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Home Series: Smart Home Technology

The latest technology makes home automation more amazing than ever.



Olson Photographic

Think about it: you’re twenty miles from home, on the way to one of your children’s travel soccer team games. You’re not sure you closed the garage door. Do you turn around and drive home?

According to Bob Dacundo, a principal of Phoenix Audio Video in Fairfield, there’s no need to worry if you have automated controls for your home’s many systems. With your tablet or smart phone, you can actually check — and close — the doors.

“We now have systems that will alert you to anything like that,” says Dacundo, whose company has been making houses “smart” in Fairfield County and the tri-state area for years. Imagine that: your unoccupied house can communicate with you!

Automatic, programmable home operation systems and functions have been around for a while, but tablet computers and smart phones have taken the so-called Smart House to a whole new level. While home automation can still be a large investment, what technology makes possible can increase the “wow” factor of any home almost exponentially.

Wireless remote control first turned the television on and off in 1955, but digital age capabilities put real power at a homeowner’s fingertips. Professionals at Phoenix, who are best known for state-of-the-art home theater systems, can customize programs for new homes, and retrofit existing ones. Thanks to the internet and wireless connectivity, the following are just some of the features that can be controlled from hundreds of miles away:

  • Utilities
  • home security
  • HVAC
  • shades and other window coverings
  • home entertainment

Even the home theater is vastly upgraded. The latest video monitor development — Ultra HD, or 4X, which means four times the definition of the HD standard 1080 pixels — has been added to smart TVs that already have Netflix, Amazon and YouTube on board. Dacundo notes that providers are now busily producing 4X content, compatible with the improvements in broadcast quality.

We asked Bob about his company’s most luxurious new installation, and he mentioned a client in the media business, whose home entertainment system can now stream a first run movie on the day that it premieres in theaters. We think that constitutes bragging rights!

But is it expensive?

"Very," Dacundo assures us. The capabilities of an up-to-the-minute, supremely wired house can go even further. Phoenix is licensed by IMAX as a residential installer of this highly sophisticated technology. 

“That capability can cost into the millions,” says Dacundo. (That makes remote monitoring of your garage door seem a lot more affordable, doesn't it?!)

Stay tuned! Next up in the home series: useful luxury ammenities—large and small—for your home.

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