The Perfect Solution for Microsoft Teams and Skype Business
Crestron Flex Unified Communication solutions are revolutionising the workplace. Native integration of Microsoft Teams and Skype Business allow users to quickly and easily collaborate with the minimum of fuss – it just works. A range of state of the art solutions from one provider – Crestron – enables Microsoft Teams integration from the desk right through to the largest conference room and the whole ecosystem easily managed by a cloud management system built on Microsoft Azure.
Stunning Cinema Room Design Meets One of The Best Home Cinema Systems
When a client based in Abuja, Nigeria asked us to design a Home Cinema Room for his home he had one brief – quality. As experts in cinema design we are used to maximising return for a clients budget – “Bang for Buck” – for this room the approach was a little bit different. With no budget constraints we had free reign to deliver the very best home cinema system available.
Integrating Facial Recognition in to Security Systems & Home Automation
In recent years biometric finger print access has been used to replace security codes and security alarm fobs for convenience and heightened security. However we always been slightly uncomfortable with this approach – imagine an ultra high networth individual with a stunning art collection – how far would a determined thief go to access the property? The logical conclusion is removal of the clients thumb or finger to gain access.
In the modern home WiFi should be treated as a utility – everyone needs it and it should be fast, reliable and always available. Unfortunately the ISP provided routers are generally low quality and built to very tight budgets. This can result in a WiFi signal which is great in the room which houses the router but the WiFi signal can become weak and under powered as clients move around the home.
A Crestron Home Automation system can make life a lot easier for clients with a disability such as reduced mobility, vision or hearing. A well installed system can increase independence and reduce the need for careers.
Exactly how can Crestron Home Automation help?
A Crestron system can control – and therefore automate – anything electrical in the home. One button press, or voice command,
Our Home Cinema Rooms aren’t solely for movie nights with the family – they also perform stunningly well as gaming rooms. High end surround systems fully immerse the player with audio coming from all sides, behind and even the ceiling! The projected image in this example is 4m wide and lit by a super powerful 4k Sony Laser Projector.
Ultimate Gaming RoomZero Compromise gaming
Utilising one of our home cinema rooms for gaming makes perfect sense:
Superb Audio with full surround sound
Huge 4m image to really immerse the player(s)
Extremely comfortable seating which is perfect for longer gaming sessions
Soundproofed room so you don’t disturb the family!
How Does Crestron Lighting Work & How is it Installed?
If you are reading this then you are probably interested in a lighting system for home. Whether this is the first article you have read, or you are at the end of your research, we feel this article will help you work out what you need and why.
Crestron Programming Services to the trade and end clients
As part of our Crestron Maintenance & Support services we offer freelance Crestron Programming services to the trade and end clients. Too many Crestron systems are badly programmed resulting in unhappy clients – hence why we are so happy for Crestron Home OS3 to make an appearance. Home OS3 will allow Crestron dealers with little to no programming skills to produce a reliable and easy to use system.
We have answered the most common questions asked about Crestron Home Automation systems so whether you have just heard the term and need to know what it is or you have a complete Crestron system installed in your home, the answer is below!
What is Crestron? Crestron are a US based manufacturer of Home Automation systems. They have been in business for over 50 years.
Introducing the new service from Future Automation!
Future Automation are our go-to home automation motorisation company – put simply if you want to motorise something they are the company to deal with.
We often install their products in to home cinema rooms and living rooms as they allow us to hide away technology and reveal it at the touch of a button – like in the video below which was filmed in the attic cinema of our Hampstead Home Automation project:
Future Automation Canvas Design Service
One of our favourite products from Future Automation is their PICSPLIT Mechanism which,
OK, You are in the market for a Home Cinema to be installed in your home by a home cinema installation company. Why would you choose a Trinnov system? What does it offer over a high end AVR from the likes of Anthem or Denon? It costs a fortune so how does it justify the price? Read on…
In this blog post we explained about how Crestron Pyng is revolutionising the Home Automation market. The imminent release of OS3 (UPDATE – Released and available on the app store as of September 2019!!) brings a huge amount of improvements and changes – as well as a rebrand, welcome to Crestron Home OS3! Check out the video below!
