Home Network

Today, most automation and lighting systems, appliances, and communication devices (smart phones, tablets, laptop computers, for example) require high-speed internet access to operate properly. In order for all of this to work together through a hard wired and wireless connection, a home network must be created. Most homes have some kind of “home network”, but they aren’t all as intricate or as functional, which is where we can help. We sat down with sales and project manager, Lynn Hopffgarten, and our network engineer, Adam Swaney to get more insight on a home network.

Why can’t I just get the network gear I need from my Internet Service Provider?

You can; Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do provide a basic modem, router, and wireless communications device when they install service. For a small home and small household, this can be adequate. For larger homes, however, this single device does not have the switching, bandwidth, or data-management capabilities required in contemporary homes and lifestyles. Bethesda Systems work with the Client’s ISP to provide the additional components and labor to set-up networks for today’s homes.

What does “Enterprise Grade Network” mean and why do I need that in my Home?

“Enterprise Grade Network” is software, and management tools designed to provide robust, stable, and long-term network solutions required by businesses, today. These components cost slightly more than standard residential grade gear, longer warranties, and fundamentally better customer support. These components make it possible to have a consistent, stable, and seamless experience. For example, downloading a movie from Netflix in the Media Room while someone else is loading a movie or playing video games online.

So … What is a “Bethesda Systems’” network? 

A Bethesda Systems network is an enterprise grade hardware, software, and long-term support solution designed and commissioned by our Network Engineer, Adam Swaney. He designs the networks to provide, stable, robust, secure, and long-term service for high-speed internet throughout your home.  Managed by our service team, the Bethesda Systems Network makes it possible to diagnose, repair, and upgrade network, remotely. This means “one call” to Bethesda Systems for service versus a run-around with various levels “technical support” from the service provider.

 

 

Call or email us today to hear about our New Years home network special!

Improvement Upon Improvement

Bethesda Sytems is changing…for the better of course. With over 10 years of providing services in the area, we have grown and expanded to offer more than just audio/video and lighting control systems for our clients. Our services now include, security cameras with web access, wired and wireless network solutions, residential and commercial LED lighting installation in both new and existing homes and businesses, Nest thermostats and smoke detectors. 

 

To help us be more responsive and better equipped to provide solutions, we have created and filled the following positions:

·        Customer Care Coordinator

·        Sales Coordinator

·        Internal Salesperson

·        Financial Controller


Our general manager, Mark Pettis sat down to discuss all of the new positions and how we are improving to serve you better.

How are we improving our service and sales departments? 

These new positions along with our Network Engineer, System Designer, Master Electrician, LED lighting specialist, audio video technicians, and programmers allow us to be experts in the always changing world of electronics integration.

Karen Booker is our Client Care Coordinator and is responsible for all scheduling of services,project installations and LED lighting visits. She is also the coordinator for all of the Nest product installations and service visits.
Laura Cromer is our Sales Coordinator and is responsible for communicating with new clients. She is also the point of contact and source of status updates for ongoing work. This gives our clients a dedicated point of contact if they should have any questions about their ongoing installations.
Jim O’Brien is our Internal Salesperson and is responsible, along with Laura, for contacting all of our clients and potential clients quickly and asking about the new projects. He also travels to our client’s residence, and performs assessments prior to submitting proposal to make sure our proposal are good faith estimates and not guesses.
Christina McGrath is our Financial Controller and is responsible for keeping our financial house in order by coordinating the entire accounting process, which includes accounts receivable, payable and vendor relationships.

What can customers expect from us with these new changes?/How is our service team ready to assist? 

New customers will find the process of engaging Bethesda Systems simple and straight forward. Their inquiries will be answered quickly and professionally.  Service requests are being analyzed and scheduled as quickly as possible. Follow up for service visits are being done daily and billing for service work is being completed accurately and quickly. Our existing customers will find our new process, refreshing, easy to use, and more responsive. 

We are excited about being able to provide the quality of products and service our clients expect along with meeting the new and ever changing needs of our existing and new customers. Whether a client needs a system for their entire home or just one room, Bethesda Systems is the one and only call they need to make.

