Fun Snack Ideas for Movie Night in Your Home Theater

Home Theater Room

The best part of watching a movie at home? The comfortable seating, surround sound, and recessed lights all make for a great movie experience, but it isn’t a perfect movie night without the right snacks. With your home theater room, you aren’t limited to eating candy and popcorn like when you go to the movie theater. 

If you’re planning your next movie night in your home theater and want to roll out the red carpet for your friends and family, take a look at these delicious snack ideas.

 


 

Nachos

It’s hard to beat homemade nachos during a movie. Sure, you can get a small portion of cheesy chips if you go to the theater, but fully loaded nachos are a different story – all the melted cheese, sour cream, and salsa you want. It’s an ideal snack if you’re having a lot of friends over because there’s enough for everyone. Plus, your smart speakers will drown out any loud crunching, so you won’t worry about missing any dialogue during the movie.

 

Trail Mix

Trail mix is easy to make and serve in your home theater. You can pick out the ingredients you want rather than buying it premade, and make multiple types for your guests. If you plan on watching a scary or suspenseful movie on the big screen, this is ideal for munching on, since you can make it in large quantities.

 

Pizza

Pizza is a foolproof movie snack, but instead of ordering out, try making your own mini pizzas. For families, this is a great way to get your kids excited about dinner, and for guests, everyone can have exactly what they want. It saves time, money, and is easy to make before you start the movie. Plus, this stops everyone from fighting over the last slice.

 

Mini Sliders

You just can’t beat a good burger during a movie, but sometimes it can get a little messy and hard to enjoy. Mini sliders are a great idea for your home theater room because they take less time to prepare, and are easy to serve to a big group of people.

 

Ice Cream

Instead of buying a drumstick or ice cream sandwich, make the most of your movie night by having an ice cream bar. You can set up different toppings so everyone can customize their dessert, and have a few different pints to pick from. Your home theater just became everyone’s favorite place!

 

 

If you’re ready to build your ideal home theater, or upgrade some of your existing home theater features, learn more about Carolina Custom Sound’s home automation projects so you can start hosting movie night at home.

 

Let Us Do the Work with Remote Monitoring

It’s a hassle dealing with those unnecessary ‘technical difficulties’ in life. It’s time you could have spent finishing up a project at work, or enjoying family movie night, instead of fixing issues with your TV or router. Imagine never experiencing those technical difficulties again. Whether you’re at work or at home, remote monitoring is the extra step you can take to make the most of your time without having to do the work.

 


 

Fixed Before You Know It

Remote monitoring can keep tabs on anything going on within your home, whether it’s monitoring your server or updating smart home devices. Here at Carolina Custom Sound, we like to handle all of your technological problems before you have to pick up the phone and give us a call. Our remote monitoring services can update, reboot, and fix your system before you even notice.

 

We’re Here to Give You a Hand

With your business, you already have enough to worry about. The last thing you need is software complications to complicate your day. Carolina Custom Sound can solve any issues that arise in your system remotely, such as software crashes or annual maintenance on your site. By giving us remote access, we can better support you and your business.

 

Enjoy that Peace of Mind

The peace of mind you’ve always wanted is now within reach. The best part? It’s our job instead of yours. Our remote monitoring services are designed to simplify your life by stopping those unnecessary technical difficulties that you just don’t have time for. Remote monitoring is just one way you can create your home of the future with Carolina Custom Sound.

 

If you’d like to learn more about automating your home, check out our blog posts what is home automation and how we can automate your home. Ready to get started? Contact Carolina Custom Sound today.

 

Automated Lighting and Shades for Your Smart Home

What’s great about smart homes? Everything. Home automation helps us save time and energy which, in turn, saves us money. That money can be invested back into our smart home making every day more convenient. Talk about smart additions to your automation… how about lighting and shades!

 


 

Automated Lighting

Live in luxury with automated lighting. After a long day, arriving at a cheery, bright home is heartening. Control the lighting in your entire home remotely. Simply touch a button on your way to work and turn everything, from appliances to lights, off at once. Ready to come home? Bring your home from sad to glad in an instant. Voice-activated control can turn lights on and off or dim them. When it’s time for lights out, turn off select rooms, or your entire home, from the cozy convenience of your bed.

Stay in control of security while you’re away. In addition to controlling the lighting, you may decide to integrate home security into your smart home plan. There are many facets to a completely hands-free home. Let us help you design your smart home automation system. These systems can be configured at once, or by following a need-based plan over time. Automated lighting is an integral part of a smart home security plan.

