Dim the lights in the dining room. Is the pool heated to just the right temperature? Is the party music timed to the guests’ arrival? Is that vintage Pinot in the cellar at its peak? Entertaining is fun, but the to-do list can be daunting. Unless, of course, your home is automated to manage your pre-party chores with the push of a button. (Yes, even the timing of the wine.)

    “A home automation system with a wine tracker can be designed to inventory your collection and track relevant dates,” explains Steve  Spurgeon, sales associate at  The Screening Room. “If you cellar a bottle for a few years, the wine tracker will alert you when the optimum time for uncorking approaches.”

    In addition to managing oenophile issues, home automation technology can control security, lighting, entertainment and more, says Spurgeon. “Lighting and security can work in tandem. For example, if security systems detect a fire, the lights can be programmed to illuminate only the escape pathways, and only at 50 percent, to prevent blinding in case of smoke,” he says. “A 911 call to emergency services can trigger all exterior lights to flash, so the fire department can find the house faster.”

    Established in 1995, The Screening Room is recognized for its expertise in sophisticated home theater and audio systems, and its cutting-edge automation systems are time and energy savers, says Spurgeon. “In addition to keeping your family safe, we can program a system that lets you adjust your home’s temperature from your office, play a favorite film on command in any room, and even operate window shades automatically according to the season or time of day,” he explains. “With Internet access, homeowners can manage their house from almost anywhere. You can monitor what your kids are doing online, or access a surveillance camera while you’re on vacation.”

    Describing how systems can be customized for individual lifestyles, Spurgeon says, “If a husband travels, his wife and children never have to walk into a dark house. We can install a transmitter in the car that is recognized by the system, and the house will be illuminated from within, the moment they pull in the driveway. And later in the evening, at bedtime, everything can be turned off from a single master bedroom control.”

    Home entertainment can be customized for the entire family through video distribution, and the technology is ideally suited for today’s popular ‘streamlined’ decor, says Spurgeon.  “All of the sources—DVD player, DVR, cable or satellite box, a movie server—can all be installed in one central location, so there’s no need for bulky media furniture in every room.  With 32 outputs, different signals can be directed to flat-screen TVs or monitors anywhere in the home. Mom and Dad can watch a film in the home theater while the kids watch TV upstairs. And with the push of a button, parents can pause the film and check on what the kids are watching.”  Spurgeon says video distribution may include the home’s surveillance system, so Mom can check on a sleeping baby from anywhere in the house by accessing  a nursery video camera.

    “One of the most important aspects of designing your home’s automation is to ensure that it’s easy to use,” emphasizes Spurgeon. “It’s supposed to make your life more convenient, not more complicated.” 

On the Cover: The Screening Room offers the latest in home automation and video distribution systems. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, the systems can remotely monitor a home for safety, security and convenience, as well as providing entertainment choices for the entire family. For more information, call 991.5999, see the showroom at 10311 Clayton Road or visit www.thescreeningroomllc.com.