Kaledescape’s Cinema One

The Kaleidescape Cinema One is the ultimate movie player! I for one get so tired of trying to figure out where I put a specific DVD or who I loaned it to. But, with the Cinema One you don’t have to worry about such issues. The device allows you to store up to 1,200 DVDs. This eliminates the problem of having to get up, find the DVD, worry about it being scratch, etc. The best part about this piece of technology is just how user friendly it is. There is one remote…yes, our team gets you all set up with just ONE remote. It is extremely easy to browse through your collection and there are so many search options you can explore with. The device allows you to sort through your movies based on length, year, cast, director rating and title. Just wait, it gets better, you can also bookmark epic scenes from movies and the device is so advanced that you can see the soundtrack from the movie and it will play just that scene that you select. Uploading and downloading movies is easy too. If you decide to purchase a movie then you can go to the Kaleidescape store and download movies directly to your system, all while you remain in your seat. The films also include all of the features that a regular DVD disc might include.

This device is one of a kind and it does not disappoint. It makes the perfect holiday gift and it even comes with a special bonus until December 26th. If you buy the Cinema One then you get 50 FREE movies. This is the first time that Kaledescape has done a promotion like this. It is without a doubt an item and a deal that you do not want to miss out on.

Lighting Upgrade Cooked Just Right

WHY SO BLUE?

Yamas, a Bethesda, Md. Mediterranean restaurant, utilizes spot lighting throughout restaurant to light up the bar, wall seating, booths, and menu. The restaurant is small, but unfortunately, even with all the lighting they had, it was still too dark.

The lighting was all over the place, literally and figuratively. Different bulbs were used in one track lighting scheme. Some of the halogens gave off blue light, and others gave off white or yellow light.

Yamas owner, Tony Alexis, said he received recommendations for his lighting, and light bulbs, from his meat guy.

The lighting was intended to be more efficient, however, the lack of a lighting specialist left the restaurant looking unorganized and dim, until Bethesda Systems came along.

A WHOLE NEW RESTAURANT

After an LED retrofit by Bethesda Systems, the owner and employees of the Mediterranean restaurant were astonished, and pleased.

Restaurant manager Diana Ziscovici was caught by surprise.

“I never realized the lighting was so off!”

The lighting before the retrofit was inconsistent. Some bulbs, even when on, did not even light anything up. Half of the restaurant was lit, the other half was dark.

Now, the lighting was even, bright, and the color it was intended to be.

“When our staff came walking in the day after the installation, they told me the restaurant looked much cleaner,” Ziscovici said.

The difference in the bar area, menu by the entrance, and dining area left the restaurant actually shining, and, more over, the restaurant is now saving an immense amount of energy. By going LED, the restaurant now saves over 80% on energy that is expended through lighting. This equals over $1,500 in annual energy savings.

“We’re very pleased with how Bethesda Systems helped us get such a great deal, and better look,” said Ziscovici.

“ECO!” Made Simple

 

Soon, you’ll be seeing a new logo around the area: the Bethesda Systems mark—but with a leaf.

Over the past couple of years, co-founder Jonathan Stovall had a growing interest in the green technology market.

Throughout the past year, Bethesda Systems had several green accomplishments under its belt.

At the end of summer 2012, a popular Bethesda sports bar realized huge reductions in energy usage, and maintenance, with an LED retrofit performed by Bethesda Systems.

Before the retrofit, the bar went through 10–15 bulbs per week, and their lights were on for at least 14 hours per day. Also, half of their old lights would not dim due to overheating issues on the circuit.

Management of the sports bar now deals with less maintenance, a greener business, and lower energy costs due to PEPCO utility rebates Bethesda Systems helped the bar become eligible for.

On October 31, and December 28 respectively, Bethesda Systems received news of its official acceptance in becoming a PEPCO Trade Ally and a Delmarva Power Trade Ally.

As trade allies, Bethesda Systems is able to assist PEPCO and Delmarva Power customers with increasing awareness of, and meeting their energy efficiency goals. In addition, as a trade ally, Bethesda systems acts as an advisor to these utilities’ customers, instructing and applying ways customers can take advantage of the energy saving incentives the utilities offer.

Now, with another, eco-friendly logo, Bethesda Systems will be able to promote its commitment to a greener environment.

By the start of the New Year, Bethesda Systems has already built new relationships with restaurants and other commercial business throughout Montgomery County.

Bethesda Systems plans on spreading the word on energy-efficiency in residences, offices, retail establishments, strip-malls, condominiums, parking garages and more.

With its commitment to always provide the highest quality and most cutting-edge consumer electronics available, Bethesda Systems wants to ensure that their customers will also be able to integrate the latest green tech products, without having to compromise their lifestyles while doing so.

CASE Remodeling Summit 2013

Bethesda Systems looks forward to kicking off the New Year to continue to build and foster relationships and business.

On February 8, 2013, Bethesda Systems exhibited at the 2013 CASE Remodeling Summit, held at the Bolger Center in Potomac, MD, for the first time.

