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More Home Systems Talking To One Another For Integrated Control

9/26/2013 04:47:00 AM Eastern

Denver — Home system suppliers are coming to the CEDIA Expo with more products that link their systems to other home systems, enabling control of multiple home systems from the same in-wall keypad or touchscreen.

And judging from other product introductions here, in-wall touchscreens have not gone out of style despite the rise of tablets.

Leviton, Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI) and Vantage are among the companies unveiling new in-wall touchscreens that control multiple home systems.

To get more home systems to integrate with one another, Hunter Douglas, RTI, URC and Wyrestorm are showing new products. Hunter, for example, is showing its first products that use wireless to integrate the company’s motorized shades with third-party control system. Wyrestorm is showing its first home-automation controller, which also controls audio and video distribution. RTI is adding an interface module to enable its home-control systems to control select Lutron lighting systems. And URC is adding control of Z-Wave products to its Total Control home-control system via a $250-suggested Z-Wave Extender.

Here’s what these and other companies are showing:

Here’s what these and other companies are showing:

 Crestron: Light-management solutions are the catch phrase used by the company for new automated shade products and new wireless lighting controls.

The company is expanding its selection of designer-inspired fabrics, hardware and accessories for its Crestron Shading Solutions, which consists of drapery track systems and roller, Roman and skylight shades. The products use low-voltage QMT 50 (Quiet Motor Technology) with wireless InfiNet EX technology to control drapes and shades from touch screens, keypads, remotes and mobile devices. Crestron shades integrate with lighting, A/V, climate and security systems. Crestron InfiNet EX uses 2.4GHz mesh-network technology,

The shading solution will ship soon after the show.

The company also said it is shipping its new CLW-DELV wireless dimmers, which are additions to the Cameo InfiNet EX line of dimmers and switches. The dimmers deliver in-wall RF dimming of low-voltage fixtures, and they support flicker-free LED dimming. They’re targeted to retrofit and new-construction installs.

DVDO: The company is unveiling its DVDO Quick6 6x2, which is the company’s first 4K switcher, a spokesman said.

Houselogix: The company is launching its VoicePod Mobile app for iOS devices to deliver voice control of home systems. The app delivers many of the same hands-free functions as the company’s VoicePod tabletop unit. The app is initially compatible with Control4 and Crestron home-automation systems. The apps themselves are free, but the company charges for the service. Service costs are $149 and $199 annually for the standard and professional services. Perpetual standard and professional plans are $499 and $649. The prices are for an unlimited number of smartphones tied to a home’s controller.

The apps use Cloud-based speech-to-text technology to deliver Siri-like control of lights, shades, HVAC, A/V systems, security and the like, the company said. Commands can include room names to remotely control systems in another room. End users can customize commands and command phrases using words that make sense to them in referring to rooms, systems and scenes, the company said. Users can also tag frequently used commands in a favorites list. The app itself can be activated hands-free because it always runs in the background, responding when a user says “Hello VoicePod.”

 VoicePod requires control systems with an IP connection and a mobile device equipped with Wi-Fi or cellular. Mobile devices with iOS Version 6 or higher are needed.

 Drivers for several do-it-yourself home-automation systems are also in the works.

Hunter Douglas: In its first appearance at an Expo since 2008, Hunter is showing its first products that integrate the company’s motorized shades via wireless with third-party control system. The Platinum Gateway and Repeater Integration system receives commands from third-party control systems and transmits the commands via RF to Platinum repeaters, which relay position commands to individual shades. The shades can also be controlled from mobile devices.

The company has offered wired connections to third-party control systems for 15 years.

Hunter Douglas will be showcasing 23 different shade styles with the new technology.

Key Digital: The company is turning up with a new HDMI/HDBaseT extender, new Phantom series HDMI switchers, and new HDMI distribution amplifiers.

The HDMI extender is the FatCat series KD-CATHD300Lite , which delivers 1080p/60 fps 3D signals up to 250 feet over the company’s Super CAT-6/STP shielded cable or up to 200 feet using third-party CAT-6/STP cable. The cables also carry IR and RS-232 control signals.

