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Bringing Entertainment Home: The Evolution of Home Theaters

Sometimes, you just have to lay back in the comfortable bliss of your home theater space and feel grateful you’re living in the future. In general, home media hasn’t existed in the way that we enjoy it for very long. In fact, for some of us, our youths were full of drive-in theaters or late-night broadcasts as the only way to enjoy timeless flicks again and again.

From the fuzzy pictures of black-and-white television to our ultra-realistic 8K experiences powered by voice command, home entertainment looks a lot different these days. Let’s step back in time and take a look at how our modern entertainment options came to be.

The black and white TV era

After World War II and the Great Depression, the population in the United States shifted quickly away from urban centers. Before these turbulent times, theatres that previously housed vaudeville or newly constructed cinemas screened movies during the golden age of Hollywood. However, between 1947 and 1953, as people settled into suburban life far away from city downtowns, families started looking to home entertainment over nights out at the movies.

In 1928, black and white television began its broadcast, though it wasn’t truly commercially viable until 1938.

Color television brings movies home

In 1954, color television began broadcasting but it wasn’t accepted as a standard for quite some time. The original national standard, an RCA set with a CBS picture tube, wasn’t compatible with previously existing TVs. This set was costly to purchase and maintain for potential television viewers and since there wasn’t a mass acceptance of color broadcast yet, hardly any shows or programs were created for it.

After RCA created their own color system compatible with existing RCA television sets later in 1954, there was a more cost-effective option for the average household. However, it wasn’t until about 1966 that color TV was truly popularized.

In September 1961, an exciting milestone for home theaters was hit—somewhat recent movies were finally viewable at home thanks to the premiere of NBC Saturday Night at the Movies.  Prior to its release, the only films showed on TV tended to be older and low budget. Even with the popularization of color broadcast, most of the films shown were from the black and white era.

NBC Saturday Night at the Movies was a pioneer with many copycat shows on other networks premiering. These broadcasts proved popular and led to the creation of the “made for TV movie.”

The rise of physical media

Most of us are familiar with VCRs, but how did folks enjoy movies at home before they were invented? Well, for the average person, they simply caught re-runs of old flicks either on TV broadcasts or at their local drive-in.

Some households owned reel-to-reel projectors to run movie films, but these machines were huge and expensive, so you tended to see them more in public settings, schools, or institutions.

Videocassettes truly changed the game for enjoying media at home. Betamax and VHS clashed in the mid-70s in a format war for media dominance. Though Betamax offered higher quality, VHS was more affordable and won out.

Videocassettes allowed people of all income classes to own copies of their favorite movies at home, as well as record television broadcasts directly through their VCR. Some grew their videotape collection to an impressive scale, while others chose to frequent their local video rental store for their movie fix.

Though less prominent, most home cinema aficionados in the 1990s wouldn’t necessarily reach for VHS first. LaserDisc players allowed for crisp, clear video and high-quality audio, though the format wasn’t loved by the general public.

In fact, VHS stayed prominent as the main format for home video until the early 2000s when DVD began to see mass acceptance. While DVDs first hit the market in 1997, it wasn’t until 2008 that these discs had fully replaced video cassette tapes.

Another format war around this time took place between Blu-ray and HD DVD, with Blu-ray coming out on top as the preferred high-definition home video format. It continues to be the choice format for those who prefer to own physical media.

Of course, as we approach today, we’re all pretty keenly aware that some of us still prize our physical media collections. Blu-ray discs, especially those in ultra 4k, are the best on the market for modern televisions. Those who prefer to keep things minimal now get their media online, particularly using streaming services like Netflix and Disney+.

Bigger, lighter, smarter TVs

The 1990s saw huge demand for bigger and better TVs in the living room and home theater setups of everyday folks, though large TVs were certainly around as a luxury item in the 1980s. These CRT TVs were huge and extremely heavy.

Right as we entered the 21st century, however, TVs started to change dramatically. Relatively inexpensive plasma TVs were the first wide-scale flat-screen TVs with sizes up to 50 inches and LCD TVs soon followed maxing out at about 30 inches.

Eventually, the technology around LCD flat screens improved to the point that by 2006, there was little-to-no difference in price. Plasma TVs tried to compete by making screens that were even larger but LCD screens were brighter, more efficient, and thinner.

Today, we’re seeing home video displays that are thinner and some displays are even modular, allowing for a home theater experience that takes up entire walls if you desire. Beautiful displays using MicroLED technology can bring the movie theater home with beautiful picture quality, rich blacks, and high brightness without burn-in.

Also, instead of simple remotes from television past, TVs are incredibly smart now. Depending on the system, your TV can connect to your smart home setup, your cell phone, and access the internet for streaming music and video options.

Bringing cinema scores home

A home theater system isn’t complete without the booming sound experience of the movies. During the 80s and 90s, when the home theater movement truly took root, quality audio equipment was huge and heavy. Components stereo systems combined graced living rooms to give the family control of not only television audio, but also fed speakers sound from all sorts of audio formats: CDs, cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and vinyl records, just to name a few.

As time has moved on, home audio systems have slimmed down, simplified, and gotten as smart as their TV brethren.

The home theater of 2021 is truly a modern marvel. The next time you kick back to relax with your favorite flick before you tell your smart home system to dim the lights, take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come with home entertainment technology. We’re finally at a point where the home experience can rival the visual marvel and booming audio of the movie theater.

