DIY projects can be rewarding, but smart home technology installation is not for the average handyman. You wouldn’t guess it from the products you see advertised every day at Home Depot and even Ikea, but it’s true. It was hard enough to put together that Kallax with those wordless instructions — how do you think it’s going to go with their smart home system? Will it be made of particle board?
DIY for smart homes comes with two major problems: the task is difficult, and mixing and matching components can be asking for trouble.
Smart vs. Average
If you buy a smart home in a box, you get all the sophisticated technology available for $199, and setting it up is as simple as plugging it into your router and downloading apps. Like a bed in a bag, it’s the Hyundai of smart home technology. If you’re looking more for a Buick or even a Jaguar, you will want hard wiring and more advanced technology. Homeowners have had the ability to turn lights and TVs on and off via remote control for years, so the beauty of smart home technology lies deeper than that. For instance, streaming music into different rooms is a popular feature, and without speakers, this is an impossibility. Without good speakers, it’s merely undesirable.
Some homeowners want to jump into smart home technology with both feet, but more want to just dip a big toe in first to test the waters. They may want to automate just a few features, like lights and door locks, and see how they like that before adding on anything else. That’s why it’s good to start with a system like Savant, so you can expand to automate other functions in your home as you become more comfortable with the ones you have.
Trust the Leaders
Going with an established, professional-grade, platform like Savant is also handy because you can get everything you need in one place, and there’s no need for shopping around comparing functions and prices. Remember when you had four or more remote controls on every coffee and end table? You want to avoid that kind of setup in the future.
And time is on your side when you stay with the same company, because if you wait to get a particular feature, you may end up with an updated version of it, and you won’t have to worry about whether it’s compatible with what you already have. And if you ever need support or help of any kind, you’ll have more than an 800 number on the back of a cardboard box to turn to.
Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes transforms regular homes into smart homes all over Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. Don’t risk a DIY installation with your smart home technology — trust the professionals at Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes to do the job for you.
What is Video Distribution? In your typical home, you have a TV with a handful of video components plugged into it. You probably have a Blu-ray player, a Direct TV receiver, maybe an Apple TV and a game console. Hopefully you’ve got some kind of media cabinet to store all these items in, but there’s a good chance they’re all sitting out in plain site, and all the cables are out and attractive looking on the walls.
With Video Distribution, you centralize all the Video components; usually in some kind of media rack or closet. From there, you distribute the different Video content out to the different TV’s in the home. So instead of having all your components under each TV, and cables dangling everywhere, you conceal all the components out of site. The TV sits flush and clean on the wall, and there are no visible cables. An added convenience, is that you don’t need a Blu-ray player, or Apple TV for every TV anymore. You can feed all the TV’s in the home with the same Blu-ray.
In most instances, we run Cat5e, and preferably 2 Cat5e from the media rack out to every TV in the home. There’s a piece of hardware called a HDMI Matrix, or Video Matrix. It’s a fancy name for a switch. It’s kind of like a router for your internet, but it’s for the video components. It has a number of video inputs, and a number of video outputs. So lets say we have a 4×4 Video Matrix. That means you can pug in 4 Video Sources, and out put them to 4 TV’s or displays, including a projector. There’s a very small device that sticks to the back of the TV called a balun. These baluns convert the Cat5e coming from the Video Matrix, into HDMI. So you’re able to send HD content from the Video Matrix over Cat5e to every TV in the home.
A couple of tips on Video distribution. Most people want to have at least 2 satellite/cable receivers, and at least 2 Blu-ray players. If the kids want to watch the Disney channel, and you want to watch the news, you’re going to want two different receivers. The same is true for you Blu-ray players. Next, most people find they want 6-8 video sources. You can save money by buying a 4×4 matrix, but in our experience customers are always disappointed they can’t have 6 video sources. Pay the extra, and get a minimum 6 sources. You’ll use 2 receivers, 2 Blu-rays, and Apple TV or Roku, and a DVR for your surveillance system. Lastly, buy the Video Matrix that supports the number of TV’s you think you might use someday. If you’re only going to use 4 TV’s initially, but know you’ll have 8 TV’s down the road, then buy the 8×8 Video Matrix. It’s cheaper than upgrading later.The Video Matrix, allows you to select the TV you want to watch, and the Video source you want played to that TV. It does the rest of the switching and sourcing to give you the desired content. Now, if you have a Video Matrix, you have to have some kind of Controller like Savant’s Smart Host or Pro Host. This allows you to use a remote, or a smart phone to control the Matrix.
