HOMEPORT, A NEW HOME-AUTOMATION product from Cutting Edge Solutions in Westford, Mass., lets homeowners use the Web to make simple selections and updates over a home-automation system based on an AMX controller.

This is a welcome change for home builders, which in the past have had to deal with unhappy homeowners when customers learned that they had to spend hundreds of dollars to reprogram a few settings on their AMX home-control system.

Evan Strul, president of Cutting Edge Systems, says that the displeasure is understandable, since very often homeowners wanted to reprogram simple tasks such as changing a favorite radio station setting or the time the lights would go on in the morning.

“What we did was take all the customization [of a traditional AMX system] and turned it into a list of preferences that the homeowner can manipulate over the Web,” says Strul. “We don't have as many elaborate engineering changes, which cuts down the time and price of the installation.”

Builder pricing for HomePort starts at about $20,000, about half the cost of a traditional AMX system. The base product includes an AMX controller, two color touchscreens, two music keypads, 12 Insteon lighting dimmers, and full installation with four rooms of distributed audio.

Strul says that he's targeting HomePort to home builders who construct from six to 50 homes per year in the $750,000 to $1.5 million range. The product started shipping in late March. Visit www.cuttingedgehome.com for more information.