most families is nonstop hustle and bustle. Sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. There aren’t many spare hours in the day with a busy family.

Most of us are thrilled to discover something, no matter how big or small, to make life easier and more convenient. Home automation is one of those things that can instantly make your life simpler and considerably more convenient.

The security experts at WAVES start by listening to what you want and moving forward from there. Your home automation system will be custom built based on your specific needs.

Home automation will help you:

  • Link all your systems through a smart-phone or computer
  • Provide security
  • Save money
  • Keep track of when your kids come and go

There’s almost no end to what can be linked through a home automation system. One of the major goals that we focus on is how to improve your quality of life or just help you find some time to relax!

Imagine this: You sit down to watch a movie that’s been on your DVR for a few weeks. Instead of hunting around for two or three remotes (which are probably buried in the couch) to turn everything on, it’s all linked through the tablet on your lap. Just as the movie starts, the doorbell rings. Instead of pausing the movie to get up and see who it is, one touch on your tablet activates your doorbell camera so you can see if it’s someone you really want to talk to.  When the opening credits are finished, your husband shouts from upstairs and asks you to close the garage door he left open. Another simple touch on the tablet takes care of that. Now it’s time to enjoy the movie!

A custom home automation system from WAVES can link the following:

  • Interior and exterior cameras
  • Thermostat controls which will help keep heating and cooling bills under control
  • Entertainment systems
  • Indoor and outdoor Lighting
  • Smart locks
  • Security systems
  • Garage doors

The first step is to call WAVES for a consultation and walk-through of your home. Once your needs are identified, our professionals will build a home automation system for your family that will give you peace of mind, help your wallet and make life a whole lot more convenient.

Avoiding a Cheap Camera System

Home Security Camera System

When it comes to a home or business security system, there are a lot of options to be had. Unfortunately, this is both a blessing and a curse. While there are a lot of fantastic options out there, it’s important to be wary of the ones that are less desirable.

With home security systems, the price tag is as varied as the options you have available. It may make sense to go with the cheaper of two options. After all, a camera is a camera, right? How different can they really be? Not so fast.

At the grocery store it may make sense to buy generic green pea rather than Green Giant. Ultimately, you may not notice a big difference. However, not all camera systems are created equal. Here are a few reasons you may want to leave the cheaper options on the shelf and choose quality.

You Get What You Pay For

Chances are the quality of the less expensive product isn’t going to be on par with your needs and expectations. Apart from the quality of the image, there are mechanical features to consider as well. Cheaper price often means cheaper components such as electronics, wires, or casing.

These cheaper components may not withstand the test of time, weather, or other conditions. If your camera system requires frequent repairs or even replacement you may ultimately wind up spending more than you’d anticipated in the long run.

No Night Vision

Half of what you want to see is going to take place at night, right? It may seem like an obvious statement, however many consumers forget to take nighttime recording and monitoring into account; or they assume that all camera systems are equipped with this feature.

It’s true that most modern camera systems are setup for night vision, but this is not universally the case. Many cheaper camera systems conveniently neglect this feature to cut costs. Unfortunately, it leaves the consumer with a system that won’t work as hoped half the time.

They Don’t Suit Your Needs

If you’ve ever purchased Christmas lights, you know there is a difference between indoor and outdoor strands. Camera systems are no different. Most outdoor cameras will work inside, but that doesn’t mean the opposite is true.

Inside cameras are not usually made to withstand the weather, so make sure you are selecting the right tool for the right job. Also, cheaper systems will often skirt this issue by claiming their cameras will work outside. This may be true, but it doesn’t mean they were designed to function in this way. There is a big difference between “could work” and “intended to work.”

Subscription Fees

Some companies will try to sell you a cheaper product, which looks good on paper, while charging heftily for ongoing subscription fees, usually for basic features. Always take into consideration the subscription fees, if any. It may seem attractive to pay a low monthly (or annual) cost rather than a heft up-front price tag; however, keep in mind that cost is recurring and will eventually wind up costing you more in the long-run.

Choose Wisely

It’s always important to remember that there’s a lot of security cameras to choose from, but at the end of the day, you have to find what’s best for your needs. If you’re in the market for a home security system, contact us today to schedule an estimate.

Why You Need Automated Door Locks

Home Security Automated Door Locks

The combination of automation and home security is something we as consumers have been waiting on for a long time. Automated door locks have been around for a little while, however with the home automation boom they are starting to take off in a big way.

