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Home Theater Projector or 4K TV: Which Screen Is Right for You?


Let’s Break Down the Considerations for Each Display Option

When our team works oncustom home theater projects, we often hear: “Should I get a projector or TV?” This question used to be much easier to answer when the brightness, size, and price gaps were significant between the two options. Today, you can find projectors that are more competitive with TVs in brightness and price. Plus, some TV screen sizes have reached the triple digits.

The reality is that both display options are excellent depending on the environment and how they’re used. Below, we break down key considerations for each option to help you pick the right display type.

SEE ALSO: 5 Lighting Best Practices to Consider for Your Home Theater

When You Might Choose a Home Theater Projector Setup:

You Want to Emulate the Feel of the Cinema

If your home theater looks like a smaller version of a movie theater, then we recommend a 4k home projector. These spaces are meant to maximize the viewing experience with softer, more cinema-like picture rather than with an ultra-bright TV, which may need different brightness and contrast adjustments in a dark room designed for immersive viewing. Plus, you can watch film the way it was meant to be seen in ultra-wide aspect ratio as opposed to 16:9, perfecting your movie night.

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Enjoy Unlimited Sports Entertainment with Savant Video Tiling


Savant’s IP Video Tiling Is a Game-Changer for Sports Entertainment

With so much video content available these days, choosing something to watch is more difficult than ever. Even worse, sports fans must compromise when picking which game to view at home and could risk missing some big plays.

What if you could watch the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the latest Netflix series, and keep an eye on your surveillance feed at the same time—on the same screen? With Savant video tiling, you can.

Savant IP video with advanced video tiling is the highest quality 4K UHD video distribution solution and allows users to access and view any available source as a tile on any display!

Once you get your hands on Savant video tiling, you’re on your way to creating the ultimate entertainment hub in your Winnetka, IL home. Learn more about this must-have video solution below.

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3 Reasons You’ll Love a Whole-House AV Distribution System


Simplify and Enhance Your Entertainment Experience with Control4

Imagine having just one remote for controlling all your entertainment throughout the house. This universal remote offers you simple access to everything you love in any room. With just a few taps, you can enjoy your favorite music, movies, and shows wherever you roam at home.

We’ve just described the magic of a Control4 whole-house audio-video distribution system! If you crave a simplified way to access and share entertainment throughout your Kenilworth, IL home, Control4 delivers. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of Control4 whole-home AV.

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Home Theater Design Guide: Choosing the Perfect Screen


To get the traditional movie theater experience in your Kenilworth, Illinois home, you’ll need more than a popcorn machine and great acoustics. The size, shape, and type of theater screen will have a huge impact on movie quality. In this home theater design guide, we’ll teach you what to look for in a home theater screen as well as what factors may impact the installation process.

SEE MORE: 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

When it comes to home theater design, bigger does not always equal better. The size and shape of the room, the seating arrangements, and the type of projector will all impact the size of your home theater screen. Here are some tips to keep in mind when calculating size:

  •  Leave room for speakers: You may think you have an 180-inch space to house your home theater screen, but don’t forget about the components that may need to go next to it: speakers. While you can get away with placing speakers behind the screen (we’ll cover that more in the Materials section), you may need to budget for space below or to the sides of the screen, which will require a smaller screen size.
  •  Accommodate for seating locations: When you go to a conventional theater, the first row of seats isn’t likely your ideal choice. Sitting so close to a large screen strains the neck and eyes, and the image may show up slightly pixelated. For a 120-inch home theater screen, you’ll want a minimum distance of 12 feet between the screen and the first row of seats. If you have more space to work with, you can pursue a larger screen.
  • Verify Your Projector’s Capabilities: Is your projector a high enough quality to handle a large screen size? If your projector isn’t powerful enough to cover the size of your screen, your movies will look washed out and dull. If you haven’t chosen a projector yet, your home theater installer will be able to calculate the needed specifications and choose the best projector for the job.

There are many materials available for home theater screens, each designed to optimize viewing quality for different environments. The two biggest factors that will impact what type of material you choose for your screen will be where you place your speakers and whether you want a fixed placement screen or a retractable one.

For home theater designs where the speakers are behind the screen, you’ll want to choose a perforated or woven screen. These screens have pinprick holes that let sound pass through without visually compromising the picture.

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How Control4 Lets You Stick With the Brands You Love


One of the perks of using a Control4 dealer for your smart home needs is that your system can be custom-designed to include what matters most to you. You can choose to include lighting, security, AV, climate control, and more depending on your family’s needs. You can also decide how you want to incorporate that technology into your Lake Forest, IL home. While Control4 offers most of the software and hardware (from speakers to thermostats) needed for your smart home, it also gives you the opportunity to work with the brands you’ve come to love.

