Minimal Tech Gear, But Maximum Control
Although there are few visible components, this home packs in plenty of control options, highlighted by a combo of Windows Media Center and Niveus server.
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May 04, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery

You won’t see a single touchpanel on the walls of this home. Nor will you run across big, beefy speakers or keypads blanketed with a bazillion buttons. With the exception of a 100-inch screen in the media room, this home doesn’t appear to be very high-tech at all.

But when you pick up one of the family’s six remotes, the true sophistication of the electronic systems becomes apparent. From any one of these ordinary looking clickers, the homeowners can control every light switch in their 4,500-square-foot home, adjust any of three Aprilaire thermostats, arm and disarm a DSC security system, access a wealth of entertainment content stored on a Niveus media server, tap into online music services provided by their Sonos whole-house music system and view images from three Panasonic surveillance cameras on an HP TouchSmart monitor in the kitchen or any TV in the house.

It’s all made possible through the combination of a Microsoft Windows Media Center operating system and Exceptional Innovation Lifeware home automation software, says Matt Peters of home systems installation company Wireless Home in Naples, Fla.

The Windows Media Center environment was something the homeowners had grown extremely comfortable with, having test-driven a Media Center-focused electronics system several times at the Wireless Home showroom.

“They were particularly impressed by how the Windows Media Center platform could allow them to use very few devices to create an extremely powerful home control network,” says Peters.

With only a few key pieces to install, Peters and his team wouldn’t have to worry about the technology intruding on the home’s clean, contemporary style, or having to install miles and miles of wiring. Just about everything the homeowners wanted—the home control software, high-def cable TV receiver, digital music player and Blu-ray player—is contained within a single Niveus media server.

About the only visible pieces of high-tech hardware are the half-dozen flat-panel TVs located throughout the residence. These displays are crucial to the control of the various Media Center–centric electronic subsystems. By using any remote, the owners can

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

Installers/Equipment List

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Systems Design and Installation
Wireless Home
Naples, Fla.

Lyons Housing
Fort Myers, Fla.

Niveus Media Server n7 (with Blu-ray)
Niveus Digital Cable Receiver
Krell Showcase 7.1 Amplifier
Krell Showcase Processor
UPS System
Nintendo Wii
Krell Resolution Loudspeakers (R3, RCenter, and RSub)
In ceiling speakers for rear channels
Optima Big Vision 100” Display
Universal Remote MX980 Remote Control
Tributaries Cables (2)

Leisure Room
Pioneer Elite Pro 110FD - 50” Plasma
Yamaha RX-V3800 Surround Sound Processor
Artison LCR speakers
Episode A6IC6 in-ceiling speakers
Velodyne MiniVee Subwoofer
Xbox360 Elite Extender
Samsung BDP 1000 Blu-ray player
Belkin UPS AP30800
Universal Remote MX980 Remote Control

Master Bedroom
Sharp LC37P62U- 37” LCD
HP-X280N Extender
Universal Remote MX900 Remote Control (2)

Master Retreat
Sharp White 26” LCD
HP X280N Extender
Universal Remote MX900 Remote Control

Home Office
Runco CR40HD 40” LCD
HP X280N Extender
HP EX-470 Microsoft Home Server
Universal Remote MX900 Remote Control

HP TouchSmart IQ 770

Laundry Room
Vantage TP1210 12” Wireless Touch screen

Distributed Audio
Sonos ZP100 Zone Players (15)
Sonos CC100 Wireless Controllers (8)
Episode A6IC6 in-ceiling speakers (throughout interior)
Episode A5-OUTD-W On-Wall Outdoor Speakers
Rockoustics Rock Speakers (pool)

Vantage Infusion with 128 loads (every light in every room is part of this centralized lighting system)
Vantage Keypads (40)

DSC Security System
IP Cameras
Panasonic IP Camera (3)

Aprilaire communicating thermostat system
Window Treatments
Somfy RTS
RTS05 Wireless Controller

Lifeware, Digital Entertainment and Automation software

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