The Home Electronics Show, held in early March in Orlando, Fla., offered attendees information on audio, video, home-theater, and satellite systems.
Attendees also learned about advanced telephone and structured-wiring systems for data networks and security systems. Lighting and HVAC control schemes filled out the menu of topics.
Much of the equipment on display uses digital technologies such as digital satellite, high-speed Internet, and digital television. These services require high-performance cables within the structured wiring system of a home. These cables include RG-6 coaxial cable for television and video delivery, and Cat. 5 or 5e twisted-pair copper cabling for telephone and data networking.
Speakers at several seminars said the “systems integrator” would pull everything together and drive the market. A systems integrator is the person familiar with all — or most — of the applicable technologies. He or she deals with the homeowner and hires the installers familiar with the various technologies or product groups.
Hardware and software networking solutions are coming together, as seen by the General Electric/Smart/Microsoft alliance and the equipment the alliance will support. SMART LLC, Las Cruces, N.M., has developed a family of products for the home that provide numerous features. The products distribute intelligence and control, which reside in the different electrical components. The design of the products eliminates the central controller that may fail — and provides users with a system that can be programmed with greater ease.