Today’s home is both wired and networked, not only for convenience and security, but for entertainment, too, as A/V home trends increasingly demonstrate. Contractors who perform home entertainment or automation installations can verify that the market is expanding as the home becomes the entertainment hub of people’s lives. For both the consumer and the contractor tracking the latest A/V home trends, here are some of the directions the industry is heading:
The patio, deck or backyard are evolving into full-featured home entertainment zones. Because these devices are linked to central audio and video equipment indoors, access points rated for outdoor exposure direct remote control are major sellers that enable the new domain of outdoor home entertainment.
First Floor Entertainment Centers
Home theaters are increasingly taking center stage in house design. In a purpose-built area on the first floor, media centers include high-resolution monitors and theater quality speakers, along with luxury seating and all amenities. Proximity to living spaces keeps contractors alert to sound transfer issues and the need for effective acoustic isolation.
With the vast availability of iPad and Android apps to control home automation devices, tablets have assumed a primary role as the control device of choice for many homes, usurping even the custom touch panels that were installed in recent years. Already, those dedicated spaces are increasingly converted to iPad and Android tablet docks.
Music trends are veering away from wired playlists and more toward cloud-based streaming music services dispersed through wireless technology. Contractors are coming up to speed with installations of this technology, while still advising audiophiles to also retain wired systems for the superior quality compared to the lower bitrate of standard streaming services.
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