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If the product in your home accepts a remote command, has an RS232 serial interface or access to the internet, there are numerous products out there for whatever you want to control from a central or remote location. Think big and out of the box; if the current product in your home lacks a particular feature, there is likely another you can buy that doesn’t!

Speakercraft had a press conference on the March 2010 release of the Nirv system. They claim to have broken some price points reducing installation and programming costs. More importantly they feel they have vastly improved the interface for a more user-friendly experience using a remote with minimal buttons for ease of use along with an AI (Artificial Intelligence) system, tracking the habits of each user in the home. When a user logs into the system they are then greeted with their custom interface highlighting only their particular interests and history of use.

Lutron had a press conference promoting lower prices along with wireless capabilities for retrofitting old homes. New home building is way down and even those with money are buying pre-owned, making the installation of home automation difficult and expensive. They also made some changes and new additions to their custom automated curtains, drapes and blinds.

The key element for both companies was reducing the price of home automation to further expand the market.

Out in the trenches, it is a very rare customer who has a whole house media system much less home automation. A starting package of home media basics and the ability for automation hovers at about $5k for the products and installation. From there, the price goes up for both programming and product as the dreams expand to control your A/V equipment, HVAC, lights, curtains and blinds. The price for your wish list of automated dreams can easily hover at $10k!

Home automation and multi-media support on this scale has never come up on this site. The HT Guys have covered do-it-yourself approaches with a recent post on the Insteon home automation line. My question for our readers is two fold; do you have any interest in home automation and if so, what price point for products and installation would kick start your imagination?

Posted by Richard Fisher, December 2, 2009 9:27 AM

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About Richard Fisher

Richard Fisher is the President of Mastertech Repair Corporation, serving north east Atlanta, Georgia, and has been servicing, calibrating and reviewing audio video products since 1981. Tech Services USA, a division of Mastertech, creates sites, communities and libraries for consumers and professionals to share their technology knowledge and learn from each other. These include The ISF Forum and HD Library. HDTV Magazine exclusively publishes HD Library and Forum for Tech Services USA.

Richard is ISF and HAA certified providing calibration and A/V reproduction engineering services. Richard is a technical consultant and also provides performance ISF and HAA home theater systems and calibration via Custom HT. Mastertech Repair Corporation is a factory authorized service center for Hitachi, Mitsubishi and Toshiba and a member of the National Electronics Servicing Dealers Association, NESDA, and the Georgia Electronics Servicing Dealers Association, GESDA.