Hot Technologies

Would you like to use your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android to control your home? If your answer is yes, we can make it happen for you!

Pretty much all of the vendors we work with have iPad, iPhone, iTouch or Droid interfaces that make it easy to control your Home Theater, Whole House music system, Lights, Thermostats and more.

Call us today or read on for more information!

Overview:

Companies like Request and Control4 make it easy to use your iPad, iPhone or iTouch to control all or parts of your home. For example Request allows you to control your library of music and MP3s with a nice familiar interface. Control4 allows you to control your whole home if you so desire! Most manufacturers supply the software for free, while some charge a small fee. Of course you have to have a Control4 system in place to use their iPad, iTouch, iPhone or Android interface. But since Control4 uses wireless technology, it works well in both new construction or retrofit applications! Here is a picture of the Control4 interface for the iPhone:

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 With an iPad,  iPhone, iPod Touch or Droid and the Control4 application, you can control some or all of the following:

  • Your Home Theater
  • Your whole house audio system including AM/FM/XM radio, iPod and more!
  • Lighting
  • Raise/lower your shades
  • Adjust Thermostats
  • Arm/disarm the alarm system
  • Lock/unlock your doors
  • View the security cameras in this home and at your second home, vacation home or cabin
  • Check your energy usage

 

 

 

 

Want to listen to your iPod/iPhone through your stereo system, Home Theater or Whole House Audio system?

There are many iPod Docking stations on the market, but the bottom line is compatibility. Some manufacturers will only support docking stations that they manufacture while others will support multiple different models.

Call us today and we can help you make sense out of it all or read on for more information.

Let’s face it. Everyone owns an iPod! Well maybe not everyone, but they are very common today. Apple has sold over 220 million iPods so far, not to mention the millions of iPhones.

Automobile Integration:
You can listen to your iPod with headphones, but not in your car as this is illegal in most states. You can plug it in to some car stereos that are “iPod ready”. If your car doesn't have that option, there are adapters that will enable your iPod to connect to any car via the FM radio with no modifications to the vehicle required. You simply plug a device in to your iPod, tune your car stereo to a certain FM station and viola! You can hear your iPod!

Home Integration:
You pull in to your garage, you remove your iPod/iPhone from your car and walk in to your home. As you enter the kitchen, you place the iPod in to a cradle mounted in the wall or sitting on the counter. A press of a button on the keypad next to it and now your favorite song is playing throughout your home! There are wall mounted or desktop iPod docking stations available from a variety of manufacturers. Most allow you to connect audio from the iPod in to your Theater or Whole-House Audio system and some also allow iPod control. All will charge the iPod batteries while in the dock. For example, many Denon Receivers have iPod connections and you can control the iPod from the receiver’s remote! Elan and Control4 have options so you can listen to and control your iPod anywhere in your home! There are desktop iPod docking stations and in-wall docking stations. Here is a picture of an in-wall station that would be flush-mounted in a wall:

 

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Automation can be expensive, especially if your home is already built. But what if there was a low cost wireless automation system? There is! It is from a company called Control4 and ADI can design and install a system for you.

Control4 is a company that has built its reputation by manufacturing low cost, reliable and easy to use solutions. From Home Theater, Heating/AC control and lighting control to music, iPod and security integration, Control4 and ADI can make it happen for you. You can even control your home from your iPad/iPod/iPhone or Android phone or tablet!

Call us today for a free quote or see the Control4 Website for more information!

Control4 Overview:

From a color wired/wireless touch screen, keypad or your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or Android device you can control all of the following:

  • Your Home Theater
  • Your iPod
  • An Audio/Video distribution system
  • Lighting and Window Shades
  • Adjust your Thermostats
  • Arm/Disarm your Security System
  • Monitor your home's power usage
  • Control your home remotely over the Internet
  • Lock/unlock your doors
  • View your security cameras within your home or remotely over the Internet

 

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A Music Management system from a company called Request will allow you to store your CDs and MP3s on a server and give you access to your music from anywhere in your home or over the Internet! It integrates with iTunes and if you own two homes, it will even sync your music collection between homes automatically!

Call us today and we can give you a free quote or read on for more information.

Overview:

The Request Audio Server is an Ethernet attached device that allows you to burn your CDs on to a server so that you can use a Whole House Audio system or the TV in your Theater to see a list of all of your music in one place. Let's look at a typical scenario:

We would install the Request music server in your main listening area (Theater, Living room, etc.). It would connect to your TV so that you can see the Graphical User Interface (GUI). It would connect to your Audio Receiver or Surround Sound Processor via an analog or digital connection. It has a CD drive, so you would load each of your CDs one at a time in to the system and it would copy the CD on to its hard drive or optionally to Network Attached Storage (NAS). You have many options in the quality of the copy from loss-less (WAV), compressed loss-less (FLAC) or MP3 in various bit rates (from 128 to 320kbps). Usually you would use WAV or FLAC and use the "Dual Encode" feature. With Dual Encoding, it would copy it in WAV or FLAC AND ALSO make a copy in MP3 format. That way, when you are listening to your CDs in the Theater you get the same quality as if you were listening to the CD directly. But for your iPod, you have an MP3 copy available also. You can point iTunes to the Request server and it will automatically pull all of your music in to iTunes! It will even copy music that you buy through iTunes to the Request server automatically! As you load CDs in to the Request server it will automatically go out to the Internet and pull down all of the information about the CD including cover art. It also has a Web interface so that you can control it via a Web browser and even stream the music to your PC. Also, see the next section on the Request IMC that allows the same features for your DVDs!

 

As of June 12th 2009, TV stations in the Twin Cities have stopped broadcasting analog TV channel signals. Is your home ready for the DTV transition?

The answer really comes down to how you receive your TV channels. The bottom line is that if you get your TV signals from an antenna, and your TV only has an analog tuner, you will either have to replace the TV or buy a set top box to convert the new digital signals to analog. Call us today to help you make sense of it all or read on for more information: 

Overview:

As of June 12th 2009, all full power Television Stations have stopped transmitting analog signals. So if you have an old analog TV and use an antenna to receive broadcast TV signals, then you will no longer receive TV signals after that date.

Today, all stations transmit in only digital. So if you have a TV with a Digital Tuner, you will be able receive your local TV stations. Here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, if you see channels on your TV like 9-1 and 11-1, then you have a Digital Tuner and are ready for the Digital Transition.

What you need to do:

If all of the TVs in your home are connected to Satellite or Cable TV, then everything should be fine and there is nothing you need to do. But if you have some TVs in your home that receive TV channels over the air via an antenna, then you may be affected. The antenna could be the old rabbit ears on the back of your TV, or an antenna mounted on your roof or in your attic. So if you receive TV signals with an antenna, then next you will have to determine what type of tuner your TV has. It will have to have a "Digital or ATSC Tuner" to continue working after June 12th. If it has an analog tuner, then you will either have to replace the TV or buy a Digital Tuner converter box. A Digital converter box will connect to your current TV, receive the Digital transmission and convert it to analog so your TV will continue to function. Digital converter boxes are available for as little as $35.00.