Control4 home automation has been around for about six years. We have been installing them for four. My field supervisor has been installing them since the beginning. There has been a lot of discussion that Control4 is inferior, especially among the “giants”, AMX and Crestron. They say it is unreliable. They say sometimes it just doesn’t work. And admittedly early on, I was one of those people. And in their first year or so, those comments may have had some truth to them. Every company has growing pains when they first launch. When my field supervisor joined us, he suggested that we carry their line. I repeatedly told him that I wasn’t convinced. One day we had a request for a project that just seemed perfect for the job, so we decided to give it a try with the understanding that he would have to lose his head, if it went awry. Well, I am pleased to say it went well. It went extremely well. At that time four years ago, there were still a few minor things that I didn’t like (5 to be exact), but it was solid. It did work, and it is reliable. Within 6 months they had another major software release which fixed four of them. I honestly can’t remember what the 5th one was at this time, but it must not have been that important. For us, the bottom line is that Control4 has delivered and continues to do so. They get better with each release. They offer an affordable control system that most people can afford.
One of the things we love about Control4 is that it is easy and affordable to start. Maybe you don’t want all your lights and your heat and your security system on the system right now. But you would like to get rid of the six remotes on your coffee table. Enter Control4. We used to install a lot of RTI remotes. RTI is relatively easy to program, and they offer a large number of interfaces from the most basic remotes to remotes with touch screens to full size touch screens, much like the iPad is now. However, we found Control4 configured in the the same way would cost only slightly more, but it has much more capability. You have an LCD screen on the remote. You can easily add those additional systems such as lights, HVAC, security, cameras, door locks, music and video management. The list keeps growing every day.
Not only do you have well-made, comfortable in your hand, and easy to use remote, but you also have an on-screen interface or display (OSD). This gives you all the function of (at the time) very expensive touch panels, yet it’s the size of your large flatscreen. Navigate any of your home’s services all from your television. Fantastic!
One of the most overlooked aspects of Control4 is their LED keypads. Each keypad has a programmable LED which can change colors based on just about anything. We always tell our clients that knowledge is power. Your home automation system can’t do everything for you. Sometimes it needs your input to make a decision. By programming the LED’s, you can gain that knowledge and decide how to act. Take these examples. It is late at night, and as you are going to bed, you notice that the one of the buttons on your nightstand keypad is red. You know immediately that means your front door is still unlocked. Another button glows orange. That lets you know that you left the garage door open. Immediately, you press each button individually, and you doors lock, and your garage door closes. You didn’t have to get up, and you don’t have to make sure because you know by the change in color, that the task was done.
With the release of Control4′s 2.0 software, media support has increased exponentially. Initially, only mp3 formats could be played. While this is still the most popular file type, it left many out in the cold especially if you were entrenched in Apples iTunes.
Now Control4 has added several popular formats such as mp4 (Apple) and FLAC. With the addition of one of our media systems you can expand that to all of your video formats, too. Play MP4 (Apple TV), Blu-Ray and DVD formats easily. Use your iPad interface for very fast selections of your favorite media. Control4 offers the best media interface overall of any integration system available.
Everything you see here is just the beginning of what you control. Additional systems and devices are added every day. Call us now to find out how Control4 home automation can simplify your life.]]>
The Audio/Video Specialists together with Nora Johnson and Wynn Interiors presents the ultimate 3D fantasy theater. Featuring Runco’s incredibly impressive D-73 3D LED projection system along with Stewart’s 5D 3D Cinema screen, you will never see finer reproduction of the 3D experience. It is actually better than your local movie theater for both picture and sound. You have to come to see it in order to believe it. The show lasts all weekend, and you can see times by visiting http://homeshowdenver.com.
The Audio/Video Specialists is controlling the entire booth for lighting, audio, and video. Evergreen Glass installed a television behind the vanity mirror, along with their percussion based puck speaker. Using the iPad located in the wall next to it, you can turn on and off the lights, change the music, or play a movie. The kitchen area has the same features with the television located in the backsplash.
Check out this press release for the Denver Home Show. We are proud to be working with the amazing folks at Brent’s Place to transplant this fantasy theater to their facility once the show is completed.]]>
Although traditionally I have considered myself a foreign car owner, I really can’t say that anymore as we have owned a Ford F-250 Van, Expedition, Mustang, Focus, and now the latest… and Explorer over the last few years. Beginning with the Expedition, I must admit that I loved the fact that the vehicle no longer needed a garage door opener. In fact, with three buttons we could easily program other automation functions from our Lutron lighting system. Ford has used Homelink for the last several years, and that system easily learns your existing garage remote. Lutron’s wireless remote, which replaces your garage door remote, also allows you to memorize various lighting scenes such as Home or Away. These scenes can do a myriad of operations such as turn on security lights outdoors, never return to a dark home by lighting exterior lights and internal pathways. Maybe you want to arm you security system or lock your doors. And since Homelink easily learns these programmable buttons, your Ford visor control can now open the garage door, activate home or away modes, or anything else you would like.
Enter 2012. Well, technically, Lear2U has been operating in models as early as 2007, but fortunately, or unfortunately, this is the first time we have run into one.
