Cleaning Your Crestron Touchpanels

Cleaning Your Crestron Touchpanels

Ever wondered the best way to clean your Crestron touchpanel surfaces?

Keep  your touchpanel in optimal shape and maintain the best image quality by cleaning the surface regularly. Dust, dirt and other materials could scratch or damage the screen, affecting image quality.

According to the Touchpanel manuals:

“Use a soft, clean, damp (not wet) cloth with any commercially available non-ammonia glass cleaner for cleaning the display of a Touchpanel.
Bezels do not provide a complete watertight seal. Therefore, apply cleaning solution to the cloth rather than the surface of the Touchscreen. Wipe the Touchscreen clean and avoid ingress of moisture beneath the bezels.”

If you have any questions about the cleaning of your Crestron or other electronic products, feel free to contact us.

Top 5 Technologies for Your Yard, Patio or Garden

Top 5 Technologies for Your Yard, Patio or Garden

Bring your entertainment outside!

With summer just around the corner, you might be gathering ideas for your outdoor living room, landscaping, summer parties and lounging around. Here are our top 5 outdoor technologies:

1. Rock out to your favorite music.

Music is a central part of most of our life, making relaxing seem more relaxed and parties seem more festive. There are many options for speakers for your yard and patio spaces:

  • Flush mount in the ceiling of a covered area
  • Exterior mount on the side of the house
  • Rock-looking landscape speakers
  • Underground subwoofers
  • Small landscape speakers

2. Televisions to watch the big games.

Watching television outdoors can also come in many different installations. Flat-panel televisions are most often installed under cover, away from the elements. Exterior theaters are also popular – like having a drive-in theater at home!

3. Lighting control to light your way.

Having good outdoor lighting is paramount for adding mood to your parties as well as dimension and depth to both the landscape and architectural features of your home. Lighting paths and stairs are important for avoiding spills.

4. Staying connected with your computers, tablets and other devices.

It’s too nice of a day to spend inside – so take your work outdoors! Having a robust wireless network to connect laptops, tablets and cell phones is a must. Make sure your network will keep up with demands of your connected household! Read more about networks here or watch our video here.

Crestron Waterproof Remote

5. Integrate your pool controls or sprinkler systems for convenience.All of your audio, video, lighting, sprinkler and pool controls can be controlled by a single remote or even your iPhone, iPad or computer. Easy-to-use remotes can create “scenes” that turn on the spa, start the music and dim the lights – making sure not to turn on the sprinklers during your party! Read more about sprinklers here.Have questions about these or other technologies for your home? Contact us.

Keeping it Green: Sprinkler System Control

Keeping it Green: Sprinkler System Control

We are not just talking about your lawn…
Did you know that your Crestron system can control many irrigation systems keeping your landscape thriving while at the same time saving water and money?
Your home automation system has the ability to:
  1. Detect rain and turn on/off your irrigation system based on how much or how little.
  2. Reduce watering during the heat of the day or excessive wind.
  3. Provide real-time reporting and monitoring.
You can control your sprinklers with a touchscreen and/or automate events by time or other variables.
The type of watering system you choose does make a difference when you integrate it with your Crestron system. AV Awakenings has integrated the following brands of system controllers:
You can combine your water savings with other energy saving ideas for greener living including: heating and air conditioning, pool and spa pumps, fountains and lighting control – all can be programmed for maximum efficiency.

 

Behind The Scenes! Building A Home Electronics System

Behind The Scenes! Building A Home Electronics System

Step Eight: The Summary!

So we’ve talked about all the technology, wired up the house, racked the gear and installed it in the home. So how did it turn out?

This homeowner now has no electronics scattered around the house, just a TV and a handheld remote. Whether in the kitchen, living room, master bedroom or down in the movie room, they simply pick up the remote and select what to watch or listen to, all choices require only one button press! Speakers have been installed in the walls or ceiling and are paint-matched to virtually disappear into the room.

In the kitchen and master bedroom, there are 6″ touch panels in the wall for controlling music, the heating and A/C system, security system, and in the bedroom – even the fireplace! The client can listen to digital cable music, music from any iPhone or iPod in the home, or even the DJ system one of their kids has setup in his bedroom.

IMG_2168The network in the home features in-ceiling Wi-Fi access points, so there aren’t little radio boxes hidden in cabinets anywhere, the Wi-Fi simply works with nothing to look at. They even have Wi-Fi coverage through their outdoor living and BBQ space by the river!

If someone rings the doorbell, the homeowner can easily, with one button press, view the front door camera on any TV in the home! The cameras have time-lapse recording and are viewable on iPhones, iPad, computers or even over the internet from any web browser. The security system in the home can be armed and disarmed with the touch panels, or with the client’s iPhone, giving them the ability to check on the home wherever they are!

Our goal was to provide a system featuring maximum entertainment with minimum effort to operate. The walkthrough portion is always our favorite, showing a homeowner how to use their system and seeing their excitement. The best part – after demoing the theater system, the client blinked – eyes wide open – and simply exclaimed, “WOW!”

 

Behind The Scenes! Building A Home Electronics System

Behind The Scenes! Building A Home Electronics System

Step Seven:  Hook it all together!

IMG_5906Now that we’ve discussed all the different parts necessary to totally integrate a home, let’s see what it takes to put it all together and make it tick!  First, we need a place to hold all the equipment and in many cases we use a rack like the one pictured below.  Racks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; some look very industrial and others integrate into a nicely designed room as a piece of furniture that hides the gear!  We proudly use Middle Atlantic racks because not only are they Made in the USA, but they also offer an amazing variety of designs for any home or business!

This rack is going to hold the networking gear, main controller, audio switcher, video switcher, surround sound receiver and all the wires for security cameras, touch panels, keypads, fireplace control and even operating your garage door openers!  We take great pride in wiring racks in our office well ahead of the installation date.  Not only can we connect everything neatly, but we can label the wiring and test functionality so it’s all ready to run when we arrive at the job site!  Here’s an example of how we started wiring the electricity, networking and audio cables with everything labeled so we know where things go!

 

To us, details really matter.  Electricity cables run down one side, while audio, video and network go down the other side.  We do this to keep the rack more clean looking and to decrease the chances of interference between different types of wires and signals.  With a system tested and functioning at our office, we know that once it’s in your home and connected it will most likely “just work”.  It allows us to be more efficient with our installation and decreases the amount of time we spend in your home.

Behind The Scenes! Building A Home Electronics System

Behind The Scenes! Building A Home Electronics System

Step Six:  Video Throughout Your Home

Most of us have cable TV, FiOS or a satellite dish.  This means having a tuner-box for every TV in the house. Add in the DVD or Blu-ray players, again one for every TV.  Now there’s internet-streaming boxes like the Roku or AppleTV, again one for every TV.  Pretty soon you have lots of remotes and lots of “black boxes” in every room.  What a big mess and hassle!

In this home electronics system, we designed centralized, or distributed video.  Using Crestron’s DM (Digital Media) solution we can share a few video sources to every TV in the house, watching different things at the same time.  Two cable boxes, two Blu-ray players, an AppleTV and an Apple Mac mini – all can be quickly selected from any TV in the house.  This setup accomplishes a few things.  First, each room now has just a TV and a remote control, that’s it!  Second, movies or shows can be shared between different rooms. The bonus is the security cameras will pop up on-screen if someone rings the doorbell!

AppleTV and Mac mini are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc.