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The Comforts of Home

An 18,000-square-foot home is a lot to manage. When designers at Electronic Design Group first met with the homeowners on this Northern New Jersey project, they knew that managing eight subsystems in a home of this scope would require an overhaul of the EDG control model. To give the family easy access to 31 thermostats, 28 security cameras and 412 lights, EDG designers put in place a floorplan-based format using a 17-inch Crestron touchpanel. When the homeowner wants to get an overview of his electronic management system, he brings up a room layout on any of 22 touchpanels in the house and can turn down the heat, shut off a sconce or shuffle a playlist--without lifting more than a finger. Each layout is presented in the same format, providing a uniform interface for each subsystem. 

Convenience is everything in an expansive home with full-tilt automation. Family members can only take advantage of the benefits of a smart home if operation of the control system is simple and intuitive. Here, an audio page shows which rooms have music playing and gives users the option of muting the system or selecting one of five sources. Views from the security cameras inside and outside of the home are visible from the security page, as are status reports from smoke detectors and window and door sensors. A weather page gives the current readings and a forecast. The client can also hop onto the check stock quotes and hop onto the Internet.


Technology Budget:

$ 1,500,000

* Excludes; Architect, Interior Designer, Carpenter & Furnishings.

Equipment List

(12) Acoustic Innovations Contempo Theater Chairs

(1) Package Acoustic Innovations Showcase Acoustic Treatments

(1) Package Acoustic Innovations Showcase Acoustic Treatments

(1) Acoustic Innovations Panel Kit

(1) Autopatch Modula 32x32 Video Switcher

(2) B&W 805S Speakers

(4) B&W CWM-DS8 Speakers

(1) B&W HTM3S Speaker

(2) B&W Nautilus SCH-1 Speakers

(2) Client Supplied Cable Box

(6) Client Supplied HD Cable Box

(4) Client Supplied HD DVR

(1) Crestron C2NCXM XM Tuner

(4) Crestron C2NSPW300 Power Supply

(1) Crestron C2NTAMWX AM/WX Tuner

(1) Crestron C2NTFM FM/AM/WX Tuner

(2) Crestron C2NVIDS Video Distribution System

(3) Crestron CEN-iDOC iPod Docks

(1) Crestron CEN-TIA Phone Interface Module

(6) Crestron CHV-THSTAT Thermostat

(31) Crestron CHV-TSTAT Thermostat

(4) Crestron CNAMPX 16 Channel Amplifier

(8) Crestron CNHBLOCK Distribution Block

(2) Crestron CNPWS-75 Power Supply

(6) Crestron CNRFGWA 418 RF Receiver

(5) Crestron CNTBLOCK Distribution Block

(2) Crestron CNXBIPAD8 Audio Distribution Block

(1) Crestron CNXHUB Repeater

(1) Crestron CNX-PAD8A Audio Distribution Block

(2) Crestron CNXPVID8X4 Video Dist Switch

(10) Crestron CNXRMCLV Room Interface

(1) Crestron CP-2E Processor

(6) Crestron ML-600 Remote Control

(1) Crestron Pro2 Control Processor

(4) Crestron TPMC-17-CHL Touchpanels

(22) Crestron TPS-2000L Toupanels

(2) Crestron Xpanel E-Control

(2) Dedicated Micros DS2AD1660 Digital Vid Recordr

(1) Dedicated Micros KBS3 Keypad

(1) EDG RU Connecting Block

(3) Extreme EMB 404 Cameras

(12) Extreme EX11NX9304 Cameras

(5) Extreme EX11NX9306 Cameras

(5) Extreme EX40MNX94VA4080ac Cameras

(1) GE Security GBC PI450P3 Camera

(1) GE Security GBC SD850P3 Camera

(4) Genelec AIW25 Speakers

(3) Genelec HT312A Speakers

(1) Genelec HTS4B Subwoofer

(4) Genelec RAM2 AIW25 Speakers

(1) Integra DPS 6.5 DVD Player

(3) Kaleidescape Kplayer-5000 Movie Player

(2) Kaleidescape Kserver-5000 Movie Server

(1) Key Digital KD-CSW2X1 Video Switcher

(1) Key Digital KD-VA5 VGA-to-Comp Vid Convtr

(1) Lexicon MC-8 Surround Processor

(2) Lexicon RV-8 Receiver

(1) Request ARQIVE-1200 Digital Music Server

(1) Request S4.1200 Digital Music Server

(1) Runco Vivix DHD Video processor

(1) Runco VX-22d Projector

(1) Sharp LC-15B9US 15-In LCD TV

(1) Slim Devices Transporter Network Music Player

(1) Sonance iPort iPod Dock

(1) Sony DVP-NS90V DVD Player

(1) Sony KDL-40XBR 40-In LCD TV

(2) Sony KDL-V32XBR2 32-In LCD TV

(3) Sony KDL-V52XBR3 52-In LCD TV

(1) Sony SLV-N900 VCR

(3) Speakercraft 6.5 DT Speakers

(1) Speakercraft 600 Rox DT Speaker

(1) Speakercraft 8.5 DT Speaker

