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Automation and Entertainment brings home the Gold

Oct 1 '13

Automation and Entertainment brings home the Gold

Automation & Entertainment's Team bringing home the Gold at the 2013 CEDIA Awards Banquet

Automation & Entertainment’s Team bringing home the Gold at the 2013 CEDIA Awards Banquet

(L to Rt) Mark Wialbut – business development, Paul Wilkinson – Owner and Chief Technologist, and Brandon Richards – Software Guru

On Saturday night CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association) the premier trade association of companies specializing in home theater installation, planning, home theater design, whole-house integration, and energy efficiency systems recognized Automation and Entertainment‘s team at its annual awards ceremony with the Gold award for Best Technical Design in the “Special Projects” category.

EL Award Winner Logo

CEDIA‘s highest award in this category was given to Automation and Entertainment for it’s outstanding achievement in systems integration. Using a Crestron home automation system as the controller, A&E designed and installed a very sophisticated estate property infrastructure control and monitoring system. The system includes a Web based monitoring and control interface allowing the clients to see what is happening with their estate’s critical infrastructure systems in real-time using any browser.

This control system is something that takes Home Automation to a whole new level. Prior to Crestron‘s introduction of their new 3-Series control systems this kind of interactive Web based control system would not have been possible. A&E‘s design takes the capabilities of Crestron‘s Home Control Systems to a new level using the networking capabilities of the controller and integrating it with the mechanical controls of the water system. No other integrator has attempted to tackle such a sophisticated control project as this.

The Client’s live in a remote area of California’s Central Coast where they must provide their own water from wells and were required to have very robust back-up power generation and fire protection systems, separate pumping systems, and storage to provide fire protection. The water that wells provided is not potable and must be treated in order to be used on the estate. The original contractor installed the necessary hardware for the pumping, power and treatment of the water but was unable to provide functioning and reliable controls for the system.

Automation and Entertainment‘s team came up with an innovative solution that would provide not only the sophisticated control necessary for the proper function of the client’s systems but remote monitoring and diagnostics that were integrated with the home’s existing Crestron automation and entertainment systems. The result was an innovative touch screen graphical user interface that enables remote monitoring and control of every aspect of the system via the Web that is intuitive and easy to use.

Screen shot of the Web based Dashboard controls for the system

The system’s entire control panel is duplicated in the creative Web interface allowing the user to view and control every aspect of the system as if they were standing in front of it. Clicking on a meter or dial in the interface brings that information up in a separate screen where the user can see in real-time what it is reading and reset the parameters if necessary. Any reading that is not within the pre-set parameters triggers an alert that is pushed to the client’s service provider so they can remotely investigate and diagnose the problem and, if necessary dispatch a serviceman to repair any problem.

Automation and Entertainment‘s monitoring and control design encompasses the estate’s entire water plant, back-up power generation, and fire suppression systems and provides a single integrated controller for all the various components. These components include; 2 wells and their pumps, 25,000 gallons of underground storage, a complete Reverse Osmosis water purification plant and water softening system, five staged back-up water pumps for emergency fire protection, a 130KW diesel back-up power generator, remote diesel storage tank, house propane tank monitoring and house water pressure pumps. Every aspect of each component can be monitored and controlled using A&E’s custom designed intuitive                    ”Dashboard” style touch screen interface via the Web. As a back-up A&E installed a PTZ camera in the utility room that is capable of visually verifying the digital Dashboard reading of any gauge or meter in the system.

The CEDIA award recognized Automation and Entertainment for taking Home Automation into the realm of industrial controls formerly the realm of dedicated PLC‘s. This level of integration and control has never before been attempted in the Home Automation industry, it would not have been possible without the capabilities of Crestron’s 3 series controllers and the innovative approach that A&E‘s team took to make it a reality for the client.

This project also earned A&E‘s team Crestron‘s Silver Award for integration project of the year.


CEDIA EXPO 2013 - Integration Awards


A&E’s Paul Wilkinson being presented Crestron’s 2013 Silver Award by Crestron’s founder George Feldstein.

We look forward to helping other client’s with innovative solutions to their Home Automation and Entertainment desires.

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