Integra DHC-60.5 7.2-Channel A/V Preamp Reviewed

Integra DHC-60.5 7.2-Channel A/V Preamp Reviewed

If you have your own AV receiver or multichannel processor at home, you don’t need me to tell you how much a good surround sound system can enhance and enrich the movie-watching experience. You probably also don’t need me to tell you that controlling these beasts isn’t always entirely intuitive. Before I added smart control to my home, my poor wife could barely figure out how to play a DVD without my help, due to the pile of remote controls required to power things up and switch inputs. Of course, control systems like Control4, URC Total Control, and Savant make that sort of remote control juggling a thing of the past. But still, getting your surround system and your control system to play nicely together isn’t always the easiest of tasks. So most of the time, home technology specialists have to resort to tricks like placing a little IR transmitter on the face of the gear itself. But every time my dad’s house cleaner visits, I’m reminded of the fact that those little IR transmitters are way too easy to knock loose. And when they’re not positioned perfectly, the system stops working. I can’t tell you how many 8pm calls I’ve received from my old man that begin not with a, “hello,” or, “how are you?” but rather an exasperated, “My sound isn’t working!” One of the many things I love about Integra’s new DHC-60.5 7.2-Channel A/V Preamp is that it puts an end to that sort of thing. The DHC-60.5—which I just reviewed for Home Theater Review—is, without question, one of the easiest devices I’ve ever integrated into my Control4 system,...
Control4 Makes Monitoring Your Home Easier Than Ever with New Security Camera Integration Capabilities

Control4 Makes Monitoring Your Home Easier Than Ever with New Security Camera Integration Capabilities

I can tell you two things about security camera integration with Control4 from personal experience. Thing the first: it’s absolutely indispensible. I’m a work-at-home dad to a rescued pibble, and it’s a toss-up as to which of us gets worse separation anxiety when I’m away from home. Having my security cameras tied into my Control4 system eases that anxiety (for me, at least) by letting me check on him frequently. And also, you know, to make sure the house isn’t burning down. Thing the second: getting my security camera integrated with my Control4 system wasn’t the easiest of tasks. It required third-party drivers and a good bit of network tinkering. And even though it’s awesome that I can whip out my Control4 MyHome app and check on Bruno at the press of a button (and maybe turn on his bedside lamp if it’s getting dark), I don’t have access to most of the camera’s capabilities via the Control4 interface. I can look at the image streaming from the camera, and that’s about it. Mind you, that’s a pretty bit “it,” but still. I’m greedy. I want more control capabilities. So I’m pretty jazzed to hear that Control4 is feeding my greed with a new announcement made today at the Integrated Systems Europe tradeshow in Amsterdam. The company has released a newly published camera proxy API that allows surveillance camera manufacturers like Channel Vision, Lilin, Planet, QNAP, and Snap AV to develop Control4-certified SDDP drivers for their products. And I know I probably just threw a couple of strange acronyms at some of you, so let’s talk about what that means. It means that five...