Home Automation: what to get?

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by Jas77, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Jas77

    Jas77
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    I am in the process of buying a house that will need rewiring completely and I'll be decorating the entire place too.

    It's a four bedroom house with one reception room, an open plan kitchen, dining and lounge and utility area downstairs. 4 bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs.

    If I have a budget of £12k, what could I get for that? TVs, lighting, speakers etc are on top of the £12k)
    Importance in order of priority are:
    - audio (4 zones)
    - TV
    - lighting
    - heating
    - alarm

    Ideally I can go for a solution I can scale without cutting into the walls over time. It must be simple to use.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? If I'm balmy and need to spend more immediately, that would be good to know too as perhaps I'll wait a little longer to do the work and spend more if it's really going to make a difference.
     
  2. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    hi there, 12k is enough to do something decent.
    FYI. I do not sell anything so won't be trying to take any of the 12k from you!
    Consequently I always have an unbiased view.

    re. 'Ideally I can go for a solution I can scale without cutting into the walls over time.'
    I have written at great length on the forums about my ducting and distribution approach which should explain a few things to you.
    I am a professional CI. and all the projects I am involved with are designed to ensure that there is little or no trauma to the
    building, minimum cutting, plastering or decoration as the system evolves over time and technology improves.

    My advice is usually ignored because it is unconventional but those who adopt my methods never look back.

    I would be delighted to advise you further and I'm sure other people will on the forum.
    Feel free ask me any questions anytime.

    kind regards

    Steve
     
  3. andybluemini

    andybluemini
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Ratings:
    +11
    My advice would be to speak to a local installer from the start of the project, get some good advice and work from that. What part of the world are you in?

    Andy
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,346
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,218
    Plenty of options hardware wise, a generic cable infrastructure will be a good idea, also these days structured wi-fi is a necessity so keep that in mind. 4 zones of audio is possibly unusually small and 12k a healthy budget for control there are some big ticket options that can push the cost up but rarely effects the infrastructure....
     
  5. Jas77

    Jas77
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thank you all for your responses. I think I'll have to do some reading to get up to speed with the possibilities in home and the various solutions people are talking about on this forum - whilst I'll always rely on the experts, I want to at least understand what you're talking about e.g. what's the difference between regular WiFi and Structured WiFi.
    @Steve: love your work from looking at your other posts and your philosophy of ensuring you can build on the solution vs. having to do it all at once
    @Andy: Totally agree ... am in NW London
    @Dragon: Great to hear that I can do something for the kind of budget I have

    My requirements at the moment are:
    Video: BluRay and Sky to 3 rooms (PS3 as a nice to have)
    Music: to open plan area, outdoors, lounge, bathroom and 2 bedrooms
    Lighting: unsure as yet ... in my head I'm running the risk of coming up with requirements that I'll never end up using so am keen to hear what features people actually use/need vs what sounds cool
    Heating: simply upstairs and downstairs ... don't need anything more complicated
    General: must be simple, uncluttered and really easy for anyone to use and allow me to add to it over time.

    I'm happy to develop this over time and just start with the open plan area where we'll be spending most of our time and also entertaining. If there's a core set of things that from your experiences you know people use all the time that I've missed or have included that I should ditch it would be great to know.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    Hi Jas77, thank you for your message.
    If you are going to be bothered reading this long post I think you need to make a brew!
    I have been machining some stainless steel today and sit at my computer for long periods with ear protectors while the machine does it's stuff.

    Anyway, my philosophy and approach to custom installation is based on aesthetics and the premise that your property is primarily a home and AV equipment should have a minimum presence other than the displays.

    There should be no unsightly fixings such as metalwork and visible wiring behind TV's even when viewed from the side.

    re. 'I just want the rooms to look simple, uncluttered and finished brilliantly'
    I specialise in excellent finishing quality and will advise you how to achieve that.
    I will be happy to give your installer any tips if needed.
    There are not that many who are prepared to give the high level of attention to detail required for the finishing side so I recommend you always ask for examples of their work before making a decision.

    re. me perhaps briefing your chosen installer.
    mmm .... can't see that working.
    Every CI. has there own way of doing things and I think most are extremely competent so I can only see any input from me being minimal or at least indirect.

