Protect and Serve: Automation and Security Are the Perfect Pairing For Many Households:

Protect and Serve: Automation and Security Are the Perfect Pairing For Many Households

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See how a family-focused automation system provides peace of mind and simplicity of lifestyle in this featured project spotlight: Whole Home Automation—All in the Family.

Tech’s in the Mail: The Top Five Smart Gadgets to Get With Your Tax Refund

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“In this modern world,” Benjamin Franklin might have said were he alive today, “nothing is certain but tech and taxes.” Indeed, technology helps us figure, file, and - grudgingly - pay our taxes. But technology can make getting a refund quicker and easier, too. If you’re expecting a refund, you might be tempted to use that extra cash to buy a newer model smartphone or tablet. (Yawn…) Here’s a better idea. Rather than swapping one perfectly good device for another slightly newer one, make a genuine upgrade in your life by replacing some of the dumb items in your home with smart devices that’ll make your home more convenient, more comfortable, and more fun to live in. Here’s a quick rundown of five of the top smart-tech home improvements you should consider buying with your tax refund (or any other money, for that matter).

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Designer Insights: How Home Automation Can Benefit the Interior Designer

By Crystal Watts

Q. When starting a new design project, to what extent should designers consider home automation? A. Professional designers take great pride in the aesthetics that make up a beautiful home. So it is really important that they take into consideration home automation to avoid the use of clunky electronic devices and wall clutter. Many designers may not be aware of what options are available, but home automation is really something that could improve their design process...

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How Smart Is Your Home?

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That’s the question the popular review site Angie’s List asked in a recent article about the proliferation of smart home technology. The answer? Your home can be as smart as you want it to be, and if you want to keep up with the Joneses (or the Jetsons), you should start considering automation technology as a “must-have” for your home... Angie’s List notes that industry leaders are saying that now is the time to get on the home automation bandwagon. “There is massive interest in home automation,” says Dave Pedigo, senior director of learning and emerging trends for the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, based in Indianapolis. “We are at the tipping point for the automated home, and that growth over the next decade will be exponentially larger year over year.”

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Our 5 Favorite Products from 2013

By Tyler Reed

2013 was a great year for technology innovation. Here are our five favorite gadgets and gizmos that whizzed and banged in all the best ways last year.

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TopGolf - Where it's Legal to Drink & Drive.

By Crystal Watts

...Every driving station is outfitted with two televisions, one of which will display any channel of choice and the other displays players' scores. This set up ensures you get the best of both worlds—keeping an eye on that important game while playing a bit of it yourself with friends. All in all, TopGolf houses 240 televisions, all of which can be turned on easily and quickly with an iPad and remotely switched from channel-to-channel individually or all at once. The Control4 system is so easy for the staff to use—and only took about a half hour to train them to operate the entire facility—that it allows them to focus on the day-to-day operations while keeping up the excitement for players and guests...

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Home Technology Helping to Break the Barriers of Autism

By Crystal Watts

It's not uncommon for young children to fight scheduled routines. They may throw a brief temper tantrum to try to get out of a nap, or push back on eating dinner because they'd rather play with their toys. However, for children with autism, routines, schedules and rituals are incredibly important. In fact, they are a necessity. If an abrupt change occurs in a normal day-to-day agenda, it can result in major meltdowns and huge setbacks for the child. Not to mention how challenging it is for the people who love them the most...

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Lighting—An Important Component to a Home Theater Experience

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A home theater conjures thoughts of a dark, secluded space where the screen is the only bright object in the room. While movies always look best in the dark, lights can still play a dramatic role in the performance of your home theater. Lighting that fades out at showtime is only the start of what’s possible when you tie the fixtures to a professionally installed and customized home automation system.

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Out Of This League: An Incredible Cubs Man Cave

By Crystal Watts

With Major League Baseball beginning this weekend, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to share one of the coolest man caves we've seen. This ultimate Chicago Cubs fan, Stewart McVicar, was out to play some serious ball when he designed his in-home sports bar, fully outfitted with a Control4 home automation system, a round bar with a video wall, beers on tap, a sweet game room, and even a urinal with an eye-level television so you don't miss a minute of the action.

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It's Here! The Internet of Things & The Connected Home

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Why is everyone talking about the 'Internet of Things' as some futuristic fantasy? It's already here, and it's in your home in the shape of wireless home automation.

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That's One Hot Rack!

By Tyler Reed

Several months ago, a colleague of mine wrote a blog post about the benefits of housing all of your AV and networking gear in a rack. Recently, I had started to have some issues with the AV equipment in my home overheating, but I still hadn’t really ever considered purchasing a rack. That is, until I read his blog post. I realized that putting a rack in my home would likely be the solution to my equipment overheating.

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CBS New York: A Look Inside The New ‘Smart Home’

By Crystal Watts

"It's one app that controls the entire house," says Brad Thurman, who chose Control4 home automation to control the security, lighting, television and audio within his home. Control4 dealer, Panos Anassis with AVI (Audio Video Invasion) did the installation on this great project and is featured in this segment from CBS New York titled "A Look Inside The New ‘Smart Home’."

