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8 Sound Proofing Tips

If you are wanting to build a media or theater room, it’s important to consider how you’ll use the system. Will enjoying the system at louder volumes result in an inconvenience to others in your home or perhaps neighbors if you share walls? Then, you should consider sound proofing.

But before you do, there are a couple of considerations, and we address them below:

1. Sound proofing is a new construction/remodel only option. The methods used will highly modify the walls and floor. If you didn’t plan on a remodel, think again. That said, new construction is the most optimal environment and allows for maximum results per dollar.

2. Sound proof drywall exists, but it is not the best option. There are a couple of different sound proofing drywalls that can be installed in leu of traditional drywall. The reality is that two sheets of drywall is about just as effective and that’s not much to brag about. There are far better ways.

3. High mass vinyl is the single most effective way to sound proof a wall or floor. High mass vinyl is applied below the drywall directly to the studs and offers the best sound proofing properties. Acoustiblok is our preferred material and it is has some additional special properties. It works by actually taking the sound waves and turning them from sound energy to heat energy. It’s cool stuff for sure.

4. Both sides of an interior wall should be covered for max effectiveness. If you are covering an interior wall, it’s ideal to cover both sides of the wall with Acoustiblok. This helps to ensure that any sound that radiates through the first layer is stopped by the second.

5. Insulation in the walls like R13 insulation is a great addition to any sound proofing project. It can be inserted between the Acoustiblok layers and helps to dampen alternate frequencies and adds even more mass for the sound to penetrate. We can also install Acoustiblok insulation that has even more sound proofing properties, but it’s not a big difference over the regular stuff and depending on who’s installing, the R13 insulation can save you some money.

6. If you are sound proofing a second story room, don’t forget about the floor. The floor basically becomes another wall in this environment and should most definitely be sound proofed. Other advantages include reduced sound transfer of walking for those below. Some have put Acoustiblok on second floor floors just for this reason as it can help to ensure that those below aren’t annoyed or awakened by high heals walking above.

7. Low frequencies like those that come from subwoofers are a challenge regardless of the techniques used. The low frequencies can easily penetrate even the most effective sound proofing materials. That said, when it comes to these low frequencies, it’s all about relative sound reduction, which brings us to our last point.

8. Sound proofing is a misleading name. It should be called sound emission reduction. In the end, there is no way to truly “sound proof,” only methods to reduce the total amount of sound that will escape a room. If you blare the speakers, the sound will still escape but compared to a normal room, the volume level outside of the room will be far below an obtrusive level.

If you’re in need of any sound proofing services, trust no one but the pros at Gamma Tech Services. We are Naples’ go to technology pros including installation of sound proofing materials. Give us a call today!

Check Engine Light

Pay to Play

At Gamma Tech Services we always try to be as upfront as possible. There’s no hiding we are here to make a sale, but at the end of the day, we are looking for happy customers—not quick profits. When buying a home technology system, it’s important to understand that with more features and ease of use, often comes more maintenance.

I compare this to buying a new car. You can purchase a basic Honda Civic which has no cruise or navigation, or you can buy a Mercedes with laser guided cruise, lane departure warning, leather seats, and a full navigation system. All of these systems are there to add luxury and to make the car safer to use. What’s important to note however is that all of these systems introduce additional points of failure and most of the time will increase your total maintenance required.

At Gamma Tech Services we are “Mercedes” dealers. Maybe Mercedes isn’t the best analogy, but fill in your favorite luxury brand and we’ll go with that. You may wonder, “Didn’t you just make a case for not buying a Mercedes and now are comparing Gamma Tech with that?” I did, and I am.

The difference is that we do two things to provide all the pros of having a “luxury” system without the cons I just discussed, and after all, let’s not forget why we buy these luxury brands in the first place and the conveniences they afford.

First, we only install systems and designs that are well tested and have a history of excellent quality control. This is important in the technology world. Sometimes the newest, coolest item on the market isn’t necessarily the most reliable. At Gamma Tech we spend quite a bit of time and money developing a perfect balance of features, reliability, and price. None of our competition does this to the same level. At times we have lost jobs due to a competitor willing to supply a feature that simply isn’t ready for prime time. With us, it’s something we will not do.

