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Smart Living Journal

Connect with your music like never before with Cambridge Audio's Network Music Player (NP30)

Good things come in small packages. The Cambridge Audio NP30 all-in-one network audio player however isn't just good: it's an amazing sounding, brilliantly versatile, very compact and, of course, a perfect example of what contemporary music in the home is all about. Music downloads, high-resolution music files, internet radio, network music, UPnP servers, iPod/MP3 players, USB Music, Wi-Fi streaming - everything that the new era of music delivery can throw at it, the NP30 can play.

Network music players are fast replacing CD players at the heart of many hi-fi systems.


The Growing Trend of Hidden Electronics

It is quite common for our customers to search for ways to seamlessly integrate their entertainment systems and electronic devices with the décor of their homes. Their ultimate goal is to preserve the beauty of their interior design, while essentially hiding the ugly side of technology such as wiring, speakers, and bulky consoles. Thus, they challenge our team at Digital Smart Homes to develop an action plan for making their dreams a reality. This post is designated to help you make the best decisions possible on building your dream design/technology scenario.

Hidden, yet Frequently Used
Many homeowners who frequently enjoy the best audio, video, and control gear assume that they are stuck with having to constantly behold the many wires and ugly parts that come with their beloved electronics. They often dream of having a beautiful home environment, but since they often utilize their high-tech devices, they feel they need to settle for obvious and cluttered.

If you are in this boat, you may be thrilled to learn there are some great hidden installation techniques available today, including:

  • Hanging flat-panel video displays, minus the wires. Flat-panel mounts are getting better every day, and some even come with motorized features for ease-of-use. In an effort to hide cables, some systems come with in-arm cable channels for concealment, while others allow for small devices and cords to be stored behind the display. There are several types of mounts that should be considered depending on your particular need. They can include everything from flat mounts, to those that tilt or articulate for optimum viewing pleasure.

  • Seeking simplicity in the bedroom? You can implement an under-the-bed mount that pops out and up with the touch of a button. Once brought out into the open, these mounts can swivel up to 360 degrees for comfortable viewing.

  • TV mirrors for hiding LCDs. It is becoming increasingly popular to use TV mirrors to hide TVs that sit over fireplaces or in other strategic spots. When powered off, some LCD screen options vanish and appear as decorative mirrors. Others are motorized, descending and ascending with the push of a remote button.
  • Art screens for TVs like no other. Homeowners can have their favourite art reproduced or choose from other existing artwork to cover up their TVS. The artwork ascends or descends with the command of a remote.

  • Invisible installations utilizing wireless multimedia kits. For those looking to control all AV devices with a single remote or an iPad and keep all components hidden within a cupboard or closet, there are some great solutions from Control4 and Harmony Remotes.

  • Hidden speakers for amazing sound. Today’s most innovative speaker systems offer architectural models that are quite aesthetically pleasing. Some appear as shadows that are barely noticeable, others are actually built into the wall and blend in beautifully. The sound that is pumped out of these hidden speakers is quite amazing.
No matter what your needs, there is a hidden electronics solution for you. All it takes is a little imagination and knowledge of the current products on the market and you’re set!

The Value of Independent Smart Technology Providers

A growing number of consumers are realizing the true value of employing independent providers of smart technologies over big box suppliers such as Best Buy, Future Shop, Wal-Mart, and Costco. Among Vancouver, British Columbia’s most innovative independent providers is my company Digital Smart Homes. Our rapidly growing customer base relies on its highly personalized and innovative approach to developing out-of-the-box solutions for making homes and businesses more comfortable, entertaining, secure, and manageable.

For instance with a single touch of a button, Digital Smart Home customers can transform their TV room into a home theatre. As a movie begins, room lights can automatically dim, window shades close, and the surround sound ignite. While engaged in the movie, all watchers can be rest assured that after sunset pre-programmed technology will bring the porch lights to life, and at 10pm (or any other designated time) all door locks are automatically secured. While most mass retailers can offer less expensive, installation-ready product options, independent providers are growing in popularity for a number of reasons including the following:

  • Fully Customized Product Offerings – For homeowners searching for a purely unique smart home or office technology setup, big box retailers many times can’t compete with the personalized touch of an independent provider. For example, Digital Smart Homes works with each customer individually to develop solutions with niche products that aren’t always available on a mass level. Most customers who invest in such solutions are more concerned with quality than they are with finding the least expensive wares.

  • Masters at Making Various Technologies Work Together for Best Results – Independent providers work to combine technologies so that they work in concert with one another. Digital Smart’s Control4 system combines home theatre, multi-room music, lighting, temperature, and safety & security systems into a single easy-to-use platform. No longer do families have to struggle with numerous controllers and devices that require hours of training and research, and pre-programming capabilities can meet their unique demands.

  • Unparalleled Expertise & Trouble Shooting – Mass retailers tend to know a little about numerous product categories, while independent shops are experts in everything “smart.” There have been many reports of leading mass merchants employing newbies to technology who have been responsible for lacklustre solutions and disastrous installations.

On the other hand, the average independent provider offers between 20-30 years of combined experience and immense knowledge of their product offerings. Additionally, their teams engage in customized installations, educate their customers on all employed technologies, and make house calls on short notice.

When searching for a provider, a homeowner should make a checklist of key technologies needed to be enhanced, linked together, and simplified. Additionally, it is recommended that consumers be aware of “out of trunk” businesses that offer products and services at discounted rates. Businesses with a storefront such as Digital Smart Homes offer legitimacy and guarantees that cannot be offered by online only or mobile businesses.

Today’s smart technologies are constantly evolving and forever changing the way home and business owners are conducting their daily lives. With a little imagination and unlimited innovation, the sky is the limit!

Chief Introduces Mounting Solutions for Floor Projections

Supporting projection equipment for interactive floor installations can be challenging without the right mount. Fortunately, Chief's industry-leading RPA projector mount is easily converted to a floor projection solution when combined with a few standard accessories.

Download the flyer at left to learn more.

NEW Ultimate Powerhouse Amplifier from Chord Electronics

SPM5000, Chord
The heart of any amplifier is the power supply. In the new SPM 5000 the power reserve has been doubled to include two of Chord's world renowned 4KW ultra high frequency power supplies.

The fully balanced SPM 5000 comfortably delivers 560 watts into 8 ohms and a heart-stopping 1,020 watts into 4 ohms with incredibly low distortion.

A large bank of energy storage capacitors are recharged by the power supply many thousands of times per second. This and Chord's innovative dynamic coupling design give the amplifier huge power reserves and the ability to respond effortlessly to the most demanding musical performances with instantaneous power.
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