Contact Us (888) 702-7800   |   24/7 ClientCare Members (888) 912-8313

5 Things to Know About Outdoor Audio Video

Man and young girl sit on a patio at nighttime watching an outdoor TV.

For the Best Backyard Experience, Don’t Miss These Outdoor AV Tips

Why waste a beautiful day indoors? With weatherproof outdoor audio and video, you can take entertainment to the patio, hammock, or pool to make the most of lovely Iowa weather (while we have it!).  

But before you press “Purchase” on your online shopping cart or head to the nearest big-box store, there are many things to consider before installing outdoor audio video. If you want the highest-quality experience, you’ll want to invest in the best hardware and have it installed professionally for optimal performance.

As a home technology integrator based in the Des Moines, IA, area, we’re experts in all things related to outdoor entertainment. Look out for the following factors in your outdoor AV installation!

Continue reading

How Different Businesses Can Use a Commercial Automation System

20220419-183859REAUVI_AprilBlog2_CommercialAutomationSystem_DesMoinesIA

Enhance the Experience for Your Staff & Customers

If you’re a business owner in Des Moines, ask yourself: how is your current technology serving you? If you own a retail space or restaurant, is audio evenly distributed across the building? Is it easy to control? Or is the sound system so old that you can’t stream music?

Commercial technology encompasses far more than audio and video. When you own a commercial automation system like Crestron, you can control lighting, security, HVAC, and conferencing solutions all from one interface. All businesses can benefit from commercial automation, from office buildings to hospitality spaces.

Is your business’s technology up to par? Continue reading to see how a Crestron automation system can help your specific Iowa business.

Continue reading

Control4 or Crestron? Which System to Use for Home Automation

20220419-183523REAUVI_AprilBlog1_HomeAutomation_DavenportIA-

A Look at Two High-End Home Automation Systems

If you’re interested in bringing home automation to your Iowa residence, you may have come across two of the biggest brands in the industry: Control4 and Crestron.

Control4 and Crestron are luxury control systems that can integrate all your home’s technologies, from smart lighting to the hot tub. Unlike DIY plug-and-play devices, Control4 and Crestron are sophisticated enough to automate equipment from different manufacturers and group them together.

But if you must pick between the two, which is best? We’re a smart home installer based in the Davenport, IA area, and we partner with both Control4 and Crestron. In this article, we’ll compare each system to help you make the right choice.

Continue reading

Smart Conferencing Systems for the Hybrid Workspace

20220307-204636REAUVI_MarchBlog2_CrestronFlex_IowaCityIA-

Discover a New Way to Work

We love retro décor, retro movies, and music. But retro office technology? Not so much.

The modern workplace is an all-new experience. Some of your staff may work remotely while others are in the office. More than ever, you’ll find teams are communicating with clients, customers, and other branches virtually.

In this new hybrid landscape, many businesses are struggling to figure out how to bridge the gap between in-person and virtual collaboration. Should everyone join a virtual meeting from their personal laptop? But then again, doesn’t that negate the purpose of returning to the office? It’s confusing for everyone!

Luckily, technology solutions like Crestron Flex and Biamp make it easier than ever to switch between in-house and virtual collaboration. Read on to see how it could benefit your Iowa City, IA business!

Continue reading

Explore Outdoor Entertainment for Your Iowa Home or Business

20220302-222030REAUVI_MarchBlog1_OutdoorEntertainment_DavenportIA-

Bring Entertainment & Atmosphere to Outdoor Spaces with High-Quality AV

Who doesn’t love dining on the patio with music? Or watching a movie under the stars on a summer night?

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, you can boost the atmosphere of your exterior spaces with outdoor entertainment solutions.

Yes, we mean fully outdoor—so through any weather or temperature, your speakers, screens, and landscape lighting will perform all year long. When we install outdoor systems in Davenport, IA, we trust high-quality weatherproof brands like Coastal Source audio and lighting and Séura outdoor TVs.

Learn more about outdoor entertainment for your Iowa home or business!

Continue reading

Run a Large Business? Tech to Improve Your Security

20220222-201820REAUVI_FebruaryBlog2_CommercialSurveillanceSystem_UrbandaleIA-

Ensure a Safe & Secure Work Environment for All

From office buildings to university campuses, anywhere with lots of people coming and going requires attention to security. You don’t want suspicious people slipping into your business, and you need to ensure staff and visitors are safe in the building.  

If your business hasn’t updated your commercial surveillance system in ten or more years, it’s time for an upgrade. Cameras of yesteryear are not as smart as today’s models, and you’ll reduce more false alarms and obtain much more valuable footage with new systems. Likewise, access control is more sophisticated, with more options than ever.