Ready to build a home theater of your own? We can help. The knowledgeable staff at SCS are ready to help every step of the way, from selecting your perfect display to crafting an unforgettable audio setup. Visit our showroom or contact us to get started on your next project!

5 Tips to Perfect Your Spring Entertaining

Spring is in the air. It seems like after the winter holidays, the long isolating winter really turns into a grind. By this time of year, most of us are gearing up for sunny days, vacations and dreaming of summer fun. With COVID-19 vaccinations underway, some of our friends and loved ones are ready to meet up after a long time apart. As the vaccines continue, you may be ready to throw your first small party indoors but don’t forget those who aren’t yet eligible for their shots may be safer in outdoor settings.

With all that in mind, let’s get your spaces prepped and parties planned for your first exciting foray into entertaining for the year.

Tip 1: Start with a little spring maintenance

It’s easy to get complacent with a little more mess and a little less maintenance in winter. Your home automation system is a great resource to encourage you to keep up on occasional and annual tasks. Set an automated schedule to remind you of important chores like cleaning your central vacuum system, clearing out the gutters, or scrubbing the grill.

With extended daylight, you’ll also want to adjust your lighting to fit the new season. One great way to do this is to set up your automated lighting system is to adjust your light scenes to fade in and out with the sunrise and sunset.

Tip 2: Give your spaces some color

Once your living spaces are ready to go, why not give them a little upgrade? Your home theater, living room, or centralized kitchen can benefit from splashes of blossom shades. Use peel-and-stick temporary wallpaper to give your entertaining space a seasonally appropriate or floral hue. Match it with some vibrant throw pillow colors and rainbow drinkware for a fun space fit for celebrating spring.

To kick it up a notch, many automated lighting systems feature colored lights. Have fun creating a unique lighting mood and color palette for your next party or just a night at home.

Tip 3: Light up the grill for an early-season BBQ

No matter what anyone tells you if it’s warm out, it’s grilling time. Give your grill an annual scrub and break it out for a much-needed early spring BBQ. Invite your guests to join you on your patio for afternoon drinks and eats.

Outdoor speakers are the perfect addition to any outdoor entertaining setting. Use your speakers to kick up the jams or play some lively, spring-themed ambient noise with soft lo-fi for a more relaxing approach.

Tip 4: Delight the kids with an outdoor Easter party

Easter is near and with it comes colorful candy, Easter dresses, and hunts for treat-filled plastic eggs. Host your neighbors or family for a festive Easter egg hunt in your backyard.

Make the day extra special by using your short-throw projector to show fun Easter favorites like Peter Rabbit or It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown on an outdoor screen. Lay out picnic blankets and let the kiddos enjoy the show and their candy while the parents kick back and relax.

Tip 5: Throw a spring movie party with popcorn that makes a statement

Spring isn’t always beautiful sunny days. When there is a surprise burst of winter weather or rain drowns your plans, don’t dismay. Take the party indoors with a spring movie party.

Let your guests enjoy your home entertainment system with fun and uplifting spring movies like Eat Pray Love or The Secret Garden. With a front-row seat and a large screen, the beautiful spring blooms will come to life for you and your guests.

With your guests nestled in, you can wow them with bowls of easy salty and sweet popcorn that are sure to make a statement.

 

Sweet and Salty Candy Popcorn Recipe

8 Cups of Fresh Popcorn, salted and buttered

1 Cup chocolate covered peanuts

1 Cup of mini pretzels

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups minis

After salting and buttering your fresh popcorn, place it in a large mixing bowl. Combine the chocolate covered peanuts, mini pretzels, white chocolate chips, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis into the bowl with the popcorn. Gently mix and serve.

 

Spring is an exciting time of year when the weather is mild, the flowers are in bloom and now that vaccinations are underway, your friends and family will soon be ready to socialize. After a long time apart, fun small gatherings with family and close friends are quickly becoming reality. While the projected openness of summer is a bit away, you can still have fun this spring with the right company.

 

 

How to host the ultimate themed movie party for your family or COVID pod

Movie nights have become the norm in these unique times. With theaters closed and our social bubbles kept small, gathering around some flicks is a fun and socially distant way to spend time with your family or COVID-pod.

Realistically, we’re all itching for a little excitement. Sometimes the best things to celebrate are simply the ones that make us happy—and nothing says happy like a movie marathon party.

Your home theater might be the envy of the block, but imagine it decked out in slick decoration, themed food and family or close friends.

We have a few ideas to get the wheel turning. Your weekend plans are just about to get a whole lot more festive.

Host a themed Harry Potter movie marathon

Don your wizard robes and whisk the family’s imagination straight to Hogwarts. Harry Potter is beloved by everyone from the young to the young-at-heart. The theming of these movies is cohesive and rich, which makes pulling elements for your party all the more fun.

Get your hands on some hand-held battery-powered candles and hang them from the ceiling to create the ultimate wizardry ambiance. Decorate with the crests of each Hogwarts house on the walls and themed coloring with streamers or door tinsel.

If you’d like to get even more hands-on, have fun crafting wands from chopsticks, hot glue, and paint with the kids, so everyone can have a turn trying to conjure up their Patronus.

Before the movie begins, whip out a large hat to “sort” everyone into their respective houses and dish out store-bought or homemade butterbeer, made with cream soda mixed with caramel and butter extract, for refreshments.

For added fun between movies, sprinkle in some Harry Potter trivia or a costume contest to make a night that can’t be beat.