How we work with Architects and Interior Designers
Ensuring Complete Client Satisfaction
We regularly work with Architects and Interior Designers to deliver their vision of a client space. We are Home Technology specialists which means we can simply the process of integrating home technology in to a home and crucially integrating in to your vision. We guarantee reliability and complete client satisfaction – check out our Google reviews and our portfolio of past projects to see our past work.
Crestron dimming systems are well established in the lighting control system field. Hugely flexible and powerful lighting control systems are as happy dimming a studio apartment as they are controlling the lighting for a multi-building complex.
Historically the range as focused on controlling lighting fittings with everything from colour changing disco lights to traditional downlights being handled easily and efficiently. The missing piece of the puzzle has been curtains and blinds –
What do you think of when you think about home lighting? Perhaps it’s the bulb hanging from the pendulum fitting in your living room. Maybe it’s the standard lamp in the corner. There are a few variations on the theme, but that pretty much covers home lighting, right? Wrong! Home lighting control systems aren’t just about “lighting in your home” although that certainly plays its part.
An in depth explanation of Home Automation & Smart Home Technology
Everything these days is “smart”, from your smartphone through to smart TVs. You might be able to remember when all this technology began to be introduced – it wasn’t that long ago. Like every new technology, it took a while for the benefits of these devices to become apparent to the general public. After all, when smartphones started to take over,
Crestron Pyng has been around for a couple of years. When it was initially released we reviewed the product and came away slightly under whelmed – it had positives but we really saw it as a gateway for people with little to no programming experience in to the Crestron ecosystem.
Converting an Used Double Garage in to a Bespoke Home Cinema Room
Double Garages can be the perfect space to transform in to a stunning, bespoke home cinema room. Very few people actually park cars in their garages nowadays as cars get bigger and the amount of stuff we all hold keeps growing. Garages of all sizes tend to be dumping grounds for unused sports equipment and gardening equipment –
Sony have been our go to range of Home Cinema Projectors for some time now – they represent great value for money and the range ensures a projector for most budgets and requirements. The latest range has a stunning 4K resolution and is laser powered for a super bright, high resolution image. We explore the range a little below and give some details on the projectors which normally find their way in to our home cinema installs.
A Stunning Bespoke Home Cinema Room Design for a London based Client
We love designing home cinema rooms and this client came to us with the perfect brief – “Please convert this unused room in my home in to a bespoke home cinema room.” The client pointed us in the direction of a couple of our case studies which he liked the look of and gave us a healthy budget to work from. » Read more about: Bespoke Home Cinema Room Design »
The World’s Most Powerful and Flexible Home Audio System
The Crestron Sonnex audio distribution system makes it in to all of our systems. Every case study on our website is based around the Crestron Sonnex system – that is an amazing fact! We specify Sonnex for a number of reasons:
It is Powerful – Up to 400 Watts per Channel
It is Scalable – Up to 72 amplified channels = 72 Rooms!
How to Navigate the Huge Array of Projector Screen Options!
We have a huge range of Projector Screen options available for home cinema designs and we thought an article laying out the differences and explaining why we choose certain models over others might be handy for prospective clients and also people looking to DIY (which is often the first experience people have of a proper home cinema system).
Movie aspect ratios seem very confusing! What do they mean and how do you decode them?
In the good old days with 14″ portable TVs which were as deep as they were wide we used to watch TV on a 4:3 (or 1.33:1) picture which looked pretty square – for every 1.33 cm of width you also had 1 cm of height. In recent years widescreen TVs have become the new standard and are much more of a rectangle –
The new Samsung “The Frame” TV is one of the best products we have seen for some time. Normally we balance TV picture quality with aesthetics – normally choosing Samsung TVs to go in our home entertainment systems due to the great picture quality and slim bezels. The Frame TV takes a totally different approach – hiding in plane sight as a piece of artwork when not in use.
Specialist Lighting & Audio Video Consultancy in London
As Custom Installers we design and install high end lighting and audio video distribution systems. We fully appreciate that our high end systems are not suitable for every home being built and for every client, however we do feel every new build home should have a certain amount of technology incorporated. By planning cable infrastructure in advance home owners and developers can be sure of future proofing their homes.
We regularly install audio solutions in to swimming pools, terraces and gardens but they can be very tricky places to make audio sound good – particularly if the area is also a video zone with the need to hear voices clearly. Our usual audio distribution solution (the Crestron Sonnex) enables us to fully calibrate the audio in any zone but it is important to start with the right speaker package.
