The Invisible, Yet Most Indispensable Component in Your System

Today’s A/V and home control systems are far more complex than they were even five years ago. One of the biggest shifts has been the integration of almost every major component with the Internet. We live in a world of constant communication with our computers, phones and tablets. Even our A/V devices need to communicate with manufacturers for firmware updates. Get wired and wireless For all this communication to happen, it requires a home network and most homes will need a combination of wired and wireless communication. Systems integrators still believe the most reliable connection is wired and will advise their clients to keep major systems such as whole-home A/V, climate control and security on the wired network. However, for various devices to interface or share content and information in the Cloud, a wireless connection is equally necessary. It’s really not an either/or situation, you need both and they should be as robust and stable as possible. Small but powerful… The one device that is now the most indispensable component is small, and probably rests in a closet or equipment rack somewhere. You don’t see it or really think about it on a daily basis but without it you’d be stranded, figuratively speaking. The router has become the most critical component in our homes, capable of allowing us to connect to other computers, smartphones, tablets, our A/V gear and the Internet. At first, routers were only wired and allowed us internet access. Then we were able to download firmware to devices like A/V receivers and Blu-ray players. Now, we need them so that all our various devices can communicate...

Using Home Technology to Save Money on Utility Bills

It might sound counterintuitive to think of technology as something that can save money on your utility costs. Technology is certainly wonderful and there are many ways to integrate it into your home for convenience and entertainment, however, it takes power to use utilities such as lighting, air conditioning, heat and more. The key to conserving energy no matter how many sub-systems you have is a home automation system. Automation not only makes life easier, it can actually save money on the myriad of costs associated with owning a home. Automation systems can cut utility costs in several ways such as timing when lights come on and off. You can trigger specific functions with a single button press on a control device or when something specific happens, such as a door opening. For instance, when the garage door closes, lights in the house automatically turn off. Automating all your sub-systems to ensure they are only on when being used will significantly cut your utility costs, far more than you might realize. Following are the most common systems to automate; however, if it’s electrical it can be integrated. Lighting Turn lights on and off at specific times of the day, such as sunrise and sunset. You can also have multiple timed events. For instance, your outside lights can go on and off around the movements of the sun, while your inside lights are programmed individually for different times of the day, even in specific parts of the house. Just program them to fit your habits, preventing lights from burning electricity all day and night. The installation of motion sensors detects...