Last night we took part in the weekly #SmartHomeHour Tweetup. This initiative was started by #LiveInstall, which is run by Kris Gamble. Smart Home Hour is an opportunity for professional audio video installation companies to discuss the technologies that have been raised as issues or requirements for modern smart homes.

Last nights Smart Home Hour Questions were:

  1. Wiring: What can be connected in a modern home?
  2. Network: Should a modern home rely on: Wifi and Ethernet over Power? How does this effect: Video Distribution (Apple TV, etc), CCTV Camera systems, Doorbells (Intercom), Lighting control.
  3. Audio Systems: Are audio systems catered for in modern homes?
  4. Television and High Definition distribution: What is the requirement for a modern video network?
  5. Security: How is security installed in a modern home?
  6. Home Control and Automation: Is this an integrated system in modern homes?

Answers were given to these questions in the following way:

1. Wiring: A modern home requires wired connections (Network and Power) for multiple devices including: Smart Televisions, Apple TV’s, Blu-Ray Players, Audio-Video Receivers, CCTV Cameras.

2. Network: A modern home should include network infrastructure to all fixed devices. Wifi should only be used as a last resort for fixed devices. Wifi should be reserved for mobile devices. Power over Ethernet can be used if Wifi is not available, but struggles with high bandwidth downloads for music and video streaming. Fixed cable networks can support high speeds which are best suited for high definition video distribution.

3. Audio Systems: Multi-room audio systems are easy to provide for. Cabling all rooms back to a central audio distribution point is easy. All modern homes should cater for a multi-room audio system, even it a simple audio system is installed.

4. Television and High Definition distribution: All high definition video distribution systems carry video signal over CAT6. The modern standard is CAT6 cable, which is a future ready solution to high definition video distribution and can carry video quality of up to 4k.

5. Security: Wired connections for security systems are always the safest. No hacking of wifi networks. Always wire Cameras, Intercoms and Security Sensors. Even for analogue you can use baluns until you change to IP cameras.

6. Home Control and Automation: A modern home should have an integrated system. A single control or interface should be implemented which is easy to understand and use. Crestron offer great solutions, but there are many other options available too.

Other comments that were raised:

Well planned out internet connectivity should be an absolute minimum in any modern home. This is the least that can be done to make a home a smart home. A modern smart home can distribute CCTV cameras to all televisions in the house. Most Digital Video Recorders over video output over HDMI this works perfectly with HDMI Matrix switches. Most homes may have a security system. Possibly even a trigger that will alert an off-site monitoring company. With a modern smart home, this can switch on the lights in the area where the alarm has been triggered and alert you on your mobile. With this you can even view your CCTV cameras on your mobile device if the alarm system has been triggered. Many modern Digital Video Recorders even offer internet connection for simultaneous cloud based video recording.

In summary:

A smart home may require more planning that previously needed. But the benefits will save time and hassles later on. Rather plan for a smart home today. Answers included in this post and other input to the #SmarHomeHour were provided by: Jonathan DugdaleKris Gamble, Limitless Controls, MirrorEdgeNetworks and Rich Kirkham.

We we would like to ask our clients to follow us during Smart Home Hour and ask any questions that you have relating to the topics that are raised. We would like to assist and answer any questions that you have regarding smart home technologies.

Of course if there is something that you would like to ask us personally, or if you would like us to meet with you and discuss upgrading your home to a Smart Home. Please Contact Us and we will be happy to offer our services.