Blogs

Making Your Home Automated

Posted by admin on May 31, 2017

Having an automated home (smart home) does always mean you have to have automated lights, whole house audio, custom built a home theater and automated blinds. Sometimes you just need a safe energy efficient home. Installing a Nest thermostat in place of your mercury-based or digital thermostat can make a world of difference on your electric bill. Or you could install a keyless door lock and a text message sent to you every time tries to enter you home. A ring door bell installed on your can alert you every time someone rings the door or show motion when someone enters your driveway. 

Nest thermostats can save anywhere between 10-20% on your heating and cooling bill just by installing 1 of them on your home. You can set programs on the fly. You can enter the nest program from anywhere in the world to adjust the temperature. The Nest thermostat learns your lifestyle. It knows when you are at home and adjusts the temperature to what you like. Normally when you buy a Nest thermostat at the big box stores. You receive a 2-year warranty. When you purchase a thermostat from Home Town Services. You will receive a 5-year warranty because Home Town Services is an authorized Nest Pro. 

Safety of your family is always on your mind. With YouTube videos out showing the new age burglar how to pick locks. I'm not sure I'm ready for my house to get broken into. I don't think you are either. Having a Yale ZWave door lock installed can make a huge difference on who enters your home. For each one of your family members, you can give them a separate passcode to let them in. That way you can see if little Johnny came home on time or if he went down the street to play with Mike. We all know he's getting behind in math. Let's make sure he starts his homework on time. How many times have you had to miss work just to let a contractor in your home? I know I have. Give him a contractor code. That way you know when he shows up and when he leaves. How many times have you been billed for 8 hours work when he's only there for 4. You get alerted text messages every time he comes and goes. When he is done. You simply delete the code. That way you know he won't return for an unexpected visit. 

Have missed special deliveries or have in wanted guests at your home from time to time? Installing a Ring doorbell cam on your home lets you except those packages and lets you know when those annoying neighbors are at your home, so you don't have to go through an hour conversation about Ms. Betty's cat tearing up their flower bed. The Ring will send you alerts when someone rings your doorbell or if it senses motion in certain parameters Home Town Services sets into place for you. You view your Ring door cam from anywhere in the world. Just pull up your app and view. You can also view your past history saved to a cloud-based server. That way you show the police what the burglar looks like with a 1080P image. Are you the middle of a movie and you don't want to get up and tell Mike that little Johnny can't come out and play. No problem. The Ring doorbell cam has 2-way voice communication. Simply tell Mike he can't come out and play until he finishes his homework. 

The Neat thermostat, the Yale ZWave keyless door lock, and the Ring doorbell cam are only a few ways to help make your home safe and energy efficient. Call Home Town Services today or fill out the information in the contact us section of our website for a free in-home consultation about how we can make your home safe and energy efficient. It will cost you nothing to talk. It could cost you your families safety. 


Home Theater, Home Automation & More

Posted by admin on July 22, 2016

Home Town Services has been providing area residents with home theaters design and installations services since 2008. The company also specializes in home automation (smart homes), whole-house audio, outdoor lighting, and more. Commercial services include electrical, video conferencing, conference room setups, digital signage, etc. staffed by licensed master electricians with more than 23 years of electrical experience.

By MAGGIE WORTH

Erin_Courtright.jpgCustom home theaters and home automation have been hot trends for the last several years. Whether it’s a complete movie room with theatre-style seating or a surround sound-enabled family room, whether clients want a total smart home or a component such as a keyless home entry, Home Town Services is glad to help.

“We don’t do cookie-cutter work,” says owner Erin Courtright. “We don’t have a specific set of components or a specific layout we use for every job. All of our design work is custom and it’s based on talking with the customer and finding out exactly what they want and need."

Erin, who also has a licensed master electrician with more than two decades of experience on staff, began working in an electronics shop as just 16 years old and remembers reading his dad’s electronics books at a joinder age. He started Home Town Services in July of 2008 after being bombarded with requests to design and install home theaters, lighting, and other projects in his off time. Business boomed immediately and his company’s services, which are extensive yet complementary remain in high demand.

“We’re fairly unique, “he explains, “because we offer such arrange of related services – and because we take on large and small jobs. We work in both commercial and residential settings, which many companies don’t do. And we can perform standard electrical work, too.”