Using C Seed to Install the Perfect Outdoor Home Cinema
Outdoor cinema makes perfect sense in climates warmer than most of the UK. Our Clients in Dubai and Africa spend huge amounts of time outdoors – hosting dinner parties and enjoying time in their swimming pools. The logical extension to an outdoors lifestyle is a C Seed outdoor home cinema. The problem traditionally has been how to incorporate a large display and high end surround system that looks and sounds great in use but also blends in to the environment when not is use.
Agath Mirror TV solutions have been featuring in our whole home audio video installations for some time – traditionally with a small mirror TV at the end of the bath or in the shower. They are a great way to relax and catch up with recorded TV (when in the bath) and a great way to catch the morning news whilst getting ready in the morning.
How We Design & Install Home Cinema Acoustic Treatments
Acoustic treatments are fundamental to delivering a good home cinema room. It is important to minimise unwanted reflections in a room across all frequencies – so no boomy bass or “chattery” spaces. Imagine standing in wooden room and clapping your hands – the echo of a hand clap reverberates back and you may hear it many times before it disappears. This effect is magnified many times in a home cinema with lots of sounds competing in a space.
Follow our Guide to Choosing Home Security Systems
Unfortunately a good home security is a necessity in the modern world but there are so many options! Follow our guide to choosing home security systems. Most people look around at their neighbours homes to get the contact of a local alarm company. The problem with this is you will generally receive a standard system which is their usual offering. Read this guide so you know your options and research the best solution for you and your family before even talking to an alarm company.
There is no doubt voice control is here to stay and leading the charge is Amazon Alexa. The convenience of being able to start and stop your favourite music simply by talking to Alexa is revolutionary – and that is only one trick up Alexa’s sleeve. Alexa allows a whole host of interactions – add things to your Amazon basket (handy if you have just used the last of an ingredient in the kitchen),
Home Cinema lighting design is crucial to creating an enjoyable home cinema room. Lighting levels should be just right to create the perfect environment – bright enough to navigate round the room and dim enough to truly enjoy the picture from a projector. It is also important to consider lighting levels for things like cleaning – too many cinema’s are only capable of being dark spaces,
Crestron Design & Programming in London & Cheshire
Proper Crestron design is fundamental to delivering a reliable home automation system. We are an official Crestron Dealership which means we are trained by Crestron on the latest technologies and best practices for system installation and operation. We have a huge number of case studies to show clients the possibilities and have systems which are 10+ years old, still working perfectly, like they did on the day they were installed.
How to choose a specific type of Home Cinema Seating
Home Cinema Seating is one of the most important elements to a successful Home Cinema Installation – clients can spend a lot of time spent in one position watching a film or a box set and they must be comfortable. If the seating choice is wrong then the home cinema will not be a success!
We have a number of factors we take in to account:
What is the make up of the family and age of any children?
Garden Home Cinema Rooms – Create the Perfect Home Cinema.
Building a garden room can be an easy way to add value and space to your home – transforming the old patio at the bottom of the garden in to a stunning room which is isolated from the rest of the property. A perfect space for a home cinema. In addition to being isolated from the rest of the home the room benefits from being designed from the ground up with acoustics and the client requirements in mind.
As London based Crestron Specialists we love taking clients to the Crestron Showroom London. The Showroom resembles a high end apartment packed with the latest technologies – it’s a great way to show clients the possibilities and allows them to choose elements which they would like to add to their home.
Everything there is to know about Smart Home Automation
Smart Home Automation systems allow complete control of your home while home or away – providing convenience, comfort and security. Most home automation systems come complete with some form of Artificial Intelligence – for example a Nest thermostat knows what time it needs to switch your heating on to get the home warm before your alarm clock goes off – learning if rooms with underfloor heating take longer to warm than rooms with traditional radiators.
In todays world of mobile phones and tablets it may be hard to see where new Crestron remote controls fit in to a home automation system but the truth is they are as relevant as they were in the days of just having a TV remote control. Mobiles and tablets are multi use device, they are used for lots of other activities such as checking email,
Crestron equipment needs to be installed by a Crestron dealer as a reliable system requires designing and programming. It is not advisable for end clients to source equipment and try to self install.
