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How Secure is Your Home or Business?

Audio Command is a leading provider of complete turnkey solutions for audio/visual integration, including Security & Surveillance options. We take pride in offering cost-effective, user-friendly security services to the New York area that directly address your needs. 

You install a security and surveillance system so you don’t have to worry about your property, possessions and loved ones. But the greatest peace of mind comes when you don’t have to worry about the operation of your system either. That’s why ACS offers home security.

Audio Command designs, installs and provides ongoing support for all your security needs, including camera systems with integrated access control, CCTV integration, entry systems support, remote system monitoring and more.

Video Surveillance

We provide centrally managed Closed Circuit Television Systems as well as Internet Protocol Camera Systems so that you can monitor various points from anywhere in the globe from a computer or smartphone. With cameras in and around your home or office you can monitor your residence while at work, or your business while on vacation … or the nursery while in the other room!

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What are Your Priorities before Finishing a Home Theater Build?

Last time, we discussed the importance of finalizing your audio and component choices before making any commitment to building a home theatre. This time we focus on the finishing touches.

(6 of 10) The Components

DVD or Blu-ray? Do you still have a VCR and a collection of VHS? Maybe you want a DVD Recorder too? And how do you receive your television programming? Cable, satellite or antenna? If you have high-speed internet access, you might not require a Blu-ray or DVD player as you can stream both music and movies. New Blu-ray players and televisions can actually connect to the internet directly, but you can also purchase an external box (Network Media Players or Media Steamers) as an affordable option. It’s all predicated on what you need from your theater and how much you want to invest in it.

(7 of 10) The Protection

Surge protectors may replace your pet as your new best friend. Power outages and brownouts happen with no notice so, while surge protectors aren’t foolproof, it’s always a good idea to defend your system as much as possible. Another option is a Line Conditioner, a more comprehensive way of protecting against power surges, as well as monitoring and even regulating the power reaching your components.

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How do YOU Get the “Biggest, Baddest Home?”

In our last blog edition, we discussed the challenges we faced, as well as the solutions we provided for a project that was recently given the “Biggest, Baddest Home” Integration Award at the CEDIA Expo ’13 in Denver. The most important part of the story, of course, is the results…

Overall this is an incredible, must-see project. Everyone who has stepped foot in this amazing home leaves with their jaw dragging on the floor. 

Firstly, the dedicated A/V room saves a tremendous amount of time when an issue arises. In most cases the problem is resolved within minutes. Also, ACS is monitoring the CCTV Cameras on the Crestron touch panels and iPads. From the touch panels or any TV in the home you can select your own source so that all recordings are easily accessible. As a result, the children, staff, and home owners are able to easily use the system.

The indoor pool’s 25' barreled ceiling utilizes Sonnex amplifiers and the room sounds incredible. In addition there are 3 large outdoor zones (the main Great Lawn able to hit 94db without clipping). Over 60 outdoor speakers were installed in coordination with the landscape designer, GC, electrician and landscaper.

Home Theater – the theater features a high-end Meridian 4k projector, full surround sound with multiple subwoofers and high-end audiophile speakers. Viewers can sit in the custom leather seating or in the balcony area to enjoy the featured presentation. 8 zones of lighting in this room (including a star burst ceiling) are controlled by our system.

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What Makes a “Biggest, Baddest Home?”

At ACS, we’re committed to providing the level of professional service that makes a home or business owner a client for life. For example, we were given the opportunity to work with a particular client again after proving our abilities on their previous home, which ACS integrated more than a decade ago. Even after so much time had passed, our relationship included a comfort and confidence that was invaluable with all the unique challenges and requests which were brought to the new project.

The Challenges: The new home is 42,000 sq ft in beautiful Greenwich, CT. There were considerable differences in the two projects. At the first home we integrated for the client, our racks were shoe-horned into a small room along with the alarm vendor, pool controls, thermostats, and an existing (and not very-well designed) infrastructure. While in the previous home the client perceived that, when a piece of electronic equipment wasn’t working, a simple “power cycle” could fix the problem 99% of the time. He requested that we design the system so that anyone could easily access the backs of all the equipment. (In the previous home this was not possible due to equipment being housed inside custom cabinetry).

Additional challenges included:

•  Ensuring multiple people could use the control system in a home this large

•  Client requested the large V15 touch panel to be utilized as a TV monitor in a number of areas

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Did You Know ACS Offers Design & Engineering Consulting?

It's our experience here at ACS that the most successful projects are engineered and documented well in advance of actual construction. Early documentation of your audio/video distribution, home integration, network, lighting, motorized shades, and security needs in the design phase ensures accurate coordination between your architect, interior designer, builder and all subcontractors involved. Initial plans specify all the build requirements your team of professionals need to know.

Before you begin a project, whether partnering with ACS or working with another integrator, it will help to be familiar with the documentation involved.

 

Prewire Drawing Set

“Prewire” refers to the installation of cables and wires during a new home’s construction, including the AC electrical wiring and low voltage, home systems cabling. Remember, many wireless devices still use proprietary communication protocols, making them incompatible with other manufacturer’s products. Also, prewiring is a permanent upgrade to your home, increasing its value at sale time.

