Home Automation – Electronics 101

Some people may call it Smart Home technology, we call it Home Automation. It’s a way to make your life more convenient and more safe. Classic Stereo Electronics Professional John Higgs talks about it in our latest Electronics 101.

WHAT IS HOME AUTOMATION?

Home Automation allows you to control almost anything in your home with the touch of a button. Use remotes, buttons on a wall, your phone, your tablet or even your voice to control your environment. Your environment can include:

  • heating and cooling
  • TV
  • audio
  • lights
  • shades
  • locks on your doors
  • and almost anything else you can imagine

WHY IT’S HELPFUL

It’s convenient. Our internationally-acclaimed electronics installers can set it up to fit your needs. You can control the lights in each room with the touch of a button. You can also turn off the lights through your entire house with one touch.

It’s safe. If you forgot to lock the door after you left, then simply lock it with your phone. You can even automate lights and cameras to work when it detects movement outside the home.

It’s energy efficient. Certain Home Automation technology can adjust the shades based on the amount of sunlight in the room. Lights can also adjust automatically based on the brightness in the room. Think about how the energy you can save by having a schedule for your thermostat and so many other aspects of your home.

DO YOU INSTALL IT DURING CONSTRUCTION? CAN YOU INSTALL IT AFTERWARDS?

The answer is yes! Installing Home Automation during construction of the home opens up a few more options. However, we can automate a home that has already been built.

TRY IT IN OUR SHOWROOM

We use Home Automation technology to control many aspects of our showroom. So visit us to see how it works.

Classic Stereo Showroom Grand Rapids

PORTABLE DAC IMPROVES LISTENING ON THE GO

Electronics 101 Preamp Subwoofer DAC

Have you ever seen someone plug their headphones into a box, then plug that box into a laptop or phone? That person is likely improving their listening experience with a portable DAC. You can do it too with a visit to Classic Stereo. John Higgs talks about them in our latest version of Electronics 101.

WHAT IS A DAC?

DAC stands for Digital to Analog Converter. When you store music on your phone or laptop, it saves as data. Your laptop or phone already has one that converts the 0’s and 1’s into analog music that we can hear.

The portable ones you find in our Classic Stereo showroom are designed specifically to improve music. Not only does it improve the sound quality, it also acts as an amplifier for your headphones.

Add a quality portable DAC and a quality pair of headphones to your laptop or phone and you can start to replicate the quality sound you hear at home.

They are easy to store too. Most portable DAC’s are not much bigger than a cell phone that would fit into your pants pocket or purse.

TRY ONE OUT IN OUR SHOWROOM

Never used one? Don’t think it makes a difference? Visit our showroom to try it out yourself. Hook it up to your phone or laptop and tell us if you hear a difference.

Classic Stereo Showroom Grand Rapids

learn more about electronics

SVS 4000 SERIES SUBWOOFERS DRAW HIGH PRAISE

SVS 4000 series

If you have not visited our Classic Stereo showroom lately, you need to visit us to hear the new critically acclaimed SVS 4000 series subwoofer.

what EXPERTS say ABOUT THE SVS 4000 SERIES SUBS

CNET Logo SVS 400 series subs

CNET is the world’s leader in tech product reviews, news, prices, videos, forums, how-to’s and more. The magazine’s top audio reviewer Steve Guttenberg reviewed the SB 4000.

“A reference-grade subwoofer that doesn’t merely dish out room-rattling home theater effects, it’s also very musical. I’ve never heard bass like this in the CNET listening room! I highly recommend it”

Click here to see his full review.

Home Theater Review Logo SVS 4000

Dennis Burger gave the PB 4000 five stars for performance, value and a five-star overall rating.

“SVS has another undeniable winner on its hands here—one that outperforms its predecessor while delivering improved aesthetics at a cheaper sticker price. I could not give it a heartier recommendation.

Click here to see the full review.

Audioholics Logo SVS 4000 review

James Larsen reviewed the SVS 4000 series and seems to prefer the cylinder subs.

“SVS leveraged the march of progress in technology to make their classic 13-Ultra design better without a significant cost increase. SVS 4000 Series Subwoofers offer significant gains.This is nothing but good news for subwoofer enthusiasts.”

Click here to read his full review.

SVS SUBS IN OUR SHOWROOM

SVS 4000 SB 4000 Photo

SB 4000

SVS SB 16 Ultra subwoofer

SB 16 ULTRA PG

SVS SB 2000 Subwoofer

SB 2000

SVS SB 1000 Subwoofer

SB 1000

VISIT US TO FORM YOUR OWN REVIEW

Visit our showroom to give these SVS subs your own review. Our Electronics Professionals will guide you to the right one for your needs and even let you test them against the competition.

You can also contact us online to get more information and a price quote.

SONOS TWO BUNDLE: SAVE UP TO $49

Sonos Two Bundle Deal

Ask our Electronics Professionals how to get two Sonos One speakers for only $349. With the Sonos Two bundle you get:

  • a pair of incredible sounding speakers
  • voice control with Amazon Alexa built in
  • an easy to use wireless home sound system

A PAIR OF INCREDIBLE SOUNDING SPEAKERS

Sonos speakers give you great flexibility. Pair them together in one room for stereo sound. Sonos One can connect wirelessly to speakers in other rooms to expand your home sound system.

You can pair the Sonos One speakers with a subwoofer. Even consider pairing it with a Playbar or Playbase to create home theater surround sound.

voice control with amazon alexa built in

Get the latest weather updates, flash briefings and sports scores. You can also set timers and enjoy all of the other helpful Amazon Alexa skills.

Combine voice with the Sonos app to all your music in one place, including:

  • Amazaon music
  • Spotify
  • Apple music
  • internet radio
  • plus 80 other streaming services globally
Sonos Two Lifestyle Photo

EASY TO USE WIRELESS HOME SOUND SYSTEM

Sonos connects to your WiFi so your music does not stop when you get a phone call. If your WiFi is unstable, you can still connect ethernet directly.

Setup is easy too. Plug in your Sonos One, download the Amazon Alexa and Sonos apps, then follow the directions.

With the Sonos app, your features, services, skills, music and voice options will keep getting better over time.

TEST THE SONOS TWO BUNDLE IN OUR SHOWROOM

Hear the sound quality for yourself in our showroom. You can also test the Playbase, Playbar and any other Sonos products. Talk to our experts to find out which one is best for you.

Classic Stereo Showroom

HELPING THOSE WHO HELP LOCAL CHILDREN

Our internationally-acclaimed Electronics Integration team recently donated their time to assist the Children’s Advocacy Center in Holland. Early in the process, the team helped pre-wire the center’s expansion. In late January, they returned to finish installing the electronics.

Dozens of our employees also returned on the weekend to install appliances, help move boxes, furniture and much more into the new addition.

All of our volunteer efforts allowed the center to not miss any days of helping local children who need their assistance.

MOVING DAY!

WHAT IS THE CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER?

The Children’s Advocacy Center in Holland provides abuse prevention and intervention with a coordinated and multi-disciplinary team approach to Protective Services. This approach prevents children from talking to multiple agencies and giving multiple interviews. Some of their services include:

  • Forensic Interviews
  • Medical Exams
  • Child Assessments
  • Counseling
  • Groups
  • Courtroom Orientation
  • Family Advocacy

WHY EXPAND?

The nonprofit children’s assistance organization will add 7,000 square feet of therapy rooms along with children and family service space.

The $1.7 million addition will more specifically provide:

  • More space for private meetings with victims and their families.
  • More space to train teachers, counselors, family members and staff from across the state.
  • A store to provide essentials for displaced mothers and children.
  • An Art Therapy Studio and a Healing Garden.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The Children’s Advocacy Center accepts monetary donations and these supplies.

CHILD THERAPY SUPPLIES
Washable markers, acrylic paints, small art canvases, paint brushes, tempera paint scrapbooking materials, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s gift cards.  Moldable clay (non-bake variety).  Stickers: bees, bugs, hearts, dots, smiling faces, band-aids,  Glitter glue, Glue dots, journals, and thin and regular Sharpies.

DRINKS AND SNACKS
Individually wrapped snacks, juice boxes, bottled water, Sam’s Club and Meijer’s gift cards.

IMPORTANT OFFICE SUPPLIES
Copy paper, postage stamps, DVD-R black discs, manilla file folders (1/3 cut), office supply store gift cards.

ESSENTIALS
Sanitizing wipes, tissues, paper towel rolls, hand soap, Sam’s Club gift cards, gas cards and fast food restaurant cards for court days.

BIG DREAMS
Donated breakfast and lunches for Center tours and Multidisciplinary Team case review meetings, frequent flier miles for staff to use for training, and advertising space in print and broadcast media.

For more information on donation opportunities, please contact Rebekah Bakker, Development Director, at 616-393-6123 or rbakker@cac-ottawa.org

ASK THE EXPERT: HOME THEATER TECHNOLOGY

CE Pro honor Classic Stereo Theater

As Home Theater technology improves, it is also becoming more affordable.

Jordan Carson and Scott Bekins discussed this as Classic Stereo made its Ask The Expert debut on WOOD TV 8 today.

HOME THEATER: MORE AFFORDABLE THAN EVER

This is a unique time for projection equipment. The technology has improved immensely, but the prices for quality equipment are lower than ever.

The Reference Theater features our Sony 4K laser projector. Sony has really perfected 4K technology because they are involved in each step. They make the cameras, the studios, TVs and more. If you think you lose any video quality with a projector, we invite you to visit our showroom and experience a Sony 4K picture.

Projection screens have also made great strides over the years. Seymour Screen Excellence makes an acoustically transparent screen. It allowed us to put speakers behind the screen, so the audio comes right at you. Often times you lose either audio quality or picture quality with such technology. However, our Reference Theater proves Seymour’s screen delivers a quality picture and tremendous sound.

EXPERT PLANNING MATTERS TOO

Nobody installs it better than Bekins. Our installation team has won national and international awards for Home Theaters, Media Rooms and more.

It is important to think about every aspect of the room. One weak link can lessen your entire experience. That is why we handle everything from the floors, to the walls, the furniture, the speakers, the screens, the projectors and more.

