Low-Cost Option Home-automation vendor Control 4 has an entry-level system that starts at about $2,500. The system is on display at one of John Laing Homes' models at Silhouette at 4S Ranch in the San Diego area. The Control 4 product was featured during the home tour at Hanley Wood's (BUILDER's publisher) Digital Home Conference earlier this year. The base system supports home entertainment (audio and video) and lighting and comes with four dimmer switches and a home theater controller. A thermostat upgrade can be added for about $150. Visit www.control4.com for more information.

On the Record Home-tech research group iSuppli reports that most people experience interactive TV for the first time with a digital video recorder (DVR). The firm's new study on such recorders reports that cable DVR subscribers reached 3.4 million last year, more than doubling from 2004 to 2005. The report also says that the number of multiroom DVR boxes will expand from a few million units in 2005 to more than 50 million units by 2010. Visit www.isuppli.com for more information.