Secondly and most importantly, is our 1 year guarantee. No one offers anything like it. We will truly stand behind our design and products for an entire year. If we need to come out every day, we will, without sending you a single invoice. It is with this in mind that we design every job. We cannot sell systems that require constant maintenance or training. They will simply cease to be profitable and therefore put us out of business.

So what should you take away from this article?

  1. Buying an audio video system that is installed by a professional will require professional maintenance and repair.
  2. Gamma Tech Services only installs the most reliable and easy to use systems.
  3. Gamma Tech Services stands behind each and every design for an entire year after install. Every other company will bill you hourly and financially benefit from installing more complex, less reliable systems.

As I opened this blog, I said that we are here to be as upfront as possible with our customers. Sometimes that means exposing some industry secrets that no one wants to really address, but in the end we feel it would be a disservice to our customers. Buy from Gamma Tech Services and you can rest assured that you can buy once and cry once.

New Gamma Tech Services Office

“Moving on Up”

“It’s a great space! It’ll take us a while to fill this up.” It was just one and a half years ago that we moved into our current space and said those words and yet here we are being forced to move before our lease is even up.

For those that haven’t been to our current office in the Greentree Professional Center, we have invested quite a bit in a beautiful lobby and state of the art demo area that allows customers to get a hands on experience with the services we offer. But even though we love our current office, it’s time to move on.

The reason is due to rapid growth on both sides of our company. We know that our growth is ultimately a gift from God, but comes as a result of customers who support us and share our name with their friends. We are truly thankful. The growth may be overwhelming at times, but we couldn’t be happier or more thankful for it.

Located on Trade Center Way, the new office is over 3700sqft which makes it 2.5 times larger than our current space and gives us the much needed space to grow a bit more. We will have a new lobby along with a new demo room, sales room, conference room, kitchen, and dedicated offices for our sales and admin staff. It’s much needed and something we are very excited about.

Being on Trade Center also puts us a little more centrally located in Naples and places us in the heart of the construction community, which we feel will be important for continued growth of our audio video department. It will also make us neighbors with many small businesses that will greatly benefit from the services we offer from our IT department including Managed IT Support and VoIP phone services.

This move is one that we are very excited about and represents a great next step forward for our company. We are poised for continued growth and this new office is now one less item holding us back from being SWFL’s #1 technology company.

We hope that if you are a customer of ours you will continue to use us and share our name with others and most of all we look forward to seeing you at our new office and showroom this Fall. Until then, you can find us at our current office or of course, we will always come to you!

 

Perspective

Our Unique Perspective

 

So many of our potential customers ask us what makes us different from our competition. Although the list is long, one of our stronger reasons is our unique perspective from which we approach project designs.

Most audio video business owners come from a particular background in the technology world. For some, they come from an electrical background. Others it’s a security background, and for others it’s an “old school” audio video background.

But we believe our background is truly unique and something that none of our Naples competition shares. A background in Networking.

Some may wonder what networking has to do with audio video and why it gives us an advantage, but when you understand that networking is the foundation of all future technology, it starts to become more clear.

Networking is the framework and the glue that holds everything together. Without networking you have no internet. Without networking you have no streaming video or music. Without networking you have no way to control your equipment with your mobile devices. The list goes on and on.

Without networking all you have is a bunch of equipment instead of a unified, easy to use entertainment system.

So we can agree that networking is important, but you may not realize that networking doesn’t either work or not work, but instead provides a level of 3 elements: speed, reliability, and security. So often we find that our competition installs networks that offer a dismal level of each of 3 these elements and ultimately the customer is the one hurt. Worse is that some good products are blamed for poor performance or reliability due to networking inexperience from the installers and designers.

What makes networking such a challenge for so many audio video companies is that it is something that is very abstract and not nearly as “hands on” as the rest of audio video. In addition, so many installers believe that just spending more on the equipment will yield better reliability, speed, and security. This is true to a certain extent, but like a quality paint brush, networking equipment is only as good as the painter that holds it.

Reality is that there is nothing “sexy” about quality networking, but like a foundation to your home, networking is the foundation to your technology. Trust the pros at Gamma Tech Services and rest assured that the foundation to your system is solid.