Read on to learn about new AI surveillance cameras and door access systems available to your Urbandale, IA business from Reference Audio Video & Security.

Continue reading

How a Smart Lighting Design Can Improve Daily Life

20220222-201638REAUVI_FebruaryBlog1_LightingDesign_CoralvilleIA-

The Modern Approach to Lighting & Shading

Whether you’re moving into a new house, undergoing construction, or preparing for a home improvement project, smart lighting design can make a world of difference.

What do we mean by lighting design? We mean methodically installing lighting fixtures at multiple levels, letting you easily change light settings for various daily activities. And with smart lighting control and shading, you can customize the appearance of your lights as well as automate when shades raise and lower.

We design and install lighting systems that not only add beauty to Iowa homes, but make homeowners’ lives more convenient and streamlined. Discover the benefits of smart lighting and shading for your Coralville-area home below!

Continue reading

Commercial-Grade Networking for Your Quad Cities Business

20220216-153306REAUVI_JanuaryBlog2_CommercialNetworking_QuadCities

Take Your Wi-Fi to the Next Level with a Network Upgrade

From offices to restaurants, all businesses today rely on stable, speedy internet connections. So whether you’re processing credit cards or hosting teleconferences with important clients, your business’s internet must be running well during the workday.

So, what do you do if your staff continually complains of slow or troublesome Wi-Fi? Maybe you even invested in a mesh network and still find your internet is not up to par. What can be done?

You may not be using the right hardware or network solutions! Below, we’ll share how we install commercial networking in businesses across the Quad Cities—and the difference it makes.

Continue reading

The Benefits of Working with a Home Audio-Video Specialist

20220216-152132REAUVI_JanuaryBlog1_AudioVideoInstallation_DesMoinesIA-

Should You Hire A Pro for Audio-Video Installation?

Most people can figure out how to set up a TV or speakers on their own. But what do you do when you want to take your entertainment beyond a regular living room experience?

If you’re curious about a new home theater, whole-home audio, hidden AV, unique TV lifts, or even a high-end listening room for your Des Moines, IA home, your best bet is to work with a specialized installation company. An AV designer can properly create the experience you truly desire that would otherwise be difficult to achieve through DIY.

In this article, we’ll share the benefits of working with professionals for your audio-video installation and why it’s so important.

Continue reading

There’s No Single Way to Build a Custom Home Theater

there-s-no-single-way-to-build-a-custom-home-theater

Make It Your Own with These Home Theater Ideas 

When we say the phrase ‘home theater,’ many people think of an over-the-top luxurious room separated from the rest of the house. And that’s certainly one way to approach the home cinema. Others may think of their DIY home theater setup in the living room, with a large flatscreen and floor-standing speakers surrounding the listener. 

There’s no single, correct way to approach the home theater. Some home cinemas are used for one purpose only: to watch films in an immersive atmosphere. Others are more versatile, leaving space to play games, entertain, and use the room for other activities. 

In this blog, we’ll talk about the basics of home cinemas and different approaches you can take to build yours. So, when you’re ready to kick back and relax in your Quad Cities home, you’ll have a custom home theater that perfectly suits your needs. 

Continue reading

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

REAUVI_NovemberBlog1_CrestronHome_DesMoinesIA-

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.

Continue reading

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

from-the-home-office-to-conference-rooms-stay-connected-with-crestron

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! 

Continue reading

The Best Gear for Your Home Audio-Video Needs

the-best-gear-for-your-home-audio-video-needs

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. 

Continue reading

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

REAUVI_AugustBlog1_HomeNetworking_CedarRapidsIA-

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?

Continue reading

Back to the Office? Automation Upgrades to Boost Your Business

REAUVI_JulyBlog1_OfficeAutomationSystem_IowaCityIA-

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

Continue reading

Outdoor Speakers: Know Your Options

outdoor-speakers-know-your-options

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.

Continue reading

What Speakers Should I Use in a Home Theater Installation?

what-speakers-should-i-use-in-a-home-theater-installation

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.

Continue reading

7 Times You’ll Use Motorized Shades in a Day

7-times-you-ll-use-motorized-shades-in-a-day

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.  

Continue reading

Outdoor Lighting, Entertainment, & Automation Ideas for Your Home

outdoor-lighting-entertainment-automation-ideas-for-your-home

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.  

Continue reading

Audio-Video Essentials for the Modern House of Worship

audio-video-essentials-for-the-modern-house-of-worship

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. 

Continue reading
Subscribe to Inspiration
Stay up to date on the latest smart technology ideas and innovations.
Reference AVS


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

HTA white
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

Powered By One Firefly   |    Sitemap   |    Privacy Policy