Power issues can be frustrating. They can hold back performance, shorten the lives or even end the lives of electronics components.
Unfortunately for integrators, power issues can be difficult and expensive to solve, and in worst-case scenarios, there’s a risk that dealers could lose the trust of their clients if an entire system is taken down by a surge.
These condo owners were given complete, carte blanche apartment design, including options ranging from full Crestron home automation systems to reasonably-priced Sonos whole-house audio solutions.
However, the property owners encountered a combination of power issues that took away from complete system satisfaction.
Transforming Bad Power Into Good Power
After fielding dozens of calls from unhappy condo owners, three Elliston Systems & Design guys were constantly troubleshooting and rebooting AT&T U-Verse systems, Ubiquity routers and other components. Steve Elliston, owner; Trey Segner, designer; and Camron Collier, lead technician, were getting pretty frustrated.
“Dallas is pretty notorious for dirty power,” says Segner. “It’s not really clean, and it’s not usually the right voltage, varying as much as 10 to 15 volts.”
Segner says Elliston Systems & Design technicians had visited the homeowner units 10 times each. They would have to troubleshoot the networks after they went down.
“We go in and [we’d find that] the wiring is fine,” he recalls. “We have to call the service provider.”
Interestingly, the only homeowners that weren’t having problems were the couple that opted to spend the extra money to install a Torus Power isolation toroidal-based solution in their home. Segner says this home, coincidentally, contains one of the most complex installations the company performed.
The 4,000-square foot condominium, Segner notes, includes a Crestron CP3 processor to control the home’s audio, video, lighting and shades, and because of the system’s use of IP technologies, consistent power is important to its reliability.
It also includes a Marantz-based home theater with a James Loudspeaker soundbar and a Sony Ultra HD 4K television.
The home’s whole-house audio system features Revel in-ceiling speakers located throughout the premises.
“The network is constantly up and down, and so is the power. Because all the boxes are IP-based, as soon as the building receives less than the ideal voltage, the technology doesn’t work,” says Segner. “However, we haven’t had a single phone call from the one unit where they spent the extra money to install an AVR2 Torus Power unit. I don’t see it as coincidence that in this particular home is the one that hasn’t had any of these issues.”
It’s not just the A/V systems in the home getting clean power from the Torus AVR2, but the Crestron control system, Lutron lighting and Crestron shade systems as well. Also, when the couple is at home watching Netflix on their Sony 4K TV, the video doesn’t buffer due network issues. They also benefit from improved video performance, which is noticeable on a 70-inch screen.
Segner says the difference he saw at the The Residences at the Stoneleigh underscore how important power protection is to these types of jobs.
“If it were my home, I would put the extra money in [Torus Power] to protect my equipment … and my sanity,” says Segner.