Give Your Audio Video Installation a Boost With New Speakers

The audio performance of Sonance and James Loudspeakers is second-to-none

As we enter the new year, home improvements are on the brain for many of us! Your home entertainment is a popular system to upgrade, and one of the best improvements you can make is new speakers for your audio video installation. High-performance speakers vastly improve your music, movie, TV, sports viewing, and gaming experiences at home.

When it comes to upgrading your home audio, we recommend the best: Sonance and James Loudspeaker. Keep reading to learn more about this powerhouse duo and how their speaker products will transform your Pacific Palisades or Los Angeles, CA, home.

Read more

2 Smart Devices That Will Improve Your Home Security

Use security cameras and a smart video doorbell to know what’s going on around-the-clock

Here’s a 2021 New Year’s goal all homeowners can get behind: improving home security. While spending the majority of 2020 inside your Malibu, CA, home, you may have noticed some security flaws. And whether you’re heading back to the office in 2021 or working remotely at home, it’s time to consider the smart devices you need to keep you and your family safe.

At Haustech, we recommend starting with two tried-and-true home protection devices: security cameras and access control. Keep reading to learn more.

Read more

CEDIA 2020 Wrap-Up: What We Were Excited to See This Year

Learn about the enticing new products that won big at CEDIA this year

The annual CEDIA Expo is the premier platform to find anyone who’s anyone in the smart technology industry and see all the newest technologies out on display. The 2020 CEDIA Expo looked a lot different than prior events… was entirely virtual. Thousands of integrators and technology manufacturers displayed virtual booths, hosted panels and held discussions remotely in a first-of-its-kind event for CEDIA.

As your local smart home company in the Pacific Palisades and Los Angeles, CA, area, Haustech is here to give you a brief rundown of the best of the best from CEDIA 2020. Keep reading!

Read more

Unleash Your Inner Audiophile With Savant’s Audio Over IP for Whole Home Music

Audio over IP delivers lossless, high-fidelity sound to every room in your home

Whole home audio is a win for everyone in your family. With multi-room audio distribution, you can store, access and manage all your audio services — streaming platforms (Spotify, Pandora), playlists, MP3 libraries, CDs, the radio, TV audio, audiobooks and podcasts — from a single intuitive interface on a smartphone app or touchscreen device. From there, it only takes one touch to direct music to any room in your Malibu, CA, home.

The newest trend in whole home audio is audio over IP technology, which uses your home network to transmit exceptional sound throughout your home. In this field, Savant is leading the pack with its best-in-class IP audio products for residential systems. Keep reading to learn more!

Read more

2 AV Solutions to Jumpstart Your Home Theater Installation

The display screen and sound system will make or break a home theater installation — luckily, we have some suggestions for you

The AV components are the defining elements in your home theater installation. With the right display screen and sound system, your favorite movies, TV shows, sports games and video games can pull you out of reality and sweep you into the thrilling, exciting, tense action of incredible media.

The primary goal of a home theater is to let your escape into an exceptional media experience in your Pacific Palisades, CA, home. At Haustech, we have recommendations for 2 high-end equipment solutions that make good on that goal. Keep reading to learn more.

Read more

Enhance Your Life with Lutron’s Innovative Motorized Shades

Here’s how Lutron automated shading can transform how you enjoy your Malibu home

Most of us have some window treatments around our homes — shades, drapes, blinds, etc. Window treatments are generally not someone’s favorite aspect of their home; it can be time-consuming to adjust each of them, and they’re not known as something to get excited about. What if your shades could be something you love to have in your life?

Lutron, a leader in motorized shading solutions, creates shades that offer a myriad of benefits — including convenience, customization, and energy savings. In this blog, we’ll walk you through what you can expect with Lutron motorized shades and how they can improve your Malibu, CA, home, and lifestyle.

Read more

What Components Do You Need for Great Outdoor Entertainment?

With the right smart technology, you can transform your outdoor spaces into entertainment hotspots

Summer is here in the Pacific Palisades and Los Angeles, although you might argue it’s almost always summer in Southern California save for January and February. Our mild climate makes it easy to enjoy the plentiful sun and fresh air. With the warmer summer nights, an outdoor entertainment system on your back patio and pool deck can extend the fun outside. With outdoor AV, you can listen to music, watch movies and entertain guests outside anytime you want.

At Haustech, we’ll get you set up with everything you need to start enjoying stellar sound and visuals outdoors. Keep reading to learn more!

Read more

CES Recap from the Eyes of Haustech

You may know the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 just happened in Las Vegas. If you don’t know, it’s the time and place when all consumer focused electronics get showcased. Some very cool items were demonstrated this year! We’ve created a short list with our favorites so that you can get a feel for what’s floating around the Techosphere. These favorited products are listed in no particular order and are not all associated with Smart Home technologies. Hope you enjoy! -Michael

Philips Hue Outdoor Lighting 

In a very up-and-coming category, Phillips Hue offers a very cool (and affordable) solution. With a range of color changing light options the outdoor space will never be the same. And it doesn’t hurt that these lights integrate with Savant (our home automation platform.)

Samsung 8K Bezel-less TV

There are so many beautiful TVs on the market, but what sets this beauty apart from others is that there is essentially NO bezel and it has the highest resolution available today. Imagine putting four of these together for a video wall. It would essentially look like a large projection screen full bright in all conditions. Although the price will be steep year one (+$15,000), it WILL come down and this WILL be a possibility.

