Virtual Surround Sound vs. Surround Sound: What’s the Right Choice?

Whenever you’re making your final decision about an electronic purchase, a lot of the choices are going to come down to expense and quality. These two lines intersect on the graph of your preferences: as quality goes up, affordability goes down. While these two lines aren’t perfectly diagonal, the trend for home theater speaker systems is clear. Virtual surround sound is on the less expensive side of the spectrum while high-quality 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems become pricey.

Virtual Surround Sound vs. Surround Sound: What's the Right Choice?

But if you want to carefully weigh your options and pick the best fit for your home theater, you need more than generalities. Keep these differences in mind.

When is virtual surround sound a perfect fit?

If you have a small home theater or you want to keep the space neat and tidy, invest in a virtual or 2.1 surround sound system. These speaker systems are made up of a central sound bar or two speakers and one subwoofer (which is what 2.1 is shorthand for).

Virtual surround sound uses delays and complex angles to make it seem like you’re listening to surround sound. The system isn’t perfect, but it’s near enough to give you great immersion. Choose this system if you value good sound, your budget, and an organized theater.

When is 7.1 surround sound a better choice?

If you’re an audiophile who can hear the difference between compressed and uncompressed music files, you might want to invest more in your sound quality. These systems also work better in larger rooms that are too big for virtual solutions. 7.1 surround sound speaker systems follow the same naming convention as 2.1 systems: they have seven speakers and a subwoofer so you can place speakers at the front sides, and back of your home theater. Real surround sound is more expensive. So if you choose this option, you’ll also want to research specific models, invest in mounting hardware, and have professional installation.

Go to Audio Video Solutions here to get started.

3 Strategies for Mounting Your Television Over the Fireplace

No matter how your living is designed, it’s always challenging to find the perfect place to put your new television. One space that seems like a default perfect position is above your fireplace. Not only is all of the furniture oriented either towards it or the adjacent walls, but it’s also a wide empty space. But without the right precautions, your fireplace can damage your television over time. The heat and smoke can degrade the electronics and prevent it from cooling down. Here are three ways to mount your television above your fireplace without worrying about damage:

3 Strategies for Mounting Your Television Over the Fireplace

1. Consider a ceiling mounting bracket.

Televisions are gradually making the shift from stands to wall-based mounting brackets. Not only do they remove the need for extra furniture, but they are also more stable. You don’t have to worry about it wobbling or a cat pushing against it. But those same advantages exist with a secure ceiling mounting bracket. Additionally, it gives you extra space between the wall against the fireplace and your television. That extra space lets cool air through to stop potential overheating.

2. Add height.

If you use your fireplace a lot, two of the biggest risks to your television will be smoke damage and the heat pouring out of the fireplace. Minimize potential contact by mounting your television higher against the wall. Swiveling and tilting brackets can help you get the perfect angle even if your screen is slightly higher than normal.

3. Talk to a professional instead of using a DIY kit.

At the end of the day, a professional installer can help you make the perfect choice about where and how to hang your new television. They can suggest the best heat guards for high-use fireplaces and the best hardware for different walls. Even better, they can mount your television so you don’t have to worry about errors or wall repair.

Go to Audio Video Solutions here for more TV mounting tips and to create the perfect home theater.

6 Additional Advanced Home Automation Security Tips

Home automation makes your life easier, gives you more control over your home, and increases security. However, you must also secure the home automation system itself. Here are six more advanced tips on how to use home automation securely.

6 Additional Advanced Home Automation Security Tips

Install Updates Regularly

You should always be updating your home automation applications or the entire system whenever a new update comes out. Updates often contain security patches that are designed to fix vulnerabilities that were present in previous versions.

Check the Privacy Policy

Every home automation system comes with a privacy policy; make sure to read it. What is being done with your data? You want to make sure that your data is in trusted hands and will never be shared with any third parties. That’s why it’s so important to get your system from a company that you can trust.

Secure Your Camera

Make sure that your camera isn’t vulnerable to an attack. First, change the default IP port on your camera. Additionally, check your camera’s IP logs on a regular basis and make sure that no suspicious activity is present.

Use 2FA

Using 2FA (two-factor authentication) whenever it is available will help secure your network from intruders. Two-factor authentication will require you to enter a code (sent to your mobile phone or email address) in order to log in to an application, in addition to a password.

Disable Features You Don’t Need

If you aren’t using a feature, turn it off. This can help reduce vulnerabilities. For example, if you never need to use remote access, turning it off will reduce the risk of someone remotely accessing your system unauthorized.

Buy From the Right Company

It’s important to only purchase a home automation system from a company that has a track record, a good reputation, and that you can trust. Contact us today for more information.

4 Important Home Automation Security Tips

The global smart home market is exploding and is expected to reach $53.5 billion by 2022. Home automation and smart homes come with many benefits, including increased security and control. However, it’s important to make sure that your smart home is secure from hackers and cyber attacks. Here are four important tips to help you secure your home network.

