Wired: Hi-tech innovations designed
to simplify our home life Joanne
Hatherly Times Colonist|
Photos by John McKay, Times Colonist
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plasma TV looks much like a picture hanging on the wall.
Such high-tech toys can cost several thousand dollars.
Sadly, it does not mean that you can call home and
ask the oven to start cooking dinner. Yet.
Until that happy day, homeowners lusting after the
simple life through technological advances that make
their homes function smoother can satisfy their appetite
with other state-of-art toys.
And the starting place for the state-of-the-art-hungry
shopper is in the house walls, not in the store. "Most
houses in Victoria have the older Cat3 wiring," says
Vickers. "To be ready for the present and upcoming home
technologies, houses should be smart-wired with Cat5."
John Vickers, president of Bay Systems with distribution
Smart-wiring, also known industrially as structured
wiring, runs multi-media cables and ports throughout
the house, including two Category 5e and two quad-shielded
"This readies a home for today and the future," says
Vickers. The best time to put in smart cable is at the
construction stage, when the cost runs at about one
per cent of the whole-house construction value. Retrofitting
an existing house adds another .4 per cent of whole-house
construction cost to the price tag.
But what about those inevitable technological advances
that make today's systems effectively obsolete?
"While a smart wiring system takes us right to the
edge of the current technological horizon," says Vickers,
"it's wise and inexpensive to prepare for what will
come after." Vickers recommends homeowners and builders
install "raceways" of PVC piping from the attic to the
ceiling throughout the home.
"That minimizes the need for punching through drywall
when new technologies come," says Vickers. "Installers
can feed the new wiring through the piping."