4 Ways to Hide the Tech in Your AV Installation

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Learn about Client and Designer Approved Tricks to Hide AV Tech for Seamless Décor

Let's face it, much of today's electronics are not aesthetically pleasing. Whether we are talking about giant flat-panel TVs that can stretch to 100 inches or most audio components that are a sea of black metal, most of today's equipment lacks design flair. Some speakers, like Meridian Audio models, make a statement in a room. But others take up space that both you and your designer would prefer not to design around.

If your Lake Geneva, WI home is on the cutting edge of style – whether modern, transitional, or mid-century – you do have options for hiding the AV installation in your home. In this blog, we’ll cover four ways of blending the best technology into your home in a way that will leave you and your interior designer smiling at your ingenuity and taste. Stay with us below!

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Why You Need a Professional Home Network Installation

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You’re Likely to Get More Smart Connected Devices this Holiday Season

Did you shop online this past Black Friday? Or did you brave the crowds at the store to get those early bird deals? Whatever your preferences, it’s highly likely that some smart connected device is on the holiday shopping list, Black Friday or otherwise.

Have you ever thought about your home network's ability to handle all those devices? Most people don't. Your child gets a new iPad, and it gets added to the network. A new Amazon Echo or Sonos speaker, and it also connects. How about a new refrigerator? Many of the latest ones also get connected to Wi-Fi to keep you informed about malfunctions and maintenance.

If you stream video, like so many people, the strain on your network multiplies. You might not think about it, but your kids may be streaming 4K videos on that shiny new iPad they just got for Christmas, all day long. Is your network ready for all that? If you’re still relying on the home network installation from your ISP when you moved into your Lake Geneva, WI home, it may not be ready for the next wave of connections you just added!

Keep reading below to see how you can invest in a home network system that can keep up with your needs now and into the future.

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Think Motorized Window Treatments Are Just Shades? Think Again!

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Discover All the Powered Window Treatment Options for Your Home 

Powered window treatments are an increasingly popular option for today’s smart homes. Once you have them, you never want to go back to manual ones. It's like power steering in cars – when was the last time you drove one with manual steering? Some things just make a lot of sense. With motorized window treatments, you have so many more options for managing the light in your home. 

You might hear the term motorized shades used with powered window treatments, and that’s because the roller shade type is the most common one. However, you might be surprised to learn that there is a powered window treatment for almost any kind of window! Keep reading below to learn about eight – yes, eight – types of motorized window treatments for your Chicago home. 

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Get Ready for the Holiday Season with Savant Home Automation

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How Home Automation Lets You Worry Less and Enjoy More

With Halloween just behind us, we’re now barreling headlong into the holiday season in Hinsdale. With it, the Illinois fall is also in full swing, and winter – well, it does come early here! But you can be ready for the holidays with a little help from a Savant home automation system. Savant's smart home features can take care of little things, give you peace of mind, and make holiday entertaining just a little easier.

There's a lot to do for the holidays. Whether it's ordering gifts, getting the house decorated, keeping the holiday lights working, or ensuring all the meals and parties are affairs to remember. As always, you’ll be busy! Let a Savant home automation systems take a bit of the load. Here are four of our favorite ways you can enjoy the holidays more with home automation.

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5 Tunes to Get the Groove on with Whole Home Audio

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Music You Can Enjoy with Any Activity Around the House 

What should you listen to on your whole home audio system? Far be it for us to tell you, it will all sound fantastic whether you go with a Meridian audio system, Savant, or something else. Not only will all your favorite tunes sound great, but you’ll enjoy the effortless ease of calling them up with your smartphone, a touchscreen, a voice command, or a press on a wall-mounted keypad. 

That said, we can’t resist recommending a few tracks that lend themselves well to playing on every speaker in the house as you meander through your daily routine. Whether it’s a background soundtrack to your work-from-home day, doing chores, exercising, or soaking up the last of the good Illinois fall weather on your Chicago townhouse patio, you’ll enjoy how these songs stick with you wherever you roam.  

