HiFi Audio is Far From Dead

high end audioOver the last 5 years the world of home audio has seen a dramatic shift.  More and more music is streamed using Internet based systems that often utilize wireless technology.  This has had a dramatic impact on the world of audio purists.  But there are still businesses out there flourishing in the high end audio market.  And as long as there are those that prefer to hear their favorite music in it’s original uncompressed format, these high performance systems will continue to flourish.

The World of Stereo Audio

In the good old days of HiFi audio it wasn’t unusual to see a turntable directly hooked up to a couple of tube amps that then led to a pair of ugly floor standing loudspeakers.  Over the decades, HiFi equipment morphed into what could only be described as pieces of art.  Many manufacturers utilized exotic materials to ensure the smallest possible amount of vibration within their speaker enclosures.

Equipment manufacturers tested metals such as silver and oxygen free copper in an effort to create the ideal path for the audio signal to travel from source equipment to speaker.  Amplifiers often utilized tubes that would become so hot that they would burn those foolish enough to touch them.

Most true audiophiles were proud that their friends and acquaintances had never heard of the unusual and rare equipment that they used to get every last watt of sound from their system.  But they could find the most subtle differences between a silver based interconnect and those that were copper based.

Along Comes Home Theater

In the 1990’s more and more companies started coming out with surround sound processors and equipment.  Once movies moved to DVD there was a huge upsurge in the number of home theaters that consumers had installed in their homes.  This pushed stereo HiFi to the back shelf.

For many years it was thought that speakers that were designed for high end audio systems would be incompatible with the necessary volume and rumble that goes along with a home theater system.  And many manufacturers started marketing their speakers specifically as home theater speakers.

But in recent years there has been a shift back to using speakers that are designed for critical listening.  While these speakers may not have the frequency range necessary to hit the deepest note of an explosion, they can handle any sort of vocal or musical note that is thrown their way.  After all, you can use a subwoofer to blow you away with the lows.

Companies such as Krell, Meridian, and Definitive Technologies are creating speakers that excel at reproducing not only the most sophisticated musical scores, but that can accurately reproduce explosions and gunshots as well.

Jason from Audio Video Experts in Los Angeles (http://www.losangeleshometheaterinstallation.com) had this to say. ‘These new speakers are creating a whole new generation of HiFi listeners.  And as you know, once you go down that road, you never come back.  Our customers used to fit a certain profile, but they are now getting younger and younger.’

Over the last 5 years the world of home audio has seen a dramatic shift.  More and more music is streamed using Internet based systems that often utilize wireless technology.  This has had a dramatic impact on the world of audio purists.  But there are still businesses out there flourishing in the high end audio market.  And as long as there are those that prefer to hear their favorite music in it’s original uncompressed format, these high performance systems will continue to flourish.

Transition to Wireless

The next phase in the process was the move to wireless.  Sonos was a major part of this move.  Their interface makes listening to your favorite music as simple as pulling up their app on your iPhone and choosing what you want to hear.  You don’t even need a home automation system to control all of your equipment any more.  But in order to stream music across a wireless network it must first be compressed.  Otherwise it would overwhelm the bandwidth of the network.  This compression significantly changes the sound of the music.

It loses it’s depth and width.  It often sound tinny and lacks the full experience you get when listening to uncompressed audio.

But now companies like Meridian Audio are addressing this issue as well.  They are creating products that use new algorithms allowing them to use uncompressed audio to stream audio wirelessly to their entire system.  And this is causing another awakening within the audio world.  Uncompressed audio does sound better.  More and more people are realizing it.

HiFi is back.  And it’s sounding better than ever.

Control4 Isn’t Just for Home Automation

Church automation controlsControl4 has made a huge impact on the audio video and home automation industry. In the years since they entered the market the cost of the average automation system has dropped dramatically. This is due to both lower price points and to a more efficient installation procedure. But this technology shouldn’t be limited strictly to homes.

