How to Build a Smart Kitchen

No matter how hard you try to convince your friends and family to hang out in the living room, everyone always ends up in the kitchen. Kids, family, and guests congregate around your island and maybe even get underfoot as you prep meals. Owning a smart kitchen makes your life easier and more fun by automating your kitchen tasks and entertainment.

In this article, we will break down how you can design a luxury kitchen by paying special attention to 4 areas of home technology automation. Quiet family dinners and raucous cocktail parties alike will run smoothly with these smart kitchen integrations.

BTA Designed Smart Kitchen

Give Yourself Control

In the kitchen, timing is everything. Hands free and remote control let you find – and stay in – your rhythm. Imagine that you are chopping ingredients for dinner and you suddenly remember that you need to preheat the oven. Rather than putting down the knife, rinsing your hands, and walking over to the oven, you simply say, “Preheat the oven to 375.” And, voila! You can keep chopping while your oven preheats.

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
Photo source: Samsung.com

Have you ever left your house and wondered aloud, “Did I leave the coffee maker on?” Remote device access allows you to check by opening your home app. If you left it on, you can turn it off with the tap of a button.

Other potentials for smart control in the kitchen include your refrigerator, warming drawers, dishwasher, ice maker, and wine chiller. Voice controlled appliances are a major kitchen trend for 2017, so you can bet on even more possibilities in the near future.

Kitchen appliance companies, like GE and Samsung, are keeping pace with a myriad of convenient integrations. For example, you can pull up a recipe on your iPad and “push” it to your oven, so the oven automatically preheats. In addition, you can monitor ice levels and tell your freezer to ramp up ice production if people are coming over for drinks. Samsung’s Family Hub gives you the power to see inside your fridge through a touch screen panel. Custom control for your smart kitchen gives you a sous chef and personal assistant in one for your everyday activities and special occasions.

Set the Scene, Any Scene

When performing tasks in the kitchen, you need direct and powerful light to illuminate your workspace. When you get home after work, however, you want to relax with a soothing low-lit scene. Or maybe you like to cook dinner with your favorite sitcom on the kitchen TV.

Preset scenes let you program lighting, blinds, appliances, and entertainment to your preference for recipe prep, entertaining, homework around the island, and more. Your preset scenes give you the power to easily adjust your entertainment, lighting, temperature, and sound for any mood or task.

Whole home audio allows you to tap into your favorite playlists for every scene. Integrated TVs and touch pads bring your kitchen to life through video. Smart climate control lowers the temperature when you start cooking, keeping your kitchen comfortable, even with the oven set to 425 and 4 burners in use. Automated lights and blinds allow you to harness natural light and save energy when possible. Water-resistant tablets and touch pads put your entertainment at your fingertips in the wall, behind the sink, or on your island.

With preset scenes and complete control, your smart kitchen will make the heart of the home even more enjoyable. Automated scenes also free up your time, adjusting lighting, temperature, sound, and appliances in one touch.

Make It a Double

What do two ovens, two sinks, and two dishwashers have in common? They make it easier to entertain for and clean up after a crowd. Whether that crowd is your family of 5 or a dinner party for 30, you can increase

GE Double In-Wall Oven
Photo source: GE.com

the power of your kitchen with two of each of these useful appliances. In fact, double appliances are becoming standard issue for luxury homes. What can you do with two of everything? Twice as much!

Two ovens allow you to perfectly time your meal prep, even if two dishes require different temperatures. Green beans at 425 and scalloped potatoes at 350, no problem. With two dishwashers, you can keep loading even while one is running.

If you have kids, then you know how many dishes, cups, and utensils a family can go through. Hint: a lot. For the entertainer, two dishwashers makes cleaning up as you cook a breeze- clearing valuable counter space and freeing up your hands for a glass of wine. Two sinks give you easy access to water right where you need it. By doubling up on your most used appliances, you can bring a new level of functionality and versatility to your kitchen.

Tie Into the Rest of Your Home

A true smart kitchen is not a one-off experience; it ties into the rest of your home technology systems. For example, in-wall panels in the kitchen communicate with your security cameras to broadcast a live feed of your front gate or door when a visitor arrives.

In addition to security integrations, your kitchen can be controlled from other rooms for ultimate convenience. You can use the touch panel in your bedroom to start the coffee maker, turn off lights, or preheat the oven for a breakfast casserole.

