4 Great Gift Ideas for Movie and Music Lovers

Would you like some expert advice on finding the perfect gift for the music or movie lover in your life? Here are four surefire options that are available now from Acadian Home Theater:

1 - Sonos music bundle - Play:3 or Play:5 with "Bridge" - $299 / $399

Everyone enjoys music. Give the gift of the music system that is not only easy to use, but takes just a couple of minutes to plug in and start enjoying. Plus, this music solution is portable (you just need an AC plug nearby).

The Sonos Play:5 resembles an ordinary table radio, but is much more because it is part of the world-famous Sonos multi-room music system. The Play:3 is its even smaller sibling. Simply put, the Sonos music system streams not only your current digital music library (iTunes, etc.), it has streaming access to many popular music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, MOG, Sirius/XM, and many more. As of just a few weeks ago you can now "push" the music on your iPhone or iPad wirelessly to the Sonos system...very cool!

You can add more rooms wirelessly, too. Simply add more Play:5's, the smaller Play:3, or if using your own speakers, you can add Sonos Connect and Connect:Amp units. If you want multiple rooms of music, you can opt to have them all play the same music source or independent music streams. It doesn't get easier or more convenient than that! Control is from a free app that is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android devices. There is also free computer software for control from a PC or Mac. The price above includes the Sonos Bridge, which connects to your broadband Internet connection and establishes its own wireless connection with your Sonos components. The free Bridge offer is valid until January 3, 2013 and is only for new Sonos customers.

You can visit Sonos' website here > www.sonos.com.

2 - Control4 one-room remote control system with 3 lighting dimmers = $1700 including installation (plus tax)

Is a deserving loved one frustrated at a coffee table full of remote controls to watch TV or control their media room or home theater? Give the gift of an intuitive remote control that not only controls audio/video systems, but will serve as the base of a home control automation system in the future. To give you a taste of how great a lighting control system is, this package includes three lighting dimmers. The handheld remote control included in this package is the handheld remote to the left in the above picture. Control4 is a popular control system company that not only makes a very nice centralized remote control, this advanced control system will serve as the basis of a full-blown home automation system that can grow to control your alarm system, climate, lighting, pool/spa, motorized shades/drapes, you get the idea. As with most other home control manufacturers (Crestron, Savant, AMX, etc.), you can use apps on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to control your Control4 system.

3 - Sonance Landscape Series Outdoor Speaker System = $6,700 + installation

Outdoor living is alive and well in the Gulf Coast area, even in the winter (yes, braving that "freezing" 50 degree winter can get a little tough sometimes ;-) ). We've been installing outdoor audio systems for years (outdoor TV's and outdoor theaters, too), though the outdoor speaker category has really become popular lately due to a huge increase in both sound quality and "stealthiness". To sum it up, these speakers sound incredible and easily hide within your landscape / greenscape. The package price above includes eight "satellite" speakers and one subwoofer. The subwoofer is buried and the sound exits a "mushroom" top (conventional above-ground subwoofer option available), and the eight satellite speakers mount throughout your yard to give a wide, even area of sound coverage. No more "hot spots" of sound, just excellent quality sound seemingly "floating" throughout your yard.

4 - PRIMA Cinema First-Run Movie Machine = $35,000 + installation

The PRIMA Cinema is one of the biggest news items to hit the high-end home theater world in a long time. In a nutshell, the PRIMA Cinema movie player is a sophisticated component that downloads first-run movies automatically and allows you to watch them in better-than-Blu-ray picture quality in the comfort of your own home, while the movie is still in theatrical release! To read more details on this product, please be sure to see a review here: PRIMA Cinema for your home theater.

by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine has ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

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Kaleidescape Now Distributes Movies Over the Internet

Kaleidescape, Inc. today announced an industry-first service that enables the digital delivery of movie purchases over the Internet with video and audio quality equal to Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The new service enables the electronic delivery of digital movies containing all of the extra content found on physical Blu-ray Discs or DVDs.

Customers can now purchase and download movies directly to their Kaleidescape Systems from the newly launched Kaleidescape Store that is designed exclusively for online movie sales. This makes it easier than ever for Kaleidescape customers to expand their film libraries. Once a customer's system is linked to an account on the Kaleidescape Store website, the titles of their current movie collection are automatically cataloged and kept up to date. This makes it simple to discover movies missing from a collection and avoid duplicate purchases. In addition, the Kaleidescape Store provides the ability to buy multiple movie titles by a favorite actor or director, all available Academy Award® winning titles, and more with a single mouse click.  Click here for a video of the intro to the beta version of the Kaleidescape Store that was set up before its launch.

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution is the first to license content for sale through the new Kaleidescape Store, providing nearly 3,000 premium films and over 8,000 television episodes. Additionally, Kaleidescape System owners have access to their movies on their mobile devices, through UltraViolet. Future plans will enable the consumer to add movies already purchased on disc to their UltraViolet Collection for a small fee.

Until now, the conveniences of digital delivery also meant compromising on quality and special features. Now Kaleidescape customers – who are avid movie collectors – can enjoy a 'no compromise' buying experience."  Standard definition downloads feature audio and video that precisely matches DVD quality. The extra content such as director's commentary, alternate endings, deleted scenes, and documentaries found on a disc are included in the download.

If you're a movie buff, Kaleidescape just proved once again why their's is the name you want to know.

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Adding Streaming Internet to Your TV

If you want to add streaming internet to your TV (or switching altogether from cable or satellite) there are at least two units to consider.  One is the AppleTV which is quite familiar to most while the other is Roku, a newer device which may be more suitable for many users.  So we thought we'd take a moment to consider both.

