The Best Home Theater Projectors

best home theater projectors

When it comes to your home theater, the term ‘picture perfect’ matters more than ever before. No movie-watching experience is complete without a clear, high definition screen, but what if your HD TV just doesn’t cover it?

Instead of modifying your movie night expectations, why not adjust your screen size by finding the best home theater projectors for your space! There is no reason you should have to compromise on high-quality images just because you’re watching from home. That’s why were here to highlight all the benefits of home theater projectors and share our favorite projector partners and their products.



Why Install a Home Theater Projector?


Traditionally, most people feel comfortable with a TV screen when it comes to home movie night. However, there are always a few things that can interfere with the quality of your screen time. Between the size of your screen, color accuracy, and alternating between HDMI ports to access all your devices, your movie night might not be what you envisioned. With a projector, you can bypass all the friction of traditional television screens, and avoid any home theater installation mishaps.

A home theater projector redefines home movie night, and provides picture quality that is unparalleled. A projector screen is completely adjustable, so instead of upgrading your TV year after year, you can simply modify the width of your projector screen as needed. Plus, with a projector, you can project your movie in your home theater basement, living room, or even outside on your patio or deck. All you need is a dark room, and a wall suitable enough for screening.

By creating a larger screen, you’ll be able to see every detail with the utmost clarity and avoid any eye strain that comes from small home viewings. Everyone in your family will be able to watch a high definition screen, without missing a moment.

Plus, there are a wide variety of projector types that are perfect for every type of home theater. Browsing through products like 4k projectors that capitalize on quality, or short-throw projectors that let you install your projector as close as you’d like, providing you with a superior movie-watching experience.

Now that you’ve learned more about the advantages of projectors, we’re going to take a closer look at some of our projector partners, and the benefits of their home movie projectors.



Build the Perfect Theater with BenQ Movie Projectors


If you’re all about home entertainment and want to do more than just transform your living room, a BenQ home theater projector is perfect for you. They carry a variety of projectors that are perfect for every time of moviegoer, such as the 4k THX projector that fully captures the details of your film. The best part about BenQ projectors isn’t just the quality of screening, but the variety of projectors they create. From seamless installation to portable projectors, they truly have something for everyone.



Explore Epson Home Cinema Projectors


Epson might ring a bell when you think of printers and scanners, but don’t let their printing experience fool you. Epson has created a reputation for being well known in the printing industry, but their projectors are ideal for home movie nights!

The Epson Home Cinema and Pro Cinema projector lines are packed full of high-quality projectors, at a variety of price points. Depending on the design and needs of your home theater, Epson projectors provide the perfect combination of quality and price points. You can sit back and enjoy the big screen, without compromising on image quality or your budget.



JVC Projectors Step Up Your Screening


JVC home theater protectors truly are one of a kind in so many ways. Their line of 4k projectors has various ranges of brightness, creating vivid color contrasts, and sharp screen clarity. Pick from dozens of exciting projector models, that will redefine your idea of clarity and definition.

The DILA and DLP lines of home theater projectors are great for dedicated moviegoers who want to make the most of their screen time. Now, you can entertain and enjoy your home movie nights like never before.



See Clearly with a Sony Home Theater


As a staple in the home technology industry, Sony home theater projectors truly do it all. Their line of projectors vary from the highest HD clarity to 4k projector screens, and short throw projectors. With these high-quality projectors, you can enjoy high resolution viewing on all your home movie nights. From sporting events to game nights – nothing will ever be the same with a Sony projector for all your viewing experiences.



How to Install A Home Theater Projector


If you’re ready to install one of these amazing projectors in your home theater room, living room, or outdoor entertainment center, just contact our team at Carolina Custom Sound. We’ll walk you through important installation steps, such as:

We’re happy to help you create your perfect home theater room, one step at a time.



For more home theater advice, explore our Home Theater Installation Tips to help you get started. If you’re ready to create the custom home theater of your dreams, take a moment to explore our Home Theater Installation Services, and discover the 4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Your Home Automation Project.



Build the Perfect Backyard with Outdoor Home Automation

outdoor home automation

Smart home automation doesn’t stop within the four walls of your home. While it’s important to have things like smart locks, security systems, and google assistants keeping our home safe and efficient, your outdoor space can benefit from home automation as well. Some of the best features of home automation can be found outdoors, so you can become the ultimate outdoor entertainer.

