Archive for Home Automation

iPadPerhaps not a single product since the iPhone has caused so much buzz in the world of electronics until the iPad, released earlier this year by Apple.  Wherever we go with it, the reaction is the same, because it’s still so young:  You have an iPad?

The iPad  a touch-screen tablet about half the size of a piece of paper  is the lowest priced and best touch screen that has ever been released. You can read on it, write on it, browse the Web on it and more.  Most anything you can do on a laptop you can do from the convenience of the ultra-light iPad.

Prior to its launch, though, most of the touch screens that we have used and recommended (for controlling entertainment, HVAC, security or lighting systems) have run a minimum of $1,500.

The iPad, however, starts at $500.

One of applications you can download for the iPad is My Home developed by Control UI for use with Control4, a great technology that allows you to control all of the electronics and systems in your home through one simple device (provided that your electronics and lighting, security and other home systems have been installed properly).

The app is free, though you’ll need the license for the service and all your electronics integrated with the Control4 network.  It is the best on the market today in terms of all-in-one universal remotes.

Check out this demo video of the Control4 iPad app on YouTube:

And if you’re big into the environment, the Control4 app is listed as one of the five greenest apps, per the Earth2Tech blog.  That’s because it helps automate lights and ensures energy is being saved where needed.

Integrating Control4 technology into your home will require a professional installer, like Sound + Image Design.  We’re CEDIA certified installers.

For more information about how you can install Control4 home automation technology in your Richmond area home, simply call the Sound and Image showroom at 804.741.5816.  We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions about integrating your iPad and Control4 into a complete home automation system.

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TV Remote Controls

Is this what you have in your family room?

How many remote controls do you have on your coffee table right now?  Most homes have at least three, some as many as five or six.  Consolidating them into one can ease headaches, but when it comes to a universal remote, you get what you pay for.

If you spend $100 or $200, you’ll get one of the more inexpensive universal remotes on the market.  You’ll end up programming it yourself, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself with the same headache you had before, only directed at a single, convoluted piece of equipment.

The difficulty of these remotes is that they’re made by companies that don’t have a concept of what makes a good user interface. Additionally, how all the components work together isn’t a priority either.  And, unfortunately, one of their primary objectives is to engineer the remote with the bare minimum features and make it as inexpensively as possible.

Enter Control4.

Control4 Home Theater On Screen

Control4's Home Theater Simple Remote Control

Control4 is a control system that allows you to have one controller for all the electronics in your home, from your TV to your stereo to your game systems to your heating and air conditioning to your indoor and outdoor lighting, security system, garage door, cameras.

You can control everything from an easy-to-use remote or a touch screen that sits on your coffee table (or lap).

You’ll need to have the Control4 system professionally installed in your home, but it’ll be less of a headache than trying to program a universal remote on your own, only to have it come up short.  They always do.

If you’re interested in installing Control4 technology in your Richmond area home, give us a call at 804.741.5816.  We’ll help simplify your remotes, and your life.  And that’s pretty awesome.

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You may have already seen consumer products with designated as ZigBee Smart Energy Certified Products. According to ZigBee, “these products represent solutions across the entire efficiency ecosystem energy services portals, meters, displays, thermostats and load controllers. Each product may wear the ZigBee Certified logo and the green ZigBee Smart Energy icon so that they may be easily identified in the marketplace.”

What may be more relevant to consumers are the products designated as ZigBee Home Automation Certified Products.Per Zigbee’s website, “Only ZigBee offers an established, competitive marketplace providing the core technology for simplifying common household tasks. ZigBee Home Automation is the affordable and easy way to control and monitor energy use, while adding safety, security. With ZigBee Home Automation products, your home will be more convenient and smart.”

Products such as the Control4 Home Controller HC-300, often used as the central building block for a smart home, making it easier to add intelligent control to a home at an affordable price. An HC-300 replaces on average more than four traditional remote controls and delivers easy navigation and use through a single universal Control4 system remote.

Sound and Image Design is uniquely qualified to assist you with all your home automation needs. Just call ourRichmond areashowroom at 804.741.5816. Home theater and home automation made simple.

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