Ultimate Galentine’s or Lady’s Night Movie Party

When it comes to lady’s night, three ingredients come to mind: aesthetics, self-care, and only the finest of rom-com. Don your comfiest robes and settle in for a night of pampering and laughs with your life’s favorite gals.

Have fun with decorating your home theater to maximum levels of Instagram-worthy looks and treats. Buy colorful popcorn boxes and fill them with delectable custom-flavored popcorn and break out the mason jars with coordinated straws, filled to the brim with fruity cocktails. Deck out your space with metallic letter balloons, flower garland, and fuzzy blankets for a cozy and fun atmosphere.

Make the evening even better by mixing in a little self-care. Disposable face masks can add a young and healthy glow to your skin while kicking back and relaxing. Grab a manicure kit and have fun painting and decorating your nails while chatting the night away.

Of course, this night isn’t complete without a selection of modern and classic rom-com. We recommend:

  • Always Be My Maybe (2019)
  • When Harry met Sally (1989)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
  • The Big Sick (2017)
  • 50 First Dates (2004)

The Heroic Marvel Movie Marathon

First of all, when we’re talking about Marvel movies, it’s best not to attempt to watch them all. Otherwise, you’re looking at a 50-hour marathon! It’s best to pick a theme, like all of the Iron Man movies or all of a particular phase of movies. That part is up to you!

Your space can quickly turn into a heroic hideaway with movie posters and toy weapons donning the walls. Paint paper lanterns to resemble movie iconographies, like Iron Man’s mask or the Avengers’ logo. If you’re feeling particularly spicy and want to horrify your favorite nerd, fill apothecary jars with fine grey sand and cheekily label them with certain character’s names. (Those who get it will get it.)

A marathon of heroes deserves heroic snacks. If shawarma is available in your area, that’s a deliciously not-so-subtle nod to the first Avengers movie. If not, gyros will be a fine substitute.

If you’re feeling creative, use cheese or Rice Krispies to craft treats in the shape of Thor’s hammer Mjolner or lovingly arrange a charcuterie tray into Cap’s shield.

The possibilities, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are pretty much endless.

Disney Princess Movie Party

Hear ye, hear ye, you are cordially invited to a princess party. All members of the royal family must don their fanciest of wear—we’re talking poofy dresses and princely suits. Break out the tiaras and costume jewelry or dedicate a portion of the evening to playing with acrylic stones and craft foam to make your own.

A princess party needs a décor fit for a queen (I mean, there will certainly be at least one Elsa in the bunch), so decorate in rich reds and pinks and throw in a cardboard stand-up princess for good measure.

This kind of party is a great way to not only bond with the sweet kiddos in your life but engage in some learning along the way. Disney princesses hail from far-off kingdoms not only in Europe but around the world. Use this as an opportunity to teach cultural awareness and learn about other countries’ foods. For example, order Chinese dumplings or traditional Chinese dishes while watching Mulan; try a Kringle, popular in Scandinavia if you partake in Frozen; or order in some spicy cajun food complete with pillowy beignets for the Princess and the Frog.

Your home theater is more than just a place to watch movies, it’s a gathering place to make lasting memories. Connect with your friends, family, and loved ones in your home or COVID pod to make your time indoors a total blast.

If you’re dreaming of a home theater system fit for royalty, SCS Entertainment can make it happen. Our team of experts will custom design the perfect entertainment or smart home solution to fit your family’s needs.

Control Your Home From Your Fingertips

The Most Exciting Smart Home Trends for 2021

Many of us have embraced at least a little bit of smart home technology in our lives. Maybe you like the convenience of one or two connected devices, like a single home assistant or an internet-powered security system.

In 2021, however, maybe it’s time to take things a step further through deeper smart technology integration and automation. The opportunities are endless to customize your home to perfectly match your desired levels of comfort, convenience, and connectivity.

Smart Home Automation

The biggest emerging trend in 2021 has to be smart home automation. While many of us use at least one smart device, we aren’t using them to their full potential. Automation can be as simple as setting up your devices to work on voice commands from your phone or hub or more complex.

For example, if your home has a smart thermostat, lights, and locks, profiles could be created to set your home to the ideal away temperature, ensure lights are off, and doors are locked when you leave home for work. When you return, your home could already be heated to the perfect temperature and lights will be on to greet you just as your door unlocks.

Another option is using your smart lighting system to create the ideal light environments for sleep and waking. Set your lights to slowly dim in the evening and wake you with a gentle sunrise in the morning.

The possibilities for smart home automation ideas are endless. With a tick of a clock or the touch of a button, your music, media, room temperature, and lights can all be switched to your preferred setting. Just imagine, if you can dream it up and have devices to support it, it can probably be automated.

Home Security

We spent a lot of time at home in 2020. As much of the workforce returns to their offices in the spring of 2021, it’s important to start thinking seriously about protecting your home and investments. Smart home security systems aren’t new, but there are important features beyond simple cameras and phone-activated doorbells that can enhance home safety.

In 2021, we expect to see more security systems featuring facial and voice recognition to allow the system to identify household members and dissuade intruders. Another major upgrade we expect to see in home security is updated cybersecurity. After all, our home automation and security systems are connected to our personal networks and record our comings and goings. This type of information could be highly desirable to certain criminals and must be kept safe.

Localized Home Zones

A home zone can be as small as a room or as large as the majority of the house. These zones define certain smart features that can be activated or deactivated in certain areas. An example of this would be if you have a smart thermostat with zone capabilities. In the winter, the majority of the house could be set to one zone, while bedrooms could be set to another. This would allow you to keep the house cold when not in use and the bedrooms comfortably toasty, then reverse it when you are up for the day.

