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Revamping and Scaling Your Home Audio/Visual Plan
Looking to upgrade your home’s interior audio/visual layout? Thinking about new technology? Or maybe expanding your audio and video system into more spaces in your home?

There are plenty of new offerings in the market that can quickly and easily help upgrade your systems. The question, however, is what falls into the DIY category and what will need a qualified A/V installer. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started on the path to a more robust A/V plan for your home.

Location, Location, Location

The core of most A/V systems in the home is the television screen. The TV has long attracted the other components of a system to its location as a matter of simplicity and functionality.

But is it in the right spot? Consider first if the current location works for you in terms of lighting, sound and traffic from others. Do you want the television to be the centerpiece of a room? And is it even in the correct room?

If you’re happy as it stands now, consider potential upgrades and ask yourself if the location will still work a year or two from now. Speakers and surround sound systems need space, and robust A/V components need proper air circulation and climate control to keep from overheating.

The Basics

The DIY part of the new layout can typically be done in a weekend. Decide if you want to mount your television, and if so, look into hiding the cords simply and affordably with Wiremold before you dig into the walls. If you’re looking for a major upgrade, and you have the space, you can consider projectors as another option. Just be prepared for the mounting required and the need for an appropriately colored wall or screen to be setup.

Also decide how you’ll approach surround sound in the space. While a sound bar may be enough for those looking to simply boost the volume on the television, a receiver and satellite speakers are what will truly improve the sound quality. Receivers amplify and decode audio signals and function as the hub for your system, switching between defined inputs and sending the source out to your screens and speakers.

What new components do you need? Record turntables are making a comeback and can be integrated simply into a receiver setup. Video game systems can add some fun and functionality as they integrate apps for streaming video and music, as well as offer the option to play physical media. If you aren’t a gamer, consider Roku, Chromecast, or some other streaming media player.

Another consideration on the DIY side is proper cable management. As you ramp up the amount of speakers, components and devices in your system you’ll want to follow proper cable management practices so you don’t end up with a tangled mess to deal with later. Legrand also offers several specific cable access plates and home theater connections to make your life easier.

Finally, consider how much automation you want in your system. Some of this will be DIY through remote controls such as the Logitech Harmony and the connected app that integrates with products like the Amazon Alexa or Google Home. If you’re looking for something more robust, however, it might be time to consider the big-ticket items that come with a professional design and installation.

Time to call a professional?

Surround sound is great, but what about whole-home audio? Speakers in every room offer an unparalleled experience in playing music. And a robust speaker offering such as Nuvo includes Player Portfolio, which offers an all-in-one solution for control and interoperability. The question when it comes to whole-home audio is if you’re comfortable installing in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. If not, look into finding a reputable installer in your area.

Another impressive add-on to consider is a robust lighting solution that provides dramatic lighting for movie time, a more focused lighting profile for game day, a dimmed setting for music over dinner, and the option to quickly switch and dim individual lights throughout the home. Legrand’s radiant RF Lighting Control is one solution that offers simple control over home lights and can provide that dramatic touch to whatever is playing.

Final Considerations

Phasing in these changes is entirely appropriate – if you have a long-term plan. Don’t be afraid to think big when planning your upgrades and then slowly integrate the new components as it makes sense.

Other considerations are to check on interoperability with your components and especially with your IoT devices. Your home assistant – be it Amazon Alexa, Google Home or other – will have specifications on what technologies integrate easily.

Also, consider your home networking options as part of your A/V system planning. Many solutions today require an effective Internet connection and network to operate – be it streaming audio, streaming video or communicating within the internal network. One solution that Legrand is integrating to help with home automation is Luxul products.