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Smart Homes For Dummies Paperback – July 6, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


...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 interface...you 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..."). The best thing about Smart Homes for Dummies--it's a wonderful guide for smart people, too. -- Home Network News, Sept/Oct. 1999, Vol. 13 No. 8

Who needs this book? Anyone considering installing their own home security system, whole-house audio or video system, household LAN, or even those that want a professional to do it. It gives you a good idea about what's going on, as well as meaning to those funny buzzwords that home contractors use. It's also useful for those who are interested in getting the most out of their home office or existing automation equipment. Finally, professionals who have most of their expertise in one discipline may find this helpful to learn the basics of the rest of what's out there.

Highlights: Easy to understand; broad overview of home automation; gives good descriptions of what's currently available and what to expect in the future; great idea source. -- Edward B. Driscoll, Jr., Popular Home Automation, 2/18/2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Make your home safer and increase its resale value

Create a fully automated,21st–century wired home that meets your family's needs

Want to live in a cutting-edge, fully connected home? Now you can design the powerhouse network of your dreams without breaking your bank account. From listening to CDs throughout the house to connecting your PC with your HDTV to watching your house over the Web, you'll discover all the latest trends and gadgets in home networking, automation, and control.

  • Build your home network
  • Turn your home into an entertainment center

  • Access the Internet from any room

  • Boost in-home wireless and cell phone signals

  • Secure your home and property


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 3 edition (July 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470165677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470165676
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As the title implies, this book is intended for people seeking an overview of what home automation, networking, X10, security, a/v distibution. It is very comprehensive so kudos there.
However, if you are after more detailed instructions on how to hook something up, really plan & design your systems or prewire you new construction this book does not get that deep.
I suppose was hoping for more real examples, diagrams and do it yourself instruction. I'm trying to learn in order to avoid paying someone $2000 to install $200 worth of wire and outlets in my house (especially regarding X10 which is really cool). So I returned this book and am consdiering one called "Automated Home Control" by Bucceri. Haven't found it on Amazon yet, but it's on homcontrols.com and smarthomeusa.com
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Format: Paperback
What a difference four years makes.
In the first edition (1999), Briere and Hurley did a great job providing an informative, helpful overview of home automation concepts, all wrapped up in an easy-to-read style that doesn't talk down to a reader. However, people purchasing the book in 2001 or later would be disappointed as the book showed its age: maybe half the links for automation-related companies yielded the dreaded "404" error (many courtesy the dot-com crash), wireless networking was barely mentioned, and cable modems and DSL hadn't reached critical mass to warrant an extended discussion.
Fast forward to the second edition (2003) and these shortcomings have all been addressed. New URLs are in place, the authors love wireless, and high-speed Internet connections are addressed for both cable modems and DSL modems. In addition, DBS is also discussed in much greater depth as DirecTV and DISH Network receivers have sprouted like mushrooms on homes and apartment buildings across the U.S.
I found the second edition extremely helpful, more so than the first, and it gave me a far better comfort level in figuring out smart home technology. My wife and I are currently remodeling and this book is a huge help to let us know what's possible, what's affordable, and what's do-able by us versus a professional installer.
While the book appears to be more focused on running hard wires for your network, don't let that fool you. The authors are firmly in favor of wireless for many homes and apartments, especially where cost or inability to renovate prevents running hard wiring through the walls. The main idea is that, when possible, put as many wires into the walls as you can.
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Format: Paperback
If you work in a multimedia company or a high tech multimedia laboratory, you probably have a systems administrator and lots of eager students of engineering that can help you design a media and data network infrastructure. However, most of us users who would like to design a network for security, multimedia and computing in a home or small business do not have a systems administrator. Brier and Hurley give an enlightened short course on media, data and electrical networking of your home and small business in Smart Homes for Dummies.
The big vision outlined in this book is simplicity afforded by thinking ahead. Save money and space by designing a network which accesses one main computer server; one digital TV; one VCR; one CD player; one radio; one internet or cable service line for multiple users within the home or business. All these media sources are routed via cables, modulators, preamplifiers and switch panels to each room so that users can choose what they want to play on their computer, speakers and video screens. They inform the reader about 'multi-zone' or multiple channel receiving and transmitting devices needed to to push your wired house to full capacity now and in the future. Costs, esthetics, and how to anticipate future technologies are considered. This book is a pleasant read and a fast way to get up to speed on how to 'Get to Wired'. Think of it like an adventure tour of networking wonderland by Bill and Ted. At the same time this is a most excellent (easy to use) source of reference tables for those of us who prefer to bypass the 'Bill sheet' and get something done.
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Format: Paperback
This is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to equip their home for the 21st century. The focus is on networking the home for audio/video entertainment, telephone, computer & security systems, & making it all work together.
Planning for the new home and remodeling options are covered. Practical tips tell you exactly what components are needed for various levels of automation, including what it will cost and how to stretch your budget.
There are enticing hints about technology to come, how to prepare for it now and what is worth waiting for. Specific brand name products now on the market are analyzed with warnings about conflicting standards.
For more in depth study of specific topics there are lists of web resources and print publications. This book will help you understand what is available in home automation and how to make it a reality in your own home.
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Format: Paperback
I am in the process of building a house and wanted to put some smart home features in. I read this book and it gave me the information I needed to run all the wire in my house. It is very good at explaining how to run the wires to provide the most benefit. I went from knowing very little about smart homes to putting 2,500 feet of wire throughout the home. Each room is wired with cat 5, coax and speaker wire. I did this for a fraction of the cost it would have been to hire someone else to do it.
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