If you can dream up an automation, it can become a reality. Before you take the smart kitchen plunge, spend some time making a list of your priorities. What is the most important kitchen functionality for you? Do you want to streamline your cooking process, entertain your guests, or automate your morning routine? The possibilities for your smart kitchen are endless! You can see our current home technology favorites here for even more inspiration.

Now, if only there was a smart kitchen integration to clear the dinner table.

It’s Time to Upgrade to 4K

You’ve been ready to upgrade for a while and with the big game on the horizon, now is the time to do it. If you want to transform your football viewing experience and elevate your entertainment power, then YES, you should switch to 4K.  

BTA can hook you up with 4K for the big game… And after the game? Our brand partner, Kaleidescape, will help you fill the 30 Sunday afternoons between seasons with hundreds of top movie titles available for 4K viewing. With Kaleidescape, you can watch new releases like La La Land and Deepwater Horizon or your favorite Hollywood classics like Casablanca and Psycho. View all available titles here. Kaleidescape recently upgraded their storage to hold well over 200 4K movies!

Why should you switch? 4K delivers a clearer and more realistic picture to your home. It feels more like gazing through a window than watching TV. The improved picture is noticeable at any size, but it does improve as your 4K TV gets larger. This is because 4K packs approximately 4,000 pixels into the horizontal resolution of your screen. For reference, this is over twice the amount of pixels in a 1080p HDTV.

Not sure which TV you need? We can design a solution for any space in your home with TV set-ups in every imaginable size. Yes, a 200” screen is possible! BTA is your partner for the biggest and baddest entertainment upgrades – the ones that will wow your guests and delight your family.

With 4K, you are the ultimate football party host… And then the postseason entertainment guru. Want to explore your entertainment possibilities? From now until Sunday February 5, when you upgrade to 4K, BTA will provide the Big Game party snacks! Call us today at 561-999-9024 for more details and your custom technology solution consultation.

The Hottest Home Technology for 2017

BTA designers and engineers thoroughly vet every product we use in our custom home technology solutions. Our brand partners are innovators in their respective fields, offering products backed by cutting-edge technology and real-world high-end applications. The following products are the culmination of their robust experience and represent the very best in home technology for 2017. Each brand and product is trusted by major retailers, hotels, universities, Fortune 500 companies, and now – discerning homeowners like you. 

cisco meraki wave 2 network

Wireless AC Wave 2 for Your Home Network

Even though your home wireless network is probably not at the top of your mind (unless it’s down), your internet speed and security is a crucial part of your everyday life. Cisco brings enterprise level networking into your home with the MR30H model of Wireless AC Wave 2 wireless with integrated gigabit switch. This product revolutionizes your home network with high level security. 

Cisco provides enterprise grade network security, wireless access, and networking needs. The company provides the first and only solution for device based security policies, built-in NAC, and built-in mobile device management. Cisco delivers everything you need for a secure, reliable, headache-free network. The MR30H offers 100% integration free from additional cost or complexity.

Why do you need a secure network? User-owned devices like smart phones and tablets have exploded and present a security hole for your network. Keeping your network secure with device-specific policies allows you to enjoy the internet without causing undue support burden or making yourself vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Datasat home cinema

Datasat Professional Cinema Processor for Your Theater

When it comes to theater sound, Datasat is king. The company is responsible for mastering hundreds of big screen masterpieces – and they bring this professional expertise and pursuit of perfection into your home. With their long history of audio innovation, you can rest assured that your Datasat home audio will be world class.

The Datasat LS10 represents a breakthrough in audio processor technology. It is the first home cinema processor to deliver high end audio features at a price point for a wide range of home cinemas and media rooms. This product enables superior bass management for high quality sound that is rich, textured and realistic. Finally, you will hear sound exactly as the filmmakers intended. In fact, your home theater can be calibrated by Academy Award winning Datasat professionals for an unrivaled cinematic experience. 

In addition to unbeatable reproduction of the latest movie and music releases, the Datasat LS10 intelligently enhances the enjoyment of game playing and streaming live sports. This product is the cornerstone of your ideal home entertainment system – taking your experience to a professional cinematic level.

ercole security doors and windows

Ercole Doors for Home Security

Ercole produces military-grade security doors to exacting design standards in their Italian workshop. With an Ercole door, you enjoy discreet and dependable security for your home. Every door is built using relentlessly tested technology by expert craftsman.

The end result is a security door unmatched by any other that compliments your style seamlessly. Ercole doors are the security product for 2017. Unlike an alarm system or surveillance, an Ercole door physically stops intruders from entering your home.

