home automation sydney

smart home sydneyThis Home Theatre Controller truly is a revolutionary product in that it does bring the cost of starting such a system into the reach of a much broader audience. And they haven't skimped on the clever stuff either, this is an intelligent controller make no mistake.

Features include built-in Ethernet networking so that it can talk to other components within the automation network – such as rather snazzy colour touch screen control keypads, light dimmers, curtain closers and so on. Because the system is built to be modular, you can incrementally upgrade it rather than have to go the whole hog at once.

What you get for your money is that rare combination of power and usability. Want to listen to a track from your iPod, simply select the album cover art from the colour touch screen control panel, want different music playing in each room, no problem, want the same music playing at different volumes in different rooms, again no problem. The same simplicity applies to watching movies, the remote control handset isn't just another universal remote, this one features a proper two way Radio Frequency system so there's none of that "line of sight" operation you have with infrared kit.

A Home Theatre system consists of a receiver amplifier, the unit driving your system, a DVD player to play your movies and a CD player, although some people will prefer to use their DVD player as a music CD player.

For the price of a midlevel Philips Pronto, Control4's ($1,400) Home Theater Controller offers extensive control of your home theater system. Control4's included two-way RF system remote control uses video sense inputs, an RS-232 connection, multiple IR outputs, and more. But, unlike a typical universal/programmable/macros remote control, the Home Theater Controller incorporates an Ethernet connection and wireless ZigBee connectivity, providing multizone audio and wholehouse automation upgradeability.

At a bit more than twice the price of the Home Theater Controller, Control4's Media Controller ($3,500) starts with all the features of the basic unit and then piles on oodles more. For starters, it offers many more control capabilities, thanks to additional RS-232, relay, and contact connections, plus built-in Wi-Fi (802.11g) connectivity. Hidden inside the black box (with its large front-panel LCD ), however, is a full-blown, three-zone digital music server with disc recognition of music on the internal 80-gigabyte hard drive (via an online database). It also provides automatic title recognition of CDs and DVD movies loaded in RS-232-equipped disc changers.

Think about that for a moment: For less than the price of most single-purpose digital music servers on the market, Control4's media controller is a three-zone-capable music server plus a home theater control system and the beginnings of a wholehouse control system. While $3,500 certainly isn't pocket change, it is one heck of a value for the money.

Taking Control of the Controller
Any control system—even one as simple as a basic universal remote control —requires at least some amount of programming. Control4's goal is to hit the exquisite but elusive sweet spot that balances cost and capabilities.

The PC software required for the initial setup isn't available to the end user. The consumer-oriented ComposerME software allows for tweaks and small changes to the way the system operates (including different menu layout skins), but major amendments require the assistance of the installer. You can do most of the modifications online, though, so an in-person service call might not be necessary.

Control4's recently announced 4sight service, when used in conjunction with a security system, allows homeowners to remotely monitor their home using a PC—allowing you to keep tabs on all Control4 devices, lights, temperature controls, and so on. They can also install other optional devices such as a water sensor. The system can even send you e-mail notification of changes in the house (like open doors and windows).

Personalisation rather than customization minimizes programming time and costs. Control4's onscreen menus use a predefined common layout with easy-to-identify icon buttons. The user-interface graphics are the same whether you view them on your television , the 10.5-inch Wireless Touch Screen, or one of the 4-inch Ethernet Mini Touch Screens. While it's definitely not as much an ego stroke as a menu screen designed specifically for you, it's absolutely fine for the 90 percent of the population who can't afford one of the high-end control systems.

You wil be overwhelmed by the exhilarating yet strangely calming feeling that this is the way things ought to be.

Home Cinema is now becoming standard for modern homes, with many people deciding to purchase quality home cinema equipment so they have the "cinema" experience in their own home. Beconnected can adapt and streamline your existing equipment, or provide or supplement and install equipment to suit your changing needs.