News / Media

Big, beautiful backyard with big, beautiful sound

A grassy, open area

We recently did a full home system featuring Control4 interfaces, an Apple Airport-based network, and a Sonos audio system- all of which extend out across the homeowner’s gorgeous backyard! Rock speakers surround the pool and patio to bring Sonos to every corner of the yard, and subtly, too- can you play spot-the-speaker in the image above?

The system can switch between all of the sources Sonos offers- including internet radio stations, Pandora, iTunes, Sirius, and more- via the homeowner’s iPhone or iPad app. Volume can also be controlled there, or with the built-in volume controls around the patio.

Television embedded in the loggia stone wall

And speaking of the patio, part of that is the loggia: its own music zone with a television nestled in the stone wall and a smart remote with dock, it creates a beautiful outdoor living area for relaxing in the San Diego weather. You’ll see it in the picture above- excuse the continued construction in the reflection!

See our video below for a better look:

http://youtu.be/LKv6f0awUZo

Posted by ryan Mon, 05 Aug 2013 16:25:00 GMT

Nest Learning Thermostat Added to Apple Store

By Stephanie Mlot May 30, 2012 09:49am EST



Click here to view the full article

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405023,00.asp



The Apple Store is slowly becoming an all-in-one shopping experience, today adding the Nest Learning Thermostat to its inventory.

The thermostat, which is reminiscent of an iPod classic click wheel, is available now for $249.95, just $0.95 more expensive than its suggested retail price. It was added to Apple.com this morning after some brief downtime, prompting speculation in the Twitterverse about everything from new MacBooks to Skynet coming online.

The Nest thermostat already has an Apple connection. Tony Fadell, Nest co-creator, is a former Apple senior vice president, and was part of the creative team behind the original iPod and iPhone. While the thermostat has no direct connection to Apple products, its Wi-Fi capabilities allow control of the Nest from any iOS device — iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

The thermostat also works with a PC or Android smartphone to adjust scheduling, change the temperature, and check weather.

Old-fashioned twisting and button-pushing also work to control the climate; you can turn the dial or navigate through its menu by pressing the LCD screen. The modern thermostat can program itself by tracking the temperature settings used over a week, and energy-saving Auto-Away settings lower heat and cooling while you’re not home.

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<strong><a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405023,00.asp" target="_blank">http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405023,00.asp</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Mon, 04 Jun 2012 16:22:00 GMT

Installation of the week: Data Panel Makeover

A homeowner called Audio Impact in San Diego, asking us to please come out and take a look as to why he could not close his low voltage panel doors in his closet. He also mentioned that he experienced intermittent telephone and internet problems.

When Audio Impact System Designer, Ryan Lipkovicius, arrived on site, the homeowner was only too happy. None of the Master Suite closet space in this immediate area could be used. At first glance it was obvious why the panels would not close. Upon further inspection there were notable cable patches and splices. The modem and router were dangling in place by the cat5e ethernet cable that was connected to them.

Audio Impact Technician, Ernesto Vega, was scheduled to return to organize the smart panel and verify all systems relating to it. Ernesto cleaned up all the wiring and added an additional network switch to activate all the data jacks in the home. He labeled all the cable room names and a surge protected powerstip was added to aid the equipment. The homeowner mentioned he was experiencing poor wireless reception. To fix this issue, Audio Impact installed an Apple Airport Extreme, as a wireless access point and flush mounted it to the outside cover with a custom bracket. This allows the wifi to penetrate the entire Master Suite.

The end result is another happy and satisfied customer, who no longer has network or phone issues, and a transformed smart low voltage panel that closes!

BEFORE

AFTER

Posted by chantal Mon, 14 May 2012 16:42:00 GMT

Electronic House 2012 Awards: Audio Passion Inspired Home Theater Design

Sweet sounds take center stage in this theater, thanks to Monitor Audio speakers, an Integra preamp and a powerful Crestron amp.



