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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

increase productivity through technology

4 Ways to Improve Productivity Through Technology

Productivity starts with design, and many companies are missing out on simple and relatively inexpensive technological upgrades for their business. Keep reading to learn about 4 easy ways you can improve productivity with modern technology:

Smart Lighting is a Smart Business

Lighting is incredibly important for well-being in your office. In a recent study, the American Society of Interior Design found that 68% of American employees complain about the lighting situation in their office. Some complain that lights are too dim, while others complain that lights are too harsh, and most would prefer they have a source of natural light.

Thanks to modern technology, offices can maximize natural light while supplementing it with perfectly calibrated man-made lighting. There are systems available that will raise and lower motorized window coverings, blinds and shades while dimming and brightening light fixtures to create the perfect lighting throughout the day. These systems can also be easily customized from a smart device to avoid all that time you have spent trying to figure out which light switches does what!

Cold Woman in Office Proper Climate Control is Essential for Employee Comfort

A study found that one-third of workers surveyed considered temperature as a primary workplace issue. Temperatures that are too cold can cause employees to make mistakes as they struggle to stay warm. Warmer temperatures can cause employees to feel fatigued and struggle to concentrate.

An improperly programmed thermostat doesn’t just make your staff uncomfortable, but also costs you money in the form of energy bills. Smart climate control makes it easy to keep your employees productive and your energy usage efficient. Our modern systems allow you to control temperatures, from anywhere in the world or run completely autonomously. Along with control via an app, you’ll have a simple and intuitive touch screen on the wall to control this and all of your other systems.

A Modern Audio/Video Control System Improves Productivity

Professionally installed and configured video conference solutions improve productivity and teamwork. Modern systems allow for instant collaboration with any part of the world. Remote presentations come to life, communication becomes easy, and your business shows off the look cutting edge look it has earned.

Presentation Matters

The right presentation solutions can keep your clients and employees engaged from the moment they enter your place of business.

Imagine this: A client walks into your business for a meeting. They see their name, company, and meeting time on the digital sign behind the reception desk. After they are lead into your conference room, you walk in and press the presentation button. Instantly, the lights dim, motorized shades lower, a projection screens lowers, and your presentation is displayed. That will keep their attention.

 

We realize when it comes to commercial spaces, one size does not fit all for integrated technology. When you work with SCS, we first seek to understand your unique business needs and create a solution that provides you with the most efficient use of the technology you need.

Let SCS simplify and streamline technology in your boardroom, conference room and throughout your facilities. SCS is the definitive source for centrally and globally controlling, managing and presenting information in the greater Springfield, Missouri area. You can now control and automate the lights, blinds, screens, thermostats and AV equipment-all from an intuitive easy-to-use touch panel, remote or keypad. Let SCS help you take control of the technology so you can focus on your business.

Uh Oh, Everyone is Coming to your House for Christmas Again!

 

You just found out that the entire extended family invited themselves to your house for Christmas again. Normally, your anxiety level would skyrocket as you worry about how you will entertain them and keep them happy. Not this year, this year you’ve been preparing with the help of SCS Home Entertainment. Here are just 5 of the many ways that SCS helps make Christmas more pleasant for everyone!

1. A Shuffleboard Table to keep Great Aunt Doris and her new boyfriend occupied.

Great aunt Doris showed up with her new boyfriend Roy, and he won’t stop giving you advice on how to cook the turkey. He even brought his own deep fryer, “Just in case.” Good thing you have the new gaming tables in the rec room. It reminds them of the shuffleboard they played on the cruise ship where they met, and they spend every hour of the day reliving those memories.

2. The home cinema room for all 7 of the kids.

Your cousin Jeff shows up with his five kids for an entire week each December. Between them and your two little ones, the house is non-stop chaos. Luckily, this year you had a home theatre installed. Between that and your subscription to Disney+, they stay as calm and cute as Baby Yoda.

3. The central vacuum for your brother Kyle that brought his 4 dogs.

You love your brother Kyle, and you love his dogs, but they each shed about a cubic-foot of fur each day. They are also horribly afraid of a standard vacuum and won’t settle down for an hour after you run it. Luckily, you installed a central vacuum with a sweep inlet. A few swipes of the broom into your automatic dustpan each day and you can enjoy the pups without wearing them for the next month.

4. The outdoor stereo system for the teenagers.

Your sister Stephanie’s teenagers are cool. Way too cool for you. So cool, in fact, that they chill outside in the middle of winter so they don’t have to be with the boring old people. You show them your outdoor stereo system that they can connect their own Spotify account. Suddenly, you are also kind of cool.

5. The automated lighting system for your electric bill.

Your house was originally wired by a crazy person. No one can ever figure out which light switch controls which light. The entire house used to get lit up like the Christmas tree every time one of your guests got up use the restroom. Not anymore, now lights only go on when they are needed with your automated lighting system. You save a few dollars on your electric bill and don’t have to hear everyone complain about their stubbed toes.

 

This years Christmas will be a success thanks to the products and services you received from SCS Home Entertainment. Didn’t get everything you need yet? Let us know! We’ll do everything we can to help before the big week, or at the very least help you prepare for next year.

12 "Smart Gifts" For the Holidays

12 “SMART GIFTS” FOR THE HOLIDAYS

12 "Smart Gifts" For the Holidays

 

The people on your holiday gift list don’t want an ugly sweater, a boring tie or a partridge in a pear tree. Many of them crave unique experiences more than products. Here are 12 “smart gifts” for the holidays that will give them a whole year’s worth of comfort, convenience and peace of mind.

