Simple Guide to Surround Sound Systems and Home Theaters

shutterstock_109770029Whether watching a college football game or “Destiny 2,” a superior surround sound or home theater is key to you, and your family and friends’ viewing experience. Factory speakers found in flat screen TVs are typically pointed down or mounted in the rear, and they emit a tinny sound. Well, that just doesn’t work.

Where to go? There are so many manufacturers of surround sound systems, like Pioneer Electronics, Bose, Harman, Sony, Samsung, Yamaha, LG, Vizio, Onkyo, and more. Then there are the surround sound configurations. The 5.1 is the industry standard for digital broadcast and music.

These days, sound is going to new heights. By adding discrete channels for ceiling-mounted or ceiling-facing speakers in A/V receivers at home, height channels are now represented as their own separate entities, leading to an extra number used to represent home surround channels. A 5.1.2 surround sound system features the traditional five channels and a subwoofer, but also two additional speakers, adding height information in stereo at the front. A 5.1.4 system would add four additional height channels to 5.1, including two at the front and two at the rear.

Dolby Atmos is found in large cinemas and has migrated to home theater systems. You’ll hear Atmos on Netflix and VUDU, 4K and Blu-Ray discs, and some video games and HD broadcasts.

Instead of sound being mixed into specific channels, Atmos treats sounds as objects, which are assigned to a directional place, such as left rear corner. Atmos also automatically scales the sound to the number of speakers you have, including those in the ceiling, which gives a more natural and fluid sound experience.

Never fear – you don’t need to open your ceiling for speakers. There are new speakers with upward-firing drivers or built-in height channels or ones that fit on top of existing standard tower or bookshelf speakers. These mimic ceiling speakers, bouncing sound off the ceiling and tuned so the bounced audio sounds correct to your ears.

Regardless of the type of surround speaker systems, there are other important considerations. Where will you put it in your home? Will be in a dedicated room that’s been newly renovated or constructed? Or will it be in a repurposed, existing space?

Of course, your budget is paramount. Whether you’re thinking high-end or budget-conscious, you’ll want to stick to that number.
Wire management is important. Having access to cable and wiring, and not running it helter-skelter is part of the plan.

Your home theater receiver functions as control central for all your audio. The home theater receiver, (AV receiver or surround sound receiver) is the core of a home theater system. It provides most of the inputs and outputs connections. It’s smart to invest in quality wires and hardware to be future ready.

Why not invest in that expansive 88-inch 8K OLED display for the most immersive TV experience? If 8K isn’t in the cards, purchase a great quality 4K, which is very affordable.

Read more about 8K technology from CNET.

Mounting the TV requires a good quality wall bracket. Even if you have two people, you probably don’t want to feel responsible for that new $4,000 purchase. Consider a professional installer.

A pro will help you plan, budget, install, and test your entire home theater setup. Testing your audio quality helps you get to get it perfectly aligned for your viewing, listening, and gaming pleasure.

Get it right the first time. Contact TN Security. We do everything – from simple TV installations to whole home audio systems. Trust the pros.

Is Tinting House Windows Worth It?

Here Are thAugust 2019 Bloge Top 3 Reasons Why!

Residential window film is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the same type of plastic used in water bottles. These films are applied to the interiors of home, office, and automobile windows, reducing the visible light, protecting against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, achieving energy savings, reducing solar glare, increasing occupant comfort, and improving safety and security. Some films have multiple layers, which protect against shattering glass.

Professionally installed window film doesn’t bubble or look cloudy. Window film offers a crystal-clear view of the world. It’s very durable. Most window film manufacturers offer a warranty of up to 15 years.

Protects Upholstery and Artwork

Window film blocks 99 percent of dangerous UV radiation, which is the leading cause of home furnishing fading. Another cause is heat coming through windows, which window film controls. So, don’t invest in solar blinds, curtains, or aerosol sun shield products. Install window film to protect the valuable and beautiful contents of your home.

Saves Energy

The energy savings of window film is calculated by the amount of visible and infrared light absorbed or reflected by the film. High-performance architectural films perform at about 80 percent heat reduction, while residential reduces 55 percent of solar heat entering the home. A lot of depends upon the compass orientation of the treated windows, their size, and the type of glass. Energy efficient windows are responsible for 25 percent to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use. On average, you can look at a 25 percent savings on your utility bill.