May 01, 2012 by Lisa Montgomery



Click here to view the full article

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



It’s obvious when entering this grand, custom-crafted theater, which part of its design took priority: the audio. A contact sensor on the door that leads into the 27-by-16-foot space triggers an array of small LED fixtures, showcasing a pair of high-grade Monitor Audio Platinum tower speakers. Most people would have chosen to let the huge reference speakers stay hidden behind the acoustical fabric that covers each of two speaker cavities built into custom cabinetry at the front of the room. But not this homeowner. “On a scale from 1 to 10, his passion for audio is a 20,” says Ryan Lipkovicius of Audio Impact, the San Diego–based custom electronics design and installation fi rm hired to build this theater.

Several small, energy-efficient LED lights were carefully positioned within each of the cabinet’s two speaker cavities. When the door to the room opens, they illuminate so the speakers can be seen through the acoustical fabric. Part of Monitor Audio’s Platinum line, the speakers are the company’s top performers and this theater’s crowning jewel.

It would take plenty of horsepower to drive these freestanding giants, plus the rest of the Monitor Audio 9.2-channel surround-sound system. Audio Impact chose an Integra DHC-80.2 preamp for its ability to work well with other A/V components and numerous audio decoding options, and a Crestron Procise Proamp-7X400 amplifier for its pure, raw output of power.

Another important part of the audio design was the engineering of a carefully constructed and acoustically treated shell. “Sam Cavitt of Paradise Theater in San Diego calculated all of the parameters, including the room dimensions, number of seats and size and position of the screen, and the software (from Kinetics Noise Control) figured where we needed to put acoustical materials, how to position the speakers, and where to put the seats so the audio reproduction was true and smooth,” says Lipkovicius. To further enhance the acoustical performance, Audio Impact and Paradise Theater instructed the contractors to “float” the room so none of its walls or ceiling would touch the walls of adjacent rooms or the floor of the room above it. Air conditioning vents, light fixtures and electrical outlets were treated with special isolation materials so that no sound would escape from the theater.





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<strong><a href="http://www.electronichouse.com/article/audio_passion_inspired_home_theater_design" target="_blank">http://www.electronichouse.com/article/audio_passion_inspired_home_theater_design</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Mon, 07 May 2012 16:24:00 GMT

Audio Impact Wins Gold in Electronic House Home of the Year 2012

Audio Impact is proud to announce that it has won the 2012 Gold Best Theater from Electronic House.

The stage was set during the client discovery. When asked, “How would you describe your dream theater?” the client paused to reflect, then said “A special place. A room that draws us in, that brings us together as a family and where we can experience amazing sound and vision in comfort and serenity. A special room that creates an emotional bond as soon as we enter”. A tall order to be sure but attainable since the team was assembled early enough in the process to design and engineer excellence.

It starts with the room; the foundation of the performance theater environment. Room ratios and construction techniques were addressed to create an ideal scenario for quiet room construction and smooth acoustical performance. Subsystems were engineered, including mechanical, electrical and lighting to assure no unwanted sound entered or propagated through them. A detailed set of construction documents guided the project contractors through each step. The result was a theater “chassis” that would support the profound performance.

The engineering continues in the design of the system. The engine that provides the horsepower for our clients envisioned experiences. Monitor Platinum PL 300 reference towers and PL 350 center are perfectly matched with 6 of the newly developed Platinum In Wall PLIW for side and rear surrounds while 2 PLW-15 Subwoofers provide the prodigious bass. These superb components are precisely matched with the rooms acoustical environment resulting in accurate sound reproduction whatever the source. Powered and processed by the Integra THX Ultra 2 DHC-80 with Audyssey and Crestron PROAMP-7X400 amplifier there is no shortage of power and enveloping quality sound. The visual elements of the theater features the Runco LS-10 1080p projector driving a 135” 1.78:1 micro-perforated Stewart Filmscreen. The LS-10 complemented with Runco’s video processing provides plenty of visual excitement which is accurately rendered on the Stewart screen surface.