  1. Make family time more memorable – You’ve probably noticed that commercial movie theaters are now starting to provide the amenities found in many home theaters, including big, comfy seats and spectacular sound. Today’s home theater systems let you dim the lights without leaving the couch – and walls can be easily soundproofed so the kids can do homework while mom and dad watch Avengers:Endgame.
  2. Enjoy greater peace of mindHome security is a precious year-round gift. The market for home security cameras is expected to reach nearly $10 billion by 2023. With our Smart Home Solutions package, your gift recipient can remotely check home security cameras, make sure that doors are locked, and turn on outdoor lighting as dusk approaches.
  3. Take HD to new levels – An Ultra HD projector matched with a gigantic screen ensures that home movie viewing truly rivals the quality of your local cinema. When you see the results, you won’t believe how far high-definition technology has come in 25 years.
  4. Add visual flair to your home theater or game room – Whether it’s a plush seat for your home theater or a stylish credenza or cabinet for your game room, great furniture can enhance the experience. Let us be your one-stop shop for pool tables and gaming tables…plus the furniture that surrounds them.
  1. Make entertainment a whole-house experience – It’s easier than ever to sync your home’s video and audio systems so you can seamlessly enjoy Taylor Swift – or continue watching Toy Story 4 – as you move from room to room.
  1. Enjoy crisper audio and video – Today’s Blu-Ray players deliver greater performance in thinner, sleeker designs. Don’t forget that a Blu-Ray system does much more than play DVDs. You can also use them to stream Netflix movies or Spotify music.
  1. Get lighting that dazzles – Government figures show that 29 percent of U.S. homes are now using LED lighting – and that figure is rapidly rising. LED technology offers two major benefits: higher quality light at a lower energy cost.
  1. Hide your speakers – Wall speakers can now sit flush against the drywall, then get plastered over and painted so that they’re completely invisible. Your guests will wonder where all that amazing sound is coming from. Be sure to check out the Sonance Invisible Series speakers.
  1. Create subtle moods – Lighting controls can make you the maestro of moods, whether you’re dimming the lights in the late afternoon or shining a special light on a treasured work of art.
  1. Enjoy hassle-free wireless coverage in every room – It’s easy for us to install more routers and wireless access points so that you can easily browse or stream anywhere in the house.
  1. Communicate room-to-room without a clunky intercom – State-of-the-art communication systems – both wired and wireless – are today’s cool way to communicate from room to room.
  1. Liven up your outdoor entertainment – Every outdoor party will be a hit when you install an all-weather flat-screen TV and sound system. They can be triple-sealed and placed right next to pools and hot tubs. Some Martin Logan speakers are designed to look like rocks so they blend beautifully with your landscaping.

You can trust our team at SCS Home Entertainment to bring these holiday gifts to life. We know all about the high-end brands that can make it happen – like Klipsch, Bowers, Sonance, Martin Logan, Wilkins and Seura. And we serve not just Springfield but Branson, Rogersville and many other Ozark communities.

Here’s another great reason to visit us: we expertly install everything we sell. We’re not like Amazon, which ships you the products but forces you to find an installer.

This holiday season, give everyone on your gift list a home technology experience that will resonate throughout the year ahead. Or simply gift yourself…and let the whole family enjoy! Visit our Springfield showroom to learn more.

A Central Vacuum Could be the Answer to your Allergy Problems

If you or someone in your family suffers from indoor allergy problems, your vacuum cleaner could be part of the problem. Traditional vacuums don’t completely remove the dust and allergens that are making your lives miserable. Unless you are using a central vacuum system, you have probably noticed the “vacuum smell” when you try to clean. This occurs when fine dust is recirculated into the room around you instead of being removed. With a central vacuum, that dust is completely expelled from your home, allowing you and your family to breathe freely. Studies have shown that a central vacuum system can improve indoor air quality and lead to a healthier home. One such study found that allergy sufferers who switched to central vacuums experienced better sleep, fewer nasal issues, reduced eye problems, and other substantial health benefits.1

Along with making your family healthier, central vacuum systems typically last much longer than conventional vacuums and require less maintenance during their lifetime. With a conventional vacuum, you might have to empty the bag or canister twice or more during one cleaning session. There are also filters to clean, belts to change, and often you have to regularly seek a professional for repairs or just break down and buy a new unit. With a central vacuum, you only need to empty or change filters a few times a year, and systems often last 20 or even 30 years.

None us enjoy the sound of a loud traditional vacuum. Luckily, central vacs are much quieter. The power unit and collection container are located in a utility space away from the area where you are vacuuming, so your family won’t be disturbed by loud motors. This also allows for greater suction, because the stationary units aren’t limited by weight. You can pick up debris that your traditional vacuum couldn’t dream of moving. You are also much less likely to damage your furniture with a central vacuum hose, because you aren’t carrying around all of that weight.

 

Healthier air quality, more power, quieter operation, and less maintenance? That sounds good so far! You might be thinking, “What’s the catch?” The catch is that a central vacuum system needs to be installed. Luckily, we have the experts that can design and install the perfect central vacuum system for any home. We can also help you choose the right accessories to help you live your best life. Give us a call today or stop by our store to get on the road to a cleaner, healthier life.

 

 

1. “The Influence of a Central Vacuum System on Quality of Life in Patients with House Dust- Associated Allergic Rhinitis”