Motorized Shades for the Home Theater

As great as those towering windows in your family room are at capturing the view, there will be times when you’ll want to cover them up. When you’re watching a movie, for example, you’ll want to close the drapes to prevent sunlight from washing out the bright, beautiful picture on your new big-screen TV. You can stick with old-style drapes that must be opened and closed manually, or you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by going with window treatments that can be controlled electronically. Here’s how they work: The fabric—be it a heavy-duty shade or a flimsy decorative sheer—is attached to a standard-looking rod, roller or track that has a small motor built in. When this motor is triggered, it moves the fabric over the window. A handheld remote is commonly used to activate the motor, which means you can simply press a button to position the window treatments instead of having to tug them into place manually. “Having that kind of control is a huge convenience, particularly in larger homes,” says home systems installer Jan Vitrofsky of HED South, based in Hollywood, FL.

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