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Leon Gives SONOS and Other Electronics a Makeover

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Leon Gives SONOS and Other Electronics a Makeover

Leon’s Media Décor collection is giving SONOS, televisions, and sound bars a whole new look.

Tone Case

Leon’s all new ToneCase™ line brings their renowned sense of customization and style to any Sonos® speaker, including PLAY:1®, PLAY:3®, PLAY:5® and PLAYBAR®. Each product is designed to complement and conceal the speakers within the design of any space, whether adding a custom-width grill covering to match the PLAYBAR to a TV, or enhancing the PLAY:5 with solid hardwood cabinets. Now you can personalize your design as easily as you can customize your playlists.

Built specifically for the SONOS PLAY:1, PLAY:3, and PLAY:5, the Tonecase hardwood cabinets are handcrafted from solid White Oak, Black Walnut or custom painted to match any color.

With Screen

Without Screen


Other Media Decor Products

Edge Media Frame

Inspired by the integrated media furnishings of the 60s, the Edge Media Frame is designed and crafted to encase any TV. Handcrafted to house the display and one of our Horizon Series soundbars, the Edge conceals the mounting and wiring in one simple design to complement any environment.

The Edge Media Frame can be crafted out of solid hardwoods, including Cherry, Oak, Maple and Walnut. The frame magnetically attaches to the mounting panel for easy access to the back panel of the TV.

Edge was purposefully design to work with all of Leon’s Horizon Series soundbars to deliver the highest quality in audio performance and aesthetics.

 

Moving Art Screens

Featuring Lutron QS quiet motors and a patented scrolling motion, Leon’s Moving Art Screens elegantly conceal TVs and speakers up to 100″ wide behind beautifully printed artwork.

Each system is custom-crafted to order using artwork and frames. With three different models, and recess and surface-mounting configurations, the Moving Art Screens seamlessly integrate audio and video into any space.

Each back box is custom made for your specific installation. They are designed to easily recess mount Elite and Illusion Moving Art Screens. The motorized structure slides into the assembly and fastens directly to it, for a secure and perfect installation. The back box can be shipped before the art unit for installation during construction or dry walling.

Whether you’re looking for more contemporary artwork or more traditional artwork, the in depth galleries have plenty of options to choose from. Or, you can request a in-house design consultant to help you realize your artistic vision.

Moving Art Lifts

These silent, ultra precise electronic lifts use original art, sculptures, mirrors, or decorative panels to conceal TVs up to 70” wide. Custom-crafted to order, you choose the movement option that best suits your space: Eclipse Vertical for up-down, Eclipse Horizontal for left-right, or Dual Eclipse to ‘split’ art down the center – all with no visible tracks.

The Lutron Electronic Drive Unit provides a quiet, smooth, gliding motion to move any piece of artwork or mirror to reveal your TV and speakers. Each system is custom crafted based on the dimensions of your display and includes a back box for a perfect recessed installation.

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No Cell Reception?  No Problem. We Have the Solution.

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No Cell Reception? No Problem. We Have the Solution.

The Hamptons are known for beautiful beaches, summer parties, and terrible mobile reception. Luckily with cell boosters you can drastically enhance the signal in your home.  There are two types of boosters, ones sold by  service providers and ones that support all carriers. 

Carrier Solutions  

The three major carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all have their own network specific solution. All of these boosters are the size of a router and get hardwired via an Ethernet cable turning the device into a private cell tower for your home. As you can see in the chart below, the features vary slightly depending on the carrier.

Sprint and AT&T require you to add an additional service to your plan in order to use Microcells/AIRAVEs, once the service is activated, you have unlimited calling and data usage that doesn't count toward your traditional usage limits. Verizon doesn't require a service, but all minutes and data used via the Wireless Network Extender are calculated into your monthly allowance.  

With AT&T you have to register your device in order to access your Microcell and they don't offer an open network for guests. Sprint allows you to have open or restricted accesses. Restricted access is limited to 50 registered users. Verizon is open access, while it does have a restricted mode, it's not locked. By passers can't gain access to your devices through these open extenders, but they can join your network counting as one of your active users, taking from your bandwidth. 

Non Carrier Solutions

There are a number of cell boosters that use wifi to enhance your cell signal regardless of carrier. Most of these devices work with Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, US Cellular, Datajack/Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS. These solutions tend to allow for more active users at a time, but are usually a bit more expensive. You don't have to add an additional service to your plan to use these (they work like Verizon's Wireless Network Extender, counting as part of your traditional plan's usage).

