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AV Rant #653: Smart Home DIY with Richard Gunther

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Pictures shown in this episode:
 https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFskD8i

Our special guest co-host this week is DIY home automation expert Richard Gunther. You can listen to Richard’s podcasts:


– Home: On:
 https://www.thedigitalmediazone.com/category/podcasts/home-on
– Entertainment 2.0: https://www.thedigitalmediazone.com/category/podcasts/entertainment-20
– The Smart Home Show: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/scvz
– Let’s Talk About Thrones: https://ritualmisery.com/cat/podcasts/ltat

And find his writing at:
– The Digital Media Zone: https://www.thedigitalmediazone.com

0:10:06 Richard details his theater.

0:15:21 Richard describes the current state of DIY home automation.

0:19:36 Infinite Gary asks why he might need home automation.

0:22:34 Monty N. wants some examples for beginners, and to know where to start.

0:28:30 John B. wonders if there’s “one hub to rule them all”.

0:32:07 Tate L. asks if his Philips Hue lights and alarm.com system can work together.

0:35:02 Richard talks us through which professionally installed options (like Crestron, AMX, Control4, or Savant) allow the most tweaking by the owner, and mentions a fully DIY alternative.
– ISY: https://www.universal-devices.com/smarthome

0:38:45 Karl R. asks whether his HVAC, lighting, security, whole house audio, and home theater can all be integrated using DIY, or if he should hire a professional.

0:46:13 Chad B. got everything functioning using a Harmony Hub, but finds it too slow. And he also asks on behalf of a friend if he can add devices to his Crestron system himself.
– Caavo: https://caavo.com

0:54:59 Tate L. requests Richard’s pick for a universal remote.
– Harmony Companion: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-companion?crid=60

0:56:37 Ian E. bought an Epson 5040UB, and he wants to know if he can use a motorized drop down screen with motorized side masking to create different screen sizes and aspect ratios, along with many lens memory positions and picture presets that can all be accessed with a single button press.

1:08:33 Martin D. asks what he should get if he wants to control all of his home theater gear with his voice.
– Harmony Express: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-express?crid=60

1:12:21 Chad B. asks what Richard is looking forward to at this year’s various home automation expos.

1:16:25 Fred B. has two Sony 400-disc mega-changers and a third Blu-ray mega-changer. He wants a single interface, which leads to talking about converting it all to Plex, and how he can backup discs in batches.
– Acronova Nimbie USB DVD/Blu-ray Autoloader: https://www.amazon.com/Acronova-Nimbie-Blu-ray-AutoLoader-NB21-BR/dp/B005CAMVKU
– Redfox AnyDVD HD: https://www.redfox.bz/en/anydvdhd.html
– MakeMKV: https://www.makemkv.com/forum/
– MakeMKV Batch Converter: https://alexgritton.github.io/MakeMKVBatchConverter/

1:26:26 Richard tells us how close we are to the “conscious home” that can predict our needs and adjust itself.

1:31:53 Richard turns the tables and asks for an UltraHD Blu-ray player recommendation.
– Sony X800: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-UBP-X800-Ultra-Blu-ray-Player/dp/B01N4RCPKO/

In the news:


– 1:37:33 Denon released the X3600H, which is now a 9.2 Receiver with Zone 2 downmixing: https://usa.denon.com/us/product/hometheater/receivers/avrx3600h


– 1:38:49 Andrew L. let us know the Wavecrest Audio HVL-1 bookshelf speakers are on sale: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AD&Product_Code=9HVL1

– 1:39:35 Ted M. wanted to share an episode of Bobby Owsinski’s Inner Circle Podcast that includes an interview with Greg Penny about mixing music for Atmos: https://bobbyoinnercircle.com/274-greg-penny/

– 1:40:06 Rob F. shares his further HDMI woes.

1:44:08 Mike S. gets a revisit since Rob forgot to address some of his questions last week.

1:47:22 Joseph H. gets a kick out of ridiculously expensive speaker wires, but he wants to know why the Transparent Audio Reference cables have a description about needing to be “calibrated”: https://www.transparentcable.com/collections/analog-audio-speaker-cables/products/reference-speaker-cable

1:50:20 Alvin C. asks if he should move his side Surrounds, and whether he should upgrade his subwoofers.

Thanks for listening. Check out our Facebook Page. Click here for our YouTube channel where you can see the recordings of our show videos. Download Tom’s FREE superhero-themed ebook Bob Moore: No Hero wherever ebooks are sold (or given away in this case). Visit Tom's website for download links as well as links for the two full-length followups - Bob Moore: Desperate Times and Bob Moore: Hostile Territory. Lastly, if you live in the Tampa Bay area and are interested in a mobile climbing wall, check out Fearless Mobile Climbing and meet Tom in person!
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