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This Winter, Bring Luxury & Comfort to Your Iowa Home with Crestron

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Make the Most of Colder Days Through Smart Technology

The sun is setting earlier, there’s a chill in the air, and soon our trees will be bare here in Des Moines, IA. As we head into winter, many homeowners are looking for inventive ways to make life a little easier. If you’re hoping to add comfort and cheer to your winter, and if you’re curious about smart home technology, consider a Crestron Home installation.

What is Crestron Home? It’s a home automation system that intuitively connects all your technologies, from lighting to security cameras, all controlled from one interface. With winter-ready settings programmed into your Crestron Home system, you may not even be tempted to book a flight down south!

Read on to discover the possibilities this winter with a Crestron smart home.

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From the Home Office to Conference Rooms, Stay Connected with Crestron

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Crestron Flex and Microsoft Teams Are the Keys to Smooth-Sailing Business Operations 

In today’s business world, people work in all kinds of settings. You may find workers in their home offices, in huddle rooms, in conference rooms, or large auditoriums—all in a single week! Remote staff joins in-person meetings over webcam, and projects are edited in real-time with screen sharing features. 

If your company is using multiple applications for many settings, that can cause a headache of incompatible devices and confusion. Instead, everyone should be able to connect easily to one system, regardless of what room they’re in, home or away. Luckily, when your Moline, IL business uses Crestron Flex hardware, it all integrates with Microsoft Teams, streamlining and simplifying your everyday routines.

Together, a Crestron installation and Microsoft Teams deliver what you need to create a productive, thriving workplace. Continue reading to learn how the technology works! 

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The Best Gear for Your Home Audio-Video Needs

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Whether You’re Looking for a Beginner Setup or the Ultimate Home Theater, Start Here. 

When you have a deep appreciation for something, you want to experience new and better versions of it. For instance, coffee fanatics love trying different roasts and brewing methods and may invest in an espresso machine at home. Travel buffs want to explore new and unfamiliar territories beyond common tourist destinations.

Similarly, movie and music lovers want to go beyond the most convenient ways to enjoy their favorite entertainment. To truly appreciate a film score and breathtaking visuals, you might want more than a simple flatscreen with built-in speakers. 

That’s why we’re here to show you the path to upgrade your home audio-video. We’ll start at a beginner level for those only dipping their toes and go as far as a finished home theater. Read on to get inspired for your Rock Island, IL home’s entertainment. 

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When Restarting the Router Isn’t Enough: Fixing Your Home Network

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Your Guide to Wi-Fi, Hardwiring, and Building a Better Network

The way people talk about their home network, you’d think it has a mind of its own. “The Wi-Fi’s being weird today,” one might say. Or: “Just wait for it to come back on.”

Many homeowners are perplexed as to why their internet connection suffers. We think that if we just restart the router and pause the movie, it will figure itself out.


And yes, sometimes restarting the router is enough. If the network is overcrowded and lacks proper bandwidth, the system may have stalled. But what if you’re repeatedly running into problems?

If it feels like your internet is never working, there’s a tangible solution out there. It might not be the fix you expected, but there are always ways to build a more stable, secure home network. As home networking professionals based in Cedar Rapids, IA, we’ll share our tried-and-true Wi-Fi advice below.

SEE ALSO: Why Aren’t You Seeing Full 4K on Every Screen?

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Back to the Office? Automation Upgrades to Boost Your Business

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Increase Productivity and Morale with These Smart Technologies

Things are gradually going back to normal here in Iowa City, and businesses are inviting their teams back into the office. If your company is working in person again or will be soon, this is an excellent opportunity to dive into smart office automation.

New technologies like door access, white noise, conferencing systems, and multi-room audio enhance the way we do business. And an office automation system can sync all of your technologies into one easy-to-control interface. Learn more for your Iowa business below.

SEE ALSO: Here Are the Energy-Saving Features of Commercial Automation

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Outdoor Speakers: Know Your Options

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Find the Best High-End Audio for Your Iowa Backyard

Barbecues, campfires, pool parties, and wine on the porch—it’s all better with an outdoor sound system. Most folks use a Bluetooth portable speaker or an old boom box when they enjoy tunes outside. But there are many drawbacks to that approach. For one, a single speaker can’t spread sound to every end of your backyard. If you’re hosting friends and family, they might not be able to hear music in some areas, while in others, the audio is overpowering.

Another disadvantage is that portable speakers are unreliable and not weatherproof. You need to make sure the speaker is charged or plugged into an external outlet to use it. And if it starts to rain, it’s a mad dash to bring your speakers inside.

That’s not the case with an outdoor speaker system by brands like Paradigm and Rockustics. If you’re new to outdoor audio, there are many options and approaches to weatherproof sound. Explore your choices below to find the best fit for your home in Davenport, IA.

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What Speakers Should I Use in a Home Theater Installation?

