Innovations in technology are rapidly changing the way we live and interact with electronic devices. Smart technologies can enhance comfort, security, and sustainability, and allow you to control all sorts of devices in your home—your TV, stereo, lighting, alarms, air conditioning, and even your coffee machine.
Here are five types of audio visual equipment that will take the phrase “there’s no place like home” to the next level!
1. Home entertainment
For many homeowners, the appeal of home entertainment systems is their ability to be automated—both sound and screen.
Whether you’re unwinding with some classic favourites or getting the party started, the ability to access your music is easily done by grouping Wi-Fi and smart speakers together or using them individually.
Connected speakers can be controlled from apps on your tablet or mobile, or with smart assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google. They can be used to play radio, music, podcasts and audiobooks. Some can even allow you to enjoy different playlists in multiple rooms and automate your routines by setting musical prompts and alarms throughout the day. Forget that annoying alarm and wake up to your favourite tune instead!
Many modern TVs have built-in smart features that allow you to stream media from your computer to your TV, over your home’s Wi-Fi network. The device makes a one-to-one network connection, so you can watch whatever is playing on your smartphone while it’s in your pocket!
Smart TVs also allow you to watch programs via downloaded apps (for example, Stan, Netflix and ABC iView), as opposed to buying an additional device like a Blu-Ray player or Apple TV. They also automatically apply system and security updates, which will improve your TV’s features and performance. Combine this with a compatible smart assistant, and you can even control your TV with your voice!
2. Home theatres
The jewel in the crown of home audio visual equipment, home theatres combine the latest in sound and display technology. Whether you’re after a dedicated home theatre or an extension to a living area, smart technologies enable features to be activated with the press of a button, creating a wonderful user experience where entertainment couldn’t be easier.
The audio setup of a home theatre system is usually one of two configurations — they either have a soundbar (a sleek bar with the speakers built-in) or they’re an all-in-one system (that typically includes an amplifier, subwoofer and surround sound speakers).
Surround sound technologies analyse the room’s acoustics and adjust the system accordingly, to best showcase the movies and music being played. AV receivers can also minimise distortion, and some speakers also have low range enhancement technology that restores the quality of compressed music.
Many smart home systems also offer excellent connectivity for games consoles, online streaming and smartphone features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. They can also be wonderfully automated—simply press “watch movie” and watch as surround sound is activated, the lights dim and the projector screen descends!
There are generally two types of home theatres:
Dedicated home theatres
There is nothing quite like a dedicated room for watching an Oscar-winning movie, or the latest TV series that everyone is talking about. A well-designed system offers superior picture and sound quality (via smart speakers, flat panels, screens, and projectors), and when combined with the right seating, lighting and acoustics, you can experience the ultimate in comfort and entertainment.
Living space entertainment
While a dedicated home theatre room is the ultimate in luxury, for most people their home theatre needs must integrate with the rest of their living spaces—whether a spare room, living room, or even a garage! For the best-looking system, consider wall-mounting a larger screen if space is limited, and hide audio visual equipment discreetly away behind walls or on dedicated shelving so that it blends into your existing furniture.
3. Home conferencing
Audio visual equipment can be used for more than just entertainment. If you work from home, quality conferencing technology and equipment is a must. For the ultimate set-up you’ll need:
Many desktops and laptops these days come with built-in webcams that simply require the download of a conferencing app for you to connect with colleagues. However, another alternative is to invest in an external webcam with at least 720p resolution and a quality lens.
Although some webcams feature built-in microphones, external directional microphones are great for reducing ambient noise. If they have a USB connection, they will also help you avoid the hassle of a complex audio set-up.
Noise-cancelling headphones allow you to reduce background noise, including rowdy children, barking dogs, traffic noise, and over-exuberant neighbours who love gardening and/or power tools.
An ergonomic mouse and keyboard will enhance not just your comfort levels, they are easy-to-use and will allow you to take notes like a boss!
An easy way to enhance your video conferencing set-up, LED lighting enables you to adjust the brightness level, and make a big difference to your video quality and webcam images.
4. Home automation
Smart technologies such as automation, apps and smart assistants are also revolutionising the ways our homes and gadgets operate. Voice-controlled systems enable you to manage schedules, set reminders, and request information like traffic conditions and weather forecasts. Other areas of innovation include:
Smart LED lighting systems are vital for safety, illumination and energy conservation. However, dynamic lighting can also switch up the entire mood of your home, via touchscreens, mobile devices, and even simple voice commands. Interior and exterior lights can automate lighting colour and configurations, backlit TVs can enhance the viewing experience, and smart sensors can strike an optimal balance between powered lighting and natural daylight.
Smart appliances like ovens, washing machines and microwaves can send alerts to your mobile when your dinner is ready, or the washing is done. Some smart fridges include internet-connected touchscreens, and others even include internal cameras to alert you to dilemmas like if you’ve run out of milk. Smart switches also allow you to turn devices off or on from your phone—handy if you’ve arrived at work and realise you’ve left the iron on!
Smart air conditioning systems don’t just allow you to turn them on and off remotely—they go one better! They also allow you to control temperatures, set timers, and even allow you to heat or cool different zones and rooms for energy efficiency. And if you hate coming home to a hot house in summer, you can set your air conditioning remotely as you’re leaving work, and arrive home to a space that’s perfectly cooled.
5. Home security
Modern technologies can enhance your property’s security, and provide peace of mind. Smartphones can be connected to intercoms, audio visual equipment like CCTV cameras, and even biometric scanners, which will allow you to monitor activity outside the house. You can set up a live feed, so you know who to expect when you answer the door, and use an app or voice command to prevent or allow people from entering.
If you’re away for a longer period, notifications can also be set alerting you if doors or windows have been left open, and smart locks can be used to set time-limited “keys,” giving cleaners or house sitters access.
If you’d like a smart audio visual setup for your home, we can help. Contact us for a chat.
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