Issue 3 - Fall 2012

Issue 3 - Fall 2012
Smart Home
Life under control
A Mexico City
condo with brains
and beauty
It's all about creative
control in Beverly Hills
Make your dream home
theater a reality
FALL 2012
click here to Get
the Home smart
home app for iPad
Editor’s Note
Mexico city marvel
Go inside the brainy house that took
grand prize in a competition that's
usually all about beauty. You may also
find you share some common Friends
with its owner.
A holiday for
every generation
Built to satisfy three generations,
this stunning Spanish bungalow is a
genius holiday home with one-touch
features that add special color and,
then some.
Ultimate home
Some say magic happens in threes, which makes perfect sense with this third
issue of Home Smart Home taking us on a journey to several continents of this
planet in exploration of how automation continues to transform both people
and places—in everyday life and, it turns out, even in the most unusual of work
Our cover story lands us in Latin America, where we got a personal tour of
the Mexico City condo that surprised judges in a coveted competition that’s all
about interior design. It's truly as beautiful as it is smart.
Swinging through southern Europe, we couldn’t help getting all lit up when we
happened upon a holiday home that is as colorful as it is brilliant—and entirely
on command. (The truth is even reflected by a Buddha in its garden!) Thanks
to a historic home in Australia, we were also able to learn a thing or two about
making the grade with retrofit projects.
And back home, we managed to squeeze in quite a workout before touching
base in Beverly Hills, which I would dare argue, is a world unto itself. Its people
are certainly very interesting!
Speaking of truly out-of-this-world experiences and yes, I’ll say it—alien—I’m
especially thrilled to present to you the first-ever Control4-inspired comic, Mars
Retreats!, found in the centerfold of this issue. Please let us know how it lands!
Will West, co-founder of Control4,
Shanan M. Carney
[email protected]
Control4 Creative Director
Editor, Home Smart Home
gives you the best seat in the house
to learn what it takes to design the
ultimate home theater plus an inside
look at the latest smart receiver.
Originally constructed for the
headmaster at one of Melbourne,
Smart Home
Australia’s first schools, this
Life under control
historically significant home gets a
magnificently modern makeover.
Creativity, Control
and Cartoons
Simon Oré just doesn't conjure up
characters in his head. He is one in
real life. See what we dug up when
we played Q&A with this part-time
Beverly Hills resident.
Shanan Carney
Jenny Duff
Casey Kim
Control4 Corporation
Corporate Offices
11734 S. Election Road, Suite 200
Draper, UT 84020
Copyright 2012 Control4 Corporation. All rights reserved. Control4, the Control4 logo, and
the 4-ball logo, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Control4 Corporation in the
United States and/or other countries. All other names and brands may be claimed as the
property of their respective companies. All specifications subject to change without notice.
Special Thanks To: Jason Wild from Future Lifestyle;
Jennifer Cornet from the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; the
SONY team; Dennis and Caroline Carron; Peter Vassilopoulos
from Alpha Electronics in Melbourne, Australia; the team
at Evolution Sports Performance; James Shapiro of Audio
Video Intelligence in Easton, MA; Simone Ore (ACCENT!);
and Matthew McKenna from Semaphoric Smart Homes in Los
Angeles, CA. A super shout-out to Dave Seropian and the
team at Pencils to Post for their comic genius. And to Melissa
Lane, Reuben Maness, John Anthony Foley, and Allie Pape for
their feature-writing whiz-bang!
What's new?
Paul Williams, VP of
Support Services,
answers your questions.
Controllers—a world of options
Control4 kicked off the year with two blazing fast controllers—the HC-250 and the HC-800—providing a powerful,
high-performance brain for all of your automation needs. Now, we present Sony ES receivers that integrate
Control4® smarts—giving you a world of control options to choose from! Create your ultimate home theater with
stunning audio and video quality, streaming music and video services, or enable whole-home control functionality.
Get the whole
house talking
Something to blog about
The new Control4® blog has been unveiled, and we have a team
of contributors offering up a surplus of stories for your reading
enjoyment. We're here to give you knowledgeable tech stories, fun
and light-hearted opinions, real-life experiences, and an inside look
into the Control4 company and culture. We invite you to follow us,
drop us your comment, or just visit from time to time. You can find
us at
Stay in Control | |
Screen visitors at the front
door. Keep an eye on the kids.
Broadcast a message to the house
with Control4® video intercom
products. High-performance
7" In-Wall and Portable Touch
Screens with Cameras, and the
Door Station offer crystal-clear
audio and full-motion video
intercom functionality bringing
new levels of communication,
convenience and safety to home
and business owners.
What role do mobile devices
like the iPad® and the new
Nexus 7 play in an smart home?
I wish I had purchased Apple
or Google stock early on!
We are deep in the age of mobile
computing devices. If you have
any doubt, look around you right
now it's a safe bet there is a mobile
device within arm's length, even if
it's not your own.
Mobile devices play a significant
role in the smart home. With the
Control4® app for your Apple® or
Android tablet, you can use that
device to
control your
home. For
let's take
the home
Using the
app, you
can browse
your movie library, and then select
and start that movie. The smarthome technology can then take
over by dimming lights to provide
the ultimate movie-watching
From that same device, if you
determine that the room isn't quite
the right temperature, you can
lower or raise the temperature. The
device also becomes the remote
control for your entertainment
system, so when popcorn calls, you
can simply press a Pause button on
your mobile device, and exactly as
the movie pauses, the lights come
up slightly so you don't trip over
the dog. Once you return to your
comfy seat, press the Play button
on the mobile device and you're
back into the movie.
These are just a few of the things
you can do today with your mobile
device in a smart home. Stay tuned.
This category is moving fast, and
there is little doubt that the role
those devices play in a smart home
will increase over time. And with
that, I have a movie to get back to!
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Mexico City
A stunning urban apartment that wins hearts—
and major design accolades
Photos Courtesy AMPliaudio
omeowners have long
been enthusiastic about
home automation’s
ability to simplify their
lives. But for every eager early
adopter there’s usually an architect
or designer worried about a
complex home-automation system
marring their beautiful work. So
when we heard that a Control4®equipped condominium in Mexico
City had taken the grand prize in
the AMDI (Asociacion Mexicana
de Disenadores de Interiores),
Mexico’s most prestigious design
competition, we knew that we
had to feature it in Home Smart
Home. “Last year, the prize went
to a museum,” says the condo’s
owner. “I still can’t believe they’re
comparing my home to a museum!”
It may not be the size of a
museum, but this unique home
is certainly a work of art. With
a sleek, modern profile, glass
enclosures, expansive city views,
and richly textured stone and
wood walls, the owner and his
wife have created an elegant, yet
comfortable space that’s made
The living room offers a sweeping view of Mexico City—with programmable blinds that keep the
space cool during the day, left. Another view of the living and dining room, above.
for entertaining. And that’s before
their guests witness what’s going
on behind the scenes.
