- Designing, installing, programming, and servicing of Smart Home systems, including audio-video, lighting, HVAC, pool & spa, gates, landscaping, phones, and network with the goal of simplicity and ease-of-use from one singe, ergonomic interface.
- Specifying proper components to integrate all of the various residential subsystems – modern integration systems should be pleasing to the eye and subtle to the senses.
- Creating robust network infrastructure – technology is now fully digital, so the network must be strong and stable. The network is the foundation upon which the smart home infrastructure is built.
- Practicing the implementation of remote system monitoring – a customer’s system should have remote monitoring capabilities, so problems can be assessed and troubleshooted without a technician on-site. Remote monitoring includes power status, network status, and live connection diagrams of integrated components.
Sight & Sounds was founded in 1988. Company co-founder, Cliff Roepke, decided after graduating from UCLA, there was a large demand for providing quality sound systems and home theaters. With a strong background in film, video, and sound recording, he endeavored to build a company that could create Audio-Video systems of highest performance and quality. In 1989, Cliff sold his interest in Sight And Sounds South in Los Angeles and opened Sight And Sounds North, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Custom Audio-Video Installation being relatively unknown to the area, Cliff created a commercial district experience center in downtown Burlingame from a converted small home adjacent to Burlingame Avenue. With home theater and distributed audio-video on display in a residential environment, designers, architects, and builders could see and touch novel products specific to the custom industry.
Working on the benefits of well-planned and executed systems, Cliff built a substantial customer base, as custom electronic integration became the accepted norm for homes and businesses.
In 1995, Cliff made another bold decision. During recent times, stereo stores started advertising their businesses as “custom installation experts,” even though they had no experience in the industry. Tangentially, Cliff was introduced to a new product line called PHAST, an acronym for “Practical Home Automation System Technology.” Cliff went headlong into PHAST, attending product training at its Salt Lake City facility, purchasing a comprehensive PHAST system, and deploying in a full-sized “Smart Home” in downtown San Mateo.
In the mid 1990’s, Smart Home Technology was an obscurity. Most smart home systems were expensive and found only in mega-mansions. PHAST changed that dynamic by manufacturing affordable home automation products at prices accessible to most middle-class customers. Understanding the potential of PHAST and smart home technology, Cliff doubled-down on the customer experience location by creating a true “smart home” example for designers, architects, builders, and end-users to see all aspects of home automation first-hand – distributed audio/video, security, lighting, HVAC, pool/spa, gates, landscape irrigation, and touchscreen controls.
From that turning point, Cliff never looked back. PHAST evolved into Control4, which remains the central tool for Cliff’s smart home skills. Still involved with home theater projects, control became the key ingredient, so customers now have an ergonomic and centralized means to control the various subsystems throughout the house, regardless of size, regardless of price. With the advent of the IPad and IPhone, network-centric applications have become increasingly popular through the new millennium.
Twenty five years after entering the Smart Home market, Cliff is still building and maintaining customer systems. Some clients go all the way back to his early days in Los Angeles and in Burlingame.