Case is the largest and most respected full-service home improvement company in the nation. With a strong demand from other industry professionals, Case began franchising in 1997 and today is the only franchisor of remodeling services in the US. Serving 120 territories through their network of locally owned and operated franchisees and with over 100,000 clients nationwide.

Bethesda Systems, a new CASE alliance member, had the opportunity to host a learning seminar in which team members Lynn Hopffgarten, project manager, and Tracy Lowe, sales person, presented and discussed “Innovations in the Home.”

In this hour-long segment, Hopffgarten and Lowe highlighted big changes in the technology realm that will start making its way into residences: energy efficiency.

Hopffgarten shared what has made Bethesda Systems a success through explaining Bethesda Systems’ process of discovery, system design, implementation, and finally, service and support. Through this process, Bethesda Systems was able to portray how the changes in appliance and lighting standards yielded energy-efficient solutions.

Lowe continued the class with a preview of LED lighting in the home. Due to efficiency standards phasing out incandescent lighting due to exacerbated energy usage, a need for new, more efficient—but equally pleasing—lighting is growing higher in demand, said Lowe.

Hopffgarten and Lowe both explained the ups and downs of LED residential implementations, stating that the cost of LED bulbs may be expensive up front, but the long-term value of the energy-efficient lighting is undeniable.

The CASE Remodeling Summit is an event where members of the CASE team, including fred, a vision of CASE Design/Remodeling, Inc., are able to collaborate on new ideas and projects for the New Year. The Summit serves as an arena to highlight business goals while reviewing their key plays and remodeling projects throughout 2012.

 

Bethesda Systems to Sell High-Quality, Energy-Efficient Lighting

With new regulations phasing out incandescent light bulbs across the United States, Jonathan Stovall, co-founder of Bethesda Systems, felt it would best to begin serving both current and future clients with the highest quality and most energy efficient lighting products available.

The high-quality lighting solution Bethesda Systems trusts is that of LEDs, and at the start of the New Year, Bethesda Systems officially added high-quality, energy efficient lighting products to their inventory.

Bethesda Systems will now be able to more easily perform LED retrofits for residences and commercial properties throughout the Washington, D.C. area, in addition to their high-quality integration services.

LED stands for light-emitting diode. These are small light sources that work when the movements of electrons illuminate semiconductor material. LED light bulbs last 50,000 hours on average, whereas incandescent bulbs last around 1,000 hours, and CFL bulbs last around 8,000 hours.

In addition to this, LEDs also produce better quality light. In the past, there was skepticism in regards to LED performance: whether it could dim, and what color light it gave off. While CFLs seem to be the easy go-to option for purchasing more efficient lighting, CFLs lack the quality LEDs have.

In recent years, LED manufacturers have made immense progress in improving the LED to make it not only a good incandescent alternative, but also a competitive choice.

From 2009 to 2010, the LED market doubled from $5.6 billion to $10.8 billion—a 93% growth rate. By 2010, general-purpose LED lights surpassed 100 lumens per watt.

In regards to color quality, LEDs are able to maintain the warm light effect.

With advances in product quality like the WarmDim technology from lighting brand Juno, the WarmDim lighting technology, the light turns yellow as it is dimmed.

LEDs are also 100% dimmable. LED bulbs have full range capability, whereas CFL bulb range capability is limited. CFLs tend to drop out by the time the dimmer reaches 20% of light—meaning it shuts off when it isn’t supposed to.

Bethesda Systems’ first commercial LED lighting retrofit took place this past summer of 2012. The resulting work reduced the business lighting energy consumption over 80%. No longer are their lights burning out and based on current usage, but their lighting maintenance costs have been eliminated for the next 8 years.

Gary Hefner, the project leader of the bar retrofit explained, “After the retrofit, there was a major heating difference. No more halogen or incandescent bulbs were being used, allowing the bar to no longer run their air-conditioning as hard, thus allowing them to save additional energy.”

 

 

Bethesda Systems Donates State of the Art Media System

On February 16, members of the Bethesda Green community enjoyed a TEDx Manhattan viewing event, “Changing the Way We Eat.”

Hosted at Bethesda Green on Cordell Avenue of Downtown Bethesda, attendees were able to view the live webcast of the event in Manhattan in-house at Bethesda Green’s newly upgraded conference room, a donation from Bethesda Systems.

Bethesda Systems, an on-going sponsor of Bethesda Green, donated a state-of-the-art conference room media system, digital signage system for the lobby, and a multimedia display for the learning center to the Bethesda Green office.

