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Articles tagged with: Control4

There’s no place like a smart home for the holidays!

Make the most of your home during the upcoming holiday season

There’s no place like a smart home for the holidays!

With the cold weather setting in and the holidays quickly approaching, we’re all spending more time indoors.  Rapidly approaching are Thanksgiving and Christmas and with these holidays are many hours within our homes doing what we all love – sharing time with our friends and families.  With smart home options from Control4, your home can truly come alive during the holiday season and make entertaining even easier


 

Connected homes vs. smart homes. What are the differences?

Connected homes vs. smart homes.  What are the differences?

An emerging trend in our industry is the idea of connecting all the devices in your home to an app. It affords you the ability to control it with a touch or a swipe on your smart phone and, in many cases, allows you to automate certain functions. Having the ability to control many components within your home with the touch of a button is extremely convenient, so what are your options?

Connected Home Device

Most people love the idea of being able to look at an app and control their thermostat, open their garage door or see who’s at the door. These individual connected items and their respective apps comprise what is commonly referred to as a “connected home”. Connected homes typically have two or more connected devices that are controlled within their own apps.

What a connected home does well, a smart home does even better. Instead of having a multitude of individual apps controlling a variety of different devices, it’s all pulled into one app and controlled in conjunction with other devices. A perfect example of a smart home system is Control4. To give a small idea of what a smart home system can do, within the Control4 app, you’re able to turn on your TV, dim your lights, open your garage door, and check your cameras. No need to hop back and forth between apps, log into each one independently and await responses.

Another added benefit of a smart home system like Control4 is that it’s able to fully automate a series of functions. A common sample of automation that we program into our client’s system are the ability to have lights turn on, temperatures set, TV/audio to tune correctly to the client’s favorite station and shades draw all automatically when it detects the garage door or smart door lock opening. Traditionally, we also set up a specific button on an in-wall keypad to be programmed with a “Good Bye” function, where it turns off all lights, TVs, audio, draws the shades and sets the thermostat to an unoccupied temperature range. The possibilities are quite simply limitless.

One main thing to consider when deciding between a connected and smart home solution is hardware homogenization. Connected home devices will typically work with each other if they exist under the same “brand umbrella”. For example, the Nest app will control a Nest thermostat and a Nest cam, but will not control a Samsung TV or a DirecTV box. A smart home system like Control4 will have the ability to control them all together. In this example, the smart home solution won’t force you to be married to one specific brand of hardware. If you like your Nest thermostat, Kwikset smart door lock, Lutron fan speed controller and Lift Master garage door opener, a smart home system can make them all work together in one app.

With the “internet of things”, more and more devices are becoming connected. With each new device, a new app and a separate login comes with it. Connected devices certainly do make things easier to control; however, there is a point of critical mass. If you’re in a situation where you’re only working with a few connected apps, it’s entirely manageable. In many homes, the number of apps is in the dozens. A smart home solution makes the process of controlling your connected devices simple, it reduces the number of apps that you must work within, and it marries them together enabling you to fully automate functions with or without your intervention.

The second main variable when deciding between a connected home and a smart home solution is price. Since connected home solutions are based off of individual devices, the cost of entry is lower than the cost of a smart home solution. Once you add together 2-3 connected home devices, you’re typically at the entry point of a smart home system. The cost to get started on either platform is very reasonable. The main thing to consider is what solution works best for you and your home?

At Infinite Home Theater, we can provide to you, and install a wide variety of connected devices and, if you so choose, place them under the umbrella of a smart home system. Our goal is to make your time at home as simple and personalized to you and your needs as possible. Our team is well versed in system design, implementation, programming and support of these systems to make them work invisibly in your home. Give us a call today to set up a complementary onsite to discuss how a connected or smart home can make your home-time even more enjoyable!

October’s special:  Free Amazon Echo Dot with purchase of connected home or smart home package.  Call for details!

The latest and greatest - What we saw at CEDIA!

The latest and greatest - What we saw at CEDIA!

Last week we took our annual trip to our industry’s trade show put on by the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA).  The CEDIA expo is a wonderful trade show that exhibits current and upcoming technology specific to the audio/video industry, provides ongoing education for owners, salespeople and installers, and is a fantastic platform for people in our industry to network and get to know each other.  Needless to say, it was a very productive week for us.

There were a number of products that caught our eye when perusing the over 50,000 square foot showroom floor.  From televisions to speakers, from projection screens to window shades, from satellite TV providers to voice-activated devices - each piqued our interest in its own unique way.  Below is a small preview of some of the most interesting products that we experienced.

In the arena of speakers, we were excited to see that Origin Acoustics is maintaining its reputation of producing incredibly innovative products, providing exceptional value and producing a truly luxury-class speaker.  Their first foray into in-room subwoofers was a home run.  The subwoofers that are replacing them are even better. Not only do the speakers have incredible specifications, but they look extremely handsome with a number of looks including an optional grey burlap fabric. In the near future, keep an eye out for Origin’s new Valet amp that utilizes a series of in-room Amazon Echo Dots that are hidden behind a traditional speaker grille. This will offer customers the ability to control audio in multiple rooms of the house by using simple voice commands.

Not to be outdone, Monitor Audio revealed a new version of their “Silver” level of in-room speakers.  We had the chance to demo these speakers in a theater environment and as always, we were extremely impressed with the clarity of sound.  Monitor is also known for having truly beautiful finishes on their in-room speakers and the new Silvers are no exception.  The set we saw were done in an incredibly deep satin white gloss.

In the world of television, we were not disappointed.  Sony, Samsung and LG all had their most cutting edge 4k HDR displays up for viewing.  Of note, the LG signature-series television at only 2.57 millimeters thick and the Samsung Frame TV that looks like a piece of art when not in use as a traditional television.  They were both very impressive to see in-person

The last bit of technology that caught our eye was Josh.ai.  Josh.ai is an in-room voice-enabled device, similar to Amazon Echo, but much more powerful as it is a truly artificial intelligence system.  We saw a demo of the device in-action and when given the command, “Josh, play the latest episode of Breaking Bad”; the lights dimmed, the shades drew closed, the television turned on, the Netflix app started and navigated to the Breaking Bad television show and automatically playing the last episode.  This was an incredible moment for us because it was a snapshot of the future of A/V - a harmonious integration of the user and their technology.

We’ve only scratched the very surface of what we saw at the tradeshow; however, these are the products that really caught our eye. We’ve consistently found CEDIA to be an extremely valuable and educational experience for those of us in this company.  CEDIA helps expose us to the enormous variety of product that exists in our industry today.  By going to this annual tradeshow, we’re able to intelligently offer you the most up-to-date solutions and products that align with your lifestyle.  It also helps us prepare for the future and offer products that will stand the test of time.  CEDIA also provides us with a unique view of the future of our industry and we’re excited for what it has in store!

September’s special:  10% off all new speaker purchases