    Re. the technical side.
    Well everybody has their own methods but AV switching and third party control are always my second preference for residential AV installation.
    I also prefer distributing AV signals in their raw format (IE. HDMI cables and distribution) and avoid CAT cable solutions as much as possible.
    I duct everything and NEVER EVER plaster over a cable even CAT 5!

    My approach to AV installation is total common sense to me but unconventional and a lot of work to most other people on the forum.

    Anyway, this is the way I advise people to go and here is a simple analogy based on my experience of a typical lifestyle.

    Say you start with only two rooms in your house with a SMART TV /sound system in each and multiple sources in a AV hub positioned eg. under the stairs.
    The rooms could be family room/living space and Master bedroom, the two rooms you spend your life in.
    Sources under the stairs include 2 SKY HD boxes, Blue Ray, Nas drive, Playstation, CCTV and Nintendo Wii etc.

    80% of the time you come home from work, pickup the SKY/Cable TV remote,
    view and control the same and maybe go to bed to watch the end of a TV programme or movie.
    If it is a movie or something where you want to enjoy 5.1 surround sound you may pickup your AV receiver/sound system remote control in either room.
    BTW. I put sub woofers under the bed in bedrooms.

    Weekend you may have a lie in, watch TV, a movie, play games etc.
    Other times you may plug your laptop/iPad in to your AV wall-plate positioned above the bedside table or in a convenient place in the family room and watch something you downloaded.
    WARNING, be careful when using the web cam built in your Samsung ES series SMART TV in the master bedroom!
    I have a few funny stories to tell on another day.

    When you are in the mood you will pickup the TV remote and use the plethora of features including downloads to your TV hard drive or NAS drive and other internet related functions.

    Friends and family come round so you plug in your camcorder/USB drive into same AV plate and show off your home movies/photo's etc.
    Your childrens friends visit and have just purchased a PlayStation 5! (save you buying one) so you plug that into same face plate.

    Input allocation and available sources on your SMART TV would be : HDM1 = SKYHD BOX1, HDMI 2 = SKYHD BOX 2, HDMI 3 = PlayStation with an auto-switch for the HDMI input on the AV plate, Component input = Blue Ray DVD, Video input 1 = Nintendo Wii, Video input 2 = CCTV, USB = on plate for flash drive/memory card etc., HDMI input faceplate = iPad etc, SVGA input on plate = Laptop, All Free-view Digital channels are obviously all available as well as any network devices IE. NAS drive, streaming TV or video off the net and the TV hard drive if fitted.

    Most people will not require any more programme material so what is the point in buying a HDMI switcher etc. to select sources when you have a HDMI and AV switcher built in the TV!

    As your budget permits you start to bring other rooms online using the ducting system you spent money on rather than a control system which isn't at all neccessary at this early stage.
    For now if you can be bothered you are able to control your TV, SKY Boxes, sound system, SMART TV and lighting using the totally free applications available for the iPhone/iPad.
    In reality your wife and rest of family will probably not be bothered and simply pickup the TV or SKY remote.

    I know I am being a little sexist, generalising about lifestyle and individuals requirements but the point I am trying to make is, all this is achieved using a simple distribution approach without the expense of a control/switching system.
    IMHO. with few exceptions and considering 'bang per buck', control systems are mainly underwhelming and you are bound to revert to proprietary remote controls for certain functions.
    At this point third party control systems are still not a complete solution for residential unless you want the installer to specify all the AV kit and even then there are idiosyncrasies which in my opinion are unacceptable.

    My approach is to let the client buy whatever TV's etc. they fancy and it is my job to connect everything
    including legacy kit and get the maximum out of it.
    I have yet to see a third party control system, even high end, deliver every facility my customers enjoy as standard with my systems using manufacturers remotes operating TV's and AV equipment.

    Anybody who has tried to control say a SKY box from a tablet (including iPad) with their inherent lag in response and the awkwardness of having to keep looking alternately at the tablet display and TV will tell you they quickly revert back to the proprietary SKY remote for speedy, efficient and familiar control.

