Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicago-Based Systems Integrator Installs World's Largest ELAN g! Home Control System

Chicago-based systems integrator AudioVideo Specialists, LLC has just completed what is believed to be the world’s largest ELAN g! installation in a new 10,000 square foot suburban Chicago home. The homeowners wanted their new house to have all the bells and whistles modern technology could offer, but when they went in search of a home control system they came down with a serious case of sticker-shock. The first systems integrator they spoke with suggested a different control system and gave them a quote of $480,000!

When they went looking for a second opinion, builder Rich Bondarowicz, president of Smart Group, Ltd., recommended Dan Cochenour at AudioVideo Specialists, LLC. Cochenour knows that there is a lot to consider when installing a home control system of this magnitude, from superior functionality and third-party component support, to ease of use and competitive pricing. Using the ELAN g! Home Control System he was able to offer the homeowners a simple-to-use, robust IP-based complete home control solution for a lot less than his competitors.

“This is the largest residential installation we’ve ever done,” said Cochenour, “and it is a glowing showcase of the control muscle that the ELAN g! Home Control System offers. With a system as extensive as this, it’s important that it be easy for the homeowner to operate and adjust. Luckily, the ELAN g! system basically makes whole-home control as simple as adding a contact on your iPhone.”

When all was said and done, the project wound up being the largest ELAN g! installation to date. Every subsystem in the house is integrated with ELAN g! – whole-house audio, video, lighting, HVAC, security, surveillance, motorized window curtains and sheers, irrigation, and even the pool and spa controls. It even includes custom-programmed “Away” and “Home” modes that conveniently set every system in the house to a pre-determined configuration for optimum efficiency and comfort. The ELAN g! system can be accessed through the owner’s three iPhones and two iPads, as well as a multitude of ELAN control interfaces including 12 HR2 remotes, seven TS2 2” in-wall touchpads, two TS7 7” in-wall touch screens and a WT84 8.4” Wireless Tablet with table top cradle.

The house is a media lover’s dream, featuring 11 LG flat panel HDTVs ranging from 32” to 60”, two of which are 3D TVs with LG 3D Blu-ray players and four pairs of 3D glasses each. Many of the TVs are custom-mounted less than an inch off the wall, giving the rooms a clean, uncluttered look. And when they need some fresh air, the family can watch TV year-round in their backyard on a 46” SunBright Outdoor LCD TV, viewable from the pool and spa. Through the ELAN g! system, every TV can access four DirecTV feeds with two DVRs, two networked Sony 400-disc Blu-ray changers and can view eight surveillance cameras located throughout the property.

To complement the ample video system, the house features a total of 54 speakers and seven subwoofers throughout 32 audio zones, including two surround systems, 12 outdoor speakers and two outdoor subwoofers. Each zone can play audio from a dual am/fm tuner, a three terabyte hard drive (enough space for 600,000 songs!), two iPort table-top iPod docking stations located in the kitchen and bar, Pandora internet radio, XM satellite radio, all of the video feeds and the home’s intercom system.

With the push of a button the family room transforms into a complete home theater as a Screen Innovations 106” motorized screen drops from the ceiling and a motorized theater curtain extends across the stairs to block sound from traveling out of the room. The 7.2 surround sound system with in-wall and in-ceiling ELAN and Sunfire speakers and an Optoma HD8600 projector rival the quality of full-scale commercial movie theaters, and trump them in convenience.

Managing a lighting system for a 10,000 square foot house can be challenge, but ELAN g! makes controlling the home’s 80 lighting zones a breeze. The owners can set automatic schedules for indoor and outdoor lighting and check which lights are on from any control interface. There are six motion sensors installed outside the bedrooms and elevator to automatically turn on the hallway lights when they are needed. With a whole-house Vantage lighting system, light switches are replaced by custom-engraved backlit keypads with pre-programmed lighting and entertainment modes. In most of the TV rooms, for instance, hitting the “Media” button on the Vantage keypad turns on the lights, entertainment system and automatically sets it to the correct source.

Security is one of the biggest concerns when living in a home of this size and value, which is why the owners have installed a full-fledged GE security system and surveillance cameras that are accessible and viewable on every TV, iPad and iPhone in the house. The system can also be viewed and controlled from anywhere in the world on an iPhone, iPad or PC using the ELAN g! software, providing the owners with peace of mind when away from home.

According to builder Rich Bondarowicz, the house requires less energy to maintain a comfortable climate than the owners’ former home that was half the size, thanks to ELAN g!’s smart energy monitoring, Energy Star HVAC systems and the inclusion of super-efficient foam insulation in every wall. The house has 18 climate zones controlled with Aprilaire and Tekmar thermostats, which are automated through the ELAN g! Home Control System.

Demonstrating the dedication and skill of Audio Video Specialists, LLC and the flexibility of the ELAN g! Home Control System, Cochenour centralized all the system components in a custom-built temperature-controlled four-rack cabinet. The cabinet features custom TZ locks that are controlled electronically by the g! system, as well as programming that turns on the fans when the cabinet rises above 85 degree Fahrenheit.

The system also includes several custom-programmed features:
  • When the doorbell rings, every TV and speaker in use throughout the house pauses and displays the front door camera and intercom.
  • The outdoor and landscape lighting turns on at dusk and off at dawn, based on the astronomical clock. If any of the home’s sump pumps or ejector pumps should fail, the ELAN g! Control System sends a text message to the homeowner and builder, allowing them to fix the problem before any damage is caused.
  • If any of the equipment racks exceeds a set temperature limit, it will send a text message alert and shut down the AV system for protection.
  • If the security alarm is triggered, the coach and porch lights will flash and the pathway lights will turn on until the system is disarmed.
  • With an “Away” button, the owners can turn off all lights and AV zones with one touch as they walk out the door, and use the “Home” button to turn on pre-configured zones when they return.
Bondarowicz knows that he needs to keep up with building and technology trends to succeed in today’s homebuilding market, so he discusses home automation systems with all of his customers. “Some of my customers do ask about home automation systems, but I make sure to mention it to everyone, especially if they are unfamiliar with the technology,” he said. “And compared with the other home control systems out there, the ELAN g! system has become a favorite because it offers the best mix of a simple-to-use interface, all-encompassing capabilities and overall affordability.”

Available starting at $1860 for a single-room, four sub-system control solution, the ELAN g! Series Control System can be expanded quickly and cost-effectively to enable whole-home control of every room appliance. ELAN g! provides users with the most uniform and intuitive icon-based control from their favorite devices, including TVs, touch screens, touchpads, PCs, iPhones, and iPads. The standardized interface works across platforms, so that the trendy g!Mobile app users love on the iPhone appears and works similarly on ELAN touch screens, valets and handheld remotes as well as users' televisions and mobile devices. And the system's IP backbone makes it just as easy to control the system from across the room - or across the globe.

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