If you’re ready to spruce up your backyard for summer, and want all the best outdoor automation tools by your side, we have you covered.



Automated and Solar Powered Lights


Whether it’s day or night, it’s easy to entertain your guests with the right outdoor lighting. Leaving on the porch lights is a thing of the past now, thanks to outdoor smart lighting that can be installed throughout your backyard. 

Smart lights have all the same capabilities as your smart indoor lighting system, but the durability needed to stay outside for long periods of time. The key difference here is that you can install spotlights, or even pool lighting, to illuminate your backyard. Plus, outdoor lighting gives you the ability to change the color scheme of your lights, so you can highlight exciting outdoor features. The best part of outdoor lighting is that you can create the atmosphere you want, at the touch of a button.

You can integrate the same smart light bulbs that you use inside, within your outdoor lighting scheme, so you’ll have the same accessibility and control. You’ll never have to go inside once the sun goes down. 



Outdoor Speakers


Outdoor lighting is a must-have for entertaining, or even spending extra time at home, but what is any backyard or patio without outdoor speakers?

While it’s easy enough to ask Alexa to play your favorite music inside the kitchen, it might be a little more difficult once you head outside. However, that doesn’t have to be an issue for you, with the right outdoor speakers.

There are a variety of different outdoor speakers that are designed to blast music, but are also durable enough to withstand wind and rain, without damage. Certain speakers are even designed to blend in with your outdoor features, like rocks or shrubbery. You’ll never have to worry about your speakers sticking out, if you want everything to look natural around your patio. Just as one of our expert technicians about what brands, and designs, are best suited for your needs.



Outdoor Smart Shades and Awnings


Do you have a beautiful screened-in porch you’d like to enjoy, but don’t always love the additional sunlight? While it’s great enjoying the outdoors, it’s difficult to hold conversations if you feel like you’re blinded by the sun.

One of the best home automation devices for your outdoor space is outdoor shades. They’re able to protect your porch, deck, or patio with ease, and you can access them all from your smartphone. What separates these from your indoor smart shades is that most outdoor shades have UV filters that will protect you and your space from sun damage. Some of these are even designed to withstand certain bugs from entering your home.

Most outdoor smart shades come in a variety of sizes and widths, so you can find shades that work the best for you and your space.



Other Smart Devices You Can Use Outdoors

If you’re busy outside and want to know when guests arrive while you’re out grilling, there are still some essential home automation features that will keep you in the loop while you’re outdoors. Installing a few additional smart automation features like smart outdoor security cameras, smart doorbells, and smart locks, are great ways to monitor your home, and know when guests arrive.




Want to continue customizing your home from the inside out? Learn more about our other home automation solutions, like The Top Four Benefits of Smart Thermostats, and What You Need to Know About Smart Speakers.



Best Places to Install Smart Speakers

install smart speakers

When it comes to your home technology, most people think about the clarity of their screens, wireless networks, and the accessibility of their devices. So for some, a smart home speaker is just another convenient, but a wonderful accessory to add to their home automation list. However, these devices are so much more than an accessory.

Smart speakers are essential for streaming music around your home, so you can entertain friends and family, and are the cooking assistant you often need in the kitchen. Digital assistants are incredible gadgets that come in handy, no matter the occasion. For more information check out What You Need to Know About Smart Speakers, before you buy the perfect model for your home.

But, a smart home speaker isn’t something you place randomly in your house. In order to fully use and connect to this smart home device, it’s important to find the right location for it. That’s why we’re here to advise you where to place your smart home speakers – and where you should avoid placing these helpful devices.



Why Does Smart Speaker Location Matter?


Smart speakers, otherwise known as smart home hubs and voice assistants, are designed to bring efficiency and entertainment together. Traditional smart home speakers are devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Smart Home, and Apple’s Homepod. These wireless speakers are controlled through your wifi network, and can be accessed through voice commands, or on their respective Alexa app, Google Home app, or other software application, which can be found on your phone.

Now, because these smart devices are primarily accessed through voice command, placing them in the right location matters more than it would if it was an average at-home speaker. When you go to play music or say ‘Hey Google,’ it’s less than ideal if you’re trying to access your device and it can’t even hear you because of its location. There is no mute button on your speakers – only improper speaker location, which makes them less ‘intelligent’ in the long run.