All the theater, house-wide audio and Crestron control systems are housed in 2 Middle Atlantic ERK racks concealed in ventilated cabinets in the rear of the room. The equipment rack cabinets and Projector compartment are constantly monitored by Crestron temperature C2N-RTHS sensors and turn on ultra quit exhaust fans if needed. The System features Crestron ADMS Intermedia Delivery System that brings movies from a Sony 400 Disk Blu-ray changer, Netflix, Hulu, The homes computers, Youtube to life at the touch of one button. There is a HD Cable box along with an Apple TV. The entire Theater Audio/Video, Lighting and HVAC is easily controlled via an in-wall removable TPS-6x wireless touchscreen remote. There are quick assess to lighting scenes and even a virtual keyboard for the ADMS.

Finally comes the blend of performance and aesthetics. The theaters acoustical components, which were specified as a result of an acoustical modeling process were integrated with the interior design artfully. The screen wall features display columns where the beautiful Platinum towers are nestled in an ideal acoustical surrounding and illuminated by concealed lighting. Behind the perforated screen sits, not only the PL350 center but custom engineered baffles to provide both expansive sound stage and accurate imaging. The whole assembly housed in a furniture grade cabinet design. Walls and ceilings feature concealed Kinetics acoustical devices behind a stretch fabric system which is complemented by pilasters, housing the surround speakers and gorgeous millwork trim throughout.

The impact upon entry is stunning, the serenity of the space is enchanting but when the system is fired up the experience is astonishing. Whether seated in the first row or the third get ready to “suspend your disbelief” for the home theater ride of your life.

Posted by chantal Fri, 04 May 2012 16:13:00 GMT

Apple Brings 1080p HD to New Apple TV

Apple Press Release - March 7, 2012

Apple announced the new Apple TV featuring 1080p HD programming, including iTunes movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos, and more. The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface, making it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows, and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to Apple TV. And with iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favorite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HDTV. Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $99 (US) through the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores.

“People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.”

Apple TV users can choose from an incredible selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers great content from Netflix’s streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.*

With iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on Apple TV and watch them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices including your HD TV via Apple TV. iCloud provides an incredibly easy way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets or even games.**

Apple TV makes it easy to enjoy iTunes video, music and photo libraries from your computer right on your HD TV—and with iCloud you can instantly enjoy content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as well. iTunes Match customers can now play their entire music library from iCloud—even songs they’ve imported from CDs. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store™

Posted by chantal Wed, 28 Mar 2012 16:12:00 GMT

Apple Launches New iPad

Apple Press Release - March 16, 2012

The new iPad — the third generation of the category-defining mobile device — arrived at Apple’s Retail Stores and the Apple Online Store on Friday, March 16 at 8:00 a.m. local time in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK; along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Beginning at a suggested retail price of $499 (US), the new iPad features a stunning Retina display, Apple’s A5X chip with quad-core graphics, and a 5-megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. And iPad 2 is now available at a more affordable price, starting at just $399.

The new iPad features a stunning new Retina™ display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to fast networks worldwide, including AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G LTE networks, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life while remaining amazingly thin and light.

The new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased color saturation the new iPad displays colors that are unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an incomparable viewing experience on a mobile device.

The powerful new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip, the A5X provides a superb balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the stunning new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch™ interface, immersive gameplay, incredible visual depth and all-day battery life that iPad is known for delivering.

The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking stunning pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and easily shared with friends and family using the built-in Photos app on iPad.

iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers blazing download and upload speeds so web pages load incredibly quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB**.

With iOS 5.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes® in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone®, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices. When content changes on one of your devices, your other devices are updated automatically.

The new iPad also supports dictation, another amazing way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.