Let's start first with WHY you might want to consider streaming TV.  More and more, people no longer hurry to their TVs to catch their favorite program in real time.  Instead, they will record the programming to view later at their convenience.  VCRs and, later, DVRs made that possible and popular.  Now however, with so many downloading their programming via streaming internet, the DVR may become less and less relevant.

Roku's head, Anthony Wood, forecasts, "Within four years I would say that the majority of TVs will stream over the Internet versus cable and satellite.... It is inevitable that all TV is going to be delivered over the Internet."

If that is true, then let's consider two such streaming devices currently making waves.

We'll start with AppleTV, an Editor's Choice from CNet.com.  The Apple TV is a tiny streaming box for $99 that lets you stream all of the movies and TV shows available in the iTunes Store to your HDTV on a rental or purchase basis, with purchases stored in the cloud. Netflix, MLB.TV, Hulu Plus, and a handful of other online media services are available, plus music, videos, and photos can be streamed from iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) using AirPlay.  Those who've already invested in iTunes content and Apple hardware will find the Apple TV to be an indispensable living-room companion, and it's an excellent streaming-video box for non-Apple folks as well.

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Presto! Change-o! Family Room Becomes a Home Theater

Most of us don't live in sprawling homes.  And we try to make the most of our available living area.  That's why our family room often also serves as our media room.  At the center of our "media room" are the flatscreen TV and surround sound system.  Add to that the Blu-ray or DVR and if you enjoy good music, that's also where you'll find the CD player, the receiver and the amp.  Oh, you have kids?  Then add the gaming system to our media room/family room.

Those are just some of the different types of media components you could expect in either of our two sample family rooms pictured here.  Using either of these two photos, you can easily imagine including something like a satellite receiver or AppleTV or some or digital components in these rooms.

So what if you decide that as a family Christmas gift, wouldn't it be cool to have a home theater?  I mean, the existing flatscreen is fine for routine TV viewing, but maybe you like the idea of "big event" home entertainment.  Maybe its a special movie night or a sporting event that you'd like to have a monster screen so having someone walk in front of you doesn't mean missing the big moment!  And you certainly don't have space for a room dedicated to a home theater.  Why not let your family room also become your home theater?

So picture this...you see you have a comfortable living space for friends and family to gather.  There's ample room to move about as guests refresh their plates with the food you have out as part of your spread.  Only thing is, everyone tends to huddle real tight for those "can't miss" moments on the screen.

That's when inspiration hits!  You can add a drop screen and video projector to your media room.  Pick either one of our sample rooms shown and imagine a motorized screen recessed into the ceiling.  At the start of your event, the massive screen lowers from the ceiling just forward of the existing flatscreen while the lights dim and your audio system prepares to thunder!  Even the video projector can be recessed into the ceiling only to descend as well on cue!

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I Wish I'd Thought of That Sooner!

Did you ever build a home only to regret you didn’t think of a few worthwhile features you could have easily added?  For example, when building a home, it is ALWAYS to your advantage to consult with a custom home A/V installer before the house plans are finalized.  That’s because companies like ours can help you envision amenities you didn’t know were available to you...and didn't realize you'd want later!  For practically the cost of the extra wire, you can avoid the future labor costs of having someone crawling in your attic with fish tape feeding wire between studs and ceiling joists.

We ran across a forum topic that invited ideas of small but easily overlooked additions to new homes.  You might be GLAD you read some of these excerpts before building your next home.  Here are a few of our favorite posts:
  • Plugs in kitchen pantry for charging, or for items that may end up living there
  • Full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items away from sight.

    [caption id="attachment_557" align="alignright" width="196"] Solar Tube in Closets or Dressing Areas

  • Solar tubes in areas that don’t get natural sunlight
  • Prewire security system
  • Run wire and prepare roof for future solar
  • Central Vac with vac pans
  • I would run conduit under your driveway just in case you need to run wiring or plumbing in the future.
  • My contractor friend said one thing he learned to do was run a 2" pvc pipe from basement straight up to attic, for any future wiring to second floor.
  • Pre-wire speakers indoor/outdoor
  • Garden outlets/power, water line
  • Double conduits from attic to basement
  • Dryer vent lint box
  • Hepa filtration for allergy sufferers
  • Heated towel racks
  • Motion sensor pre-wire for selected exterior lights
  • Soundproofing where needed (we did laundry room/bedroom wall)
  • Identify area for low voltage can/rack (alarm brain, network server, modems, routers, etc). Helps to have this stuff accessible.
  • And don't let your plumber caulk the bottom of your toilet to the tile to hide potential leaks. Sigh.
  • I'd also suggest several 4-plug outlets instead of all 2-pluggers. (By the time you have a bedside lamp on each side of a bed, plus a plug-in clock or two, plus a plug-in base for your cordless phone....it all adds up to lots of outlets.)
  • We are putting an exhaust fan in the laundry room for our indoor cat's litterbox.
  • A light switch at the head of your bed so you can turn out the light once you are in bed.
If you'd like to browse through the entire forum topic, click here. Two things we'd like to add here.  One is to consider LED lighting.  Far more efficient than traditional lighting and are dimmable (whereas the little swirly fluorescents are not).  Plus they draw so little power, your electrician doesn't have to use the beefier, standard size circuits.  The added expense of LEDs become added to your construction cost and savings in your utilities are immediate.  We can show you why this might be a great choice for you. The second thing is to pre-wire for all potential audio and video components--even those you may never expect to use.  We do post construction installations all the time for people who wish they'd have thought to install the wiring in advance. Why not keep your own little list of amenities that will make life all the simpler for you?  When its time to build, your thinking-in-advance will make your home just a little happier.

by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine has ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

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acadian
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10552 Perkins Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

(225) 906-2589


218 E. Bearss Ave. #315
Tampa, FL 33613

(813) 725-3838

Acadian Home Theater & Automation is rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 44 reviews from around the Web.


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