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Find the Right Speaker Setup for Your Private Cinema

People often ask us what speakers to use in their home theater. To choose a model, we recommend you listen for yourself! There are plenty of high-end speaker brands you can trust to deliver superior sound, like Bowers & Wilkins, Paradigm, Triad, and Leon. Some audiophiles prefer one manufacturer over another; it’s ultimately up to your taste. If you’re in the Urbandale, IA area, you can hear high-fidelity sound in our Des Moines showroom.

But beyond choosing a brand, you need to know what types of speakers to install in a home theater and where to place them. How many speakers do you need in a home theater installation? Where do they go? And what is Dolby Atmos? We’ll explain it all below.

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7 Times You’ll Use Motorized Shades in a Day

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How Custom Roller Shades Combine Style & Smart Technology

You might not think much of roller shades, but they’ve come a long way in history! Decorative cloth and paper roller shades first appeared in 17th-century Holland, but it wasn’t until 1858 that a New York factory would begin mass-producing window shades  

Window blinds stayed relatively the same for more than a century until the 1980s, with the new concept of a “smart house.” Today, brands like Hunter Douglas and PowerShades produce sleek and stylish custom roller shades you can automate in one tap of a button with systems like Control4 and Crestron 

Our clients in Davenport, IA, love the convenience that smart blinds provide. Upgrading to motorized blinds is like going from hand-washing dishes to owning a dishwasherOnce you experience the difference, you’ll never go back to regular blinds.  

But you may be wondering, “Are motorized shades really necessary? We share below seven helpful ways smart shades will enhance your daily routine.  

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Outdoor Lighting, Entertainment, & Automation Ideas for Your Home

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Make the Most of Your Outdoor Spaces in One Press of a Button

Imagine you’re on an evening stroll and spot a restaurant or home lit up with warm, ambient lightYou hear music wafting through the air and laughter while people enjoy drinks or a dip in a pool. I want to be there,” you think as you pass by. 

What if your backyard could feel that wayWith recent advances in technology, you can take the power of the smart home to easily customize and control your outdoor space’s atmosphere. Outdoor lighting, speakers, screens, and even pools can be controlled from one system. 

To get started, you’ll need weatherproof equipment and an installation that syncs technology to one compatible smart home system. Explore the possibilities for your Des Moines, IA, home below.  

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Audio-Video Essentials for the Modern House of Worship

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Improve Your Sound & Video for In-Person and At-Home Worshippers

The past year did no favors for houses of worship. Here in Iowa, churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques closed for weeks and months at the start of the pandemic. Many Des Moines congregations struggled to open their doors, while others offered limited capacity with live-streaming services for those at home. 

It was an eye-opener to many religious leaders that their technology was not up-to-date or capable of adequately live streaming. As we continue to deal with the pandemic and look forward to the future after it, you may be wondering how to enhance your own church audio-video

As AV installers, we work with many houses of worship to build high-quality sound and video systems. We’ll share how professionally installed AV will enhance your worship servicesallowing you to reach more people in your community. 

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Monitored Security vs. Home Surveillance: Advantages of Each

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Is One Solution Better Than the Other?

Although they sound similar, monitored security and home surveillance are not the same thing. In our last article, we discussed the differences between the two smart security methods.

Essentially, monitored security means that a remote monitoring agent will be notified when alarms or sensors go off on your property. They’ll try to call you, and if you can’t be reached, they will inform the authorities. Alternatively, a surveillance system doesn’t include any monitoring, but instead a network of security cameras you check yourself.

Is there a time when one solution is appropriate over the other? We’ll share the advantages of both monitored security and a home surveillance system so you can learn which is best to protect your Davenport, IA, home.

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Monitored Security vs. Surveillance: What’s the Difference?

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Two Ways You Can Protect Your Home

Whether you’re worried about porch pirates swiping your Amazon packages or an intruder creeping into the house while you’re away, an automated security system can grant you much-needed peace of mind. But if you’ve done any research on home security, you may have come across two terms: ‘monitored security’ and ‘surveillance.’ Is there a difference?

Many people use ‘monitored security system’ and ‘surveillance system’ interchangeably, but there are slight differences in the meanings. And before an installation, you want to make sure you’re getting the exact protection you desire. So, read on to understand how each system can help your Des Moines, IA home stay safe. 

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Rather Than DIY Your AV This Christmas, Partner with a Professional

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Treat Yourself or Loved Ones to the Best in Audio & Video

It’s getting colder in Iowa City, IA, and the holidays will be here before we know it. If you’re looking to upgrade your home theater or treat a loved one to a home entertainment gift, you may be tempted to DIY or find them something simple from Amazon. But for an overall improved AV experience, let’s do it together!

Professional home theater and audio solutions will always make a difference when compared to attempting yourself with cheap plug-and-play gadgets. You’ll enjoy higher quality audio and video and smarter control, all and aesthetically blended into your home. Get inspired for the holidays below.

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Wake Up to Natural Light & Feel Better with Motorized Shades

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Smart Technology to Start Your Day Off Right

You know the feeling—you’re curled up cozy in bed, dreaming, when suddenly you’re yanked into reality by your blaring alarm clock. You press snooze, only to be interrupted again eight minutes later. You feel tired, irritated, and force yourself to start another day working from home.

