Entertainment and Automation
Smart and Sophisticated Cosmopolitan Living
It all started with a call, “We’re interested in automating functions in our home such as lighting, security, audio TV’s, etc. and we heard that you could assist us?” said the owners of this beautiful two-storey townhouse. The friendly owners, Claire and John, had been referred to us by an existing client whom they had visited and while there experienced integrated multi-room audio, video distribution and intuitive, user-friendly whole house control.
Following our initial conversation, the owners advised us that all of the trades were to be granted a one-hour inspection during the settlement period to investigate and evaluate the property to then generate a proposal. Furthermore, we then had to complete the works within three weeks post settlement and before they moved in. Taking on board all of the considerations not usually present in our projects, we formulated a proposal to address the needs of the owners and executed the installation as per their conditions. The result, a smart and sophisticated technology-friendly cosmopolitan haven.
Multi-room audio and video distribution were the hot ticket items for Claire and John with the focus on the main living areas and bedrooms. Due to its ease of use and powerful sound, Sonos was installed throughout the home. We installed a Playbar and subwoofer in each lounge room (upstairs and downstairs), three Connect:Amps in the main equipment rack to power the Origin Acoustics speakers in the kitchen, master bedroom and alfresco, and a Play:1 providing music in the kid’s bedroom. Sonos also gives the client access to popular music streaming services such as Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Deezer and Pandora.
High-end Samsung flat panel televisions were meticulously wall mounted in both lounge rooms and the master bedroom. To seamlessly distribute Foxtel, an AppleTV and other sources to the TV’s, we installed a 4×4 HDMI video matrix into the project. In addition to Foxtel, the AppleTV gives Claire and John easy access popular video on demand services including Netflix and Stan.
Control4 wall mounted touch screens and iPads intuitively control all of the entertainment products throughout the home.
Utilising retrofittable relay PUKKs, we were able to give Claire and John integrated control over their gas log fire. Now, with the touch of a button from the iPads, mobile devices or wall mounted touch screens the gas log fire can conveniently be turned on or off.
Knowing who is at the door is an important feature for all of our clients. In this project, we neatly installed a flush mount Control4 Door Station into the wall adjacent the entrance gate. As an added security measure, the Door Station acts as an interactive doorbell and by utilising the built-in camera via the wall mounted Control4 touchscreen the owners can see who is at the gate. Furthermore, an electronic door strike is equipped to the gate and with a press of a button on the touch screen the client can quickly release the gate for their visitors to enter.
The two wall mounted Control4 touchscreens also serve as an intercom system between the upper and lower levels.
EE Tip – Control4 touch screens not only give our customers an intuitive control interface, but they can also act as a home’s intercom system.
With many products and devices now being Internet-enabled, a fast, robust and reliable network is imperative. We ONLY specify and install enterprise quality networking products thus is the importance placed on the home network in today’s technology projects. For this particular project, we choose to go with a Cisco Gigabit network switch. The Cisco Gigabit switch partnered with our high-bandwidth cabling infrastructure allows the clients to easily stream movies, music as well as other entertainment content. Furthermore, the robustness of the network allows all associated control devices to quickly interact with each other to create an efficient and intuitive smart home.
In addition to the Cisco network switch, ultra-powerful dual-radio Ubiquiti wireless access points were deployed to extend the network beyond the boundaries of the house and to increase the wireless signal within the client’s home. With Ubiquiti’s addition, a fast, powerful and reliable wireless network is created to ensure all wireless-enabled devices can operate consistently inside and outside of the home.
With established homes, intelligent lighting control can at times be a tricky service to implement; this is because running additional cables and adding the required hardware can be labour intensive and sometimes not possible – especially for multi-storey dwellings. With this in mind, for this project an intelligent, retrofittable lighting control solution was necessary. With the help of wireless dimmer and relay modules, we were able to retrofit a smart lighting solution for our client and integrate it with Control4, with no extra control wiring required! Control4’s integration allows Claire and John to quickly turn their lights on and off or dim them to the required level directly from their smart devices, iPads and touch screens.
And, to create an automated electronic and comfortable living environment for Claire and John, we assembled an assortment of lighting scenes and schedules that add an extra level of convenience to their everyday life.
Control of the outdoor lighting is all seamlessly integrated into the home’s control system utilising wireless dimmers and relays. As with the rest of the lighting, all functionality and control are available via the client’s smart devices and Control4 touch screens.
In addition to the implementation of intelligent lighting control, we also supplied and installed new aesthetically pleasing LED downlight fixtures throughout the home. The new luminaires provide a calming natural light while still being able to highlight the beautiful artwork on show.
CCTV cameras were selectively installed around the home to achieve the best security vantage point. An essential feature for Claire and John was the ease in which they could view the cameras live and access recorded footage. With the client front of mind, the security cameras are easily viewable internally via the customer’s personal smart mobile devices, iPad’s running the Control4 app as well as the wall mounted Control4 touch screens. More importantly, via the Control4 app on their mobile devices, Claire and John can quickly view their cameras while at work or even when holidaying.
Furthermore, with the assistance of a 3rd party application recorded footage can be viewed remotely via a smart mobile device or directly on a computer.
The home’s security system also integrates with Control4’s intuitive user interface allowing Claire and John to either arm/disarm the alarm via one of the many Control4 user devices or utilise the alarm’s touchscreen and wireless remotes. The alarm system’s components consist of a variety of strategically positioned sensors to ensure all doors and windows are secured.
Main Equipment Point
We installed an audiovisual equipment rack (AV rack) into the project to neatly house all of the products that drive the technology in the home. In this particular project, the AV rack houses the following items:
24 Port Patch Panel
Cisco Gigabit PoE Network Switch
Control4 Control Processor
Fibaro Control Processor
Bluestream HDMI Video Matrix
Sonos Connect: Amplifiers
Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS)
We recommend AV racks in all of our technology projects. A well installed and configured AV rack ensures all of the primary equipment is neatly installed and easily accessible for all future upgrades and servicing.
EE Tip – Not at home? No worries, Control4 allows you to control your entire house remotely via your smart mobile device. Turn the aircon or heater on, open the gate… it’s all easy with Control4.
We enjoyed working with Claire and John on their project, and we look forward to providing them with all of their technology requirements now and into the future.