Where to Install Your Smart Speakers


Once you pick the perfect smart speaker platform for your home, whether that’s through Amazon or Google, it’s time to install your smart speakers.

The ideal placement for a smart speaker in the center of a room. While that might not be ideal – or particularly stylish – hear us out first. The way smart speakers can hear your commands is through their microphones. If you place a speaker against a wall, or in a corner, where it’s out of sight and out of mind, chances are you’re not going to have the smartest home speaker, which means it won’t do what you asked the first or the fifth time.

Placing your speaker in the center of a room, table, or countertop, will give it the ability to hear your voice from the start. You’ll never experience delays, and your smart home device will answer, ask, and play anything you desire. However, dealing with chords can be a hassle, so make sure it’s placed somewhere that can conceal those obscurities with ease.

If you don’t love the idea of placing a smart home hub in the middle of a room, mounting it to your wall is another great option. This is perfect for the Amazon Echo dot, or Google Mini home, which are much smaller than traditional smart home speakers. It will still be able to pick up any requests you make, but it won’t be sitting out in the middle of a room.



Where to Avoid Placing Smart Speakers


Smart home speakers are supposed to be smart enough to assist you – whether it’s just playing your saved apple music, or keeping track of your kitchen timers, those little things make all the difference. So if you happen to place your speaker in the wrong location, it’s not going to be able to pick up your requests or play your music, which is very frustrating.

It’s best to keep your smart speaker away from other speakers, and windows, so it can pick up your voice when you need it to. While it’s ideal to connect your device to another multi-room speaker, like a Sonos or soundbar, your assistant won’t be able to hear your commands while you’re playing music right next to its microphones.

Also, if you place your speaker too close to a window, it can pick up external sounds and noises that might distract it from its primary goal. Be smart about your speaker location, so it doesn’t pick up the background noise. Additionally, if you have to place your speaker near a wall, be sure to keep it at least 8-12 inches away, so it can pick up more audio than it would have previously.




For more smart home tips and tricks, check out how to integrate smart plugs within your home, and learn how to automate everyday home appliances.



How to Mount a TV (Without Using Studs)

how to mount a tv

If you’ve bought a brand new TV for your living room or home theater, but can’t locate any studs behind the drywall, you’re not alone. While mounting a television creates an optimal viewing experience for the entire family, it’s never an easy process, especially if you don’t have studs located in the prime viewing location. Between drill bits, screws, and wiring, you have enough to worry about with your tv. By the end of your installation, all that matters is getting the best viewing angles, so you can enjoy your at-home media experience.

If you have to install your TV without studs, we have a few mounting alternatives that are going to simplify your experience, so you can start enjoying your TV sooner rather than later.



Alternative Ways to Wall Mount a TV


In most TV installs, you can use a stud finder to locate the studs hidden behind your drywall, and hang your TV accordingly. But what if it means your TV won’t be at eye level, or you’ll experience more installation hassles than usual? While studs simplify the installation process, they aren’t essential. If you’re looking for other ways to hang your TV, or your stud finder isn’t picking anything up, we have a few ideas that can help get your TV onto the drywall in no time.




Anchors are a great alternative to studs because they operate in a similar fashion. Specifically, toggle anchors are an ideal solution, because they have the same structural support and durability as a stud, so it can support the weight of your TV. However, toggles can’t always be paired with full-motion tv mounts, so make sure you find the correct TV mount before you begin the installation.

Because toggles anchors are hollow, they won’t add additional weight to your wall, which is ideal for larger screens. They are one of the safest alternative solutions when you have to mount your TV, and aren’t easy enough to buy online. Before you get started, be sure to measure the distance between the TV mounting brackets, so you can drill holes and attach your toggles in just the right spot.


Mounting Plates


Mounting plates are far less invasive than traditional mounting arms, or a ceiling mount, so you’ll be able to hang your flat panel TV in no time at all. When it’s time to install your TV, simply attach the mounting plates to the back of your TV mount, so it can be installed against the wall with ease. Mounting plates offer more surface area support than other attachments, so when you mount your TV, it offers the same amount of support as traditional wall studs. Now, you can invest in a wider flat-screen TV, without worrying about the safety of your TV or wall.



