Change of Plans

Chris has a dream. He wants to put a home theater in the bonus room on the third floor of his new place. He wants a projector, a screen, and an audio system so awesome that when his friends are watching the Super Bowl, they feel like they have sideline seats. 

But life happens, and Chris found out that he and his wife are expecting another baby. Congrats on that! However, Chris is now trying to find ways to cut his original $20,000 budget in half.

Not wanting to sacrifice screen size, he started looking for cheaper audio options. After shopping around, Chris informed me that the system we designed together was going to cost too much, and that he’d found a soundbar system that would fit his new budget better. I knew that this would ruin his awesome theater experience because the soundbar would lack the power and flexibility he was looking for. We talked some more and I was able to get Chris into a receiver-based system that gave him plenty of power and over 80% of what the original $20,000 system had for the same price as the sound bar he was looking at.

At WAV&S we know our products. We go through over 48 hours of manufacturer training each year, in addition to constantly testing products ourselves. We know the specs and features of all types of electronics, so we’re great at geting you what you want while staying within your budget. If you need some product advice, give us a call at (404) 483-1834 or click on the box at the bottom left of your screen for an instant live chat.

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.

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.

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.