3 Newly Added Features to Enjoy on Your Control4 Smart Home System


The Control4 OS 3.2.3 Update Grants You More Control and Personalization

If you own a Control4 smart home, you know just how instinctual and enjoyable it is to use. Control4 is committed to providing personalized smart home experiences that give families simple control of every smart device in the home. Plus, they’re always making improvements to fulfill that commitment.

In their latest OS 3 update, Control4 has brought a wave of cool new features that grant you more control and personalization over your smart home system! Learn about these new features below and how to make the most of them in your Chicago, IL home.

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3 Reasons You’ll Love a Whole-House AV Distribution System


Simplify and Enhance Your Entertainment Experience with Control4

Imagine having just one remote for controlling all your entertainment throughout the house. This universal remote offers you simple access to everything you love in any room. With just a few taps, you can enjoy your favorite music, movies, and shows wherever you roam at home.

We’ve just described the magic of a Control4 whole-house audio-video distribution system! If you crave a simplified way to access and share entertainment throughout your Kenilworth, IL home, Control4 delivers. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of Control4 whole-home AV.

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Bring Your Idea of Home to Life with Crestron Home


SEE ALSO: Tired of Uninspired Controls for Your Lighting?

Revolutionized User Experience

Crestron believes that the heart of control is the user experience. Through their development of Crestron OS 3, the operating system behind Crestron Home, they put the user first and designed a revolutionized app that’s more responsive, beautiful, and user-friendly than ever before.

From your smartphone or a dedicated Crestron touchscreen, you’ll enjoy a seamless room-based experience, with all devices in that room available at your fingertips. See the status of every room at a glance, tap on a room to make changes, or access custom room and whole-home scenes at the top of the screen to quickly set everything the way you want it at any time.

More Personalization

Add a personal touch to your system by using photos of your home to represent every room—and edit their names and photos when needed. Do you have a lot of rooms in your house but mainly use four or five of them? Room Favorites allows you to select your most frequently used rooms to display at the top of your rooms list for quick and convenient access. The app also features Quick Action items at the top of every room to display what you use most so there’s no need to drill through a bunch of menus.

Crestron Home makes it easier than ever to create and modify smart home scenes, with no programming experience required. You can also seamlessly manage and control multiple properties from the same app. Want to check the status of your vacation home or guest house? Just swipe to your property in the app and adjust the thermostat, check that the security system is armed, and more.

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Avidia Is Now a Distinguished Control4 Pinnacle Status Dealer


SEE ALSO: Get the Ultimate Control4 Home Automation Experience

What Does Pinnacle Status Signify?

The exclusive Pinnacle status is awarded to dealers who have developed long-standing partnerships with Control4 and have purchased $1 million worth of Control4 products to serve their customers throughout the lifetime of that partnership.

This proud achievement signifies our expansive and proven expertise in programming everything from one-room smart home systems to comprehensive whole-home solutions that meet the unique needs of Chicagoland homeowners.

“Our team at Avidia is proud to be a distinguished Control4 Pinnacle dealer and looks forward to continuing to use Control4 as our primary platform to provide personalized smart home experiences for our customers.” – Matt Cwiokowski, Sales Director, Co-Owner

What Does This Mean for You?

While many Control4 certified dealers are highly technically competent in delivering Control4 smart home solutions, Pinnacle dealers are especially committed to best-in-class design and programming work and have a reputation for providing unparalleled customer satisfaction year after year.

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Say Hello to the New Chime Video Doorbell by Control4


SEE ALSO: Comparing Two Popular Video Doorbell Systems: Ring and Control4


Stunning Video Quality & Adjustable Motion Zones

With Chime, you’ll never miss a thing. Its 5 megapixel HD camera captures sharp, vibrant, and detailed snapshots and video of all activity happening around your front entry within a 180-degree field of view. It also has built-in night mode so that picture is just as clear after dark as it is when the sun is out.

Chime features advanced motion detection with five adjustable zones that can be independently programmed for different actions when motion is detected in that zone. For example, instantly receive a snapshot notification to your smartphone when a visitor steps onto the porch but begin recording without notification when there’s movement in the yard.

If you missed a visitor, don’t worry. Control4 OS 3 makes it easy to go back and watch recorded video clips from the app. You can store seven days of event recordings in the cloud if you have a 4Sight subscription, or pair Chime to record to a local NVR.

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Comparing Two Popular Video Doorbell Systems: Ring and Control4


SEE ALSO: Interested in Control4 Home Automation?


Ring Video Doorbell Overview

Ring, bought by Amazon in 2018, manufactures several standalone video doorbells that offer the same purpose: to allow you to see, hear, and speak to visitors from anywhere via an integrated mobile app. As of now, homeowners can choose from six doorbells that increase in reliability and performance.