Kohler Moxie Showerhead

Ever wanted to have a shower with Alexa? Now you can! This is the Alexa in the shower solution and according to reviews it actually works. This Kohler Moxie showerhead smart speaker brings Amazon’s prolific voice assistant to life in your bathroom. While the water streams through the showerhead, Alexa will stream through your Wi-Fi, and be able to hear, respond to, and act on voice commands as you have your morning shower.

Sony Vision-S

Move over Tesla – there’s a new player in town! Sony? Well, yes. Sony introduced their version of the Tesla killer this year – the Sony Vision-S – and it does indeed show potential. Interestingly, after hearing about a potential Apple car for years, that it’s Sony to actually pull it off.

Some features that stand out:

  • 300 Miles+ range
  • Level 2 self-driving technology – Sony currently supplies sensors, imaging, and entertainment to other car manufacturers which will really help in this department.

Optoma Cinema P1 

This is a new category of home projection systems – the ultra short ‘throw up on the wall’ for a large projection system without the need for a big projector on your ceiling or back wall. This Optoma Cinema P1 is a full 4K image with speaker system for a complete package. It can project a 120” from as close as 14.5” from the wall. Plus, it has an art library to display on the wall!

Sunflower Labs Bee Security System

As we enter a world with more security concerns, it’s crazy what people come up with. A home security system powered by drones? What? Yes! Imagine for a moment a scenario where someone enters your yard uninvited. Within a few seconds of entering your property, the intruder hears a sound like the buzzing of a swarm of bees — and a drone descends from the sky to capture them on video and provide you with a live view of everything the intruder does.

This is the concept behind Sunflower Labs’ Bee, a fully autonomous drone that automatically responds to vibrations and motion on your property. The Bee takes off from ‘The Hive’ and utilizes sensors placed throughout the property called ‘Sunflowers’ that can differentiate between people, animals, and cars while creating a heat map of activity inside the app all in real time.

As a bonus, they also work as yard lights!

The Future of PoE Lighting

Think of all the lights in your house that are currently powered by thick yellow ‘ROMEX’ that can electrocute you and which run to big power panels with breakers that pop and need to be reset. That is the past.

Now think of a data network. Managed by an intelligent network switch that puts out power – Power Over Ethernet – enough to light up your house! Energy-efficiency has driven the evolution of the light bulb, but the next iteration of the light bulb will launch it into the era of the Internet of Things (IoT). As LED lights slowly replace compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s) due to greater energy efficiency, businesses have been exploring the profitability of replacing LED lights’ electrical power source with an alternate but common power source found in the networking world — Power Over Ethernet (PoE).

PoE enables IT personnel and even end-users to install additional LED light sources at nearly any location. With traditional light sources that rely on the power grid of a building, users need to contract a professional electrician and follow extensive conduit rules and regulations. PoE lighting eliminates the need for a costly electrical contractor.

But PoE accomplishes more than simplifying deployment. PoE connects LED light sources to the internet and gives users access to “Smart Lighting.” Smart Lighting enables users to remotely control their lighting systems via a mobile client device using the internet.

There are several advantages to PoE lighting, including automation, remote control, and the cost-efficiency of Cat5 Cable. Haustech notes that “Ethernet cables cost very little compared to heavy duty copper wire and conduit used for traditional lighting.” Cost, mobility, and ease of installation are some of the factors that will attract users to invest in these next generation lighting options.

A New World of Surveillance Has Arrived

Let’s talk about surveillance. A topic that is near and (unfortunately) dear to our hearts these days. There are many options out there making it hard to keep track of what’s best. Traditional systems with a localized hard drive (DVR) and cameras are being replaced with those offered by Nest and Ring.

An easier interface for reviewing camera footage makes everything better.. right? Not exactly. These cameras come with recurring recording costs. With annual subscription costs for Nest around $50 per camera and Ring around $30 per camera, it can add up quickly for a new construction or a retrofit camera upgrade of 6-8 cameras.

This has been the recommended path in recent years because ease of use and image quality being similar to what was being offered by the former DVR systems. Until now. There is a new camera in town and it simply blows the imagination.

Let me ask you a question – when does most of the bad stuff happen? At night when we are sleeping. For this type of surveillance, we needed cameras with infrared night vision, enabling you to see where you would not have been able to in the past.

This is great until you actually try to review footage at night and see that the infrared cuts down significantly on the resolution until you can barely make out the make of a car much less the model on a close up view.

About four months ago, a new technology came out, called Starlight, ColorVu or whatever proprietary name each vendor is using. It’s A GAME CHANGER and is actually a reason why every person with an existing surveillance system should consider upgrading.

Imagine full HD (up to 4K ) resolution in the dark.  See the video below for a great example of what color night vision can offer. 

Can you see the difference?

One caveat with this new technology. There needs to be SOME ambient light. In total blackness these cameras will still resort to infrared black and white mode. In this case, even that seems better honestly. These cameras show an improved infrared image.

In most cases that we see in Los Angelenos’ landscapes, there is some ambient light available which is why we think these cameras truly provide a new way forward.

In order to take advantage of these new cameras it may require an upgrade of your local DVR as well – some up front costs. What you gain in the end is no subscription fees, a much better (up to 4K) image than offered on the subscription based systems and color night vision. If you are thinking of upgrading an existing wired surveillance system, this may be the time to do it. Even old analog systems can be upgraded to HD using this technology.

Call Haustech at 877-797-HAUS (4287) to talk about your surveillance needs.

Photo © Hikvision © Lorex