Smart Homes – Avid Golfer Tech Talk Feature (March 2017)

Smart Home

Turn Your Home Into a Smart Home

 

Looking to transform your house into a new smart home? We take an in-depth look at the process of installing home automation and help answer the questions to ensure your smart home is designed to respond to the way you live.

Smart-Home-Packages-Dallas

What should a homeowner consider when making a technology plan?

The most important thing anyone should consider is, how do you want your technology to serve you? Your home’s technology should be designed to respond to the way you live, not the other way around.

Keeping that in mind, every homeowner should understand that home tech is evolving very quickly, which makes it hard to keep up, much less understand the solutions available to you. In order to make an educated decision, you need to invest some time in understanding the options that are out there.
We hear all too often, “Oh, I live very simply. I don’t want too much technology complicating my life.”

Yet, these are the types of people that need us the most. Technology has the power to make your life simpler. But it must be installed, programmed and integrated by an expert who knows what they are doing. The simpler the solution or interface, the more complex the technology infrastructure that is required and more expertise is needed.

 

Where in the building/remodeling process should the technology plan be considered?

Technology needs to be considered early in the plan. Some questions are obvious such as, “How do we wire the home?” Some questions may not be as forthcoming such as, “Where do we put all of the gear?” It may seem silly, but we have seen multi-million dollar homes that fail to consider where to place racks of equipment.

Moreover, many of these items require proper ventilation that needs to be engineered into the design. Even if you do not fully decide on the technology being used, much of the planning should be made when the architect has the plans. In the event you miss the architectural phase, you will want to get advice as soon as possible.

Again, a properly designed home allows flexibility no matter what technology is ultimately chosen. Plus, for resale purposes, you certainly don’t want to be the home that was not intelligently designed for technology.

Obviously, there are different needs and budgets for different people. However, one thing that most people have in common is the need for a robust network. Yet, networking is the most commonly overlooked requirement for a successful marriage between technology and the user. Most of the new and evolving technologies require huge amounts of bandwidth, which will typically clog most wireless networks. Investing in the proper backbone that takes into account the almost certain need for expansion is important. Having a robust network plan opens up unlimited possibilities and options.

If you want to outfit your home, where are the points/rooms that should take priority?

As I mentioned before, networking must take a high priority. From there, you should prioritize based on how you use your home. For example, most people only use a few rooms. Those few rooms are a good way to prioritize budget. However, you should think of the entire home as a canvas for purposes of technology design.

For example, many people do not consider lighting control as a high priority. However, people that have lighting control love it. Have your lights come on at sunset, go through cycles of on/off while you are traveling, light up pathways in the middle of the night and create security scenes that make you feel safe when coming home alone (not to mention the one button “all off” feature). And this is just one of the great technology features for the home.

Some of the hottest categories in home technology are security surveillance, outdoor entertainment, whole house sound systems, theaters, motorized shades and home automation – being able to control everything from one app on your smartphone. Again, it is easy to get carried away with any or all of these categories. An intelligent design affords flexibility and takes into account all of these possibilities, even if they are not an immediate priority.

Smart-Home-Installation-Dallas

How much of the home build/remodel budget should you allot for technology?

A rough rule of thumb is 10 to 15 percent of the home value when you consider all the technology options. Of course, every home and homebuyer is different so these are not absolute percentages. No one should ever spend more than they are comfortable with. Spending too much makes people resent the technology and, often times, avoid enjoying all that technology can do to improve life at home.

My best advice – meet with a company that has been there a while and seen the mistakes that have been made. Get comfortable with the person guiding you. If you are not, ask for someone else or go seek help elsewhere. There are some good technology businesses out there. And, unfortunately, there are many that claim to be and are not. Take the time to research and explore your options.  You’ll know the right fit when you find it.

 

 

 

Originally published by Avid Golfer, March 2017. Image Credits: AvidGolfer.com

Crestron Shades – Are They Right for You?

Are Crestron Shades Right for You?

If you’ve read our Home Theater Guide or Media Room Guide, you know the importance of having amazing shades in your home.  Crestron makes life super easy with their automated lighting solutions. Not only are these shades gorgeous, but they’re smart! Doesn’t get much better than that.

 

Why Shades? Comfort & Convenience

Imagine opening or closing an entire wall of window treatments at the touch of a button — it’s possible with Crestron shading solutions. Presets can ensure the perfect amount of light is allowed in throughout the day, creating rooms that are always as cool, comfortable and bright as you want them to be. One touch, from within your home or away from it, can recall the perfect lighting schemes for entertaining, relaxing, reading, watching TV or shutting everything off just before bed.