In addition to home theaters and automation, the company performs a variety of high-voltage and low-voltage electrical work for commercial and residential clients, from whole-house rewires to custom wiring setups to repairs and fixture installations. They also install indoor and outdoor lighting, whole-house and outdoor sound, network systems, generators, home and commercial security systems, and much more. Businesses and corporations frequently contact Home Town Services to design and install audio-visual and teleconference and training rooms. “I really love doing this work,” Erin says. “I visit every single job that we do and I’m involved in every home theater design. It’s so satisfying to look at a finished project that’s been done really well and say ‘I built this.’”

“We’re fairly unique because we can work on such a wide range of projects. Our training and experience give us great flexibility.”

* Complete home theater environments, custom designed to meet each client’s needs

* Home automation including keyless entry, whole-house sound, and smart homes

* Corporate audiovisual and teleconferencing

* Indoor and outdoor lighting, high-v and low-v electrical, commercial and residential

* Other services include generators, digital signage, CCTV, and more

* Licensed master technicians with 23 years of experience

* Local and privately-owned


Z-Wave and Home Automation

Posted by admin on September 10, 2015

Z-Wave Man Logo_Low-res_678x452.jpgUsing just your Smartphone, tablet, or PC, Z-Wave is a wireless home automation system that helps you control your home while at work, on vacation, or just sitting and enjoying a movie. When using your Z-Wave on the go, you can control who comes and goes from your home, adjust the heating or cooling systems, receive alerts if anything is going on with your home, and control the blinds, television, etc, to give the appearance you are home.  When you are at home, you can program your system to wake up by having your morning coffee ready, turn the lights on/off during the night without getting out of bed, or even have a date night mode where the lights dim and the curtains are drawn at a certain time.

Benefits of Z-Wave:

  •  Security. With Z-Wave powering your security system you can link different products together and set up customized actions. This includes door locks, smoke alarms, glass break sensor, etc.
  • Energy Savings. Linking your lighting, climate, irrigation and shading controls to intelligent outlets and power strips allow you to monitor and control your home energy usage. This includes thermostats, window shades, fans, window open/close.
  • Saving Time. Setting up scenes on your smart phone will let you automatically lock all your doors/ windows, turn off light switches, fans, televisions, computers, etc.
  • Aging. Putting Z-Wave in place for your elderly family members allows them to live independently for longer. You can use your phone or tablet to light their home, let in nurses, make sure all doors/windows remain locked and give you alerts for anything out of the ordinary

 


The Dangers of Mounting your own TV

Posted by admin on August 11, 2015

Home Town Services TV Mounting professionals Atlanta Georgia.jpgThe evidence is mounting. An estimated 38,000 people per year are treated for injuries occurring from TVs and furniture that were unsecured.

With the excitement of a new flat screen TV, not many people consider the danger the new TV poses to young children. A child can simply grab hold of the TV stand, and send it crashing onto a tiny body.  The high incidence of these accidents has even prompted the Consumer Products and Safety Commission to launch a new campaign called, “Anchor It,” an outreach campaign aimed at educating consumers about the dangers of unsecured televisions and furniture. On average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV or furniture falls onto him or her.

It is always best to use a professional when mounting or installing a Television. When a professional mounts your TV, he/she will create the perfect installation to hide all wires and cables, and properly installing the mounts that best works for the area you want your TV to be.  Professionals know the difference between fire place mounts, regular wall mounts, and outdoor mounts. Typically a professional will charge anywhere from $191 to $422, depending on the size of TV and the location you wish to install it.  Using a professional helps put your mind at ease knowing your TV is properly mounted. It is such a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing your family is safe.

The most important piece of safety advice is to pay attention to your kids and make sure they know the rules around the TV (no climbing, pulling or horsing around in the vicinity of the TV); but because kids will be kids, make sure you also hire a professional to secure your TV and furniture.

Home Town Services provides TV installation services at the lowest price with the best quality of workmanship. Schedule a free visit today for a consultation by clicking here


Summer Savings for Your Home Theater

Posted by admin on July 06, 2015

What if we told you that you could have the building blocks of a custom home theater for under $5,000.00? This includes the projector and all of the equipment you need to start enjoying your home theater experience. This package would normally cost upwards of 10,000.00 for the projector and all of the added features. Summer is here and we want you to draw into your cool little cave and take in some good entertainment.

Included in the package are the projector screen, projector, Blu-ray player, AV receiver, 5.1 surround sound, surge protectors, universal remote, equipment shelf, wiring, and installation.

You need all these components to make the system work. It is a great starter point for the theater room. You can upgrade components at any point to make a bigger and better system. This system is very functional and can be a permanent solution you can add to later.