Zones allow smart home owners to lower their utility costs and reduce energy waste while creating comfortable environments tailored to the person in them.

Stylish Smart Home Accessories

Many smart home devices came onto the market prioritizing functionality over form. Most sported the same clean white aesthetic, which is somewhat appealing to minimalists but sticks out sorely in many home color schemes.

Smart devices are looking to blend into your home further, now coming in attractive colors, shapes, and patterns to best fit your personal style.

Smart shades and lighting

Smart lighting has gained a lot of traction in recent years and was one smart device that gained a lot of early adopters. When you include smart shades into the mix, however, you get a fully customizable ambiance. Raise shades and lower shades while simultaneously adjusting your overhead lights to the perfect level without ever leaving your seat using smart home hubs or automation. These combinations, especially when set up in home zones, can save utility money while providing a comfortable atmosphere for any situation.

In 2021, your smart house can integrate with your daily life even more. As you embrace automation, your connected devices will help make comfort, aesthetic, and safety nearly effortless.

A bigger focus on the IoT (Internet of Things)

On a base level, most of us understand what the internet is. If you think about it, until recently, it was only us using computers or mobile devices to access it. Well, as smart homes, cars, and devices have hit the market with WiFi connectivity, there are a lot more devices connected and sharing data on the internet.

This network of devices, from complicated ones like self-driving cars to a humble Wifi-enabled microwave, are all part of what is called the IoT.

As the Internet of Things matures, we’ll see more smart devices learning our daily routines without having to tell them through voice, button, or time commands. Instead, they’ll respond to other aspects, like the atmosphere and our daily life actions. Doors could potentially unlock when they recognize our faces, our blinds could lower when we queue up a movie, or our thermostat could make the room more comfortable while exercising.

Privacy from Big Tech

While the safety of your family from intruders is a real concern, there is also the issue of protecting your private data. Many smart hubs are currently manufactured by industry tech giants that profit off of advertising data. While this data creates an internet where advertising is finely tailored to you, many of us value our personal privacy and life data and don’t want it shared with advertisers.

At SCS Home Entertainment, we offer a unique smart home system that offers cutting edge AI and smart home automation without selling your data. Josh.ai is a powerful solution that can manage all aspects of your connected home through natural language and pattern learning, with your data only being used to improve your experience—never to be sold to advertisers.

If you’re ready to give your home a smart upgrade, we can help. At SCS Home Entertainment, our knowledgeable staff can help you every step of the way—from selecting the right smart devices for your home to expertly installing and automating your home zones.

It’s the future. We’re here to help you embrace it.

Smart Gifts For Smart People

Holiday Gift Tips: Shop Smarter Not Harder

Some of us are well-prepared to be the Ultimate Technology Gift Giver. You know the type—the expert who fights crowds to grab the latest tech trend (and all of its various connectors or controllers) before they dive into installation like an old pro.

But for the rest of us in all the excitement of holiday gift-giving, we tend to forget just what an undertaking setting up our sound system or home theater can be. This year let’s avoid the hassle of untangling yourself from the mess left behind in an inexperienced installer’s wake (we’re looking at you, big box guys).

Make your holiday surprise easy by thinking local. Avoid the crowds and spend time working with actual product experts who can ensure your new toy will work with your setup and aesthetics, then dispatch expert installers out to get the job done right. No untangling required.

Still, looking for ideas on what tech gifts to give? Here’s a bit of inspiration to get you started.

Smart home setups for the homeowner

Control of your own space is surprisingly liberating. Smart home setups can give your loved one the safety and peace of mind of a security system, along with the convenience of a connected environment. Lights, thermostats, security cameras, appliances can all be controlled using the seemingly endless possibilities available with smart home systems. Nothing says holiday cheer like a home of the future.

Connectivity possibilities: The possibilities are endless. Control lights, media, appliances, smart shades, and more with the touch of a button. Smart homes seem effortless, but there is an extensive amount of setup involved. From installing the apps, setting up hubs, to finding the right connected equipment, a guide is best when giving your home an intelligence boost.

Big screen TV for the sports fan

As football season gets to the playoffs, you don’t want to miss a moment. The larger your TV, the closer you are to the action, provided your resolution is high enough. Shoot for 8K Ultra High Definition to maximize the beauty and longevity of your display. Some brave the bitter cold to be in the stands, but you can get the same experience at home without freezing your tail off. Grab a beer and kick back in your personal front row seat.

Connectivity possibilities: With newer TVs, the possibilities are limitless. You’ll of course want to connect it to any media devices and audio setup, but also consider connecting it to your smart home system, cell phone, or computer for extra fun.

Projectors or outdoor TV for the backyard entertainer

In 2020, entertaining at home took a totally different turn. What used to be movie nights and Netflix binges in the comfort of your home theater turned into outdoor dinner parties in an instant. A great way to bring the movie magic with you no matter where you are—inside, outside, or even your Man Cave or She Shack—is through a short-throw projector. For a more permanent solution, consider making your patio or backyard into a staycation retreat with a watertight outdoor TV.

To really bring the magic to your outdoor entertainment system, outdoor speakers can bring premium sound while blending in beautifully with your landscaping vibes.

Connectivity possibilities: Since most projectors don’t come with built-in speakers and no one wants to use the built-in speakers on a TV, you’ll want a portable audio solution or an outdoor speaker setup for enriched sound.

