A stunning apartment in London’s exclusive Mayfair has undergone dramatic renovation, transforming an empty shell into a bespoke, custom install haven within just six months. Home Automation experts, EasyComp, looked no further than high-end distributor, AWE, when pulling together a top-of-the-range and reliable kit list for this luxury project, choosing URC to control, monitor and manage all aspects of AV and automation.
The brief from the developer, Luxlo, was for EasyComp to design, specify and implement all aspects of AV, lighting, HVAC and control systems to form the ultimate smart home. From the initial planning stages in January of 2014, EasyComp implemented everything from the cabling and wiring to the finishing touches of the joinery in July.
The homeowners had previous experience with home technology and so were accustomed to certain brands and their capabilities. It was therefore important for all aspects of home automation and equipment to correlate. A key requirement was for a simple and ease of use control system.
The brief led to the clever solution of fusing two control systems together. A Lutron QS Homeworks system was installed and responsible for the lighting, automated shades and curtains, and HVAC control. For simple, user-friendly control, shortcuts were created directly from the Lutron system to URC Total Control, provided by AWE. Three TRC-1080 controls are placed around the apartment, in the main bedroom, family room and media room. These controls can be used in any room of the apartment, and for ease of use it defaults to the room the remote lives in. At the same time, it isn’t essential to be able to view all systems on the remote when the homeowner only wants to control what is in the room. For this reason, EasyComp set up direct shortcuts so that it only displays icons of the AV, lighting and HVAC control in each particular room.
For example, selecting a ‘movie’ mode in the media room would simultaneously lower the lighting, close the blinds and bring a selection of Apple TV movies up on the 65-inch Samsung 4K screen. Meanwhile in the main bedroom, the touch of a button on the TRC-1080 would alert the Total Control system to turn the television on and turn the screen to the optimum viewing position via an automated wall bracket.
EasyComp has also utilised the 2-way Lutron Homeworks QS module from URC’s library, which allows the user to access all functions on the Lutron Processor.
EasyComp illustrated the flexibility of the URC system in this project. One button press – ‘TV on’ on the Lutron Homeworks Keypad system sends a 12 volt trigger from the Homeworks Processor to the URC system. This triggers a macro that commands the TV to Power On, Selects Local Input, Switches the Matrix Input Source to that display, powers up the Sky box and turns onto a particular channel. This can be taken a step further if required. For example, an ‘All on’ button on the keypad at the door could trigger the lights to turn on, the blinds to open and the TV to be on a certain channel by the time they reach the family room sofa.
“We have used URC for many years now on countless projects. Not only is it easy to install, but it is a system we can confidently give to our clients knowing that using the interface will not be intimidating, and it will instead offer a straight forward solution to controlling the home comfortably,” says Durgesh Sinh, Managing Director at EasyComp. “It does everything you need it to do, and simply! Physically, the buttons and visual feedback of the TRC-1080 make URC our top choice in control systems.”
Fifteen KEF Ci200QR, four KEF Ci200QL and several other KEF speakers are placed throughout the property, either in the ceiling or hidden from view behind the joinery. These speakers provide to a 5.1 set up in the family room and 7.1 set up in the media room. The speakers provide top class sound quality and a discreet appearance, thanks to some of the models being only 35mm deep. Within both the media room and the family room the KEF T2 subwoofers are small in size and hidden out of sight in the joinery.
Almost all equipment was provided by AWE, including all URC Total Control equipment, HDanywhere 8x8 Modular 4K Matrix, KEF Speakers, Samsung 4K and LED TVs, and Denon AV receivers and Blu-ray player.
EasyComp requested two doors for the rack. This clever request means that if the installer needs to access the back of the rack, they can access it through the cloakroom door.
The client requested a simple to use control system that can command all aspects of technology in the house and this is exactly what has been achieved. Creating clever IP commands and triggers, everything in the property can be controlled via the URC remote controls and URC App on the iPad.
The end-user is particularly impressed with what URC can do, especially as they were under the impression you had to install another well-known control brand to be able to achieve what URC has achieved in this project. The client is also pleased with the customer service EasyComp can offer thanks to the remote access feature – by installing an IP control power strip, EasyComp can login remotely and power cycle any device in the rack, effectively eliminating any disruption to the client’s lifestyle.
HDanywhere 8x8 Modular 4K Matrix
URC MRX Advanced Network System Controller
• MRX2 Base Station
• Video Sensors
• Contract Closure Sensors
• IOS Setup for MRX 10
Denon BluRay Player - DBT1713UD
• AV Receiver - AVR-X3000
• Subwoofer T2
Samsung 65-inch 7500 Series UHD TV
• 48-inch 7500 Series UHD TV
• 32-inch 6400 Series Slim LED TV