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Introducing Sonos One

Meet the Smart Speaker for Music Lovers
The new Sonos One for Future Ready Voice Control with Amazon Alexa.*
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Intercom App - Control4 Intercom Has Gone Mobile

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Control4 Intercom has gone mobile

With the new Control4 Intercom app for iOS and Android, customers can now receive door station and intercom calls on their mobile devices, from anywhere. They can also connect with family members at home by calling touch screens from their mobile devices. Read More...

Control4: When >> Then Personalization

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Hands-on homeowner personalization
Homeowners have always wanted the ability to tweak and fine-tune their own system without calling dealers for help. It’s been at the top of requests from you and our customers for a very long time. With When >> Then, customers interested in making adjustments to their home automation now have the capability to do so. Read More...

New Control4 IO Extender is now available

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IO Extender V2–New Design, New Power Options

Introducing the Control4 IO Extender V2 with a sleek, new industrial design to complement the EA Series of entertainment and automation controllers, along with the reliability and functionality that you have come to depend on with Control4 IO extenders. Gain expanded control of large automation systems with home theaters, video devices, garage doors, motion sensors, and a wide variety of other devices that use infrared (IR), serial, contact, and relay connections. The IO Extender V2 features the ability to be powered by PoE+, allowing for greater installation flexibility. The driver remains the same as with the original IO extender, maintaining ease of deployment. 

Introducing several new products to enhance the Control4 experience

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Control4 is excited to introduce the EA Series of Entertainment and Automation Controllers! Representing the next-generation platform for smart home innovation, they feature high-resolution audio, high-performance automation and industry-leading interoperability. The EA Series controllers and an all-new 10” tabletop touch screen are shipping now!
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D-Link Connected Home Wi-Fi Sensors & Outlets Control4 Driver Package Released

Integrate Control4 with D-Link Wireless Devices
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Now the popular and inexpensive Wi-Fi enabled D-Link smart home products can augment your Control4 system. The mydlink Control4 driver pack includes support for the following devices.

Water Sensor (DCH-S160)
Smart Plug (DSP-W110)
Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring (DSP-W215)
Siren (DCH-S220)
Motion Sensor (DCH-S150)
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Downtown Vancouver Penthouse Control4 Home Automation System

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Our starting point for this beautiful, modern and spacious private Penthouse in Downtown Vancouver was to design a robust network as the basis for a reliable private home automation system. A Control4 Home Automation system is seamlessly integrated with all the lighting, music, video, motorized shades, climate control and security, enabling control through a single intuitive interface. Access is provided through a combination of iPads, iPhones and Control4 wireless hand remote controls.
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Personalize your smart home with Invixium

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Invixium brings the world’s first smart biometric solution to personalize your smart home. Invixium’s fingerprint based biometric products are designed to seamlessly integrate with Control4 for a “true personalized” experience.

By integrating an Invixium device into a smart home automation system, traditional keypad locks are replaced with fingerprint biometric access for security and convenience. Biometrics also allow households to create user profiles to customize the home environment to a person’s liking and mood with just a touch of a finger!
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DIY Home Automation Systems

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DIY yourself projects are fun at first, but gradually the fun can turn into frustration and maybe even destruction. Smarthome DIY projects aren't any different. It's pretty common nowadays for many people to start something but never finishing. It's not because people aren't capable of learning and executing, but what they do lack is time and effort.
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Control4 Occupancy Simulation Driver - Mockupancy

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The driver will allow us a quick and simple way of providing our clients with realistic lighting occupancy simulation when they are away. It does this by continually 'recording' the day to day lighting activity over a seven day period. When the client is away the driver will 'playback' the lighting events.

It is is very simple to set up on a Control4 system. With the client we simply select which lights and blinds should be included in the playback from the list of all such devices in the home.

The driver will record the levels of all lights and blinds in the project every 15 minutes. During playback changes are randomized over 15 minute periods for best effect. We can even optionally reduce the intensity of lighting during playback to save energy.

Recording and Playback can be initiated in one of three ways.
  • Connect the driver to Control4 keypad buttons to start/stop recording or playback.
  • Use custom programming
  • Connect the driver in Composer any Security System driver. Then playback will commence when the system is armed, and recording will recommence when the system is disarmed.
  • Optionally the driver can also add entertainment to the occupancy simulation mix. The driver can monitor the activity of a cable or satellite receiver in a specified room. During playback the driver will then select a specific channel on the device. An empty house is no longer a quiet house.
Contact us for more information.

