Orlando Home Automation Magic with Disney

home automation businessWhile Orlando is certainly most well known for it’s long relationship with Walt Disney World, there is another type of magic taking place in the world of technology.  The growth of the Florida housing market has been tremendous in the last 15 years and Orland is one of the state’s hottest markets.  Let’s take a look at how one company is taking advantage of the massive growth in this area.

Home Technology Experts

Anywhere you find high-end homes you are sure to find high end home theaters.  But high technology prices are no longer relegating these systems to the stratosphere of income earners.  One of the biggest influences on the downward pressure in home automation products has been the success of Control4.

A while back the home automation industry was dominated by one name: Crestron.  If you had a home automation system in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, it’s more than likely you had a Crestron system.  Sure there were other players in the niche, but the boys from New Jersey pretty much dominated the scene.

The only downside to this amazing automation equipment was the price.  And after you finished buying all of the equipment you still had to pay to have it installed and programmed.  These services  could easily double the cost of the equipment itself.

A Better Way

Enter Control4.  They knew there had to be a better way to implement the technologies that people wanted in their homes.  So they decided to launch a more budget friendly line of home automation products that would accomplish the same things that Crestron was doing, but at about half the price or less.

To be honest, most of their equipment when it first hit the market looked like a cheap imitation.  After all Crestron employed powerful and elegant touch screens that were customized to each customer’s system and preferences.  But Control4 wanted to move away from all of the bells and whistles and focus on powerful functionality and simple programming.

And this is what caused them to skyrocket into the lead in the automation industry.  Instead of spending weeks on site programming a client’s system, the C4 system allowed integrators to send a programmer on site for a day or two.  This was generally enough time to get even the most complex system working properly.  Granted, you couldn’t customize the system to the extent you could with Crestron.  But in the vast majority of cases this wasn’t necessary anyway.

This had an immediate and important impact on their dealer’s bottom line.  They were able to save money on time and staffing since a programmers have to be paid significantly higher per hour than installation.

Building a Solid Base

Once they had proven that their product was reliable and easy to install Control then had a solid base of installers.  From here they were able to invest more money into R&D that allowed them to further improve the look and functionality of their products.  This further cemented their position as one of the leaders in the home automation market.

Now they are one of the biggest names in the game and they continue to grow.  While there are still plenty of Crestron dealers out there Control4 has become the bread and butter product for many home technology integrators.  It offers powerful functionality, reliable support, and the products are now as beautiful as any on the market.  This reliability has even allowed their dealers to branch into different industries such as commercial integration and houses of worship.

Control4 Isn’t Just for Home Automation

control4 touch screenControl4 has made a huge impact on the audio video and home automation industry.  In the years since they entered the market the cost of the average automation system has dropped dramatically.  This is due to both lower price points and to a more efficient installation procedure.  But this technology shouldn’t be limited strictly to homes.

Markets Ripe for the Picking

Oftentimes it’s easy for integrators to pigeonhole themselves into one market.  The high end home theater and automation is a perfect example.  While there are plenty of potential clients in this niche, there are also quite a few competitors.  Here are a few other niches that are ideal for automation controls.

Churches and Houses of Worship

While perhaps not as alluring as high end homes, churches and other houses of worship offer huge potential in terms of audio, video, and automation needs.  Sound systems for churches often dwarf even the most high end home systems in terms of scale, complexity, and cost.

There are a whole host of considerations to be taken into account before jumping with both feet into this market.  For one, church audio is much more complex than home audio.  Dealing with unique architectural spaces requires a great deal of experience with sound equipment that helps to compensate for these spaces.  Lighting and automation can also be somewhat different.  Some churches will have lighting that operates at higher voltages.  Becoming familiar with this type of lighting before taking on your first project can save you both time and headaches.

While there are many differences, there are also many similarities.  Much of the audio equipment required for these systems is easily controlled with automation equipment such as Control4.  They use the same control protocols including both RS232, RS432, and Ethernet control.

In addition, many of these types of equipment are already included in the database of controlled hardware within the Control4 programming suite.  This makes adding these types of systems very quick and painless.

How to Target Churches

Without a bit of experience it can sometimes be challenging to target a new market.  But houses of worship in particular are relatively easy compared to other industries.  More than likely someone you know goes to church.  It can be as easy as contacting them to find out if their church is in need of your services.

If you attend church yourself, reach out to the leadership.  They often have hundreds of contacts at other congregations around the country and in various parts of the world.  This is an easy way to get an introduction and possible lead to new work.  Never feel intimidated to use your personal connections to secure work.  Most people prefer to use someone with whom they have a personal relationship for work.  After all a personal relationship is exactly what you’re trying to establish during the sales process anyway.

Direct mail is another effective method of reaching out to churches.  Include information about your business and yourself.  Make sure that the mailer stands out from the rest of the junk mail they receive on a daily basis.  This can be accomplished simply by using a hand addressed envelope.

Other avenues include advertising and marketing in appropriate magazines and church related publications.  This type of outreach does tend to be more expensive and the return is often not as great.  Just be sure to keep very detailed reports of your return on investment.

One company that has excelled at exploiting new markets like this is Innovative Sight & Sound of Tampa, Florida.  Starting out as a home theater and home automation company that catered to residential and commercial clients, they eventually started servicing houses of worship as well.  This has lead to a significant increase in revenues in the years since they started servicing this particular market.

Choosing a Good Home Theatre System



Do you love music and movies? You probably want the clearest sound to make yourself the best audio experience. This is the best time to be audiophile thanks to all recent advancement in technology. If you’ve got the money to spend, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to audio systems. However, searching, googling and investigating can be intimidating. You’ve got to learn a lot about technology language and find out what equipment fits your needs. You don’t want to waste your money on thousands of systems that don’t suit you.

In the television market, there are two technologies that are currently competing for you as a buyer. It’s Plasma vs. LCD war. There is a third one, the youngest, on the way OLED. It is important to make some research to get known with the differences between these three products. We will start from the first two. Both display types produce a very attractive picture. When you get known with the differences you will know how to choose the display type that best suits your needs.


Plasma has the ability to produce a truly deep black level. Why this is so important and made plasma number one for so long? The deeper the black level is, the richer image can look. If you are a night owl that likes watching movies at night in a dark room you should buy Plasma. Plasma pixel is self-illuminating and this is the reason why it’s better choice in this case.


LCD, on the other hand, needs an external light source like a cold cathode fluorescent light placed behind the screen or light emitting diodes placed around the screen’s edge. It is better choice for those who like watching television during the day, and it’s better for brighter content as HDTV shows, sports and games.


OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a combination of this two mentioned above. Its pixels generate their own light. It can produce a true black and it can be extremely bright. Eventually you’ve got an image with magnificent contrast. This technology will be the best but it will be also very expensive for example LG’s 55EM9600 will cost $11,999.


In the end it’s up to you which one you will buy. It depends on your budget and on your habits. If you are a night bird you should buy Plasma or if you like watching TV during the day choose LCD. The prices depend on the size of your screen, or on the manufacturer.