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Eye Catching Landscape Lighting

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Eye Catching Landscape Lighting

While there is no denying traditional white light provides an elegant aura, colored lighting and fiber optics are leading the way with eye catching one of a kind designs. With the establishment of HTE’s newest division, Hamptons Landscape Lighting, we are proud to offer a wide array of specialty lighting: 

Galaxy Pool Lighting

Using multiple fiber optic strands, we create a design in the base of the pool.  Due to the installation process, this can only be done during construction or when a pool is being resurfaced.  The fiber optics can also be used with colored fiber optic or colored LED pool lighting to create beautiful effects.

Galaxy Rocks

Use Galaxy Rocks and LEDs to create stunning designs in dry river beds, fountain accents, flagstone fillers, paver aggregates, rock gardens, bar counter tops, fire places, center pieces, and floor art.  The vibrant rocks will look great during the day and even better at night!

Illuminated Waterfalls

Illuminated waterfalls create a beautiful flowing sheet effect. The extraordinary combination of light and visual effect created by the fiber optic waterfall will provide a more animated and interesting landscape feature that brings your swimming pool to life. The waterfalls add a dramatic nighttime excitement that is breathtaking. 

Lightbender Laminars

Lightbender Laminars create totally clear, uniform arcs of moving water that originate from either your pool deck or surrounding landscape. At night, these translucent streams are brilliantly colored with an LED light source. The result is a water effect that adds an elegant bit of entertainment to your poolscape.

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Features

  • Water arcs reach up to six feet high and project out six feet into your pool, spa, or other water feature.
  •  Installation is made flush to your deck or other surface; no unsightly or unsafe edges, just the magic of water erupting from a hidden source.
  • Nighttime color effects include the ability to hold a steady color, or control through a range of available colors. A serial, color-changing LED lighting system is at the heart of the Lightbender Laminars. It has a variety of distinct programs— synchronized, random, or party, and can freeze on a single color.

Full Color Fiber Optic Bubbler Lighting

Imagine a backyard filled with soothing sound and brilliant color. Brilliant Wonders LED Bubblers shoot streams up to thirty inches high in vivid LED colors. The cascading flume creates a natural sound and relaxing ambiance.

We use a full color lighted bubbler that creates exciting sights and sounds for spas, sundecks, swim-outs and steps. With a maximum depth of 9" under water, the bubbler provides "lighted bubbling" for water spouts in beach entries, sunshelves, steps, etc. 

Illuminated Spills and Fire Bowls

Fiber Optic Pool Spills and Fire Pots are used to create water features in pools, ponds, and anywhere you want water to spill and light up.  The features are fabricated with unique concrete fiber optic pots with single, double and triple spouts. 

Fire Pots come in all shapes and sizes, and will fit in almost any space, large or small. Starry sparkles and dancing fire demands attention as the focal point of a backyard, or it can simply accent your outdoor design. Have fun creating your own outdoor experience with our one of a kind fiber optic fire pots.

Dock Lighting

Light is invaluable everywhere, not just on land. Use dock lighting to get the functionality of illumination in a stylish manner, instantly making the water's edge safer. 

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The Award for Best Comeback Goes to Vinyl

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The Award for Best Comeback Goes to Vinyl

This weekend the music world will honor those who made strides in their community throughout the year.  With superstars from various genres in attendance one thing is certain, the biggest comeback of 2014 goes to vinyl records.  In a technology age where new formats are outdated before they even catch on, Vinyl which debuted in 1945, might have seemed end of life with introduction of 8-track and compact cassettes. It wasn’t long ago that records appeared on pop culture “Kids these day will never know…” lists with typewriters and rotary phones.  Yet in a surprising twist, with music sales dropping and paid downloads declining, music lovers are buying vinyl in mass numbers.   

According to Nielson Sound Scan Data, 9.2 million records were sold in 2014 alone, a 52% increase in vinyl sales since 2012.  This is even more impressive when you take into consideration that music sales are on a steady decline, dropping 6% this year alone. Wall Street Journal, contributing editor, Ethan Smith, reports the general public is changing their listening habits.  Streaming services have grown in popularity (up 54%) a figure negatively correlated with the dip in music sales. With 9% fewer paid album downloads and purchased song downloads dropping 12%, it is easy to attribute these figures to the streaming trend.  But if that is the case and everybody is streaming their music instead of buying it, then why are vinyl sales through the roof?