Home networking for the young family

Between you and your family, how many devices do you have floating around? Cell phones, tablets, printers, computers, smart devices, security systems—there’s a lot to juggle. By giving your home a WiFi boost with access points and following it with a home networking system, we can create a secure network that utilizes and protects all of your gadgets seamlessly.

Connectivity possibilities: Relatively endless. If you have multiple devices on your network, connectivity can be the key to seamless functionality and fun.

Soundbars for the home audio minimalist

Wireless soundbars are often underestimated, but many offer a clean aesthetic in any room with enhanced sound capabilities. Soundbars are perfect for rooms with a chic design or to incorporate with an already robust sound system.

Connectivity possibilities: Wireless soundbars can work with your current sound setup or solo with your television, computer, or smart devices.

Pool and game tables for the not-so-tech-savvy

Some people prefer to be a little more analog, and that’s ok. Home entertainment doesn’t just include televisions or media centers. Consider a game room outfitted with premium foosball or pool tables. Fun for the whole family with nary a wire in sight.

Connectivity possibilities: While these gifts avoid the general issues of connectivity, a home entertainment expert can help you pick out the right style and look for you or your loved one’s game room setup.

At SCS Home Entertainment, our staff are experts in audio and visual technologies. We can help you select the perfect gift for your home. Our experienced installers are experts at what they do. They will install your new home entertainment system to its fullest potential, ensuring it looks great, sounds great, and lives up to its premium possibilities.

So, this year let’s skip the cramped aisles and disinterested sales folks of the bigger chains. We may not be elves, but our helpers are ready to make Christmas dreams come true.

2021 Home Theater Trends

Home Theater Trends for 2021

With many movie theaters’ doors staying closed, home theaters are becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy the luxuries of the movies from the comfort of your home.

As more people than ever invest in their entertainment spaces, new trends are also arising. Keep your home theater ahead of the curve as you update your entertainment room to provide a space for making lasting memories with your family and friends.

Home Theaters Used for Multiple Purposes

When home theaters first began to grow in popularity, they were typically made into miniature versions of actual movie theaters with stadium seating, dark lighting, and a big screen on the wall.

These are still common today, but many people opt to create a space that is more multi-functional. Instead of only being able to use the space to watch movies, new entertainment spaces are intentionally built to offer something for each member of the family.

They can be used for the original purpose to provide endless movie nights and host watch parties for the Superbowl or season premiere of The Bachelor. But they can also be used to play video games, listen to music, or even to follow home workouts and yoga videos.

Customized Screens for Your Space

Screens are bigger and brighter than ever before. There are a variety of types and sizes of screens to make your space unique.

Ultra-short-throw projectors can create a very large image on a screen or wall from a short distance. They are affordable options that offer the flexibility to easily be moved around for a variety of activities. These great for a multipurpose room because you can easily change the size and shape of the screen depending on its intended use.

Add even more flexibility to your setup with a combination of flat panel screens. These come in a variety of prices and sizes to customize your wall display or use it as a drop-down. You can also combine these displays to create a multi-functional space.

Combine your screens with control equipment to customize your entertainment experience at the touch of a button.

Updating to 8K Resolution

Along with the size and type of screen, another rising trend in home theaters is = full ultra-high definition resolution. 4K screens have recently become the industry standard, but 8k is now the most up to date version.

8K screens offer a higher level of PPI with a crisper and smoother display. 4K screens will quickly be switched out for 8K so as you update or install a home theater, look ahead to the digital future to stay up to date as streaming services quickly transfer over to this.

Instead of investing your money in older technology and updating later, you can save time and money in the long run. Investing in the most up to date technology will also provide you with premium resolution and elevate your viewing experience.

New Surround Sound Equipment

Sound helps create the immersive experience you expect from a movie theater, so many people are choosing to invest in soundbars and surround sound. New sound equipment can connect to devices, wi-fi, and voice control to make all of your technology work together as one cohesive unit.

These speakers can also be custom catered to your desired experience. For example, surround sound levels are very different when you want to listen to music compared to when you’re watching a movie. New speakers can seamlessly be tailored to the media you’re enjoying, whether you’re enjoying a quiet documentary or rocking out to a streaming concert.

Innovative Lighting Solutions

In the past, home theater rooms were typically dark, cave rooms. While low light is ideal for watching movies, it makes it harder to use the space for other activities.

Now, the best of both worlds is available. You can have a bright and airy room and still block out the light and glare while watching movies with smart shades.

These are the perfect solution to any of your lighting struggles and allow you to change the brightness and ambiance with the touch of a button.  Now, no one has to interrupt the movie to get up to adjust the lights.

Many people no longer want a dark movie room, so these shades combined with colorful LED lighting for added flare are a great way to make your entertainment room fun, stylish, and functional.

Reflect your style

Once the main aspects of an entertainment room are set up there are many other elements to consider adding to make the space your own.

You can consider adding clean and subtle design elements to make it a common area for all family members to enjoy a variety of activities. These spaces can cater to the interests of everyone in the household.

Also, consider investing in comfy, large-scale lounge furniture to provide a spot for all of your family and friends at your next get together. To keep the space open, many families opt for functional furniture that leaves plenty of room for other entertainment like a foosball or pool table.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to update your current home theater or start from scratch, we can help make home movie magic. Our technology can be catered specifically to your home and needs. If you want a home theater up to date with all of the current trends, contact us today.