Markets Ripe for the Picking

Oftentimes it’s easy for integrators to pigeonhole themselves into one market. The high end home theater and automation is a perfect example. While there are plenty of potential clients in this niche, there are also quite a few competitors. Here are a few other niches that are ideal for automation controls.

Churches and Houses of Worship

While perhaps not as alluring as high end homes, churches and other houses of worship offer huge potential in terms of audio, video, and automation needs. Sound systems for churches often dwarf even the most high end home systems in terms of scale, complexity, and cost.

There are a whole host of considerations to be taken into account before jumping with both feet into this market. For one, church audio is much more complex than home audio. Dealing with unique architectural spaces requires a great deal of experience with sound equipment that helps to compensate for these spaces. Lighting and automation can also be somewhat different. Some churches will have lighting that operates at higher voltages. Becoming familiar with this type of lighting before taking on your first project can save you both time and headaches.

While there are many differences, there are also many similarities. Much of the audio equipment required for these systems is easily controlled with automation equipment such as Control4. They use the same control protocols including both RS232, RS432, and ethernet control.

In addition, many of these types of equipment are already included in the database of controlled hardware within the Control4 programming suite. This makes adding these types of systems very quick and painless.

How to Target Churches

Without a bit of experience it can sometimes be challenging to target a new market. But houses of worship in particular are relatively easy compared to other industries. More than likely someone you know goes to church. It can be as easy as contacting them to find out if their church is in need of your services.

If you attend church yourself, reach out to the leadership. They often have hundreds of contacts at other congregations around the country and in various parts of the world. This is an easy way to get an introduction and possible lead to new work. Never feel intimidated to use your personal connections to secure work. Most people prefer to use someone with whom they have a personal relationship for work. After all a personal relationship is exactly what you’re trying to establish during the sales process anyway.

Direct mail is another effective method of reaching out to churches. Include information about your business and yourself. Make sure that the mailer stands out from the rest of the junk mail they receive on a daily basis. This can be accomplished simply by using a hand addressed envelope.

Other avenues include advertising and marketing in appropriate magazines and church related publications. This type of outreach does tend to be more expensive and the return is often not as great. Just be sure to keep very detailed reports of your return on investment.

Home Automation System Review

 

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It is about a set of intelligent solutions for living and working space, to automate many activities in houses, apartments or offices, and the main idea is to enhance comfort and improve the quality of life of clients. The program taps the operator without any problems is implemented in existing installations, without any intervention and later works. You have no costs chiseling walls, cord stretching, subsequent smoothing or whitewashing. Everything is fast, efficient and clean! In the already existing installation boxes (dose) of switches and sockets are installed small modules that are programmed allowing them is given a certain function. To activate all functions used only one remote control, which also changes and all other remote controls in the house (for TV, DVD, video, music device, and air). The number and purpose of the function depend only on your needs. It is possible to automate the process of air conditioning, programmed and controlled lighting systems, heating, watering system courtyards or gardens … The only limit is your imagination, and price alone you define number and functionally modules.

 

There are also android applications that let you manage all devices from home or from a remote location. User very easily be turned on air conditioning to a certain temperature, adjust lighting, blinds, open the curtains … over the internet, from any location in the world. Over a local WiFi network can turn on the TV, put on some music, or customize ambiance current needs.

The advantage of this type of management is that it can very easily adapt to any device with android system your phone or tablet, PC at improving the management. It is not necessary to buy expensive touch screen displays. Very simple menu navigation android applications a user can run scenarios. If there is a few days out of the apartment or house, starting scenarios “The house is empty – Simulate stay in it”, achieves the prevention of burglary.

 

Your smart house system or home automation controls that can manage and integrate the following groups:

 

Lighting Control

Manage shutters, awnings and curtains

Management of household appliances

Climate control and heating

Manage your garage door, gate and ramp

Management swimming pool and sauna

Management of irrigation system

Managing sequence of events in the house (Programming scenarios)

 

The best automation system and certainly the best known are: Frontpoint, Elan, Vivint, Control 4, Guardian, Smart home, Prodigy, Crestron, ADT pulse, The home automation store…