Automated door locks aren’t just a fad either. They’re part of the next generation of home automation. Here are a few reasons why you need automated door locks.

Going Keyless

Imagine a world where you don’t have to carry a key. Any key. Smart automobiles are moving increasingly towards push button starters and even padlocks are exploring keyless designs. Automated door locks for your home are no different.

A world where “I forgot my key” is a phrase of the past is just around the corner. Automated door locks are the next step in home security and smart home technology. Ditch the keyring.

Smart Locks, Smart Apps

Gone are the days where you sit in your office wondering if you remembered to lock the door earlier that morning. Automated locking systems are accessible from a mobile app. Whether you’re miles away at the office or lying in bed upstairs you can lock or unlock the doors from anywhere with the touch of a button.

This can also serve as a huge time saver if you’re expecting company. Having the ability to lock and unlock your doors while you’re not home means that you can let in repair personnel or contractors when they arrive on site and you don’t have to give them a spare key!

Tracking Entry and Exit

A secret benefit of the automated door locking world is that most systems give you the ability to review when people have arrived and departed. For instance, if you’re expecting your teenager home no later than their 11pm curfew, you can check the system the next morning to see what time they arrived home (sorry kids).

This is also a wonderful tool if you have contractors in your home who you’re paying by the hour. By giving them their own unique temporary access code, you can see what time they entered your home, and what time they locked the door behind them, giving you all the information you need to make sure you’re not being swindled!

Safe and Secure

Automated door locks are not only practical and easy to use; they’re also safe. Using modern technology, automated locks are nearly impossible to break or pick. Entry is only possible to those with the password, keycode, or who are granted access by the administrator (you).

Easy Installation and Operation

Installing automated locks should be done by a qualified professional, however it is not a lengthy process. Most installations are completed within a few hours and you will be enjoying keyless entry the same day.

As with any new system, there may be a learning curve involved. However, the biggest problem you’re likely to encounter is spending a few weeks instinctively reaching for your keys.

Ready to Unlock The Future?

There are several automated door lock options for you to choose from. If you’re considering adding them to your home, contact us today for a more information or to receive an estimate.

Automated Lighting with Smart Phone Control

Are you ready to renovate your home with modern technology, like something out of a science-fiction film? Then a home automation system is for you, an exploding market of syncing devices straight from the future. Only, it’s already here!

Home automation is the idea that utilities, security, and services are controlled automatically and wirelessly. They operate on “smart” data, meaning each device transmits information about its status, adapting and changing. In this article, we’re specifically looking at automated lighting and why you’ll find it interesting.

Why Home Automated System Lighting

Before anyone dives into some brand-new tech, there’s normally a big question: why? It’s fancy, no doubt, but it’s got to do a little more than that.

There are a series of different benefits home automated system lighting can offer. For one, once linked with its smartphone app, a person has access to complete monitoring. You’ll get an idea of total wattage use, what lights are on, and even configure schedules!

Let’s examine this further. Depending on the types of lamps, devices, and app you have, all sorts of possibilities open. Smart lights can turn on (and off) based on motion, such as walking through a hallway at night or by opening a door.

The intensity of lights can also be adjusted from the phone app, great for dimming or brightness. They can also be modified per room – on or off – right from the comfort of your smartphone.

These sensors and schedules have the added bonus of saving money. Say you’re trying to cut down on the electric bill, so you’ve installed some smart-devices to monitor usage. Thanks to the integration of machine and app, you can – again – see wattage used and make decisions to reduce light usage.

Combined with smart LED bulbs, and you’ll have a home of the future that also makes your wallet a little happier.

Installing Automated Lights

While we don’t have enough time to get into the hard grit of full home automation system installation, you can rest assured knowing that installing automated lights is quite simple.

However, what types of lights and systems you get will vary from vendor to vendor. There are all sorts of home packages. For example, “smart bulbs” come in packages where the app directly controls the bulb.

This is, though, the key idea. Expenses depend on the seller, but you’re essentially purchasing a smart-light system which has its own app and software. These smart systems can connect wirelessly to your router and operate from there, giving you the freedom to change them at will.

There are numerous other automated systems you can integrate into your home, without any serious renovations. But, smart lights are among the easiest to integrate and offer a plethora of features and benefits. A home is unique, so why not add an extra level of character with customized light options?

If you need assistance, our specialized installation services can get you on the right track, fast!