Smart Homes For Dummies


Do you long to listen to your favorite CD from anywhere in your house? To set up a wireless network so you can access the Internet in any room? To install an iron-clad security system? To fire up the coffee pot while you’re still asleep and wake up with automated lighting? Smart home technology can help you do just that!

Smart Homes For Dummies, Third Edition, shows you how easy it can be to create and live in a cutting-edge, fully connected home—without breaking your bank ...

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Do you long to listen to your favorite CD from anywhere in your house? To set up a wireless network so you can access the Internet in any room? To install an iron-clad security system? To fire up the coffee pot while you’re still asleep and wake up with automated lighting? Smart home technology can help you do just that!

Smart Homes For Dummies, Third Edition, shows you how easy it can be to create and live in a cutting-edge, fully connected home—without breaking your bank account. With this user-friendly guide, you’ll discover all the latest trends and gadgets in home networking, automation, and control that will help you make life more enjoyable and comfortable for your entire family. We help you plan for things such as flat-screen TVs, intercom systems, whole-home audio systems, gaming consoles, and satellite systems. We talk about your wiring (and wireless) options and introduce you to the latest technologies, such as VoIP and Bluetooth. You’ll see how to:

  • Build your home network on a budget
  • Turn your home into an entertainment center
  • Access the Internet from any room
  • Get VoIP on your phone network
  • Boost in-home wireless and cell phone signals
  • Connect your computer to your TV
  • Secure your home and property
  • Increase your home’s resale value
  • Avoid common networking pitfalls
  • And much, much more

Complete with a resource list for more information and neat toys of the future, Smart Homes For Dummies is your plain-English, twenty-first century guide to a fully wired home!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
With all the talk of DVD, HDTV, multiple phone lines, home LAN connections, and much more, you can't help but wonder how you will ever prepare your home for all of these technological advances. Call it a smart home, if you will, but state-of-the-art technology is making it feasible to run your home with a computer.

Smart Homes for Dummies is one of those books that I find intriguing. Unlike other Dummies books that may explain how to design a quilt or care for a dog, this book is for people who are cutting-edge gadget junkies. In other words, you'll love this book if you enjoy reading the following fascinating description of Bill Gates's home: "As you come in the front door, you get an electric pin to wear. This pin drives your Gates home experience, because the house always knows the location of your pin.... When you enter a room, the art on the walls changes to match your taste, because wall-mounted display screens exhibit the art. And if you're listening to music, the audio system plays the kinds of music you like."

We can't all live in Bill Gates's house (although I am sure everyone in Washington State could fit!), but you can have some of the elements of his hot home-networking technologies in yours. The possibilities really are endless, and Smart Homes for Dummies will put your creative mind into overdrive. One idea that is super-savvy involves programming your sprinkler to; your lawn will then be watered based on weather predictions. It can also be programmed to water more during high-temperature periods or to forgo a watering cycle if youlivein a drought area.

Some of the ideas in Smart Homes for Dummies that are supposed to prepare you for the next century may, however, scare you. The idea of spending $199 just so you can have music chiming into people's ears every time you put them on hold is rather alarming.

But most of the ideas actually aren't as hokey as the aforementioned. Practical solutions abound — prewiring like crazy within the walls, installing a cable modem for fast Internet access, and devising home-automation controls, to name a few. Smart Homes for Dummies is the definitive read when remodeling or building a new home. Like other Dummies books, this one is filled with icons, including the Standards War, which points out when you should wait to buy until conflicting standards get ironed out, and Wireless Wonder, which shows you a device you can install without ripping out your walls.

Whether you're installing a security system in your house or deciding which television set to purchase, Smart Homes for Dummies is a surefire way to take your home into the next millennium with technological and stylistic acumen.

