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Posts by Jason Williams

Cutting the Cord

Cord cutting – cancelling cable service in favor of internet-based services – is an increasingly popular choice for TV viewers. You can save a lot of money, but there are a few things to consider before making the decision. 

The Cost of Your Internet Service May Increase

If your cable and internet are part of a bundled package, ending your cable subscription may result in a rate hike for your internet service and you also may need a higher data limit and/or faster speed. However, the amount you’ll save by not having cable service should offset that, and you can also check out other internet service providers that may have lower prices than your current carrier.

Wired vs. WiFi

Hard wiring will provide you with the most reliable and fastest signal for streaming, so that’s what we recommend, but we know that’s not always possible. If you’re using WiFi, you will probably need a faster router if you’re using the one that your cable company provided.

Getting the Channels You Want

Different streaming services have different channels, so check each service’s lineup. For example, SlingTV doesn’t have CBS, YouTube TV doesn’t have HGTV, and Hulu Live doesn’t have Comedy Central. You may need to subscribe to multiple services to get everything you want. For sports fans, DirectTV NOW, Hulu Live, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and Sling TV Orange all have ESPN. Once you know which service(s) you want, make sure you choose a streaming device (or SmartTV) that supports them.

Consider an Antenna

Streaming services may not have local channels, but in metro-Atlanta you can get surprisingly good coverage with a strong antenna. While this does require an initial investment, you will likely recoup the up-front cost of installing the antenna within a few months.

Give It a Trial Run

Try going cable-free for a few weeks before you actually disconnect your cable service. It may take some time to find all the channels you want on your streaming services, so it’s good to have a backup so you don’t miss that all-important episode of Game of Thrones.

Cutting the cord can be a great way to save money, but make sure you have the proper hardware in place first. If you need help with wiring, a router, an antenna, or anything else, just give WAV&S a call at (404) 488-3874 or click on the box at the bottom left of your screen for an instant live chat.

Product Spotlight: Yamaha RX-A3080 Receiver

Since your receiver is the heart of your home entertainment system, it’s important to have a good one. The RX-A3080 is Yamaha’s flagship receiver — the best of the best. Here are some of the reasons we love it:

Great amplifier

Having a good amplifier is not just about getting more volume (though it definitely will do that). You also get better sound at low volumes. It keeps voices clear so you can understand what people are saying even when you have it turned down.

Best Processor

Since it has a top-of-the-line processor, you’ll get clearer sound and have fewer syncing issues. So when you’re watching Grey’s Anatomy, the audio and video will actually match up.

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound

Dolby Atmos is the latest surround sound format which totally immerses you in whatever you are listening to or watching. In fact, it was originally designed for movie theaters and then was adapted for home use.

Musical Versatility

There are so many ways to listen to music (or any audio) on this receiver. MusicCast— a multi-room audio system (similar to Sonos and Heos) — is built in and you can control it directly from your cellphone. You can also broadcast music directly to Bluetooth headphones and speakers. And most major streaming radio stations (Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, etc.) are included.

There are tons of other great features, including Alexa voice-control capability, which you can read about here. And on top of all that, it’s made with Yamaha’s highest quality parts so it’ll last longer than other receivers.

As always, if you need help with this or any other home entertainment product, give WAV&S a call at (404) 488-3874 or click on the box at the bottom left of your screen for an instant live chat.

Security Cameras: More Complicated Than You Think

Jennifer has a neighbor whose house was recently broken into. The theives did a quick smash and grab. They got away with a TV, laptop, and some jewelry. This got Jennifer thinking that she really needs some kind of home security. So she went to Sam’s Club and bought a surveillance system with 8 cameras and a digital video recorder. She had planned to install the system herself thinking, “It can’t be any harder than connecting a video camera to the TV, right?” When Jennifer opened the box she soon realized just how different it is. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, she called WAV&S. 

We scheduled her appointment within 3 days and not only got all of the cameras in the locations she wanted, we were able to hide all of the wires inside the walls for a clean look. Now Jennifer has the ability to grab her cell phone and check in on her home in real time, anytime, from anywhere in the world.

