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Automate to enjoy life

altIn the world of audio and video there are resources that were created for the enjoyment of spaces and the comfort of users. Multi-life A/V systems are a good example of how through technology, homes and commercial facilities in addition to status gain in comfort.

By: Héctor Gómez Pérez

It could be said that today multi-hall systems are the standard for places such as hotels, clubs, convention or meeting centers because they allow an efficient control of resources and the optimization of spaces in a simple way for the end user.

If we talk about the residential area, they have gradually been positioned, especially in the United States and Europe, as an alternative to enjoy the home and the wide range of technological resources offered by the market. That is why we wanted to invite a group of experts to talk to us about a topic that is growing in the A/V industry, since convention tourism, the installation of meeting centers in companies and the concept of the smart home continue to increase.

From the residential market we have the participation of Glen Mella, president and chief operating officer, of Control4; Juan Fernando Montoya, sales manager for Central and South America of Bosch's communications division; on behalf of Crestron we invited Carlos Otero Gutiérrez, from technical sales of Central and South America; from Brazil we will have Henry Lua, president of Audiogene; Luis Santiago, account manager of Compuquip Technologies, and finally Tim Orr, general manager of Blue Wave Communications.


A company that has extensive experience in terms of control systems and division of zones is Bosch, which ventured into this business since 2000. Your equipment for these solutions is already in the seventh generation.

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According to Montoya, the evolution has been gradual, but highlights that in recent years new manufacturers have ventured, both for the residential and corporate niche and "control and transport by IP has been consolidated, as well as the use of graphic interfaces, increasingly intuitive and customizable".

Glen Mella points out that in recent years more customers want to combine multi-room audio and video systems with control of the whole house to create a complete entertainment experience, all this added to the control of lighting, thermostat and security systems. An opinion that draws particular attention is the one that has to do with the use of these systems and the situation of the economy: "In recent years, and due to the economic situation, people travel less and stay more at home, which has increased the installation of these systems in homes", Mella said.

For his part, Henry Lua considers that the situation indicated by Mella did not have the same characteristics in Brazil, at least during 2009. "The Brazilian market, as in many other countries, suffered a lot with the global economic crisis. Clients simply decided to stop or even cancel their projects." Lua further said that multi-zone systems are very new in his country and are just beginning to be implemented.

Others who commented on the penetration of multi-phase systems in Latin America were Luis Santiago and Tim Orr, who said that "the implementation of this class of systems in that region continues to grow, in addition to the types of materials that are being used in construction are already prepared for multi-zone systems and automation."

A good system
Have you noticed that medicine that works well for a family member of yours does not have the same effect on you? We could say that the same goes for multisalom systems; these types of solutions must be designed according to the specific needs of each user or project. Juan Fernando Montoya pointed out that "each person, each place, each site has very particular interests and preferences, so a very good analysis of space is essential. More importantly, it is an accurate and well-crafted interview with the end user, trying to know the needs and preferences to achieve a truly functional system."

Carlos Otero, from Crestron, mentioned that a good system of this type must have "touch panels that allow basic control by the end user (adjust lighting, vary temperature, control audio volume, etc.), and an integral system that allows automating functions such as division of the rooms and routing of audio and video according to the scheme of separation of the rooms".

For his part, Glen Mella highlights that a good multi-life system for the home must emit many audio streams simultaneously, emit audio in AM, FM and satellite radio frequencies, broadcast simultaneous video streams, transmit in both standard definition and high definition, have access to video formats that include home movies, digital copies stored on NAS units, DVD and Blue-ray, connections via Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and access to music and videos that are stored on the iPod.

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All of the above under premises such as ease of use so that the user can handle it in a daily and natural way, friendly systems and that most of the complex functions are done automatically. In addition, the system must have an intelligent matrix, preferably with scalability options to make future changes in a simple way and adaptations according to the needs or tastes of the user.

What's next
The guests are sure that these systems will be very well received, not only because of the favorable changes in the economy, but because thanks to them a better use of the spaces of a building is obtained, in addition the users obtain satisfaction and comfort inside. "These types of systems spread a pleasant atmosphere in several places, in addition to multiplying the use of areas and the optimization of spaces," Montoya said.

For Henry Lua, "2010 will apparently be the year of HDMI-based multi-living systems. Therefore, customers will have a good reason to invest again in new technologies."

In conclusion, we can add that a multi-living system makes a building valued and generates a favorable perception among users and visitors. It is also a way to simplify life by increasing enjoyment in a commercial or residential space.

Speakers are fundamental within a multi-lounge system. In turn, the control of the same and a good acoustic design are key to avoid hearing pollution between the different areas.

Taking advantage of the fact that Carlos Otero, representative of Crestron, and Juan Fernando Montoya, of Bosch, are Colombians, we wanted to make a summary of the import of speakers in Colombia during 2009. To do this, we took the ten companies that imported this equipment the most in the first quarter and followed them up throughout the year. In total Colombia imported a total of 260,217 speakers the previous year, totaling US$5,579,526.38. The summary can be found in Table 1 and Figure 1.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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