Apple also introduced the iPhoto® app, along with major updates to iMovie® and GarageBand®, completing its suite of iLife® apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork® apps, Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers®, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create amazing Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.

iPad runs almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store™, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps, from a wide range of categories, including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store® puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 20 million songs, over 90,000 TV episodes and over 15,000 movies. The new iBooks® 2 app for iPad lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks created with Apple’s new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more.

Posted by chantal Mon, 26 Mar 2012 17:17:00 GMT

Sonos Coming soon: New Controller apps for Mac and PC

Posted on March 15th, 2012 by Sonos Staff

You asked, we listened. Our team has been working ‘round the clock to bring you two brand spanking new Sonos Controller apps for Mac and PC. The new Controllers will make it easier than ever to find, control and play music in any room—right from your favorite desktop or laptop.

What can you look forward to? For starters, faster access to music. The improved Search feature will let you quickly find artists, albums, songs, and stations from your music library, Internet radio and music services using a single search box. And you can use the better-than-ever, drag-and-drop interface to add one or multiple songs, albums, or playlists to your queue, room, or group of rooms for instant music gratification.

The new controllers also offer instant volume control, with a one-touch Party Mode that lets you set the volume in your grouped rooms simultaneously. Plus, we’ve brought some of the hidden perks of Sonos front and center, with the Sleep Timer and Alarms now accessible from the main window. And speaking of looks, the new Controller apps will give your eyes something to smile about.

But the feature we might be the most excited about is the new Mini Controller, a slick, pop-out of album art that lets you control your music while you’re working in other apps, so now it’s even easier to control any music you want—any way you want.

Posted by chantal Fri, 16 Mar 2012 16:48:00 GMT

High tech and high class. How luxury hotels are embracing technology

FEBRUARY 26, 2012BY KRISSY RUSHING



Turn up the music, turn down the lights, and start a movie – with the swipe of a finger. Here’s how high-tech room controls are making your next luxury hotel room classier than ever.



Click here to view the full article

http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/high-tech-and-high-class-how-luxury-hotels-are-embracing-technology/



Technology is an important part of the home, and what better way for hoteliers to make guests feel at home than to provide them with state-of-the-art technological amenities? We are talking about a deeper level of connectivity than a simple iPod dock, or a reliable Internet connection in your hotel room. The trend in luxury hotels across the globe is a simple touchscreenwith an easy-to-use graphic user interface that can control all your room’s amenities, such as lighting, air conditioning, TV, movies,and music. These systems also have the capability to handle communication with the front desk, housekeeping, concierge, and checkout. The modern hotel also offers staff facility-wide monitoring and management capabilities.

In fact, most of the major control companies are already entrenched in the hotel market, from Control4 to Crestron and Apple. Needless to say, hoteliers are jumping on the control bandwagon, which is the“wow” amenity of the moment that puts luxury hotels a cut above.

Inspiration from across the street

At the legendary Plaza in New York City, Manhattan’s iconic NYC Apple Store sits just across the street. When the Apple iPad came out, the hotel’s general manager, Shane Krige, walked across the street and purchased a few to put in the hotel lobby for guests to play with. Once the Plaza team saw everything the device was capable of, they put an iPad in every room.

Guests are greeted with a personalized welcome screen and a video from Krige explaining ICE, the Interactive Customer Experience.Once acquainted,you can control the room temperature or set lights at various levels from 100 percent to completely off. You can send messages to the front desk, request toothpaste from housekeeping, or ask the concierge for a restaurant reservation. Guests can arrange transportation or learn about the hotel, which just underwent a $450 million renovation. You can even check airlines and print boarding passes. A mobile ICE app in the works will be downloadable from the Plaza’s website, allowing you to do all these things before you even arrive.

