the informed buyer's guide to kohler's dtv+
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not-so-shockingly, technology has taken over the showering space. it actually did several years ago, but this time, it’s smarter and prettier than ever with the release of kohler’s digital showering system with kohler konnect. if you’re looking for a way to spice up your shower, make your mornings a little more lazy and luxurious, or just geek out over smart home stuff, you’re in good company and just might need kohler’s ridiculously advanced smart showering system, the dtv+.
fast facts about the dtv+
dtv = digital thermostatic valve
the most advanced digital showering system on the market
smart phone and alexa compatible via kohler’s konnect system
a firmware update will be available for the older dtv+ models without the konnect system with an additional component that must be purchased and hard-wired to any existing dtv+ interfaces
the dtv+ can run steam, experiential showering components, shower heads, hand showers, body sprays, speakers, tub fillers, lighting, toilets, showering panels - as long as they are kohler dtv+ compatible sku’s.
one dtv+ valve can run up to 6 ports
one dtv+ interface can control up to 2 dtv+ valves
2 valves at 6 ports each = a maximum of 12 ports per system controller
a maximum of three dtv+ interfaces can be linked to one system controller
what is it?
the dtv+ is a touch-screen interface that controls your showering and bathroom components. it can control 2 user “zones” that operate each user’s desired shower temperatures, component settings, and desired spray patterns with just a touch.
what makes the dtv+ so advanced is its multi-zone configuration and customization abilities. though there are several spa presets that can also be used, you can program how you want your shower to operate second by second.
example: you have two showerheads running consistently at 105 degrees, three upper-body sprays running at cooler 80 degree bursts for 10 seconds every 30 seconds, alternating between three adjacent body sprays with a heavier spray pattern, and your steam running at 115 degrees for 10 minutes. you also have a real-rain running at 115 degrees. this is your “user one” and you tell alexa to “start user one” before you’re even out of bed.
the dtv+ system is also running kohler’s most advanced system, kohler konnect. konnect is the link between the interface and amazon alexa, making it a wireless and truly smart device. operate your dtv+ devices from your phone, or just tell alexa to.
try before you buy?
not necessarily. though it’s a costly system, it is fairly straight forward and is accurately conveyed in pictures and videos. if you have any interest in digital showering, you won’t be disappointed.
if you do have interest in buying the system but want to try before you buy, your best bet for seeing the system is to stop into your nearest kohler store, or (less likely) a plumbing supply store (call ahead to see if they have it on display).
your water capacity - if you’re going to max out your dtv+’s capability of 12 ports and ever intend on having all running at once, ensure that your water tank and heater can handle it.
consider that the average showering component runs at 2.0 gpm (gallons per minute), and figure that you’ll be running 12 ports at once, using 24.0 gpm.
for reference, the average tub filler fills at 7.0 gpm, and kohler’s largest, 3/4”, hi-flow valve runs at 13.0 gpm. kohler’s largest dtv+ valve operates at 23.0 gpm.
access and placement of system controller - you will need to have direct access to the system controller that is required for each dtv+ system, and it is not waterproof. just as you would a steam generator, make sure you have a location that will allow for direct access should you need to reset or troubleshoot.
the controller comes with 30’ of wire and must be hardwired behind the wall.
add-ons that are wirelessly connected to the shower will need to be placed within a certain vicinity to operate at their best (around 25’ maximum, but ideally less).
the dtv+ is a wireless-based system, so you will need to have a reliable wifi or dedicated router to ensure optimum functionality.
is the dtv+ for you?
the dtv+ might be for you if:
you enjoy stepping into your shower without messing with controls
you enjoy the “carwash” type shower
you prefer all your devices to be synced up in one place
you like fewer controls on the wall
you like the “latest and greatest” in technology
you want to have voice control in your home
you like to have a pre-started shower
the dtv+ might not be for you if:
you don’t adapt to technology well
you have limited water capacity and/or small water tank
you intend on having a basic showering setup in your shower
you’re on a tight budget
you like the traditional look of a shower
overall, the dtv+ is an insanely advanced showering system that is if nothing else, a luxury.