Buick Lucerne, Buick Rendevous, Cadillac CTS DTS, Escalade, SRX, STS, XLR, Chevrolet, Avalanche, Corvette, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe. Ford, Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, Flex, Focus, Fusion, Mustang GMC, Sierra, Yukon, Lincoln, MKS, MKT, MKZ, Navigator, Towncar, Mercury Mariner, Milan, Mountaineer, Mazda Tribute, or Saturn Aura]]>
One of the reasons I came to Colorado is that I love rustic. Cover my home in log beams and antler chandeliers, and I am in heaven. As a result, I have never been a big fan of glass. It is too modern and contemporary for my tastes. That completely changed when I was introduced to Evergreen Glass Inc, which has set completely new standards for Denver interior glass. Just follow that link to go their site and check them out yourself. But wait…
Their site is fine, but pictures simply cannot do their work justice. You have to see the incredible color. You have to feel the texture. You have to see it change colors before your very eyes as you move around them. I will never be able to look at glass the same way again.
And how about durability? That was one of my first questions. It’s glass. It will break. According to the owner, Ron, their glass countertops are stronger than stone. Glass is non-porous, so you don’t have to worry about stains or sealing it over time.
The applications that Evergreen Glass can provide is immense.
For the complete solution, you need the full team to pull your vision together. Denver interior design has a new face, The Rocky Mountain Design Collective. Follow that previous link to see how they can help you transform any space into something unique and incredible.
The Green Initiative is not just a fad anymore. With the green message coming from everyone from President Barack Obama to GM, we are truly reaching a new age. Is it possible that last year’s gasoline spike will finally compel us as Americans to truly re-evaulate our energy consumption. The US only has 7% of the world’s population, yet we consume 25% of the world’s resources. Although some of us may have a blatant disregard to conserve, most of us really just lack the education on what we can do to make a difference. What things are simply marketing hype, and what things actually make a difference? Do you know how much it costs you to run your air conditioner for one hour? Do you know how much your kitchen light costs you per hour? How much does dimming really save? If you can’t answer any of these questions, you are not alone. I couldn’t either… at least I couldn’t before we started installing the home command center. Get a snapshot of how much energy your home really consumes. What devices take the most energy? Find places to conserve. How many pounds of coal are used or gallons of CO2 emitted on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. The numbers may amaze you at first, but these numbers will become a powerful tool: knowledge. Only with real knowledge can we change habits and effect change.
Our intelligent control technology enables the homeowner to monitor and reduce energy consumption of smart home electronics, conserve resources, and save money— all without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Savant’s Smart Energy harnesses green technology and tailors your system to adjust usage based upon time of day, changing seasons, outside temperature, and any other triggering mechanisms to ensure that your smart home system’s energy usage is always at peak efficiency while quality of life and convenience are never compromised.
Green home automation is easy on energy:
Savant is proud to be a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and to manufacture smart home products that are RoHS compliant.
Never before has a hand-held smart remote been so innovative and versatile— so compact and easy-to-use.
From simple source control in any single room to complete two-way whole-home automation, the Savant Select seamlessly merges the familiar functionality of Apple’s® latest iPod touch® (featuring the new Retina Display) with easy-to-use push buttons, creating a sleek yet powerful home control interface.
Supporting Savant’s TrueControl iPod touch App and TrueCommand On-TV navigation, this powerful smart remote delivers the perfect balance of backlit pushbuttons and a 3.5-inch color touch screen.
Immediate and immersive home control system access, Smart Select allows you to control everything from intelligent lighting, home theater or media room,whole-house audio and media, security, and climate—any home appliance connected to a Savant Smart System.
Big changes are a’comin to Sony’s TV business, according to a recent article at Bloomberg.com. After eight straight years of losses, the company plans to “overhaul the business” to reduce costs and more effectively compete with the likes of Samsung and LG. Last week, Sony replaced its home-entertainment unit head, Yoshihisa Ishida, with the current president of the personal imaging group, Masashi Imamura–right around the time the company lowered its sales and profit estimates because of sluggish U.S. and European sales.
Exact details of the reorganization could be decided this month, says Tokyo-based spokeswoman Mami Imada. The plan may include partnerships and reorganization of procurement, product development, and sales operations. The company has already sold three factories in the past two years to help cut costs.
In related news, The Wall Street Journal reports that Hitachi may decide to end its TV-production operations and outsource the production of Hitachi-brand TVs to Taiwanese and other overseas manufacturers. According to the story, in the last fiscal year, overseas manufacturers already produced 70 percent of Hitachi TV models. The company currently has just one TV factory in Japan, which produces TVs only for the Japanese market, and Hitachi is trying to decide whether or not to discontinue production there, as well.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, beginning in mid-August, Fox will no longer offer free streamed episodes of hit shows like “Glee” and “Family Guy” the day after they air. Both on Fox.comand via Hulu, fans will have to wait eight days to view free episodes–unless they can prove that they are a cable/satellite subscriber or that they subscribe to the premium Hulu Plus service. “Paying” customers will be able to watch Fox shows the day after they air, just like before.
Dish Network is currently the only company that has made a deal with Fox to allow its subscribers to access the content; subscribers must verify that they receive the satellite service in order to view content at Fox.com, Hulu.com, or Dishonline.com. Negotiations are ongoing with other cable/satellite providers.
The WSJ also reports that Time-Warner is talking with other broadcast networks, like ABC, about taking a similar path.
Clearly, TV content providers and distributors are trying to figure out what to do about people who have decided to “cut the cord”–those who have cancelled their pay-TV service and instead opt to get their TV content via online streaming sources. Even though free streamed episodes usually have ads in them to help generate revenue, the loss of traditional viewers still affects Nielsen ratings and consequently ad rates…and it certainly doesn’t benefit the pay-TV providers, who also contribute revenue to the content producers.
Of course, part of the reason that Fox and other networks began to offer free content (again, with ads in place) was to discourage the illegal downloading and sharing of content. We’ll see how fans respond to this new approach: Will they wait eight days, re-subscribe to a pay-TV service, or just revert to their former file-sharing ways? Time will tell…