In an attempt to answer this question HTE (home technology experts) looks at the science, psychology, and investment value of choosing vinyl.

The Science: Analog vs Digital

Ask an audiophile what’s the difference between LPs and iTunes lossless files you have been downloading since 2001 and they’ll surely scoff.  For those of you new to the revival of vinyl, it has to do with vinyl being an analog medium.  The term “analog” might seem outdated, bringing back images of brick sized cell phones and heavy square televisions, but when it comes to audio, analog has its advantages.

An analog recording reproduces a continuous wave, the way sound occurs naturally.  When you hear the word digital, think binary, where 0 is “off” and 1 is “on”. Digital recordings sample audio, using values to record data (music). Because of this, some people argue that digital recordings can miss subtle nuances, specifically with regards to lower frequencies (deeper sound).  

When comparing the two technologies it is important to consider how the music was originally recorded and the medium’s quality.  After the 1970’s, a significant amount of music was recorded using digital technology, negating any benefit of an analog medium. However, in 2011, Variety magazine reported that vinyl’s popularity encouraged new and seasoned artists alike, to create analog recordings of their work.

It is also important to look at the quality of the digital file.  Early digital downloads focused on reliability and smaller file size, sacrificing the music’s fidelity (quality), but with significant improvements in codecs (the coding and de-coding of digital data) that’s no longer the case.  Similarly, a record in poor condition (dirty or scratched) will produce subpar sound.

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So when comparing a high fidelity digital recording, such as MQA, with a mint condition vinyl, which sounds better? According to a study by NHK Laborites, the majority of untrained listeners could not tell the difference.  Most experts, agree that the quality of audio equipment (as opposed to the medium) is the most important factor when playing Hi-Fi music.  As with all entertainment, enjoying music isn't a science, it is an experience; one that differs greatly between the two technologies.

Psychology of Vinyl

The psychology of vinyl is about creating a listening experience, as reported by David C. Giles in peer-reviewed article, The psychology meaning of personal record collections and the impact of changing technological forms.

There is no question that carrying hundreds or even thousands of songs on your phone is convenient.  Let’s be honest, nobody is going to bring a turn table with them to the fitness center to pump them up while they run.  For this reason, digital downloads and streaming service play a vital role, but it is a very different experience.  Digital music focuses on convince and saving physical space, while records are about physically connecting to a tangible object associated with music. Taking the LP out, and playing it on the turn table mentally prepares you for the listening experience.

Additionally, vinyl have the visual appeal files do not.  Stating, listeners “very much associate certain LPs with the sleeves– the accompanying imagery is all part of the music, not just the front cover but the inside sleeve, the pictures surrounding the lyrics, and other images”.

While music has been known to be very personal, it is also extremely social.  Listening to your favorite artist with others, reinforces your appreciation of the music, “there is nothing that galvanizes people’s commitment…like seeing and meeting like-minded others”. Gathering around the turntable, or meeting in a record stores is a social activity. A download is not.  

Finally, LPs are a visual representation of taste and preference.  Like books on a shelf, vinyl records provide insight into who you are and where you’ve been (mentally and emotionally) at different points of your life. As Giles put it, “If we choose to show off our musical collection then it becomes part of us, or at least it’s a visible part of us that we are revealing to the people who we welcome into our home.”

Investment Value

Nobody is suggesting you dessert your hedge fund and stock up on records, but vinyls do have both a monetary and emotional investment value.  Much like art, sports memorabilia, or even comic books, the sacredness of an item is highly impacted by its rarity. 

Like chasing a white whale, obtaining or searching for an obscure record is significantly more emotional than simply buying a song with a click. Not only does obtaining such a gem feel more valuable, financially speaking it has an exponentially higher worth.  For example, according to NME, the holy grail of records, the 1958 original recording of the The Quarrymen (McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, with Colin Hanton, and John Duff Lowe), “That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger” is estimated at over $113,000.

What to Do?

Enjoy your music!  If you are interested in collecting then obviously go for the vinyl, but make sure you store them vertically, in a climate controlled environment.  Remember, you don’t have to choose between the two.  You can have a digital play list you rock out to in the car and a physical collection you enjoy at home.   