Having said the above we do often sell Crestron equipment on-line direct to end clients. Things like battery packs and cables are consumable items and are well within the skill of your average home owner to replace.
Our Top 5 Home Cinema Rooms as shared on Social Media
Below is a collection of our top 5 Home Cinema Installations – this post is an easy way to quickly find inspiration for your home cinema room. These case studies show our most shared case studies on social media (Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook) and demonstrate the huge variety of installs available –
Experience one of the Best Home Cinema Systems in Europe!
As Artcoustic dealers we regularly take clients to the Artcoustic showroom in Chelmsford (approximately 40 minutes from London by train) – there is no substitute to actually hearing the speakers! Contact us to arrange a full showroom tour.
Artcoustic are our preferred home cinema speaker brand – the sound quality is excellent, the range is flexible and the support we get is fantastic.
Who goes to the cinema anymore? We live in a world where entertainment is a lot more personal and, because it is easily accessible, a lot more comfortable. After all, if you can put together the best home cinema in your own home, why would you bother to share the experience with at least a couple dozen strangers in a cinema?
Ensuring you have the right size Projection Screen
Choosing the right size home cinema screens is crucial to designing a successful cinema space – but it is a tricky thing to get right! Before working out sizes there are a couple of decision points – is this a dedicated cinema or a room which needs to function as a living room by day and a cinema by night? Dedicated rooms should always have a fixed cinema screen (as you can build speakers in to a void behind an acoustically transparent screen) whereas a living room could have a TV based cinema or a drop down projector screen.
Top 5 points to consider when choosing a Crestron Dealer
How to choose a Crestron Dealer? Top 5 Things to Consider.
So, you have decided on a Crestron home automation system – you have done your research and have a rough idea of costs – how do you choose a Crestron dealer to work with? This is a crucial question and most people decide based on the dealer representative who visits them but it really pays to do your homework before getting to the stage of meeting any potential integrator.
The Five Steps to Building a Successful Home Theater or Cinema Room
Building a Home Theater? Our team of expert installers share their knowledge to allow you to build a successful home theater or cinema room. The key to success is preparation and planning – concentrate on getting the fundamentals right and a successful room will follow!
Screen Size -This is obviously dictated to some extent by the size of the room but most people tend to think of home cinema as being over 100″
Home Cinema Design for a Ghana Private Cinema Room
Our high end Home Cinema Designs all benefit from full renders – allowing clients to visualise the space before construction begins. This home cinema design for ghana has been produced to show a client the home cinema room designed to fit in a roughly 5m x 11m room – allowing us to confirm all the details and ensure complete client satisfaction.
Introducing the Stunning Trinnov Home Cinema Audio Solution
It could easily be argued that the Trinnov home cinema range of audio products (the Trinnov Altitude32 Pre-amplifier, Magnitude32 Processor and Amplitude8 amplifier) are the most important home cinema product of the last few years. They revolutionise how we design and install cinema’s and, crucially, the client experience. In a traditional home cinema design guidelines dictate where speakers must be positioned for optimum sound reproduction and to ensure proper surround sound,
What is the correct distance from the screen for home cinema seating?
When designing a home cinema room the distance from the screen to the seating is crucial to delivering a great user experience. There are a number of variables to take in to account – room size, screen size and the particular clients needs. The human eye sees detail in a 30 degree arc beyond that we just see colour definition, therefore if the seating is too close to the screen viewing films will be tiring (as the head moves from side to side to pick up detail) but too far way (and much above 30 degrees) the screen will appear small.
There are a huge array of home cinema projectors available so how do we choose which model to install in our home cinema and home theater rooms? We have a number of criteria which we evaluate when proposing a projector for a home cinema install:
Budget – Broadly speaking the more expensive the projector the higher the resolution, the better the contrast and the brighter the picture.
A well designed home cinema room will allow your sound system to perform at its absolute best – home cinema dimensions are the key. Standing waves and acoustic reflections can influence even the most expensive sound system available – resulting in poor quality with hard to make out dialogue and an exaggerated bass response. Designing the room properly from the outset can minimise the unwanted effects of the room and allow your sound system to sing. » Read more about: Home Cinema Dimensions »
Crestron Voice Control – Alexa, Siri & Google Home
Crestron Voice Control with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri & Google Home
It’s not that long ago that controlling your home via your voice would of seemed particularly far fetched. Voice control in cars had been around in niche vehicles for some time but was fairly unreliable and rarely used after a few unsuccessful attempts of shouting at the steering wheel.