Central Vacuum

5 Benefits of Central Vacuums

Going through the process of vacuuming can be quite the process with a portable vacuum. They’re typically heavy and inconvenient, smelly, and costly to have to replace every few years. Beyond that, once you’re finally done vacuuming, you’re left wondering just how clean your carpet actually is.

Installing a central vacuum can be solution to all of these problems. Take a look at all the other benefits provided by central vacuum systems to see how they can transform the cleaning process as you begin deep cleaning for the holidays.

Easy to Use

You no longer have to haul out a heavy canister or upright vacuum. This makes central vacuums lightweight and never awkward, bulky, or off balance.

Not only are central vacuum cleaners much easier to store, they’re also much easier to use. You don’t have to worry about using any extension cords, the trash capacity, filter troubles, or winding up long power cords.

Central vacuums make cleaning as painless as possible. They have a wide range of access to all of the hard to reach spots. They also include many accessories to clean every nook and cranny in your home. There is no other vacuum that will allow you to clean as efficiently and effectively.

Quieter When in Use

Vacuuming is typically a job that creates a lot of noise and disruption for others in the house. With many people working from home, and more children doing their schooling from home, it can really hard to find a time to vacuum and not disturb others.

Central vacuum cleaners are much quieter to use, allowing you to vacuum whenever you want, even when a baby is sleeping. The motor is typically located in the garage, basement, or attic so central vacuums make little to no noise beyond the sound of them sucking all of the dirt and debris out of your carpet.

Cleaner Indoor Air and Reduced Allergens

Most vacuum cleaners merely recirculate allergens back into your home with each use and leave your carpet looking cleaner, when in actuality a lot of the dirt and debris is still hidden. They reintroduce these particles back into the air through their exhaust.

Central vacuum cleaners extract the dust out of the house directly into the main power unit to be taken outside your home. They are also generally much stronger than the motor in a portable vacuum, which gives your home a deeper clean.

This can be extremely beneficial to those who suffer from extreme allergies, or respiratory/breathing issues because of their ability to eliminate dust particles and odors in living areas.

Longevity

Vacuum cleaners must be replaced on a pretty regular basis, unlike central vacuum cleaners which have a much longer lifespan. This is primarily because their motor is kept in basements, garages, and attics that allow them to stay cool in wide open spaces and allow them to keep stronger suction for much longer.

This makes central vacuum cleaners a great investment. Instead of regularly re-purchasing new vacuums, you can make the investment in one that will stand the test of time.

Beyond that, they also increase the resale value of your home without having to invest much more than the cost of a regular portable vacuum.

Not only do central vacuums have a longer longevity, they also help to extend the longevity of your carpets. With 2 times more powerful suction they are able to more deeply clean the carpet and protect it from wear and tear.

Easy Installation

Despite what many people assume, vacuum cleaners are very easy to install. They don’t require any demolition or tearing down of walls, but simply installing a covered pipe.

They can be installed in any home, new or existing. Installation is easy to plan and can be accomplished in less than a day in most cases.

 

Call us at (417)887-9558, e-mail us at contact@scshomentertainment.com, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page for free central vacuum installation consultation today!

 

 

Integrating Technology to Make Remote School and Work Easier in 2020

Since the coronavirus crisis began, the dynamic of the workforce has been rapidly changing. About a third of Americans are now working from home and many of their children are staying home with them as nearly 55 million students nationwide are expected to continue their education at home.

As this new reality emerges, many homes across America are making their small guest room into an office or using their kitchen table as a desk for schoolwork.  While it’s easy to simply plunk down and work from wherever in your home, it is important to take the time to find the right set up and products to improve your energy and productivity.

At SCS Home Entertainment we offer a wide variety of smart home solutions that can make your workday easier. We recommend the following products for increasing your productivity:

Remote Intercom and Video Security

Many schools and office buildings utilize intercoms for a reason, and those same reasons are just as applicable for your home, especially when you’re working remotely. It allows you to conveniently communicate with anyone in your home.

A great use for this is monitoring your children’s activities to ensure they’re working on their schoolwork. It allows you to keep an eye on your children while still accomplishing your work at your desk.

Intercom systems can also offer advanced security by connecting to your external front door with a camera so you can see them and speak to one another. This is a great level of security for when you’re running errands or working while the kids are home alone.

This allows security and comfort to go hand in hand because you can do all of it from the same screen. SCS can customize this system specifically to your needs so you can do everything from receiving notifications when your doors are locked or unlocked to setting an “away” feature to turn on your lights and set an alarm to your monitoring system.

Dedicating an Entertainment or Home Theater Room

When working and doing schoolwork from home it can be hard to separate work and relaxation. Dedicating a room in your house as a theater can be the perfect way to differentiate between when it is time to work and when you can unwind.

Home theaters can also be used as a great way of spending time with friends and family in a safe environment. Not seeing any of your colleagues – besides their faces on your screen during a Zoom call – can be difficult, and many children are also suffering from not getting to see their friends at schools. So, home theaters are a great way to create lasting memories with friends in a controlled environment.

Not only are home theaters the perfect solution for endless enjoyment, but they can also be utilized during the school day. Any required educational videos or movies are much more enjoyable when played on the big screen.

Automated Smart Shades For Your Home

Exposure to natural light during the day has positive effects on our mental and physical health. It is vital that you pay attention to the level of light you’re working under to improve your productivity.

Installing smart shades allows you to easily control the exact amount of light you want in your house throughout the day as the sun changes position. Having natural light in your workspace makes the environment warm, happy, and welcoming.