though we love the system as a whole, what frustrates us during use is that even with all of the integrated technology, the dtv+ interface has a pretty significant lag in operating time that increases with the amount of ports being utilized. you will also hear a fairly loud valve transfer each time the water system is turned on.
it’s a pricey investment, so ensure that you’ll find more benefit in having the spa system in your own home than escaping to a spa every now and then.
in regards to longevity, I’ve sold many of these systems and rarely hear consumer complaints about the system or had a client experience issues. if you are interested in digital showering, you will not be disappointed (buyer’s remorse be gone!)
however, I do get a fair amount of pushback and hassle from contractors who have no experience installing the system and are unable to configure it properly. be sure that you hire someone that is familiar with the system for installation.
where to buy?
you can buy the dtv+ system at a kohler store, plumbing supply (ferguson, etc.), or online.
for the best pricing on the dtv+, I recommend purchasing online, for a few reasons:
the dtv+ is imap protected, meaning vendors or stores legally cannot sell it below a certain amount, therefore you won’t find it cheaper in stores, nor will you receive a better return policy or guarantee. as with most electronics purchased online, you’re much less likely to receive a restocking fee or have your return rejected if you buy online as opposed to opting for the in-store purchase.
purchasing in-store won’t offer any additional help, either, as there’s a dedicated kohler dtv+ tech phone line that can assist in troubleshooting any issues. whether you purchase in-store or online, you’ll get the same assistance.
online sites pass off their class 3 (trade) pricing to sell in higher quantities, so you end up with the best deals. with electronics such as these, they are also more readily stocked. unlike other products that we absolutely recommend against buying online, the dtv+ is a safe and recommended online buy. you’ll pay a hefty markup if you stick with an in-store purchase.
what to buy?
kohler offers several “dtv+ packages,” though those I have a harder time recommending, as they tend to have showering components that the consumer is less happy with. once you purchase the system, purchase your showerheads, body sprays, steam, etc., a la carte to best suit your style and ultimately be happiest with your shower. these trims do not all need to be kohler, such as your showerhead or handshower, but your bodysprays and other add-ons do. to be safe, I recommend purchasing all kohler to run off the dtv+ as a functionality and warranty failsafe.
for the dtv+ system, you need several components:
system controller module - the brains of the whole system. the system controller is directly linked to the interface and all subsequent add-ons.
dtv+ interface - the “touch screen” part of the dtv+ system that communicates to the controller module your desired operation.
dtv+ valve - this is your main valve that will direct what you want operating when.
dtv+ data cable - there’s an extreme misunderstanding surrounding the necessity of the data cable due to some ambiguous wording in the dtv+ specification guide. do NOT let anyone tell you that you do NOT need this cable. it is NOT a cat5 wire and is built specifically to link the system controller to the interface. you will not be able to run the dtv+ without it.
interface mounting bracket - what mounts the dtv+ interface (the touch-screen) to the wall. this comes in many finishes.
optional add-ons and accessories:
controller/bridge module - purchase this if you want to control your lighting or other bathroom accessories through your dtv+ interface. check compatibility with your lighting system first.
lighting requires the dtv+ dimmer switch along with bridge module. it can be used with new construction, or can be retrofitted onto existing controls. this switch only controls lighting, and is used in conjunction with the bridge module.
amplifier module - for in-shower sound. the only speakers compatible with the dtv+ are kohler’s soundtiles, which actually have quite impressive sound, especially in a showering space where resonance is so high. choose your soundtile finish to match the rest of your trim.
steam adapter - if you intend on having steam in your dtv+ shower, you need this adapter to do so. the dtv+ will only operate with kohler steam generators, so ensure you purchase a kohler generator and any additional steamheads (this add-on module comes with one, but you may need more depending on the size of your generator and shower). this also comes in many finishes.
have you seen or experienced the dtv+? do you have thoughts or comments on it? we know we like it, but what about you? let us know in the comments!
questions or concerns? get in touch!
x - mk