A lot of people see voice control of their home as a gimic,
Case Study:- Sonos Multi-Room Audio Installation Putney, SW15
Sonos Multi-Room Audio & Home Cinema – Putney, SW15
One of our simpler jobs –Multi-Room Audio Installation Sonos London (Putney, SW15) – this client got in touch as she had just purchased a new home which was wired for Multi-Room Audio but had no sources in place. She has Sonos installed in another home and liked the flexibility and performance so it made sense to continue this theme in to her new home.
We supply the full range – Custom Install to Cabinet Speakers
We are very pleased to be a partner of the British speaker manufacturer B&W. We have access to the full range of equipment, from their custom install range to the 800 series speakers installed in Abbey Road Studios. The sound quality and standard of finish is second to none as is some of the best backing and support we get. As a custom installer we install speakers from the entire range in our projects,
Home Automation, Smart Homes and Connected Homes – Explained
Smart Home vs Home Automation vs Connected Home – With the rise of the Internet of Things more and more people are realising the benefits of an intelligent home. New products from the likes of Google and Apple allow home owners to even control their home by voice commands – adding a wow factor and convenience via technology that would of been thought of as very futuristic even a few years ago.
A Hugely Flexible Digital Music Solution from Autonomic.
The Autonomic MMS Music Server frequently serves as the cornerstone to our whole house audio systems. The MMS is a hugely flexible digital music server – allowing a world of music to be enjoyed anywhere in the home when partnered with our Crestron or Savant Home Entertainment solutions. Easy access to high quality music is essential to delivering a successful system with the following services being supported (services available may depend on geographical location):
For our international clients the MMS allows us to easily access “home”
Lutron Homeworks QS, Quantum and Grafik Eye Compatible LEDs
Lutron lighting control systems excel at energy efficient mood lighting and automated lighting controls – however specifying compatible Lutron LED lamps has always been far from straightforward. Cheaper LED lamps can change colour through the dimming cycle – transforming from stark white to a deep orange, depending on the amount the lamp is dimmed. Some fittings even flicker when at the lower end of the dimming range.
8 Ways Smart Home Technology can benefit Home Owners.
What are the Benefits of a Smart Home System? Smart Home Systems are becoming more and more common, with a huge number of devices becoming “Smart Home Enabled”. A huge number of manufacturers are making enabled devices, our systems take this approach to another level. What are the benefits for the home owner?
1 – Convenience – Smart Home systems can automate functions around the home,
It’s great to hear that Sonos and Crestron have collaborated to allow seamless control of any Sonos device from a Crestron system. We have been integrating the two brands for some time – on iPad’s we launch the Sonos app from within Crestron, minimising app switching as much as possible, and integrating Sonos on to Crestron touch panels by using a Sire gateway.
High End Audio Video – Audioquest Cables & Interconnects
Audioquest cables and interconnects make a huge difference to audio quality in a high end audio video installation. Our larger multi-room systems can have a huge number of zones, sometimes up to 100 discrete audio zones with around half having TVs or projectors. In these systems certain zones may be particularly high end – stereo only listening rooms or dedicated home cinema rooms.
Lutron Lighting vs KNX vs Z-WaveRF – Which is best?
A head to head comparison of Lutron, KNX and Z-WaveRF
Here at Custom Controls we believe home lighting systems should be one of the first things installed in to a new home or substantial renovation. They add convenience and security whilst showing your home off at it’s best and save energy. There are a few factors which should exist for every system installed:
Easy to use with zero training
Easy for clients to set up their own scenes
If a lighting control system doesn’t perform the above well then our opinion it is not a good system.
We specialise in upgrading Mode, iLight, Vantage & Rako Lighting.
Due to the huge flexibility of Lutron and Crestron lighting control systems we can guarantee to upgrade old, obsolete lighting control systems to modern, efficient and reliable versions. We have a number of case studies where we have taken out an unreliable lighting system and upgraded it to a flexible, modern equivalent. Our Wimbledon case study is a great example –
How does a Mood Lighting Control System benefit a Family Home?
