EXC!TE Awards: Control
Home Automation System:
While upstart competitors aim for the venerable category leader’s downmarket underbelly, Crestron’s awesome array of technologies, products and systems still represents the state of the art in home automation.
Fresh off a nationwide deal with Tweeter, Control4 continues to pose the question: “Why can’t home automation be for everyone?” A growing number of C-businesses are eager to answer in the affirmative.
Exceptional Innovation Lifeware
With Lifeware, EI embraces both Windows Media Center and a number of best-of-breed third-party products. The question over the next year: Will C-businesses embrace EI and its buzzworthy platform?
Niveus Media Denali
Windows Media Centers don’t have to be noisy buggers. Niveus grabbed lots of attention for its server’s silent, fanless construction—as well as its impressive connectivity and storage capabilities.
Integra NVS-7.7 Integrated Media Center
When a respected A/V component manufacturer enters the Windows Media Center space, it’s clear: The times are a-changin’.
With 1.5 terabytes of storage, the S4.2500 can hold thousands of discs’ worth of CD-quality tunes—“a year of continuous play.” Now, what to do with all of those discs?
Lutron Radio RA
The original wireless (RF) lighting control system continues to remind installers that such systems don’t have to be hard-wired into existing homes.
Vantage Controls InFusion
Vantage’s user- and installer-friendly, third-generation system can serve as the springboard to a full home automation setup.
Colorado vNet Aura
With its dynamic floorplan software and decentralized architecture, the newly-christened Aura system offers an alternative and compelling slant on the category.
Lutron Sivoia QED
The Quiet Electronic Drive family helps installers provide shade control with as little noise as possible, along with various fabrics for a stylish look.
Somfy Radio Technology Somfy
This wireless solution for shade motorization and automation makes this functionality viable for existing homes.
This family of quiet motorized draperies, available in lengths up to 58 feet, can integrate with Crestron, Lutron and Vantage systems.
This 8.4-inch 802.11b/g wireless LCD touchpanel provides total system and home theater control; a docking station/charger is included.
Vantage Controls TouchPoint 1210
This web-tablet touchpanel
provides control of lights, shades, HVAC, security systems, video and music, as well as access to the web and e-mail. Included software provides a Windows Media Center interface.
This 6.4-inch color LCD touchpanel is designed for flush-mount installation in walls or cabinets; included is infrared control, video monitoring and Ethernet connectivity.
NuVo Grand Concerto Keypad
This in-wall keypad, which controls a whole-house audio environment, features a capacitive-touch (fingertip-responsive) OLED display with eight character lines; it’s extremely readable from any angle and even in bright sunlight.
Bye-bye, boring keypads. This groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind film interactive in-wall OLED “touchpad” offers over 1,500 unique design possibilities, with more to come.
The company’s “ultimate” handheld universal controller sports a full-color, graphic LCD display, but is comfortable enough to operate with one hand.
Universal Remote Control MSC-400
OK, it’s not a remote, but it’s a “master system controller” that enables four of URC’s remotes to trigger elaborate macros that impact numerous devices without further interaction with the remote.
Logitech Harmony 890
The 890 employs both RF and IR wireless signals to control entertainment systems at up to 100 feet away, even if some components are hidden behind cabinets. It even can expand into lighting control.
The pioneer of the in-wall iPod integration category now offers freestanding units as well. The company gets props for helping to awaken the CEDIA crowd to the burgeoning iPod culture.
Short for “Music On Demand Experience,” MODE allows control of not just iPod but many other sources in up to six rooms. Its full-color keypad interface further livens the experience.
Providing full two-way touchpanel control and navigation of an iPod is only one of many things Crestron does very well. Integrating the iPod with its home control and audio distribution system makes it even cooler.
Tripp Lite HTRL15UPS
This system, optimized for A/V applications, includes automatic voltage regulation, a rotatable blue LCD status screen and up to five hours of battery backup time.
Panamax MAX 7500-PRO
This unit protects home entertainment systems from electromagnetic and radio frequency interference, digital noise and ground loops that can drag down performance.
Monster HTPS 7000
This venerable unit remains Monster’s reference model, providing 12 surge-protected, color-coded AC outlets.
Linear AirVac Platinum Series
This disposable bag system, available in four models, can powerfully clean homes of up to 12,000 square feet.
Beam Serenity Plus
This system’s high-efficiency motor, combined with its sound insulation and muffler technologies, allow it to operate more quietly than typical units do in homes of up to 15,000 square feet.
NuTone Central Vacuum
Convenient to install and maintain, this unit also provides deep-cleaning performance.