Savant Smart Host
New Savant Smart Host is 40% Faster, Includes Embedded Control, and Makes Owning a Savant Home More Affordable Than Ever; Also Announces Breakthrough Notification Features on its Award-Winning App
Hyannis, Mass. – April 1, 2015 – Savant®, a leader in premium smart home technology, today announced the all-new Savant Smart Host, an update to their best-selling product that enables control over a home’s lighting, climate, entertainment, and security from a single app.
The new Savant Smart Host combines the functionality of a host and controller in a single unit, and can help automate a wide range of devices in up to twelve rooms. With incredible performance and a beautifully compact form factor, installation is simple—and its US MSRP of just $999 is the most affordable entry point yet to a Savant system.
“The all-new Savant Smart Host allows our Authorized Integrators to offer Savant’s best-in-class premium automation software at an incredible value,” said Savant CEO, William Lynch. “It makes installations faster, easier, and more affordable than ever—and starting this May it’s going to be powering the next generation of Savant Homes.”
Savant also announced the reinvented Metropolitan wireless lighting line, consisting of switches, dimmers, fan controllers, and keypads offering both dimming and volume control. Its elegant design is compatible with industry-standard faceplates and features a modern look perfectly suited for discriminating designers and homeowners. Metropolitan’s adaptive design also enables the products to work automatically with almost any lighting set-up, which leads to a smoother installation experience.
Additionally, Savant announced new software features to its award-winning Savant App. Using powerful but easy-to-use new functionality, homeowners can now create their own system notifications—and get alerts on their IOS and Android devices while at home or away. “Our goal is to continue to develop ways that Savant homeowners can personalize our App to fit their needs, while arming our Integrators with the best automation system in the world to sell,” said Lynch.
The new products are now available for pre-order through Savant’s network of Authorized Integrators, and will begin shipping in May 2015. The Savant App is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
savant smart host
Consumers Are Eager For The INTERNET OF THINGS
Cost savings, safety and security cited as primary drivers behind smart home adoption
HYANNIS, MASS. — October 28, 2014 — Savant®, the leading luxury smart home technology company, today released new survey results revealing that more than half of consumers in the United States believe that home automation will be an everyday feature in less than 10 years from now, and nearly one-fourth saying that the technology will be an everyday feature in less than five years.
The survey further reveals that control/ease of use (69 percent) and convenience (58 percent) are the most important features for consumers when purchasing a new technology. Cost savings (41 percent) and safety and security (35 percent) were cited as the two primary considerations among consumers for the adoption of smart home automation systems.
“Consumers have spoken and want convenience and ease of use from their smart home technology said William J. Lynch, CEO, Savant. “For almost 10 years now, people with Savant Homes have seen how much easier automation makes their lives, and we are committed to bringing this experience to more and more homeowners.”
Other important survey findings include:
- When considering the purchase of a new technology, consumers ranked the following attributes asvery important:
- Ease of use (37 percent).
- Convenience (38 percent).
- Seamless integration (28 percent).
- Low environmental impact (24 percent).
- Personalization (32 percent).
- Nearly half (47 percent) of consumers rate personalization as extremely/very important when purchasing new technology.
- Women (49 percent) are more likely than men (34 percent) to find low environmental impact as extremely/very important when making a technology purchase.
- Consumers 50 or older (77 percent) are more likely than all other age groups (62 percent) to find simple control/easy to use as extremely/very important when purchasing new technology.
- Consumers between the ages of 35-49, along with those aged 65 or older, are more likely than younger consumers (18-24) to rank “cost savings” as their top consideration when purchasing new technology.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
In an attempt to gauge the appetite for the adoption of home automation, this survey was conducted on a sample of 1,000 consumers among the general U.S. population, a sample distribution representative of the total U.S. population. The survey was fielded from August 15-17, 2014 online using The Knowledge Panel from GfK Custom Research. Participants answered questions based upon their current level of knowledge and perception of home automation today.