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The Ultimate Audiophile Sonos Room Solution

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The Ultimate Audiophile Sonos Room Solution

Dynaudio Focus XD - a completely new generation of high-end digital active, wireless loudspeakers.

The Dynaudio Focus XD series is a completely new generation of high-end digital loudspeaker systems, offering both no-compromise sound quality and the optional convenience of wireless audio transmission. Comprised of three models, the compact Focus 200 XD, and the floorstanding Focus 400 XD and Focus 600 XD, the XD loudspeakers are actively powered and can accept high-res digital sources up to 24/192 resolution.

The Focus XD models utilize proprietary Dynaudio drivers that are individually powered by an amplifier rated at 150W that is specifically optimized via DSP for each driver and loudspeaker model. Thus the Focus 200 XD features 300 WPC total output power, the Focus 400 XD features 450 WPC total output power, and the Focus 600 XD features 600 WPC total output power. The amplification is fully digital, and thus remains extremely power-efficient, while also offering a remote-controllable digital volume control.

Each Focus XD model includes a direct, high-resolution compatible (75 ohm coax) digital input and well as an analog RCA input to offer flexibility without sonic compromise: You can play straight from any source connected to the analog or digital inputs, or via the optional Dynaudio wireless Hub, which allows the convenience of wireless playback and making it simple to set up multi-room distributed audio systems. There is no need for loudspeaker cables or external amplifiers, while a far better audio quality will also result. 

The latest True Digital Audio Amplifier technology makes the Focus XD an ideal choice for digital audio systems: Dynaudio's newly developed XD-technology sends out a purely digital signal from the instant you press “play” – whether on a smartphone, computer, streaming player, music server, disc player or any audio source with digital output. A DAC will not be necessary as the amp will amplify and convert a pure digital signal (at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz sampling rates) to music at the last moment possible - right at the drivers (which are directly connected to the amplifiers). High resolution digital files are transmitted from any digital source considetently and completely without any loss.

The Speaker Position EQ control allows the Focus XD loudspeakers to be optimized via DSP equalization for neutral, wall or corner placement in any room. Input Sensitivity is adjustable for analog sources.

The Focus XD offers hand-built quality and state-of-the-art performance crafted by Dynaudio in-house in Skanderborg, Denmark. Each model features magnetically attached grilles while the floorstanding models feature aluminum outrigger feet with retractable spike assemblies. By innovatively merging design and technology, Dynaudio has created a unique loudspeaker where both sound quality and aesthetics meet in perfect harmony. 

Focus XD-series Specifications

Inputs:                         1 Digital input (75 ohm coax) + 1 Analogue input (RCA)

Integrated amplifier:    

  • 2 x 150W per loudspeaker (Focus 200 XD)
  • 3 x 150W per loudspeaker (Focus 400 XD)
  •  4 x 150W per loudspeaker (Focus 600 XD)

Max resolution:              24 bit / 192 Khz

Wireless sound transfer:  Optional via Dynaudio Xeo Hub (max. resolution: 24/96)

Crossover:                     Digital with DSP

Remote:                        Included Remote with on-speaker display

Further specifications to be published at:  http://focusxd.dynaudio.com

Focus XD Retail Pricing (in USD):

  • Focus 200 XD:            $7,000 per pair
  • Focus 400 XD:            $11,000 per pair
  • Focus 600 XD:            $13,500 per pair

* Article content by Dynaudio via dealer newsletter.

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Great Gadget Gifts

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Great Gadget Gifts

We love technology and that’s why we’re sharing our recommended list of the best tech toys for children and adults alike.  We’ve already purchased many of these products for our loved ones this holiday season.  Find the perfect stocking stuffer, toy for your child, or gift for a fellow adult.

Stocking Stuffers

Touch Screen Gloves

An oldie but a goodie, touch screen gloves are a must have.  If you are looking for a little something to warp up with a greeting card, this is it.  From doormen to CEOs it’s a present everybody can use!

 

Onaji Pawa Card

There are a TON of battery bank products out there, and they all come in useful when when our phone is showing red and beeping for a charger.  What sets Onaji apart is that it's the size of a credit card with the capability to fully charge your dying cell.  You can also use it to store and sync data. It's compact profile make it easy to store so you have it on you when you need it.

 

Trackr Bravo

Tile has been on the market for a while, and is practical gift, but new comer Trackr Bravo, has an edge. Although Trackr won’t ship until the first week in January, it made our list because for belated celebrations or IOU presents because it's an upgrade on the genius concept.