The room that knows you’re there

Across the sea in Sydney Harbour, Australia, the Star Hotel & Casino offers complete guest control in its 174 luxury suites.Guests get on-screen control of the television, IBAHN Video-on-Demand system, lighting and temperature, a Philips Dynalite lighting control system, a wireless thermostat, Samsung LED 3D TV, Bose Cinemate music system, and more. A Control4 system acts as the backbone, allowing simple control with a straightforward interface.

The suites all feature a button labeled “Leaving Room” by the entry door that automatically places the suite in an energy-saving mode: With a single touch, it closes blinds, turns off lights and dials back air conditioners for energy savings. Should you forget to press this on your way out, after 30 minutes the system will sense there is no one and trigger the button automatically. Upon return your room will greet you by opening curtains, turning on the lights and displaying a welcome message. “Door Ajar” and “Privacy” notification pops up on the TV so you know you are safe and won’t be bothered by the hotel staff.

The greener side of high-tech

At the Montage Deer Valley mountain resort in Park City, Utah, 154 deluxe guest rooms and 66 suites are equipped with a similar Control4 Hospitality Solution that lets guests control lighting,temperature, the fireplace, entertainment, privacy settings and energy-saving features. Hotel guests can enjoy theses effortless tech amenities while the hotel industry – known for its oversize environmental footprint — can reduce negative impact.

Crestron is also doing interesting things in the hotel industry, and has installed control systems in some of the world’s top hotel chains, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Four Seasons, and Starwood Properties.

“Hotels are using more technology to enable a higher level of service,” says Crestron’s director of hospitality, Michael Stegmann. “The modern hotel standard presents new challenges to manage and integrate it all.”

Crestron’s Hospitality solution is up to the challenge, monitoring and managing centralized AV sources and lighting controls for all areas of a hotel from a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android device and a local Crestron touch screen. As with Control4 systems, Crestron’s offers a number of ways to cut back on electricity consumption, from dimming systems to occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting. In-room amenities, including security, AV, and HVAC are standard. The environmentally minded Gateway Canyon Resort in Gateway, Colorado, for example, uses a Crestron system to control hotel-wide functions, including the Kiva Lodge, a 38-room hotel with fitness center, spa, café and pool area. The Crestron CP2E system controls AV and background music distribution throughout the lodge. Wall-mount touch screens and keypadsadorn the luxury space for walk-up, one-touch control.

Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/high-tech-and-high-class-how-luxury-hotels-are-embracing-technology/" target="_blank">http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/high-tech-and-high-class-how-luxury-hotels-are-embracing-technology/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:10:00 GMT

Crestron Showcases Control Solutions Using Apple Products at Macworld 2012

Crestron Press Release February 06, 2012

Mobile Pro Demo Leaves Visitors Blown Away by Control Possibilities

Crestron and its mobile control solutions were a big hit with Apple® fans at the Moscone Center in San Francisco last week. As a first-time MacWorld®/iWorld exhibitor, Crestron demonstrated the Mobile Pro apps for the iPad® and iPhone® to thousands of attendees. Under the slogan “Control Everything™. All From One App™,” Crestron captivated the Macworld audience with a refreshed mobile GUI and hands-on demonstration, using simulated home, boardroom and classroom environments to control entertainment systems, lighting, shades, multi-room audio/video, heating/cooling, and security systems.

While many visitors had a limited understanding of Crestron solutions, applications and markets prior to the show, nearly all walked away with a better understanding of the its offerings and value proposition. Overall, there was tremendous feedback from end users who left the show with an interest in installing Crestron in their homes, offices and schools.

Among the many visitors to the Crestron kiosk were handfuls of Apple bloggers and technology writers who had nothing but positive things to say about Crestron and its control solutions. David Temple of Appletell wrote, “With all due respect to all of the fantastic apps at MacWorld | iWorld 2012, I am going to give Crestron my nod for Best of Show,” while Trevor Sheridan of Apple ‘N’ Apps said, “Crestron was by far and away the one company at MacWorld|iWorld that truly blew my mind for the possibilities.”

Posted by chantal Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:32:00 GMT