Lighting is fundamental to how we use and interact spaces in the home. The nicest architecture and interior design can be made to look terrible with poor lighting. A lighting control system allow clients to set lighting scenes and recall them at the touch of a button – creating perfect scenes for different activities and uses. Subtle lighting changes can have a huge impact on the look and feel of a room,
Why Use Savant Remote Controls in a Home Automation System?
The Savant app for iPhone and iPad is so good it is easy to discount using a traditional remote control – after all the app allows full control of the entire home and has a stunning colour interface even using pictures of the rooms to allow easy navigation. However, constantly having to use an Apple device for simple functions can be tiring and due to the fact they can be used for multiple activities they do have a tendency to migrate from one room to another –
If you are planning to install a Smart Home system in to a residential property you will probably come across Crestron and Savant (and Control 4 but we have that covered here). These companies are the two main players in the residential smart home market – luckily we are accredited dealers for both.
Either of these two systems will perform a great job of providing a whole home audio video,
Spotify Integration in to a Home Entertainment System
Integrating Streaming Services into a Home Entertainment System
Spotify Integration is a great feature of our home entertainment systems. There is no doubt that the future of music streaming around the home is internet based – services such as Spotify, Pandora and Deezer provide access to huge amount of music for a minimal monthly outlay. Some systems such as Sonos integrate these services perfectly, allowing the aforementioned services, internet radio and the clients own digital music collection to be enjoyed anywhere in the home.
Using a Crestron Home Automation System for Intercom Functions
Update! Crestron have just partnered with 2N – a high end IP based intercom company. This allows us a huge range of door intercom stations (from a simple camera, microphone and bell right through to multi-dwelling intercom systems capable for a block of apartments) which can be easily integrated in to Crestron touchpanels. The 2N service can also be integrated in to mobile phones ensuring no missed deliveries or visitors again!
Using Smart Home Automation Systems for Energy Management
Smart Home Automation systems excel in new build properties – more and more new build properties have high amounts of insulation and renewable energy elements. Our Smart Home systems increase convenience whilst lowering energy use. We create a bespoke energy plan for each property to ensure this happens in the most efficient way possible – energy created by solar panels can be directed to any number of sub systems in the home –
As a company we install lots of Mood Lighting Systems. This blog entry aims to address some of the common questions we are asked by prospective clients.
A mood lighting system is simply a lighting system which controls the lights in a room (or every room of your home). Lighting is split in to channels and a lighting keypad has a number of buttons which allow you to recall scenes.
A well designed, installed and programmed home automation system is a convenient way to control electrical devices in the home. Touchpanels and iPads allow simplified control of different subsystems and whole house pages allow clients to easily see which devices are in use and where. In a house with many bedrooms, more than are in use the majority of the time, home owners can save huge amounts of energy by lowering the heating set point until the room is needed.
An in depth review of the Crestron Digital Media system
The Crestron Digital Media system forms the video distribution back bone of all our projects. It is a hugely powerful and scalable video distribution system – allowing any video source to be sent to a display over HDMI, Cat6 or Fiber infrastructure, depending on site conditions and distances involved. There is no loss of quality so video resolutions and multi-channel audio formats which are present on the source material are sent at the same quality through to the end device.
Crestron Sonnex – Multi-Room Audio – An in depth review.
The Crestron Audio Distribution – Crestron Sonnex system is central in the vast majority of our designs – it’s a hugely flexible system which allows 24 audio inputs which can be distributed to up to 72 individual audio zones! Any input can be routed to any zone so each can listen to an independent source or any of the 72 zones can listen to the same source.
A run down of the best Home Automation Systems on the market today.
If you are in the market for a home automation / smart home system you have probably come across the three big players in the industry and are comparing them – Crestron vs Lutron vs Control4. Which is best and why should you choose one over another? If you are looking for a free, no obligation quote then please contact us!
Prospective clients tend to get in touch with us when hunting for a great audio video solution for the home – Multi-Room Audio Video, Home Cinema, perhaps some Lighting Control. On a new build property we can do much more. As solar panels, ground source heat pumps and heat recovery systems become more common our energy monitoring and control solutions become more relevant.
