An entertainment system used to consist of a TV, DVD player, several remotes and a pair of speakers. Today’s homes, however, are “moving toward a pared down, streamlined system that goes beyond music and TV,” says Michael Alan Burton, president of Audiotronics, Inc., a full-service residential audio, cinema and home integration firm based in Norwalk. “The latest trend in entertainment involves a smart-home interface from which you can control any system with one user-friendly controller,” he explains. Here’s how to get your home updated and upgraded.
SCREEN TO GRAB
For those who always have to have the latest and greatest gadget, Planar’s 98-inch ultra “high-def” TV allows you to view your favorite show in the highest resolution available or simultaneously tune into four different shows.
Crestron or Control 4 are popular choices for centralized control processors that consolidate all home systems into one device. Using a handheld remote, smartphone, tablet, or touch panel on the wall, you can program various “scenes” that set the mood with the push of a button. Opening your garage door, for example, may trigger a series of responses: Lights will illuminate your pathway; the heat will turn on; and the TV will tune into SportsCenter.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
People are going back to an emphasis on music and sound quality. Many streaming music providers such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music offer high-resolution music content, and most in-wall or in-ceiling home speakers have received a sound upgrade, too.
Some old-school consumers still opt for conventional box speakers. The good news is the modern models not only sound great, but look better than ever. These design-influenced accessories come in a range of colors, sizes and styles. Among those that are “like art,” according to Burton, are Focal’s Sopra Loudspeakers and KEF’s high-fidelity LS50, Muon and Blade designs.
with a Room With a View Home theaters are still very of-the-moment, and “with the proper mix of systems, we can deliver an experience that’s better than a real cinema,” says Burton. Special screens now allow viewers to watch movies in their wide-screen, Director’s Cut format. As for seats, the most popular are incliners, which recline while taking up minimal space.