 

Types of Shades:

Roller Shades

Crestron-Roller-Shades-By-Starpower

Sleek and elegant rollar shades are a popular choice for their versatility and variety of styles. With silent QMT™ motors and the ability to hide rollers out of sight, this type of shade can be discreetly integrated into any décor. Create curtain walls by coupling up to six shades as a single group with one Crestron QMT™ motor, or choose larger tube and bracket sizes to accomodate more expansive windows. Dual roller shades can also deliver both light-filtering and blackout shades on the same window for multiple purposes within one room.

Roman Shades

Crestron-Roman-Smart-Home-Shades-By-Starpower

Roman shades add visual impact to a room, with different fabrics, pleats, and folds creating unique aesthetic statements. Whether you want a more regal look, something traditional, or even a more modern flair, there’s a roman shade style to suit your taste.

Skylight Shades

Crestron-Sky-Light-Shades-By-Starpower

Easily control the sunlight streaming through your skylights with automated shades. Crestron provides skylight shading systems with hidden cable guides to maximize window area, allowing natural light in while keeping unsightly cables out of the way. Skylight shades can be mounted outside, inside, or recessed for added flexibility.

Drapery Track

Crestron-Smart-Home-Drapery-Track-By-Starpower

Draperies add a soft, graceful touch to your décor. Control pinch pleat, Ripplefold® and Accordia® styles on straight, curved, bent, and custom tracks to suit your unique environment. Even details such as motor, arm, and draw styles can be fine-tuned for touch sensitive controls, adjustable speed settings, and soft starts and stops, adding an element of dramatic motion to your window treatments.

What is Home Automation? | Home Automation Packages | URC

What is Home Automation?

Why invest in Home Automation? There are hundreds of benefits for automating your home including (and probably most important, peace of mind, advanced security, and convenience.  With whole home control, you can control all of your audio video, but also control your home’s lighting, locks, security cameras, and more.

The Convenience of Home Automation

How often do you find yourself holding and fumbling through all of the TV remotes to adjust the sound, push play or simply fast forward? It becomes a balancing act just to watch a Friends” re-run because you have a remote in your left hand, in your right hand and one on each leg.

When you invest in home automation, you are investing in streamlined control – which means a kick ass remote that can control all of your devices. And it doesn’t stop there –  control your window shades, interior and exterior lights, security cameras, door locks and more from your ipad or smart phone.

Ready to Get Started?

Schedule a Walk Through Appointment with the Experts at Starpower.

Schedule An Appointment

Home Automation Packages Starting at $1,399

Starpower offers a variety of home automation solutions, and has complete home automation or smart home packages, starting at $1,399.

 

Starpower’s Silver Home Automation Package 

Home Automation Package - Dallas, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fort Worth, Southlake

Starpower’s URC Total Control Silver Package offers you the ability to control your A/V with your iPad, iPhone, Android devices and universal remotes – pricing starts at $1,399.

System Highlights:

  • Great for 1 & 2 zone systems
  • Up to 5 additional sources can be controlled (DirecTV, FiOS, AppleTV, Blu-ray, etc.)
  • Ready for future expansion and smart home capabilities

Package Includes:

  • (1) MRX – 8 Network System Controller
  • (1) TRC-820 – Wi-Fi Remote Control
  • (1) iOS or Android Control App for smart phones, tablets, etc..

Read more about the feaures, functionality and add-ons available for this package by clicking here.

Request A Quote

 

Starpower’s Gold Home Automation Package

Starpower’s URC Total Control Gold Package offers you the ability to control your A/V with your iPad, iPhone, Android devices and universal remotes – pricing starts at $2,999.

 

System Highlights:

  • Great for 2 & 3 zone systems
  • Provides access to SiriusXM, Pandora, and Rhapsody music services and more
  • Up to 6 additional sources can be controlled (DirecTV, FiOS, AppleTV, Blu-ray, etc.)
  • Ready for future expansion and smart home capabilities

 

Package Includes:

  • (1) MRX – 8 Network System Controller
  • (1) TRC-1080 – Wi-Fi Remote Control w/ 2″ color screen for multi-zone use
  • (1) SNP-2 – Streaming Network Player – Provides access to Pandora, SiriusXM, etc.
  • (1) DMS-100 – 1 zone networked amplifier

 

Click here to learn more about the feaures, functionality and add-ons available for this package.

Request A Quote

 

About Starpower Home Automation

Visit one of the Starpower locations in the Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas area or Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona area to learn more about home automation the latest technology.

