How Networking is the Backbone of Your Control4 System
Creating the Perfect Partnership Between Networking and Automation
As your local Control4 dealers, we’re proud to work with one of the most innovative companies in the home automation industry. Recently named the 2016 ProSource Custom Integration Vendor of the Year, Control4 is always improving on its products and creating comprehensive technology solutions for your Winnetka, Illinois home. One of the ways that the company has done this is by emphasizing the importance of robust networking systems as the backbone of your home automation.
Why is Your Home Networking So Important?
A network is kind of like a referee in sports, the better it is the less you notice it. When was the last time you thought about your internet connection? It likely wasn’t when you streamed a movie uninterrupted on Netflix or sent an email to your secretary. It was probably when your Blu-Ray player wouldn’t connect to your Hulu app or your Facebook wouldn’t load on your computer.
It’s the same with smart home automation. You’re not going to notice how well your AV system communicates with your security system or how well your control system handles network traffic unless it becomes a problem. And it is our job to make sure those problems don’t arise.
Is Your Network Prepared to Handle the Load?
Every second of every day, data is traveling at break-neck speed throughout your system. Smart control devices—whether standalone or part of a Control4 system—place a huge burden on your network. This is for a variety of reasons.
The most obvious is traffic control. You have A/V signals, surveillance footage, cloud services, control devices and more all sharing the same network highway. This kind of traffic cannot be handled with standard solutions from your internet service providers.
Another issue has to do with the size of the data you’re sharing. As video and audio resolution keep improving, the larger the files become as well. For example, a 4K Ultra HD broadcast signal is so heavy that not only do you need to boost your network, but you even need special cables to distribute it.
How Can You Optimize Your Network?
As Control4 dealers, we have a variety of tools to improve the reliability of your home networking system. Control4 has close relationships with Pakedge (which it acquired this year), Ruckus and Luxul to help its integrators find networking solutions for any size system. The company is releasing new routers, switches and access points to help improve its smart home network solutions. It also offers guides to its integrators to help them create comprehensive systems.
One thing you can do to boost your network is invest in Ruckus’ BeamFlex+ technology. This is a small adaptive antenna which includes multiple elements to create unique patterns. The BeamFlex software analyzes your environment to notice areas that have signal disruption, numerous devices or known network performance issues. It then takes this information to create the optimal antenna pattern for your network to reduce interference and improve communication.
To help divide up your traffic we can create subnetworks within your home called VLANS. Each VLAN can correspond to a specific type of data. Depending on your activity you can then prioritize certain VLANS for the best results. For example, if you’re streaming a movie on Netflix or Amazon Video you can prioritize your Audio/Video VLAN to avoid any lagging or freezing up.
Are you ready to take advantage of a Control4 system backed by a robust network? Contact Avidia to set up a consultation.