Archive for May, 2014

Home Automation for Your Maryland Audio/Visual System

Friday, May 30th, 2014

home automationThink that smart homes are something of the future? Surprisingly, they’re becoming a big part of the present. People have been interested in smart homes for years. There have been movies and television shows made about them for decades, and the time has finally come when smart homes are a reality. Home automation is great for those who want to increase security, simplify their lives, or just enjoy being lazy (face it, there are days we’d all rather not get off the couch). If you’re like the average person, you probably have some questions about home automation systems.

What is a home automation system?
This is a question that gets asked frequently. Home automation allows you to control thinks like your speakers and television from your smartphone, tablet, or computer rather than either using a traditional remote or manually dealing with your electronics. There are also ways to control your security cameras using this system. Many will now allow you to stream live video your tablet or phone, enabling you to see what’s happening on your property in real time. The innovations in home automation are allowing people to better understand what’s going on in and around their homes.

Benefits of a home automation system for your Baltimore home theatre
If you’re looking for a great way to upgrade your home theater system, home automation is a great option. You can use home automation to control lighting, sound, and video so you can make friends, family, and guests feel like they’re actually in a movie theatre. Everything can be controlled from your seat without any need to search for a remote or get up to dim the lighting. It bumps your home theatre system up a notch and is the top name in luxury. We work with many name brand companies who offer products that can be synced up for home automation. All you’ll need to do is install an app on your smart device and we’ll do the rest to get you set up.

If you’re ready to step into the 21st century, home automation is the way to do it. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the future. Plus, once you’ve begun the home automation process, it’s easy to add other things on, like appliances and other electronics down the road. Having a fully automated house will help you be able to monitor and control what goes on from a distance to keep your home safe. If you’d like to learn more about Maryland home automation, give us a call at 410.242.0000 or feel free to contact us via the website so we can help move you into the future!


What to Consider When Setting Up a Small Business Network

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Business NetworksWith technology advancing faster than you can blink an eye, the myriad ways to set up your network and advance your business’ initiatives and needs can be overwhelming. It used to be that you could connect a bunch of desktop PCs to a single file server. Today, a functional small business network should at the very least include high-speed internet access, backup storage, and more.


So how do you decide what to do when it comes to your networking needs? There are five things you want to keep on your list as you set up a new computer network for your business.


  1. What’s the purpose of your network? Is it meant to connect all computers in your small business locally? Or is it meant to allow remote access as well? Will each computer have its own set of applications and data or will there be a central server for everything to be stored? To best understand what your needs are for your small business network, think through the functions your employees will be asked to perform using the technology available.


  1. What’s your budget? Computers are cheaper than they were twenty years ago, and certainly more powerful. However, a professional network setup may include routers, switches, wi-fi hot spots, cabling and firewalls, servers, external hard drives, cloud services, and more. These can easily rack up the dollars, especially if you buy equipment that won’t work with your existing hardware and software or simply don’t know how to install. Sometimes, a small business company can benefit from bringing in small business networking experts to help identify the best tech solutions for your needs.


  1. Have you thought about your security needs? When we say security needs, we mean spam blockers, anti- virus and malware software, data encryption, server protection, and more. Depending on your needs, you may even need special rooms that are access-restricted so your servers and hardware remain protected.


  1. Along those same lines, do your staff members know how to use the technology? What about what your business considers proper use of company networking resources? Training can go a long way to ensuring staff understands how to use your network and avoid malware and viruses.


  1. Lastly, as technology continues to evolve, computer networks need to be maintained and updated to continue operating effectively. If you don’t have a dedicated network staff member, this can easily turn into a full-time job for another employee whose attentions are better served elsewhere. Sometimes, it makes sense to work with a small business networking expert, so that you can focus on what you need to do while knowing that your network is in good hands.


Down to Earth Communications, Inc. has over 15 years of experience in commercial and residential audio and video installations for an array of clients within Maryland. We have created custom audio and video systems for apartments, hospitals, airports, stadiums, corporate businesses, restaurants, residential homes and more. Our clients rave about our quality, craftsmanship and affordability. If you have any questions about putting together a professional network setup for your small business in Maryland, give us a call at 410.242.0000.



What are the Benefits of DirecTV Installation for Your Business?

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

DirecTV marylandWaiting rooms and offices can get pretty boring, especially when you’re stuck sitting in them for any length of time. DirecTV can make any wait a little bit better. Nearly any business can benefit from DirecTV installation. How, you ask? Let’s examine a few different businesses and ways that a customer experience can be improved by access to entertainment!

Medical offices – Sometimes doctors run behind. Most people expect to be sitting in a waiting room for a while before they even get in to an exam room. Sitting in an office with a lot of magazines that sick people have rifled through isn’t exactly ideal. Installing DirecTV in the waiting room (and even in the exam room) can keep your patients busy, happy, and less focused on the fact that they’re spending time waiting, rather than being seen. You can also use a DirecTV system to show informative videos and teach patients about illnesses and conditions!

Gyms – Do you ever hit the last third of your cardio routine and wish more than anything that you had something to distract you from that last 10 minutes or so? TVs are great assets for gyms. It allows people to watch the shows that they love while getting a health workout in. Plus, since most shows are either in 30 minute or 60 minute increments, many patrons will take advantage of that “timer” to accomplish their workout routine. Getting absorbed in something else will help people push through workouts and cause them to keep coming back for your awesome big screen TVs and hardcore workouts.