If you’re worried about burglaries and want to keep your home safe (or just want to see what your dog is up to while you’re at work), WAV&S can help. We can guide you through the whole process, from choosing cameras that meet your specific needs to installing them to monitoring the alarm system. Call us at (404) 483-1834 or click on the box at the bottom left of your screen for an instant live chat.

How to Choose a Receiver

Does Speaker Cable Matter

The receiver is the heart of your entertainment system, so choosing the right one is essential for getting the most out of it. But where do you start? While we can’t cover every possible scenario, here’s a quick overview of what you want to look for in a receiver.

What to Consider

Type of Room

The first thing to consider is the type of room you’ll be listening in. A home theater generally requires a more powerful receiver than one for a living room or bedroom. Though if you want that “big boom” sound in your living room, you can always opt for more power.

Number of Outputs

You’ll also need to make sure there are enough output connections (called “channels”) for all of the speakers you have. Modern surround sound systems alone can have up to 13 channels. You also may need extra channels to power speakers in other rooms, such as outdoor speakers or speakers in the kitchen or master bedroom.

Number and Type of Inputs

Next, consider how many devices you’ll be connecting. Do you have a Roku or Firestick? A DVD player? A satellite or cable box? Your receiver will need to have enough inputs – and the right kind (HDMI, RCA, etc.) – to support all of your devices.

Special Features: The Fun Part

Lastly, what special features do you want? Receivers can include a wide variety of “extras” that will take your system to the next level. Do you want Apple AirPlay or Spotify built in? Do you want to be able to control your system from an app on your phone? Or by voice command? Do you want to be able to add wireless speakers? Or be able to play different things in different rooms? Special features vary widely from receiver to receiver. Check to make sure you get one with the specific functions that you want.

We Can Help

Choosing the right receiver is crucial for any entertainment system, and there are a lot of factors to consider. If you’d like some guidance on picking the best receiver for your needs, call WAVES at 404-488-3874 or click on the box to the left for a live online chat.

DIY Smart Home Pitfalls

Everybody wants a Smart Home and clients ask me about it all the time. Even still, whenever I start talking about Smart Home technology I often hear, “I’m not a high tech person,” or “That stuff is way too complicated for me.” And there’s a reason for that. Too many people are going the do-it-yourself route. When they show it off to their friends it’s too hard to follow. How many times have you seen a friend or neighbor go through this whole routine at a party:

“First you open the Nest app and set the temperature…(pause, wait for the app to respond)…then you open the TV app and turn on your TV…(pause, wait for the app to respond)… then you open the receiver app and turn on the sound system, oh and here’s the cool part, ‘Alexa, set lights for movie night.’”

It’s the millennial equivalent of having 10 remotes on the coffee table. And it doesn’t work any better than those 10 remotes did. A true Smart Home can make all of those things happen by just saying, “Alexa, turn on Netflix,” and like magic, you’re watching a movie.

If you have 5 remotes in a basket on your coffee table or taking up space in a drawer in your end table, ask yourself if everyone in the house can operate the system easily. If they answer is no, give us a call at (404) 483-1834 to schedule a home automation consultation or click on the box to the left for a live online chat. Let WAVES make it easy to use for the whole family. 

Product Spotlight: Nest Video Doorbell

We know that there are a lot of different products out there and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your needs. So each month we’ll be showcasing a product we love and telling you why we think it’s great.

First up is the Nest Video Doorbell. We love the Nest because in our experience it has the fastest response time for wireless video doorbells. Many video doorbells have a long lag time between the time someone rings your doorbell and the time you’re notified that someone’s at the door. It’s so long, in fact, that by the time you get the notification, the person who was at the door may have already left. This is much less likely to happen with the Nest due to its faster response time. Below you can read about some of its other great features.

If you’d like to know more about video doorbells and which one is right for you, please call us for free consultation at 404-483-1834 or click the box on your screen for a live chat.

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.