Control4 Automated Modern Contemporary Home in Vancouver with a beautiful glass ceiling wine room

Control4 Automated Modern Contemporary Home in Vancouver with a beautiful glass ceiling wine room from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Fully Automated Control4 home in Vancovuer. Clean, Modern, Contemporary design. Centralized light switches with only the most strategically located Keypads and Touch screen on the wall keeps this home looking clutter free and user friendly. With so many homes being designed with open spaces, walls become more valuable for hanging art pieces - not banks of light switches. Audio, Video, Network and Control systems are all located in an enclosed horizontal rack cabinet by Salamander Design. Security, Doors, Garage, Gate, Music Zones, TV Zones, Water Fountain, Heat Lamps, Nest Thermostats, CCTV, Intercom, lighting and more are all controlled from an intuitive Control4 interface on the clients iPhone, iPads, MAC's and built in Touch screen.

Five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

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Control4 offers the ultimate in home automation—and so much more—by making the products and systems you already have and use everyday, work together. Learn how home automation can benefit your life in ways you never imagined possible. Below are five things you need to know before you invest in home automation.

1. Do you have the right home for automation?
2. Determine what you want to automate
3. You’ll need the help of a professional—and that’s a good thing
4. Evaluate your home network
5. Expect the Unexpected

Download the Advanced Guide which investigates the 5 points in more detail.

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Vancouver West Side Automated Control4 Home Video

Control4 Vancouver West Side Fully Automated Home from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Designed by renowned architect Frits de Vries, built by Natural Balance and fully automated by yours truly, Digital Smart Homes. This Vancovuer home features state of the art Control4 smart home control. In this video we take a closer look at the lighting and audio features of Control4.

Savant vs. Control4 (Savant Smart Host vs. Control4 HC250)

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As an avid installer of smaller home systems and theaters for my clients, I’m finding little value in Savant’s new Smart Host. I have been working with Control4 for a number of years now, and it seems to me that Control4 is still continuing to dominate this space. For comparison purposes, I’ve gathered the below details that I could from the Savant and Control4 websites:

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While the Smart Host is boasting more IR, I find that the more IR ports needs are becoming less needed. Control4’s Simple Device Discovery Protocol for IP connected devices has made the world of IP control of Smart TVs, Blu-Rays and media players such as AppleTV super easy to set-up, without the need for cumbersome IR Buds. Even when I do need IR, but don’t want the IR bud, the Control4 Blaster is there to help. For my customers, the On-Screen Display is used often for searching their movie database… often treated as a “coolio” factor with friends.

While Savant’s message about controlling up to 12 rooms is interesting, the HC250 can do the same thing for less money. Depending on the customers, needs, we leveraged keypads, remote controls and the Z2IR device to control multiple zones with a single HC-250.

The HC-250, plus Control4’s new SR-260, creates an awesome solution for entertainment centers and home theaters, at an MSRP that is less than the Smart Host itself. I’m struggling to see the real benefit of Savant’s system. I know they have a great app for use on tablets and smartphone, but I have yet to have a customer that runs their theater without a remote. Savant’s remote is twice as much as the SR-260.

I remember coming across an article last year that really highlighted the HC-250’s capabilities, a white paper by Dennis Burger. I think this article really speaks the unmatched capabilities of the HC-250, especially at a price point that speaks to customers.

Further expanding on this issue of pricing, from my personal experience, I’ve found that programming the Control4 system is way easier than any Savant system and the customer gets a solid, elegant experience with a ton of expandability.

Control4 OS 2.7 is now available!

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The Control4 Operating System serves as the foundation upon which Control4 home automation is brought to life. And Control4 is raising the bar in smart home technology with our latest software release, OS 2.7. A new level of functionality and elegance will enhance the way you keep your home comfortable, communicate with everyone in the home, listen to music, control your pool and spa, and provide a slew of new features for added comfort and peace of mind in the home
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Control4 Your Sprinkler System - Rachio Iro

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Rachio is an exciting NEW company that is focused on managing water within the residential and light commercial market. Their first product, the Iro, is a Wi-FI based controller for underground sprinkler control. According to the EPA over 50% of residential irrigation water is wasted based on poor watering practices / systems. We also know in major US markets water is in tight supply or going up in price. This is surely a space where your customer is feeling some pain with their monthly watering bill. The Iro is a natural addition to a Control4 system.
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Keeping Your Digital Home Safe and Smart

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With the rise of the “Internet of Things” dominating recent headlines, many consumers have rushed to invest in smart home systems that offer unprecedented options for connectivity. While the IoT opens up numerous possibilities for energy savings, home security and personal convenience, it also has the potential to impinge on the privacy of homes. Read on for tips to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.