Together with Ercole security windows, these doors turn your home into an impenetrable fortress. The best part? Your security is your secret. The possibilities are endless and Ercole’s team can handcraft a door to match any style, space, or need.  Built to withstand hurricanes, burglary, and even the extreme nature of an assault rifle, Ercole doors and windows provide a level of safety and security that is unmatched in the industry. Ercole’s fine doors and windows ensure that your home and your family are safe from harm.

barco led wall

Planar LCD Video Wall

A Planar LCD Video Wall brings cutting edge technology into your home for a transformative entertainment experience. From watching the SuperBowl in your club room to tracking financial markets in your office, an LCD video wall elevates your visual entertainment capabilities. Planar’s product, the Clarity Matrix, delivers superior color depth and uniformity through its stunning 4K input capability and 10-bit color processing.

On the backend, a single power source can drive up to 8 LCD panels. This allows your Clarity Matrix video wall to run using less power outlets. The video wall mounts with an industry-leading installation depth of just 3.6″, thanks to the Planar® EasyAxis™ Mounting System. You can easily monitor the health of your system with the integrated Planar® WallNet™ video wall health and status monitoring software with SNMP support. The amazing technology in each Planar LCD Video Wall creates the ultimate viewing experience in your home – making it one of the best home entertainment products available today.

rosewater energy hub

The RoseWater Energy Hub for Energy Efficiency

RoseWater Energy Group is creating the next generation of renewable smart grid systems. The RoseWater Energy Hub is a all-in-one residential power solution that transforms your electrical system into a self-sustaining microgrid. For discerning homeowners with advanced automation systems and security needs, RoseWater offers a complete power solution.

The Energy Hub works in three ways to optimize and protect the power supply in your home. First, the Energy Hub protects the electronics in your home by delivering conditioned electricity. The Energy Hub feeds clean power to sensitive home technology systems and devices. Second, the Energy Hub creates an uninterruptable power supply with zero transfer time, to safely and securely ride out power failures Third, the Energy Hub is ready for renewable energy and can be adopted for solar at a relatively low additional cost. The Energy Hub makes it easier to live green and create energy independence.

Home Automation for Energy Efficiency

Home automation enhances your life in a myriad of ways. You can simplify your daily tasks, increase home security, and boost your entertaining power. In the midst of endless possibilities, you might be overlooking one of the most rewarding advantages of home automation: improved energy efficiency.

Integrated home automation systems help you harness natural energy and light, while reducing the burden on your home, marine, or commercial energy systems. This results in lower cost and improved energy efficiency. Luckily, you do not have to compromise your style or functionality to receive these perks.

There are several key systems that can help you increase your energy efficiency. While you can choose to implement one or two of these methods, they also work in perfect harmony as one complete system. It is relatively easy to apply your home automation towards improved energy efficiency. These automations give you complete control over the systems in your home. From monitoring your energy usage and activity to making adjustments remotely – you are in charge.

automated window coverings

Automated Window Coverings

Depending on the orientation of your home, you can implement a system for your blinds and shades to take advantage of natural light. West-facing windows will flood your living space with afternoon sun, an advantage during the colder months. In the summer, however, you will want to drop your shades during the afternoon to preserve your cool interior climate.

In addition to improving the energy efficiency of your home, automated window coverings will enhance your design aesthetic. Custom blinds, drapes, and screens can be designed and produced to complement your interior design scheme.

With automated window coverings you can:

  1. Make natural light work for you, reducing your energy costs.
  2. Create impeccable custom ambience in every room.
  3. Protect your fine furniture and art from harsh UV rays, preserving your investment.

Much like your temperature and lighting controls, your automated window coverings can be set to a schedule and then adjusted in the moment or on the go. Window coverings take your energy efficiency to the next level by using natural light and the external temperature to your advantage. Your automated window coverings seamlessly integrate into your interior design scheme and enhance the beauty of your home.

Lighting Controls

Implementing home lighting controls is one of the most obvious ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your home. From track lighting and chandeliers to floor and table lamps, you can control all of the lights in your home from your digital control pads. You can set a schedule so that you are greeted each day after work by soothing light. If you love to entertain, you can use specific preset lighting plans to set the perfect ambience at the touch of a control pad. Transition seamlessly from morning to afternoon to evening with your preferred lighting schemes.

Lighting controls help you:

  1. Create entertaining magic with pre-programmed settings.
  2. Reduce wall clutter with discrete panels.
  3. Manage your lighting on-the-go and on vacation.

