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Integrated Custom Home System

We're nearing the home stretch on another integrated custom home. This project features a theater room with a 5.2.4 Dolby Atmos speaker design that will be finished with Revel Performa3 freestanding loudspeakers and various components from manufacturers like Integra, Sony and Oppo for full 4k HDR capability. We've also integrated many of the homes systems such as lighting control, home audio, HVAC, security and surveillance via the Crestron smart home processor. All integrated systems will easily be controlled from a number of interfaces, a 7" touch screen near the kitchen, integrated keypads throughout the home and the custom designed app on all IOS or Andriod devices.

Check back soon for the after photos.

Giac beforeGiac2

Aside from the primary integration and smart home manufactures we'll be utilizing products from Sonos, Amazon Alexa and various data network suppliers to provide a complete connected home system.

2016 Parade of Homes

We would like to thank the Building Industry Association of Clark County, [HomeStreet] Bank, DeWils and all the other participating sponsors for putting on such a great show this year. We were fortunate to be the Custom Audio/Video and Low Voltage contractor for the Quail Homes "Westfall" showcase project.

In this years project we were able to work directly with the homeowners during the pre-construction phase in our showroom and design center in Vancouver, WA. to create a home theater, whole house audio and low voltage system specifically for their lifestyle and budget.

We would like to thank our participating vendors that worked with us through the design and engineering phase to ensure a great finished product.

Great room surround sound system

The great room surround sound system consists of an LG OLED 4K UHD TV, Integra THX certified Atmos dual zone home theater receiver, Universal remote control, Artison LCR bar with custom fit grille, Revel architectural in-ceiling speakers, Sunfire in-cabinet powered subwoofer and wireless streaming.

 

Cutting the Cord

Three years ago I cut the cord to cable, but like an addict I crawled back. Fast forward to 2016… Has anything changed in three years? Are we closer to the masses being able to cut the cord? Let’s take a ride down the rabbit hole. 

The first question one needs to ask is, what TV series or live sports can you not live without? Make a list. Now here is a rundown separated into locals, sports, series/movies. 

Local Stations
No streaming service provides the big three networks under one roof. Therefore, you are left with two options. 

Option 1: Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month will give you both NBC and ABC. CBS has its own service for another $6 a month. If you’re okay with the monthly fee of $13.99 a month you can have all your locals without cable and for fewer greenbacks. You will, however, be using two apps and not all streaming players have both. 

Option 2: For those who would rather not pay monthly one could install an OTA (over-the-air) DVR like one from TiVo for a total cost of about $299. A good antenna will cost around $99. However, with digital, one needs to make sure the signal reaches the house. A quick search on antennaweb.org will make suggestions on what size antenna you need and what stations are available. 

Sports
Still the hardest piece of the puzzle is live sporting events. ESPN has finally signed on to Sling TV, for a $20 a month fee. Sling also carries ESPN2 and about 15 other stations. Sling, however, does not carry any of the locals. Still, they do have add-on options giving you the ability to watch 65 channels live. 

MLB.TV will allow you to watch full game archives of every 2015 regular season and postseason game on your device and more than 250 “select 2016 spring training games,” according to their website. 

GameCenter offers out-of-market games for NHL fans for a mere price of $131.49 a year (what an odd number, eh?). A stiff price when you are not able to watch your home team. 

In other words, if you’re a big sports fan, don’t cut the cord just yet.

TV Shows and Movies
Netflix may be the most popular for one big bowl of movies and TV shows, but it is no longer the only game in town. This year, streaming services dominated the Golden Globes with their original shows. Today’s options include Amazon (included with your Prime membership you probably already have), HBO Now ($14.99/month) and Showtime ($10.99/month). I suggest you try the trials for both HBO and Showtime to get a taste of what they provide and see how often you use them. Sony Playstation Vue has 50-plus channels starting at $49.99 a month as well, but it is Playstation based and only available in a few markets. 

Choose a Device 
Once one knows what they want to watch, then choose a streaming device. Just make sure that the device has the streaming apps you desire! For example, if you are looking at Amazon's offerings, its app is not available on AppleTV. You can, however, download the app and stream using Airplay if you have enough battery power by the end of the day. I was impressed by the streaming quality; it was better than I had imagined. Currently, Apple has more than 60 apps available on the AppleTV—five of which most people will actually use. 

