AUTOMATION

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The Toilets of Tomorrow
High-tech appliances, gadgets, and gizmos are steadily marching into all corners of our lives. So it only makes sense that advanced technology would insinuate its...
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New & Notable: 8 High-Tech Home Security Gadgets
In our high-tech world, keeping your home fully protected is easier than it's ever been. Vastly more sophisticated than those blaring door alarms of yesteryear, t...
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Welcome to AT&T Digital Life: The New Smart Home Security Solution
When it comes to home security, we've certainly come a long, long way from hanging signs that caution "beware of dog"...
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12 House Functions You Didn't Know You Could Control from Your Phone
Thanks to the Internet and ever-improving mobile technology, smartphones let you hold the world in your hand. You can video chat with a friend in Dubai, look up t...
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Bob Vila Radio: Central Vacuums
Consider this: In Canada, about 40% of homes are equipped with central vacuum systems. In the U. S. , the figure is l...
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9 Solar Gadgets That Have Us Aglow
Backyards and sunshine go together like hot dogs and mustard. So do these cool new solar gadgets designed to provide light, sound and added convenience to outdoor...
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11 Ways to Turn Your House into a Smart Home
From self-programming thermostats to voice-activated television controls, here are 11 appliances, devices, and gadgets designed to increase your home's tech IQ.
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Waterproof Gadgets to Revolutionize Your Shower Experience
Whether you want to watch TV, write a screenplay, or simply enhance your shower experience, these high-tech upgrades are sure to propel your bath into the 21st ce...
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Toward the Digital Home
What Is Structured Wiring?Structured wiring is a generic term used to describe many different types of residential wi...
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The Internet-Enabled Home
It’s hard to imagine a house without the Internet, which is being leveraged in more ways by the home’s subsystems, ap...
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Automation for the Smart Home
Like any system, home automation is available on a variety of levels—from the simple to the complex, the ready-to-ins...
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Home Automation Alliances
Home automation systems must talk to one another, but how they do it can vary from company to company and product to ...
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Green Homes—Electronic Controls
Today’s home automation products allow homeowners to take an active role in managing power consumption while controll...
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Selecting Appliances
When researching and selecting appliances, keep a tally of a week’s usage to help you decide what capacity and featur...
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Smart Homes Save Time and Energy
Odds are each night you check to make sure the doors are locked, lights turned off, and windows closed. If you had a ...
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New Tech for Old Homes: 5 Easy Upgrades
There was a time when someone who loves old homes would have found it tough to satisfy his inner high-tech geek. But ...
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VTech Video Doorbell Keeps Simplicity at Your Fingertips
Maintaining your home used to require close attention and diligent care. Thanks to a bevy of home automation products...
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12 Gadgets to Lead Your Home into the Future
Sick of housekeeping and home maintenance? Worry not. These home automation products do it all for you—no kidding!
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5 Smart Home Technologies That Will Save You Money
Replacing old appliances with newer “smart” technologies opens up the door to substantial savings on the co...
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What You Can Learn About Home Automation from The Jetsons
Home automation is undeniably a growing part of our daily lives, and to predict the future of any technology, it's al...
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Bob Vila's 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Gadget-Loving DIYer
Tool or toy? For the do-it-yourself, that line is always gray. Browse ten fun and practical holiday gifts for the gadget-crazy handyperson in your life.
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Bob Vila Radio: Home Automation
Whole-home wiring systems, or “smart home” systems, have been around for decades, but it’s only since wireless commun...
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One-Touch Automation for Your Home
Light switches are a problem in our home. Every single light switch is in the wrong place—or at least it always seems...
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New Smart Home Option: AT&T's Digital Life
Technology is permeating our domestic lives and "smart homes" are at the apex of this movement. Communications giant ...
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Bob Vila Radio: Smart Appliances
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing)...
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Why I Love My Central Vac
When we were weighing options for our home, a new construction, I was almost certain we wouldn’t elect to put in a ce...
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Heavy-Duty Garage Door Opener and Features
Bob checks out a Sears garage door opener-- at 3/4 horsepower, it's among the strongest on the market.
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Kitchen Internet Appliance
Brent Thompson (from IceBox) joins Bob in the kitchen to talk about a new Internet appliance.
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Structured Wiring Options
Bob and Tim Woods (of Internet Home Alliance) discuss the basics of structured wiring and connectivity in the basement of the Vermont farmhouse.
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Home Technology Update
Bob meets up with Tim Woods (of the Internet Home Alliance) in the basement of the Quechee home to hear about the progress made integrating the connected home tec...
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Reviewing the Features of OnStar and the Home Entertainment Center
Bob checks email from his truck using GM OnStar's Virtual Advisor functionality. He then meets with Tim Woods (from the Internet Home Alliance) to check out the P...
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Kinetico Water Purification System and Gas-Fired Water Heater
Bob explains how the Kinetico water purification system works and reviews the A.O. Smith ProMax 75 gas-fired water heater.
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Reviewing Satellite Dish Features and the Master Bedroom
Bob experiences the Panasonic Replay TV with the show-stopper feature and he tours the master bedroom suite, admiring the space, scope, and the view.
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Structured Wiring Installation
Bob joins Tim Woods (from Internet Home Alliance) in the basement to look over the network connection center, the area responsible for the homeowners' internet, t...
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Interlocking Beech Flooring, Anti-Static Carpeting, and the Media Room
Bob looks at the beech flooring in the key hall, before moving to the media room to discuss the carpeting with Gary Johnston (from DuPont) and the electronic comp...
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Manufacturing Photovoltaic Devices at the Global Solar Factory
Bob visits the Global Solar factory in Tucson, AZ to see how they company manufactures its unique solar-electric (photovoltaic) devices.
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Networking, Entertainment, and Security Wiring for the Home
Bob Ryley meets with Ken Frankel (from Lucent Technologies) to discuss the new HomeStar wiring system.
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Discussing the Home Automation System
Bob meets with Tom Morgan (from Home Automation) to view and discuss the "brain" of the home automation system. Next, Bob checks in with the wiring contractor to ...
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Technology Systems in the Governor's Mansion
Bob inspects the remote device, controlling the PA system, HVAC, lighting, and entertainment systems. In the basement, Bob Ryley is exploring the wires and cables...
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Wiring the Virginia Governor's Mansion
Bob meets with James Gilmore, the governor of Virginia at the time of the executive mansion's restoration. Gilmore stresses the practical and symbolic importance ...
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Mahogany Deck and Kitchen Appliances
Carpenter Bob Ryley works on the mahogany deck, while new kitchen appliances are installed and the lighting and cabinets undergo examination.
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Installing the Garage Door Opener
The garage door openers are installed on the automotive end of the garage. Bob reviews the brackets and beams used to mount the opener's drive, as well as the cha...
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Garage Door Opener Installation
Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley install a Craftsman garage door opener.
Add some rustic charm to your trimmings with a paper-and-twine garland. All you need is some craft store Christmas paper, ... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled entryway will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR carpet tiles are a simple and affordable way to customize a floor covering for any space. You can make anything from ... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... The vibrant green of Granny Smith apples make a beautifully natural alternative to the traditional evergreen wreath. Brigh...
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