Learn about the SlydLock TV Mount


TV installation might be time-consuming, but part of the struggle rests in finding a TV mount that is perfect for your screen. If you want a diverse TV mount, that is capable of fitting a variety of screen sizes, it’s time to consider the SlydLock Fireplace Nook Mount. You can keep your gaming consoles, DVD players, and smart home accessories nearby, but never have to worry about additional chords or wall exposure when you install your TV.

The SlydLock Mount fits anywhere from 32”-75” TV screens, giving you the ability to upgrade your TV whenever you want. Plus, installation is a breeze, and our home automation experts would be happy to assist you.




Are you looking for additional smart home support, but don’t know what service options are available? Keep technology at your fingertips with our Remove Service Packages. Never experience technology or installation friction again, with Carolina Custom Sound, your home automation experts in the Piedmont Triad.



Illuminate Your Home with a Smart Lighting System

smart lighting system

If you’re someone who forgets to turn off the lights before you leave for work, and don’t love the high electric bill that ends up waiting for you by the end of the month, it’s time to rethink your home lighting system. Luckily, this problem has a pretty quick fix that gives you all the power over your home lighting system – and electric bills. The solution? A smart lighting system, that’s completely accessible from anywhere.

Now, we’ve talked about the importance of automated lighting and shades before, but there is a whole world of knowledge that applies to smart lighting systems you might not have heard about yet. With smart lighting, you can just touch a button and completely control your smart lighting system. So, if you’re ready to learn more about the world of smart lighting, let’s take a closer look at all the benefits it can bring to your home.



What is Smart Lighting?


Smart lighting is a smart home feature that gives you complete control, and flexibility, over your home lighting fixtures. Whether that means turning on your bedside lamp while you’re getting ready for bed, or setting your living room lights on a timer, smart lighting gives you complete control over any space with the right lighting technology.

To get started with your smart lighting system, simply purchase the proper smart light bulbs, that can be installed in your lamps or recessed lights. These can be found at a variety of retailers, or you can ask your local smart home automation expert for their recommendations. 

From there, these smart bulbs will sync up with one another, becoming one giant lighting ‘network’ you can access. All of these lights can then be controlled individually, or together, just through your wifi network. All you have to do is connect the proper smart home lighting hub into your router to gain access. Other devices that are connected to your wifi network, like a phone or tablet, can then access and control your lights, from anywhere in your home. Turning on the lights just got a whole lot easier.



Smart Lighting Connections


One of the best features of smart lighting is how well is this system can be integrated within your home. Home automation isn’t all about having the best smart home devices – sometimes it’s just maximizing the amazing devices you already have. For instance, with certain smart lighting systems, you can connect your lights to your existing dimmer switches and motion sensors, so they’ll turn on automatically for you.

Another great way to access your smart lighting? Your smart assistant. Many platforms like Phillip’s Hue system allow you to integrate your smart lighting with a Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Smart Home Kit. It’s easy to install your smart home lighting system – using voice control just takes the simplicity and convenience of smart lighting to the next level.



Long Term Investment


There are plenty of smart home automation solutions that are both practical, and efficient. For instance, smart security cameras and systems, door bells, and other practical smart home solutions can be a great long term investment for your lifestyle and budget. But maybe you’re wondering, where smart lighting falls on that scale?

Smart lighting is another great long term solution that can reduce your energy consumption, keeps your home running smoothly, and regulates the lighting atmosphere of your home. Many smart lighting systems have different colors, temperatures, and effects that can change the feel of a room. Your next at-home movie night will feel just like a real theater with the right smart lighting. Plus, you won’t ever forget to turn off the lights again, because you’ll be able to ask your smart home system to do the work for you or check the status of your lights while you’re away.

If you want to dip your toes into the world of smart lighting systems, talk to a local home automation expert about investing in a starter kit. You’ll be able to test the way smart home lighting works in your house and can start applying these smart devices to the rooms that need the most illumination. Take the kitchen on a test run, or see if these lights enhance your at home theater experience. Whatever you decide, you’ll start seeing and experiencing the convenience you’ve been waiting for.




If you need more assistance with your smart home solutions, check out how to Automate Your Home With Carolina Custom Sound. We love bringing home automation services to families throughout the Piedmont Triad – all it takes is finding the right home automation systems for your lifestyle.