Creates Curb Appeal

Window film improves the value of your home for a very small investment, which can be a future selling point. It provides protection from high winds or break-ins by holding shards of glass together. Decorative window film can add some beauty and personality to your windows and privacy, plus all the benefits.

Pittsburgh’s TN Security is the window tint pros. We’ve been doing window tint installs on cars and RVs for 20 years. Remember: adhering window film is tricky business. TN Security has factory-trained techs, who not only do a GREAT job on the installation but also the cleanup.

Contact TN Security now for a free window film consultation.

‘Tis the Season for Improving Home Protection

shutterstock_756506137Summer is here, and for many of us that means going on vacation. Besides installing a security system with professional monitoring to protect your home while you’re away, you can take other precautions that keep your home burglar-proof.

Install deadbolt door locks. The best ones are resistant to being picked, drilled or kicked in. In our experience, the most expensive locks aren’t always the best ones.

Lock your windows.  An easy way for a burglar to access your home is through an unlocked window, so make sure your windows are locked, especially ones at street level.

Make your home appear occupied. Set lights to timers so your lights illuminate when darkness falls, giving the impression that people are home. You may also consider leaving items in your yard that make it look like you have a dog.  Additionally, you should enlist a trusted neighbor to pick up mail, packages and newspapers delivered (arrange to stop delivery while you’re out of town), as well as “keep an eye on things” while you’re away. Also be sure to arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you’ll be away for more than a week. Nothing says “nobody home” to an intruder more than an untended lawn.

Strengthen weak spots. It’s not enough to have deadbolts on your front and back doors if your basement door or side door is unsecured. It’s best to install deadbolts on those doors, too. 

As for garage doors, given the ability of many burglars to hack automatic garage door openers, it’s best if you unplug or otherwise disable your openers while away so they’re inoperable.

The openings between window air conditioners and window frames constitute another weak spot. To fill this gap, consider using a locking metal rod called a Charlie bar to keep the window from moving. This layer of protection prevents the burglar from opening a window and gaining entry to your home. As a result, they’ll be forced to break the glass, which should attract attention from your neighbors and police cruising your neighborhood.

Role play. Before going on vacation, walk around the outside of your home, pretending that you’re a burglar. Pay attention to what you see, and how a burglar could use those objects for prying open a door or window. Bring those “tools” inside so they can’t be used to invade your personal space.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your summer vacation with peace-of-mind.


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Video Surveillance: The Smart Choice for Small Business

shutterstock_554551897The Internet of Things (IOT) has opened up a whole world of DIY options for residential security camera applications. But to maintain the safety of employees, inventory, and other assets it’s imperative to install a professional CCTV or video surveillance security system for your small business to immediately alert authorities in the case of employee theft or other criminal activity. They also provide visual evidence of fraudulent slips or falls.

Video surveillance constantly monitors defined, important areas within your office, retail store or warehouse. Discrete or open-viewed HD cameras and a DVR (digital video recorder), NVR (network video recorder), HVR (hybrid video recorder – a combination of the analog DVR and digital NRV recorder), micro SD card or cloud storage to monitor and archive recorded footage are the primary components of a CCTV system. Other features can include motion detectors, sensors, email alerts, infrared night vision, panic buttons, mobile app support, facial and voice recognition, remote monitoring, and more.

Wired vs. Wireless

A professionally wired system offers more reliable and stable transmission vs. a wireless system that relies on a WiFi connection. A wireless system still has to be connected to a power supply whether it’s battery or solar powered.

The Importance of Cameras

There are many cameras types of cameras that comprise a system based on their intended use: dome, PTZ, bullet, day/night, thermal (FLIR), IP camera or wireless IP camera.

HD cameras recognize important details. But the more pixels in the image captured by your security camera, the clearer the image will be. However, that extra information will also take up more memory space.

The type of lens is important for field of view. Cameras with adjustable lens give you more coverage and are flexible. A fixed lens will give you a more precise view. A rugged weatherproof camera for Pittsburgh’s harsh winter weather is important for outdoor spaces, of course.

Security is not just a daylight pursuit. That’s why infrared night vision cameras with LED lights surrounding the lens to capture more light are an important part of your security solution.