    Another point with control systems which is often overlooked is as soon as you purchase a new piece of kit you may have to hire the programmer again.
    When you swap TV's etc. with my system they are obviously plug and play.

    Although this is an AV analogy, the same applies to lighting.
    You can start with cheap and cheerful light control and graduate to high end whole house inteligent light control when you are ready and budgets permit.

    I was involved with a project in 2007 where we ducted the entire house and due to budget restraints the family moved in with one SKY HD box in the garage and one TV in his lounge.
    March 2012 he has multiple TV's, sound systems, two home cinema systems, a motorised TV coming down from the Master Bedroom ceiling, a high end CCTV camera system with designer 10" monitors (built in walls) in the kitchen, hallway and master bedroom (including 6 individual camera select buttons built in said monitors), AV face-plates most rooms, NAS drives/AV sources etc. in the AV hub in the garage, LED illuminated inset iPhone charging/playing music through house stations, Lutron Homeworks 8 which controls lighting, curtains, plasma lifts, sun blinds, black out blinds for the cinemas, (he started in 2007 with GET wireless lighting and regular manual switching)

    All this has been phased in with little or no cutting, plastering and decorating required for the AV upgrades other than in the relevant room.
    Just as well because he has beautiful floors and ceilings decorated to a very high standard.

    Not one AV switcher or third party control system in sight!
    We have considered using Control 4 for the cinema systems which lend themselves to macro solutions but the client can't stomach ponying up the cash at the moment for a one button solution that closes the blinds, fires up the projector, switches the sound on etc.
    You can see his point, the two cinemas are operating OK using the prop remotes.
    The light scene is set, blinds close and the projector fires up using one button on a Lutron wallstation anyway.

    He does however love the IPad free apps for light control and setting up the SKY planner.

    So where do we go from here?
    This particular client is so used to everything he has no intention of investing in any control system at the moment.
    Most rooms are operated the same where his wife, mother and father can easily operate a TV and Sky remote.

    I was into control systems ten years ago but had to give up on them at the time due to too many problems with Macros and unreliability.
    I have been hoping that technology would improve over the years, manufacturers would cooperate with third parties and I would be able to start selling complete control solutions to my clients.

    It seems to have gone the other way and manufacturers don't cooperate. It appears that only high end and very competent programmers are able to decipher proprietary codes to enable the design of usable control systems that operate on only specific makes and models of AV kit.

    I have said this before.
    I was at CES 2012 in Jan and all major companies are releasing free apps to control their equipment.
    They, like me see the future of residential AV systems consisting of SMART TV's at the centre of operations, controlled by proprietary software on proprietary tablets.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,346
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,218
    Which will never work without an a full and open IP control protocol, across all manufacturers.............Most of them can't for "energy star" ratings be turned on by IP.......... This means multiple controls and jumping from app to app.......Samsung seem to think the future is shouting and waving at your TV! "Gesture" control. The whole point of an AV system is it is a seamless system and doesn't require 15 different apps on a device all in different layouts to operate the system.

    IT's a brave new world.........
     
  8. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    I guess you don't like ES Samsungs then?
    Can't say I care about the silly gesture functions either but storming TV's otherwise.

    I have gone into great detail explaining the operation of my systems so lets hear about yours HD.

    Please address the points I made about control systems, I am open to learning and would be happy to be wrong.
    Easiest thing in the world to criticise, so how do your systems work?

    Last time I asked you to explain yourself on another subject you didn't answer saying you would only answer via PM.
    mmm ... not quite in the spirit of the forum is it?

    I guarantee proprietory remotes have to be used in some incarnation with your design to enjoy all functions available on SMART TV's although you are implying otherwise.

    Awaiting your response
     
  9. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,346
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,218
    My designs are bespoke to the clients needs....

    So how do you control 3 Sky HD boxes and Blu-ray player to 5 TV's 3 are 3D 40"+ 2 are 2D 32" (2 different makes) one zone is 5.1 with AVR in central location. distance to TV's 15-50m (wire runs) Without using a propriety remote system? Or does the client have to carry the Blu-ray remote from room to room.

