Ask Carley: Your Questions About HGTV Smart Home 2014 Get Answered

Tech therapist, Carley Knobloch, answers home control questions posed by fans of HGTV Smart Home 2014.

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eric Perry © 2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eric Perry © 2014, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

What does the TV in the dining room retract into so it doesn't get bumped by the cabinet in front of it? - ut4evr

The TV is on a sliding mount that's bolted to the wall behind the dining room hutch, which weighs enough that it's not in any danger of sliding back and bumping it. How smart! And how beautiful are those cranberry walls.

Can lights be turned on manually, televisions be used with just the remote, the window treatments be opened/closed without the tablet or smartphone? - moon_lady

That would be important to me too! As much as I love tech, it would be silly to have to grab a remote to turn on a light switch. With a system like this, there’s no need to turn on your tablet or smartphone every time. The apps come in handy when you're trying to do a lot of things at once, like when you want to turn off every light in the house or shut all the shades. One button does it all. Otherwise, regular remotes are always there for convenience.

Can you tell me if the doggie door is raccoon proof? - sahvik

The flap on the doggie door unlocks only when an animal wearing a programmed key tag passes through, and you'll get a message when any animal goes in or out. So unless you have the MacGyver of raccoons, chances are good that those animals will stay out.

Can the music be confined to one room or does the whole house get the same music once you select it? – minitoni

A system like this is infinitely flexible. Every room is a different music zone, so they could all play a different song, or they can all play the same music, if you’re having a party. With smartphones, tablets or the house remotes, it's easy to add or drop zones and change the tunes in any room.

How difficult or easy is it to open the window above the sink? – Ashtabulannie

I love that you asked this because sometimes, the smartest choice in a high-tech home is totally analog. That neat, sleek-looking window control is nothing but a folding crank, completely straightforward, ergonomic and easy to use.

Can the cameras and such still work if for some reason you could not pay for the ADT service? - Eugenia27

The way the house is currently set up, the cameras stream to a DVR that ADT can monitor as part of the overall service. If you didn’t have the service, you could still use these cameras, but you’d need a DVR or some unit for them to stream to and display the video on a monitor. Many camera systems like this can also stream video to a compatible app.

In reference to the automatic shades, are they on a timer where you can make them open and close at a certain time each day? - fishinggirl

The house is absolutely ready for this kind of programming, and it goes way beyond just a timer. The shades talk to the home's main controller, which can be programmed a number of ways. If the thermostat is looped into the system, you can set "scenes" so that the shades will open and close at certain times of day, but you can program them to close if the room temperature gets too high, or to close at dusk each day. You can also direct them to shut if you set your alarm when you leave the house.

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