Speakers For Ambiance and Concentration

For most, the main difference between working in an office space and at home may be the lack of background music. Having music, radio, or audio playing in the background is a great way to stay motivated throughout the workday. A fully integrated smart speaker system makes this even easier.

Even in classrooms, many teachers play music in the background while they give their students time to work. Having speakers to play music at the right volume across the entire house can be the perfect solution to keep everyone working efficiently.

You can listen to your favorite jams or try out a new genre like coffeehouse music. Many researchers say that listening to music with a simple three-chord structure like Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” can improve your focus.

Adding Small Details to Space for School or Office Work

  • Succulents: Having plants in your workspace improves your health while your work by filtering the air. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and require minimal care due to their resilient nature.
  • Ergonomic keyboard: This keyboard is the perfect solution to avoid putting a strain on your hands and wrists by providing support for your forearms and creating a more flexible work environment. Using an ergonomic keyboard can even prevent hand cramps and carpal tunnel.
  • Charger port: Having to plug in your phone, computer, tablet, and other smart devices all into one small work area can be hard with limited outlets. Charger ports offer the perfect solution, allowing you to organize all of your messy cords and charge everything at once to save you time.
  • Ergonomic office chair: By the end of every workday, slumping over your desk and craning your neck puts an annoying ache on your lower back. Investing in a better chair can minimize back pain, allowing you to focus on your work instead of your well being.

 

 

Overall, there are different ways you can make your home a more inviting space and increase your productivity while working or schooling from home. SCS Entertainment has the tools and knowledge to help you find which of these smart home solutions are best for you and your home. Call today or contact us for an assessment of how we can help make your home a better place to work from.

 

 

 

 

Smart Climate Solutions

Smart Solutions for Climate Control 

In the past Climate control meant changing the temperature on your thermostat, but now climate control is more sophisticated. Today’s systems can heat or cool your space more efficiently and save energy utilizing more than just the thermostat. 

This is done by using advanced thermostats, lighting, and shading solutions in tandem to achieve full control over your climate. Together these integrated technologies allow you to check and adjust your climate from your mobile device or a control panel, making climate control easier and more effective than ever before. 

Businesses experience increased productivity, enhanced environments for customers, and simple control from a single touch panel. Smart technology will set you apart and allow your business to run more efficiently than any competitor. 

Each commercial space has its own unique set of needs for integrated technology. Consequently, businesses also need a unique set of smart solutions to provide business owners with the most efficient use of climate control 

This technology can be streamlined throughout boardrooms, offices, conference rooms, and the entire facility to control lights, drapes, and thermostats with the touch of a button. Not only do these provide benefits of comfort and convenience immediately after installation, but overtime they also create savings. 

Programming products into residential spaces gives homeowners a fully integrated system to seamlessly monitor the entire household. Everything can be connected to the internet and controlled remotely.  

Increase comfort and convenience with smart control of your residential or commercial space’s climate. Climate control is much more than just a thermostat and can save you money and energy for your home or business.  

Thermostat Climate Control  

Regardless of the season or weather, smart climate control allows you to set your home or business to the perfect temperature. Keep your space comfortable at all times by monitoring and controlling your thermostat from your mobile device to turn up the heat before getting out of bed in the morning or turning off your AC when no one is there to enjoy it. 

Use programmed settings to control your home automation system to save you energy. The ability to control and maintain a steady temperature reduces your energy bills and allows you to make informed changes to your energy efficiency. 

Lighting Control  

Lighting control gives you the ability to adjust lighting to increase efficiency with the press of a button. It gives the user the ability to raise and dim light levels and turn the lights off or on from anywhere. 

This allows you to change the mood of any area in your home or business to best suit any occasion and fit any atmosphere.  

It can also add to the security of your environment by automatically turning on all lights if any unwelcome activity is detected. Engulfing the area in light creates an added layer of safety in any room.  

Lighting control systems save energy by utilizing natural light during the day and automatically updating to a different setting at night. This gives you the flexibility to instantly change the lighting based on the activity, time of day, and current occupancy of the room.   

Shading Control  

Although not directly related to your heating and cooling system, curtain and window fixtures can have a big impact on your electric bill. With motorized window treatments, you can easily add to your control of both the climate and lighting. 

It controls the light let in to increase comfort to allow just the right amount of light in. It also works to protect your interiors. Light let in through the windows can be damaging to your furniture and home furnishings due to harmful sun rays, but motorized window treatments ensure the longevity of your space.  

Blinds and curtains don’t just control light, but also impact the climate due to the ability of heat to be both lost and gained through our windows. Controlled shading can act as a barrier to heat loss and an agent for solar heat gain. 

Thermostat, Lighting, and Shading Working Together  

Let SCS put you in control of your indoor climate. An automated Climate control system will allow you to control one room or multiple rooms from a push of a button. Raise and lower your shades to heat and cool your home naturally while reducing your energy consumption. 

Outdoor Entertaining With Hidden Speakers

Outdoor Speakers Can Transform Your Backyard into the Perfect Oasis

Outdoor speakers make the perfect addition to enhance your backyard. No matter what you’re using your outdoor space for – whether it’s grilling for a pool party, playing kickball with the family or sitting on your patio with a relaxing glass of wine – outdoor speakers have the ability to transform your space with your favorite music playing in the background.  

Many attempts to play music outside can result in problems like noise complaints from neighbors and poor-quality sound, this is because sound energy dissipates quickly outside. 