We meet with all of our clients to pick the proper size screen and figure out what type of material they will need. Whether it is a white screen, gray screen or the black diamond screen (which is an additional cost), we can help you find what is right for you.

Designing a system on a budget is also a little more complicated than throwing together what is cheap and hoping it works. We put together a system that is custom to the room that you have.

We use projectors because with today's technology and the correct design we can make projector look as good as a 65" TV for the fraction of the cost. Plus, we can give you a larger screen.

Having us come out and build your theater room takes a lot of headaches away. We design it, order compatible equipment, install and program the system to a turnkey operation. The only thing you have to do is pick the first movie you want to watch.

All products are quality name brand products with a manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, we offer a very rare company warranty for one year after your purchase. We guarantee the work that we do. You will be headache free for an entire year. If something fails, you call us and we come out. We determine the bad piece of equipment and in most cases, within 48 hours you will be back up and running. Other companies and big box stores can take weeks to get your system back on track.

Be sure to contact us today at (770) 599-9365 and or fill out the form below for more information. 


 

Backyard Audio Installation South Atlanta Georgia.jpg

When you spend time outside by your pool or on your deck, what audio options are you using? Speakers hanging on the back of the house? A sound dock or Bluetooth speaker for your phone or iPod? A bit limiting, right? Either you’re too far away and can’t really hear all that well or you’re stuck sitting next to the music and the sound is too loud to have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Plus your neighbor may not share the same tastes in music or decibel level.

So what are your options? Outdoor audio has advanced well beyond big boxes mounted to the ceiling of your porch and speakers that look like rocks. Today installation of custom landscape audio systems is designed to provide a consistent blanket of sound over your whole yard while blending beautifully into the environment. Imagine everyone in your yard hearing the same crystal clear music, never too loud or too soft.

The good news is there is a better solution for providing high-fidelity audio that doesn’t require excessive volume and that blends into the landscaping of your backyard.

Design & Installation

Home Town Services will work with you directly, a builder or a decorator to design a system that will provide functionality and simplicity.

These speaker systems can be installed using a single cable from the audio source. We use direct burial wire for outdoor systems as this type is made to deal with the range of temperatures and moisture conditions present in the soil. We know which gauge wires to use for direct burial and which wires will provide the best quality and performance over the lifetime of the sound system.

Use our knowledge and expertise by having us put in that amazing backyard stereo system. Call us at 770-599-9365 for a free visit with one of our audio professionals. Until then, keep rockin’.


Mounting Your Flat Screen TV

Posted by admin on April 15, 2015

HTS-TV-Mounting.jpgThere are so many ways to install a television mount for your flat screen TV. You can have a retractable arm, you can place it above your fireplace, or you can put it inside a wall recession. However, just because you can mount your TV doesn’t mean you will. If your Honey-do list is already too long, we suggest calling someone in to do your TV wall mount install.

There are so many variables when trying to do your own TV mount. Is it level? Is it anchored securely? Did you find the studs? What if you have to get through brick? Do you want a tilting mount or a retractable/movable arm?

There is also the question of how to hide the wires. The whole idea of mounting a TV is to achieve a clean look and we don’t want to ruin that with a jumble of wires showing. This will require putting electrical wires inside the wall and is best left to a licensed electrician avoid safety hazards.

Don’t let your several thousand dollar investment hang in the balance. Be secure in knowing that your TV isn’t going anywhere with our guaranteed work. Along with doing your TV mounting, we can install entire custom home theaters, media rooms, and whole house audio. We can also automate your entire home and help you control everything from a smart phone or a single remote.

The real cost of doing your own setup is high. You can break or damage the equipment, or worse it can be dangerous for you and your family. The amount of time and sweat equity you will be putting in just doesn’t pay off in the long run.Contact us to do it for you.


New Home Checklist

Posted by admin on March 13, 2015

keys.jpgAtlanta, Georgia is currently one of America's top 10 relocation cities. New construction is up while the supply of existing houses is down. Georgia’s economy is bustling. If you are one of these folks relocating in the near future or have just moved to Atlanta, you will likely be thinking about how to set up your new home. With every new house (old construction or new) we are more concerned now than ever about how we are going to stream our entertainment. The possibilities are endless. Do you want a flatscreen TVs? Do you want to set up a media room or go the full nine yards and build out a home theater?

Moving to a new city presents a need for products for your home. Your media room is a place where the whole family can enjoy entertainment. What about home automation? With a network of connected devices, you will be able to control just about anything in your home from your smartphone. What about installing a backup generator? Give yourself peace of mind in your new house, by installing a backup generator that will keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency.

