Friday, January 6, 2012

Converted 19th Century Barn Becomes a 21st Century Marvel with the Elan g! Entertainment and Control System

This now-converted stable barn was built in 1892, the same year Thomas Edison received his patent for the world’s first two-way telegraph. As much an innovator as he was, Edison would have had no idea what the terms HDMI, multi-room audio, HVAC and home automation meant, but that’s exactly the kind of 21st century technology that the property’s newest owner has incorporated into his new dream home.  Complete with the ELAN® g! Entertainment and Control System, this home has turned a historic piece of Americana into a truly modern marvel!

For integrator Larry Scott of Artistic Video & Sound, bringing this historic barn up to date was both a challenge and a delight, because the homeowner just happened to know a bit about home automation himself.  He spent two years researching home control systems, and Scott recommended the ELAN g! system, so the homeowner asked him to present g! and compare it against the other systems out there including Crestron, AMX, Savant and Control4.   When the comparisons were done and the votes were tallied, the homeowner said, “Larry, you’re right. I want ELAN g!” 

According to Larry Scott, “This job was kind of unique because the homeowner was so involved in choosing the system, and he had learned all about home control before he even came to talk to me.  After hearing what he wanted to be able to do, I knew the new ELAN g! system was the perfect solution and would give him all the functionality he could ever need as well as the ability to expand the system later, all at a price that was reasonable.  One of the most important things was that it needed to be simple enough for the kids’ nanny and visiting relatives to use, with no training. And it is!  So people don’t walk into the house and say ‘how do we do this, how do we do that?’, they just do it!  In my mind, the g! system was the only option, and luckily for the homeowner, I was able to make him agree!”

Rather than jumping right into home automation and being stuck with a less-than-ideal system, the homeowner took his time learning about the newest trends and technologies and evaluating the industry’s top brands, which helped him determine the ELAN g! system was his ideal solution.

“I started to research home automation five years ago when I was living abroad, and I made sure to learn as much as I could about the capabilities of today’s systems and hear what both the users and the installers were saying about each system,” said the homeowner.  “I subscribed to consumer-facing and trade magazines about custom installation and home technology, and I realized that today’s systems can do a whole lot more than I thought.

“When it came time to upgrade my new home I contacted Larry Scott from Artistic Video & Sound because he had done some a/v work for the home’s previous owners, and he really convinced me that the ELAN g! system would give me everything I wanted in a home entertainment and control system.  Basically, the most important things to me were consolidating control of the HVAC so I didn’t have to keep walking around and checking the house’s 11 thermostats, and having one-touch access to all of my media, especially all my movies. 

“I have a huge DVD and Blu-Ray collection, as well as a bunch of digital movie files, and with the ELAN g! system and their awesome HR2 remote, it’s super simple to pull up my favorite movie from the Sony Blu-Ray Changer, or any of my three cable boxes or three Apple TVs.  I don’t have to leave the room, and I think maybe the best thing is that there are no wires lying around. Everything is done in the wall, and the only thing anyone sees is the remote and the TV. All the discs, boxes, and wires are behind the scenes.

“Every piece of the ELAN g! system looks sleek and subtle, and it’s easy for everyone to use because it’s intuitive and all of the control interfaces work the same. Some of the other brands had different layouts for different devices, and who wants that?  I love that I can take out my iPhone and check the thermostats when I’m away, and it’s exactly the same as using the system at home.  The bottom line is this system delivers everything I could ask for, makes it easy to use, and was a lot more affordable than some of the other brands.”

In addition to controlling the home’s irrigation and 12-zone audio system with 15 pairs of speakers, the g! system also consolidates control for the home’s six HVAC zones, the security system, and the Lutron Radio RA-2 lighting system with 102 dimmers, 15 keypads and 6 energy-saving occupancy sensors that turn the lights on and off automatically when people enter or leave a room.  And the family can control the system from anywhere thanks to the four ELAN TS7 in-wall touch screens, four ELAN HR2 remote controls, and a dedicated wall-mounted iPad running the g!mobile app.

The HVAC and lighting systems have been programmed to perform optimally to save energy and provide the most comfortable living environment.  The outdoor lighting is even synced with the astronomical clock so all the lights turn on just after dusk and turn off right before dawn.  With all of this taken care of automatically, the homeowner has a lot more time to spend with his family and watch some of those movies he loves!

According to the homeowner, “One of the things that put me over the top for the g! system was the HR2 remote.  I tried out the iPhone and iPad interfaces for controlling my TVs and all my movies, but every time I wanted to do anything there were several steps to get to the controls I needed.  With the HR2, all my media controls require only a single button push, just like the remotes I grew up with.  There’s no lag, no screens to sift through, and it has a touch screen right on the remote that also lets me change the temperature or lighting scene from the couch without even taking out my iPhone.”

The home’s HVAC changes automatically throughout the day based on the pre-programmed schedule, and it’s a breeze to adjust and monitor with six g! thermostats that are quickly controllable from anywhere in the world. And the owners can check in on the house from anywhere, anytime, thanks to seven surveillance cameras located throughout the interior and exterior of the house. The house has eight flat screen HDTVs, including a media center with a 60” Samsung LED LCD TV and 7.1 surround sound system including a powerful Sunfire HRS-12 subwoofer.

Available starting at $2,000 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 system.  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. And the system's IP backbone makes it just as easy to control the system from across the room—or across the globe.

The ELAN g! System has been awarded a 2011 Residential Systems Magazine RESI Award, a 2011 Custom Retailer Magazine EXCITE! Award, a 2011 CE Pro Magazine BEST Award, a Platinum Level 2011 CEA Mark of Excellence Award by the Consumer Electronics Association and a 2011 Gold Level Electronic House Magazine Product of the Year Award.

About ELAN Home Systems:
Since 1990 ELAN® Home Systems has been an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning Multi-Room audio/video systems. ELAN systems were the first to integrate audio, video, phones and third-party products to create a seamless, easy-to-use "whole-house" solution. ELAN systems and products are distributed through a comprehensive channel of select Dealers and Distributors throughout the United States, Canada and more than 58 countries worldwide. ELAN Home Systems is part of The AVC Group. To learn more, visit

About The AVC Group, LLC:
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, The AVC Group, LLC is a portfolio of pre-eminent manufacturers and marketers of state-of-the-art consumer and commercial audio, video, and control system solutions. The AVC Group is comprised of the following industry leading brands: Niles®, ELAN® Home Systems, Xantech®, ATON® and Sunfire®. The AVC Group, LLC is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc.’s Home Technology Group.

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