Ready? Here are five tunes to enjoy in every corner of your home with multiroom audio

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How Professional AV Installation Enhances Your Design and Build Projects

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Bring in a Pro Early for the Best Results

Today’s AV entertainment systems can get complicated. If you’re an interior designer, architect, or builder, it’s wise to bring in an audio-video installation pro early in your projects to incorporate the latest systems your clients want.

You might think, don't all we have to do is plan for some low-voltage wiring? While low-voltage infrastructure is indeed important, there's more to achieving a well-sorted and integrated AV installation that incorporates what clients want, fits in with your mutual design vision, and doesn’t require a stack of change orders because of lack of planning. Let’s explore how you can enhance your Chicago, IL projects with a little help from your AV professional – like Barrett’s Technology Solutions!

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Bring the Cinema Experience to Your Home Theater with Kaleidescape

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You May Never Want to Go Out to the Movies Again

Are you looking to revamp your home theater design? Many Illinois homes have had dedicated theater rooms for years now, but how long has it been since you upgraded yours? In the past several years, many new features have added new dimensions to home theaters – 4K/HDR projectors for sharper pictures with significantly enhanced contrast and color, Dolby Atmos audio for a realistic “in the scene” experience, and a plethora of streaming video services with more content than ever before.

If you're already enjoying some of these upgrades, perhaps there's one you don't know about. It adds convenience, the highest quality audio, and video experience, and maybe best of all, eliminates just about any reason to ever go out to the movies again. What is it? It's the Kaleidescape system, the ultimate movie player for your Chicago home theater. Read more below to learn how Kaleidescape is like having your very own movie theater.

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Home Golf Simulators Are Perfect for Active Family Entertainment

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Create a Multipurpose Indoor Fun Zone in Your Theater or Media Room 

Virtual is a word that’s currently in vogue. In the past year, you’ve probably become tired of virtual meetings over Zoom, virtual work, virtual school, and virtual happy hours. Can we talk about something real?

Well, not in this blog. But we promise we have something virtual that’s absolutely more fun and far more realistic than a virtual happy hour. And unlike happy hour, your kids can enjoy it as well. What are we talking about? Home golf simulators. You don't have to be a golf fanatic to enjoy one, as these systems do more games than golf! As the weather in Illinois and Wisconsin turns chillier soon, a golf simulator is an excellent way to keep your game going and enjoy immersive entertainment indoors with your family in your Chicago home or your Lake Geneva retreat. Read on to learn more about how golf simulators add a new dimension of fun to your home theater or media room.

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Is Your Network Ready for the Demands of Your Smart Home?

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Explore the Commercial-Grade Network Solutions from WhyReboot 

The home network has quickly become a foundational piece of the modern home, almost as important as electricity and running water. Are we exaggerating by placing networking at that level? Only a little, as communication with the outside world is a critical need in any modern home. Moreover, with the convergence of all information and communication into digital form, the home network is an enabling piece of technology.  

In business, when a function is essential for the very operation of the company, it's called mission-critical. Today, the home network is a mission-critical component. Imagine not being able to connect to work, school, and audio or video communications. In the past year’s pandemic, the need for robust connectivity was all too clear. And with the increasing dependence of the modern home on smart features like lighting and security, it’s easy to see why networking is a mission-critical component. 

Is the home network installation in your Chicago, IL home keeping up? Explore how the solutions from WhyReboot are tailored to the connectivity needs of today’s smart homes.  

 

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What’s Coming Down the Pike for Our Home Automation Company?

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Our Reimagined Website Is Just One Way We Continue to Move Forward 

At Barrett’s Technology Solutions, we’ve been in business since 1966. As you might expect, there have been many changes in our business since that time. Audio, video, and automation technology have changed radically, and our firm has evolved with it. Our goal is to continue to be the best home automation company in the Chicago area and through our new office in Lake Geneva, WI.  

This month, we’d like to give you a taste of what’s to come for Barrett’s Technology Solutions. Chief among them is a new website that will launch soon, and we can’t wait for you to see it. Why a new website? It’s all about effectively communicating what we can do so we can better serve our clients. Keep reading to learn more! 