If this sounds like your morning routine, it may be time for a healthy change. Our circadian rhythms are regulated by light exposure, when we eat, and exercise. With smart lighting and motorized shades, you can influence the first factor, lighting, for a more comfortable living environment and better sleep.

Ready to feel more energized and rested in your Des Moines, IA home? Learn how motorized shades can help below.

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Miss Tailgating? Bring Entertainment Outside with an Outdoor TV

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Take the Stadium Experience to Your Backyard

 

It’s an Iowa State season unlike any other. Tailgating has been banned, and fans are not allowed into the stadium to cheer on the Cyclones. As we wait out the pandemic, many of us yearn for the traditions and community of football games in previous years.

 

But your fall season doesn’t have to forfeit fun. Imagine watching the game on a large flat screen with a bonfire, drinks, and burgers on the grill. A weatherproof outdoor TV and speakers can bring festivities to your Des Moines, IA backyard all year long, even in winter. Learn how outdoor AV works below!

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How Every Member of Your Family Will Use Multi-Room Audio

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The Many Ways to Enjoy a Whole Home Speaker System

 

Have you ever noticed that when you turn on your home’s speakers, suddenly everyone starts talking more and feeling good? While preparing dinner and listening to music, you may even start singing along or dancing.

A multi-room audio system can bring that feeling to every corner of your house. Now when you walk from room to room, you’ll still hear your favorite artists. Whether it’s through floor-standing, bookshelf, or in-wall speakers, a professionally installed setup will connect every room to one system, accessible through your phone.

As audio and video professionals based in Davenport, IA, we’ve seen the many ways people use their multi-room audio system. Read on to see how each member of your family might use yours.  

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3 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Do With a Fully Automated Home

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As an independent Control4 dealer in Des Moines, IA, smart home technology is our bread and butter. We know how to build sophisticated, stylish systems that merge lighting, audio, and security.

 

But what makes a fully automated home? Maybe you own an Alexa voice assistant speaker and a Ring video doorbell that connects to your phone. That’s great, but you can achieve so much more with a “level three” smart home.

 

If you’re new to home automation, get ready to be in awe of your own home. Read on to see the unexpected ways Control4 can enhance daily life.

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Are You Ready for A Level 3 Smart Home?

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What is Level 3 Home Control? Find Out What Makes a Complete Smart System

There are many shades of smart home control. Earlier this year, we asked our readers, “What is your smart home control level?” Some folks only dip their toes into smart technology with one or two devices like a Nest thermostat or Amazon Echo—level one. A next step up, at level two, might mean someone dabbles with a surveillance camera, maybe adds whole home audio to their house, or installs smart lighting. But that’s still not a fully integrated, comprehensive smart home.

That brings us to level three. What makes a ‘real’ smart home? We share the answer below so you can get inspired for home control in your Iowa City, IA property.

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What Is Your Smart Home Control Level?

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No Matter Where You Are on the Smart Home Spectrum, It’s Easy to Get Started

Even with all the smart home devices and systems readily available in the market, some folks haven’t jumped in. The reality is that some people are very comfortable with new technology, some love the novelty of doing something differently, and some – often called late adopters – only jump on the bandwagon when the benefits and costs are crystal clear.

There is a whole spectrum of where people are concerning smart technology. The penetration rate of smartphones in the U.S. is currently about 70%, and that is one measure of smart technology as it is the gateway to much of it. But while some may have a smart thermostat like Nest, they may not think they need anything else in that vein. Likewise, another person might have a video doorbell to add security but have little interest in other smart home devices.

Where are you on the smart home control spectrum in your Des Moines IA residence? Let’s explore it in more detail.

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Do You Need a Home Networking Upgrade?

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3 Signs That Your Network Needs a Boost

A home network is a necessity in the modern world. Whether you're looking up something on the web, the kids are doing school homework, or watching a show on Netflix, all of those activities are fully dependent on a robust network and internet connection. We may take that access for granted, but when it doesn’t work correctly, frustration quickly ensues.

Networking issues are often difficult to diagnose. Is it software or hardware? Is it your device or the network that isn't working correctly? Sometimes the quick restart of a device, app, or website can cure the problem. But if slowdowns and dropped connections happen often, it’s a sign of deeper issues.

How can you tell if your home networking is failing you in Urbandale, IA? Read on to find out.

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Iowa City Showroom - Open by Appointment Only 
Serving Coralville/Cedar Rapids Corridor Area
1719 2nd Street
Coralville, Iowa 52241
(319) 354-7700

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Davenport Quad Cities
Serving Iowa and Illinois
1120 East Kimberly Road
Davenport, Iowa 52807
(563) 386-7800

Des Moines
Serving Urbandale Area and Surrounding Cities
10850 Douglas Avenue
Urbandale, Iowa 50322
(515) 777-1267

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