Choice Is Key

Video surveillance systems are designed to last a lifetime. But lifespan is impacted by design, the extent of security measures implemented, quality, the area of installation (indoor or outdoor) and capacity.
Do your research. Although the internet is a great source of information to show you’ve done your homework, a site survey by a reputable firm is an important first step. If this company will also be you installer, choose a company with a long history and responsive customer and maintenance/repair services.
Acquiring a video surveillance system doesn’t have to be difficult. Turn to TN Security, serving the greater Pittsburgh area. We can give you the best information, so that you can make an informed decision for your business.

Contact us today for a site survey.

Professional vs. DIY Security Systems


The options in home security systems are mind-boggling. What’s a homeowner to do? How do you find the perfect system?

Professional home security companies usually tie you into a multiyear contract for monthly monitoring fees. But they also provide hardware, alleviating the stress of selecting off-the-shelf devices. The ADTs of the world also offer 24/7 emergency response for invaluable peace of mind. But their business model is being disrupted by the DIY market of motion sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, locks, glass break detectors, door and window sensors, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

If you’ve decided against the professional route, DIY could be the way to go. Know that you become the installer and the 24/7 monitor. There are DIY companies that offer bundled kits and even professional monitoring.

Security cameras are your eyes on the ground and at key access points. Again, there are loads of options and features – whether it’s a kit, standalone camera, or camera-assisted doorbell. The other category is smart door locks that can be Bluetooth enabled or offer Z-Wave connectivity.

Here’s a great choice: select a company that can integrate the best solutions into a whole-house smart security system with professional monitoring.  Consider Pittsburgh’s TN Security. We are also experts in whole house automation and can integrate your security system with your lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more into a single hub.

Remember DIY is great…but it’s never as easy as it looks. Are you a geek, electrician and home remodeler all rolled into one? Do you want to fish wires and patch holes? DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues, which may be beyond your tech skillset.

Learn more about smart security and whole home automation to protect your most valuable asset, your family.

Contact TN Security now for a free at-home assessment.

Create an Unforgettable Experience for Family and Friends with Outdoor AV

shutterstock_389852074 (2) (1)Yay! The warmer weather is finally here, and everyone is now interested in outdoor living and entertaining. TN Security is a few steps ahead of you. We’re ready to move our AV experience outdoors for you.  TN Security has a solid reputation for installing indoor-focused audio and video residential solutions. We also know all the latest and greatest outdoor AV options, including discreet audio solutions, landscape-friendly speakers and outdoor TVs.

T.N. Security can give you some great outdoor HDTV options. Outdoor TVs have a heftier price tag but for a good reason. Do you want a high-end permanent solution or portable? Remember: interior TVs can’t tolerate heat, cold, bugs and humidity. Whether you’re watching the Kentucky Derby in May or World Series in October, you want to be assured that all those expensive electronics are protected from the elements. On the brightest of days, you’ll want to binge watch without affecting the picture quality. As an alternative to HDTV, we can also help select and install the best big screens and projectors for that night at the “drive-in.”

We can link your outdoor audio to your home AV system so you have easy access to your streaming services and media library without having to take them outside.TN Security also offers some cool universal remotes to use outdoors, some of which float in the pool to control lighting, sound and more.

Regarding outdoor audio, whether wired or wireless, T.N. Security will calculate the optimal number of speakers for your outdoor space parameters. Bluetooth speakers that link to your iPhone or iPod are a plus. There are also many speakers that look like garden rocks or statues, or match your décor.  

Don’t hesitate…your summer is waiting! Make an appointment with T.N. Security for a FREE outdoor AV assessment. Call (412) 967-0467 or contact us now.


The Proficient R650 rock-shaped design speaker with rock finish on the grille and 6-1/2” graphite woofer is sight unseen but has tight bass and clear mids.  Super Spring Special Pricing $199.99.

Upgrade Your TV Audio

shutterstock_711075157Flat-panel HDTV’s cool, slim profile is too thin for great speakers. Here are some ways to upgrade your TV audio, short of wearing Bluetooth headphones. Do you go with the convenience and affordability of a sound bar or quality and expense of a dedicated multispeaker system? Soundbars simply plug in and reroute your sound from the TV via a single plug-in cable. They can also stream music from your phone or voice assistant, like Alexa or Google Assistant.