We want your to get fully immersed in your viewing experience.

Visit our showroom or give us a call and let us show you how to enjoy the best Home Theater experience.

Bekins Home Theater Installation

If you missed our Bekins debut, you can watch Scott and Jordan in the video below

LIVE TV ON YOUR PROJECTOR -ELECTRONICS 101

Audio Video Experts

You have seen homes with a beautiful big projector and screen, but you may wonder what exactly they can do with it.

The answer is anything you can do with a television. Electronics Professional John Higgs tells us more in this week’s Classic Stereo Electronics 101.

CAN YOU WATCH LIVE TV ON A PROJECTOR?

You can do almost anything with a projection system that you can do with a television.  On the plus side, you will likely watch a much bigger screen with a projection system.

So imagine what you can do on a 120 inch screen or bigger.

  • Watch the news.
  • Watch your favorite TV show.
  • Play video games.
  • Watch your old home movies.
  • Watch you old favorite movie, much like you did when it came out in the movie theaters years ago.

Add surround sound stereo and it can be almost exactly like going to the movies, right within your own home.

Electronics 101 Projection Screen

SEE IT IN OUR SHOWROOM

Don’t work too hard imagining all of this, visit our showroom and you can see it firsthand.  We have an acoustically transparent screen in our Reference Theater and a screen with high Ambient Light Rejection in our Den. Talk to our professionals about which one works best for you.

Slate Projector Screen In The Den

RECYCLING: SAVING 1,286 TREES AND COUNTING

Bekins & Classic Stereo Recycling Efforts

For many of us, it’s just a simple walk to throw one piece of cardboard into the recycling bin. Multiply that by the roughly 100 employees at Classic Stereo and Bekins.  Then multiply it by the hundreds of days we work each year, plus the thousands of appliances and electronics we install, then it begins to add up to quite a large effect on our environment.

We don’t just recycle cardboard. We also recycle styrafoam, film, plastic ties and much more.

We store most of our recycling at the Bekins Service Center and Warehouse in Coopersville, until it can get picked up. It has been open for almost three years and the results of our recycling efforts during that time have been astounding. Thank you to Padnos in Holland for telling us exactly how our recycling helps the environment.

our recycling totals

Since opening our Coopersville Service Center and Warehouse in 2015, our commitment to recycle has helped save:

  • 530,892 KWH of energy
  • 7,567 gallons of oil
  • 3,175 pallets
  • 610 reusable appliances
  • 529,550 gallons of water
  • 4,538 pounds of air pollution effluents
  • 1,286 trees
  • 280 cubic yards of landfill space

 $3,119 OF LANDFILL EXPENSE

companies that give back recycling photo 2
companies that give back recycling photo 1

OUR recycling in 2017 alone

Bekins 2017 Recycling Report

how we do it

Our efforts to recycle does not save us money. It takes time, effort and space. However, we do it to reduce our carbon footprint. You will have a difficult time finding greener appliance and electronics dealers in the nation.

OTHER WAYS TO RECYCLE

Not only do we work with companies that recycle materials and reusable appliances, we also donate boxes to people around West Michigan.

Here are just a few examples, but you can also find more on the Bekins Facebook page.

CAPS Recycle Pic
Recycle Boxes at Coopersville Chruch
companies reusing waste chariot races

PROJECTION SCREEN VS. TV – ELECTRONICS 101

Audio Video Experts

In this week’s Electronics 101, John Higgs talks about screen size. When you are thinking about a big screen TV, a projection system may be the better value.

SCREEN SIZE: PROJECTION VS. TV

When it comes to the big screen, projection may be the way to go.

Generally TVs become more expensive as the picture gets bigger, but projectors are becoming less expensive as the technology improves. That’s a win-win for the consumer.

If you are thinking about getting an 85 inch TV, a 120 inch projection screen could be a much better value. We offer projection screens that can go as big as 300 inches. We also offer creative ways to fit big screens into whatever room you need.

TV to Projection Screen Dimensions

IMPROVEMENTS IN PROJECTor TECHNOLOGY

Don’t worry about losing image quality as the screen gets bigger. Classic Stereo offers 4K laser projectors that are perfecting the darks, lights and colors better than ever. We also offer systems that allow you to have a little light in your room and still get a quality picture on the screen.

there is a reason we want big screens

John says the bigger the screen, the more your eyes move to watch the picture. The more your eyes move, the more engaged you are with the events on the screen.

Add some quality speakers to the system and you have a home theater experience that rivals any movie theater.

You can see a variety of projectors, screens and speakers in action by visiting our showroom.

Electronics 101 Projection Screen

CLASSIC STEREO ON THE RADIO: WHOLE HOME AUDIO

Whole Home Audio at Classic Stereo

John Higgs made his second appearance on the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show recently. Our Electronics Professional talked about Whole Home Audio. Click on the YouTube video to hear to hear the segment that aired January 13, 2018 on WOOD Radio and The Pledge in West Michigan.

Click here to listen to all of Episode 41.

You can also learn more about the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show by clicking here.

Want to learn more about how we can help you with your home audio? Call us, visit us, or contact us here.