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The Ultimate Innovative Smart Home

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When I imagine my dream house, it not only has an amazing gourmet kitchen, a lovely patio and backyard retreat to escape to, plenty of room for my kids and all their stuff, a personal gym, room for all of my husband’s “toys,” and of course showroom quality furnishings, fixtures and flooring. But it also has to have the latest technology and smart home features to really fit my definition of “dream living.”

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Upgrading Your Home Automation System...Why Should You Do It?

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From time to time, your Control4 dealer may have announced upgrades available for your Control4 home automation system. But your Control4 system has been working great—so why “fix” something that isn’t broken? Well, let's talk about it...

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Going Mad for March [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Tyler Reed

...This will be the first year that I won’t have to go to a sports bar to get the ultimate watching experience that I crave, which consists of all live games playing simultaneously during that first weekend. The Control4 HDMI Matrix Switch I installed in my home several months ago will allow me to take all satellite sources and put them on my video wall so that I can enjoy that unique sports bar experience in the comfort of my home. No need to change out of my sweatpants to watch the games...

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Sci-Fi Technology Has Become a Reality

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It is now 2014 and there are still no flying cars. However, many technologies that were previously only found in science fiction have now become science fact. Amazon's revelation of its proposed Prime Air delivery drone is just the latest futuristic technology that could soon become commonplace. Some of these products are still in development but many, like the Apple iPad, have become smart-household items. Here are just a few of the remarkable technologies that were first featured in sci-fi but are now for real.

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Living the High Life in a Smart Penthouse

By Crystal Watts

...This change also means that warmer weather is approaching. And for those lucky enough to live near the beach, you'll be able to soak up the rays for that additional hour. I can think of few places where it might be more enjoyable to spend some of those summer days and nights than this incredible penthouse in Miami, Florida, nestled right at the Atlantic ocean...

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Fully Automated in Fort Wayne

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Feast your eyes on this gorgeous new condo in Fort Wayne, Indiana; it’s hard to imagine anyone ever wanting to leave it. In addition to its pristine-yet-inviting modern design and breathtaking skyline view, it’s an absolute technological wonderland...

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And the Winner is…Wireless Lighting!

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The award-winning Control4 Wireless Lighting family recently added another prestigious industry accolade to its list of wins when it was named the 2014 Electronic House Product of the Year. In its review, Electronic House notes, “Control4 Wireless Lighting meets the needs of most residential and commercial projects worldwide and addresses the evolutionary adoption of LED technologies...

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Gotcha!

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There are a lot of things I love about my Control4 system. The whole-house audio system which pipes rock in the backyard while I’m barbecuing, watching multiple basketball games on the TVs in my den like I’m in my very own sports bar, using one button to turn off all the lights my kids seem physically incapable of shutting off when the leave the house, and so on. But last night, I had one more reason to love my smart home...

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How Control4 Saved My Marriage

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...So how did Control4 save the day? With Bond like reflexes, I reached into my dress jacket pocket, pulled out my Android device and fired up the MyHome mobile app. Within seconds, I was automatically connected to my home over 4G service. I handed the phone to my wife, and with a quick tap of her finger, she locked the front door. The door lock icon on my screen confirmed it was locked and we received another confirmation when the sitter called , a bit startled that the door had just locked itself...

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Interior Designers and Home Builders Increasingly Rely on Technology Integrators

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...This trend has shifted, as home automation becomes more desirable to families rather than an expensive luxury. Interior designers and builders are increasingly turning to professional smart home integrators to help them design and build smart home technology solutions for their customers. According to a recent Better Homes & Gardens real estate survey, “When it comes to the next generation of homeowners, more than half (56%) of Millennials believe home technology capabilities are more important than ‘curb appeal’.”

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Oscar Extravaganza!

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We celebrate a few non-traditional holidays in our house like they are Christmas. The Superbowl and the Oscars. As a diehard Broncos fan, the Superbowl this year was devastating, and embarrassing, and something I’d like to forget. We can only hope that the 86th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday turns out better. We have a group of equally nerdy, movie-buff friends who gather for Oscar night every year. We crowd around our 70” Sony TV—usually reserved for Sunday football and weeknight basketball games—to watch from the first red carpet interview to the final sign-off from Ellen.

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Wiring Guide for Smart Home Building

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It’s starting to feel a little spring-like in Utah, and unlike much of the country where major snow and ice storms in December and January have stunted winter home-building efforts, we’re starting to see a lot of new construction. The big building season is starting to heat up, much like the weather, and according to Forbes, “homebuilders should be optimistic” about the overall demand for new homes in 2014 and 2015.

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Step Inside Our Virtual Smart Home

By Tyler Reed

Home automation is fun! It really is. It’s exciting to be able to control all of your devices from one interface and be able to program “scenes” that allow you to turn on your TV, lights, and adjust the temperature, all from the push of a single button. But in order to really understand just how cool home automation is, you really must experience it, not just read about it...

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