Greater Technologies is always looking for interesting, innovative ways to incorporate new technologies into our showroom and into the homes of our customers, with the goal of making lives easier and more convenient.
If you have a few hours on a slow weekend afternoon, here’s a few ideas to upgrade a few areas of your home entertainment system. And, if you don’t have a slow afternoon, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you with any of these projects below, plus many more!
CLEAN UP STEREO WIRING
If your home was pre-wired for audio when it was built, there’s a good chance that your builder chose to run all of the speaker cables through a “pass-through” plate on the wall, leaving you with six feet of speaker wire bundled up behind your A/V equipment. This simple project installs a 5.1ch speaker wall plate on the wall and connects to your stereo using custom-length speaker wire runs terminated with banana plugs on each end. The banana plugs ensure quick and easy connections, and also lend a level of professionalism to your multi-channel speaker installation.
UPGRADE YOUR STEREO
Many new mid-range and up stereo receivers on the market today have the ability to connect to online music streaming services like Pandora™ and Spotify™, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access these services on your older stereo. This project uses a Raspberry Pi computer and your stereo optical input to get digital music from your phone to your stereo system. This is a pretty challenging project, but extending the life of your existing audio investment is certain to earn brownie points with your significant other!
UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING
Home Automation, for most, is the pinnacle of convenience and control for most homeowners. Unfortunately, a “Smart Home” can cost thousands of dollars in hardware and programming, and is simply not feasible for most households. That doesn’t mean you can’t add some intelligence to your home, however. One of my favorite projects is a Lighting Upgrade using Philips Hue. The basic kit can be purchased at apple.com, or in the Apple Store, and includes a bridge that connects to your router and three bulbs that screw into a standard light socket. Install the Hue app on your phone, and you can now control the lights with your smartphone or tablet. You can also use a service like IFTTT to turn your lights on at sunset, or flash the lights when you receive a text message, and much more.
THE OUTDOOR ROOM
The Outdoor Room is one of our favorite areas of the home in North Texas. While the summers can be quite sweltering, we typically have several months in the Spring and the Fall where these outdoor areas draw us outside. Take advantage of your space with comfortable deep seating, outdoor speakers and a high-pressure misting system to keep you a little more comfortable during the dog days of summer.