Wireless Audio Integrator Voices - ResidentialSystems.com

Wireless Audio Integrator Voices

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Jaimey Sapp, Owner

Northern Technology Solutions, Anchorage, Alaska

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What are some factors that you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

The first step I take would be to assess my customers current system, usage, and the structure they want to install wireless audio. This helps to know if their equipment and ISP can handle the streaming without bogging down or causing interruptions. The next step is to go over equipment options and details with my customer to educate them on the features and capabilities of the system being designed.

What wireless audio features would you like to see develop in the near future?

I really think that there are many things technologically that could be improved in the wireless audio world. It is currently a pleasing experience for many and constantly evolving. So, I would have to say I would like to see a single media controller such as CasaTunes, but with the capability of serving as ones single room theater surround sound receiver too. It would eliminate one more device stuffed in an audio closet.

Ryan Heringer, President

Sound Concepts, Jonesboro, Arkansas

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What are some factors that you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

First, I think you must understand what capabilities and equipment the client already has available to them. Does the scope of the project consist of all new gear or is there existing equipment to consider? Do they own a smartphone? A tablet? How robust is their home network? Another factor to consider is what are the client’s expectations. Are they just wanting a wireless music system? Would they like to integrate automation features as well?

What wireless audio features would you like to see develop in the near future?

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact feature I would like to see. One thing in the industry would be perhaps some cross collaboration between the companies that are the best at making speakers, like Klipsch, and the companies [that] specialize in the wireless technology itself. Sometimes a specific feature, such as AirPlay, works better for one system than they do on others. It would be nice as an integrator to have more solid, go-to solutions.

Joe Whitaker, Senior Director of Business Development

iElectronics.com, St. Louis, MO

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What are some factors that you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

Wireless audio has always been a tricky proposition, and until recently, the technology just wasn't there to be a dependable solution to provide quality audio. The biggest two factors are the wireless technology used for deployment and the variety and quality of content available. For wireless technology, I prefer to stay away from those products with proprietary tech. Time proven 802.11 wireless is the way to go. It is less susceptible to environmental issues and uses the most of the same equipment that is already deployed. I had known for a while that Fusion Research was going to release something wireless. I was not surprised that they had chosen the most reliable and widely used technology known to man, good 'ol wireless Ethernet. Quality content is what every consumer is after. Having said that, no client is the same, so variety from any music source is key. One of the amazing things about Fusion Research's Wireless Ovation Player is the fact that it has just about every popular streaming music service built right in. The Wireless Ovation has exactly what is needed to make any consumer happy no matter what their taste with the added music quality that would make even the most picky ear satisfied.

What wireless audio features would you like to see developed?

Fusion Research has covered just about every base with the Wireless Ovation. One of the things I would like to see further developed is the use of DLNA and Airplay built into third-party wireless players. More and more, I see consumers wanting to use the music stored in their devices as well as the services that they use on these devices in a wireless fashion similar to the way they used docking stations in the past. While fusion has integrated pretty much every service that could possibly be used on a mobile device as well as methods for accessing iTunes libraries, I think that potentially the addition of DLNA and AirPlay compatibility would be great.

David Troisi, Owner

AVSD Audio Video, San Diego

What are some factors that you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

When integrating wireless audio into the design of a clients music system Audio Video San Diego looks at the quality and reliability of the product. For 18 years we have designed our clients systems based on their needs. We want to provide the ultimate experience for the whole family and allow everyone to easily use the system. To integrate wireless audio we choose to work with Soundcast because with do not have to compromise sound quality when we use wireless products

What wireless audio features would you like to see developed?

Future wireless integration would allow the client to control the entire system using their smart devices to change the source and its content. To do this we need a greater distance for wireless audio that would help to provide a stronger connection. Possibly, to accomplish it could be done by adding extensions antennas throughout the home that would repeat the signal?

