Celebrating 25 Years in Business

InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. recently celebrated a milestone anniversary, 25 years in business, with a celebration at the Savant Experience Center in NYC. The event was attended by architects, designers and builders from the Metro NY area and they had the chance to receive Continuing Education Credits as well.

We received great press on the event and below are links to two articles written about us.

The Port Chester Patch

http://portchester.patch.com/groups/small-business/p/port-chesters-innerspace-electronics-marks-25-years

 Residential Systems

http://portchester.patch.com/groups/small-business/p/port-chesters-innerspace-electronics-marks-25-years

InnerSpace Electronics Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary with a National Award-Winning Home Theater Unlike Any Other

In the quarter-century since InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. opened its doors in Port Chester, New York, co-founders Andrea and Barry Reiner have designed and installed hundreds of home automation and entertainment systems, from dedicated home theaters that replicate the big-screen cinema experience, to cozy living room media systems. But for the husband-and-wife team of the premier custom electronics systems integration company, one recent award-winning room stands out, showcasing the company’s ability to combine impeccable design and innovative technology integration solutions to create a unique automated entertainment environment perfectly suited for the home and family.

The room recently won Electronic House magazine’s Gold Award for Best Home Theater Up to $25,000, not only for its stunning big screen projection system, invisible surround sound system, and advanced, touch-of-a-button control system, but also for the challenges involved in transforming an unusually shaped, oblong bonus space into an absolute technical marvel that serves as a gathering place for the entire family.

“A trend we’ve noticed among many of our clients is that when their kids start reaching those adolescent years, they want them home more,” says InnerSpace Electronics co-founder and vice president Andrea Reiner. “It’s almost as if the parents are competing with each other to see who can have the best toys, so the neighborhood kids all come to their house instead of going out.”

Granted, it may be a stretch to call a $25,000 home theater system a “toy,” but for Andrea and Barry Reiner, redesigning the room from scratch—including not only the electronics, but also the décor, from furnishings and finishes to lighting fixtures and carpeting—was certainly a lot of fun. Crafting a high-quality home theater system for a room that was relatively shallow from front-to-back and wide from side-to-side did create some technical challenges, though, especially when it came to selecting and placing the video projection system. But these are exactly the sorts of challenges that InnerSpace Electronics, Inc. thrive on.

“The simple solution would have been to rotate the home theater system ninety degrees to create a room that was deep, but not very wide,” says co-founder and president Barry Reiner. “If we went with that approach, though, when you walked into the room you’d be walking into the backs of chairs, and it would no longer be a cozy family room kind of gathering place that the owners wanted.”

To keep the operation of the room as simple as possible, the InnerSpace team designed a dual-purpose control system, with both a traditional hard-button remote control for guests and an advanced Savant control system that allows the family to control the theater, as well as the rest of the home’s, electronic systems via their iPhones and iPads over the Wi-Fi network. “When we opened this business twenty-five years ago, Wi-Fi and mobile devices weren’t even a consideration; they didn’t even exist,” Barry says. “Today, the network is the most important appliance in the house. Not only are all of our control systems completely dependent upon wireless technologies and networking, but when our clients come to us, the home network is already a sore point in their lives because of the increased traffic demands of everything from Netflix to the children’s dependence on the network for homework assignments.”

 “The reality of this business and our clients’ lives is that they are fast-paced and driven by changes in technology,” Barry continues. “Compare our industry today to when we opened our doors, and it’s like two entirely different businesses. But I think that’s what separates InnerSpace and other businesses that have been successful from those that haven’t. We have taken the opportunity to grab onto market trends and technology changes, and incorporate them into the services we offer to improve our clients’ lives at home. We treat every client interaction as a separate and new opportunity and look forward to serving our clients for years to come.”

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InnerSpace Electronics Joins the Fight Against Cancer

American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Greenwich, CT was held this past weekend, June 14, 2013, at Brunswick High School in Greenwich, CT.  Innerspace Electronics participated as the "AV Royals" and helped to raise over $2,000 with company matching from Andrea and Barry Reiner. The event began at 6:00pm on June 14th with a survivor reception. Opening ceremonies started at 7:00pm with welcoming remarks and a survivor lap to kick off the Relay. The event continued until 7:00am the next morning with teams walking throughout the night. Fifty-five teams were present and with just over five hundred people participating, $139,000 was raised in total.

