However it’s marketed, smart wiring is becoming an important factor as the nbn is implemented throughout Australia. We’re suddenly connected with internet speed unseen before and its’ opened up the opportunity to utilise fast internet in all areas of our home. And herein lies the problem. If your home is not cabled and ready to distribute, an opportunity is being missed.
In essence, smart wiring is the convergence of various technologies into one platform. Network communications, security, lighting, solar panels and battery storage, blinds, free-to-air TV, satellite TV, audio visual communications, speakers, intercoms, door locks, air-conditioning systems and others are all wired into a single location and integrated to allow for seamless control of all these applications. It’s amazing technology. At times it’s beautiful to watch and control.
It’s also not new. Technology like this is commonplace in commercial sectors. It has been around for decades. The same practices are emerging in the residential market. While companies like AMX and Crestron dominate commercial automation, we see companies like Elan, Logitech, Push, Savant and Control4 dominating the residential scene. Even Clipsal (and their renowned lighting control arm, Cbus) are moving into the home automation market.
It’s an exciting time to build a new house. Depending on your budget and your requirements, you should cable for the future. Don’t let naysayers convince you that connecting technology within your house is a trend. Even if you don’t see value with running cables everywhere (and don’t forget spares) include it in your budget, because in ten years it will be expensive to retrofit. This is a real problem I’m personally facing now – in an older house with limited cabling access. Even if you have no intention to automate your new home, have a cabling backbone installed to allow for this to easily be retrofit. It is a valid selling point if you ever move to offload your home.
Here are a few things to remember when preparing to automate your home:
Finally, embrace the wonderful world of automation. There is a wealth of control available at your fingertips, and when implemented correctly, will improve your relationship with technology at home tenfold.
You’ve decided to buy a UHD 4K TV – those gorgeous televisions that deliver four times the resolution of HD – and you’ve also decided the brand you want, screen size, and if you should go curved or flat.
But wait. There’s one more thing you need to choose, and it’s a big one: panel technology.
Let’s start with the oldest and cheapest technology - LED LCD.
As opposed to conventional LCD TVs, which use fluro tubes to light up the screen, LED-based LCD TVs use "light-emitting diodes" behind the liquid crystals. The advantages to a back-lit or edge-lit LED TV are:
LG’s super thin OLED TVs have won several awards for their outstanding picture.
More recent OLED TVs (Organic LEDs) are made from materials that emit light when electricity is run through them. Many devices (such as smartphones) use OLED panels because of the advantages they bring:
As you can imagine, new OLED televisions are priced accordingly. Using a 55-inch television as an example, LG’s 4K OLED TVs start at about $3,500 for a 2016 model, or up to $10,000 for its high end 2017 OLED television.
Utilizing ‘quantum dots’ for amazing color, Samsung’s new QLED TVs are now in stores.
Instead of adopting OLED, Samsung has put all of it's eggs in the “quantum dot” technology basket. Quantum dots are tiny “nano” crystals — microscopic dots as small as one billionth of a metre – which are a fraction of the width of a human hair. We’ll cover QLED momentarily, but some advantages to quantum dot:
So, what’s with QLED? These are Samsung’s recently unveiled next-generation quantum dot TVs.
Starting at $2,799 for its flagship 55-inch television, QLED utilizes a new and advanced metal alloy quantum dot material to achieve improved color accuracy, a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, and wider viewing angles (thanks to a new pixel structure).
So which should you buy? Really it comes down to your budget. If you have the money, its hard to pass up the appeal of a 2mm thick OLED TV. For me personally, I'd rather put that extra money into a bigger sized TV. Give me an 80" LED over a 55" OLED any day of the week. It's not going to look as crisp, but it'll sure impress the hell out of your friends.