The Best Home Theater Trends for 2020

home theater trends

When it comes to designing your home theater, it’s important to have all the proper technology and design ideas on deck. It’s going to be much easier to convince all of your friends to come over for a movie night if you have all the right technology waiting for them in your basement or media room.

If you want to bring your family and friends the ultimate home theater experience, we’ve rounded up the must-have home theater trends of 2020, that will bring your home entertainment center to the next level. You’ve never experienced at-home audio and video like this.



Explore Sound Bars


If you haven’t heard about the latest trend in sound, you’re really missing out on some highly innovative technology. Soundbars are high-quality audio technology, that can immerse you in a surround sound experience like never before. Unlike more traditional speakers, these can be connected to wifi, your HDMI devices such as blu ray DVD players and cable box, even your smart assistants. You could access your speaker using voice control, so you can turn up the volume while your eating popcorn. These high tech gadgets are a little different than traditional smart home speakers, but are just as effective.

The best part? There are plenty of companies who design soundbars exclusively for home theater rooms. For instance, Dolby Atmos has a few specific soundbars they make that cater to music, movies, or ultimate surround sound. You can incorporate your soundbar within your existing audio system, and together, you’ll have an incredible audio experience you’ve never heard before. For more installation ideas, check out our favorite Home Theater Installation Tips.



Premium TV Screen’s


One of the biggest technology game-changers that’s emerged in 2020 is 8k resolution. Most TV’s on the market are 4k – which is high quality, but nothing like this. 8k screens offer more density when it comes to their total pixel count, which means screen resolution, colors, and movement, are incredibly sharp. Your movie could practically come off the screen with these TV screens.

So far, it appears only select streaming services are looking into 8k resolution, so it’s not picked up speed quite yet. However, you can still use your 8k TV to translate 4k resolution movies and get even higher TV quality when you’re streaming. If you want to prep for the digital future, consider looking into 8k TVs now, so you stay up to date with the latest home technology.

Another fun way to view your home movies? Short throw projectors! These devices are capable of expanding your screen display up to 80” – which is far greater than your average TV screen. Depending on your viewing preferences, short-throw projectors are a great way you expand your screen and still achieve high-quality viewing.



Innovative Home Theater Design


Sometimes it’s not all about the audio, video, gaming consoles, or multiple screens. Simply being proactive about your home theater or media room design is going to impress your guests, and keep them engaged with the movie the entire time. A few ideas we recommend are:

  • Including a sports bar, or wet bar, in your basement multimedia room. This way your guests can still grab drinks and movie snacks without missing a moment of the movie!
  • Automated shades, so you can adjust the sun’s glare from the touch of a button.
  • Open sectional seating, so your home theater can become a gaming or media room when you’re not streaming movies – we have plenty of creative seating suggestions you can explore
  • Add fun decor or quirks that make your viewing experience more authentic! Take the time to make the space completely your own.

If you’re wondering where to begin, read How to Get Started with Home Theater Automation for technology and design ideas.




Love the idea of new smart home automation trends in your home theater, but aren’t sure what tech is within your budget? Read our completely free guide, Is Affordable Home Automation Really an Option, to learn exactly how affordable home automation can be.



How to Integrate Smart Plugs within Your Home

Smart plugs

Every smart home still has it’s regular, non-automated devices – after all not every lamp and home appliance can be automated to suit your needs. Or can they?

What if there was a way to connect your basic home necessities to your smart home, so you didn’t have to worry about operating them manually? Well, now there is, thanks to smart plugs!

Smart plugs are an affordable innovative smart home solution that can connect to your existing home devices. Now you can turn on small appliances through voice control, or set a timer to turn off your bedroom lamp, all thanks to these handy gadgets. You can make every device a little bit smarter thanks to smart plugs.



What are Smart Plugs?

Smart plugs are exactly what they sound like – they’re smart devices that plug into your existing wall outlets. You simply plug in the smart plug, and from there, attach a device of your choice, and set up the appliance to respond to your plug.

These are very unique smart home gadgets, because like other smart devices, they’re able to connect to wi-fi smart plugs just need a reliable internet connection to start working.

These plugs have the ability to connect to our devices and turn them on or off through voice command. Alternatively, you can remotely control your plugs through downloadable applications, and software that’s compatible with your smart home hubs.


Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Compatibility

In order for a plug to work with your smart home, you have to find a model that works with your respective device. On the packaging, it should say if it’s an amazon smart plug, or google home smart plug – a variety of these plugs are compatible with different smart home hubs.

Once you’ve plugged in your smart plug, go to the respective smart plug application. You’ll probably have to create an account so you can access your smart plugs from anywhere. From there, you’ll be able to sync the plug to your application.

Next, to go your respective Alexa or Google application. Search for the previously downloaded smart plug application software, or the skill you want your smart home hub to operate. From there, the app will prompt you with how to finish connecting your plug, and set up will be complete!


Advantages of Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are great for a number of reasons. You can set schedules on your lights, so they know when to turn on and off. Or, you can turn on the coffee machine every morning using the automatic time feature – so you’ll have a fresh pot ready and waiting for you every day.

The main reason smart plugs are so great is that they can limit your monthly energy usage. We have so many devices plugged in and sucking up energy throughout the day, it’s difficult to keep up with energy monitoring, and avoid those high monthly bills.

Rather than install smart lighting or smart home devices in areas that need simple solutions, smart plugs are an easy, affordable way to begin your home automation journey. From there, you can begin to find what areas in your home require automation, and create a fully customized plan to suit your needs.



Want to explore even more affordable home automation ideas? Take a look at our free eBook, Is Affordable Home Automation Really an Option and 3 Budget-Friendly Home Automation Options.



Creative Home Theater Seating Ideas

Home theater seating ideas

When it comes to creating the perfect home theater, your flat screen tv or drop-down projector is the star of the show – guaranteed to provide optimal viewing for you and your family. Combined with high tech surround sound speakers, and smart lighting and shades, you’re all set for an extremely exciting screening in your personal home theater. The right smart home solutions make all the difference when it comes to your home theater, but gadgets aren’t the only thing you need to complete this space.

After all, what home theater is complete without the right seating arrangement?

Let’s face it – there’s no perfect viewing experience without the right seating. Regardless of whether or not you have a dedicated home theater space or just a media room you use on the weekends, we’ve put together a list of all the best seating options that will make your home movie night more comfortable than ever, so you can make the most of your home theater.



Creative Home Theater Seating Ideas

It’s easy enough to get a small couch for your home theater room and leave it at that, but what if you plan on hosting extended family or friends? Or you’d like to bring the experience of a real movie theater to your home? How can you create the perfect home theater room, and find the right seats for you and your family?

That’s where creative home theater seating solutions can truly complete your viewing experience. If you want to complete your home theater design, take a step back, and think about comfortable, and fun ways you can start enjoying your home theater.


Keep it Comfy with Movie Theater Reclining Chairs

If you aren’t a fan of more traditional movie theater seats, look into thick, plush, reclining seats instead. Newer movie theaters have begun installing chairs that are more like our very own home recliners, opting to let you stretch back and relax more. However, these seats come with cup holders, internal speakers, and additional gadgets that give you more control over your viewing experience. These recliners are great for late-night movies or weekend movie marathons – you’ll feel relaxed and completely immersed in the film because you’re able to stretch out.

Recliners are perfect for big movie buffs, who want everyone to have their own chair, and not feel cramped by sharing their space with anyone else. Everyone has room for movie snacks, blankets, even toys!

So, if you want a more laid back, luxurious home theater seating arrangement, this is a great option for many families who spend their weekends enjoying their home theater.


Take Advantage of Sectional Seating

If you’re building a home theater, but want to use the space for more than movie viewing, large sectional sofas and seats are the perfect choice. Most sectionals are ideal for families who want to spread out and enjoy their home theater, but also love the idea of having a game night.

If you have a media room, or a home theater set up in your basement, sectional seating is a great option for a more functional, diverse space. Plus, sectional seating can be rearranged accordingly, so if you have to accommodate for your guests, pulling out a chaise or shifting the sofa isn’t very difficult. This layout does mimic a more traditional living room seating arrangement, but has the flexibility to be rearranged to your liking.


Traditional Movie Theater, Stadium Seating

Old school movie theater seating, or stadium seating, is perfect for those movie lovers who love to host guests all the time, or have a large family. While they might not be as spacious as recliners or sectionals, single seats are great for large gatherings and parties – plus, rows of seating means everyone has a clear view!