Most of Ring’s video doorbells are powered by a rechargeable battery but can also be hardwired into an existing doorbell system. These doorbells, which range from $99 to $249.99, feature single-band or dual-band wi-fi for connectivity, adjustable motion detection zones, HD video, two-way audio, up to 160-degree field of view, and cloud storage with a Ring subscription plan.

Ring also has a professional-grade video doorbell system at $349.99 that offers more reliability than their popular DIY-style solutions. The Video Doorbell Elite is hardwired via PoE (the doorbell draws power from the ethernet connection) rather than wi-fi enabled and features customizable motion detection zones, HD video, two-way audio, up to 160-degree field of view, and cloud storage with a Ring subscription plan.

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Differentiate Your Home Builds with a Smart Home Experience


SEE ALSO: Why Residential Lighting Control Makes Sense for Your Projects


We’re with You from the Beginning

A comprehensive smart home starts with a strong foundation. By partnering with Avidia at the start of your builds, our team will be able to properly wire and install a robust smart home foundation that ensures reliability, scalability, and seamless integration of your clients’ home technology. This step also allows us to lay the necessary network infrastructure that will ensure your clients receive the best results from their smart home system.

From start to finish, our team follows a standardized design-build process that ensures your home builds are equipped with a high-quality, reliable solution that matches your clients’ performance expectations. You and your buyers will know exactly what to expect throughout all phases of the project and will have a clear understanding of how all technology goals are brought to life. Plus, we offer 24/7 service and support after the installation so your buyers can be confident that we’ll be there when they need us.


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Introducing: The New Control4 Neeo Remote


SEE ALSO: Want Great Audio Throughout Your House?

Neeo’s Unique Design & Features

Crafted by Swiss designers, the Neeo remote has a sleek and refined shape that incorporates a glass touch screen alongside hard buttons. While touch screens are currently all the rage, there’s still a valid demand for hard buttons that a user can intuitively operate via muscle memory. That way, you won’t have to take your eyes off the movie to pause, mute, or change the channel. You’ll know exactly where to press at the right moment. The lightweight remote can also withstand drops from several feet high and runs on a rechargeable battery that can stay powered for five days. When Neeo is not in use, it sleeps until instantly reawakening when you pick it up.

On the touch screen, you’ll save recognizable icons for your favorite programs, like ESPN, Netflix, or HBO. The remote offers one-touch access to the rest of your devices, too, like locks, smart lighting, speakers, and shades. Select any screen in the house or queue songs for your home’s speakers, all in one place. Neeo removes complexity, making it simple to switch between Roku, Apple TV, Blu-ray, and satellite on the TV and choose custom scenes for your home’s smart devices.

How to Get Neeo

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Generating the Wow Factor in Interior Design


Motorized Shades Bring the Zing to Design Projects

As an interior designer, you are always on the lookout for the next trend. It doesn’t matter whether you do antiques, mid-century modern, or eclectic; you always look for the detail that gives your clients that extra custom touch. It could be an unusual accessory sourced from an exclusive vendor or the way you deftly mix the old and the new into a cohesive design.

That detail shows in various aspects of your work. You know how to take a basic electrical plan and customize it to ensure that unique lamp is plugged in just the right place. You work with electricians and other lighting professionals to ensure a room's lighting properly highlights your carefully conceived design.

When it comes to window treatments, you are an expert in creating custom designs that are both functional and stylish. And this is an area where you can add a custom touch as well - motorized shades and window coverings. How do they add that extra touch to your Lake Forest, IL residential projects? Read on to find out.


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Get the Ultimate Control4 Home Automation Experience


The New Avidia is Ready to Make it Happen

What is home automation? Is it the ability to turn a light on and off with your smartphone instead of a switch? Is it the ability to tell your thermostat to change the temperature? Or is a way to control your home theater equipment without getting lost in multiple remotes and settings?

The answer is yes, it’s all of the above - but much more. All of these things make for a better experience living in your home. When small things are taken care of for you, less time is spent checking on whether your doors are locked and your alarm system is armed, and technology does your bidding rather than you having to learn how to use it – then you have the experience home automation is supposed to deliver. 

We at Avidia are focused on ensuring that your experience with home technology is a luxury you can enjoy as the fruits of your hard work. Home automation and technology should make your life simpler, giving you back time for what you want to do and who you want to do it with.

At the same time, we don’t believe this kind of automated luxury is purely the province of the ultra-wealthy. We design, configure, install, and support home technology solutions that are accessible not only from a usability standpoint but also a financial one. Whether you need a lighting control solution for your living areas or a full-fledged Control4 home automation system to manage your sprawling Barrington, IL estate, Avidia is ready to be of service.

Read on to learn more about why you should consider Avidia for all your home technology needs.


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Why Would You Want Home Lighting Control?


It’s All in the Scenes

What’s residential lighting control all about, and why might you want it?  It can do many things in your home. Admittedly, you might find it frivolous in one respect - do you really need automation for your lights? After all, you can always flip a switch, or slide a dimmer up and down. Indeed, some interior designers might specify dimmers in their electrical plans for almost every room but might not think about lighting control. 

We know smart technology is being imbued into all manner of products, even lowly kitchen appliances. Lighting control is actually one of the most requested for smart home features, and is also one that is easy to justify as more than a luxury. In commercial environments, from offices to warehouses, lighting control is used extensively for efficiency, worker comfort and productivity, as well as to extend equipment life. In your Wilmette, IL residence, lighting control can bring those same benefits - and a little luxury that you won’t mind as well

Read on to see why residential lighting control simply makes sense, and learn about the killer lighting control feature that will really win you over.


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Interested in Control4 Home Automation?


Why Avidia Service Makes a Difference

In large metropolitan areas like Chicago, there is no shortage of service providers for practically anything you can think of - and that goes for home automation technology as well. The technology itself is important, and with smart home technology and automation, you should choose companies and platforms that continue to innovate and add new capabilities.

Since 2003, Control4 has been an innovator and leader in home automation. There’s very little their system can’t do when it comes to smart home control, and Avidia is proud to be a Control4 Platinum Dealer. In June, we detailed the latest software from Control4, OS 3, which adds significant functionality and ease of use to make it one of the most elegant and flexible home automation platforms.

While the technology is critical, who installs and services it is just as crucial to your overall experience and satisfaction. This month, we’d like to tell you why and how Avidia is different, and why you should choose us for your Glenview home’s Control4 smart home system.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways Smart Home Technology Gives You Hands-Off Control


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Why You Should Use Control4 in Your New Construction


Real estate trends are shifting in favor of tech-savvy solutions that give homeowners unprecedented control over their property. A recent study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC found that 44 percent of homeowners want a move-in ready smart home. What’s the best way for builders in the Wilmette, IL area to keep up with this growing demand for smart technology? They can partner with their local Control4 dealer who will work with them during the construction process to lay the framework for a custom smart home solution.

SEE MORE: Why You Should Hire a Professional to Install Your Smart Technology

Clients Are Expecting Homes With Custom Solutions

When it comes to smart technology, expectations may vary widely from project to project. Some clients may simply want surveillance cameras they can monitor remotely. Others want a fully integrated solution that gives them intuitive control of lights, entertainment, climate, security and more. Our Control4 systems range from 1-room to whole house options so homeowners can choose whichever fits their distinct needs. With our initial wiring installation, it's easy for them to expand in the future if they want to add new technology to their smart home system.

Help Create a Foundation for the Future 

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3 Best Features of the New Control4 Software Update


You can experience further integration, control, and customization with the latest Control4 O.S. 2.9 software. Whether you want to personalize your user interface, add your preferred smart devices or literally tell your system what to do, it’s all possible with the home automation company’s latest upgrade. As your local Control4 dealers in Barrington, IL, we’d like to show you some of the coolest features revealed earlier this year at CEDIA 2016.

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Integration with Alexa Voice Control

Since it hit the mainstream market with a pair of Super Bowl commercials earlier this year, Amazon’s Alexa has become one of the most popular systems in the smart home market. Through voice commands, you can turn devices on and off or ask questions just like you would Siri on your iPhone. Now you can use those same voice commands in your home automation system.

Clients can access individual devices that are compatible with Amazon. Tell the lights to dim down or the thermostat to lower a few degrees. The coolest thing about the latest integration, though, is the ability to activate your Control4 smart scenes to manage multiple components at once. Say “Party On” and the lights change color and your pre-planned playlist begins playing.

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How Control4 Lets You Stick With the Brands You Love


One of the perks of using a Control4 dealer for your smart home needs is that your system can be custom-designed to include what matters most to you. You can choose to include lighting, security, AV, climate control, and more depending on your family’s needs. You can also decide how you want to incorporate that technology into your Lake Forest, IL home. While Control4 offers most of the software and hardware (from speakers to thermostats) needed for your smart home, it also gives you the opportunity to work with the brands you’ve come to love.

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at the Control4 EA Series

What Companies Are Compatible With Control4?

Since the company was founded in 2003, Control4 has expanded its list of industry partners every year. They now work with the top brands in the HVAC, audio, video, and security industries to offer smart home solutions that include the best technology in the world. Among the official Control4 partners are Sony, Amazon, Lutron, Apple, McIntosh, and Nest. Anyone that wants to become a certified partner, can inquire on the company’s website.

How Does Control4 Make Partners Compatible?