“It’s a regular apartment in
Mexico City, but it has more
automation than a very big
home,” says the homeowner, as he
shows us the wealth of Control4®
creature comforts he’s built into
the 350-square-meter space. The
key, he tells us, was finding an
architect who shared his passion
for home automation from the
start, and was willing to work with
him to conceal everything from
speakers and adjustable lighting
to a home-entertainment center
within its walls. The results are
stunning: Almost everything in the
home is automated in one way
or another. But aside from a few
cleverly-placed touch screens, the
entire system is tucked away within
ceilings, walls, and closets.
Our tour begins in the owner’s
pride and joy—his home theater—
which boasts a 119-inch anamorphic
retractable screen on which he
projects a 2:35:1 aspect ratio similar
to that of a movie theater. To add
to the fun, he’s also installed two
smaller retractable screens on top
of his personal bar. A die-hard
Miami Dolphins fan, he's able to
spend his Sundays watching his
favorite team on the big screen,
while two other games play
simultaneously on the smaller
screens. After the final touchdown,
one tap wirelessly retracts the
screens, automatically adjusts the
lighting and turns on the Rhapsody
music system, setting the mood for
a chat over drinks.
The family’s viewing options
Photos Courtesy AMPliaudio
The owner, a Miami Dolphins fan, enjoys watching his favorite team on the 119-inch anamorphic screen in the home theater, while simultaneously catching
two other games on smaller screens above the bar. Off-season, on any TV in the house, you'll likely catch him watching an episode of Friends.
originate in a closet near
the kitchen, where a hidden
rack conceals a formidable
entertainment arsenal. A video
distributor wirelessly streams
HD content from a DirectTV
box, Apple TV, and a 400-disc
Blu-Ray changer, with crystalclear sound pouring from the
eight audio zones’ worth of JBL
speakers concealed in his ceiling.
“All the dimmers and switches are
hidden in cabinets, and we only
have keypads in the walls. All the
speakers are in the ceiling and very
discreet—you can’t see them. You
won’t see any amps, DVD players,
speakers, cable boxes…everything
is hidden!” he tells us.
With HDTVs in the kitchen and
in the master suite, the couple is
never too far from their favorite
entertainment. During the week,
both enjoy watching movies or
TV shows from the comfort of
their bathroom tub, thanks to a
television concealed within their
bathroom mirror. The lady prefers
“chick flicks,” he tells us, while he’s
partial to Friends reruns (Ross is his
favorite). The dining room remains
off-limits, however, so the couple
can enjoy quiet dinners together.
Energy efficiency is another
highlight of this home, and
the owner believes it was the
defining factor in garnering the
design prize. With integrated
thermostats, Card Access sensors
for the refrigerator and freezer, and
e-gauges installed in the circuit
board, the family can monitor every
kilowatt of energy they expend and
adjust their behavior accordingly.
“If we’re using the washer and
dryer during peak hours, it will
recommend better, non-peak hours
to use it. It lets you know if you’re
spending too much on lighting
or air conditioning. It gives you
information so you can program
The bathroom mirror conceals a television, perfect for catching up on a show or two while
soaking in the tub, top. Integrated thermostats and card-access sensors for the fridge and freezer
allow the owners to monitor and adjust their energy use, bottom.
your home and save energy.” Best
of all, their home is programmable
from anywhere in the world, even
while they’re traveling. “We have
tablets in the wall, we have wireless
tablets, we have iPads and iPhones,
we can do it online, we can do it
from my office, we can do it with a
Photos Courtesy AMPliaudio
button in the wall. But the best way
to do it is to ask your wife to do it,”
he jokes.
Home automation has also
proven helpful for the couple
as they enter a new phase of
life. Earlier this year, the couple
welcomed their first son. Though
the baby is only a few months old,
the owner has already made some
clever adaptations to the homeautomation system that help make
new parenting a little easier. “We
just got a new Control4® 7” in-wall
panel with a camera, and put it
in the baby’s room,” he tells us.
The camera and microphone in
the panel are connected to the
entertainment system, allowing the
couple to check in on the sleeping
baby while they chat in the living
room or catch up on their favorite
shows. The new mother can also
turn on soothing lullabies or Baby
Einstein CDs over the speaker
system when the baby settles
down for a nap. As their son
gets older, the couple's plan is to
beef up the apartment’s security
features, which already include
automatic locks on the main entry
and service doors, to ensure their
son stays safe.
Though the condo may be
small by the standards of most
automated homes, the Control4®
system allows the owners to
make the most of the space, and
to create an environment that
effortlessly flows from childrearing
to couples’ time to entertaining.
With more and more families
worldwide deciding to settle down
and raise children in the city, the
home may serve as a roadmap
for a green, family-friendly urban
space that doesn’t sacrifice
comfort. “I’m very glad the design
jury loved my home,” he tells us
with a smile. “Because we love
it, too.” n
An Automated
Oasis in Mexico City
In the upscale Samara Shops
in Mexico City’s trendy Santa Fe
neighborhood, a window display
featuring a kitschy 70's living
room might seem somewhat
out of place. But the shag
carpeting and wood paneling
provide the perfect setup for a
big surprise: a 50” touch screen
built into the window, projecting
the Control4® Navigator menu,
allows passers-by to control
everything about the room,
including turning the TV on and
off, changing channels, opening
and closing the blinds, and
dimming the lights. Needless to
say, it’s a bit of an improvement
on the home technology of
the Carter years—and what’s
inside this unique store provides
even more insight into home
automation’s exciting future.
The structure of the Control4®
experience center is laid out
like a house, with a “game
room” (complete with pool
table) welcoming guests into
the space, and providing
information about key Control4®
systems—lighting, audio,
entertainment, security, and
energy efficiency. Once visitors
have absorbed some general
information, a staff member will
hand them an Apple® iPad and
take them on a tour of the rest
of the “home,” allowing them
to take the wheel and fiddle
with any system they like in
every room along the way. It’s
a fun, immersive experience
that reveals how far home life
has come in just the past few
decades—and the amazing
possibilities that automation can
bring to the homes of today.
If you’re visiting Mexico City,
be sure to stop by and see it
for yourself!
Bits & pieces
Happy 40th Atari!
For big laughs &
Every 60 seconds...
Imagine a building that will last
250 years with no monthly water
or electricity bills. Scheduled for
completion in November of 2012,
the $30-million Cascadia Center
is a “Living Building” project that
will produce as much water and
electricity as it consumes.
13,000+ hours of music
are streamed on Pandora
We're changing
the world with
- Bill Gates
Clockwise from top left:;;;;;;
“Computer Keyboard” BY Andrew Forrester; “Television” by Piero Borgo; “Radio” by Michael Gluzman, from collection.
In 2012, the US
began phasing
out the inefficient
incandescent light
bulb that dates back
more than 125 years. New bulbs
are required to use 25-30% less
energy. With more than 4 billion
screw-based sockets in the US,
this translates into electric bill
savings of more than $10 billion
per year—equivalent to 30 large
power plants.