Typically, stadium seating can be purchased in bulk and can be installed fairly easily in your home – so if you want rows of five or ten seats at a time, that isn’t difficult to arrange! Plus, traditional stadium seating is great for large gatherings and groups who want to be closer together. If you’re a big at home movie buff, traditional seating is a great option for you and your family.


Floor Cushions and Ottomans

If you’ve already established more traditional seating arrangements, but need more space for those unexpected guests or family that arrive during the holidays, there are always alternative seating options that can be moved and stored if needed. Floor cushions and ottomans are great seating options that work for large gatherings, when you’re pressed for space, but still serve you when there aren’t additional guests.

Floor cushions serve as a great seating option because kids and adults can enjoy more room on the ground, and stretch out if they want. Plus, combining floor cushions make ideal makeshift beds for the days spent binging long movie sagas.

Additionally, ottomans are great multipurpose seating for your home theater. A movie theater isn’t complete without a place to rest your feet – but if you happen to need an extra seat, you’ll have one readily available.

The best part about these seating alternatives is that they’re easy to store when you’re not using them. If you happen to have a few space floor cushions, folding them and placing them in a storage closet is easy enough – plus, they’re highly affordable compared to additional chairs or couches.

If you happen to love ottomans, consider buying one that can double as storage space for your home theater. Leather ottomans are great for storing blankets, pillows, and remotes you’d like to keep hidden. Take advantage of their comfort, and storage, when you need it most.



If you love your home theater room, but are looking for more affordable innovative smart home solutions to complete your space, we have plenty of budget friendly automation ideas. Whether you are looking for the latest smart home technology, or updated speakers for your home theater, home automation might be more affordable than you think.



How to Automate Your Home Appliances

How to automate home appliances

The reality is, not all home appliances were made equally. While things like smart doorbells and home security systems have caught up to speed, other appliances aren’t quite there yet. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the same automated support for these devices. Learn how to automate home appliances.

There are plenty of ways to start automating your normal home appliances, all it takes are the right smart home gadgets, and software, to help simplify your home. Home automation is more than a quick fix – it will make your appliances accessible, and more affordable.



Smart Plugs

One of the easiest ways to automate your normal appliances is through smart plugs – a small but affective fix that can be integrated with your other home automation products. These gadgets are wifi enabled and can be synced with your existing smart home hub, like a Google Home or Amazon Alexa. All you need is the right mobile application software, and you’ll be able to access these gadgets at any point you need.

Smart plugs are great for smaller devices, such as bedroom lights or coffee makers, because they are switched on and off automatically, or through voice command.

Additionally, you can use smart plugs on your larger home devices, such as a washer and dryer. The best part about smart plugs is that you can monitor your energy consumption. You’ll be able to see how often you run larger appliances, and can cut back on your energy usage accordingly.


Wifi Supported Power Strips

These power strips work similarly to smart plugs – all you need is a reliable wifi connection, mobile software, and you’ll be able to support a variety of appliances at the same time.

The biggest advantage of power strips is how they are able to support so many devices at once. This is ideal for areas in your home that consume large doses of energy throughout the day. For instance, your kitchen and your bathroom are areas that require lots of home appliances. Not only can you turn them on automatically – you’ll be able to reduce your energy level and set timers for how long your appliances run.


There’s An App For Everything

Everything you need to operate your home appliances can be found on your smartphone – you just need the right applications. So many of our existing smart appliances have the ability to turn on and off at the touch of a button, thanks to smart software that’s been developed for our phones – so take advantage of that feature as often as possible, to control your smart appliances.

If you happen to have a smart thermostat or smart lighting, you can control these devices remotely using your mobile device. Start using mobile devices to control your other appliances if they can be synced with your smart home.

If you are someone who truly wants to embrace home automation, start finding appliances that can be operated using mobile devices, or can be synced to your smart home hub and accessed through voice control. Smart locks, TVs, and front doorbells shouldn’t be the only appliances you can control remotely. Everything has the ability to be controlled remotely.


Set Up Automated Schedules

The key with home appliances, and home automation in general, is setting up schedules. The reason automated schedules are so important? They can have your devices ready to go before you wake up, come home, and when you go to work.

Programing your home devices to operate without manual control can give you the peace of mind you’ve been looking for, in so many ways. You’ll never have to worry about wasting energy on kitchen appliances that are taking up too much power – they’ll shut off on their own.



