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.


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.


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:

From Bored Room to Board Room

Starpower From Bored Room To Board Room

Starpower Conference and Boardroom Audio Video Solutions

Is this what your boardroom looks like…or should I say “bored” room? If this is what you are holding meetings in and sitting in for hours upon hours during your work week, then we need to talk!  Your boardroom is boring your potential clients. How can they be enthusiastic about what you can offer them when they can hardly stay awake in your space?  Trends in meeting rooms are allowing corporations to do truly fantastic things to their meeting space.


Integrated Conference Rooms by Starpower

This fully integrated, dynamic, visually appealing and most importantly INTERACTIVE board room is probably more your style. If your boardroom looked like this you would be able to achieve maximum visual appeal while keeping your potential clients on the edge of their seats waiting for the next slide. Trends in meeting rooms, such as incorporating video walls like this, are making their way into boardrooms across America and yours can be next.

Click Learn More below to view more information about our commercial meeting space packages .

Learn More Button


Starpower Can Help Design Your Commercial Space

Starpower has a dedicated team of Commercial Systems Engineers. Our team can assist you with commercial projects of any size. Whether you are looking for a conference room, huddle room, board roon, or lobby – we can do it all.

Our team of systems experts can help design and visualize your space using our 3D Room Planning tool. Below is a standard conference room space brough to life with audio/video integration:

Conference Room 3D Rendering

Digital Video Walls – TV Walls – Commercial Audio/Video

A digital video wall is a series of flat screen televisions mounted very close together. In the picture above six different televisions allow the boardroom six different visuals, but a video wall can also be made to appear as one large television like this nine screen digital video wall.

Video Walls - Commercial A/V - Dallas- Phoenix- Fort Worth - Southlake

If you are attempting to gain a client, aren’t you willing to do whatever it takes to impress them with your aspirations and capabilities? Let’s face it, top-notch technology impresses everyone. It’s that simple. If you show your client you are on the cutting edge, they will know you are serious and want to learn more.

Request A Quote



In-Office Audio/Video Consultations from Starpower

Do you want to change your boardroom from boring to brilliant? Head over to Starpower and get a complete consultation and allow them to show you what they can do to your commercial space. They will take your boardroom to a whole new level.


Starpower’s Commercial Audio/Video Services Team

Starpower offers unique, customized, innovative solutions for corporations seeking a digital way to communicate their message and operate their business. The desire to showcase products and services, while presenting them with the latest in audio visual digital technology will prove your place in the market.

Starpower provides on-site consultation, custom design and drawings, installation, training and maintenance for all of our audio visual systems.


Request A Quote