(3) Speakercraft AIM 7 five In-Ceiling Speaker

(45) Speakercraft AIM 7 Three Speakers

(11) Speakercraft AIM 8 Four Speakers

(2) Speakercraft OE DT6 One Speakers

(4) Speakercraft Wide Coverage Rox Speakers

(1) Stewart Projection Screen

(1) Sunfire Solitaire 12 Subwoofer

(2) Tote Vision LCD-841D Rack Monitors

(3) Triad Custom In-Ceiling Speaker

(1) Triad InRoom Gold PowerSub

(1) Vudu XL Video On-Demand Box

(7) Xantech CB18 Distribution Block

A consolidated view option allows the homeowners to look at various rooms at once so they don’t have to flip through menu pages to get status reports for individual rooms. The consolidation view for heating and cooling, for instance, shows some 40 zones of HVAC by room, detailing set points, temperature and the status of the heating or cooling system in that zone.

The client has a passion for music, and EDG has delivered a multi-tiered multi-room solution to meet the needs of the household. EDG ripped the client’s vast music collection to a Request server which supplies the home’s 23 audio zones. The music tracks were copied in two formats: lossless FLAC for high-quality playback through the home system and compressed MP3s for playback on iPods and other portable music players. iPod docks sprinkled throughout the house are wired into the Crestron multi-room music system allowing family members, and visiting friends, to plug in and listen to favorite playlists from several convenient locations--including the exercise room.

When the client wants the audiophile experience, he heads to the study where a Rotel amplifier powers a pair of full-range B&W Nautilus speakers. The study, along with the theater, are the high-performance zones in the house where top-end audio and video gear deliver no-compromise experiences for listening and viewing.

In the theater, planning began before the walls went up, in accordance with EDG’s philosophy that acoustic treatments installed at the construction phase establish a strong sonic foundation so that audio gear can perform to the max. EDG specified resilient-channel construction during construction to eliminate sound transmission from the space and to make the walls more rigid to reduce vibration. With the understanding that high-end speakers and amplifiers can’t make up for poor acoustic properties, EDG technicians padded the theater’s perimeter with acoustical soffits and installed 2-inch-thick acoustical panels on the walls to maximize the acoustical properties of the room.


Video coverage in the house is extensive. In addition to the DLP projector in the theater, seven LCD TVs serve the home. EDG wired the flat panels into the home’s video distribution system so that any TV can pull up the full menu of video sources, which are centrally racked in an equipment room along with audio and home control equipment. The video menu includes a heavy helping of movie options from Verizon FiOS, DirecTV, Apple TV, online movie service Vudu and the Kaleidescape movie server. More than 1,000 movies are stored on the Kaleidescape, which catalogs the titles by a variety of search functions: title, cover art, actor, director, genre and more.

With 412 lighting loads illuminating the house both inside and out, the Lutron lighting control system plays an indispensable role in the household’s daily routine. Instead of multiple switches on the wall for each light or groups of lights, switches are organized into scene buttons that control multiple lights set to programmed dimming levels.

A keypad at the entrance to each room features the Lutron scene buttons, which allow homeowners to turn on a series of lights with one press. When the client enters the family room, for instance, he taps the top button on the keypad and the lights over the seating area illuminate to 50 percent, the task lighting above the kids’ computers and in the rear bar area hit 80 percent, and accent lights near the fireplace dim to half power. When he leaves, all room lights fade out with a press of the Off button. If he wants to operate lights individually, he goes to the Crestron touchscreen. Control of an 18,000-square-foot space from a 17-inch touchpanel. Now that’s efficient management. 

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