Remote access empowers you to control your home lighting from anywhere in the world. In this sense, your lighting controls can improve both your energy efficiency and your home security. Imagine you are boarding a plane for vacation and you realize that you left your bathroom lights on. You can easily turn them off with the touch of a screen. At the same time, if you can’t remember if the porch and garage lights are on, you can check and make adjustments from your smart phone.

Intelligent Climate and Temperature Control

Intelligent climate and temperature control gives you the power to adjust your heating and air settings through a sleek digital control pad. You can also set schedules and make tweaks on-the-go from your smartphone. Setting a schedule for your heating and air allows you to take the load off of your HVAC during the hours when you are at work each day or while you are away on vacation. It also allows you to control the climate inside your home in conjunction with your automated window coverings.

Temperature control gives you the power to:

  1. Control the climate in your home easily in person or on-the-go from anywhere in the world.
  2. Monitor your home HVAC system and easily implement schedules or make adjustments.
  3. Reduce your wall clutter with discrete panels.

Monitoring your heating and air is one of the most important components of any energy efficient home. Most residential thermostats give you the option to set a schedule, but few allow you to make alterations to this schedule on the fly. Your fully automated temperature controls enable you to set a schedule based on your daily habits, but also modify the schedule by telling your system when you are leaving or arriving home. In this way, fully automated systems far surpass your typical smart thermostat.

In addition to your thermostat and controls, an intelligent climate system uses dispersed sensors to track the climate in every room of your home to monitor and balance HVAC efficiency. Outside of the home, your controls can be used to keep your pool and spa at the perfect temperature.

rosewater energy hub

RoseWater Energy Hub

A RoseWater Energy Hub brings uninterruptible power to your home. This relatively new product is the first all-in-one residential power solution that delivers the following three things:

  1. Fully power conditions all inputs.
  2. Provides clean, stable energy for your home and automation systems.
  3. Incorporates all forms of renewable energy into your home.

By conditioning incoming power, the RoseWater system delivers power to sensitive electronics that is cleaner and more stable than utility power. This helps protect your home automation and technology investments throughout your residence. The constant power supply (UPS) protects you against black or brown outs with no interruption in power if you lose utilities. Finally, the system can directly incorporate solar and other renewable forms of energy at little additional cost. The RoseWater Energy Hub is the ultimate asset for complete home energy efficiency and protection of your investment.

If you want to further explore your options, the advisors at Boca Theater and Automation are happy to provide additional information and discuss your specific needs. Every Boca Theater and Automation home system is designed, installed, and optimized for elite performance and energy efficiency. In your busy life, home automation solutions can take daily tasks off your plate, while improving your quality of life and reducing energy use. If you are ready to discuss your home automation options and increase your energy efficiency, call an advisor today 561-999-9024.

Real 4K is Finally available for the home

Real 4K is Finally available for the home.

If you think streaming 4k is really 4k, you aren’t getting the whole picture

The award-winning Kaleidescape Strato is the world’s first and only 4K Ultra HD high-dynamic-range movie player. Strato plays movies in true 4K Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second, without startup delays, buffering messages, or quality drops that are so common with streaming services. Strato supports lossless multichannel audio including Dolby Atmos, and bit-stream pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The Strato onscreen user interface is also displayed in 4K Ultra HD, at 60 frames per second, resulting in fluid animation and a stunning visual impact.

Strato can be purchased with or without an internal 6TB hard drive that can store up to 100 4K Ultra HD movies, 200 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies. Strato equipped with internal movie storage can be used standalone or in a system with other Encore components. Strato with or without internal storage can play movies from any Terra movie server, from another Kaleidescape Strato or Alto with internal storage, or directly from a blu ray disc or dvd in a Kaleidescape Disc Server. The movie starts immediately, without trailers or warnings, and you can jump right to your favorite scene or song, without fast forwarding

Come in and experience it today in “The Vault”

Koolik Tech Corner – Inspirational Home Offices

A home office crafted to your specifications with everything you’re going to need to keep your life running from home. Stay inspired to continue your busy life even from home. COVID-19 may be distancing us from each other and keeping us from our workplaces but, with your home office, you can stay connected, informed, and on top of your game. Partnering up with The Koolik Group, BTA has put together a list of the top 15 items we’ve seen in the many of the home offices we’ve built. Not only things like stronger internet but video conference capability to be able to see your team face to face, even from home. Set up conference calls with all of your loved ones at once, no matter where they are. Create the perfect setting to work in with absolute control of your environment.

 Article reposted with permission from Koolik Group.