No one wants to come home to this on their coffee table.

Your Cable Box, Blu-Ray Player, AV Receiver, Sound Bar, TV, Movie Server, Audio Server, and the list goes on and on, all come with their own remote control. Which one do I use for what?

That’s where a properly designed User Interface (or UI) comes into play. The UI (iPad, iPhone, Remote, In-Wall, etc.) is the only device you will need to operate your entertainment system. There are many options to choose from. Which one is right for you? That depends. We’ll discuss the factors we consider when designing systems for our clients.

Typically no two entertainment systems are alike Each system may use similar components but each component may be produced by a different manufacturer. Systems can contain cable boxes, TVs, projectors & drop-down screens, lighting control, window shades & drapery, Blu-Ray Players, Movie Servers, sometimes with multiple zones in and outside of the home. Some clients like to see every option a component can possibly do. Others like to see only those options they typically use each day. That’s why we take the time to get to know the needs and preferences of our clients for each of their systems.

iPads, Tablets & iPhones

These are one of the more popular devices we use to build UIs for our clients. There are many reasons for this. They are ubiquitous (lots of people already have and/or are familiar with them) and relatively inexpensive for what you get. The flexibility to present buttons, lists, images and controls in a manner that makes sense to our clients makes this a great choice. We can tailor the presentation of entertainment devices in a manner that makes sense to each user based on their needs for their particular system. These devices are multi-use. They can contain the entertainment App as well as other Apps the client may be used to seeing.

There are many sizes of tablets available. The iPad Mini is a favorite due to its size. It’s comfortable in both small and large hands, both in portrait and landscape mode. The iPad can be adapted for both hand-held and on-wall use with a device that magnetically mounts the iPad to the wall allowing it to charge when docked.

A Smart Phone like the iPhone can also be used but is best for targeted use such as selecting sources and controlling volume and power due to its smaller screen. It is also a device that most clients keep by their side most of the time which speaks of convenience.

Universal Remote – Keys Only

This device is simple and inexpensive. It runs on standard replaceable batteries. It is a specific use device. It is actually designed to be used in conjunction with a tablet for controlling power, volume, transports (play, pause, stop, FF, Skip, FR, Replay), and source selection. Since it has no display the tablet can be used when more information is needed like song, channel, and movie selection. The tactile feel of real keys makes it easy to use without having to look at it unlike the tablet.

This device has the same functionality as the device above but uses a rechargeable battery and charging stand.

Universal Remote – Display

This device combines the tactile keys of the simple remotes with a touch-sensitive display. The display can show program information (song, movie, channel, guide, etc.) as well as multiple screens for each entertainment device or room where needed. This is a great solution where the client is not comfortable with a tablet but needs access to more information than a simple remote can provide.

Home Control works will suggest the UI that will best fit your needs. That’s part of our design process. Contact us today to see how we can make your home work for you!

Call Ben (630) 828-8097 or Ben@HomeControlWorks.com