Innerspace Electronics, Inc. was honored to be a participant and sponsor. “Cancer is a disease that, unfortunately, has touched too many people. We decided as a group that this was something we wanted to get involved in and then it was just a matter of picking which Relay to sponsor. Innerspace Electronics has worked closely with the Greenwich community over the years. We wanted to give back and chose to support their Relay. We are grateful to those that participated in our fundraising efforts, especially Leon Speakers, ProAct Sales, Thea & Shoen and DSB,” expresses Gina Romanello, Relay for Life Coordinator at Innerspace Electronics.

Help the AV Royals Fight the Fight Against Cancer!

Almost all of us have been touched by cancer in some way, so we've decided to make a difference by walking and raising money in the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT.

At the event, our team, the AV Royals, will camp out overnight and take turns walking around the track to raise money and awareness to help the American Cancer Society in the world’s largest fight for more birthdays.

Our team is doing our part to make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone’s life. Please join our team or make a donation, because saving lives from cancer starts one team, one participant, and one dollar at a time.

Click the link below to donate to our cause!

Disappearing Act: A NYC Penthouse Gets a Stealth Entertainment Upgrade

To its part-time NYC residents, this stunning penthouse offers a haven above the business and bustle of the streets of New York City. The pad boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of Central Park West and the Manhattan skyline while flooding the apartment with natural light. This real estate left little to be desired—except for a reference-quality media room.

The lucky new homeowners sought a modern entertainment environment that would blend seamlessly into the contemporary décor of the apartment while performing to a reference-level standard at all times of day. While the homeowners’ objective was clear, the large room (21’ x 15.5’ LxW) presented unique design and construction challenges for the custom integration team.

Enter Innerspace Electronics. Innerspace Electronics is a premier custom electronics systems integrator that services elite clientele from New York City, to Westchester and Fairfield County and Long Island. Their reputation for creating and installing the highest-level of smart home automation, home theater and A/V system solutions has also brought them to Miami, Palm Beach and beyond for multi-abode clients.

For this penthouse project, the Innerspace team was tasked with the design and build of the full-scale media room that would disappear at the press of a button. And so, they did. To deliver a media room that performed to the highest audio and video standards of the discerning owner and complemented the aesthetics and existing conditions within the apartment, various concessions had to be made.

First, an integrated automated lighting and shading system was installed to overcome the light that floods the room from the large windows by day and lights of the city by night. Extensive ceiling modifications were also made to the concrete ceiling, including decking constraints to allow ample room for a SIM2 projector mounted on a slim line Electro- Kinetics Scissor lift and an elaborate HVAC cooling solution to fit snugly inside.

During the day, the shades can remain up and users can still enjoy TV and movies on the 60-inch Pioneer Elite PRO-151FD flat screen that can easily combat the room’s ample ambient light conditions. At night—or whenever a dark, movie-theater experience is desired—a 96-inch Stewart Filmscreen projection screen and the SIM2 C3X 1080T1 projector on a custom lift can be easily activated, dropping down from their discrete in-ceiling positions to provide a high-performance, cinematic entertainment.

To complement the impressive video displays, a high-performance audio system was needed, but the apartment had piping that ran behind the video display cabinet and could not be modified as part of the apartment’s building-wide systems. The audio system needed to fit with the piping, and other items running through the back of the cabinet, while allowing excellent calibration to create exceptional sound and avoid any installation issues.

With a plan in mind, Innerspace custom systems integration team worked closely with California Audio Technology (CAT) to build a reference-level system. Once the millwork was in place, CAT tailored a construction and equalization solution that worked within the completely concealed cabinetry. The all custom designed audio system features CAT Malibu 2008 Cabinetry Style Custom LCR speakers, CAT Rubicon Subwoofers, amplifiers and digital signal processors to produce best possible sound in the custom enclosure.

Integrating the Kaleidescape K-Player 6000 movie player was the final touch to this impressive media room. It enables the owner to easily transfer media from his main home in Massachusetts to the NYC apartment for the ultimate enjoyment and flexibility.

Barry Reiner from Innerspace Electronics shares, “He likes this media room more than the full-scale theater in his primary residence! These are the projects and systems that epitomize what we in the custom audio and video integration world do best. We approach challenges with innovative design and build solutions, as well as a collaborative approach, to create the pinnacle in audio and video performance that adds to the enjoyment and aesthetics of our clients’ homes.”