Conclusion
Cutting the cord is more feasible than ever before, but will still require some hoops to jump through to get all of the stations that you desire. Gathering your favorite shows/stations might require more than one device, so for the non-tech-savvy person, this should be an overall consideration.

If you asked most kids, what channel Disney or Nickelodeon was on, they would not know. I bet that is true for most Millennials, as well. Channel surfing does not exist to the new generations—app surfing does, though! Today's youth has never swapped between two channels while a commercial was on. Never again will there be sadness from the cable going out or something not recording. You can find anything these days, and most of this content is not sitting on a DVR, but waiting to be streamed. 

There are other options coming down the pipe that could change the game even more. There is VIDGO an OTT service that "works with devices from Smart TVs to tablets, providing on-the-go video for an affordable price" (stay tuned for more information on this). Then there is the Apple rumor it will be offering a monthly package, eventually. 

One thing I believe is for certain, the future of TV viewing will be completely app-based. Won’t you feel bad for the cable companies that have treated you so well for all these years?

Streaming Audio via Bluetooth & Airplay, what to know.

Before you run out and pick up a new bluetooth speaker for the music lover in your family, theres a few things you should be aware of. Here's a short comparison of bluetooth compared to airplay.

BLUETOOTH

1) Range is ideal within 15 feet but no more that 30 feet

2) Quality is "lossy" or much like MP3 (not CD quality)

3) Devices... bluetooth is universal and built into many devices from Apple, Android, Tablets and most every computer made.

 

AIRPLAY

1) Range is dependent on your homes wi-fi signal

2) Quality is comparable to CD quality, up to 16-bits and 48kHz

3) Devices... Airplay is a proprietary standard from Apple

 

Happy Holidays!

 

What a cool job!

We often hear, when we tell someone what we do for a living, "what a cool job"... We'll, today was pretty cool. A client asked if we would perform a side by side comparison of speaker cables from two different manufacturers at different price points. Absolutely!

Transparent VS Chord

Our reference components:

Mark Levinson #585 Integrated Amplifier $12,000

Revel Salon2 4-way Floor Standing Loudspeakers $21,998 (pair)

Source A: Tidal Streaming Service 

Source B: MacBook Pro connected via USB

Speaker cables used in test:

Chord Odyssey 2 (3 meter) $425 per pair

Transparent Audio MWU 10 (10 foot) $2,500 per pair (average)

Reference tracks:

Royals by Lorde for low frequency comparison and staging.

Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, bring on the guitar riff!

I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash for the pure vocals, spacing and brass.

Keith Don't Go by Nils Lofgren for the strings

Hells Bells by AC/DC, kick drum comparison.

Signs by Eric Clapton for separation, tempo and depth.

Testing equipment:

Real Time Analyzer (RTA) for sampling peak levels of the frequency response and four guys that get to "work" in this field daily.

Findings:

In short, the Transparent cables displayed a flatter response across all frequencies compared to the Chord cable that dipped on the higher and lower range frequncies. 

Bottom Line:

The Transparent cables were more natural sounding, they added depth and separation to the sound stage that presented a realism to each track that made it easy to listen to but difficult to go back to my desk job :)

Please contact us for a private demonstration.

#MarkLevinson #RevelSpeakers 

Consumers deserve better.

Consumers deserve better, contractors should know better and the low voltage company that sells this type of service and puts it on display should be ashamed.

This is not about a question of design choice, this is about what is right and what is wrong.

5 channel in 20 foot ceiling

 

The Left, Center and Right (LCR) loudspeakers are to be positioned around the TV, in this installation the low voltage company could have planned for an LCR bar or bookshelf loudspeakers that could be placed in the proper position rather than having the speakers completely detached from the screen.

*The center channel’s most important role is that of dialogue delivery. Since the actors are generally in frame and roughly around the center of the screen the center channel is perfect for delivering their dialog so that the speaking sounds as if it is coming directly from the actor on screen.

The center channel should be placed dead center to the main viewing seat and should be toe-out (no angle to either the left or right). The center channel should be as close to ear height as your setup allows and can be placed either above or below the screen.