    Actually love the idea of the Gesture function pity its so pointless a unififed standardised IP commandset for all devices would be great. Aint going to happen tho....... Control solutions can cost £150 to £150,000.00 depends what needs controlling.

    BTW I am yet to meet anyone who uses all the functions of "smart TV's" most are gimmicks rarely used after a week only ones of any use are love film and........
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  10. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    Thanks for the reply HD.

    re. 'My designs are bespoke to the clients needs....'

    So are mine. Again I have given you a detailed and typical example of one of mine ......
    please reciprocate.

    re. 'So how do you control 3 Sky HD boxes and Blu-ray player to 5 TV's 3 are 3D 40"+ 2 are 2D 32" (2 different makes) one zone is 5.1 with AVR in central location. distance to TV's 15-50m (wire runs) Without using a propriety remote system? Or does the client have to carry the Blu-ray remote from room to room'

    You make it sound so complicated.
    I have a client (Premiership football manager) who has 4 SKY HD boxes.
    All four are available on every TV and fully controllable on every TV.
    To clarify, 4 x SKY HD boxes on every TV and independently controllable on each TV.
    I simply program the SKY HD remotes to operate their respective boxes, Simples!

    I find that no matter how many SKY receivers there are in a house they are invariably used as dedicated PVR's.

    So to go into more detail and to reiterate LIFESTYLE is key to my designs (you seem to concentrate more on technical capabilities), here is an example:
    Family room and Master bedroom will have His and Hers SKY HD remote controls operating their respective boxes connected in full HD.

    Guest room will have Guest room remote operating it's respective box viewed in full HD.

    Kids/playroom will have kids remote operating their box and will view in full HD.

    All four boxes will be viewable and controllable from any room of course.
    Say the guests want to watch a programme they recorded on their box but
    want to view it elsewhere in the house they take the Guest room SKY remote to said room.
    The kids the same, any room they feel like watching in.

    These second choice rooms don't necessarily have a full HD bandwidth connection but provision is made if required.

    The Blue Ray player can be viewed and controlled from any room using its proprietory remote handset so not sure why you would ask that particular question.

    In practise I get an extra remote control if required but to be fair people normally use the centrally located Playstation for Blue Ray DVD playback and have the RF. or IR option for this.

    BTW. are we at crossed purposes using the term 'proprietory' and 'third party control'?
    You appear to be using the word 'proprietory' meaning something different to what I understand the word to mean.

    Also I am confused why you refer to makes/models of TV as they are irrelevant to me.
    My clients are using a plethora of types of TV but still enjoying all their sources.
    Not neccessarily all in full HD, but most are.

    All the above with no 'THIRD PARTY' control system.

    Once my systems are at full capacity and it is time to consider a Control 4 or similar solution I get a polite 'no thank you' from most of my clients when I outline the hardware and programming costs.

    I reiterate, I am not anti control systems, it is just my second choice.

    Lastly, I have fitted a lot of SMART TV's and in my experience my particular clients use
    1) All the available inputs

    2) Some internet functions

    3) Built in webcam.

    4) NAS drives constantly

    They do not however use voice and gesture control after initially playing with them.

    regards

    Steve
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,346
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,218
    So you leave your clients with 2/3/4/5 remote handsets in each room amazing people are accepting of this (but they dont know any better) reducing the clutter of remote required to a single handset is key to all of my clients none of them like to have to pick up different handsets or find them (when dropped behind the sofa) when they can pick up a single handset and control everything in the room without having to remember HDMI 4 on TV for Blu-ray and Input BD/DVD on AVR and AV3 for Wii they just press "play wii" or "Watch Sky 1/2/3" if there is an AVR it controls it, if they want stereo they press the "Stereo" button for surround the "surround" button only thing they see is the display and a single control.........

    And it doesn't have to cost tens of thousands of pounds...As for them not buying control solutions perhaps it's because you don't sell them the benefits......

    As for controlling lighting, heating CCTV door entry ??? OR do you do that with a sky remote as well (because we can)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  12. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    I am a little confused why you think this is not important even on the systems you install. Say you have a 32" TV which is only HD ready, if you are simply splitting the Sky+HD feed (using a splitter with some sort of EDID brain) then this will be the highest resolution all the TVs will be able to use? If all TVs are full HD then this is less of an issue...