What is Home Automation? | Home Automation Packages | URC

What is Home Automation?

Why invest in Home Automation? There are hundreds of benefits for automating your home including (and probably most important, peace of mind, advanced security, and convenience.  With whole home control, you can control all of your audio video, but also control your home’s lighting, locks, security cameras, and more.

The Convenience of Home Automation

How often do you find yourself holding and fumbling through all of the TV remotes to adjust the sound, push play or simply fast forward? It becomes a balancing act just to watch a Friends” re-run because you have a remote in your left hand, in your right hand and one on each leg.

When you invest in home automation, you are investing in streamlined control – which means a kick-ass remote that can control all of your devices. And it doesn’t stop there –  control your window shades, interior and exterior lights, security cameras, door locks and more from your iPad or smartphone.

Ready to Get Started?

Schedule a Walk Through Appointment with the Experts at Starpower.

Schedule An Appointment

Home Automation Packages Starting at $1,399

Starpower offers a variety of home automation solutions, and has complete home automation or smart home packages, starting at $1,399.

 

Starpower’s Silver Home Automation Package 

Home Automation Package - Dallas, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fort Worth, Southlake

Starpower’s URC Total Control Silver Package offers you the ability to control your A/V with your iPad, iPhone, Android devices and universal remotes – pricing starts at $1,399.

System Highlights:

  • Great for 1 & 2 zone systems
  • Up to 5 additional sources can be controlled (DirecTV, FiOS, AppleTV, Blu-ray, etc.)
  • Ready for future expansion and smart home capabilities

Package Includes:

  • (1) MRX – 8 Network System Controller
  • (1) TRC-820 – Wi-Fi Remote Control
  • (1) iOS or Android Control App for smartphones, tablets, etc..

Request A Quote

 

Starpower’s Gold Home Automation Package

Starpower’s URC Total Control Gold Package offers you the ability to control your A/V with your iPad, iPhone, Android devices and universal remotes – pricing starts at $2,999.

 

System Highlights:

  • Great for 2 & 3 zone systems
  • Provides access to SiriusXM, Pandora, and Rhapsody music services and more
  • Up to 6 additional sources can be controlled (DirecTV, FiOS, AppleTV, Blu-ray, etc.)
  • Ready for future expansion and smart home capabilities

 

Package Includes:

  • (1) MRX – 8 Network System Controller
  • (1) TRC-1080 – Wi-Fi Remote Control w/ 2″ color screen for multi-zone use
  • (1) SNP-2 – Streaming Network Player – Provides access to Pandora, SiriusXM, etc.
  • (1) DMS-100 – 1 zone networked amplifier

 

Request A Quote

 

About Starpower Home Automation

Visit one of the Starpower locations in the Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas area or Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona area to learn more about home automation the latest technology.

Take the New Year’s Challenge: GET ORGANIZED!

Do you have your New Year’s resolutions ready?  I have talked to so many people who have one simple resolution they are gearing up for in 2012: to get organized. What they want and desire is to get control of their life and make things simpler.

Let’s start with the devices in your life. If you are anything like me you probably have separate controls for everything — one for the television, one for the ceiling fan, and one for the DVD player.  You probably also have separate wall units for the air conditioner, garage door, security system….and the list goes on and on. We have all heard of the Universal Remote, but this only eliminates the audio and video remote controls. What if there was a single control panel that could operate and control everything in your life? Oh wait! There is!

Turn your home into a smarthome with Crestron home automation.  Crestron offers one of the beset home automation systems in the market and can help you to control every electronic device in your life with one simple panel. The Crestron home automation panel solves your headache and allows you turn everything on or off with one simple to use control system. With a Crestron home automation panel you can control your security system, lighting, air conditioning, garage door, music media, sound system, television, and DVD/Blu-Ray system.

Beyond the idea that with one remote you can control all of these features is the fact that you can choose to mount this device on the wall (where it could never go missing), you can choose a hand-held panel, or you can download the software to make all of this accessible through your iPhone. Another cool feature about the Crestron home automation system is that YOU choose what to control. You may only want to control your sound system, lights, and security system with your panel, all of that is up to you. The possibilities are endless.

The bottom line is that everyone could use a little simplification in their lives. So if you are tired of searching for the right control, or having to walk through the house to make sure everything is turned off when you leave home, then Crestron home automation system is for you.

Come check out the many home automation options at Starpower entertainment and see what the best home automation system is for your home.  Get controlled, get organized, become the king in your own home for 2012 with a new Smarthome.