Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Control4 Integration with Amazon's Alexa Brings Voice Command to Your Smart Home

In September, Control 4 announced that Alexa could now integrate with Control4’s home automation system. Alexa was already your personal DJ and information system. Now she can turn on your lights and adjust the temperature in your home. With Amazon’s Alexa, voice control and home automation became that much more simple.

"On average, our customers have over 40 connected devices in their homes that are orchestrated by Control4 and now, voice interaction with Amazon Alexa offers another convenient way to control all of them,” said Martin Plaehn, Control4 CEO. “This integration combines Control4’s automation power and extensive support for connected devices with the intuitive voice control from Amazon Alexa, reinforcing our shared vision to make life in a connected home ever-more personalized, comfortable, and hassle-free.”

Control4 provides users with the power to control one light at a time or create as many lighting pre-sets as needed. Dinner parties can have ambient lighting and a classical playlist, whereas movie night might be dark with the surround sound system calibrated so you feel the explosions of your favorite action movie. Instead of having to go to your device for these settings, you can now simply say “Alexa, execute Dinner Party setting” or "Alexa, execute turn off bedroom light".

Alexa doesn’t simply adjust the lighting or temperature. Control4 integrates with all Alexa products, including Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV. This means Alexa can turn on your TV and find your favorite song along with all the other services that Control4 offers. Now you’ll never have to remind your kids to turn the TV off when they leave the room. Simply ask Alexa to do it.

This holiday season, be sure to ask Terracom Systems about Control4 integration with Alexa and the  convenience that voice-control can bring to your home. Contact Us.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Difference Between Home Theater Design & Home Theater Installation

Custom Home Theater Design and Installation
In the home theater industry, as with any other industry, the terms used for various professional services mean different things to different people. Professionals and customers alike mix and match and misuse words until their true meanings are lost. An example of this happened recently when a customer asked, "Is there a difference between home theater design and home theater installation?" The answer is "Yes, there is a difference."

The Difference Between Home Theater Design and Installation

The difference between these two terms is pretty simple. Home theater design is the precursor to home theater installation. Without the design phase, your home theater installation becomes a cookie cutter project filled with regret.

Home theater design puts the "Custom" in Custom Home Theater. A home theater designer listens to the customer's input, studies the pre-existing structure of the room for audio, video, and lighting conditions, remembers the budget, and then creates a plan based on those assessments. Good design puts you on the path to having the best quality possible.

A home theatre installation is not as effective without the design element. While there may be some companies who only provide one service or the other, most will have both in house. Terracom Systems offers creative design with leading technical knowledge to give you a unique and first-rate home theatre.

In our last blog post we asked the question, "Should I Install a Home Theater System?". We took a look at the benefits of installing a custom-built home theater system. In the end, the decision really came down to the importance of the quality of your home entertainment experience.

The Take Away

If quality home entertainment experience is the primary reason for investing in a custom home theater system, then you have to hire a company that's proficient at both design and installation. If the design falls short, so will the quality.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Should I Install a Home Theater System?

Install a home theater system in denver
If you've ever seen a movie or the big game on a friend's custom home theater system then you've probably asked yourself the question, "Should I Install a Home Theater System?" While big screen TVs and high-end speakers provide great home entertainment, there is nothing quite like the experience of watching a movie or game in a professionally installed custom home theater system.

When designed and installed correctly,  a home theater system is the perfect culmination of sight and sound. Everything from the HD projector, projector screen, surround sound system, seating, acoustics, lighting, and other theater elements work together harmoniously to create an unbeatable entertainment experience.

It's not just about buying the most expensive components available and then wiring them together. A successful home theater installation requires the right components, seating, the right layout for the room, the right fabric on the walls, the right lighting, and great craftsmanship.

So... should you install a home theater system? There is no quick and easy answer to this question but here are a few things to consider:

How Much Does a Custom Home Theater System Cost?

Cost is probably the biggest consideration when deciding whether to install a home theater system or which installation company to hire for that matter. At the end of it all, you shouldn't have to declare bankruptcy because you spent too much.

You need to decide from the beginning what you can and can't afford and then decide what you're willing to pay. The most expensive option doesn't always guarantee the best products and service and the cheapest option isn't always the best deal.

How Long Does it Take to Install a Custom Home Theater System?

Every home theater system is different. Some theater systems are very basic while others will completely transform that part of your home. The point is, like most home improvements and renovations, it could take a few weeks to a few months depending on the depth of the project.

Should I Install a Home Theater System on My Own?

Maybe. If you're a retired electrician with all the time in the world to devote to the project and you just happen to love carpentry, wiring, lighting and you understand the complex world of acoustic design - then sure. If not, you might be in over your head. Terracom Systems has a team of home theater experts who know all about the intricacies that go into making a quality home theater system. Our professional installers have the knowledge, time, equipment and patience required to do it right.

What Are the Benefits of a Custom Home Theater System?

It all comes down to quality. The lighting, the sound, the imagery, the seating and just about everything else in the room has been selected, positioned, integrated and fine-tuned to provide the best audio video experience possible.

The Take Away

If you can budget the money needed for the installation, if you enjoy high quality home entertainment, and you don't mind a team of professional and polite home theater installers working in your home to complete the project, then YES... you should install a home theater system in your home.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

What Is A Smart Home?

Smart Home Automation
Smart Home is a term used in the home automation industry to describe a home or residence where one or more various types of electronics or appliances work together across a network in order to provide residents with some kind of additional benefit or convenience through automation. Smart homes can be automated and controlled by phone or computer through a home automation system.

What can a Smart Home Control?

  • lighting
  • heating
  • security cameras
  • security alarms
  • door locks
  • audio video equipment
  • home theater 
  • window shades
  • electronic appliances
  • and a wide variety of other "smart" devices

A smart home system will allow a person to manually make adjustments to the various functions and products it's connected to from your computer, tablet or even your smartphone. Users can program the system to automate based off timers, special conditions like changes in temperature, motion detectors or a wide variety of other triggers.

Smart homes leverage the advancements made in mobile technology such as wifi and bluetooth giving home owners the power to control almost every aspect of their home from anywhere with an internet connection. There are numerous benefits to a smart home such as saving money, security, being environmentally friendly, but the most obvious is convenience. A person could be half way around the world and still be able to turn down their AC, close their window shades, or even activate an alarm.

Interested in converting your home into a Smart Home? Contact Terracom Systems.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It’s All in the Wrist, Receive Push Notifications on your Smart Watch from your Smart Home with Control4’s OS 2.7

Home owners have enjoyed the convenience of controlling their smart homes and receiving notifications through their smartphones, tablets, and computers for years. It only makes since for that same convenience to carry through to their smart watches.

With the release of Control4’s OS 2.7, Control4 customers will be able to receive push notifications sent from their Control4 integrated homes to their Apple Watch and / or Android Watch.

4Sight service and the Control4 app for iOS or Android are required in order to receive notifications

Examples from the Control4 website include:

 • When the kids have returned safely home from school
 • The garage door has been left open for a certain amount of time
 • The liquor cabinet has been accessed
 • Someone adjusts the thermostat down in the middle of a hot day
 • Motion has been detected in a certain room
 • And many, many more…

Moving forward, you can expect to see more home automation control for smart watches. 


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