 

Get Rid of the Balancing Act

Ever balanced grocery bags on your knee in a dark kitchen with your fingers tangled in car keys? Finding the light switch when your hands are full is a breeze with automated lighting. Simply ask your kitchen to light the way. Enjoy the dignity and poise that just walked back into your life. Automated lighting creates a cohesive, calm aspect in your interior space. New-build construction and remodels provide the perfect opportunity for centralizing lighting wires. This eliminates the need for unsightly switch banks and replaces individual light fixtures with unobtrusive keypads. Enjoy decorating your switch free wall space.

 

Make Your Home Smart Upfront of Over Time

Smart home features are easy to get used to. Once you’ve got the automated lighting installed, automated shades will be next on the list. Automatically shade areas of your home depending on the time of day. Don’t worry about your home becoming an oven in your absence. While you’re away, save energy with automated shades. They act in tandem with the rest of your home automation system to lower the cost of your annual energy bills.

 

Whether you decide on a complete home automation system or choose to upgrade over time, our automated lighting and shade products from Control4, Lutron and QMotion will have you saving money one energy-efficient day at a time. For more information, check out our resource Is Affordable Home Automation Really an Option, or contact us for a no-obligation consultation!

Expert Advice: What You Need to Know About Smart Speakers

You have probably heard about Google Home and Amazon Echo device, commonly known as Alexa, and you might be wondering what they mean. In a nutshell, they are smart speakers that are incorporated in homes and enable you to have hands-free assistance. They can answer your random questions, give you accurate updates about the weather, and even control the music and smart lights in your home.

While Amazon was the first to release a smart speaker, and Google followed suit, they both function almost the same with minimum differences. Here’s a quick comparison of the devices.

 


 

Alexa is Great at Controlling your Smart Home

Amazon has a broader control of smart home devices compared to Google Home. Experts also add that it could be easier to access most of your home products from Amazon using Alexa.

 

Google Home is Great at Answering Your Questions

Google Home draws much of its strength from its ability to answer even the most complex questions. This is owing to the fact that Google contains the most extensive information on a single platform. However, Alexa has a particular weakness in this, and you have to be very precise in what you ask to have the best results.

 

Alexa Has More Apps

Alexa is better when it comes to how many apps you can access using a smart speaker. It also has some outstanding games that you can engage with. If you accidentally forget to get something at your store, you can order it to be brought right at your doorstep.

 

Google Has an Easier Setup

Google Home will tend to give you an easier time compared to Alexa. It has a more straightforward setup process and is less complicated, and this could be a massive contributor to more users.

 

With this information, you could choose for yourself which home speaker best suits your needs and comfort level. For more information about smart speakers and smart home solutions, feel free to Contact us and schedule your no-obligation consultation.

 

 

Photo credit – pcmag.com

Carolina Custom Sound Is Your Automation Connection

You might be considering upgrading your home with some of the latest technology in home audio, home theater, or even whole house automation. But maybe you don’t know where to start, what to get, or how much disruption is entailed with the process.

Maybe you’ve considered upgrading your business space with digital automation in your conference room. Or, perhaps a total enhancement in projection and media altogether. You have questions about ideal company solutions, installation, and maintenance options. Where should you look to get started?

You’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Carolina Custom Sound.

 


 

Your Trusted Industry Leader

If you’re thinking about bringing automation into your home and want to simplify and enhance how you engage with the technology around you, you want to partner with a trustworthy industry leader. Here at Carolina Custom Sound, we are a team of professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in the latest trends. Whether you want to integrate a remote audio system, home stereo, or advanced home theater technology, we can help you design the experience you’ve been looking for.

 

Always Customer-Focused

Carolina Custom Sound is known in the Triad area for providing the highest level of quality products and top-notch customer service. Our clients enjoy our “white glove” installation service and outstanding attention to detail. If you are looking for the latest technology and the best selection of featured products, look no further. Our team is dedicated to complementing your schedule and bringing your vision to life. 

You want to create an experience with automation. We want to make the process seamless. Our job isn’t done until you say it’s done.

 

Value & Integration

Building strong client relationships and partnering for long term enhancements is paramount. We work directly with our manufacturers, eliminating the middleman and passing those savings onto our clients. We’ll work at your pace and can start with upgrading a single light switch to start. Your long-term vision can start with as little or as much of an upgrade as you’d prefer. We listen and design your integration according to plan.