 

Video Distribution

Video Distribution: a Luxury You Can’t Afford to Not Have

 

If you’re looking for the ultimate audio/video experience in your home, consider video distribution.

Video distribution can seem hard to understand because it is so foreign to many people, but the idea is actually pretty simple.

So what is video distribution you ask? Video distribution is an idea that lets multiple TVs share multiple sources. The advantage? You can watch any source on any TV. In addition, it can also save you money on sources as you only need as many devices as you want to watch at anyone time. In other words, if you have 8 TVs you no longer need 8 cable boxes but instead can get 3 that would be shared amongst the 8 TVs. This saves on your monthly bill from your cable provider but also has another consequence.

Now each member of the family can have their own cable box and DVR to view on any TV. This means you can not only view any recording on any TV, but you can segregate your recordings from your husband/wife. If you want a blu-ray player to watch movies, you now only need 1 for the entire home instead of 1 for every TV. Apple TV? Just 1 needed.

The other great thing about video distribution is that you can truly start something in one room and finish it in another… And this is true for every source whether it’s cable TV, a movie, or something on your Apple TV.

If you’re a sports fan, video distribution is basically made for you. You can subscribe to both Comcast and DirectTV to enjoy Comcast reliability while also enjoying NFL ticket and other DirectTV luxuries. Best of all you only need one DirectTV box and now all of your TV’s will have the option of either Comcast or DirectTV.

Video distribution also lets you easily sync TVs if you wanted to. This is great for parties and other environments where you might be moving throughout the house enjoying a show. Pickup the remote and change the channel in one room and watch as all of the other TVs tuned to that cable box also change channels. No more running around having to change channels on each TV.

Finally, video distribution allows for a truly wireless look to all of your TV’s. Instead of requiring each TV to have messy equipment underneath, all of the equipment lives in a nice and clean rack in a centralized location. Now you can have just a TV hanging on your wall but have access to seemingly unlined content.

If you’re building a new home, remodeling your current home, or just looking to revamp your audio video, consider video distribution and trust no one but the pros at Gamma Tech Services. With our unique 1 year guarantee on parts, labor, and training, you can rest assured you’re making a wise investment!

 

 

Windows 10 - Gamma Tech Services

8 Reasons Windows 10 is worth the Upgrade

 

Windows 10 is due here next month and many are asking, “Should I upgrade?”

Like any upgrade we say to wait. The reason has little to do with Microsoft and more to do with the things you use with your computer like your printer, software, websites, and other peripherals. It takes time for the bugs to be worked out with those things and there’s no reason to be the guinea pig.

That in mind, Windows 10 is going to be a very good thing for PC users. Here are 8 things you’ll love about Windows 10

1. It’s optimized for a mouse and keyboard again.
This sounds silly, but Windows 8 tried to push the touch screen idea forward and left the mouse and keyboard users behind. The reality is that mouse and keyboard are here to stay for the foreseeable future. With Windows 10 you no longer have to struggle to bring up a right side menu or wave your mouse in the corner to bring up the start menu. It’s back to the way it should be.

2. The start menu is back
…and it’s better than ever. Need I say more?

3. Virtual Desktops
If you’ve ever used multiple monitors you know the joy that comes from having multiple work screens and configurations. Virtual desktops is like that but it allows you to have a set of windows open that work together and then open another “desktop” that can have a whole new set of windows. Examples would be a “work” desktop with Outlook, calendar, and maybe your common work websites all open and then a “Personal” desktop that just has your Facebook and a YouTube websites open. One click and all your windows that pertain to the personal desktop go away and you’re back to your work desktop, and vice versa. Makes it easy to work and group certain windows together.

4. Oh Snap!
With Windows 10 you can now snap windows into place with snap assist. This allows you to form a grid of sorts and put up to 4 things on the screen without having to resize and move them. If you remember the side snap that was released with Windows 7, it’s like that but taken a step further.

5. It’s Free!
Yes that’s right. For the first year it’s out, you can get a free copy. The key is to reserve your copy. It should show up in your task bar on the bottom right of the screen by the digital time on your current computer. Click on it and follow the steps to reserve your copy via email, but remember to wait to actually make the switch.

