For all the advances in today’s digital home electronics, one very basic idea has always been sorely missing — the ability to have your electronics work together as a team. With Z-Wave, you can finally have the convenience of unified control over all your home electronics, and customize their operation to your preferences and your lifestyle. Remote controls were a great step forward in home entertainment — half a century ago. That’s how long we’ve been living with the same idea in hand-held remotes, which have two major limitations that make them the home device that everyone loves to hate.
Remote Control Made Modern
Naturally, Z-Wave does away with both of these problems. First of all, conventional remotes typically only control only one component at a time. Think about how many of them — and how many keystrokes — you need just to do something simple, like watch a movie on DVD. First you have to turn on the DVD player. Then the TV. Then the A/V receiver for the sound. Then you have to select the correct inputs on the TV and receiver. Then the surround sound setting, and after that the volume. Finally, you press play on the DVD player. All these buttons to remember, and that’s just to get the movie started!
The second big limitation of today’s typical remote controls is that they work with infrared (IR) signals. These are essentially light beams that are too low in frequency for your eyes to see. Like any light wave, they’re directional — you have to aim these remotes directly at the component you want to control. And IR beams are not only short-range (typically only 10-20 feet), but they are blocked from working by any obstruction, such as an A/V cabinet. Z-Wave enabled remotes take care of both these limitations and then some. Z-Wave lets your electronics work as a team. Want to watch a DVD? How about one button that turns on all the components that you need, adjusts all of them to the proper setting, and can even turn the room lights down automatically?
With Z-Wave these kinds of one-touch conveniences are not only possible, they’re simple. And Z-Wave doesn’t stop there. Unlike IR signals, Z-Wave wireless signals are radio waves. These easily travel through walls, floors, ceilings and cabinets. This effectively makes a Z-Wave remote control into a whole-house controller! Lower the downstairs TV volume from your upstairs bedroom, or choose a different satellite radio station in the den while you’re cooking in the kitchen. Create customized entertainment “scenes” with Z-Wave — how about a one-button setting for “Sunday Sports” that kicks up the surround sound and fires up the backyard grill? Or one for “Kids Bedtime” that turns off their bedroom lights upstairs and lowers your TV volume downstairs? With Z-Wave, the only limitation to remote control possibilities is your imagination!