But if you’re looking for the immersive experience of surround sound, you may want to plug into a speaker system with separate speakers wired into each room. If you’re longing to hear theater-quality sound, add an AV receiver to coordinate multiple speakers.

Lastly, create a plan for a sound solution prior to bringing your new TV home. If you want your TV wall mounted, you may want to consider having both sound and TV professionally installed. Decide how much you want to spend, and where you want your new devices installed.

Contact TN Security. We’ll do a free audio consultation not only your new TV installation, but your entire house. Ask about our wall-mounted installation specials.

Audio and TV in the News:
4K TV is coming to your phone, ringing in the new era of free broadcast TV. For the past two years broadcasters have been working on ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard. The format supports 4K, 3D, UHD, and high-quality audio, which will hopefully help 4K supersede HDTV. Like traditional broadcast TV, ATSC 3.0, also called Immersive Audio, works over the air, but it also works in tandem with internet connections (including mobile connections, like 5G) to create a broadcast/broadband hybrid stream. Stay tuned!

The Best Surveillance Cameras for Home and Office

Whether it’s a hardwired CCTV or IP-based camera security system, there are lots of cost and convenience options, including mobile camera security apps that interface for real-time views anywhere in the world. These cameras can be also part of your smart home automation strategy, which uses IoT technology to control appliances, lighting, heating, TVs, and more, and allows them to communicate with each other through a smartphone or a laptop.home-security-camera-app

A CCTV or closed-circuit television surveillance system is the OG of the security world. Its video feed is transmitted to an internal monitoring screen or is recorded on a DVR. If the DVR is connected to the internet, remote viewing of video footage may also be available.
IP or internet protocol cameras are wired or wireless digital video cameras that transmit the video feed via a computer network. IP systems offer better picture quality and the ability to add more cameras to the system. IP cameras can also be used in conjunction with CCTV systems to cover blind spots or used as hidden cameras.
TN Security can make expert recommendations during a free in-home consultation. We help you determine how many cameras, locations, styles, installation points and more. Attached to these systems can be smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, keypads, video displays, and motion or sensor detectors.
We can also integrate audio and TV for a complete smart home solution. Plus, we offer our no-contract month-to-month monitoring program overseen by a Five Diamond Certified and FDNY-approved monitoring center. Wow! There’s a lot to consider when you want to keep you family and business safe. Schedule your free in-home consultation now.


High-Quality Sound for Your Home

Безымянный-222-07A fixture of American living rooms in the 1950s was the record player with a mono or one-channel sound system. Stereo was marketed in the 1960s as the latest technological advancement, bringing sophisticated two-channel sound to the masses. Stereo sound became common in entertainment systems such as broadcast radio, TV, recorded music, and cinema.  The rise of home theater products in the late 1980s brought multi-channel audio or surround-sound systems into popularity. With the advent of affordable large screen TVs at the turn of this century, consumers wanted an equally stunning 3D audio experience to match their vividly beautiful picture.

Team Nutz understands the importance you place on a realistic audio. Whether you’re watching your favorite cooking channel, streaming a movie or playing a video game, you want to complement that experience with great sound.  Do you want a traditional 5.1 system with three front speakers, subwoofer, and two side speakers for a beautiful surround sound, or a 7.1 system with two more speakers? There are so many head-spinning options based on the size of your room and TV.

That’s where Team Nutz comes in. We help you not only choose the right home theater or sound bar system paired with your home assistant, we also install it.

Call us today at 412-967-0467 about sound systems that will dramatically improve your viewing pleasure. Inquire about our whole house audio, too!

Give the Gift of Sound

TN-Security-blog-12-2018A big screen TV makes a great holiday gift. But the flat sound that comes out of your new flat panel screen compromises the viewing experience. Upgrade your audio and pump up the volume a sound bar. They require minimal space and deliver big, room-filling sound. Choose it with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and expand it with wireless rear speakers. The Sonos Beam is a great option when your space is at a premium, and you want advanced features. It’s expandable to create a full home theater system. The Beam also allows you to control your TV with an Alexa-enabled device for remote-free control of music, games, streaming services, and more. TN Security carries Sonos and other leading brands of audio products. We can help you choose the best component home theater system for your room. Our tech team can also mount your TV and sync it with a speaker system and personal assistant to make your family’s holiday season extra bright.

Contact TN Security now for an installation appointment.