 

The Carolina Custom Sound Experience

Upgrade your home experience, but don’t trust that process to just anyone. Go with a trusted partner who can provide everything from professional design, quality product sales, installation, and ongoing services. Home theater solutions, plasma or LCD TV installation, and whole-house audio options are among our other specialties. Let our team of trained experts help design your total automation experience.

 

We proudly serve the entire Triad area. If your home or office is in Winston Salem, Greensboro, or High Point, we’ll come to you. Contact us and schedule your no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you devise a plan for implementation and guide you through the entire process!

 

3 Budget-Friendly Home Automation Options

Getting started with home automation is more affordable than you think. There are so many ways automation can make your home life easier, whether you’re starting small or going for a full smart home system. If you’re ready to jump into the world of home automation but need to start small, these devices and systems offer some affordable ways you can automate your home on a budget.

 


 

Set up smart lights.

A smart lighting system is at the top of the list in home automation basics. Imagine lighting your home automatically when you open your garage door or setting up a path of lights from the driveway to your kitchen when you get home from work. Smart lights are energy-efficient, too, and can be set to automatically turn off even if you forget.

There is a range of products you can choose from, including Wi-Fi bulbs that you can control using your handheld device or even the motion sensor lights. Installation is simple, but we recommend getting a bridge to control every light in your home.

 

Invest in automated electronics and appliances.

A smart plug is a convenient device that allows you to control various electronic devices and appliances from your smartphone. You can easily schedule when electronics turn on or off or even schedule an ‘away’ mode that makes it seem you are home, even when you aren’t.

Looking for more energy savings? Thermostat controls are a huge drain on your energy bills every month, and a smart thermostat can make all the difference. By using environmental sensors, scheduling, and the location of your smartphone, a smart thermostat can significantly reduce energy consumption and keep your home comfortable all year long.

 

Install smart locks and other safety devices.

Home security is a big concern for many families. Have you ever wondered if you forgot to lock the door on your way out? Worried you didn’t set the alarm before you got in bed? Smart locks and other security devices can give you and your family peace of mind whether you’re at home or away. Control your security system and even lock and unlock doors from your smartphone, or set up security cameras and get instant notifications when someone rings the doorbell.

Carbon dioxide and smoke detectors have also joined the smart device party. Connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and get alerts when they detect carbon dioxide, smoke, or even when the system is low on battery life.

 

Automating your home can be an ongoing project, but anyone can start small and work their way up. Carolina Custom Sound can work with you based on your budget and preferences to tailor a home automation system that you can gradually build on over time. The number of smart products on the market is dizzying and the associated technology jargon can be a bit confusing. But you don’t need to be a techie to start enjoying the convenience and energy savings that a home automation system brings. Contact us to get started on your home automation project.

What is Home Automation? Here’s a rundown.

Home automation might seem like science fiction, but in reality, these are real, affordable solutions that enhance and simplify your everyday lifestyle.

Home automation allows you to control lighting, HVAC systems, entertainment systems, and appliances all from a central remote control system, like an app on your phone or tablet. You can even take it a step further and integrate your home security system with your automated devices to control your cameras, locks, and alarm system remotely.

 


 

Why invest in smart home automation?

Smart homes tend to be more energy-efficient, more secure, and more comfortable and convenient than non-smart homes. Committing to smart home technology is an investment in your living experience that will make your home more enjoyable for you and your family. 

The best part? Home automation isn’t exclusive to high-end custom homes. You can create a luxurious living experience in even the most basic house, and keep it in the budget by starting small and working your way up. 

 

3 Perks of an Automated Home

 

Convenience

Do you struggle to find the right remote for your TV or streaming device? Wouldn’t it be great if the kitchen light instantly turned on when the garage is opened after you get home with a car full of groceries? From consolidating electronics to creating fully automated home scenarios, home automation is full of possibilities for you, your home, and your family. 

 

Safety

Whether you’re checking in on the kids when they get home from school, forgot to close the garage door when you left for work, or just want to see who’s at the front door, integrating your security cameras, locks, and auxiliary security services with your automation operating system can keep you and your home more secure. 

 

Savings

With smart home automation, you no longer have to pay a higher energy bill every time you drive off and leave the AC running or leave all the lights on. Simply open your home app on your smartphone to adjust the lights, HVAC, and other electronics no matter where you are.