In HDMI switchers, it’s showing the KD-HDSW4x1Pro and KD-HDSW2x1Pro, as well as the KD-HDDA1x4Pro and KD-HDDA1x2Pro HDMI distribution amplifiers. They support coaxial and optical digital audio, analog audio, 3D, HDMI with HDCP, 12-bit Deep Color, lossless compressed digital audio, and lossless compressed audio such as Dolby TrueHD, Doly Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master, and control signals from Crestron, Compacc Control, AMX, Control4, RTI, Savant and Universal.

The switchers feature automatic signal sensing.

The new FatCat-series KD-CATHD500Pro HDBaseT/HDMI transmitter and receiver extenders transmit 1080p/60 fps 1,920 by1,200 SD signals up to 400 feet via Key Digital Super CAT-6 shielded cable or up to 300 feet using third-party CAT-6 shielded cable. The extenders also carry IR and RS-232 control signals. Ethernet ports allow for LAN network extension. It also offers built-in EDID control to ensure proper connectivity between HDMI devices.

Leviton Security and Automation: Formerly known as Home Automation Inc. (HAI), the company is showing a new touchscreen, IP camera, and a single-gang thermostat controller promoted as looking right at home among single-gang light switches.

The seventh-generation OmniTouch 7 7-inch touchscreen joins a 5.7-inch model and features 800 by 480 capacitive touch display to arm or disarm a Leviton security system, alert emergency personnel, lock or unlock doors, view IP or analog surveillance video footage, and control Leviton's Hi-Fi 2 distributed audio system or a compatible multi-room audio system.

The touchscreen also adjusts home-lighting levels; controls up to 64 thermostats to manage humidity settings and additional systems like irrigation and ventilation; and monitors and adjusts window coverings.

Two digital MEMS microphones and a built-in speaker are available for intercom use.

It has begun shipping in black and white with glass running edge to edge like a tablet.

The IP camera is a mini-dome indoor/outdoor model that is offering new features as part of a running change.

It offers FullHD 30 fps video capture and simultaneous streaming of H.264 and MJPEG video to various devices. It features Power over Ethernet.

The device can be used as a stand-alone camera or tied into a Leviton automation system to enable viewing of security-camera video on touchscreens throughout the house or via mobile devices across the globe.

As a stand-alone camera, it has a built-in web server to enable live and recorded video viewing on a PC.  Images can also be emailed to the user or uploaded to an FTP site when motion is detected in a specific area.

The temperature display control (TDC) features OLED display to set interior temperature. In commercial and high-end residential installations, thermostats are being hidden in utility closets, basements, and attics to reduce wall clutter, so Leviton designed a single-gang device that won’t look out of place among a bank of light switches, the company said.

The TDC works with Leviton’s hard-wired RC-2000 thermostats or with the ZigBee versions to provide climate control via a bright OLED display and four large buttons. Color change kits are available if users want to match the TDC to black light switches in a home theater room.

RTI: The supplier of home-control systems is showing multiple new products, including an interface module to control select Lutron lighting systems, new handheld remotes, an in-wall controller with LCD screen, and new control processors.

The CCM-1 interface module integrates Lutron’s RadioRA dimmers, switches, and sensors with RTI’s control systems. Lutron programming is available natively from the CCM-1.

New additions to the KX line of in-wall wired controllers include the KX2 with 2.8-inch LCD screen, 12 hard buttons and a proximity sensor. Its IR output controls A/V components, and its Ethernet port controls Ethernet-connected devices.

Additions to the XP line of control processors include the XP-4, which features HDMI output to display a user interface on a TV, 2.4GHz ZigBee to control ZigBee systems, and two RS-232 ports to control other systems.

The new T2i and T2x remote controls use one-way 433MHz RF and two-way 2.4GHz ZigBee for wireless communication with RTI processors and supported third-party electronics.