Salons – Sitting in a chair for half an hour while someone consistently snips at your hair can be really dull, especially if you don’t have anything to talk about with your hairstylist. Adding TVs to your salon or nail spa will help entertain your guests while you can get all of their work done without worrying about the added distraction of carrying on a conversation with a near-complete stranger. A DirecTV package can also give you options to let each guest choose what they want to watch and listen to. A personalized, luxurious experience will keep your customers coming back.

Offices – While it may not be the most productive thing to put a TV directly in the office, putting on (or multiple) in break rooms and conference rooms can be beneficial. It will make breaks more enjoyable for your employees and can actually make conferences more productive. The right channels show informative programs that are great for teambuilding or demonstrating something.

Help entertain and education customers and employees of all different businesses. DirecTV installation from Down to Earth Communications will give you a leg up on your competition and help keep people satisfied at the same time – how great is that? To set up a consultation and get started with DirecTV installation, give us a call at 410.242.0000 or feel free to contact us via the website. We can’t wait to help you with your DirecTV needs!

Tips for Turning Your Living Room into a Home Theatre

Friday, May 9th, 2014

home cinemaHaving space for a living room and a home theatre room is difficult to come by. Sometimes the basement or spare room just has to be used for other things. In this case, there are ways that you can make your family room feel like its own home theatre system without sacrificing the comfortable living room feeling for your family and friends. One of the best things you can do to make your living room feel more like a theatre is to add some theatre like ambiance on top of a decent surround sound system and a big screen TV. What makes a room feel like a home theatre?

  1. New Paint or Fabric – Changing your paint color to something dark will make your living room feel more like a secluded theatre. Fabric will give you the same aesthetics, while also helping improve the acoustics of your surround sound system. Adding fabric to all of your living room walls may feel a little bit overboard, though. Consider just doing a few panels.
  2. Change the lighting – Mood lighting makes movie theatres special. The lights are usually just barely raised – enough that you can see to get in and out of the theatre, but not so much that they interfere with the picture. Adding dimmer switches, wall sconces, or rope lighting can make your living room feel a little bit more like a movie theatre without going overboard. It’s the subtle changes that will really bring out the theatre feel.
  3. Add risers and seats – You can choose to install risers that are basically just two or three steps. It’ll give you the feeling of levels. Plus, you can put whatever kind of seating you want in on the different risers. Adding recliners with cup holders and somewhere for popcorn would be ideal for your living room/theatre room.
  4. Hide the electronics – Hiding your speakers, boxes, and other electronic devices will really help you feel like you’ve got a theatre in your living room. Wondering how to change the channel or operate the volume? A home automation system can help with this; you can control most electronics right from your smart phone with the right app. It puts you in control and lets you make changes from anywhere in the room. Talk about convenience.

Creating your own home theatre will make you feel like you have a getaway right in your own home. While these tips will make your living room FEEL more like a home theatre, you still need the equipment to go with it. This is where Down to Earth Communications comes in. We can help you find the best home theatre system for you and work with you to install it properly in your home. Have some questions about how to turn your living room into a home theatre? give us a call at 410.242.0000 or feel free to contact us via the website. We can’t wait to help you create your own personal theatre!


All About CCTV Security Cameras

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

security cameraBusinesses and homeowners across the world use surveillance cameras to keep their possessions safe. Ever wondered what kind of cameras are available or how they work? We’re here to give you some more information about security cameras from which one is best for you to how to install a security camera in your home or business (though generally contracting out is the way to go if you want your cameras to be hidden or aesthetically pleasing). Hopefully you’ll enjoy learning some things about security cameras.

  • What kinds of security cameras are there? – There are many options when installing security cameras. One of the first options you’ll have is whether to go with wireless or traditional. Wireless cameras tend to be more versatile and easier to install, but some people prefer the traditional method. You’ll also want to consider the size of the cameras you want as well as the number. Smaller cameras are easier to conceal if you’d rather people didn’t know that they were there; using bigger cameras can help deter would be criminals, though. Keep in mind the legal restrictions when considering installing a security camera system and make sure that its allowed before you decide for sure what type of camera is best for you.
  • How do I install security cameras? – You’ll want to make sure that you have your cameras in the proper places and facing the right way. It helps to have them switched on and placed before you actually install them so that you know exactly where you want to put them. Find out exactly how far the camera lens will reach and make sure that you have all of the important areas covered. Installation itself varies on the type of camera you get as well as the company that you bought it from.
  • How do they work? – It depends on the type of security camera you choose. Some work using fiber optics and some are completely digital. It’s mostly based on preference. You can choose to have your security camera record or not record. That mostly depends on what you’re using the camera for. Non-recording cameras are great for simply trying to see what’s going on around your home, while videos are better for businesses when you may need evidence for a burglary.

Security cameras can be useful assets for your home or company if you know how to use them and which one is best for your specific needs. At Down to Earth Communications, we can help you choose which product is the best for you and install cameras to suit your needs.

If you have any questions about CCTV Security Camera Installation, give us a call at 410.242.0000 or feel free to contact us via the website.