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Why Upgrading Your Home Network Matters

Having problems with home network lagging? ACS, the factory authorized and trained dealer and installer of the finest A/V, Lighting Control, Motorized Shading, Home Integration and Network equipment has the solution.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all developed an expectation to be wirelessly connected at all times. Everywhere we go, we look for updates on our smart phone, tablet or iPad, all while working on our laptop. We use these devices to access today’s vast array of digital media such as streaming music, HD video, or even accessing our home integration and security while away.

At the heart of today’s residences, a well-engineered secure wireless and wired network is essential.  As we continue to depend less on traditional entertainment sources (radio, CD, DVD, cable TV) and more on cloud-based entertainment (internet radio, Pandora, iTunes, Netflix, AppleTV, and others), along with Gaming, Remote Access to Work, and everyday on-line activities, a faster, more secure and dependable home network is essential.

High-bandwidth devices place increased pressure on home networks. To meet these requirements, service providers are delivering advancements in internet speeds, but many home networks aren’t equipped to make use of the speeds they offer. Technology evolves at such a rapid pace that we have to evolve with it or get left behind. Our homes need a strong network to meet the demands of the digital age.

Looked at another way; consumer networks were never meant to handle the high demands of the audio/video components currently used in modern homes or businesses. The results being unacceptable WiFi performance, data loss, constant reboots, product failure, and the always-annoying customer service phone calls to internet providers. ACS fixes that by providing industry-leading technology that combines wired/wireless data and IP power with local and cloud-based management.

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How Far Does Technology Integration Experience Get You?

Why does experience matter? It gets you invited to the Netherlands, for one thing.

ACS has a client for whom we’ve integrated 4 different homes. It just so happens that the client’s 5th home is a 95-ft yacht…and it’s being built in Amsterdam. You can’t win them all, right? Well…

While the client explored integration options overseas, a priority for the family was for the controls within the yacht to have the same look and feel as the other homes on which ACS had previously worked. This meant viewing the same menu – regardless of the location – to set the music or raise the shades or view the status of any room in that home or across the globe. To aid in this endeavor, the client brought their world-renowned yacht builder to Los Angeles to review the systems in the 85,000 sqr ft home in Beverly Hills (which also happened to be the most recent work ACS had completed on their behalf).

This location has the advantage of the features that have made ACS a Crestron Gold programmer. More than a decade of development has gone into our template, featuring options many integrators don’t make available as their base offering. ACS has found it’s easier to include more options (and edit out what isn’t optimal for the client) rather than add what we consider basic functions at an additional cost. To demonstrate, the client took quite a bit of pleasure adjusting the volume in surrounding rooms while we conducted our meeting, as well as showing off the “home-at-a-glance” feature that displays the status of every zone from a single screen.

After the meeting, ACS was asked to review the company chosen for the integration overseas. Frankly, it was a quality organization, and we didn’t feel it made sense for us to be involved to any greater degree. However, there’s a peace-of-mind component to all such work. So, when the client offered to fly us to Amsterdam for 3 days to review the system with the chief engineer, who were we to argue?

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ACS & Crestron: Putting the Power in Your Hands

As the home integration industry continues to evolve with product advancements and integration technologies, ACS is here to bring our expertise to you! (And when we say “here,” we mean with offices in New York, California and Florida, with experience in every state in between.) We want our blog to be your expert resource for products and services that will have the most impact on your projects and, for this edition, we want to present the advantages of working with an authorized Crestron Dealer.

Proudly Representing Crestron Everywhere
The new home integration systems are sometimes called “Smart Home” systems or “Integrated Systems.” Whatever the title, they are all referring to intuitive control of your home's subsystems, including audio/video, lighting, security, CCTV, motorized shades & drapes, pool/spa and more. Besides a consistent system-to-system look and feel which makes controlling your home easier, combining these subsystems into a unified control interface, such as a touch panel, also greatly eliminates wall clutter. Thermostats are hidden in closets or a mechanical room and backup security keypads and pool/spa controllers can likewise be hidden.

ACS is an authorized Crestron dealer and installer serving Metro NY (with a location in Westbury and offices in Manhattan), Southern California (from their Los Angeles location), South Florida (in Boca Raton, serving the Palm Beach, Broward & Miami/Dade counties) and anywhere else we’re needed. Our skilled engineers and technicians have Crestron certifications and are experts in installing and servicing Crestron home integration solutions, which means we can offer you Total Home Technology.

What is “Total Home Technology?”
Total Home Technology from Crestron streamlines and simplifies all the technology in your home, offering the ultimate lifestyle of comfort and convenience. Total control is always at your fingertips, whether from a user-friendly touch panel, remote or a customized keypad.

Crestron's Total Home Technology Solutions offer integrated lighting control and integration. Create the perfect mood for every event, be it movie night or a backyard dance party, with the touch of a button. Traveling? The lights can execute pre-programmed scenes so it appears as if someone is home.

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