Clockwise from top left: Copyright 2012 NYSERDA - New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (,
photo: Tiedosto; Natural Resources Defense Council (; the buillitt foundation (;
Bright ideas
On June 27th, 1972, Nolan Bushnell and Ted
Dabney formed the video arcade and consolegaming company known as Atari. Five months
later, their first game "Pong" was released. Despite
the primitive graphics, it was an immediate hit.
That’s how much an original
Apple I motherboard sold for on
June 15th, 2012. It had a 1mHz
processor, 8kb of RAM and
yes, still worked! For the same
amount, the buyer could have
purchased 750 entry-level iPads,
1,880 iPhones (with a two-year
contract to match) or around 650
shares of Apple stock.
The most powerful
electric eel can
produce a shock
of up to 650 volts.
That's 5 times the
shocking power
of a household
electric outlet.
Big things. Small packages.
The computing power in today’s mobile phone is much
higher than the processing power of all the computers in
the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander that put two men on the moon.
A Holiday for
Every Generation
It’s all-in-the-family automation at this Spanish bungalow
Outdoor living is a big part of
Spanish lifestyle, so integrating
systems like lighting and audio
to work in harmony means the
very best can be made of time
spent outside.
Photos: Kevin horn photograpy
mongst the holiday homes of Spain’s cash-rich expats, it’s
hard to inspire envy. But that’s exactly what Control4® dealer
Future Lifestyle helped their client Ted do with his Costa del
Sol bungalow. Ted, a semi-retired British developer, wanted to
fully automate the holiday home he bought for himself, his wife, their two
daughters and grandson—from security to audio, video, climate and the
hypnotically-changing colored lights on his Buddha statue.
“For Southern Spain, this is an
unprecedented installment,” says
Jason Wild, Future Lifestyle’s
Operations Director. “It’s very
rare to have everything under one
control system.” When all was
said and done, the install included
HVAC and floor heating; automated
shutter blinds and oscillating
fans; changing-color LED lighting
throughout the home, including
the garden and pool area; and
integrated audio and video with
drop-down cine screens, surround
sound, built in-wall TV screens and
high-definition distribution in three
of the four bedrooms.
“We’ve had quite a bit of inquiry
from the surrounding properties to
do the same for them,” said Jason.
Along with the sense of luxury
home automation adds, it also
offers perks that are particularly
well-suited to the holiday home:
it accommodates the often
multi-generational nature of a
vacationing family, the priority on
Photos: Kevin horn photograpy
Simple security features at
the door entry makes getting
to and from the beach
very easy with one-touch
'lockdown' and 'return home'
features, opposite. By using
color-changing LED lights,
the owner highlights an area
like the pool or the Buddha
garden, top and left.
relaxing and entertaining, and the
security needs of homes that are
not a primary residence.
Toys for the Young and
the Young at Heart
While Ted’s daughters use
the music system to play the
lounge and nightclub tunes of the
neighboring Ibiza party scene, he
uses it to play his favorite English
bands, including classics such
as The Who, Phil Collins and his
favorite, Rod Stewart. He especially
enjoys being able to use his iPad to
choose from the different playlists
he’s compiled and labeled with the
art from album covers.
“I love the music library we have
managed to build up. It is a joy to
use,” gushes Ted. “There’s so much
information, and it’s very easy to
navigate. I can see at a glance the
cover art, metadata information,
track listings, and search options.”
At the other end of the family age
Let your entertainment run wild!
Create a seamless, connected environment from
any spot in the room where music, movies, and
more are easily displayed on the HDTV. Give your
clients the freedom to connect with enough AV ports
to support tablets, laptops, smartphones,
DVD players, and personal game consoles. From
initial design to installation, G-LINK provides
the platform you need to go beyond your client’s
Wireless connectivity dock with optional alarm clock
Ready for a movie, anytime. At night, the Control4® system automatically dims the lights for a movie. During the day, a blackout blind is activated.
range, Ted’s two-and-a-half-yearold grandson pays little attention to
the music system. What he favors is
the lounge, where he can watch his
to the games. This is especially true
when watching films. The surroundsound is very powerful.”
While these features make the
gadget-savvy swoon, they also
offer a key to happy vacations: the
capacity for all three generations
to indulge their taste in music and
TV simultaneously and in complete
Vacation Mode? There’s
a Setting for That
Going on holiday often means
trading your climate for a radically
Connectivity Panel with Built in Apple™ Cable
Photos: Kevin horn photograpy
The family can easily access music or movies
from a tablet with the Control4® app.
cartoons on either the drop-down
screen or the LED screen built into
the wall. If he decides to watch
a film on the big screen at night,
the system automatically dims
the lights. If it’s during the day, a
blackout blind is activated to block
out the outside light for a perfect
movie-watching experience.
“My grandson loves the big
screen for watching his kids’ stuff,”
observes Ted. “The quality of the
content is not something we are
used to, even now, but the football
on such a big setup is excellent fun.
The sound adds a new dimension
Installation Freedom
• Models to fit any environment and budget
including wireless, desktop, and wall mount.
Popular Technology
• Connectivity for your clients’ favorite devices
including Apple®, Android™, Windows,
and others.
Simple Setup
• CEC compatible with single HDMI connection
to the HDTV.
Conference room
CEDIA BOOTH #4949 (Control4)
different one. “Northern England
is a much different temperature
than Puerto Banus, Spain,” laughs
Jason. “The first thing most people
do here is throw on the bikinis.”
Thankfully, Control4 has all kinds
of tricks to help with the transition.
Along with being able to turn
the air conditioning on from the
airport, floor heating like the one
Ted had installed in his bungalow
keeps otherwise cold marble floors
warm at night.
The system also caters to a
holiday home’s focus on relaxing
and entertaining. “My wife and
I enjoy socializing, and we like
nothing more than coming back
here to relax. It's the main reason
we bought the place,” says Ted.
“The lighting control is so clever,
and I am impressed every time I
use it. Not only can you dim the
lights, but you can change their
color as well.”
Ted often entertains guests in
the chillout area, which is under
a white, wooden, pitched-roof,
looking out onto the deck and
pool. From there, guests can also
wander into a covered pergola in
the garden that features a Buddha
fountain where you can hear the
waves of the sea. Wherever they
go, Ted can control the lighting
and music and ensure the perfect
“All we have to concern ourselves
with is what music to queue on our
playlist for the evening and what
lighting scene we want to indulge
in,” describes Ted. “Sometimes we
will have friends come over, as they
seem to enjoy it here as much as
we do.”
Security and
Convenience Are
Their Own Vacation
As is typical of most holiday
homes, Ted’s is unoccupied for
most of the time. Jason estimates
that among the fifty or so milliondollar holiday homes in the
development that Ted’s bungalow
is in, the residents are only in their
homes for about 25% of the time.