 

Not sure where to start? Chat with our team at Carolina Custom Sound to find the home automation experience that fits your lifestyle and budget. Here’s an Infographic to reference during your consultation.

 

 

5 Types of Technology from Old SciFi Movies that Actually Exists Today

SciFiMovieTech

In any SciFi film, there’s some technology that may seem out of this world. In many cases, a majority of the gadgets and gizmos are completely imaginary, yet in some instances, the technology actually has been created and is used every day by normal folks just like us. While some of these items may now be so common that it seems unbelievable that at one point they were only depicted in SciFi films, we think some of this technology we’re about to cover is still totally out of this world.

 


 

The Hoverboard

The dream come true of being able to fly was made just a little more possible with the hoverboard. Mimicking Marty Mcfly from Back to the Future, the hoverboard is sold in stores and has multiple versions with some being battery-powered and others using nitrogen superconductors in order to get off and stay above the ground. 

 

Video Calling

In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey the idea of a video phone call was presented on film to a wide audience. With it being 1968, this idea was most likely deemed unimaginable. In today’s world, platforms such as facetime and skype have a major presence in phone interactions whether it is in a work or social setting. 

 

Computer Tablets 

These futuristic devices were presented on a regular basis in the show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Needless to say that these devices are so common that children are able to use them. While at one point they may have seemed futuristic, tablets are now an everyday tool used by people of all ages in completely different ways. 

 

A.I.

In most old SciFi movies, some sort of A.I. is featured whether it is helping to cook a meal, turn on lights, or answering questions for you. Within the last half-decade or so, A.I. has made its way into our homes with technology such as Alexa and Siri. It has become so familiar that talking to Siri or Alexa is now subconscious, but at one point, these assistants were just imaginary servants. 

 

Ironman

There is not a technological masterpiece that fights alongside the other Avengers and kills bad guys, but there is a military weapon known as TALOS. This military tool is capable of deterring bullets and working with computer processes that help it with situation awareness.

 

Clearly, SciFi movies from the old days knew something about the future of technology. This should make you think about the technology that is portrayed on current day SciFi films. Who knows what will be around in the years to come. While it might not compare to some of these technologies, home automation can enhance your lifestyle by making your home more comfortable, efficient, and convenient. For more on cool technology that you can snag for your home today, check out our Infographic: What Is Home Automation? Already prepared to bring some of this technology into your home? Let’s chat!

4 Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Your Home Automation Project

professional home automation

Nowadays, it seems like no matter what kind of project you’re working on, there’s always the option to do it yourself. For some, that may not be an option, for some savvy homeowners, it may take some convincing in order for them to cave and hire professional home automation installer. That said, just because you can try to turn your next project into a DIY-adventure doesn’t mean you should. Here’s why.

 


 

Mastery

In most cases, the professional that you hire for your project not only knows what and how to get the work done, but most specialists are masters of their trade. Whether it’s installing smart lighting or just integrating a Google Home or Amazon Alexa, even if you yourself have dabbled in technology, there’s a professional who’s already that same job a hundred times before. This offers you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your project will get done correctly and efficiently the first time around. Why put off being able to enjoy your home theater just because you hesitated to hire a professional?

 

Experience

In any job, whether it is the design and installation of a smart home system,  work within a corporate office, or on an athletic field, experience is usually required because experience is so valuable. Whether you look at it as a patron or a hiring manager, experience can make a huge difference in how a job gets done. Having an experienced pro get a job done for you will give you confidence about the work being done is high quality.

 

Convenience

More than anything, the convenience of having someone else install your smart home devices, outfit your home with smart locks and set up your central control system simply takes more work off of your plate. If, like most of us, you’re trying to work full time and constantly trying to upgrade your home, it’s easy to feel overloaded and get nothing done at all. Why not hire a professional and call it a day?

 

Safety

Along with convenience comes safety. Not only are many home projects time consuming, but some can be dangerous if you don’t hire a qualified professional. Hiring a pro gives you a sense of security that you and your home will be safe. Professionals will have the right equipment and the right sense of how to get work done in a safe and timely fashion. 

 

Working on a project yourself can be a strenuous process. Hiring a professional makes your life easier and gives you the best chance of having a project finished without any issues. For more on the benefits of home automation and hiring a professional to install a system designed for your unique home, check out Carolina Custom Sounds’ home automation options. We’re not a ‘once and done’ sort of company – we’re committed to building relationships with our customers as we help them develop a lifestyle experience in their homes!