Secure Your Wifi - If you’re like many homeowners, you ignore your WiFi router after checking to ensure the Internet is up and running. This could later prove to be a fatal flaw in your home’s overall privacy. Start by checking to see what type of encryption your router is using. If your router doesn’t support WPA2 networks (a more robust security standard), consider investing in a new wireless router. As with other consumer electronics, WiFi routers have become more powerful and less expensive over time. Additionally, WiFi speeds continue to accelerate, so if you’ve purchased a newer computer recently, a new router may make the difference in your safety.

Keep Cameras Away From Prying Eyes - In many instances, products such as webcams and “nanny cams” come automatically configured with inadequate security safeguards. This leaves these devices vulnerable to hacks from almost anyone, even those with a very limited knowledge of technology. For many cameras, the best thing you can do is create a strong  password (‘12345’ and ‘password’ are off limits) that is unique and different from the default. Substituting numbers for words or letters is often a good strategy. If you don’t change your password from the default setting, you leave yourself (and your family) right in a stranger’s line of sight, as one babysitter in Houston found out the hard way.

Privacy Please - Companies hosting important personal and financial data, such as home security giants ADT and Nest, have a crucial responsibility to keep this information secure. But it’s also your responsibility not to recklessly over-share highly private information or leave your devices open for easy access. Never post your Social Security number, account numbers, address, phone numbers or even your full name in publicly accessible sites. Ensure that your smartphone — often the command center for security system and automated device control — is protected by a lock screen at the very minimum. It’s also wise to disable automatic login information or anything else that can be accessed while you’re away. Don’t share any information that could lead to compromising the security of your family and property.

If cyber criminals gain access to your interconnected home systems, they could potentially turn on thermostats or other appliances, increasing your utility bills. Then there’s the more dangerous risk of someone gaining access to your physical property, unlocking doors or breaking in to commit a robbery. And in the case of webcams and baby monitors, there’s the frightening possibility that someone could be gazing into your home without your awareness or consent. President Obama has proposed stronger anti-hacking legislation, which would make hacking-related crimes a felony carrying a minimum three year sentence. However, politicians and tech-experts alike are concerned that the law would do little to protect homeowners in the short term.

Ultimately, it is up to you to determine the security of your home and privacy. While automated home and security systems offer impressive new options for convenience and connectivity, it’s important to be safe and ask questions if you don’t understand how to install or maintain security features. Consider checking out this government website for further reading on the subject, and don’t forget to logout when you’re done!

By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Eckhart (Find her on twitter @elizeckhart)

Not every home on the block is a Smart Home... Yet!

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A survey done by the ERA Real Estate (ERARE) and HGTV is revealing the phenomenal potential of smart home technology--especially in terms of resale value.

Real estate has and will likely always be one of the best investment options for anyone that want to protect their wealth. With that in mind, the values of the properties themselves don’t grow without the proper add-ons as time passes by, and the recent survey done by ERARE and HGTV is proving just that.

Among some of the answers homeowners as well as potential buyers got from the surveys were:

  • What are new the new generations of home buyers looking for?
  • What type of additions and new technology should a property possess to make it more appealing to home buyers?
  • How has the Internet of Things changed people’s perspective on property management?
As the report shows, buyers are looking to purchase homes with smart technology pre-installed. This can only mean one thing: Sellers must meet the demand. The technology doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Rather, buyers are looking for some of the practical necessities that will help drive efficiency and comfort. Things such as automated climate control, energy management and remote monitoring should all be on the top of every homeowner’s priority list if they’re looking to put their homes on the market.

According to the survey, 7 in 10 millennials want homes that are equipped with technologies that will allow them to use their smartphones to remotely control various functions and features within the home.

Well, one would think that it’s only common sense to cater to millennials if they’re the ones that are in the market to buy homes, but the reality is everyone has a bit of techno-geek in them. Baby boomers, for instance, are looking to beef up their levels of security, which means sellers must add some sort of smart security system to the homes to make them appealing.

Smart home technology may have been considered just a trend in the past, but now--more so than ever--the trend has evolved into a demand that makes it a necessity for anyone who is buying or selling a home.

HouseLogix Access Control Solutions for Control4

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Now your Control4 system can be used for home and light commercial access control. Using RFID tags, these readers connect via RS232 or Wiegand to the Control4 system. Pairing these readers with our HouseLogix Access Control Database (HACD) driver gives you a robust way to manage up to 300 users.
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Control4 West Vancouver - Home Automation

Control4 West Vancouver - Home Automation by Digital Smart Homes from Digital Smart Homes on Vimeo.