6. Cortona is here
Cortina is the Siri of Windows and it’s really quite interesting. Honestly I’m not sure everyone will be talking to their computer, but Cortona is more than that and offers some intelligence to your normal daily tasks and acts as a digital assistant. It should be something that we really learn to enjoy.

7. Speed, Speed, Speed
Windows 10 is one of the lightest Windows versions yet. This means it will run faster than any version before it and since it’s been so well tested via a new beta program that had millions testing it (us included), it will be very stable as well.

8. It’s still Windows
That’s right, it’s still Windows and in the end that means you get to enjoy all the programs that you use without fear of compatibility. If it ran on Windows 7 or 8 it’ll probably run on Windows 10 just as well. That’s great news and should make the transition much smoother for those of us upgrading.

 

Trust Gamma Tech Services for all your computer needs whether personal or work related. If you have any other specific questions regarding Windows 10, don’t hesitate to call us and we’d be happy to help and remember to stay tuned to see when we recommend the update.

“Buy Once, Cry Once”

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“Buy once, cry once.” He said as I stood there waiting for the check.

It was 2006 and I was about 1 year into my business. As a 17 year kid, I was still uncomfortable with the amount of the bill that the customer had to pay for a new computer I had sold him and it was at that moment he told me the saying I’ll never forget. Buy once, cry once.

After he said it, I laughed and said, “What do you mean?” He explained, “It’s ok if I’m paying this much today, but I better have a good, reliable system and you better not come back asking for more money when this doesn’t work.”

I gulped and said “of course.”

To this day, this has always been our strategy in designing our projects and the result has been only glowing customer reviews.

But, not all of our customers understand this methodology in the beginning. In fact, some projects are even lost to our competition because they were willing to cut a corner we simply were not and therefore were able to beat our price significantly.

We call it the Apple effect. Honestly we aren’t big Apple fans over at Gamma Tech Services (ok maybe it’s just me) but they do one thing right. They don’t ever settle or sacrifice what they consider necessities to offer a lower price point. It took some time for them to gain traction but no one can question that their growth has stemmed from this dedication to quality.

Beyond quality, simplicity and ease of use is another area that we at Gamma Tech apply a buy once, cry once methodology. I have customer after customer tell me how they just want simplicity. They want it to just work. But what isn’t commonly understood is that simplicity and ease of use, often comes at a cost. Remote controls that automatically turn on and switch everything to the right input and other items like automatic speaker switchers that prevent you from having to switch from music to TV and vice versa with with multiple devices all add to the cost of the design.

Sure, the result may be a little higher than if you didn’t include that thingy that’ll make the system easy to use, but if you can’t use your system then what did you really save?

If you’re buying from Gamma Tech Services know that although you may cry when you write the check to pay for the system the first time, you’ll be smiling for much longer after. The result will be a system you enjoy, that’s easy to use, and less prone to issues. And we back it up with our 1 Year System Guarantee that means whether it’s parts, labor, or training we will take care of the issue in the first year.

In the end you get to buy once and cry, maybe a little, once.

 

What Does Gamma Mean?

Father and Child

Many people ask what Gamma means. Some think it’s for the Greek letter. Others just think I chose it because it sounds cool. But, it means “God Anticipates My Many Actions.” It’s something I came up with as a kid and something that always stuck in my mind for any business I started.

To me it always meant that God is there, waiting on us to make decisions that honor Him and He therefore anticipates our faithfulness. I guess it’s more of a reminder of the fact that although we have free will, God expects our faithfulness. It’s anticipated.

But recently I’ve been introduced to another angle on the meaning. The reality is that my life is full of choices that I can’t be proud of. Certainly choices that God wouldn’t approve of. But these choices are nonetheless anticipated.

By that I mean, God expects my faithfulness but He also expects my unfaithfulness. It’s the reason He sent His son and why we are not worthy of His love or care. It’s encouraging to me at this point in my life to know that God waits for me to return to Him and when I do, He has glorious plans for me.

I’m reminded of the story of the prodigal son. It’s a story in which a rich man has a son who asks for his father’s inheritance early and leaves him. A famine hits the land and the son is quickly out of money and realizes the mistake he made. In humility he comes back to the father and before he can even say anything to his father, the father embraces him and celebrates his return.