Unique LED lighting control dramatically changes the way rooms like the chillout room
or bedroom can look or feel. All by the touch of a button or via a timed program.
Home automation offers an easy
way to gain a little extra peace of
mind for these residents, whether
they are onsite or what might feel
like a million miles away.
Contact sensors on the doors
and windows alert owners as to
when an area has been accessed
and warns of anything left open. A
person's presence can be simulated
by having lights turn at random
inside the house at night. Along
with countless other additional
security measures, the Control4®
system also marries security with
For example, with the ocean
right behind him, Ted also enjoys
being able to run out of the house
unencumbered. He simply puts
in a code and the whole place
locks and turns off. No need for
a key that could get lost at the
beach, and no need to run around
everywhere and turn everything
off. “However,” points out Ted, “if
there is someone still inside, there
is another code we use that just
activates the door mechanism for
entry and exiting purposes. It’s
very practical.”
If Ted and his wife are leaving
for the evening, he can hit the
“Going Out” setting, which locks
down the house, but leaves the air
conditioning on plus some lights
inside and out to illuminate the way
when they get home. “If we have
been away some time, it reactivates
all the equipment back into life,”
says Ted. “It’s like it knows we are
home, opening shutters, turning on
the cooling/heating system, so that
everything is ready for use.”
When it’s time to go home
until the next holiday, Ted can
hit the more permanent “Going
Away” setting, which shuts down
everything from the TVs, lights,
water features and climate control
to the shutters and pool cover—
everything except the kitchen
equipment, and of course, the
control system.
Keeping up With the
Joneses—and Control4
When the development that Ted’s
holiday home is a part of was built
seven or eight years ago, it was
considered very modern. “But this
bungalow is taking it to a whole
new level,” says Jason. “We are
now getting asked by many other
owners to modernize their system
Future Lifestyle anticipates
a quick rise in the proliferation
of home automation in holiday
homes. It provides equal parts
comfort, convenience, peace of
mind and security—exactly what
people require in a 'home-awayfrom-home.'
“It has to be simple to use
though,” remarks Ted, explaining
that a system like this, for him, is
“made more of a challenge by my
age and the fact we are not here all
the time, so things get forgotten.
But it all comes back to me after
I spend a few minutes with the
system,” he smiles.
In this respect, Jason cites
Control4 as the optimal solution.
“What we like about Control4 is that
it’s integrated and has the ability to
control climate, lighting, audio and
video—all in one system.”
"Additionally, because Control4
is so easy to program," Jason adds,
Everyone wins. We save time and
the client saves money."
"It's also easier to expand upon.
It’s possible for a client to just do
one or two rooms initially, and add
more later, whenever they like."
“Control4 is a forerunner in this
industry,” surmised Jason. “We look
forward to working with them more
in the future.” ■
This hotel knows that the top VIP in Sin City is you
ack in the day, there was only one way
to do Las Vegas: the Rat Pack way.
You drink a lot, you gamble a little. Or
vice versa. But today’s Vegas is full of
options, depending on your style: stage shows
and world-renowned chefs, big nights out with
the guys, ladies who take on the town, and of
course, Martinis and blackjack. In other words,
Sin City can be entirely what you make it,
starting with the very hotel you choose to stay
in—especially if your hotel is a smart hotel, like
the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.
The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is a
plush, triple-Forbes five-star hotel , spa and
restaurant, right in the heart of City Center
on Las Vegas Boulevard. But what is extratantalizing about this luxurious lodging is that
it is decked out with some undeniably cool
bells and whistles, giving its guests the ability
to personalize every aspect of their stay. And it
all starts the moment you enter your room for
the first time.
Invisible Touch
In the Emperor Suite, you can bring your room to life with the touch of a button. One remote controls everything from lights to music to shades.
After swiping your key card, your
room comes to life to welcome you.
The TV switches on, the volume
comes up, the lighting fades in,
and the curtains open. “That is
really a ‘wow’ moment,” says Max
Tappeiner, Director of Rooms for
Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. “It
certainly sets the tone for the
experience to come.”
Once you’ve settled into your
room, the Control4® hospitality
system lets you adjust all kinds
of elements according to your
own liking—lighting, temperature,
music, curtains, Privacy/Do Not
Disturb settings—all available to
fine-tune or edit entirely from the
TV remote, the portable bedside
touch screens, or the keypads on
the walls throughout the room.
Hurrying out the door? One touch
of a “Master Off” button and
the entire room powers down.
Entertaining? Help set the scene
with the “mood settings” feature,
which adjusts the sights on the TV
and adds the sounds of the ocean
to your surroundings. And, any
personalization you enter will be
saved for the duration of your stay.
The Morning After
After a big night out, some
Vegas guests are, tender, to say
the least. The last thing you want is
to be shocked from your slumber
by the shrill ring of the bedside
phone. At the Mandarin, guests can
customize a much smoother wakeup experience: the TV comes on
to your favorite channel and at the
volume setting of your choosing.
The curtains open (just as far as
you want them to), the lighting in
Photos: courtesy Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
Greetings, VIP
Some of the coolest features of
a notable hotel-automation system
are the ones you’ll never see. For
example, Control4 utilizes twoway communication between hotel
rooms and the staff. So, when the
batteries in the TV remote control
get low, the hotel staff receives a
real-time alert, and a staffer can
replace the batteries before you
would ever be inconvenienced. The
Mandarin also uses a nifty system
called trayTracker to keep their
hotel clean and clutter-free. Notice
how, in a typical hotel, you’ll see
used dining carts scattered around
the hallways? In the Mandarin,
sensors outside each room detect
when a guest pushes a cart out the
door. Through the Control4 system,
the staff receives an immediate
alert and can immediately go
collect the cart before it starts to
collect dust in the hallway.
Benefits of the Mandarin’s
automation system go beyond the
guest rooms. “We love to surprise
and delight our guests,” says
Jennifer Lynn, Spa Director, “and
that also includes our technology.”
the bathroom can come up, but the
rest of the room can stay dark; in
short, the perfect easing into the
morning after an epic night on the
town. What Happens in Vegas…
Here’s a cool feature that ensures
whatever happens in Vegas really
does stay in Vegas. Each room at
the Mandarin is equipped with a
valet closet. It’s accessible from
both inside and outside the room,
so hotel staffers can leave deliveries
for the guests without disturbing
them. And, rather than a knock
on the door, an alert pops up on
your TV screen notifying you that a
delivery has been made. Hi-tech has
never been so stylishly discreet!
For a spa treatment, you can set your
music, lighting levels, and temperature. It’s
magic at your fingertips as your therapist’s
fingertips work their magic on you!
For a spa treatment, you can set
your music, lighting levels, and
temperature. It’s like magic at
your fingertips as your therapist’s
fingertips work their magic on you!
The guests aren’t the only ones
who benefit from such a smart
system. It’s good for the hotel, too.