    Unless I am missing something?

    Dupe...
     
  13. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    I am working with 2 clients at the moment, I have not had to sell a control system to either of them, it was expected. Both will use AMX / global cache back end with iPad control, both control systems (hardware and software) are around 15% of the total budgets, so a sensible amount in mine and obviously my customers minds.

    The larger of the 2 jobs would be pretty much impossible to operate without some level of control system, the smaller one could in fairness be done with a Harmony, although it would be a bit crude.

    Dupe...
     
  14. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    I think you guys are misleading people by implying you can deliver a multiroom AV system controlled by tablets and
    totally eliminate proprietory remote handsets.
    You know and I know you can't. If you could I have the clients ready now.
    The manufacturers remotes have always got to be on hand for advanced features etc.

    No matter how much programming you do, when your macro's get out of sync, maybe because somebody has operated a device in another room then your wonderful idea of one button press as a resolution is flawed.

    At the end of the day it's horses for courses.
    I think third party control systems are ideal for certain installs.

    Now I have gone into great detail explaining the plethora of facilities my clients have from day one with no programming or control system.

    So using my example of a typical families lifestyle would one of you give me an example of one
    of your installations which includes full RELIABLE control of SMART TV's, SKY receivers, Playstation etc.
    wih absolutely no need for the proprietory remotes.

    Awaiting your response guys cause I have clients waiting if you can indeed deliver.
     
  15. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    Hi Ben, just had a look at your site and it looks good and is easy to navigate.
    re. 'We aim to use AV equipment that you can communicate using IP or Serial rather than Infra-Red'

    At least you are honest.
    IMHO. others on this forum are implying any device can be controlled easily and reliably.

    Although your choice of AV kit is going to be limited at least your systems are going to do what thay say on the tin.
    I presume SKY HD is still IR controlled because I understand there are a few functions not available over IP at the moment.

    My ideas are not for everybody and anyone who uses my system of installation are bound to use more than one remote control but at least the system is plug and play.
    In other words a client can buy any make or model of AV equipment now or in the future and personally plug it into clearly labelled I/O sockets at the AV hub.

    Therefore they can buy any new model TV etc. on a whim with no programming or installation costs etc.

    You may notice the TV's in my photo's are all installed the same way regardless of make or model.
    This universal method hides the bracket/cables etc. and the TV can be pulled out from the wall anytime for service etc.
    This also means the TV can be replaced quickly and efficiently by a regular DIY person, again no programming.

    Although I am coming across as 'anti control systems' I can assure you I am not and until there comes a time when all AV equipment
    can be controlled via serial or IP. I am personally not prepared to get involved unless absolutely necessary.

    I don't want to put people off control solutions but would at least like them to understand the pros and cons.
    If one goes for a control system I think your company offers good AV solutions.

    kind regards and keep up the good work

    Steve
     
  16. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    Pass them my way please, I don't have any customers using tv remotes etc, no need at all.

    Dupe...
     
  17. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    re. Pass them my way please, I don't have any customers using tv remotes etc, no need at all.

    that's because they are not using Samsung ES series and are not going to be able to use the next generation either.
    Presume they are stuck with generic Panasonics for the forseeable future.

    I reiterate Dupe, because you are not hearing me.

    Using my example of a typical families lifestyle would one of you publish as I do a detailed example of one of your FULLY FEATURED installations which includes FULL and RELIABLE control of SMART TV's, SKY receivers, Playstation etc. with absolutely NO NEED for the proprietory remotes.

    Its not going to happen is it?
    you can perhaps gloss over the cracks with other people but not me!

    Awaiting your response.
     
  18. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    I struggle to understand why you think it's so hard, with the exception of the play station remote for games, yes we can. Samsung es or whatever, makes no difference to me.

    Dupe...
     
  19. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    Dupe, do you have an installation out there now where you are in FULL control of a Samsung ES and a SKY HD receiver via serial or IP.

    Am I being mislead when I am told it is not possible yet?
     