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at the Control4 EA Series

What Companies Are Compatible With Control4?

Since the company was founded in 2003, Control4 has expanded its list of industry partners every year. They now work with the top brands in the HVAC, audio, video, and security industries to offer smart home solutions that include the best technology in the world. Among the official Control4 partners are Sony, Amazon, Lutron, Apple, McIntosh, and Nest. Anyone that wants to become a certified partner, can inquire on the company’s website.

How Does Control4 Make Partners Compatible?

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Thinking of Cutting the Cord? Avidia’s Guide to Cable & Streaming



SEE ALSO: Hate Dealing with Comcast? Avidia Can Help

Keep Cable, But Cut Back Number of Boxes

If your main goal for cutting cable is to save money, be aware that streaming services are not always less expensive. The cost of a Comcast account with speedy internet and two cable boxes is very close to the cost of leading live TV streaming services. If you want to reduce your monthly bill, you should first consider eliminating add-on services. Premium channels and unnecessary high internet speeds can more than double your bill.

Reducing the number of boxes in your home will also significantly reduce your monthly bill. In rooms without cable, you can keep your displays but use services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu. You won’t be able to enjoy the latest episode of your current shows live, but your family will grow used to the idea that certain rooms are for live TV while others are streaming only. In many cases, you will discover a world of high-quality content that isn’t available on cable channels.

If you plan to move away from cable because you can’t wait to call your cable provider and tell them what you really think of them… well, let us show you how to make your ‘streams’ come true!

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Should I Install My TV Above the Fireplace?


SEE ALSO: Thinking of Cutting the Cord? Avidia’s Guide to Cable & Streaming

How to Use Mantel Mounts Above Your Fireplace

If you’d like to install your TV above the fireplace or other furniture, you’ll want a screen that can be mounted flat to the wall. But if your fireplace mantel has artwork or picture frames on it, or if it already is as tall as your vision line, that means the display is going to be too high for comfortable viewing.  

To counter this, a mantel mount lets you pull down the screen to swivel in any angle. You’ll want the center of the screen to be at the height of your eyes and to keep your head in a neutral position. Mounts can be pulled down manually by a single hand, or automatically with a motor and remote. Mantel mounts can even be connected to your home automation system, accessed through an app or remote control like those from  Control4.

Without a mantel mount, you'll need to make sure that your couch is far enough from the fireplace and, ideally, allows you to rest your head while looking upwards. The only room in your house where a mantel mount may not be necessary is in the bedroom, as you’ll be lying down to view the display.


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Avidia’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Tech Lovers


SEE ALSO: How to Boost the Holiday Season with Whole-House Audio


Tech Gifts Under $100

iPhone 12 Pro Wallet Case - $19.99

This ultra-light and durable wallet case protects your new iPhone 12 and safely stores your cash and credit cards so you have everything you need in one go. Just don’t forget your keys! Check it out here.

Sky Viper Journey GPS Drone - $99.99

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What Do You Need for an Epic Media Room?



SEE ALSO: Limited Space in Your Media Room for Big Screens?

A World of Display Options

Because media rooms often pull double duty as living rooms, installing a projector and screen isn’t always practical. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to an immersive picture. Ultra-short throw projectors are a great alternative for a life-size picture in a flexible space. These compact projectors sit just inches from the wall atop your media cabinet and project an impressive 100+ inch display. Enjoy 4K HDR models that produce a super bright picture for rooms with lots of ambient light.

TVs are undoubtedly a common choice for media rooms because of their ease of installation and ultrabright displays. The latest 4K and 8K models offer impressively large and detailed images from 55 inches to 86+ inches to bring your movies, sports, and TV shows to life. Choose a display that transforms into artwork to blend with your décor when turned off or make it the center of attention with custom-color LED backlighting. Motorized mounts can also adjust your TV to the most comfortable viewing position.

Discreet Yet Powerful Audio

If you want serious audio to go along with your display, you’ll need a better solution than the speakers that live inside your TV. Consider a soundbar to install below your display. Avidia delivers high-fidelity soundbars that feature Dolby Atmos surround sound, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility, auto-tuning and speech-enhancing technology, and voice control. We can also expand your soundbar with a wirelessly connected sub and surrounds for an even more immersive listening experience.