The Control4® system saves the
staff a lot of running around, since
many features can be operated
remotely. “From my desk, I can
restart a room,” says Antonio Sosa,
the Mandarin’s IT Director. Not
only that, Antonio can pre-set air
conditioning, test the drapes, even
receive alerts if a hotel room door
is ajar, all from his office.
And, as Las Vegas continues to
grow and dazzle with new designs,
places like the Mandarin know,
no matter how smart and sexy a
hotel’s interior design may be, the
ultimate allure for visitors is being
able to add their own personal
touch. “How do you define luxury
in the 21st century?” asks Max
Tappeiner. “It’s all about tailoring
and customizing the experience.”
So, whether you’re a Vegas night
owl, a sophisticated show-goer, or
an after-party-in-my-room hoster,
be sure to stay in a hotel that lets
you enjoy Vegas your way. Sinatra
would be so very proud. ■
Help set the scene with the “mood settings” as seen here in the stunning Mandarin Suite.
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Voice Recognition requires no training
Controls AV, security, lighting, temperatures & more
Totally customizable
Easy integration with any Control4® system
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Sony ES receivers with built-in
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the lights automatically dim, the inputs switch, and the movie
alive.1 Find out more at:
Sony ES. Elevating your standards.
Home Theater
Photo: Rebecca Henry Photography
1. May require additional accessories. Check with your authorized Control4 dealer for details.
© 2012 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written
permission is prohibited. Sony and Sony make.believe logos are trademarks of Sony. All other
trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.
Home theater that doesn’t
ignore the house lights.
More people
than ever
before are
learning how
to build their
dream room
Game Time!
You make this announcement to
your guests who are tossing a ball
around the yard. Now they begin to
filter indoors, and make their way to
what you lovingly call your “screening
room,” the ultimate home theater.
Mounted on the wall is a gorgeous
100” projection screen that displays
the HD picture with dazzling
sharpness. Facing it in neat rows, like
loyal subjects, are twelve plush leather
recliners upon which your guests now
park themselves. You take your seat,
place your hand over the one remote
control in the room, and—here’s your
favorite part—you tap just one button.
Immediately the shades begin their
graceful descent over the windows as
the lights in the room fade down and
There are a million different ways to design a dream home theater. While some prefer theater-style seating, others enjoy a lounge-like environment.
the LED star-studded ceiling glows
like moonlight. The DLP projector
powers on, automatically switching
to HDMI1 while the cable box tunes
to ESPN. The audio processor
boots up, flooding the room with
luxuriant sound from seemingly
everywhere, including inside each
leather recliner. The thermostat
boosts itself up a couple of degrees,
catering to the notion that everyone
will be sitting still for a while.
The ball is kicked, and the game
soars into play. Somewhere,
near the end of the first half, the
doorbell rings, and from your
portable touch screen you see
the pizza has arrived. You hit the
Pause button, and the lights in the
room automatically ramp to halfbrightness. You tip the pizza guy
at the door, return to the screening
room, tap a button, and the room
returns as it was while the game
Your guests are duly impressed
with the technological wizardry so
thoroughly integrated and easily
used. And not a wire or cable in
sight! What they may never believe
is that it was all set up in a single
Better Together
“First we need to give credit to
the manufacturers that make the
great video and audio components,
then we make it magical with the
user experience,” says Will West,
Chairman and CSO at Control4.
“Once you have what you consider
to be good stuff, once you’ve made
a choice about what’s right in your
home, we can give you that truly
ultimate experience.”
It’s a bit surprising that smart
TVs have only been around since
2011, yet already 38% of US
"The Babysitter Test"
Homes with broadband have an
average of 4.5 remote controls
on their coffee table. In this day
and age, it can be frustrating to
figure out how to watch a movie
after the kids have been playing
a video game. Control4 puts that
frustration to bed with their onebutton solution.
Your Blu-ray player, DVD player,
Apple TV, stereo, television—
whatever you have in your home
theater—are all controlled with just
one very intuitive remote. You can
even program a different lighting
scene to accompany each console.
Sound confusing? It’s not.
Control4 has a simplicity
standard Will West likes to call The
Babysitter Test. “You can hand the
Control4® remote to the babysitter,
and she can handle the wholehome theater fully without one
word of explanation from you. No
The Control4 Chairman and CSO lets us in
on his personal favorites.
Mary Poppins and the Lord of the Rings
Country (Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks),
jazz, classical piano
TV show:
The Big Bang Theory
New gadget in the last 5 years:
Control4 innovation:
The amazing products being launched over the next 12 months!
You'll never notice the brains behind this smart room. The Control4® HC-250 controller hides behind a TV.
headache of too many buttons.
And if it’s easy enough for the
babysitter, it’s easy enough for
anyone in the home.”
Centralized Control
And that universal simplicity is
not only thoroughly satisfying for
any user, it’s also quite addicting.
Once a family realizes the unlimited
power of Control4 technology, they
can’t help but add to it. They extend
the controller’s reach from just
movies and music to the lighting.
Soon afterwards, it seems natural
to add a smart thermostat. Then
shades. Then the rest of the house.
The beauty of the Control4
automation is that it can be as
great or small as you want it. “It
doesn’t matter if you live in a
New York apartment or a Scottish
castle, the Control4® controller can
conform to any function you are
trying to achieve,” says Will.
All the software needed to run
everything sits in the controller,
which can be easily tucked behind
the TV. The Control4® HC-250
Controller is the one-room solution,
and the more powerful HC-800
Controller is the whole-home
solution. Now, however, there are
exciting new pieces of hardware
on the market—the Sony STR-DA
2800 and 5800ES Receivers. They
are each a receiver AND a controller
all-in-one, with powerful Control4®
software built in. [See sidebar]
This combination offers amazing
sound quality and a host of audio
and video streaming services. And
this centralization of software
is at the heart of the Control4®
philosophy. With all of the separate
aspects of a home theater
centralized and processed in one
place, there are fewer opportunities
for something to go wrong.
Content Management
Of course, this goes for content
too. All your media is centralized,
giving you easy-breezy access to
your favorite Internet radio stations
and streaming music services,
Photo: Rebecca Henry Photography
households currently own one.
If nothing else, this proves that
Americans surely do care about
their home entertainment! It’s
projected that 53 million smart
TVs will ship in 2012. And with the
top manufacturers in the homeentertainment industry working
with Control4 to be certified
as “highly controllable” and to
interface well with the Control4®
system, specifically, home-theater
wizardry is indeed easier than ever
Whereas once upon a time
it would have taken weeks of
having builders in your home to
construct and wire an automated
home-theater system, now it takes
considerably less time thanks to
“drag & drop” programming with
Control4. And with a starting price
at around $1,000 MSRP, it’s never
been so easy or so affordable!
as well as your own personal
music collection. Same for your
digitized movies—with third-party
integration, you can flick through
the selections of your membershipbased streaming content as simply
as you can your own library of titles.
