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As you walk into your favorite fast food establishment, you gaze up at the bright and vivid digital menu board over head. The eye catching advertisements flash in a synchronized fashion to showcase the new and exciting offers they have to offer. Now imagine this technology put to use at your business and maximize your business potential; show off previous work you’ve done, advertise your newest deals, or just explain who you are a little more.

Here are a few categories of digital signs that we install:

Menu boards – If you are in the food industry then you know that food quality and price doesn’t always bring customers in the door. An appealing digital menu board can grab your customer’s attention and allow you to provide customizable and attractive content. Maybe you operate a restaurant and can place a digital screen at the entrance showing your customers the daily food and drink specials. Digital signage is a great investment for anyone in the restaurant industry.

Information and education – People are naturally drawn to TV screens and waiting rooms or front desk locations are a great place to add a digital sign. Educate your customers on your products. Keep them informed them regarding an event or change in policy. Let them know about a special deal for this month only or encourage them to like you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter.

Wayfinder screens – Digital screens that are strategically placed throughout a building can be very effective in helping customers, vendors or literally anyone, navigate their way through your building. No more organizing and changing out letters when a tenant has left or moved in. Just access the software update and deploy to all the screens at once. Simplify your life and your patrons.

Portrait – Screens that are used for portraits are becoming very popular. Show your guests how beautifully manicured your property is. Show them a picture of your cozy cabins or penthouse rooms. Display a picture of a friendly staff member helping a guest. Display photos of your product or services. They also create a great mood for your environment. Next comes the most important piece of information.

Advertising – Selling advertisement space on your digital sign can be very beneficial in many ways. The first is, the income potential. Each ad that you sell on your screen(s) generates RMR or reoccurring monthly revenue. Build relationships with other nearby businesses and also help them grow. Secondly, the revenue that you receive for selling your space can pay for the cost of the technology, software and installation over a period of time. Move all of those ads cluttering your menu to an effective digital screen.

Eliminate waste, no more printing ads and banners which saves our natural resources. Never pay an employee to update all of your static content again. Just create and deploy to all of your screens and relax! Call us today to learn more information about this exciting opportunity for your business!

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Imagine yourself in the supermarket, with elevator music playing in the background; in another aisle, a child accidentally knocks over a display case causing a spill. The music stops and an employee comes over the loud speaker “Clean up on aisle 7!”, then the music slowly fades back in. This is a perfect example of distributed audio in action. Now you may not be a supermarket owner, however, distributed audio can also be set up in your home to enhance your movie watching or music listening experience at home or in your business.  The above images show examples of distributed audio systems that we installed in a customer’s home as well as speakers we installed at a wedding venue. As you can see from these photos, the speakers can be placed within the ceilings or walls to keep wires hidden and looking clean, or we can order speakers specifically for use outdoors. No matter what your needs, each audio system comes complete with amplifiers as well as total audio control that will allow you to adjust the volume, bass, treble, etc. on the fly to maximize your experience. If you have any other questions or are interested in purchasing a distributed audio system, please give us a call!

Home Theater 101

The idea of a home theater system is simple enough, it is a set up that provides a television viewing experience similar to being at the cinema. The home theater transports you from your favorite chair in the living room right into the movie. These cinematic set ups can range from the simplistic to as complex as renovating your whole basement and installing brand new speakers. The level of complexity depends on your preference. A good example of a simple project would be to have us mount your TV, install a sound bar and install a subwoofer. This setup looks and sounds great and is all that some of our customers desire. A good example of a larger project would be to have us design a 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1 channel surround sound system in your home theater space. It starts with the TV.

If you’re in the market for an LED TV, 4k TV or an HD projector, we can help you choose the right one for your space. Next up is the receiver. Choosing the right receiver for your needs is very important. We can provide you with the knowledge and expertise necessary to choose the right receiver to fully maximize the sound that you are looking for. Then, there is the speakers. Our technicians are masters at getting cabling where you might think is not possible. Getting the right speaker in the right place is critical to achieving the full sound effects that a surround sound system is designed for. We sell top notch brands that will exceed your expectations every time. Finally, we can help you with lighting options and even theater style seating.