By HDLiving.com staff

So What is This Home Automation Thingy Anyway?

My editorial colleagues and I always chuckle (OK, we cringe) when we read an article from the mainstream media (i.e., not a consumer electronics writer) that refers to a Jetson’s lifestyle or the home of the future whenever the subject of home automation or home control comes up. Even now, in 2013, people are impressed by such simple things as universal remotes, and they believe that home automation refers to things from a SyFy TV show.

This week a writer for CNN wrote an article on home automation products seen at last week’s CES 2013 and called the world of automation “young and exciting.” Yes, it is exciting, but young? Electronic House has been covering home automation for 25 years. The author also claims that because of “conflicting standards… the real dream of a fully connected home is still a ways off.”

I have to wonder if the author has an idea of what the “fully connected home” actually is. As we’ve shown over the years, there’s very little in the way of electronic systems that can’t be integrated by a professional in home automation. There’s nothing rare, unusual or Jetson-like about it. However, a truly integrated home control system is not a DIY project, and perhaps that’s what the authors of articles like that expect.

Fixing a roof is not, for most people, a DIY job either. Recently a heavy storm blew some siding and shingles off my house so I called a professional to give me an estimate for the repairs and do the work, but that won’t lead me to claim that true universal home covering is out of reach.

When articles like this complain that home automation either doesn’t work or isn’t ready or is too complicated, the subtext is usually something different. Either the author doesn’t really understand home automation or the author does, but just thinks it’s too expensive and unnecessary (I’m generalizing, so cut me some slack).

Part of the problem is that the term “home automation” is a really lousy term. Automation isn’t really what most of the systems actually do. Automation implies that something happens without a person having to intervene, when the reality about these systems is that people are intervening, just in more convenient and electronically connected ways.

The article I initially referred to focused on a variety of smartphone-based DIY control solutions shown at the Consumer Electronics show. While many of them are pretty cool, the author and her sources correctly point out that few of those systems are easily interoperable, and if a person wants to go that route he or she may end up with an iPhone filled with a dozen different apps that can’t communicate with each other. There are a lot of reasons for the incongruity of the self-help control category, including costs and licensing of technologies, but the world of the smart home isn’t really that chaotic.

Readers of Electronic House probably already know that true home systems integration is available, and not only for the wealthy. It all depends on what people want.

And that’s the other problem. Many people, especially people who are new to the concept, don’t really know what they want. Do you want to be able to turn your house lights on or off without hitting a wall switch? Do you want an email to let you know when your kids get home from school? Do you want your drapes to automatically close when the sun shines on your new sofa? All of that is available, and not difficult to find or have done, but like fixing your roof, you probably can’t do it yourself. Or if you’re like me, you’re just afraid of falling off

What Screen Size is Right for You?

Enter an electronics store or peruse the ads in the Sunday newspaper and the variety of new HDTVs and other electronic screens is overwhelming. If you're in the market for a new video screen, you know exactly how confusing the different choices can be. Below are just a few things to know before you go shopping for that new screen or television set:

HDTV and Smart TVs

Not all video screens are created alike. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the screen, the better the quality; but there are a lot of other things to consider when shopping for a video screen. For instance, is high-definition TV (HDTV) right for you? HDTV sets have about five times as many pixels per inch than standard sets, giving their pictures a higher degree of clarity. Such sets are well-suited for viewing things with a lot of detail, such as sporting events and nature programs.

Smart TVs blur the lines between television sets and computers. These sets allow you to perform some computer and Internet functions as well as search for media among all entertainment choices. Smart TVs also have a save function that allows users to store programming. Such sets are ideal for those who like to share content with social media friends.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Video Screen

Video screens are measured on the diagonal. Commonly found sizes range from 19" to 70". Which size should you pick? That can depend on whether you’re looking to create a home theater, or just for everyday entertainment.Here are a few points that may help you make that decision:

  • Room size -- Although those huge TV screens are impressive on display in the electronics store, you need a large room to be able to comfortably watch such a screen. A 70" screen is most comfortably viewed from a distance of between 8.5 and 14.5 feet. On the other end of the spectrum, you only need to be approximately 3.5 to 5.5 feet away from a 26" screen to comfortably view the programming.
  • Screen size -- As mentioned above, the larger the screen is, the farther back you need to sit from it. HDTV sets allow you to be a little closer than conventional, standard-definition sets. However, if you can see the breakdown of the image (e.g. the little pixel boxes), you're sitting too close to the set.
  • Resolution -- The screen resolution and the screen size go hand in hand. Resolution is measured in pixels per square inch, so the same number on a smaller screen might be very clear, yet blocky on a large screen. Keep in mind, also, that HDTV sets offer approximately five times as many pixels per inch than standard-definition sets.
  • Room layout and seating -- How you have your television room set up is another factor to consider when choosing a video screen. Buying a large, expensive set when your room isn't arranged to accommodate viewers doesn't make a lot of sense. Make sure you measure the distance between where you typically sit while watching the screen, and where your new screen will be–this way, you’ll know what ideal screen size to shop for.
  • Viewing angle -- Modern television screens look best when the image is viewed straight on, with your eyes resting naturally at approximately the middle of the screen. Most television sets will need to be set on a stand or (in the case of a flat screen) mounted on the wall to be at the correct level. Is your room large enough to accommodate the television AND the stand?
  • Viewing habits -- Lastly, it's important to take a minute and think about how you use television and/or the video screen you're planning to buy. If you enjoy watching sports and plan on opting for split-screen capabilities so you can watch two or more games at once, then choosing a set with the best resolution you can afford is important. Conversely, if you use television as background entertainment while you clean, fix dinner or accomplish other tasks, then paying a lot more for the best picture available might not make as much sense.

So, don't just settle for whatever screen you see first or the one the salesperson recommends. Take a minute to analyze your viewing patterns and preferences and buy the screen that's best for you and your family.

Online content provided by CEDIA, the leading global authority in the $14 billion home technology industry.

Home Theater: Buy an Experience, Not a Box

CEDIA Home Technology Blog | December 4, 2012 | 

Sure, you can go out and buy a home-heater-in-a-box (HTiB) system for a couple hundred bucks and it will provide "everything you need for a home theater experience." Most HTiBs include five small speakers and a bass module (or subwoofer) with built-in amplification that powers the whole shebang.

Or you could opt for a sound bar - a long, slender enclosure with multiple speakers that sits under the TV and sometimes includes a separate bass module. Digital processing is used to create a virtual surround-sound effect. 

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Either of these budget solutions can provide decent sound when dollars and space are limited. You'll get some semblance of surround sound (if you're sitting in the right spot) and bass that goes boom without the shake, rattle and roll. (Sound bars and HTiBs aren't capable of producing the sort of gut-wrenching bass you experience in a top-flight theater.)

Bottom line: You get what you pay for, and when it comes to modestly priced all-in-one home theater systems, modest performance is all you can reasonably expect.

So the question becomes: What kind of home theater experience are you looking for? Will mediocrity suffice or would you like to "go out to the movies" without leaving home?

Who You Gonna Call?

With the help of an electronic systems contractor who specializes in audio/video entertainment and home theater installation, it is possible to rival the experience of watching The Bourne Legacy at New York's Ziegfeld Theatre: Apocalyptic bass, surround sound that pulls you into the action and a stunning, larger-than-life image.

If you want to go all out, you can even create a personalized environment, complete with an art deco (or other) motif, velvet seating, a candy counter and a popcorn machine. Or perhaps you prefer a more casual, multipurpose space that doubles as a theater. If you can imagine it, the pros can build it.

Here are some of the benefits of professional home theater design and installation:

  • Audio and video components are selected to match the size and characteristics of your room as well as household preferences (for example, does gaming or Internet streaming figure into the plan?)
  • A state-of-the-art, high-definition picture
  • Three-dimensional "you are there" sound that brings the story to life with amazing detail and clarity
  • Lifelike bass that can be rich and nuanced or thrillingly thunderous - whatever the soundtrack calls for
  • Acoustic room treatment to eliminate echoes and ensure the best possible sound
  • Soundproofing so you can watch Bourne Legacy without waking the kids

Finally, working with a professional makes possible a multitude of options that run the gamut, from concealing speakers in the walls, ceiling and floor, to mounting TVs or video screens and projectors on motorized mechanisms that retract into the wall or ceiling, to creating a custom home theater with special seating, automated lighting, motorized window shades and many other accoutrements.

Best of all, a professional will program your system so watching Ice Age on family movie night is a simple matter of hitting the Movie button on the remote. All you have to do is grab your drink and snack, sit back and relax.

To learn more about home theater options, call InnerSpace Electronics.