Bethesda Green is a local non-profit organization based in Bethesda, Md. With the support of major corporations, local business, and individuals throughout the community, Bethesda Green is able to communicate and promote Bethesda as a model for greener economic growth and more sustainable practices.

Jonathan Stovall, co-founder of Bethesda Systems, knows that supporting the smaller businesses and entrepreneurs will promote more sustainable living and business practices. He feels that organizations like Bethesda Green make it much easier for startups to thrive in their respective communities.

“The new system has given us a lot of possibilities,” said Dave Feldman, Executive Director of Bethesda Green. “Each area has its own distinct value.”

Before, Feldman said, the organization only had a desktop LCD projector along with two speakers, which were independent from the projector system.

Bethesda Systems integrated a projector and projection screen for their conference room. For their lobby, Bethesda Systems added a 55-inch LCD to Bethesda Green’s new Learning Center. The Learning Center will be a place for Bethesda Green to engage the community with videos on recent projects and innovations from all throughout the area.

The LCD also has the ability to mirror videos being shown in the conference room to the lobby—an ideal application when the conference room gets too full, said Nate Black, systems designer.

In addition to this, Bethesda Systems incorporated a 42-inch display for digital signage, which will be able to greet visitors. The screen is able to display any image or video that Bethesda Green programs into the player.

“We’re able to present photos on a daily basis, and play films in the lobby with a touch of a button,” Feldman said.

The solution for controlling the newly added technology to Bethesda Green lies within a Savant iPad control system, which allows for one-touch control over the entire system, Black said.

Within the Savant-powered conference room, Bethesda Green has a cable box, Blu-ray player, Mac Mini (equipped with a wireless keyboard and mouse), and Apple TV. The upgraded conference room is also HDMI or VGA cable ready, if presenters use their own laptops for presentations in the room.

“The conference room lacked integration,” Feldman said. “Now, it’s a lot nicer. It’s cleaner—better.”

Feldman is excited to provide the Bethesda Green incubator companies with a high-end facility to use.

“We love it—it’s awesome!” said Feldman. “It’s exactly what we’re looking for. From service and integration, to support and sponsorship, we’re so grateful for what Bethesda Systems has done for us.”

Bethesda Systems becomes Delmarva Power Trade Ally

BETHESDA, Md.–On December 28, Bethesda Systems received news of its official acceptance in becoming a Delmarva Power Maryland Service Territory Trade Ally.

A Delmarva Power trade ally is a technical partner to Maryland’s Eastern Shore Delmarva Power service territory. As a trade ally, Bethesda Systems will be able to assist Delmarva customers with increasing awareness of, and meeting their energy efficiency goals. In addition, as a trade ally, Bethesda systems acts as an advisor to Maryland Delmarva Power customers and instructs and applies ways customers can take advantage of the energy saving incentives Delmarva Power offers.

Catering to both residential and commercial projects, Bethesda Systems offers a multitude of different products and services to help customers throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia cut down on energy loads and save on energy bills.

The integrators are well-versed in energy-saving practices that involve energy automation systems, installing LED lighting, and offering energy storage products.

Bethesda Systems Upgrades Children’s Inn at NIH

The Children’s Inn at NIH has an all-purpose room for their residents, where the children can watch movies and hang out. In addition, this room serves as a conference room for board meetings. Earlier this summer, the Inn reached out to us seeking a much-needed renovation of this room.

Reaching Out

Bethesda Systems was happy to help. We provided an all-in-one solution, featuring a new projector and a new server for the room. In addition, we transformed each child’s room into smart media room, where they are now able to stream movies, and use the internet right from their own televisions. With several donations set up by Bethesda Systems, the Children’s Inn paid less than half of what the initial renovation costs were.

Andy Cabrera, Bethesda Systems: “The room looked like a school cafeteria before. It was plain, and not livable. When we took on the project, we wanted to create a warmer atmosphere where these kids can really relax on a Friday night.”

Donations

We were able to partner up with Runco, a home theater projector manufacturer, and Kaleidescape, another business focused on home entertainment, to provide the Children’s Inn with free new products. Runco donated an LS 7 projector, and Kaleidescape donated a Cinema One movie server.

With the Cinema One movie server, the Children’s Inn was able to upload and store over 25 DVDs for children to watch on the theater system, or in their own rooms. Also featured in the all-purpose room is Apple TV.

In addition, Cuddlebag also donated four of their products to the Children’s Inn too!

Smart Media Rooms

In each room, we incorporated the Google TV interface using Verizon FiOS. Samsung flat panels were installed as well, on an evo wall system.