4 Important Home Automation Security Tips

Get a Secure Router

Not all routers are created equal. A hardwired internet system is harder for hackers to enter, but if you are using wireless internet, make sure to get a router that is secure. In addition, change the default name of the network. Even better, hide the network so that it doesn’t appear when external devices are searching for a connection.

Create a Secure Password

You’d be surprised by how many people use unsafe passwords such as 12345678 or even “password.” Make sure to create a complex password with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, digits, and symbols. Write it down somewhere so that you won’t forget it. Also, change your password on a regular basis.

Create Separate Networks

If you have a smart home system, you should create separate WiFi networks for your personal devices and the smart home devices. There is no need to mix the two together; it will just increase the risk of an attack. If possible, create a third guest network for any visiting guests and friends.

Don’t Use Public WiFi

If you are accessing your home automation applications remotely, never do so from a public WiFfi network. Always use a trusted and secure network. If you need to use remote access and don’t have a WiFi network that you can trust, use mobile cell phone data instead, which is generally more secure than public WiFi.

It’s also important to buy from a company that makes security a priority. Contact us for more information.

Tips for Building your own Media Room

A media room has several distinct advantages for anyone who spends a lot of time watching television and the like as it gives you a specific location to set up all of your media watching devices. These tips should help give you some ideas for things that should make your life easier if you plan to build your own media room.

Tips for Building your own Media Room

1. Pick a Large Room

If you plan to build a media room then it is likely to have a lot of things in it to fulfill all your needs. To make sure you can fit everything you will need for your media needs in this one room, it is a good idea to choose a fairly large room to serve as the location for your media room so that you don’t have to cut something out of your plans due to a lack of available space.

2. Projector Trumps Flat Screen TV

If you followed the previous advice and picked a large room then you should have plenty of wall space for your media room. Since a large screen size is the best investment you can make and projectors give you the most substantial available size as well as the fact that projectors eliminate potential viewing angle issues, you should get a projector rather than a TV for your media room.

3. More Inputs is Better

Your media room is likely to have a lot of devices you will want to use so you will want to have them all plugged into your output device at once (or at least as many as you can) so you should try and get a projector (or TV if you have to) that has as many display inputs as possible. Failing this, an adapter to plug in multiple display devices at the same time can also work but having as many inputs as you can is extremely important.

4. Sound is King

It doesn’t matter how good your picture is unless you have equally good sound quality. If your audio is crap then you will not want to use your media room to watch anything so make sure you get the best quality speakers you possibly can! If possible, you should invest in a surround sound system for better audio immersion.

If all of this sounds a bit daunting then don’t worry. We here at Audio Video Solutions can help you find the right gear for your home’s Media Room setup. Contact us today for help in getting your setup started!

The Advantages of Mounting Your Television

Mounting a television to your wall provides you with a number of advantages over simply placing it on a TV stand. For one thing, it can save a significant amount of space over what you get from using a standard TV stand to hold your television. It also massively increases the number of locations you can use your TV in since it can be placed on the walls now rather than just on your dresser or whatever table you happen to have on hand that fits that particular TV’s size.

The Advantages of Mounting Your Television

1. Avoid Neck & Eyestrain

Mounting a TV also makes it that much easier on you as your TV can be placed at eye level rather than just at whatever level the table you put it on happens to default to. Mounting your TV at the correct height and angle can help you avoid straining your neck or eyes by having to gaze up or down at an awkward angle for long periods of time when using your television.

2. Easy to Install

Another reason why wall mounting your flatscreen is a great idea is that there really isn’t any real reason not to. Installing it using a wall mount is a simple and straightforward process and since it has so many advantages and there isn’t anything complicated about it there really isn’t any reason that you shouldn’t wall mount your TV since it’s so easy to do.

3. Modern TVs are Designed for Wall Mounting

Most modern televisions are also just designed so that they can be wall mounted easily. Flat screen TVs are specially made with attachable bolts on their back sections which serve to make it easy to hang your TV on the wall and make it so that you can have the most optimal viewing angle possible once your TV is successfully installed there.

For more information on why you should consider Wall Mounting your Flatscreen TV and to get help with the mounting process, contact us today!

3 Must-Haves For Your Media Room

Whether you’re a big film buff, or you just like to host get-togethers for themed movie nights, chances are good there’s a place in your home that could be considered a media room. That’s where you keep the extra-wide screen, or possibly your projector, along with the high-quality speakers and the cabinets full of Blu-Ray DVDs.

3 Must-Haves For Your Media Room

But what else does your media room need? Well, if you want to take things to the next level, you should include…

#1: Proper Wall Decorations

While the big screen is what everyone will be paying attention to most of the time, you should still try to create the proper atmosphere for your media room. That will, of course, vary based on your personal taste, but it’s important to establish a theme. As HGTV points out, that could be as simple as hanging framed posters for classic movies on the wall, or you could go as far as hanging thick curtains to give your room a genuine theater feel. But do something to make sure everyone who walks in knows what this room is for.

#2: Proper Seating

While there’s nothing wrong with a comfortable couch pointed at the screen, a proper media room feels like more than just a den with a big screen in it. One of the best ways to make it clear that this is the movie room, rather than a room you happen to watch movies in, is to follow Reno Guide‘s advice when it comes to your seating. Which is that your seating should reflect the room’s purpose.