Give us a call today and let us get started on the home theater of your dreams!

Planning your home security system

More and more families are choosing to have a home security system installed in their home. While we all wish that criminals these days were as incompetent as “Harry and Marv” from the movie Home Alone made in the early 1990’s, we have to rely on modern technology instead of paint cans swinging from ropes and hot liquids. Below are a few tips to consider when planning for a home security system.

  1. Involve the whole family –Talk to your family about what responsibilities the system will bring and listen to any specific concerns. Make a list of pro’s and con’s.
  2. Schedule a risk assessment – Finding where your home is the most vulnerable is extremely imperative to deterring and preventing crimes against you. Most alarm companies will provide a free risk assessment prior to any work being performed.
  3. Choose the system type – Alarm systems are becoming more and more integrated each day. They are now doubling as “smart home” hubs. From an app on your smart device you can do things like check your front door camera for your children as they arrive home from school and then adjust the temperature of the thermostat to their needs. You could then activate the alarm system for peace of mind. Then, there is the standard type of alarm system. You have a keypad, door alarm contacts, motion sensors, glass break audible devices and others. It is fully controlled through the keypad(s). While it is just as effective, all it does is secure your home.
  4. Wireless or hardwired devices – Wireless systems are more popular than ever. They require minimal wiring to install the whole system and perform fairly well. Some of the down sides are that they are powered by lithium batteries that eventually will need to be replaced and that with any wireless device, they are susceptible to communication loss with the alarm panel. However, many times they allow you to put a device where you cannot get a security wire to. I tell my customers, if there is a way to get a cable there, then that is the first option, but wireless technology, while more costly, is still worth the investment for the added options alone.
  5. Video surveillance – Adding video technology is a critical decision as well. It can add a whole new element to securing your home. As discussed above, you can log in from anywhere in the world to check in on your home. You can set a camera to alert you when motion has been activated from a certain door or your driveway entrance. The question is whether to integrate it with your alarm system, or, have a separate security camera system installed. With a separate system, there is no monthly cost, you have the

ability for more cameras, more user functionality and higher resolution cameras. Whichever system you choose, the most important part of the installation, is the placement of the camera. With the right camera in the right place, video surveillance can be very effective. I always ask my customers, “Do you want to see that someone is there? Or, do you want to see who is there?”

I hope that you found these tips useful! Stay tuned for more helpful tips from us in the near future!

David Beckstead – President GreenLink Technologies, Inc.

What’s the difference between an analog camera and an IP camera?

If you are in the market for a security camera system, you have probably found that there are many options out there from which you could choose from. The most common decision is, to decide whether to go with an analog camera or an IP camera. Both types get the job done for business and residential applications. It mainly depends on what your needs are. Both cameras record with day/night capabilities and both, with the right camera, record in reasonable high resolution. The main difference is how it records and it’s fuctionability at the camera level. An analog camera sends a video feed back to a DVR, VCR or TV. The camera itself is what you would consider a “dumb” device. The live feed is simply passed back to the DVR via a coaxial or twisted pair cable and is then recorded onto a DVR or VCR. A separate power cable has to be run to the camera to provide 12-24 VDC power. An IP camera sends the video back to a web based server called an NVR (network video recorder). The camera itself is considered “smart”. Each camera is actually a miniature computer that can be programmed, or manipulated to perform certain functions at the camera level. It also has more zoom capabilities that enable a person to zoom into an object or event, while still recording the entire original view simultaneously. There are also IP cameras that are known as “de-centralized” IP cameras. This means that they have the ability to store data or footage within the camera on the camera’s hard drive. The footage can then be retrieved via any user that is given access to that camera on the network. Also, IP cameras operate on a single CAT5 or CAT6 twisted pair copper cable. Each pair within the 1 cable can provide video, 2-way data transmission and power.

This is a brief overview of the differences associated with Analog and IP cameras. Stay tuned for another blog post in the near future where I will go a little deeper into the differences in the cost, clarity and recording security.

David Beckstead – President GreenLink Technologies, INC.