Have you ever imagined yourself lounging in your very own home theater, entertaining guests with your favorite movies, TV shows, or video games on a big screen? How about having timed interior and exterior lighting that turns on and off by itself when you want it to? And wouldn’t you enjoy the comfort of a home security system that you can access and control from home or away? If you have been dreaming of a high-tech home theater with all of the amenities or an automated control and security system, those dreams aren’t out of reach.
According to Scott Fuelling, president of Phoenix Unequaled Home Entertainment, much-desired home control systems have become more affordable, and people are looking for integration to simplify their lives. By integrating the systems in your home, like lighting, heating control, pool control, security cameras, home access control, audio/video and home theater systems, you can enhance your home’s energy efficiency and add ease and security to your daily routine.
Fuelling describes a homeowner with this type of integrated system: “They leave the house, arm their security system in the away mode, and then have the entertainment system shut off, the HVAC system set back accordingly for energy management, and the lighting set to go off automatically. If it’s after dusk, they can make sure certain lights stay on for security, and there’s a timed-event function for exterior lighting. People like to have these types of features now that they are really obtainable.”
Front door security cameras are also popular. “Someone may ring the front doorbell, and any TV that’s on in the house will pop up a camera of the area, so they can see who’s at the door without having to go to it,” Fuelling says.
In other areas of the ever-evolving world of home technology — media specifically — Internet entertainment options are vast and gaining momentum. “We’re seeing more web streaming or people pulling entertainment content off the Internet to view in their main television areas,” says Fuelling. “So while cable and satellite are still a big, viable option, people are starting to recognize that the Internet can bring a world of entertainment to them as well.”
Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu are used in many households, and using them typically requires a larger bandwidth with faster Internet speeds. Without the proper equipment, your viewing content may jitter or even lock up. Phoenix started a soft roll-out of their computer networking services in 2012, and they are now providing services to enhance your Internet viewing experience by offering equipment that meets your individual needs and works with the ways you use your media devices.
“Because of the bandwidth, people are discovering that their home networks, which were simply a service provider’s router or wireless router or some hardware they picked up at one of the local retailers, is not strong enough to carry the content effectively,” Fuelling says. “We’re seeing a tremendous amount of networking hardware going into all of our customers’ homes; more of the right equipment to get the job done and help them be prepared for the future.”
The future of technology, that is. And system integration makes it easy to use. “With ours, I always say the user interface is transparent; in other words you use the same style interface no matter what you’re doing,” says Fuelling. “But behind the scenes we could be controlling a cable box, a satellite box, several different media appliances pulling entertainment off the Internet, and for you it’s just like using a television.”
Pretty cool, right? Good news: Phoenix is once again the presenting sponsor for the Best of Home Expressions show, and they will be offering one of the $25,000 home makeover giveaways.
“The winner will essentially receive a blank check for $25,000 to have us provide whatever they’d like,” Fuelling says. “We’ll figure out what we can do that’s more important to them. For some people it may be security systems and cameras, some people may want a home theater. Or anywhere between — we’ll do it.”
Phoenix will also be on-hand at this year’s expo presenting 3-D video gaming, 3-D movies, and video demonstrations, as well as teaching a basic course on home automation. “We will show you how you can start very small with technology and gain big,” Fuelling says. “Most people look at technology as a burden or they’re scared of it, but when it’s used in the right context and put in correctly, it really does add value to your life because it simplifies things.”
Be sure to visit the Phoenix booth at the Best of Home Expressions show to learn what technologies are available, how they can be used effectively, and how to apply them to your lifestyle.