 

 TV in doorway

Again, unless the TV is going to be placed in the doorway the dialogue will be coming from the ceiling fan rather than the TV location in the left corner.

 

Fireplace voices

 

Here again, all dialogue will be coming from the ceiling above the fireplace, the left and right speakers are to be placed to the left and right of the screen but in this case the left speaker is actually positioned directly above the screen so therefore any content that was intended to be delivered from left of screen will have little or no effect.

 

Bottom line, low voltage integrators should know better, every one of these installations could have been designed properly with no added cost.

 

 

 

Recent integrated home with man cave

Here are a few photos from one of our most recent integrated projects featuring Multi-room audio & video distribution, integrated lighting, alarm, CCTV, custom designed control app for IOS and Android devices, on-wall iPod docking station and a pretty fun man cave with Revel F208 floor standing speakers, Peachtree audio Nova220SE Integrated Amplifier, Rega RP3 turntable and dual flat panel 65" 4K UHD TV's.

Man cave with Revel and Peachtree

 

Integrated great room

Integrated lighting control

Mark Levinson No 585 giveaway

In recognition of our 7th year in business we will be giving away over $15,000.00 in prizes from ‪#‎marklevinson‬ ‪#‎rega‬ ‪#‎peachtreeaudio‬ and ‪#‎samsung‬ just to name a few. 
Contact us today to schedule your private demonstration of the new Mark Levinson No.585

Mark Levinson No 585 giveaway

 

Mark Levinson No 585 invitation back

Mark Levinson No 585 on display

Vancouver Washington based Current Home Technologies is the first to display the Mark Levinson No. 585 Integrated Amplifier in the Portland Metro and SW Washington market. 

Founded in 1972, the Mark Levinson® brand has become synonymous with extraordinary levels of audio performance and has a reputation in high-end audio design like no other. From that heritage comes perhaps the finest, most-accomplished integrated amplifier ever made: the No585. Combining Mark Levinson’s unsurpassed analog performance with advanced digital audio capability and flexible system configuration, the No585 pushes the reproduction of any source material to new levels of realism.

Contact us today to schedule your private demonstration.


Levinson No. 585

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Levinson No.585 front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Levinson No.585 rear

Noteworthy Changes at Current Home Technologies

Beginning March 1st, 2015 we are implementing our new Service Request System (SRS). This system will include an online Service Request form, an informative Fix It Yourself (FIY) page and the new Current Maintenance Agreement Plans (CMAP). The online SRS was created to better meet your needs in an efficient manner. This change is all about growth, innovation and doing more for you, our client. Our #1 goal at Current Home Technologies is to be the best and most efficient integration company to work with.

Service Request

Submit a request at any time of the day, any day of the week with our new online service request form. Information on in-house (phone or email) technical support is available on our webpage.

Fix It Yourself (FIY)

Alongside the online service request form we have created a Fix It Yourself (FIY) page that is full of common findings, solutions and fixes that may allow you to resolve the situation without the need for a service request. Information is continually being updated.

Current Maintenance Agreement Plan (CMAP)

CMAP is an annual service plan for your custom audio/video and integrated home system. All CMAP plans include discounts and exclusive sales offers for enrolled customers. Customized plans are available to best meet your needs. Visit the CMAP page for more details.

Visit our webpage at www.currenthometechnologies.com and select the SUPPORT drop down menu to review the pages mentioned above. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

 

Sincerely,

 

The CHT Team

360-859-3487 | 503-760-1441

www.currenthometechnologies.com

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CURRENT HOME TECHNOLOGIES, llc

1900 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

(O) 360.859.3487
(O) 503.760.1441
(F) 360.859.3489

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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TESTIMONIALS

Richard L.

Current Home Technologies provided invaluable guidance and service when we wanted to make the leap to HDTV. I'd recommend them to anyone.

Jennifer M.

Tony and his staff really know what they're doing. They are a pleasure to work with and I'm already looking forward to our next project with them.

Dave A.

The installations are always done on time and with a focus on my total satisfaction. And they are always there to help me with any questions after the sale. In a world full of unreliable service companies it's great to be able to have total trust in Current Home Technologies.

A. Bell

The team at Current Home Technologies is exceptionally professional, knowledgeable, thorough and flexible. It has been a delight to work with them to plan for our current and future audio and video needs.

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