STATE OF INTEGRATION

The latest news in home integration and automation solutions.
-by Phil Giordano

More just in from Savant

August 10th, 2017

My last email talked about the new Savant remote that many of you are using today. This month I’ll fill you in on all new things since then. We have Savant branded shades, two new on wall touch screens, garage and door lock control, Alexa, the sleep timer you all missed is back and the acquisition of Artison speakers. Whew!

Savant Shading will be shipping by the end of this month. With over 400 fabric choices (25 with quick turn lead times!). They are fully controlled with your Savant app and they are more affordable than some of my other lines. I’m excited to add these to our shading options .

Next up is the new Wally, on wall touch screen. Available in 5.5″ and 8.5″ versions in black and white. You can set Wally’s wakeup screen to the room or service of your choice and it has an adjustable wake up sensor that turns on when you’re close!


Garage and door locks are new too. Imagine pulling up a screen on your phone from where ever you are and being able to see if you closed the garage and then, being able to close it! We can also control your front door so you can let the kids in that forgot their keys.

Here’s a simple one you all miss that came back! The sleep timer feature was missed and Savant heard their clients.

Finally! Alexa integration is available with Savant. Activate scenes, rooms, and lights by simply giving Alexa the command.

Contact us now for info on how to activate this, most of you have the software already so it’s a simple setup!

Phil Giordano, The Big Picture Media Systems

July 23rd, 2017

Finally! Voice control for your Savant home automation system!

Just in from Savant

March 26th, 2017

Recently Savant introduced its new remote control. I was thrilled to see it for lots of different reasons. One of the features that I personally love is the ability to activate your pre-set scenes with voice control directly from the remote. More importantly, the remote programs easily and has a rock solid wi-fi connection 100% of the time. This means it’s ready to get to work instantly, no more waiting around for the remote to hook back up to your wirelessly! I have three in my home now and have sold countless others.

Obviously, I was excited when I learned that this remote control won the “Best New Product” Award at Cedia 2016. Savant really does pride themselves on delivering the best experience in home automation, just like I do.

If you’re ready for replacements of broken remotes or just thinking about some upgrades to a Savant or other control system, give me a call to discuss what might work best for you.

Contact us now to discuss how you can take advantage of these new developments.

Phil Giordano, The Big Picture Media Systems

4K or UHD, the name doesn’t matter!

February 1st, 2016

Last month at CES in Las Vegas the new Blu-Ray format was announced. It’s call Ultra HD Blu-Ray and it’s coming in March along with Ultra HD discs. I’m continually dumbfounded by these manufacturers that make things so difficult with the silly naming. To keep it simple, in our living rooms 4K and UHD are the same. These new Ultra HD Blu-Ray’s will play perfectly on your new 4K tv. Keep in mind a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player will still play your existing Blu-Ray and DVD collection.ultra hd premium logo

Mere months before CES, the UHD Alliance came out with all the specifications for UltraHD discs. This means that not all of the 4K TVs sold before today have all the requirements for “full” 4K. Since the standards are new, there’s a chance your 4K TV will not work with every feature (HDCP, HDR, HDMI 2.0a, you get the idea). The logo above is what to look for on your TV to be sure you are getting the newest technology.

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So what can you watch today in full 4K? Last month we talked about the Kaleidescape movie server and as of last week they are selling digital downloads of full 4K movies on their new Strato. Remember these are full bit for bit copies of Blu-Ray and Ultra HD Blu-Ray, not streaming like Netflix 4K. You can see the Strato has all the specs for Ultra HD Premium, HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2. These are the technologies currently used, available today, and will be future proof for years to come. These movies will continue to come out well ahead of their disc counterparts. Only time will tell how the new disc format will go but it’s clear that digital downloads and streaming are here to stay.

Contact us now to discuss how you can take advantage of these new developments.

Phil Giordano, The Big Picture Media Systems

Toys For Everyone

December 19th, 2015
As another year winds down and we get closer to the holiday season I decided it was time to talk about a few new toys that I’ve recently discovered. Some are new, some are just updated. There are some for the adult in us and others for the kid in us.
 
As you all know I am huge Apple fan and have always loved AppleTV…and still do!  But now there is a new option, Microsoft’s Xbox One ($349 and up). Even though many of us think of this as a toy for the kids, with its simple multi-room integration with Savant control systems, rack mountability, a world class Blu-Ray player, a full slate of Xbox games and just about every online streaming app you can think of, this is my new go to all in one device.
Now for the big kids! When a streaming device like AppleTV or Microsoft Xbox just isn’t good enough Kaleidescape is your ticket to the authentic cinema experience at home. It gives you the sleek feel and perfect playback you’d expect from the world’s number-one brand of luxury movie player, at an affordable price (starting at $3299). You can use Kaleidescape to download and store up to 200 Blu-ray quality or 600 DVD quality movies from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. And for a limited time, it comes with $200 of movie credits!
The audio and video quality in Kaleidescape is superior to streaming video.  A Blu-ray disc pumps out 40 megabits per second. Compare this to a streaming service like Netflix at 3.1 megabits per second and its obvious that the only way to get the best movie experience from your high-end equipment is to take advantage of Kaleidescape’s Movie Store.
Phil Giordano, The Big Picture Media Systems