Complete Home Control, Control4 Home Automation system by Digital Smart Homes in West Vancouver.

This completely renovated home was originally built in 1973. It has transformed beautifully into a modern contemporary home. All the technology (including Amplifiers, Cable Boxes, Controllers and more) are completely hidden away from site and placed into centrally located media rack. Lighting, Media, Audio, Video, Security, HVAC and more are intuitively controlled by keypads and 3 built in touch screens throughout the house. The home owners iPad and iPhones also allow for complete control over the entire home and provides for remote access from anywhere in the world. All this keeps the walls clutter free and gives the home a very clean and user friendly feel.

The Smarthome is not the Deathstar

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A Control4 smart-home, in truth, doesn’t have to look like the Death Star from the sci-fi series Star Wars. In fact, any well-wired home is capable of becoming a smart-home. This means that anything from a suburban home to your downtown loft is ready to be transformed with technologies that are readily available at Digital Smart Homes.

Right as you walk into most typical retailers, you will find flat screen televisions flashing left and right. It was only a few years ago that this same technology came in bulky packages—that is the bezel was extremely wide, and the rear encasement took up quite a bit of space.

However, TV manufacturers have greatly improved the designs of these sets, and these days most flat screen LCD/LED TVs have almost no bezel and takes up much less space, which is a welcoming thing when it comes to designing an aesthetically pleasing home. The last thing you want is a bunch of technology is a bulky cabinet underneath that very thin TV.

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Smart home technology doesn’t all need to have a flashing screen or blinking lights. Often, smart-home shoppers will overlook things like window/blinds automation. Motorized shades and window coverings can add tremendous value to a home. This technology has been around for quite some time, so finding the right design is never the problem.

Additionally, the smartphone and tablets you’re using everyday are very capable machines, and they can be used as a hub for controlling various lightings and appliances. Some simple upgrades of the switches around the home can give you an incredible amount of automations.

As you gradually chip away at some of the outdated and unappealing aspects of your home, you will find that your home looks nothing like that Death Star but it does provide you with the beauty and comfort that you desire. Visit our Vancouver showroom for a demo on how a Control4 smart home (home automation system) can simplify technology throughout the home and hide electronics from view.

Planning for your First Home Automation

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So you’re thinking about home automation but don’t know where to begin. First off, let’s go over what home automation is and how it can benefit you. Home automation is merely the process of interlinking different electronic components of your home to an single intuitive operating system so that you can monitor and carry out various tasks at home or while being someplace else.

Before TV remotes were available, people had to actually get up to change the channel (and bang on the box while they’re at it). Nowadays, if you do get off the couch, it’s because you want to grab something from the fridge. Simply put, home automation is like having a TV remote that can access just about any type of component or components of your home from one interface.

Modern-day home automation technology leverages the Internet, and if you’re reading this blog it means you have access to some form of Internet. Put two and two together you’ll see that the home network is one of the key components of home automation today.

Home automation technologies come in a broad range of packages, so if you’re thinking about setting up your home with some of these technologies it will take some planning.
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Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself are:
  • Do I entertain a lot?
  • Do I travel often or spend a lot of time away from my home?
  • Which areas of the home do I want to focus on automating?
  • What do I want to control? (Home theatre/entertainment, Whole house audio, Lighting, Comfort (heating and cooling), Security and monitoring and Communication)
  • What’s my estimated budget?
Above are just a few questions you need to ask yourself during the planning process. For instance, do you want to set up a yard sprinkler system that you can remotely control from your smartphone? If that’s the case, you might need to hire a contractor to install a sprinkler system, and then a home automation firm like ours (Digital Smart Homes) to program and connect your sprinkler control system to your phone.

The task of implementing home automation might seem daunting at first, but with the right amount of research and planning anything is possible. Best of all, silicon-based technology and network infrastructures have grown as such an astonishing pace that the price of home automation is much more affordable now than it was in the past. Take a few moments to explore the possibilities by watching this short 2 minute
video or by visiting our fully automated smart home showroom in Vancouver.

ICS-ONE irrigation controller by Brilliant Integrated Technologies now available

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A brilliant approach to watering the lawn. The ICS-ONE™ is a fully automatic, weather-based smart irrigation controller designed for residential and commercial applications that integrates with Control4. The ICS-ONE is unique in that it communicates nightly with a central server to receive water-saving commands, and then executes those commands in accordance with the customer’s preferred watering schedule. The central server determines the optimal watering time for each of the customer’s irrigation zones based on actual recent weather and its effects on the specific foliage, soil type and solar loading for that zone.

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