Step Three: Networking
We’ve discussed the growing importance of a properly designed network. With laptops, smart phones, tablets, online streaming services, Wi-Fi and cabled networking are becoming a requirement in daily life.
While many homes are fine with a basic network setup, adding a control system or automation into the mix means the network product and design has to be robust in order to handle many more tasks. We used a mix of Apple Airports and Pakedge networking gear in this system. The Apple Airport Express is used as an AirPlay device, allowing anyone with iTunes, an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to play music wirelessly!
Pakedge is another Made In The USA company that offers a variety of different network routers, switches and Wi-Fi access points depending on the needs. We chose a Pakedge router, two switches and two in-ceiling Wi-Fi pieces for this system. This network keeps the audio/video gear communicating, while also allowing iTunes to play music, Netflix to stream a movie and internet research for homework – all at once!