Terry Kohler, Chief Operating Officer

Cinemagic Inc., Scottsdale, AZ

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What are some factors you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

The first thing we consider during design is whether the wireless solutions available meet the customer's needs. Do the solutions offer the performance that the customer requires? Do the solutions offer the features that the customer wants? Is the solution the most cost effective way to get the customer the features and performance they want? After the determination is made that the solution is the right fit for the customer, we then attack the factors that would affect such a solution. The primary factor that we consider when designing and installing wireless solutions is environment. We need to assure that the wireless environment in the home will support the wireless solution. We need to understand not only the amount of wireless "noise" in the area, but also anything that might impede our wireless transitions. These things would include the type of construction, the existence of media that the wireless may not travel through and the distance we wish the signal to reach. In our area, we find that the biggest concerns are construction and "noise." Homes in the Phoenix area are predominately stucco. Though it is a very thin concrete-like coating, it has a metal matrix behind it. This is the wire mesh that they use to attach the stucco to. This metal matrix will kill many types of wireless signal. Paying attention to whether your signal needs to travel through these types of structures is first and foremost for us. Then issue 1a is the noise in the area. The Phoenix metro area is wrought with wireless interference. We use many software and hardware tools to determine the existence of "noise" in an area. Understanding the interference and accounting for it makes our installations go smooth and stay reliable.

What wireless audio features would you like to see develop in the near future?

I would like to see a wider range of solutions. Some of the solutions have great features, but are limited to a few manufactures. This causes the price to rise with lack of competition. It also creates an environment that breeds mediocrity. We need more manufactures to start producing wireless options that work. This will cause all manufactures to make the products better and more affordable. Once this happens, we will have all of the features and performance options we could ever want.

Shawn Lemay, President

Sound & Theater, Buffalo, NY

What are some factors you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

Wireless “anything” can be a tricky beast. Whenever possible we’re looking to hardwire, but we realize that’s not always the best option. Today with clients having access to powerful computers in their purse or on their waist, we’ve started to adopt this philosophy and try to accommodate what customers are already used to using… their smart phone. Smartphones allow customers to not only stay in touch with the world via email, but now allows customers to create playlists and tweak music preferences 24 hours a day, and best of all, when they’re not even home. With Control4’s new wireless Music Bridge, we’re able to void the gap between the customer’s smartphone and their whole-house audio system. For the first time we can now wirelessly allow the customer the same luxury they’ve grown used to with their smartphone and music always being available and allow them to play that music throughout the house, similar to how they may now do it in the car. But just simple being able to offer this new technology to the customer without any planning can be disastrous. Often times, the customer’s existing wireless network in their residence needs to be upgraded or replaced, to assure a high quality experience as the user walks around their house. Nothing says bad install more, then walking from the kitchen to the living room, jamming to the latest Coldplay song, only to have it stop just as the song hit’s the chorus. It’s a guaranteed upset call from the customer, as well as a black eye for the installer.

What wireless audio features would you like to see develop in the near future?

In the future, we’re hoping to see improvements on the current technologies. AirPlay from Apple works great, but it would be even better to see this caliber of a feature on other devices, such as Android and Windows. UPnP is not nearly widely adopted as Apple’s AirPlay. Plus, we’d love to see this feature for video as well. The ability for the customer to have their music and movies on their cell phone with them all the time anywhere is going to be huge.

Charles Hutson, President

Audio Video Solutions of South Florida, Miami, Florida

What are some factors that you take into consideration when designing and installing a wireless audio solution?

The first and most important consideration is that the customers have a bulletproof Wi-Fi network. Not a regular one either, it has to be a mesh set up, so you can walk the entire property and have communication. The second is the residence’s internet speed; if it is slow, it will reflect poorly on the product you are installing and bragging about. Next is simplicity of the system. The fewer the steps to hear music the better. The NuVo Wireless System is the best at this. The system must [also] have a variety of internet music sources for the customer to choose from. The system must be iPad controllable. Don’t waste your time trying to impress anybody with wall keypad, they can be an option just not the main control scenario.

Apple AirPlay doesn’t hurt, however not critical. You can augment this by putting in an airport express for $100 and be fine.

What wireless audio features would you like to see develop in the near future?

As far as future features, I can only think of less compression of the music and quicker start up on internet music. Internal memory save would be nice; whenever we have power failures, we lose all the settings in the system. External ups don’t always work.

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