If you’re moving from out of state we have a few up and coming neighborhoods to recommend. Roswell is establishing a growing downtown area. Smyrna has a wonderful little market village. Places like Mid-town Atlanta, Inman Park and Cobb county are also up and coming locations for transplants.

With more and more companies relocating their headquarters in Atlanta (such as Mercedes Benz currently headquartered in New Jersey) and movie studios bringing scores of people from the entertainment industry to Georgia, the job market has soared and has attracted many new residents. Atlanta has also been the longtime home of such fortune 500 companies as Home Depot, Coca-Cola, and TBS.

Call Home Town Services today for a free quote on outfitting your new home with the latest entertainment and streaming technology. We think you will enjoy living here in the south and thanks for calling Atlanta your new home town. Welcome!


Google Fiber is Coming

Posted by admin on February 23, 2015

Google_fiber2.jpgThe future is coming to Atlanta. Google Fiber is an ultra-high speed broadband service that delivers the internet at 100x faster speeds than what is currently available. The good news is Atlanta is one of the nine cities lucky enough to be included in Google’s announcement in January. This type of service is called gigabit internet, describing the fact that it promises downloads of 1 gig per second. Imagine driving a Pinto and then upgrading to a BMW, for close to the same price. Translation: It is a major upgrade without the expense.

In this age of the Internet of Things (IoT), meaning connectivity with all of your devices, the high-speed internet has become essential. All of your devices that are web enabled, which is a growing list, from toilets to lights to your fridge, need high-speed internet.  

It wasn't specified when Fiber's installation will be complete or how much it will cost. Rumor has it the gigabit internet will be around $70/ month. If you want Google TV and Internet, a bundle should be around $120/month. The promises of Google TV are big. You can watch 150+ channels and access tens of thousands of shows and movies on demand.

The good news for people who want to keep the service they already have, AT&T and Comcast are revving up the speeds they offer as well. We can expect to see stiffer competition from those companies. Google Fiber’s arrival in Atlanta should lower prices across the board.

As we have explained before, the single console that controls all smart devices in the home is the future. Gone will be the apps that are product specific such as Wi-Fi thermostats and remote lighting controls. These will be replaced with a consolidated home automation system that will allow you to control and monitor all of your smart devices on one single remote.

At Home Town Services we are on the forefront of this new technology. We have the experience and knowledge to seamlessly connect your entire home to your smart phone or tablet. Don’t wait for Google Fiber to arrive, call us and get connected today.

 


Our Pick from The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

Posted by admin on January 20, 2015

sony_4k_lezer_projektor_ultrashort_00.jpg

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) just ended a few days ago, and being that we are in the business of home theaters, we are going to share with you our favorite new technology to debut at the show. The newest most exciting thing we came across was the Sony 4K projector (
VPL-VW350ES Ultra HD projector). Its projection size goes from 60 to 150 inches, which will truly turn your home into a cinema.

Sony is offering this technology that was previously only a viable purchase for movie theater owners. It could cost upwards of 50,000 to 70,000k. Sony’s 4K projector is now more affordable than ever.  You can order the unit for $10,000.00, and if you order before February, Sony is offering a $2,000.00 rebate to sweeten the deal. Walking out the door with the Sony 4K Projector for $8,000.00 is the best price thus far for these projectors.

The native 4K projector boasts a 4096 x 2160 resolution (4 times greater than 1080p resolution), 1,500 ANSI lumens of brightness, auto calibration and a 2.1x motorized zoom. 
Along with the rebate, Sony is offering a 3-year limited warranty. The projector has ultra-high resolution and sharp, quality imagery. It’s offered at a stand-out price that you don’t have to be a movie theater owner to afford.

Some key features of the Sony 4K Projector:

  • HD to 4K upscaling
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Easy connectivity
  • Front air intake and exhaust cooling (placement flexibility)  
  • HDMI 2.0 compatible
  • Deep Color support
  • 1,500 ANSI lumens
  • Auto calibration
  • Flexible installation - 2.1x motorized zoom, 85%(v)/31%(h) motorized shift and 1.38-2.83 throw ratio
  • Anamorphic 3D
  • Access to lamp through panel on top of projector
  • 3-year limited warranty

Believe it or not, it has been 52 years since The Jetsons cartoon began airing on TV. Remember Rosie, the robot maid? She could cook, clean and even do some of the parenting. The premise of the cartoon was a family living in 2062, a technologically progressive time. Who could've predicted our progress at the time? They missed the mark on email and texting, but as far as home automation and smart home technology, the Jetsons hit it right on the money.