Trackr is a tiny, small locator the size of a coin that you can attach to or place in objects you tend to lose.  When you need to locate said objects open your Tracker app to see it’s location.  Ping the locator and it will begin to beep.  It will also let others near your missing locator know you are looking for your object in case they come across it.  With unlike Tile, wit Trackr you can also use the device to ring your missing cell phone, even if your phone is on silent.

 

3-D Printing Pen

There are two major competitors out there, 3D Doodler and Lixpen. Both use a filament cartridge and operate similar to a plastic 3D printer.  While this is a fun gift, we should warn it's better in theory.  Both create vibrations which makes drawing a straight line nearly impossible, but if you're just  looking for something the kids will like to play with, it is pretty cool. 

 

Gifts for Children and Teens

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Osmo

Awarded Time Magazine's best invention of 2014, Osmo changes the way we think of an iPad.  A small attachable device is placed over the camera allowing the iPad to visually input all objects or markings in the play area onto the screen. The device has three games that can be downloaded from the App Store, Tanagram (uses blocks), Newton (Uses a regular writing utensil), and Words (uses letter tiles).  This innovation is something you have to see to fully understand.  

 

Leap TV

From the makers of educational software and products Leap Frog, Leap TV is Wii meets Kinect for the little guys. It's nothing ground breaking, but it is a way for younger kids who struggle with the other gaming systems to get up, move, and burn some energy while emulating the big kids.

 

Lego Fusion

Legos have come a log way from when we were kids.  Lego Fusion uses a tablet to capture what you build with the classic bricks. The compatible app allows you to import your Lego model and build a virtual world. There is the original Town Master, Battle Towers, and the female oriented Resort Designer

 

Smart Sports Equipment

New sports equipment such as the Micoach Smart Ball (soccer ball) from Adidas and 94Fifty (basketball), which was named one of TIME's "Top 25 Innovations of the Year" combine activity and technology.  These balls have sensors in them that analyze your activity and make suggestions on how you can improve your technique. 

 

 

Gift for Adults

Une Bobine

The Une Bobine is a flexible metal charger that will hold whatever position you put it in.  This is great for reading, driving, and eliminating the reaching arm from selfies (when used with apple smart head phones).

 

Go Pro Products

Go Pro is no longer a start up only active individuals know about.  It has revolutionized the video selfie so to speak. This winter, the new Hero 4 is out, along with a wide variety of mounts.  Third party companies make drones to hold your Go Pro or other DSLR camera for breath taking arial footage .

 

Nod

Wearable tech isn't for everybody, but we think the functionality Nod offers is worth wearing despite it's plain black design.  Nod is a ring that allows you to control your Smart TV, many electronic devices, power points, and even some home technology equipment with the flick of a finger. Unfortunately this is one of those pre-order items, but if your recipient is the patient type, it looks like it will be worth the wait. 

 

The Gift of Customized Integration

At HTE we receive requests from clients wanting to gift family members custom integration equipment.  Popular holiday items include Kaleiscape, a movie server that stores 100 blu-ray quality movies, high-end speakers and turn tables, and video equipment like Sony's short throw projector which is great for home theaters and gaming rooms where shadows just won't do.  If you're interested in giving the gift of customized integration, you can purchase an HTE Gift Card online, via  phone at 631-446-1000 ext. 115, or at our headquarters in Southampton.

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Be Moved by the Movie

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When most people hear about D-Box Motion Technology, they think of 4D amusement park attractions.  Chairs that violently jerk you from side from side matching the action on the screen, but that’s not what this is.  D-Box motion is a technology installed into cinema seating that matches slight motion to the corresponding video.

We were skeptical, but unlike it’s amusement park ancestor, D-Box provides a gentle and enjoyable motion experience. If you do find the motion to be a little much you can adjust the intensity of your seat and when needed can turn it off altogether.

While this isn’t  a brand new product, it has new feature that makes using the technology a lot easier. Previously, D-Box coding could only be accessed through Blu-ray.  With over hundred new blockbusters encoded with motion, this new technology can now be streamed to your home theater.

This feature allows you to  enjoy this technology while watching standard streaming devices, PRIMA Cinema, and Sony Picture productions on Kalediscape. (By the way you can now download  movies from Sony Pictures to your Cinema One.)

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