The Home Network

The Home Network

The Backbone for the Smart Home Bandwidth With the increase in consumers ‘cutting the cord’ and transitioning their audio and video sources to streaming, the network has evolved into the most important aspect of the home technology equation.  Video streaming eats up the most bandwidth. The first determination should be the speed you need from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to support your streaming needs.  To support two simultaneous video streams, a speed of 10mbps would be needed.  Once you make the leap to 4K streaming, a suggested speed of 25mbps would be the minimum. Add in the additional tablets and mobile devices using the bandwidth for the rest of your family and you can see how quickly a family of four could start using the available bandwidth. SEE ALSO: SMART HOME AUTOMATION: A BEGINNER’S FAQ Hardware The network equipment supplied by your ISP is generally not good enough to support your network from a speed perspective as well as from a security standpoint.  Utilizing better equipment from a CI firm will allow your hardware to support the higher speeds and throughput of your network. If you had an increased internet plan of 50 to 100mbps, the consumer-grade routers supplied by your ISP can’t support the speeds.  When considering your needs for online gaming, low latency, the time it takes your computer to talk to the game server, is more important than bandwidth.  The majority of your bandwidth for online gaming is used to download the game. Security With the increase of security cameras and home automation, the network is also critical from the operation of the system of smart...
Smart Home Automation: A Beginner’s FAQ

Smart Home Automation: A Beginner’s FAQ

Everything You Need to Know About Automated Technology   When you hear the phrase “smart home automation,” what do you think? Do you envision robots in your home? We aren’t quite there yet when it comes to home technology – but you can have a futuristic smart home right here in the present day! Investing in smart home automation in your Marion County, IN living space is a great decision.  You’ll be bringing luxury and convenience to your everyday life, and creating the ideal home environment for you and your family. But where do you begin in all this? Not to worry – we answer the top questions every new smart homeowner has when starting this journey. Keep on reading to learn more about home automation and how it can benefit you.   SEE ALSO: 3 IDEAS FOR CREATING SMART HOME SCENES   Question #1: What Is Smart Home Automation? When a system or device is called “smart,” it means it is connected to the internet or – the “Internet of Things.” The different parts of the system communicate with one other online; reacting, responding and telling each other what to do. They work to make whatever it is you’ve programmed them to do, happen. And then you can continue to include as many technologies into the system as you want! Audio-video components, motorized shades, surveillance cameras, motion sensors, and thermostats are all examples of smart home automation features. The term “automation” means that every component works without you needing to tell it to every time. You won’t even need to move from where you’re sitting or standing. These...
How to Choose the Best Home Automation System

How to Choose the Best Home Automation System

Today’s Home Automation Systems Fit A Range of Needs and Budgets A properly installed home system blends in seamlessly. Home automation is the next frontier for many homeowners. A few years ago, most of the systems on the market were difficult to use, expensive and designed mainly for very large homes. But today’s systems are much easier to operate, cost effective and can be designed to control a home entertainment system or the electronic components of an entire home. Through a smartphone, you can remotely control your home from anywhere and decrease home energy costs while doing so. Flexibility The main feature you’ll want in a home automation system is flexibility. Higher-end systems are designed to work seamlessly with most of the major electronics you own – home theater, surveillance cameras, security, climate control systems, appliances and more – and are constantly updated to work with new components. Robust automation systems, from companies such as Savant, produce apps with elegant interfaces that can be accessed over a smartphone or tablet. Home automation solutions from Lutron, for example, work well with security systems from a variety of manufacturers to tightly integrate automation features with systems you might already own.   Control Homeowners install automation systems for a variety of reasons, but most of them are based on convenience and cost savings. Homeowners can save money by adjusting the temperature of their homes, remotely control lights, activate home security, and other uses. It pays to install a high-end system. Those on the low end tend to cut corners by leaving out the more granular control needed to optimize the most important...
Control4 Announces New Wireless Lighting Control Family

Control4 Announces New Wireless Lighting Control Family

Control4 announced a new family of wireless lighting control products for seamless integration with Control4® systems. With a fresh, sophisticated design, expansive customization options, and a myriad of innovative capabilities, this next-generation of wireless lighting control products caters to the growing number of residential and commercial projects. According to a report from Pike Research, the global market for intelligent lighting controls will enjoy steady growth through this decade, rising from $1.5 billion in 2012 to more than $4.3 billion in 2020. Control4® Wireless Lighting control products provide a broad range of elegant and energy saving lighting solutions within this robustly growing market. From new adaptive phase dimmers and combination keypad/dimmers, to 0-10V dimmers for LED applications and  configurable keypads for control, the Control4 Wireless Lighting family delivers its functional innovation with elegant design including, a diverse palette of color and finish options, custom backlit engraved buttons, and programmable status LEDs supporting customizable color hues for at-a-glance feedback. Additionally, each new switch, dimmer, and keypad includes an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness of status LEDs and button backlighting. “Lighting control, when integrated with automation, is quickly becoming an essential smart home application,” said Martin Plaehn, CEO Control4. “Intelligent lighting enhances the aesthetics of the entire home, helps manage energy consumption, and with Control4 technology can integrate with security, Audio/Video and climate-control systems, as well as with window shades and other devices to create truly personalized experiences for homeowners.” With a Control4 system, creating and automating personalized lighting with virtually any mix of lighting load types is very simple; controlling them from the Control4 MyHome® app on a...
Streaming Music Throughout the Home from Any Smartphone or Tablet with the New Control4® Wireless Music Bridge

Streaming Music Throughout the Home from Any Smartphone or Tablet with the New Control4® Wireless Music Bridge

Whole-home music streaming just got easier than ever thanks to the new Control4® Wireless Music Bridge. The home automationleader has launched a new product enables you, your family and guests to instantly and wirelessly connect smartphones, tablets or computers — and all the music stored on those devices — to a Control4 system, allowing everyone in the house to enjoy their personal music collection through the home’s audio system. With the Control4 Wireless Music Bridge, if you can listen to it from your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can listen to it in any audio zone in your home. In addition to stored music libraries, the new Control4 Wireless Music Bridge also provides a convenient path for Control4 customers to connect to streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify, or Rdio from their personal smart devices– all while preserving full phone and smart device browsing and app capabilities. “I listen to Spotify so much these days that I’ve seriously been considering replacing my home theater receiver with a newer model with the streaming service built in,” said Joe Hageman, a longtime Control4 customer. “Thanks to the Control4 Wireless Music Bridge, I don’t have to. Any new streaming audio service that’s available on my smart phone or tablet is also instantly available via any sound system in or around the house.” Just walk in the door, pull out your phone or tablet, and fire up your favorite playlist via AirPlay, and enjoy your favorite music — not on a little portable wireless speaker system, but on the best speakers in the house. Combining Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity technologies into...