Communication between devices are the building blocks for home automation. Next year, Apple plans to release home kit, a unified smart home protocol using your iPhone to connect all of your devices. This will make your entire home accessible from your phone. From one platform you will be able to control the thermostat, the lights, and even your wireless speakers. Anything can be automated, even the flush of your toilet. Best of all, this can all be done by giving a verbal command to Siri, Apple's answer to Rosie the robot.

However, Apple isn't the forerunner in this department. Google's Nest, a smart home platform, is really leading in the home automation department. Its main goal is to be your home's go to platform for home automation. He who owns the platform, controls the connected home, right? Nest released a program called "Works with Nest" which was recently implemented in Mercedes Benz programming. This allows the driver of the car to control their home automation from the car, getting their home ready for their arrival at the push of a button.
What we gather from all of this forward thinking about smart homes and home automation, is that it will soon be exploding because of its affordability and accessibility. What was once unimaginable cost 20 years ago, has now become so accessible and inexpensive that just about any homeowner can afford to do this.

At Home Town Services, we have experienced increasing demand for home automation services. We are at the forefront for products and services geared towards connectivity of all of your devices. We are so much more than a home theater/media room installation company. We want to help you control every device and everything in your home by either pushing a button or speaking to your computer. In the last 52 years, Rosie morphed into Siri and thus created the easiest and most simple way for you to control your home. Now if only we could automate our kids, then we will have arrived.

A Quick list of things in your home that you can control and automate:

• Appliances and outlets
• Lighting
• Security cameras
• Thermostats
• Locks
• Entertainment systems
• Anything electronic or mechanical

 


Gifting Your Family a Home Theater

Posted by admin on November 21, 2014

Upgrading your entertainment room for Christmas is a present for the whole family, not just you Dad! Imagine watching the rest of football season play out in a plush and cozy cradle of entertainment. Sinking your bottom into your favorite chair, your hand resting in a salty bowl of popcorn and your eyes gazing at a TV screen so big it is an affront to God. Your best friend sits next to you deflated with envy because you’ve got the best entertainment set up on the block. All is quiet and still, with the exception of your wife clanging dishes around in the kitchen. The kids are outside running around. You are in your element. All the grueling hard work during the week is worth it because now it’s all about YOU and FOOTBALL.

Ultimately, we know upgrading your entertainment system is like a present with a big red bow attached reading “TO: DAD", but this is about convincing your wife it is the “family” gift that it truly is.

  1. The kids will enjoy watching their Disney movies on the huge screen and hearing Queen Elsa belt out “Let It Go.”  Your wife can watch her Lifetime movies as if she were sitting in a theater.
  2. Because you believe that life without TV is really no life at all, it is vital that you have one amazing entertainment set up before you die (dramatic emphasis here).
  3. It WILL increase your home’s value. Imagine how easy it will be to sell to the next father/sports fan/movie buff that walks into your home? A media room that is pre-wired and ready for TV awesomeness has currency for men (and their families).
  4. Why spend your extra cash on an expensive vacation when it’s over in a week? Why not put that money toward family bonding time that happens all year long?
  5. Say to her, “Honey, you’ll love the way it LOOKS!” Women want to see an aesthetically pleasing, streamlined, and cordless entertainment system. She doesn’t care about the 60Hz vs. 480Hz LCD response rate. She cares that she won’t have to stare at a glob of wires in the corner or worry about one of the kids banging their Thomas the Train car into the toddler-level television.
  6. When she has picked up the last dirty sock, cleaned your dirty dishes, and you’ve completed the last of the yard work, she obviously wants to see your sweaty face disappear for a good amount of time. This gives you a place to escape to.
  7. Ease of use. She cares about this, guys. Your wife wants to know when she picks up the remote, it won’t require an engineering degree to operate. The babysitter or Grandma will be able to use this space just as easily as you do.
  8. NEVER use the phrase “man cave”. This is deemed a “multi-purpose lifestyle space” or a multi-purpose room, (She doesn’t need to know you call it your man cave in your head).

So, there you have it. Upgrading your family room to an “entertainment media lifestyle room” really is a gift that the whole family will benefit from. It’s also a gift to you, the man who needs his cave, but we won’t tell your wife that. You’re secret is safe with us.

Call us to have a free visit and consultation.