And speaking of content,
Control4® technology gives you
all the power. Control which hours
of the day the kids can watch TV.
Control how many hours a day,
total, they can watch TV. The
system can even send you an email
when you’re at work letting you
know if the kids are watching TV
during homework time.
Content management gets even
simpler when you're controlling
your entire home with an app.
Using the Control4® app, you have
all the automated functions in
your home right on your Apple or
Android device!
The time is now
Will West can tell you about
some of the coolest and craziest
Control4® home theaters out there,
like the one where the entire room
transforms into a theater as the
pool table hydraulically sinks into
the floor. Or the fancy doubledecker home theater, where the
family has seating both upstairs
and downstairs, equidistant from
the screen. Then there’s the one
built by the drive-in fan who
acquired a lot across his street, set
up a giant screen, and parked his
antique cars there, creating a drivein HOME theater!
Whatever your vision, the tools
are out there to help you make it a
reality, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
Step 1: Let your imagination run
rampant and daydream about your
wildest home-theater fantasy.
Step 2: Contact your Control4®
Step 3: Watch your dream come
alive! With technology more
sophisticated and simpler than
ever before, there’s no need for
anyone these days to be shy about
enjoying a home theater that is
truly state-of-the-art.
Or, more appropriately… state-ofthe-smart. n
this FALL,
2012 from
Now you can enjoy a bestof-class receiver and bestof-class home automation
system in one easy-to-use
product. Sony is introducing
a new line of ES receivers
with Control4 automation
built-in, so you can enjoy a
stunning audio and video
experience in your home
theatre, while being able
to dim the lights, lower the
blinds, control everything
in your cabinet—and more,
thanks to Control4.
Sony’s ES receivers come
ready to to stream audio and
video from over 30 services,
including Netflix®, YouTube™,
Hulu Plus and Pandora™
along with a variety of other
media which can be easily
accessed from your home
network. Additionally, these
new ES models feature
advanced A/V technology,
including 4K upscaling/pass
thru and high resolution
multichannel playback
of PCM/WAV/FLAC files.
They also offer up to nine
HDMI inputs, which lets
you connect virtually every
compatible component in
your system. Now, that’s the
ultimate home theatre.
Dennis and Caroline
Carron's East
Melbourne home,
inset, was built in 1867,
but a modern addition
has transformed it
into a luxurious retreat
with amenities like
an indoor/outdoor
kitchen above.
Photos Kay & Burton
rom the exterior, Dennis Carron’s house looks
much like the other historic homes that dot
his charming neighborhood in East Melbourne,
located just minutes from the city center
of Australia’s second-largest metropolis. Built by
Duncan and Burley in 1867, the house was originally
constructed for the headmaster of one of Melbourne’s
first schools, nearby Trinity Grammar School. (A
small plaque on the exterior marks its historic status.)
Over its 150 years, the house has been beautifully
The past and the
future intertwine
in a historic (and
highly automated)
Melbourne home
preserved, and its tuck-pointed terrace, brick exterior,
and beautifully detailed fireplaces are marks of its
early Victorian heritage. But while the house may seem
tiny from the outside, its historic façade conceals a
big secret: on two levels beneath the original historic
dwelling, Carron, a mechanical engineer who owns his
own concrete company, has constructed a handsome
glass addition that takes this historic home to the
next level.
“We purchased the home nine years ago, but since
Getting the necessary permits
to transform the heritage-listed
home took Carron, a mechanical
engineer, nearly three years.
guests notice is a glass viewing
window into the garage, which
displays two of the three vintage
Corvettes that Carron enjoys
restoring on weekends. All the
family cars are kept on motorized
lifters, which Carron can control
remotely (along with the garage’s
The heart of the home is the
spacious outdoor kitchen and
pool area, which the Carrons
can enjoy year-round, thanks
to Melbourne’s balmy climate.
Vassilopoulos automated the
pool’s swimming jets, spa, and gas
heater, and a number of lighting
scenes and display fountains
allow it to double as a decorative
statement piece when not in
use. Though the Carrons’ own
children are too young to swim
Photos Kay & Burton
it’s a heritage-listed home, it took
three years to get the permits in
place,” says Carron. “We had to
rebuild the old home structurally,
and then we did suspended
concrete and glass curtain wall
additions.” The resulting space
boasts a home theater, separate
passenger and car lifts, pool, a
sizable garage, and much more—
and with three children under the
age of four, including two-year-old
twins, Carron and his wife Caroline
needed a convenient way to
organize it all.
Control4® dealer Peter
Vassilopoulos and his firm Alpha
Electronics were up to the task.
Though the home’s unusual layout,
the bluestone construction of the
original building, and the newer
concrete walls all made wireless
transmission difficult, Vassilopoulos
was able to get the Control4®
system up and running by carefully
spacing out and cleverly concealing
the wireless repeaters. “Considering
the size of the house, and the
attenuation you get through
concrete, it works extremely well,”
says Vassilopoulos. “It’s amazing.”
The homeowners agree. “When
Peter came into our lives, we
actually saw all the benefits for
the first time,” says Carron. “From
there, we got quite excited about
creating all the extra facets that
made it a seamless system.”
From the moment they pull up
to the curb, visitors to the Carron
home will see automation at work
everywhere they look. External
lighting can be activated to its
fullest to welcome guests into the
home, or kept at more subtle levels
when the family enjoys a quiet
evening in. Even the small goldfish
pond out front is automated, with
a programmable water feature and
interior lights and filtration. Upon
entering, one of the first things
Photos Kay & Burton
From the rooftop pool to the home theater in the basement, nearly everything in the Carron home is
automated, above. With three children under the age of four, both Carrons enjoy an occasional retreat
to their glass-walled soaking tub, below.
unsupervised, a camera system
allows Dennis, Caroline, and their
guests to remotely monitor older
children and teens as they swim.
The adults can dine at the outdoor
kitchen table or sip drinks at the
built-in bar, while their favorite
wireless music service plays the
hosts' favorite 70s and 80s tunes
over one of four surround-sound
With three small children,
keeping everyone entertained so
the adults can have a bit of quiet
time is a must. One of Carron’s
favorite features of Control4 is
the entertainment system. “We
download all our DVDs to the hard
drive, so the kids can’t damage the
DVDs, which is great. When we
allow them to, they love using the
iPad to scroll through the movie
covers and pick a movie,” he notes.
“If they’re watching a cartoon or
movie in the home theater and
it’s dinner time, they can finish
watching it right where they left
off in the kitchen or living room.
The same goes for my wife and
me: we can start a movie in the
cinema, and if we get a bit tired,
we can finish it in the bedroom.”
The Control4® lighting system
also comes in handy when one
of the kids wants mom or dad in
the middle of the night. “If one of
the twins wakes up and comes to
us in the night, we can push the
low lighting, allowing the lights to
come on really slowly,” Carron says.