  20. Ben S

    Ben S
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Jas,

    We tend to use Loxone kit, they provide modular kit so you can build it up as you need it which might help your budget. Although if you do take that approach you'll still want to make sure you wire for all the functionality you want.

    The focus is on the Home Automation side (Lighting, Heating, Security etc) but they provide an effective way to control AV equipment through either wall switches or their Smartphone/Tablet App. The apps good because it's one app that does all the Home Automation Elements and you can set it up to control your AV.

    If you look at their site you can either build it yourself, although you really need some electrical engineering and computer programming experience, or you can use one of their recommended installers. If you want to see it in action some of the installers have showrooms to give you an idea.

    Cheers
    Ben
     
  21. AVClubLeader

    AVClubLeader
    Novice Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    4
    Location:
    San Diego
    Ratings:
    +0
    Possible? Well, it's tricky with the current technology - but if you're willing to do a bit of toying around with the electronics yourself, you might be able to jerry-rig something to that effect. Otherwise, maybe wait a few years for the tech to catch up to our collective aspirations :laugh: Seriously though, a lot of automation can be achieved with the high-end systems today, but you can always improve them with a bit of know-how and elbow grease... Just don't try it if you don't know what you're doing! Proceed carefully & only work with what you know, that goes for software and hardware.
     
  22. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    Thank you for a very honest and informative post AVClubleader.

    That is exactly what I understood to be the status of current technology.

    I was into control technology right from day one going back to B&O systems with the SKY receivers strapped
    on the back of TV's!
    Simple problem then was, client comes home switches TV on which is supposed to power up the SKY receiver.
    It worked great until somebody else switched a TV on in another room, the auto power command from the TV promptly powered the receiver down.
    I got round that electronically and graduated to PRONTO/NEVO's etc. At this point I had to give up!
    Too unreliable, too many service calls.
    The sheer permutations of multiroom AV installation and the one way IR control on most devices bar the Pioneer RS232 caused no end of issues.

    My current installations give clients the maximum connectivity and control enabling them to get the maxumum out of each individual device albeit with multiple remotes.
    They are able to go out and buy any piece of kit they like anytime and it just works from the get go using distribution systems I make it easy to connect to.

    The 3rd party control option by no means eliminates proprietory remotes if you want to get the maximum out of your system.

    As soon as everything goes serial or IP. I will be the first to embrace the technology again.
    Personally I don't think it's going to happen.
    I found at the CES this year that major manufacturers incestuous relationships with their own product ranges means they want to keep their cards close to their chests and want to promote their system be the centre of operations in a SMART HOME.
    In the meantime 'I will wait a few years for the tech to catch up to our collective aspirations' as you eloquently put it.

    Great to hear from you

    Steve
     
  23. Steven_W

    Steven_W
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Messages:
    176
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Thanet, Kent
    Ratings:
    +6
    Hey all I've read this entire thread with great interest. I run my own company installing integrated reception systems for tv, satellite, DAB and FM, along with CCTV, TV installations and multi room audio. I want to move much more into home automation and AV and it's great to see the installation pitfalls discussed here.

    I came across this particular thread as I am just quoting for a customer requiring an average system with easy control and access to media.

    They will probably only use the sky remote in the front room but will want iPad control for the multi room audio.

    I will be installing the sky box, BD player, apple tv, av amp and games console in a cabinet with a gigabit switch with all relevant cabling from sources to surround speakers and smart tv. In addition to this ill be putting in a sonos audio system.

    So the reason why I'm interested in this thread is the single control device or app. When installing just say a sky box, DVD player and say Apple Tv, I can just use an IR blaster and most people seem happy with the sky remote for tv and sky and maybe one more for DVD and Apples own for that.

    What do you guys think of the Redeye control system? This new customer definitely wants a one size fits all solution if it's there, any advice on options out there?

    Finally just a quickie, do you think it's better to terminate cat6 cables on keystone sockets, then use prefabricated patch leads, or just put an rj45 on the end?

    Many thanks all!
     
  24. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,346
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,218
    Utter rubbish.....you clearly have no idea how a control system works "macros getting out of sync" we prefer not to use IR as its an ugly cheap one way control system. Some devices IR is the only option...But to "need the manufacturer remote" why what can they do that the control system can't? Nothing as the control system can replicate every function of the OEM remote and do many many more things.

    Simple example

    "TV on"
    if
    sense1 = 1
    else
    Sense1 = 0 Send "TV on"
    TV on

    (this will work for TV with no RS232 or discrete IR if they have discrete IR or RS232 you don't need to sense the TV this saves money for the client and makes for a more usable system)

    "Set temp lounge"
    Get Char "temp zone 1"
    Display "temp zone 1"
    X = (Char)
    Set temp zone 1 + X

    Set the temperature in the room

    "Lock Sky box 1"
    Sky box 1 lock flag set = 1

    "Channel + Sky box 1"
    Channel + Sky box 1
    if
    get char "Sky box 1 lock" = 1 end
    else
    send "Sky box 1 CH+"

    Or you can shut down the control output but this is less intuitive

    (stops anyone changing sky box channel when its locked, it can be locked when in use in Mbed, or main zone etc, you can shut down the output so the "naughty channels aren't seen all round the house what do you want to do?)

    Now the feedback is easy when you can see the TV as you know if its on or not but the point is for things you cant see the control system can control....

    There are bad systems out there and plenty of bad installations! Doesn't mean all system are the same. IT doesn't mean you need a £60k system to watch TV (but you may depends on how complex the system is)

    The whole point of CI is to make complex stuff simple! A concept lost on many installers.......

    Systems have to pass the mother in law test

    Can someone with no knowledge of the system operate it?

    If there are 3-5 remotes on the coffee table probably not... if there is one with a big button labelled "Watch TV", "Listen to music", "Watch a movie" The system may have to go through 20+ decisions or selections which the user would need to do instead........

    Living room example:
    in order

    Power on Projector
    Lower Projector lift
    Lower screen
    Power on Amps
    Power on Processor
    Close curtains
    Recall lighting scene "cinema"
    Power on Sky box
    Select projector input 1
    Select Processor input 3
    Set matrix Output 3 Input 4
    Set screen aspect 16:9
    Set projector aspect 16:9


    Or you do the same on 7+ different remotes..........13 actions now some can be automated and reduced
     
  25. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    I know exactly how control systems work and your programming methods are nothing new.

    The sense ports are a work around among others that I was doing 10 years ago and as an electronics engineer I know exactly what I am doing.

    You are clearly a typical programmer I come across who gets excited when you press a button and your little routines work, shrug your shoulders and dissappear for another couple of expensive hours to work on yet another a bug, rub your hands together when a client buys a new piece of centrally located kit you have to be paid to program in to the system and the way you exagerate and bang on about the disadvantage of multiple handsets do not take into account peoples lifestyles which usually revolve around a SKY remote 90% of the time.

    I guarantee that anybody who uses a tablet you have programmed to control SKY gets super frustrated with the inherent lag in response you get with any touch screen over a network and prefer a SKY remote full stop.

    The projector example in the living room is pointless as we both agree control systems are perfect for that type of scenario.

    End of the day your clients definitely pull out the manufactures remotes for less common and advanced features that no one in their right mind would pay you to program in and you know it.

    And you forgot to mention what happens when a wireless router crashes or disconnects?
    My systems work 100% of the time.

    I see my earlier request to publish a detailed example of one of your installations (like I do) covering eg. how you raise sub menus on the latest SMART TV's and how your clients use Playstations, X boxes etc. without the proprietory remotes is falling on deaf ears.

    If you are going to retort please start the post off by writing
    I do indeed have an installation out there now where I am in FULL control of a Samsung ES and a SKY HD receiver via serial or IP.

    As this is obviously not going to happen anytime soon please let's put this discussion to bed and agree that
    you do your stuff and I do mine for our happy customers.

    In the meantime let's wait a few years for the tech to catch up to our collective aspirations as AVClubleader puts it.
     
  26. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    No delays or lag in our systems, in fact control of sky is faster as we control the ir stream rather than the client so every command is used and they are injected as fast as the sky box will allow.

    None of my customers use the standard remotes for any functions, i know this because i have a big box in our unit full of them!