 

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Step Up to High Resolution and High-Fidelity Whole-Home Audio

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Level Up Your Sound with Meridian Audio

What do you think of when you hear whole-home audio? First, you probably think about synchronized sound all over your house. Any whole-house audio solution worth its tweeters should do that. Does it also scream to you…background music? As in, I enjoy listening to my favorites everywhere in the house, but I’m not getting my ears pinned back by the sound.

If you're an audiophile – or just someone who likes emotion in their sound – you don't have to settle for good but not blow-me-away sound in your whole-home music system. Meridian Audio is a company that's well-known in hi-fi circles yet also tends to march to the beat of its own drum. Started in 1977, before the dawn of the digital music era, Meridian Audio has been a pioneer in digital audio, having had a heavy hand in moving the quality of digital formats forward. In both the pioneering DVD-Audio surround music format and the current Dolby TrueHD lossless surround standard, Meridian played a leading role in contributing key technology and developing those standards.

All this is to say that Meridian is all about high-fidelity in everything they do, and with their latest products, they’re making whole-home hi-fi a reality, too. Keep reading to learn more about how Meridian high-resolution, high-fidelity audio will pin your ears back in every corner of your Chicago home.

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Draw Out the Beauty from the Darkness with Automated Landscape Lighting

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Make Your Home Shine with Custom Landscape Lighting 

What does your home look like after the sun goes down? Do the beautiful architecture and noteworthy details get lost in the dark? Can anyone appreciate your beautiful mature trees? Does your property look foreboding or inviting?  

You put significant effort and expense into both the inside and outside of your home. Last month we talked about how lighting automation and LED technology could transform the look and feel of your home. This month, we want to talk about how you can do the same with the outside of your property. As we've said before, never underestimate the power of light's ability to change the way you view, use, and appreciate your Chicago, IL home. Keep reading to learn more about landscape lighting and automation to make your home as beautiful on the outside as it is inside.  

 

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How LED Lighting and Smart Control Can Transform Your Home

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A Look at the Latest in Lighting Control and Design 

LED technology may not change everything, but it is changing many things you interact with every day – and practically every minute. For example, the screen you are reading this on is likely lit by LED technology, whether it's your smartphone, tablet, desktop monitor, or laptop. While we don't think you are reading this on your flat-screen TV, one form of LED technology or another has revolutionized those screens, too.  

When it comes to home lighting, LED is a sea change there, too. LED lighting uses up to 80% less energy than Edison’s incandescent invention. Compared to still popular but rapidly declining compact fluorescent technology, LED still wins in flexibility, environmental friendliness, and energy efficiency.  

Combine the remarkable flexibility and efficiency of LED technology and smart lighting control systems, and you can transform the way you illuminate your Lake Geneva, WI home. Keep reading to see how.  

 

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How a Smart Home Can Change Your Life

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You Can Have It All – Efficiently, Too! 

Do luxury, economy, and efficiency mix? Can you have your luxury and enjoy it guilt-free, too? When it comes to smart home technology, we say yes. Rarely can you claim that something that provides more comfort and luxury is also a choice that offers economies and efficiencies. As a smart home company serving the Lake Geneva, WI area for many years, we’re going to stake that claim. Keep reading below to see how we make the case! 

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How to Elevate Interior Design with Smart Lighting Control

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Showcase Décor and Design in the Perfect Light 

As a design or build professional, you know how to create specific design flourishes and features that set your projects apart. Whether it's unique fireplaces, finishes, furnishings, layouts, or materials, you know how to create unique on-trend designs that exceed client expectations.  

As a residential design pro, you also know about the importance of light in a project and the overall feeling it conveys in a home. Does a house have "good light?" Does the light bring out the best of the interiors? One of the best ways to showcase your Hinsdale, IL home projects is with smart lighting control. Keep reading to see how you can use lighting control to enable your designs to be viewed in the perfect light.  

 

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Planning Summer Travel? Smart Home Surveillance Puts You at Ease

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Gain the Confidence that Your Home Is Safe and Sound

 While the pandemic has curtailed much traveling over the past year, the situation has improved markedly, with optimism for returning to normal life. And part of normal life is travel, especially in the summer months. Whether your escape from Chicagoland is close by with a lakefront vacation in Michigan or Wisconsin or somewhere farther, you’ll want to make sure your home is safe while you’re gone.

Fortunately, today’s technology supplies many options for keeping your home safe. Smart home surveillance is better than ever and lets you keep an eye on your home from wherever you are. Keep reading below to see how you can have peace of mind that your home will be safe, whether you're gone for a week or the whole summer.

 

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Why Motorized Blinds Are a Smart Investment for Your Home

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Motorized Window Treatments Are the Perfect Blend of Form and Function 

Window treatments like shades, blinds, and drapes are an essential part of home décor. They dress up the view (or block an unwanted one) and fit your design sense, whether modern, traditional, transitional, or so eclectic that you can't put a label on it.  

If you are looking to replace window treatments in a room or the whole house, we’d like to strongly suggest that you look at powered options. Why? Unpowered window coverings are mostly about style and, of course, some functions such as privacy and sun control. But when you add motorization, you unlock a whole set of other benefits. Read on for four reasons why motorized blinds are a wise investment for your Hinsdale, IL home.  

 

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How to Plan for Home Theater Systems in New Residential Projects

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What You Want to Know to Integrate Home Theaters 

As a design or build professional in Chicago, you keep up on the current trends in home design and lifestyles to keep your projects fresh and in demand. With all the time spent at home during the pandemic, few things are in more demand in Illinois than a home theater. With the plethora of content available over streaming services like Netflix and a lack of reasons to head out to an actual theater, a home cinema is an excellent investment for home entertainment. 

While almost any space can be turned into a home cinema, planning for one from the start when remodeling or building makes it far more manageable and less expensive to integrate a home theater system. Home theater systems involve many details, from seating to screens, projectors, speakers, sources and amplifiers, cabling, acoustics and more! Understanding what’s involved and how to plan a home theater space makes it much easier for your clients to get the home cinema they envision for their new home. Keep reading for more details below.  

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3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Home Automation Specialist

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Reason 1: Do You Want Home Automation That Works? 

The title is only a bit facetious, but there are many, many home automation options in the market. You only need to look in Home Depot, Best Buy, and Amazon to find a wide range of smart home devices from a plethora of vendors, with most of them tying into the platform umbrellas of the world’s largest tech companies.  

So, what’s wrong with that? Nothing, many of those devices are brilliant products. But what happens when you try to put together a complete smart home using these devices and platforms? It can get surprisingly complicated. Think about your laptop or desktop computer. You probably know how to maintain it and keep it updated and running relatively smoothly. What if you had a whole department full of them to manage? That's what IT departments or outside services tend to do, so employees don't have to spend time worrying about the technology they use. 

The concept is the same for a smart home. If you want to be your own integrator, you may be happy with DIY solutions. If you need a Chicago, IL smart home that just works – so you don’t have to be the IT department – you might consider an experienced home automation company like Barrett’s Technology Solutions. Explore why below! 

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Create an Outdoor Fun Zone with Audio and Video Entertainment

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Spring Is the Perfect Time to Bring the Entertainment Outside 

With spring around the corner, longer days are just ahead. There is something about the longer days with Daylight Savings Time that turns your thoughts to the outdoors. We know this is Illinois, and we can still get a spring snowfall, but anyway you look at it, warmer, sunnier days are just ahead.  

Spring traditionally is a time to start planning home projects. After the winter, many Naperville homeowners turn their attention to backyards and landscapes. It’s time to get the pool ready, the outdoor furniture uncovered and cleaned up, and spruce up the landscape with annuals. While you’re attacking all those projects, consider a way to add another dimension to your outdoor spring and summer fun with an outdoor audio and video system. Explore some ideas below to create your own outdoor oasis that will have you spending more much-needed time al fresco. 

 

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