The $899-suggested T2x adds Wi-Fi 802.11b/g control and accelerometer that provides hand-movement control.

Both feature edge-to-edge touchscreens, gesture control and grip sensors to keep the remotes awake when held.

The T2x features 2.8-inch color TFT LCD touchscreen and 47 programmable hard buttons for common control functions.

Simplicikey: The company, which offers wireless remote-control deadbolts for the home, is previewing its KeyCloud service, which enables homeowners to use an Apple or Android mobile device and any web browser from anywhere in the world to monitor and control the SimpliciKey electronic deadbolt, monitor who leaves and enters the house, and control lighting.

The service will be available in the fourth quarter along with Android and Apple apps

The deadbolt can also be opened and closed via keypad, key or key fob with 50-foot range. The deadbolt requires AA batteries.

The KeyCloud service lets users assign key codes and key fobs to specific household members, check the status of each lock, access the usage history of all key codes and key fobs, set rules for each lock, and set customizable alerts.

KeyCloud also lets users program lighting scenes for specific times of the day or for watching movies.

URC: The company is launching is first Android app to complement an iOS app, expanding its selection of Wi-Fi remotes, and enabling its home-control systems to control wireless Z-Wave devices for the first time.

The $250-suggested TRF-ZW1 Z-Wave Extender connects to the company’s Total Control home-control system to enable control of one-way and two-way Z-Wave devices. Two-way devices include lighting systems and door locks from such companies as Schlage, Baldwin, Black & Decker, Qwikset, Yale, Leviton, Cooper, GE and the like. One-way control is available for Somfy, RCS, Honeywell, First Alert, Alarm.com devices and others.

For the Extender, URC also offers a $25 annual subscription enabling remote access to control Z-Wave-connected devices, view status and history, and receive email and SMS notifications when doors are opened.

The new Wi-Fi remote is the $599-suggested TC-1080, which joins a higher- and lower-priced model. The new remote features 2-inch color screen, piano-black charging cradle, and controls cable company set-top boxes. Sensor technology enables the remote to wake up automatically when picked up.

The company is also showing an Extra Vegetables software module that enables control of current and previous-generation Sonos wireless-multi-room-audio music products with URC’s Total Control home-control system.

Vantage: The Equinox 73 is Vantage’s first in-wall tablet-size touchscreen to offer a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The supplier of lighting-centric integrated control systems plans September availability of the 7-inch glass-to-edge touchscreen. It joins the brand’s smaller Equinox in-wall LCD keypads

The touchscreen features nine preprogrammed widgets, three of which can be displayed at a time. The widgets control such systems as lighting, scenes, weather, climate, multizone audio and video, home theater, cameras and security. A new programming tool automatically populates widgets with information to simplify programming by installers. Individual user can create their own customized on-screen dashboard.

Presence detection and light sensors automatically wake up the display and adjust it to ambient light conditions.

The swipeable touchscreen comes with two tactile buttons, one for home-page navigation and the other for custom programming by a certified installer.

Wyrestorm: Enado is the company’s first product outside of its range of HD splitters, matrix switchers, extenders, up-scalers, converters, and cables to distribute HD video over HDMI, coax, CAT-5e/6/7 and fiber-optic cables.

Enado is a controller for audio and video distribution and automation control. It’s targeted to midrange residential applications and ships in January at a suggested $1,999.

Enado’s browser-based user interface can be controlled from any Internet-enabled device. On any tablet or smartphone, it will appear and act like a traditional app, the company said.

A browser-based configuration tool is said to be intuitive enough to be installed by someone without programming experience at a competitive price point.

The 1U 19-inch rack-mounted device features 16 assignable IR ports, eight integrated IP ports, an array of contact closures and built-in secure Wi-Fi for connection to any local-Internet enabled devices.

 Enado’s software includes a no-programming, browser-based configuration tool backed by a comprehensive IR database, IR device editor, and IR learner as well as RS232 and IP control options.

Enado can automatically identify and deliver a right-sized UI to any connected device, including a mobile device, with a display.

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