What causes false alarms in wireless home security systems?
Troubleshoot Your Wireless Alarm System
Wireless home security systems are becoming more common – even in high end homes due to ease of installation and incredibly long battery life. Wireless can be a great way to expand a pre-installed system – for instance enhancing a home security system by adding in smoke detectors or adding vibration sensors on windows to provide another layer of security.
The problem with installing anything wireless in the home is that every device shares a fairly narrow band of frequencies –
The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Home Lighting Control System
Is a Home Lighting System always a good idea?
First of all we need to lay our cards on the table – if we were embarking on a new build or renovation project a lighting control system would be the number one requirement. If budget was an issue we would install a lighting control system before anything else – audio video distribution, home automation maybe even before a security system!
This week we have been reviewing the new home cinema processor / amplifier from Crestron – the HD-XSPA. This unit fits in to our designs perfectly – the Digital Media input allows us to send 4k uncompressed video and HD audio to the unit over Cat5e cable and we therefore have the option of fitting the amplifier in the room or in the rack.
Make Sure Your Cinema is Performing at its Absolute Best!
As Home Cinema Specialists we are experts at designing and installing Home Cinema systems. For each and every system we install we preform a full calibration service – after all the best equipment in the room needs setting up properly. By taking in to account speaker positioning and room harmonics we can ensure that your home cinema installation performs at it’s absolute best.
The Nest Thermostat and Nest protect (of which we are certified installers!) are bringing home automation within easy reach of most home owners. We have been offering advanced scheduling and control of Heating & Cooling for years – the savings can be immense and it is hugely convenient too! Nest does this too in an easy to use package, providing great interaction with Apple and Android smart phones.
10 Lancelot Place, Knightsbridge, London (opposite Harrods)
We have just finished working on this new apartment block opposite Harrods on Knightsbridge.Each of the 55 apartments is pre-cabled to allow easy installation of a full multi-room audio video system incorporating the North Building Management System, Honeywell Galaxy Alarm, Leax Lighting system and BPT intercom system. In the two penthouse apartments we have installed a Crestron control system to bring easy control of each element mentioned above.
Crestron Adagio Whole House Multi-Room AV & Home Cinema
Our clients were a young couple based in Liverpool who were in the process of building a new home. The brief included a whole house audio system with surround sound home cinema in the lounge and large TV’s in the kitchen and bedroom. The main requirement was to have a discreet install, in keeping with their modern and clean interior, coupled with excellent sound quality and access to IPOD’s and radio throughout the home.
This install of a Rako wireless lighting system in this villa in Marbella, Spain created some technological challenges for us – the villa was substantial, split over 3 floors and of a concrete and marble construction. The Rako wireless lighting system relies on radio waves to communicate between fittings, we knew this wouldn’t be an issue in the individual rooms although a couple of potential issues were identified:
the Crestron control system housed in the basement would have ultimate control of the lighting system and this was a long way from some rooms.
Case Study:- High End Headphone System Install in Dubai
Light Harmonic Davinci and Stax SR-009 = Perfection
When an existing client in Dubai came to us to design a high end headphone system we were initially a little lacking in inspiration. However, a little research soon had us looking at the Stax SR-009’s – widely credited with being the best headphones available in the world. Reviewers rave about their balance and the fact they are extremely open sounding and therefore easy to listen to.
This video sums up why we love Future Automation TV & projector lifts! Pressing a single button transforms this living room in to a full home cinema! All technology is hidden away until required – watch the video to see the transformation.
Our Technical Manager, Gary, has been busy making changes and upgrades to our Derby Crestron project. The clients have added lots of new security features to the home which they would like adding in to their Crestron system. The home was a large new build so as they have settled in, over the last year or so, they have asked for further customisation of the Crestron system –
The Future Automation under Bed TV lift is a stunning piece of design and manufacturing and the perfect solution for bedrooms with either large windows or no logical place to mount a TV.
The TV lives under the bed until it is required – at which point the TV extends out from under the bed and hinges up to the perfect viewing height. This a stunning solution to create a minimalist room with no technology on display!