Soozan Baxter

Home Networking News
Instead, get Smart Homes for Dummies, published by IDG Books. Written by Danny Briere and Pat Hurley of telecommunications consulting firm Telechoice, Smart Homes is unusually up-to-date, with mentions of digital-audio distribution, splitterless vs. conventional xDSL, wireless KSU phone systems, and other new technologies. As for the manufacturers mentioned in the book, I couldn't find any information that was obsolete.
But Smart Homes is more than simply accurate, it is truly useful, with an abundance of call-out tips ("The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association...offers advice on how to shop for a security system and the names of contractors who have qualified for their 'Installation Quality' certificate."); warnings ("If your modem connects to your computer with an Ethernet actually need to install two separate Ethernet Network Interface Cards in your proxy server..."); and sound opinions ("You can build a very similar video distribution network that forgoes the second RG6 cable to each outlet....[but] at the risk of being repetitive, we think that this kind of abbreviated network is probably a false economy...").
Rightly, the authors separate the really technical tips from the merely useful stuff. It's clear by glancing at each page what you really need to know and what is gravy (delicious as it is) for the techie.
I like that the book mentions many of the standards that we hear so much about, but doesn't dwell on them. Honestly, how much does a consumer (or installer) really need to know about the intricacies of CEBus?
Lastly, Briere and Hurley aren't too proud to credit their information sources, which include many familiar names in home control and networking.
The best thing about Smart Homes for Dummies--it's a wonderful guide for smart people, too
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470165676
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/30/2007
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 463,843
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Danny Briere founded TeleChoice, Inc., a telecommunications consulting company, in 1985 and now serves as CEO of the company. Widely known throughout the telecommunications and networking industry, Danny has written more than one thousand articles about telecommunications topics and has authored or edited ten books, including Internet Telephony For Dummies, Wireless Home Networking For Dummies (now in its second edition), Wireless Hacks and Mods for Dummies, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 PC For Dummies, and Home Theater For Dummies. He is frequently quoted by leading publications on telecommunications and technology topics and can often be seen on major TV networks, providing analysis on the latest communications news and breakthroughs. Danny splits his time between Mansfield Center, Connecticut, and his island home on Great Diamond Island, Maine, with his wife and four children.

Pat Hurley is Director of Research with TeleChoice, Inc., and specializes in emerging telecommunications and digital home technologies, particularly in all the latest consumer electronics, access gear, and home technologies, including wireless LANs, DSL, cable modems, satellite services, and homenetworking services. Pat frequently consults with the leading telecommunications carriers, equipment vendors, consumer goods manufacturers, and other players in the telecommunications and consumer electronics industries. Pat is the coauthor of Internet Telephony For Dummies, Smart Homes For Dummies, Wireless Home Networking For Dummies, Wireless Hacks and Mods for Dummies, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 PC For Dummies, and Home Theater For Dummies. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, a fiery red-headed toddler named Annabel, and two smelly dogs.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Future-Perfect Homes 9

Chapter 1: Mi Casa, Cool Casa 11

Chapter 2: Zen and the Art of Whole-Home Networking 23

Chapter 3: Cool Stuff Home Networks Can Do 47

Chapter 4: Timelines and Budgets 63

Part II: Making Your Home an Entertainment Center 71

Chapter 5: Breaking the Entertainment Bottleneck — Without Breaking the Bank 73

Chapter 6: Getting Video Where You Want It 95

Chapter 7: Wiring a Video Network 109

Chapter 8: Bringing You Music 129

Chapter 9: Running Audio Here, There, and Everywhere 145

Part III: Now We're Communicating! 165

Chapter 10: Planning a Phone System 167

Chapter 11: : Making the Phone Connection 193

Part IV: Livin' Off the Fat of the LAN 203

Chapter 12: A Cornucopia of Computers 205

Chapter 13: All Roads Lead to the Net 223

Chapter 14: Designing a Data LAN 247

Chapter 15: Choosing the Parts for a Wired Data LAN 259

Chapter 16: Alternatives to a Wired Data LAN 273

Part V: Keeping the Bad Guys at Bay — Security 295

Chapter 17: Home Security Boot Camp 297

Chapter 18: Wiring a Security System 313

Part VI: Putting It All Together — Home Automation and Control 323

Chapter 19: Home Automation Extravaganza 325

Chapter 20: Making Home Automation a Reality 345

Part VII: The Part of Tens 365

Chapter 21: Ten Common Pitfalls When Building Your Smart Home 367

Chapter 22: Top Ten Toys of the Future 373

Index 383

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