Technology can bring to mind ugly black boxes, flashing lights, and a rat’s nest of wires, but it doesn’t have to. Here in this 6,000-square-foot Princeton, NJ, home the owners asked for a basic audio/video entertainment system throughout the house without taking away from the clean, uncluttered design.
It’s a request Electronic Design Group hears often. Consumers want music in nearly every room and easy access to audio and video entertainment, but they don’t want to see the speakers, boxes, and cables driving it. The enabling technology also has to intuitive enough that an owner’s manual isn’t required reading. Clean, simple and premium sound is what many homeowners are looking for. Those directives are almost a mantra at EDG these days.
* Excludes; Architect, Interior Designer, Carpenter & Furnishings.
(1) Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11 Base Station w/3 port Gigabit Ethernet Router for Control4
(1) Apple AppleTV – 160 160GB Apple Tv
(1) Audio Authority 9880 Dual Cat 5 Enclosed receiver - Surface Mount Box - 1 output
(1) Audio Authority AVM-562 AVAtrix 6x6 Cat 5 Matrix w/rack ears
(2) Audioquest Forest HDMI - 1 M HDMI HDMI to HDMI
(3) Audioquest Forest HDMI - 2 M HDMI HDMI to HDMI
(7) Audioquest VDM-A - 2.0 M Digital Audio Cable
(7) Audioquest YIQ-A 2 M Component Video RCA to RCA
(1) B&W CT74 2-way custom install home theater LCRS, 2”x6” Blue kevlar bass/mid range driver, 1” soft dome tweeter, grille included
(1) B&W CTSW12 Closed box subwoofer system with optional rack mount amplifier. Designed to fit in home theater cabinetry. 12” paper/kevlar cone driver
(6) B&W CWM7.4 2-way in-wall system, 1” nautilus tube loaded soft dome tweeter. 6”blue kevlar cone bass/mid range
(1) B&W SA-250 dedicated in-wall subwoofer rack-mount single channel 250W Amplifier. Black Finish
(18) Control4 AC-3x-xx/AC-6x-xx Standard 3/6 button engraved keypad
(1) Control4 C4-2URMK-B 2U Rack mount kit - HC300
(1) Control4 C4-3PNAV-IPAD Mobile navigator license for ipad
(1) Control4 C4-BDP-CX7000ES Sony Blu Ray 400 disc mega changer
(13) Control4 C4-DIM1-Z-xx Wireless Dimmer, 1000W, 120VAC
(1) Control4 C4-HC1000V3-E-B Home Controller HC-1000 no remote
(1) Control4 C4-HC300B-E-B Home Controller
(1) Control4 C4-IOX-E-B IO Extender
(3) Control4 C4-KP6-Z-xx Wireless 6-button keypad
(2) Control4 C4-PW200-G-WH Luxul Pro-WAV 200, DWL-2100AP
(1) Control4 C4-SR250-Z-B Systems Remote Control
(1) Control4 CCZ-T1-W Wireless Thermostat
(1) Dataprobe IBBN15 15A iBoot Bar provides independent control of 8 outlets
(1) Digital Projection 109-684 M-Vision Adjustable Ceiling Mount
(1) Digital Projection 110-003 M-Vision Cine LED with 1.85-2.40 Lens
(1) Elite Screens PVR110WH1 110” 1.78:1 Fixed Screen 54"x96”
(1) Furman Elite-15 Pfi 15A HT Power Conditioner Power Factor
(1) Furman F1000-UPS 1000Va Rack Mount UPS
(1) Geffen EXT COMPAUD 143 1 in 3 out Component Video Distribution Amp
(1) Integra DTR-80.1 THX Ultra2 Plus, 4-Zone, 9.2 Channel Network Receiver
(1) Integra IRK-180-4 Rack Mount for DTR-80.1
(1) Key Digital KD-CATHD HDMI over dual Cat 5 Balun
(1) LG BD590 Blu Ray DVD Player w/Vudu, Pandora, Netflix, Picasa: Wireless & 250GB Memory
(1) Middle Atlantic ERK-SYS ERK Equipment Rack System
(8) RPG Acoustic Panels RPG BAD Arc Acoustical Diffusion curved panels
(1) Tiverton TSL1-RCAR6G Video Game Jack
(6) Xantech 282MRP Standard High output mouse emitter
(1) Zinwell WB68 Wide band frequency (Ku/ka) 6x8 Multiswitch for MPEG-4 Compression HD Compatible receivers - Direct TV Approved
EDG tapped Control4 for the project. The Control4 control system sends music and video to every room where the customer wants it. The family can pull up playlists from an iPod, an Internet radio station, music from a Blu-ray player or the music channels that come from cable TV. The same familiar interface is available in every room, either from a remote control with a TV, or a wall-mounted touchscreen display. Each TV can tap into the Control4 system and access any cable station, music channel or music source.
In the family room, EDG installed a 55-inch Samsung LED TV. LED technology delivers rich color and sharp resolution using far less energy than standard LCD TVs. It’s also thinner and lighter than a standard LCD TV, which made it simple for EDG installers to mount to the wall. EDG requested black vertical shades from the interior designer to keep sunlight out during daylight viewing so that images remain bright and pure. In keeping with the owners’ desire for a speaker-clean environment, five round in-ceiling speakers provide the surround sound for the space, and their grilles were painted to match the environment. For this room, where the family gathers to watch movies, a Blu-ray player hides in the cabinet beneath the TV. The wires from the Blu-ray player and amplifier snake invisibly behind the wall to the TV and to the speakers.
The movie theater in the home is on the lower level where an Epson ceiling projector throws an image to a 110-inch screen. Nintendo Wii and Playstation3 game players connect to the system through connectors beneath the screen. When not in use, they store neatly with their cords in a closet. The low-end punch for the room is delivered by a Speakercraft in-wall subwoofer whose grille is painted to match the wall.
Keeping with the minimalist look, each room with a TV can access the video sources through Control4 without having a stack of black boxes. Apple TV provides streaming movies via Netflix, baseball games from MLB.com, thousands of YouTube videos and even the family vacation pics from Flickr. Most rooms have audio, too, including the bathroom, kitchen, sitting space and playroom. The kids can listen to the Disney Channel via Music Choice over the room’s in-ceiling speakers. With all the viewing options on big-screen TV, music in every room and a killer lake view, it’s tough to get this family to leave the house.
Although the owners chose for now not to have house-wide control of lights and temperature, they can in the future if they choose without expensive and messy rewiring. The Control4 system allows for easy upgrades which would enable the owners to control temperature and lights on a schedule for convenience or every-savings. Light switches and thermostats would simply have to be swapped out since the Control4 system uses wireless communications and requires no extra cabling. Now that’s future-proof.