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The Frame TV by Samsung: Blend Your TV with your Home Décor


SEE ALSO: Want the Ultimate Home Theater Experience? Start with Design

Turn Your TV into Artwork

The Frame by Samsung is a sleek and innovative TV that features 4K resolution and QLED display technology when turned on. When turned off, the magic begins. The Frame transforms into beautiful artwork. The Frame’s Art Mode allows you to elegantly exhibit your personal art collection or any number of works of art from world-renowned institutions. From classic paintings to breathtaking photography, you can revitalize your everyday space with art as soon as you’re done watching TV.

Showcase Your Home Décor

The Frame complements large and small home spaces and blends in with photo or painting collages. You can showcase it as a centerpiece or hang it among your framed artwork and pictures. Say goodbye to messy wires that seep out from your TV to your devices with Samsung’s One Invisible Connection, a single wall-mounted TV cable that discreetly carries AV and power from your TV to the Samsung QLED Connect Box, which can be installed behind the wall in an AV back box or within a media cabinet.

The Frame comes with a variety of customizable bezel colors to fit the style of your room. Their built-in magnets make them easy to change out as you see fit. Choose a conservative screen size at 32 inches or make a statement with the 75-inch model.

Elevate Your Viewing Experience

The Frame isn’t just revolutionary digital art. It’s also an innovative 4K television chock-full of features. Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology reveals over a billion shades of color, bringing images to life from every angle. Its Adaptive Picture technology automatically senses surrounding light and adjusts the screen’s brightness and contrast so that your viewing experience is perfect at any time of day.

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Spring into Warmer Weather with an Outdoor Audio-Video System



SEE ALSO: How to Upgrade Your Outdoor Music System


Discreet Speakers Let Your Landscaping Shine

We love Coastal Source for outdoor audio because of their high-quality performance and cutting-edge weatherproofing technologies. Plus, they offer an array of options for homeowners who want dedicated sound around the patio or evenly dispersed sound throughout their expansive backyard.

Their bullet speakers are winning contenders for homeowners who want to blanket their backyard with high-quality sound without settling for obtrusive components that steal the attention from otherwise beautifully tailored landscaping. These three-inch solid brass speakers mount discreetly among your gardens and foliage, blending with lights and other landscaping fixtures throughout your property.

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Complete Your Backyard with an Outdoor TV Installation



SEE ALSO: Now Is the Perfect Time to Install an Outdoor Speaker System


The Best TVs for Shaded Spaces

The Veranda 4K HDR TV series from SunBriteTV is perfect for areas that don’t see direct sunlight, such as a fully covered patio or outdoor kitchen. Like all SunBriteTV and Séura displays, the Veranda series is specifically built to withstand water, insects, extreme temperatures, and debris. Choose display sizes ranging from 43 to 75 inches and enjoy up to 50% more brightness than standard indoor TVs.

Séura also offers a TV line for shaded areas called the Shade Series 2. These 4K HDR TVs are available in sizes ranging from 43 to 75 inches and boast slightly higher brightness than the SunBriteTV Veranda series (700 nits vs. 400 nits). What’s more, a Séura Shade Series 2 TV comes with a 2-channel outdoor soundbar—though you can purchase a weatherized soundbar from SunBriteTV to fit their displays, too.

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4 Clever Design Ideas to Improve Your Media Room Experience


SEE ALSO: What Do You Need for an Epic Media Room?


Retractable TV Mount for Better Views

While it’s best to install your TV so that the center of the display is at eye level, some rooms don’t allow this because of impeding structures like fireplaces. If your TV is installed above a mantel, it may be too high for comfortable viewing. In this case, consider a TV mount, which allows you to pull down the screen manually or with a remote and swivel it to your desired position so that your TV is in perfect alignment with your eye level. When you’re done, a quick button tap puts your TV back in place.

Hidden Display to Keep Eyes on Décor

If your media room also serves as the dedicated space in the house for hosting friends and family, you may not like having a big black wall-mounted screen distracting from your interior design when you’re not watching TV. Instead, consider a TV that transforms into beautifully framed artwork when turned off, like the Samsung Frame. Or conceal the display entirely by opting for a motorized projection screen that hides in a discreet cassette in the ceiling and reveals itself when you’re ready to use it.

Custom Media Furniture to Store Components

AV components stack up fast, causing unwanted clutter and wiring beneath your display. What’s the point of choosing a hidden display if your cable box, Blu-ray player, media server, and streaming device are in plain sight? Media cabinets solve this problem by storing and supporting your gear in a modular, ventilated cabinet that features sliding or removable rear panels for easy access to components and wiring. All that’s left to see is a beautiful, custom-finished credenza.

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655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200
8am -5pm CT

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655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200
8am -5pm CT

Join our mailing list
Stay up to date on the latest smart technology ideas and innovations.