Our bespoke Home Entertainment Installations are the best available – hugely flexible installations allow any source to be distributed to any room. Our systems allow centralised sources such as Sky HD, Apple TV and Movie servers to be enjoyed anywhere in the home with different TVs able to view different content at the same time. Music servers allow clients to enjoy their music collection (or internet radio and Spotify) anywhere in the home with different rooms listening to different streams or individual rooms ganged together in party mode.
AV racks generate a lot of heat. Our AV Consultancy work often means we are tasked with dealing with the heat in a cost effective manner – after all installing an air conditioning unit in 100+ apartments is an expensive undertaking if it doesn’t have to be done!
Our usual approach is to rely on convection as much as possible – cool air is taken in at the bottom of the rack and is expelled at the top as warm air.
Our Award Winning Service for 3rd Party Installations
Our Crestron systems aren’t just easy to use and flexible. They also have a huge amount of fault tolerance and reporting built in to the code. Our fully maintained systems (the first year is always free for new installs!) allow clients to quickly and easily perform health checks on the system and we get regular emails back to Custom Controls HQ detailing the health of the system.
High End Lutron Installations in London and Manchester, UK
We specialise in Lutron Homeworks QS lighting control systems. We differentiate ourselves by providing high end lighting designs and advanced programming, something not always associated with our competition! The flexibility of the initial design has a huge affect on the user satisfaction of the finished system. Our programming relies on our years of programming to view the system from a user perspective –
We comment on Crestron’s new range of simple to use handheld remote controls.
At first glance it is easy to dismiss the new range of handheld remote controls from Crestron, it looks a little underwhelming. The remotes look as though they are designed well enough but surely a remote control like this takes us back to the late 1990’s? Since before the release of the Apple iPad we have been designing custom touchpanel interfaces which are easy to use,
With rising energy costs and more and more reliance on renewable energy in residential properties there has never been a better time to monitor energy usage. Our larger home automation installations can all benefit from Home Automation power monitoring – we can display anything from whole home usage down to the energy usage of different electrical spurs. Using one of our lighting control systems whilst monitoring energy usage shows in real time how digital dimming and automated lighting can save energy.
As one of the UK’s leading Custom Installation companies we regularly perform the Audio Video Consultants role for clients. Breaking the project in to design and installation phases makes perfect sense – our designs are flexible and future proof and take in to account the clients requirements both now and in the future. By having us design the system the client can ensure the infrastructure is installed for a world class system – » Read more about: Audio Video Consultants in London »
Crestron Multi-Room Audio Video Schematics & Design
The Best Documentation for Market Leading Solutions
One of our newest projects is going through the design phase. These full Crestron multi-room audio video schematics allow the electricians to quote properly and will ultimately be used by the engineering team to build the racks and work out which equipment to install in which rooms.
We produce one of these drawings for each of our projects. The end drawings and the Crestron program are then handed over to clients at the end of the project.
Clients often come to us with a lighting control system requirement but are confused about which lighting system is best. As our case study pages show we are fans of Crestron lighting. From a client perspective the systems are very similar but we feel that Crestron lighting just beats Lutron when the two are compared. Our reasons are below:
How to future proof a home by wiring for Multi-Room Audio Video
A question we are often asked (and we often see asked on home building forums etc) is what wiring to put it in to a new build property to cater for whole house AV. Installing cables correctly at the build (or renovation stage) can be done relatively cheaply and allow whole house / multi-room systems to be added at a later date with no disruption.
Dolby Atmos is the latest and greatest sound format for cinemas – it totally opens up the home cinema sound stage. By following the Dolby guidelines we normally fit more speakers in an Atmos cinema than a traditional 5.1 system (although 5.1 can still benefit from the upgrade due to the better sound formats) which allows sound to be more precisely placed. Dolby Atmos also utilises in-ceiling and overhead speakers which adds a whole new dimension to home cinema audio reproduction.
Dolby Atmos is a totally different approach to home cinema – instead of channels (front left, centre etc) the approach is for audio objects. Each sound element in a film (a car horn, speech etc) is controlled precisely by film makers – where should the sound originate?
If you are about to install a home cinema, particularly in a new build property where you have the chance to influence room shape, then you should take a look at our cinema room dimensions page. Tweaking the dimensions of the room – to enhance acoustics – can be one of the best ways to enhance a home cinema. The best equipment in the world needs the right environment to shine and a well designed room can let your choice of equipment shine.