You don’t need to have theater style seating, complete with two or three rows each going up on risers, but that is the most convenient way for a lot of people to see a movie without getting in each other’s way. Make sure your seats are comfortable, that they provide a good view, and that you have things like snack tables, drink holders, etc. close to hand.

#3: Controlled Lighting

Sometimes you need more than just on/off when it comes to your lighting options, according to Bravas. While you don’t necessarily need a remote-controlled shade for your windows, though it’s cool if you do install that, you should have varying degrees of dimness for your media room. Especially if you want to make it clear when it’s time to sit back, and enjoy the show.

These are just a few things you should consider adding for the ultimate media room experience. For more options, simply contact us today!

Projector or TV in a Media Room

Many people would have to choose whether a TV or projector would work best in their media room. For these people, a projector is an ideal fit for their needs. The following information should help anyone still on the fence about choosing to go with a projector over a traditional television unit by providing them with all the information you need about why a projector is a superior choice.

Projector or TV in a Media Room


A standard TV unit is a fairly inflexible device in terms of where you can put it and what it can be connected to. Projectors are vastly more flexible in a wide variety of ways. They allow you to enjoy high quality from a variety of different angles and can be connected to a slew of different devices with ease.

Unlike most TVs, they can also be made to serve as a computer monitor as well and there is no need to go messing around with complicated settings to get the screen to look right when used with a computer – they can just work with relative ease.

Projectors are also incredibly flexible with regard to their operating location and what surface they can be used on. While a projector screen is ideal, they can be used to project the image onto pretty much any flat surface with little issue and this image can be any size you like which allows them to be far more flexible than a TV. Not to mention that projectors are far more lightweight than a television and do not require a mount to be installed for them to work properly.

Picture Quality

The picture quality is also extremely good and allows viewers to enjoy whatever is being projected from a variety of different angles at a level of quality that is equal or superior to what a flatscreen TV would be capable of providing.

If you have further questions about how you can benefit from switching to a TV projector then you should contact Audio Video Solutions for more information.

We Will Build You The Perfect Media Room

If you’re looking for a professional home system installer, you’ve come to the right place! Audio Video Solutions has been in the business for over 11 years, and we have delivered high quality service to all of our clients in Denton, TX. We specialize in installing entertainment and household systems ranging from home automation, to surveillance, and home theater.

We Will Build You The Perfect Media Room

Choosing Where You Want Your New Media Room

There are a few ways you can do this. If you have multiple bedrooms, you can turn one into a media room. Do you have a sizable basement? You can turn that into a private movie room too! In fact, a finished basement and multi-purpose room can add a sizable value to your home. According to Consumer Reports, turning one of your bedrooms into a multi-purpose room or finishing your basement could potentially add 4% – 6% to your house’s value.

Why A Media Room?

A media room is today’s study, or personal library. With newer gadgets and technology being released in the foreseeable future, media rooms could eventually become a very popular addition. Media rooms are a great way to show off your DVD or Blu-Ray collection, your gaming collection or how powerful your home speakers are. There’s dozens of design ideas out there, and we will help you fit your room to your personal taste.

We want to help you install your TV, surround sound, speakers, projector, you name it. Imagine your room being totally automated by voice command or by a click on your remote. Our goal is to give you an amazing system you will be bragging about for years to come. We at Audio Video Solutions will sure you get the Media Room you deserve! Contact Us now and get a free quote today!

Improve Your Smart Home’s Automation with URC’s Sensors

Finding precisely the right hardware for your home theater and smart home can be difficult. If your audiovisual equipment has been built up over time, you probably have equipment from multiple different vendors. Even the products made by the same company might come from different packages or different product series. It’s also difficult to predict what changes future technology will bring. Projector technology might replace your LCD screen even as you keep your surround speakers. That’s why it’s important to augment your smart home with the right building blocks. That includes your sensors.

Improve Your Smart Home's Automation with URC's Sensors

Why do sensors matter?

We’ve all had frustrating moments with old or defunct sensors that don’t work as well as they should. A lot of garage door openers, for example, need precise line of sight between the reader and your key fob. Even old Bluetooth equipment can have patchy reception once you go around a wall or get too far from the central station. High quality, universal sensors are the foundation for an easy-to-use smart system. Look for sensors that:

Can trigger multiple events.

While some sensors are single-purpose, growing your home theater system will be a lot easier if your sensors can handle different types of commands. Instead of having a sensor that can only dim the lights and another sensor that can only lower the shades, look for universal sensors that can do both (and more) so you can mix and match functions without having to buy specific parts.

Can work with legacy equipment.

You shouldn’t have to replace all of your equipment each time you add a new feature to your home theater or your smart home. So look for sensors that aren’t brand-specific. Some hardware only allows for support products that are built by the same manufacturer. Try to avoid these so you have a truly modular system that can be modified, advanced, or even reduced without a headache.

The more universal your tools are, the more you can do with them. Go to Audio Video Solutions for professional installation and programming so you get the most out of your A/V equipment and supporting hardware.