    What are these features you take about in an es which you think are uncontrolable, we have not done a es but other lower models in the range so maybe i am missing something, everything is usable within the Tv?

    I don't want to put this to bed as av forums is very highly rated on google and you are putting accross a view which is incorrect.

    Things crashing etc are all covered, select components that don't or build in reset procedures into the programming with ip controlled sockets ets. We have many systems in the field and the only issue we get is sky boxes failing! Admitidly it took us a year to get this level of reliability, but its possible... This is what i believe avclubleader means, its not plug and play, but if you are willing to develop something its worth it and can give cleints an improved experience over multi remotes. This is also why we are reluctant to share some of the details as they are commertial sensitive due to the value they have to my business.

    Dupe...
     
  27. Gerard Fernand

    Gerard Fernand
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    220
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    location
    Ratings:
    +32
    Originally Posted by stevedilworth
    Awaiting your response guys cause I have clients waiting if you can indeed deliver.

    Originally Posted by dj-dulux
    Pass them my way please, I don't have any customers using tv remotes etc, no need at all.



    The offer is there Steve, surely not passing the clients details is doing them a disservice.
     
  28. S D I

    S D I
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,124
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Blackburn
    Ratings:
    +114
    Oh dear this is going on too long now.
    AVClubleaders answer is the true state of affairs and you know it.

    re. No delays or lag in our systems, in fact control of sky is faster

    LOL! I'll have you a race then. A third person shouts out random commands
    to you on your tablet and me on a SKY remote.
    Winner (me) gets the other one (you) to stop this silly and pointless exchange of views.

    You are full of it Dupe and continue to avoid my reasonable request.
    'If you are going to retort please start the post off by writing
    I do indeed have an installation out there now where I am in FULL control of a Samsung ES and a SKY HD receiver via serial or IP.'

    Anybody?

    re. 'but if you are willing to develop something its worth it and can give clients an improved experience over multi remotes'
    I am sure your work arounds and 'secret' solutions do give a lot of your clients a far improved experience over multi remotes.
    Is it worth the few K?
    It is to some people of course, again it's going to be my second preference for now.

    Gerard
    re. The offer is there Steve, surely not passing the clients details is doing them a disservice
    LOL
    I have been doing this a long time and one of my main requirements before recommending anything to anyone is 'believe in the product'

    Why would the typical client of mine I wrote about earlier listing every I/O and source in his big house with multiple TVs., games machines, NAS drives, two home cinemas, multiroom audio, Lutron Homeworks 8 etc. spend a penny (and it is a few K) on the luxury of reducing the number of handsets he has to pickup from his coffee table.
    He can only operate one at once including a tablet running a less than perfect control system.

    I've run it by him for the cinemas at least which would work perfectly from a tablet but his attitude is 'why pay a premium to pick up a tablet?' when he has a perfectly useable system now.
    He is already using the free apps on his iPad for his Lutron system and the Samsung SMART TVs. so he is getting the feel for tablet control already.

    Dupe, people have already wrote to say that this thread has helped them a lot but I am not prepared to get into a continual p****ng contest with you.

    I am going to let you have the last word for now, bored of the subject to be honest.

    In the meantime please let me know when you have FULL control of a Samsung ES and a SKY HD receiver via serial or IP.

    regards

    Steve
     
  29. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    In summary:

    If the customer whats an integrated single remote control solution with easy one button access to everything they want, aircon, blinds, curtains, TV, music, etc etc, they need to speak to one of the many CIs on the this site.

    If they want multiple remotes on the coffee table and bits of card with the inputs and outputs detailed on it so they can select the right Sky box then they need to PM you.

    The end....
     
  30. dj-dulux

    dj-dulux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,247
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Kenilworth
    Ratings:
    +151
    I have already responded to this in the post from 6.40am, we have not used a ES series yet on a job, only the lower spec versions. We have full control, and full control of the sky boxes with feedback. Within the next 4 to 6 weeks we will have finished the work to do it over IP, as will control 4, other CIs, Savant etc etc.

    What functions in the ES don't you think we can control?

    Dupe...
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice