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New A/V Components Also Control Your Home

By Julie Jacobson
Your next home automation system could be an A/V receiver, multiroom audio system or media server.

It used to be that home control systems came from home control companies. Nowadays, you can find home automation features built into security systems, thermostats, handheld remotes, power management devices and more.

We've recently come across several audio/video components with home control inside. None of them offer anything close to the range of features provided by dedicated control systems, but for clients who want A/V first with a little automation thrown in, these solutions might just do the trick.

Media Servers

VidaBox, manufacturer of high-performance Media Center machines and software, has plenty of experience with home automation, having created a user-friendly interface for the often-challenging Charmed Quark Controller. Now that Charmed Quark is defunct (or not, depending on whom you ask), VidaBox is going it alone with its new vAutomation 2.0 software.

At the very least, vAutomation enables the iPad to control VidaBox's Media Center, whole-house audio and a rack of A/V gear.

Soon, VidaBox will ship the new LiivController MZA, featuring multizone audio (no third-party system required) and vAutomation 2.0. The product provides the best of VidaBox's flagship servers, without Windows Media Center.

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