This Control4 upgrade project in rural Surrey was challenging, but great to work on.

The Brief

The client already had a bespoke control system running their house but had issues with it working (especially when it came to the video distribution). After trying to fix these issues with a multitude of cheap solutions, they finally contacted us about taking over the system and upgrading it.

The Control System

Originally the house was run by a bespoke made program that ran on a PC in the system rack and had a custom programmed app on iPads to use as control devices. We recommended that this was replaced with a CONTROL4 system using their new CORE series controllers paired with SR260 handheld remotes and the Control4 app. This allowed the client to have a very user friend system and one that was incredibly stable.

The Audio and Video Systems

One of the main issues the client had with their original system was video distribution. We upgraded the existing HDBaseT solution to an AV Pro Edge Video over IP system. The AV Pro Edge systems works as a combination of encoders and decoders. Each source (Sky/Apple TV for example) is encoded in the rack and then decoded behind each TV. It is a fully flexible system which allows you to choose any source at any TV.

The benefit of Video over IP solutions is that they can work on dated Cat5e cabling infrastructure and still transmit 4K signals at full resolution.

We also implemented a new multi-room Triad audio solution with an 8-zone matrix and 8-zone power amplifier. This allowed the client to simply Airplay straight from their Spotify app to each of the rooms which already had in-ceiling speakers.

The Standout Rooms

In the Games Room, the client wanted an all-in-one, localised system just for this room.

To help keep everything together, we went with Clic Furniture (Model 240) to house all the equipment needed. The Model 240 from Clic has four large sections, each with an adjustable shelf. It also comes with the option of fitted fabric or wood doors (or both). We chose fabric doors on the two end sections, as these sections would have BOWERS & WILKINS 607 S2 AE speakers in them. Having fabric doors means that you can play sound from the speakers with the doors closed and the sound can pass through the fabric without any loss in quality or clarity.

Wooden doors were used for the two middle sections which had the clients existing equipment (Apple TV, Sky Q Mini, games console etc.), as well as a new Control4 Triad One Streaming Amplifier. The Triad One is used to power the B&W speakers, as well as take audio from the TV and the clients existing equipment and play it all through the B&W speakers.

In the Family Room there was already a B&W 5.1 Dolby surround sound system in place, so we upgraded the AVR to a Marantz Cinema60 AVR.

The Add-ons

We upgraded a lot of the aspects of this property to guarantee a stable and usable system for the client. All the TVs throughout the property are from the Sony BRAVIA XR series, which seamlessly integrates with the Control4 system, allowing the client to control all of them with the Control4 remotes or the Control4 app.

We also upgraded the wired and Wi-Fi networks using a DrayTek router, Cisco switches and Ruckus wireless access points for the best wireless connection across the whole house.

Finally, we installed the ability to remote monitor the whole system, using an Aten Intelligent PDU and a Domotz Box. This allows our aftercare team to monitor the system’s health, as well as remotely fix some issues without having to send an engineer on site.

The Challenges

Early in the project we discovered that the client planned to upgrade to Sky Q from Sky HD. This was going to happen before we built the main control rack upgrade, so our project manager was able to help find and setup a temporary app for the client to use to control Sky Q, without the need for Sky to come out and install it in the wrong place.

Our engineers could then install Sky Q into the new rack when the time came.

After seeing our standard of work and wanting us to look after the system for them, the client took out a support contract with our AFTERCARE TEAM.