It’s a story that quite honestly brings tears to my eyes because I know that son is me. So many times I take matters into my own hands and when I have no where else to turn, I turn to Jesus and He’s there to embrace me and celebrate my return.

If you haven’t yet experienced the peace and the joy that comes from finding Jesus, you’re missing out! God is waiting for you and truly is anticipating the moment you come to Him so He can begin the celebrations.

He knows you’re a screw up, but He loves you because you’re his child.

Sonos + Control4 = Awesome

Sonos. If you haven’t heard of it, it is only a matter of time.

Sonos is a whole home music system. What makes it different is that it allows for you to control multiple rooms or “zones” of music all from a single app on your smart phone. But what makes it even better is that instead of playing from your phone, it plays from the cloud.

That means that the music keeps playing even when your phone is off, getting a phone call, or playing some other audio or video. It also means that you truly are using one application to manage your music and choose the volume and content for each room.

Sonos may be great, but even better is Control4 and Sonos together. The end result is truly awesome.  Features such as in-wall control pads that can control volume, play pause and more truly bring the experience up to another level.

In addition, we are freed from the plug in speakers that Sonos sells and can install in-ceiling speakers that not only offer superior audio but are much cleaner visually.

Control4 also introduces some other features such as having your music automatically lower when someone rings your doorbell or pushing one button that turns off all the music in the home.

Sonos is an excellent solution by itself but it really becomes a beautiful solution when combined with Control4.

If your building a new home, remodeling, or just looking to install some audio video in your home, be sure to give us a call and ask about our home packages that include solutions such as Sonos and Control4. Once you experience the convenience, you won’t be able to live without it!

Bible and Computer

Use Scripture to Protect Your Password

 

If you’re like most internet users, you have experienced a hacked email account or some other online account. Most people assume that like credit card fraud your password was stolen in some unknown way, but the actual reason is actually far more simple.

They guessed at your password and got it right.

You’re probably thinking there is no way this can be true but it most definitely is.  The catch is that it wasn’t a person doing the guessing, it was a computer or more specifically a program. The technique is called Brute Force.  By guessing thousands of passwords a minute, it is only a matter of time before they get your password right.

Thankfully, by understanding how this works, you can protect yourself.

Most password generators use statistics to increase their odds of success and one of the ways they do this is by using an English dictionary for their guessing. Other tricks include using all lowercase letters or only the capitalizing the first letter of the word. These are all common items found in passwords and by employing these techniques with the luxury of being able to guess so many in such a short period and it’s not hard to see why so many get hacked.

So how to protect yourself? Well God’s word is always a good place to turn for wisdom and security… So that’s why we argue that using scripture is a great strategy. Read more to find out why.

Before we answer that though, here are the rules for a secure password:

1. At least 1 lowercase letter
2. At least 1 uppercase letter, preferably not the first letter only.
3. At least 1 number.
4. At least 1 special character.
5. Not comprised solely of an English word or combination of English words.
6. At least 12 characters long but preferably even longer. It seems for security that longer is better but some sites will limit you to only 16 characters.
7. Find a way to change up your password so that you aren’t using the same password on multiple sites.

To accomplish this task, we like to use a sentence or phrase and then take the first letter of each word in that sentence and use it for the password. The trick is finding a sentence that meets all of the criteria above. The good news is that almost all of scripture does this!

For example, let’s take a popular Bible verse and give it a try.

Philippians 4:13 – For I can do everything though Christ, who gives me strength.

The password for this would be: P4:13-FIcdetCwgms. Despite looking like complete nonsense, this password is easy to remember and best of all, meets all of the criteria we specified above except number 7.

To accomplish number 7, we recommend adding a letter to the end or beginning of the password that marks the website. For example, if it was for Facebook, it would be letter F. Twitter would be T and so on. Therefore, your Facebook password might be P4:13-FIcdetCwgmsF and your Twitter password would be P4:13-FIcdetCwgmsT.

If you are using passwords that don’t meet this criteria, we recommend you take the time to change them ASAP. It’s a little tedious but worth the time and effort. Focus first on your email accounts as they are the easiest to crack and then move to social media and banking.

In the end, it’ll take some time but you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing your accounts aren’t susceptible to hacking via brute force and maybe even memorize some scripture along the way. It’s a win win!