Having numerous outdoor speakers strategically placed throughout your backyard helps you achieve a uniform sound at a medium volume. Professional installation, along with the right equipment, provides you with the ideal sound. Rather than attempting other makeshift approaches, invest in long lasting speakers to enjoy for years to come. 

 

Variety of Designs that Blend In  

Outdoor speakers come in a variety of shapes in sizes. They are designed to blend in and can be featured throughout your entire backyard. These designs include:  

  • Rocks: These speakers are designed to look like rocks and come in a variety of colors and styles to match your outdoor space. They’re perfect for placing with other rocks, near bushes or plants so they don’t stand out from the rest of your yard and are still able to deliver quality sound.  
  • Surface-mounted: You can mount outdoor speakers to your house or other architectural features throughout your yard. These come in black and white and can be painted to match the exterior of your home.  
  • Satellites: These have a similar appearance to a light fixture and can be strategically placed throughout your backyard.  
  • Omnidirectional: These speakers distribute sound in multiple directions and can be placed in the middle of a bed of flowers to be hidden or shown off as an architectural feature.  

 

The MartinLogan Outdoor Living Series has built-in brackets that provide you with endless options for placement and mounting. No matter what design you select or where you place them, these unobtrusive designs blend in perfectly with landscaping and outdoor décor while delivering ideal sound. 

 

Importance of Placement 

With professional installation, you can get high-quality sound throughout your entire piece of property. Having these speakers strategically placed throughout your yard helps the sound carry better, so you don’t have to play it as loudly.  

Instead of trying to cover a big space by moving outdoor speakers farther apart, we recommend mounting speakers about 10 feet apart.  

Think of each zone in your yard as a room in your house, you need to have the right number of speakers for each zone so it’s never too loud or too soft in one area. Think of speaker placement like heating and cooling vents in your home. 

Speaker wires will then be buried after running the cable through a plastic conduit to give you extra protection from rodents, lawnmowers or being cut with a shovel.  

 

Benefits of Outdoor Speakers 

Beyond the endless relaxation and entertainment that outdoor speakers provide, there are many other benefits to having speakers installed.  

First off, these speakers are specifically designed for the outdoors, meaning the installation is permanent so you don’t have to worry about potential damage due to weathering. They are designed to withstand dust, water, extreme temperatures, wind and more.  

Another benefit to them being permeant is that you’ll never have to hassle with temporarily hooking up low-quality portable speakers again. You can play any music you want with the simple push of a button.  

The user-experience of your outdoor audio system is another great benefit. You can adjust the volume, change the playlist or skip the song all with the tap of your screen.  

These speakers will never go out of style or become obsolete. They provide years of high-quality audio outside and make a great investment for your home.  

 

 

Commercial Use of Outdoor Speakers 

Outdoor speakers are not just limited to your backyard, business owners can also benefit from the use of outdoor speakers. These can transform all outdoor commercial spaces, from restaurants to mini-golf courses, and help add to the overall atmosphere.  

It is hard not to enjoy sitting on the patio of your favorite bar on a nice day, but staticky, low-quality music can definitely take away from the overall experience. This is why it is so important for business owners to invest in high-quality speakers.  

Beyond customer’s simple enjoyment, music can be used in commercial spaces to influence customer’s emotions. Music has a commanding influence on customers and can affect their attitudes. It plays a vital role in our daily lives and influences our thoughts and subconscious decisions. 

For example, when customers listen to music they enjoy, they are more likely to idealize their memories of an overall positive experience and overlook things like waiting for their food or in a long line.  

Music can also alter customer’s perception of time. Some business owners use music to set customer’s rhythm by using a fast tempo to encourage them to move quickly and slower tempo to allow them to relax and spend more time contemplating their purchases and enjoying the atmosphere.  

Background music can be used in a variety of ways for your business to help set the theme, mood and tonality of what you’re striving for and can be beneficial in a variety of ways.  

 

Things to Avoid  

If you’ve made the decision to invest in outdoor speakers for your home or business, it is important to avoid making these common mistakes while selecting your audio system.  

First, make sure to select waterproof equipment. Indoor speakers are not designed to handle the strain of outdoor weather conditions and a little bit of water could completely wreck your equipment.  

You should also be wary outdoor speakers that claim to be waterproof but don’t have proper drainage capabilities. One of the worst design flaws in outdoor speakers are audio systems that don’t account for potential water seeping in. Even if it is made from watertight casing, it still needs to be capable of releasing and draining any water.  

Another mistake many people make is not connecting their outdoor sound system with their indoor sound. Pairing the two together allows you to manage them off of one device. This allows you to switch from using your indoor sound system, to your outdoor speakers or both simultaneously, and makes it more likely that you will use both your outdoor and indoor audio more frequently and enjoy both of your sound systems.   

Finally, you should also ensure that your speakers are made from durable materials. Invest in speakers that are designed to handle any kind of weathering. Plastic and metals are good options, along with brass. 

To avoid making these mistakes, contact us today and we can help walk you through the process of selecting which outdoor speakers are right for you and help you with the installation. Feel free to reach out to our team with any questions or concerns! 

Experience for yourself what this audio upgrade can do for you with a professional In-Yard Demonstratioof MartinLogan’s Outdoor Living Series, free and with no obligation.  

This line features the pinnacle of performance in outdoor technology and allows you to experience high performance audio in places you never imagined possible. Contact us at SCS today is to schedule a demonstration at your convenience.