Home Technology Rescue - A SONA Case Study
SONA were initially recommended to this client by a builder who we are currently working with. Upon initially assessing the existing installation our first reaction was disbelief.
It's incredibly frustrating when we see installations like this which give the entire home technology industry a bad name. It's no wonder that such a large number of consumers and clients are disillusioned by the home technology industry when companies are claiming to be 'experts' in networking, audio-video and home automation and then delivering systems like this:
Rather than walk away (the easier option for us!), we took this opportunity as a challenge to reset the customers expectations and aspirations. Part of SONA's aspirations are to restore confidence in how beneficial technology can be and the positive effect it can have on an entire property and family.
Our Approach: Infrastructure
After a client consultation to establish what their requirements were, we designed a completely new system around their specific requirements. This new system was to include a brand new wired network to provide robust and reliable connections to all TVs around the property and the new devices we were to install. Plus we added a completely new, managed wireless network as the current system was frustrating both from a speed and usability perspective. Not to mention it was also unreliable!
Our data network additionally included a remote monitoring system that enables us to pro-actively monitor all network devices and respond to issues remotely. Combined with managed power distribution units, our engineers can also remotely reboot equipment in the main rack. Very handy when technology can (and often does!) go wrong - we're thinking Sky boxes specifically!
Previously, all cabling from the rooms in this property were simply presented through a hole in the plant room ceiling, hung across the wall and connected directly to panels. Not the way to do it!
We installed a cable termination panel which presented all this cabling through a low-profile panel where every cable is individually labelled.
The first image below shows the cabling before we started, with the next images showing our cable panel in progress and then completed:
Our Approach: Audio & Video
The property had an existing multi-room music system that the clients simply weren’t using – it included additional rooms that weren’t required and didn’t give them access to the music sources they actually used, such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Our new proposal utilised the existing amplification (properly rack mounted rather than stuck on a shelf as we found it) with new SONOS players to provide an intuitive system which met every requirement.
The client's requirement for Sky and Apple TV in key rooms led us to develop an extremely simple video distribution system, utilising SkyQ receivers and Apple TVs physically mounted to the rear of TVs. Each room now has it’s own dedicated Sky and Apple TV ‘stream’.
We were also able to utilise the clients existing 4×4 HDMI matrix to provide video to some less used rooms and therefore make the most of equipment which had already been invested in.
Our Approach: Equipment Rack
To house the new data network, music system, CCTV recorder and video equipment we supplied a brand new equipment rack featuring uninterruptible power supply and full power, cabling and ventilation management.
As with all our award-winning equipment racks – this unit was pre-built in our custom rack-build facility offsite, then brought to site for the least disruptive installation in the clients home.
SONA are coming across issues like this over and over again in Cheshire. Client's who have made a significant investment in a home automation system, that hasn't even been designed to meet their requirements and just doesn't work.
For us, it's frustrating to work on projects like these because we'd rather do things properly from the outset, and clients who believe that all home technology companies offer the same level of service and installation are left in the terrible position of paying for two systems - one that doesn't work, and then one that does.
SONA have on a number of occasions been 'price-matched' or 'undercut' by other companies and then later contacted to come back and put right everything. Despite these frustrations we certainly can't leave families who have been so let down by other companies claiming to be integrated home technology experts.
Images and case study courtesy of Sona