“Once they go back to bed, there’s
enough light to get them back to
their bedrooms, but not so much
that it wakes them up.”
The Carrons travel frequently as
a family, and rely on the Control4®
system even when they’re away
from home. “It’s great for traveling,”
Carron says. “I can just get the
iPhone and unlock the home for
the cleaner and the gardener. When
we’re not at home and the cleaner
comes, she just pushes one button,
and that gives her the lighting she
requires throughout the entire
home.” Carron can also remotely
control the external lighting of the
house, making the family appear to
be at home even when they’re out
of town.
As an engineer who elegantly
solves challenging construction
problems every day, Carron has
high standards. Though he’s tried
other home-automation systems,
Carron says the Control4 system is
his favorite by far. “It’s much more
economical, gives you much more
function, and the graphics are so
much better as well—it seems to
be, by far, the most user-friendly
interface out there,” he says. “It’s
quite an exciting system.” ■
Coach Craig Belanger gets
ready to cue up the perfect
playlist for his class, left.
The facade of the Evolution
Sports Performance facility
in Easton, MA, right.
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
At this New
England gym,
Control4 does
the heavy lifting
icture this: you’re halfway
through a killer workout
at the gym. The instructor
turns to change the music,
and…fizzle. Technical difficulties
kill the momentum. Your sweaty
shoulders sag.
Music is the life-blood of
workout classes, but that can spell
disaster at old-school gyms, where
each instructor is at the mercy
of notoriously unreliable audio
systems. That’s not the case at
Evolution Sports Performance in
Easton, MA, thanks to a facility-wide
Control4® system that keeps the
energy—and muscles—humming.
“Every trainer has their own
method of training,” explains
system installer James Shapiro
of Audio Video Intelligence. “The
trainers want to able to choose
multiple types of streams of
audio, and be able to customize it
to their liking.”
In a traditional gym, the owner
will often need to buy separate
sound systems for each room in the
facility. At Evolution, the Control4
system runs through eight separate
audio zones—covering every
inch of the facility, from the yoga
studio to the indoor and outdoor
fields to the Spin room. And via
touch screens in each audio zone,
instructors can access all kinds of
music—their own iPod playlists,
plus, online services like Rhapsody
and Pandora.
And, even though the gym’s
automation system is world's
beyond the old boom box in the
corner of the workout room, it’s
relatively simple to learn how to
use. “Anybody that can use an
iPhone or iPad,” notes Shapiro, “can
go over to the Control4® touch
screen, and actually turn on what
they want to be able to use.”
It’s a breath of fresh air for
instructors like Patty Bangs, who
use different rooms during her
classes. Instead of unplugging her
iPod and setting up again every
time she changes rooms, Patty can
access her music from the touch
Control4® system installer James Shapiro of
Audio Video Intelligence, above. One of the
gym's several workout rooms, minutes before a
class. No extra audio equipment needed—just a
5" Control4® touch screen on the wall, right.
similar Control4 systems in his next
five fitness facilities.
Training facility staff members
know that working out is way more
fun with a great soundtrack. The
automation system at Evolution—
and more and more facilities like
it—helps ensure that, whether
you’re pumping iron with Pitbull, or
sprinting with Soundgarden, you
might break a sweat, but you won’t
break your stride. n
It’s very user
friendly. I’m not
a huge tech guy
myself, and it’s
been very easy
to learn.
screen in whichever room she’s
in. “I can just hit a button and it
streams music from upstairs down
to here. I don’t have to pick up my
iPod, come back down, and plug it
in. It’s already all done for me,” says
Patty. “I don’t have to worry about
my music, and that’s huge when
you’re an instructor because you’re
worried that the system the gym
has isn’t going to be loud enough,
or it’s going to be broken that day.
It’s night and day compared to the
other gyms that I’ve worked at.”
While Patty works her TRX class
to the beats of Flo Rida in the
adult fitness room, Head Sports
Performance Coach Craig Belanger,
uses his iPhone to cue up some
fast-paced techno for his varsitylevel class doing running drills on
the outdoor turf field. “It’s been
phenomenal,” says Craig, of the
Control4 system. “It’s very user
friendly. I’m not a huge tech guy
myself, and it’s been very easy
to learn.”
But wait, there’s more. In addition
to seamless control over the eight
zones of audio, the Evolution
trainers can also control video,
lighting, and temperature, all from
the touch screens in each room.
“The trainers all love the system,”
notes installer James Shapiro of
Audio Video Intelligence in North
Easton, Massachusetts. “They love
having the options. It happens to
work beautifully, so they’re very
pleased.” The owner seems to be
pleased as well—he’s ordering
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
The music follows instructor Patty Bangs from her spin class to her TRX class with one touch of a button.
Control &
place to “get as much inspiration
flowing as possible”—which he
attributes largely to its Control4®
features. The five-year-old system
offers house-wide AV automation
and a customized theater with a
drop-down screen measuring 120
inches. We recently caught up with
Simon—owner of Flamingoshoe, a
company that produces content for
networks like Comedy Central or
Nickelodeon—to learn how Control4
frees him to follow his creativity
down any rabbit hole that calls.
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
f you’ve seen The Beckhams
Come to LA, you’ve seen Simon
Oré’s family home. You also
could have chanced upon it in
GQ Magazine or recognized the
pool from a Ford Modeling Agency
swimsuit shot. Perched on a cliff
overlooking San Fernando Valley,
the 7,000-square-foot modern
industrial home can, as Simon puts
it, “swing with the best of them.”
Along with hosting the
professionally beautiful, the Beverly
Hills home is Simon’s preferred
Simon Oré
uses Control4
to inspire his
avoid the
Tell us about your work.
I work in animation. I’m a
producer and a writer. I work
with original content; I do different
shorts and commercial work. I
have a regular office and one that
I work at from home—which I do
whenever possible.
What are some of the
animation projects you’ve
worked on?
Most of them are in the
process of being made.
Animation takes a long time. Toy
Story took 12 years. We aren’t
Disney, so we don’t have a hundred animators. But we do
work with Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Right now we are working on
something called Space Fish. Have
you ever heard of “Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern Are Dead”?
It’s by the guy who wrote Brazil
and Shakespeare in Love, Tom
Stoppard. It's about...well, as the
creator puts it, it's The Hitchhikers
Guide to Fear and Loathing in
Can you take us through a
typical day?
Normally, I get up very early
to start digging the graves
for the dead prostitutes from the
night before. And then I shower
Actually, it’s a lot of emails, a
lot of phone conversations, and
a lot of reading manuscripts and
books. Lots of lunch meetings at
the house. I have tele-animators
in Reno and Portland, so I
spend a good amount of time
communicating with them too.
Ultimately, it’s different every day.
Though, really, it’s a lot of watching
things and reading things. Other
than that, it’s driving from point A
to point B. It’s very boring, but you
deal with interesting people and
interesting things.
What is it like working from
My home office is very
Control4-centric. The whole
house is wired. Everything from
heating to lights can be remotely
accessed and used.