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7 Ways to Go Green With Smart Technology


Although a lot of the information on smart home automation systems focuses on the convenience factor, smart technology can also have a significant return on investment. Through efficient use of all the technology in your Glencoe, Illinois home, you can reduce your carbon footprint and monthly energy bills. From lighting control to smart thermostats, here are some ways we can help you go green this year. 

SEE MORE: 3 Reasons to Upgrade to a Smart Home System

Change the Default Settings on Your Lights

With centralized control from a touchpad, tablet or smartphone, it's easy to make widespread adjustments. Except for some rare occasions, you don't need to have all the lights in your home at 100 percent intensity. You can dim each fixture from 100 to 90 percent to significantly cut down on your monthly energy use.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Another way to give your artificial lights a break is to embrace natural light. You can install photo sensors to gauge the amount of sunlight throughout the day. During the brightest times of day, your shades rise and your lights dim so you're not wasting energy.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Whether you’re trying to keep a large home cool in the summer or cozy in the winter, it takes a lot of energy for your thermostat to adjust the temperature. Smart technology helps in a variety of ways. For one, it’s easy to change the temperature in each room so you can spend fewer resources on those that aren’t being used. Turn up your thermostat when you’re not home and alert it when you’re on the way back so it can have the right temperature ready when you return.

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How Networking is the Backbone of Your Control4 System


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. 

SEE MORE: Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

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.

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How to Upgrade Your Outdoor Music System


Planning to host friends this summers in your Wilmette, Illinois home? Invite them over for an afternoon cookout and show off your beautiful view of Lake Michigan. To liven up the mood, you're going to need an impressive music system that can cover your entire outdoor area. Avidia can design a whole house audio system that not only adds quality sound to every corner of your home, but also makes it easy to access your favorite music at the press of a button. 

SEE MORE: How to Extend the Reach of Your Favorite Entertainment

Invest in Equipment Designed for Outdoor Use

Your beautiful outdoor environment is going to go to waste if you settle for old speakers, or those not meant for outside use. It's tempting to bring out wireless speakers and place them in a corner of your patio or pool, but this will result in uneven and unreliable sound. You need to invest in quality outdoor speakers designed to brave the elements and disperse sound over large areas.

We recommend going with Episode outdoor speakers. You can have Landscape ones hidden away in your foliage or use surface mounted speakers on your walls or pillars. If you’re a big audio enthusiast, you should also invest in their underground subwoofers that add deep, powerful bass.

Create the Right Foundation for Your System

We create a comprehensive wiring plan so you can connect speakers all over your property, all while keeping cables hidden from view. With most clients now using streaming services to access their favorite music, it's also important that we extend the reach of their home network. We install outdoor access points to amplify the signal from your router, so your coverage reaches your entire space. 

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Amplifier vs. Receiver: Which Should You Use in Your High-End Audio System?

Amplifier vs. Receiver: Which Should You Use in Your High-End Audio System?

Figuring out the right setup for your high-end audio involves various steps. As people focus on finding the highest-quality speakers available, often forgotten is the heart of your stereo system: your receiver or amplifier. Having the best speakers on the planet won’t matter if you can’t get crisp, quality audio to them. Depending on how you want to use your system, your space, and budget limitations, and your personal tastes, we help you figure out if the high-end audio solution in your Lake Forest, Illinois home should be built around a receiver or separate components.

SEE MORE: How to Extend the Reach of Your Favorite Entertainment

 What Is the Difference Between an Amplifier and an AV Receiver?

When choosing between an amplifier and receiver for your high-end audio setup, you're actually choosing between a receiver and what the AV industry calls ‘separates.' This means instead of putting all your components in one box, you buy each separately.

An AV receiver is an all-in-one solution. It includes a tuner, preamplifier, and an amplifier. The tuner pulls in your audio signal; the preamplifier extends the signal to get it to the amplifier which powers up the signal to get it to your loudspeakers. These receivers usually have two to nine channels to meet surround sound demands. Each channel corresponds to a different speaker in the room.

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Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Figuring out which technology is the best fit for your Highland Park, Illinois home can be an intimidating task. Whether you’re looking for a full smart home solution or an upgrade to your family room, you want an impressive system that’s reliable while still falling within your family’s budget. As the premier Control4 dealers in the area, one of our primary roles is to be your technology advisers. As part of that role, we'd like to introduce you to Control4's new EA series which gives you intuitive control of your favorite technology and entertainment. Check out our latest review to see some of the series’ best features.

SEE MORE: How to Extend the Reach of Your Favorite Entertainment

Control of All Your Home’s Technology

The new EA series (which stands for Entertainment Automation) is focused on creating a unique entertainment experience while making your home smarter. It can control products capable of high-resolution audio and 4K video while managing your lights, thermostat, security and more from the same system. Your entire home can be controlled from a smart remote, touchpad or the Control4 mobile app.

Easy Access to All Your Favorite Entertainment

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655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200

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655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200