May 09, 2008 by Simon Scotland
Q. I’m in the military and move every 3 years. I would like to have a whole-house audio system that is relatively easy to take with me when I move. Any suggestions? - Justin, VA
A. There are a number of wireless based systems for whole house audio. One of the best is Sonos which can stream music you have stored on a computer or on an external hard drive called a NAS (Network Attached Storage). It also allows you to access the Rhapsody online music service which gives you access to over a million songs for a small monthly subscription via your broadband internet connection. The Sonos units can talk to each other wirelessly which means the only cables you need to run are from these to your speakers. The controller is pretty neat too with a color screen and a click wheel like an iPod. When you move just unplug the units and speakers and plug them in in your next home. It’s quite suitable for anyone to install that has a little computer knowledge.
If you want to do more than just music then I would highly recommend the Control4 system. This provides all the functions of the Sonos system including Rhapsody but can also be used to control your TV, Cable box and even your lighting and heating. Again it can be installed wirelessly making it easy to take onto your next property. Control4 isn’t really suitable for do it yourself installation as it does require programming - however there is a large dealer network throughout the US (and people like us in the rest of the world) that can plan and maintain the install. The system shouldn’t much if any re-programming when you move to a new home unless you specifically want to change the function of the system.
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Simon spent eight years in the feature film production. Upon leaving the industry he formed Beyond the Invisible in London UK which specializes in high end whole house entertainment systems, home theaters and lighting control and currently has a staff on ten. He is a certified CEDIA designer and avid collector of Citroen automobiles.
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