With over 25 years of business ownership and experience in the residential and pro audio/video markets, Nicholas E. Astor, president and founder of Atlas Audio Video & Communications Inc., based in Southern California, has seen a lot of AV gear during his career.
Astor’s company is a residential and commercial systems integration firm that offers audio, video, home theater, networking, automation and control services. Additionally, AtlasAVC also provides professional design and installation services for recording studios and screening rooms as well as smart system structured wiring for their commercial client’s office buildings.
Today, Astor combines his years of experience in the field, together with his CEDIA Technician, Networking Specialist and Designer certifications plus a wide variety of manufacturer trainings, to allow his company and technicians to choose products from companies such as Lutron, Savant and Control4.
On the AV side of the electronics world, Astor’s go-to product line is Yamaha.
Using everything from the Yamaha Quad Streamer (XDA-QS5400RK), to the company’s line of AV receivers that include the flagship RX-A3080, to the RX-A1080, and soundbars like the YSP-5600, Astor is able to design AV systems that provide high levels of home theater and musical entertainment.
A Wealth of Features Support Atlas Audio Video & Communications System Scenarios
The Yamaha Quad Streamer has quickly become one of Atlas’ favorite products. Astor says that he uses the Quad Streamer to provide four zones of customizable audio with the ability to stream content from Apple devices via the AirPlay2 protocol. (the Quad Streamer can also be daisy chained for additional zones)
“Everyone in Southern California is focused on Apple products and couldn’t think of being separated from their devices. This why I prefer to recommend the Yamaha Quad Streamer – it has AirPlay 2 built into it,” Astor points out.
“We integrate the Yamaha Quad Streamer with Apple HomeKit. It is also the go-to product for our Apple clients as a stand-alone whole home audio system that plays well with third-party control systems. We integrate the Yamaha Quad Streamer into the back-end of a Control4 or Savant automation system. While we also use HomeKit’s front-end, we also use Yamaha, Savant or Control4’s front end. The Yamaha Quad Streamer provides AirPlay 2 compatibility and a form factor of four zones in a 1U box.”
According to Astor, many of the systems AtlasAVC sets up and installs include a mixed variety of consumer electronic components such as Apple TVs. Our clients really appreciate the ability to control these systems with their iPhones.
In addition to using Yamaha products for a more streamlined system installation, Astor says his company provides clients with a customized interface experience through the implementation of Yamaha products.
“When we work with our clients that solely utilize Apple products, such as the iPhone and iPad, the client feels much more comfortable and at ease with the Apple iOS interface because they already know how to use the Apple operating system and applications. We can simply show them with a swipe of a finger where AirPlay 2 lives on their iPhone or iPad versus trying to teach them a customized interface,” notes Astor .
Moreover, he says one of the best attributes of the Yamaha product line is that it incorporates their own application called MusicCast. Astor states the MusicCast service is so well designed that even if he didn’t show a client how to use the system through the app, they would be totally fine as the app is easy enough to figure out without any instruction.
“The client may also request a custom interface and we can fulfill that request too. For a straight-forward system with the ability to control the lights, thermostat and audio/video, the Yamaha solution is great. The fact that AirPlay 2 is integrated in all the latest Yamaha products with easy app functionality is even better! We can also use a Yamaha Quad Streamer and then a couple of Yamaha AVRs with AirPlay 2 because it is seamless across the board. It doesn’t take long training sessions with a client to get them familiar with the system and the MusicCast app.”
Another aspect of the Yamaha line that Astor appreciates are those situations where he or any of the AtlasAVC technicians have a question. Astor says that they utilize the Yamaha support team to help answer any questions or remedy any issue that might arise.
“We use Yamaha support services all the time. A great example of this is when we are integrating new Yamaha products such as the MusicCast product line first came out,” he shares.
“Because the Yamaha products have such robust capabilities, you may not know what you need to until you talk with someone that’s used it. This is another reason why Yamaha is a great resource for tech support and why we use it all the time.”
Astor adds that between the company’s track record of reliability, the product line’s overall performance, and the versatility of the products, the Yamaha line of home audio products are often included in his company’s installations.
“Most of AtlasAVC’s clients are going to use what we recommend and while some will take the time to explore additional features, many do not. With Yamaha products and the MusicCast app, you can control the volume, on/off, AirPlay 2 and you can also upload thumbnail pictures of your room for quick zone identification. MusicCast can also add streaming music services such as TIDAL, Spotify, Pandora and more,” emphasizes Astor.
“When demonstrating how to use the system, we ask our clients about their preferences and how much detail they would prefer to learn about. Many of our clients just want to know what button to push to make things happen such as playing music in the kitchen or dining room while others want to know more. Sometimes clients decide after they are more comfortable with everything that they want to know more about additional features and we are here for them when and if they do.”
Regardless of whether Atlas Audio Video and Communications is servicing a basic, Apple-based whole-house audio or HomeKit installation, or a complex project with lighting, automation, home theater and whole-house audio, the complete package that Yamaha offers provides AtlasAVC’s clients with everything it needs to make their clients happy.
Additional information on Custom Integration with Yamaha is available here.