Why Combining Commercial, Residential Automation Is Easy

At least Digital Home Technologies makes it look easy with an Elan implementation at a senior living facility.

CI Staff
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When residential and commercial needs meet—such as they do in a senior living community—myriad audio-video elements can provide automation challenges.

Such was the case at The Garlands of Barrington, a luxury 55-plus residential living community with 31 acres, four dining venues, and a performing arts center in Barrington, Ill. – and such was the challenge for Palatine, Ill.-based integration firm Digital Home Technologies.

“With several large facilities that are constantly in use and require vigorous audio/visual control, it’s impossible to physically troubleshoot an issue on demand,” says John Goldenne of Digital Home Technologies. “For the community’s upscale residents who are accustomed to high-end service, delayed entertainment and informational presentations are inexcusable.”

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Goldenne worked with director of food & beverage Istvan Abdai and information systems director Joe Parado to replace an existing control solution. “With our old system, we needed a third-party consultant to come in and troubleshoot any technical difficulty,” Abdai says. “It was essential to all of us that this new system offered complete control and was both reliable and easy to use.”

Digital Home Technologies recommended an ELAN g! system controller in the executive conference room, another ELAN controller in the performing arts center, and a third ELAN controller matched with an ELAN audio controller in the Grill to manage the restaurant’s existing speakers. All controllers connect to one ELAN g! network allowing management personnel with a smartphone to control the audio-video content from anywhere.

“The challenge with this installation was the sheer size of the property,” Goldenne says. “By integrating four different controllers into separate spaces with both new and existing technologies, I was able to condense a massive space into one, neatly interwoven network.”

Digital Home Technologies also outfitted the Complex’s performing arts center with a Da-Lite 159-inch Dia Tensioned Contour Electrol Screen and an Epson G6750WU Projector 6000. “We host various events for over 300 residents, including weekly movie nights and monthly play productions,” Abdai says. “It was very important to me that I was able to control the drop-down projector right from my smartphone to ensure that everything runs smoothly.”

The Garlands of Barrington also rents out public spaces to local groups and businesses in the area. Activities ranging from real estate training sessions to local town hall meetings take place in the performing arts center.

In the Grill, one of the four dining venues at The Garlands, Goldenne added an ELAN audio controller to serve as the control unit for its existing speakers. “The controller’s eight audio/video inputs allow restaurant personnel to choose from their favorite music and video sources and instantly play them on demand,” Goldenne added.

In addition to customizing the public spaces for convenience, Digital Home Technologies also upgraded the on-site executive conference room with an Epson 4750 projector and a Samsung BD-F6700 Smart Blu-ray player to accompany the room’s existing drop-down Stewart motorized screen. Now, The Garlands’ executive team can link their laptops to the screen for slideshows or informational offering presentations.

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