If you want more peace of mind from your smart home appliances, take a look at some of the benefits of smart security systems, smart thermostats, and smart doorbells. Affordable, energy-saving control, has been so convenient.



5 Home Theater Mistakes You Can Avoid

Home theater mistakes

A home theater room is far more than an everyday entertainment hub for you and your family – it’s a place where memories are made, and everyone can come together to enjoy quality time with one another.

However, creating the perfect home theater is easier said than done sometimes – there are plenty of mistakes that can happen if you attempt to do it yourself, without the professional assistance of home automation experts. While speaker placement or TV location might not seem very important, they are actually fundamental parts of creating your perfect home theater, and making those future memories.

If you’d like to avoid common mistakes that happen while building a home theater, take a look at the recurring issues we’ve found, and how you can avoid them while installing your home theater.



Find the Right Screen Size

Not all TVs (or projectors) were built equally. If you have a huge basement dedicated to your home theater space, it’s a good idea to get a TV screen that is made for large viewing parties. But, if you’re using a media room as your home theater, it doesn’t make sense to get a large TV that takes up the entire room.

It’s far more important to get a high-quality screen that fits your room, and atmosphere, rather than an overly large screen that just fills the space. Just because you’re watching a movie doesn’t mean you need a TV bigger than your couch to see the screen.

Be realistic in your investments. Don’t buy a TV that’s too big for your room, just because you think it looks nice. Chances are, you’ll experience poor viewing angles, because you didn’t make the proper measurements for your space.


Lighting is Everything

It’s no good to have a movie theater without the right lighting – or lack of lighting! If you want to watch a movie earlier in the day, and your blinds just aren’t cutting it, it’s time to rethink your home theater lighting arrangement.

Installing smart lighting and shades to help block out the sun during your movie screenings is going to be extremely helpful for long movie marathons. Rather than combat the sun’s glare, or constantly getting up to adjust your lights or curtains, automated lighting and shades make it easy to control everything from your phone or smart remote. Not installing the right lighting is just going to take away from your movie viewing experience.


Don’t Skip Proper Speaker Installation

Viewing makes up only half of your home theater experience – your sound system is equally as important! When you decide to set up a home theater room, or media room, it might be tempting to skip the surround sound smart speakers and opt for a sound bar, or bookshelf speakers instead. Don’t be tempted!

You are just wasting your time and money by finding other solutions to surround sound. While sound bars, and speaker integration can enhance your movie watching experiences, they might not be best for your space.

Talk to a home automation expert, who specializes in home theaters, to discuss what options are best for your movie theater room. Whether that means using a sound bar as your center speaker, or installing smaller surround sound speakers, they will advise you accordingly. Plus, a professional can hide all the additional speaker wires and HDMI cables that keep your devices connected.


Get Your Home Theater Prewired

Prewiring is an essential part of any home automation system – it’s what keeps your smart home devices connected to one another. Without the right pre wiring services, it’s difficult to keep your surround sound, video, and respective devices connected.

For a home theater system, prewiring is very important for a number of reasons. Without the proper prewiring, you’re speakers, TV, lighting, and smart devices won’t operate properly – or together. The beauty of a smart home is having control over all of your devices. Operating multiple remotes and facing faulty network connections is the last thing you need while you’re trying to start a movie.

When it comes to prewiring, doing it yourself can be time consuming, complicated, and ineffective. Home automation professionals can connect all of your smart devices, and hide your additional chords in flat panels, or other smart locations.

Now, you can stream movies with ease, or kick back and watch a blu ray DVD, while enjoying delicious movie snacks. However you watch your movie, don’t avoid the prewiring services that simplify your viewing experiences.


Talk About the Budget

Budget is important – but so is getting the best devices for your space. When designing a home theater, it’s all about balance. Consulting with a smart home expert, who can guide you through where to splurge and save, can help you find the best smart home solutions for your home theater. That way, you’ll be able to round out your theater with comfortable seating, and other features that compliment your space. Home automation can be affordable, and budget friendly.

If you’re curious about what home automation projects work within your budget, check out our free eBook Is Affordable Home Automation Really an Option to explore your options.



Want to avoid these common home theater mistakes, and create the perfect entertainment hub for family and friends? Get started automating your home theater, by contacting Carolina Custom Sound – we love building smart homes of the future.