We’ve got the system to handle
five different people watching five
different media on five different
systems. My mom can be watching
something in her bedroom and
something completely different
in her bathroom. We don’t have
to have twenty boxes and twenty
DVD players.
Also, I have the TV hooked up
to the Internet. Without leaving
the room, I can pull up a movie
anywhere or showcase a scene
that I’m working on. We have over
a hundred DVDs in the system,
including ones that I’ve made. It
makes things so much easier.
How else does Control4
technology help you do
your work?
I have everything that fuels
my creativity—everything
that I love—at my fingertips. I feel
lucky that I work in an awesome
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
The Control4® app makes it
easy to monitor the many many
rooms in the house via a tablet
or a smart phone. Here, a view
of the kitchen is pictured.
A stunning view from the backyard overlooks San Fernando Valley.
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
smart house where I can pull up a
spoken-word album that inspires
me or a DVD with a great scene—
just like that. If I had to do it the
normal way, I might lose the thread
that I was so excited to follow.
5 A. 7
Can you give us an example?
Say I’m in a meeting and
someone says, “Have you
seen the movie Putney Swope? It’s
with Robert Downy Senior—Robert
Junior’s dad. Well, when you see
it, you realize that when Robert
Downy Jr.’s doing the whole
blackface bit in Tropic Thunder, it’s
basically a recreation of what his
Dad did in Putney Swope. Now, normally, I’d lose 25
minutes just finding this. But
instead I can pull it up within
minutes and not derail the creative
direction of the conversation. In
the middle of a business meeting, I
can pull it up. That is awesome.
Look, I try to get as much
inspiration flowing for me and my
writers from as many sources as
possible. The fact that Control4
helps me do that is awesome. It’s a
total boon and a total asset.
Are there other benefits
to being able to work
from home?
At this point, most of my
meetings are at home. It’s
cheaper and you get more stuff
done. In LA, you have to have four
lunches before contracts are signed. I don’t like that. It pisses
me off. I don’t like wasting time.
We do have an office in Beverly
Hills South, in Wilshire. We do a
lot of production stuff there and
sometimes I take meetings there.
But I have to tell you, when you
are used to living and working in
did one not that long ago. The
Ford Modeling Agency did one
for a bathing suit shoot. When
Victoria and David Beckham first
moved here, they used the house
too. They filmed The Beckhams
Come to LA here.
The house is built for big events.
My mom’s birthday party had a
hundred-something people here. I
personally prefer when it’s calmer,
but this place can swing with the
best of them.
the Control4® environment, you feel
it when you don’t have it.
What do you miss the most
when you don’t have it?
When I have to go looking for
a DVD, and then physically
hand it to someone and say watch
this when you get home, it just
doesn’t help my case enough.
It’s nowhere near as powerful
as pulling up the scene or the
character on the spot to illustrate
my point.
Do you use it exclusively for
your work?
I use the hell out of the
Control4® system during the
busy hours of the day, which are
from lunch till about four or five.
I’m in meetings, jumping from one
movie to the other, referencing
things. Although I have to say, I use
it a lot when I come back in the
evening, too.
For leisure?
I will listen to music by the
pool. We have lights there
that make the pool look different
colors—red, green, blue—whatever
suits my mood. I’ll turn that on and
blast They Might Be Giants. Often,
my sister will be watching her
shows upstairs around this time.
But if she’s out of the house when
I come home, I’ll think to myself,
hmmmm, I’m by myself... and I’ll
blast my music through every room
in the house.
Basically, Control4 plays a big
part in how I work and how I
Do you host a lot
of parties?
I, myself, try not to have
parties. But I’ll tell you, the
house gets used a lot for stuff
like that. Big parties and dinners.
Sometimes for photo shoots. GQ
“I’ll just stream movies over the internet”
Streaming = poor movie selection, compressed video & no HD Audio, Blu-ray or 3D
One of the inaugural Certified
Partners, Fusion is now
available through the
C4 online ordering system.
Out-of-town friends?
My mom is from Mexico
and me and my sister grew
up in Canada, so we have a lot of
friends and family who come and
visit us from out of town. There
are two rooms that people are
always staying in. Mostly family
members, friends, people driving
all the way from Orange County
and needing to stay the night.
Sometimes people in LA have
an irrational fear of driving. It’s
windy; there are hills; they’ve
been drinking.
Fusion Movie Servers:
Stores your entire DVD & Blu-ray collection
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
Installer, Matthew McKenna from Semaphoric Smart Homes, makes a few updates to Simon's system.
Does Control4 technology
help with big events?
Control4 makes it easy
because you can preset
music mixes and set the volume
just right and have the lighting
that you really like. Like, I know
that I like the dining room lights at
75%. Well, you can preserve that
perfect formula. And with a push
of a button, I have a dinner party!
Or a pool party with the perfect
lights, music and everything—it
remembers everything.
We have lots of guests stay with
us, too. It’s really helpful for that.
My mom and sister joke that it’s
a hotel. They’re always saying we
should have monogrammed
Full 7.1 HD Surround TrueHD & DTS-HD audio
Uncompressed amazing audio/video quality
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How does Control4 help
with guests?
If guests want music or they
don’t want music, if the lights
are too much or not enough—
whatever it is, I can do it from the
remote control. If a guest is in the
kitchen and can’t find the lights, I
can just turn them on for them with
the remote. I love that ability—to
be able to control my whole house
from a remote control.
What I love about the Control4
system is that it’s very selfexplanatory. Whatever they want—
comfort, music, TV—they can
pretty much figure it out on their
own. And clearly, that’s nice for me.
Instead of constantly answering
questions—and the same ones
especially—it’s so easy, they can
figure it out on their own.
I mean, when I stay at friends’
places, sometimes there are just so
many remote controls—and half of
Photos: Rebecca Henry Photography
Simon loves the notion of having a remote for every room in the house. And not just
to manage his media clips but also to control lights, drapes, temperature and more.
them don’t even work. But here, it’s
really like staying in a hotel. Some
of our guests only speak French.
Well there’s a touch screen for
people who don’t speak English
It’s completely self-explanatory
because it’s in images.
It’s so easy. n
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Copyright Somfy Systems, Inc. 8/2012
The text that
saved $3,000
This was a text that one of our customers received during a business trip to New York City. Because the
Control4® system alerted her immediately, she was able to respond quickly and her basement was saved. With
Control4® automation solutions, you can get instant text updates and status alerts when you’re on the road.
Know when your daughter gets home. Get pinged when your garage door opens, or be notified when a window
is ajar. Home is where the smart is. What would your home text to you?
Learn more at
©2012, Control4 Corporation. All rights reserved. Control4, the Control4 logo, and the 4-ball logo, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Control4 Corporation in the
United States and/or other countries. All other names and brands may be claimed as the property of their respective companies. Photos may not depict actual product.
All specifications subject to change without notice.
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