24 Audio Zones, Mirror TV & Loads of Lighting Control
Centralized home control and automation plus boatload of A/V options including dropdown theater screen revitalize 12K-square-foot home.
image
Credit: Dave Raines
May 17, 2013 by Arlen Schweiger

We renovate or remove outdated features in homes all the time: cabinetry, wallpaper, carpeting, wood paneling, vanities and much more. Thanks to sleek flat-panel TVs, we’ve seen electronics facelifts become common over the last decade as well, saying good-bye to many a big-box television among the old eyesores that get tossed aside. This home didn’t necessarily fall into the category of outdated furnishings, but the once-state-of-the-art electronics were in need of a big makeover.

Part of that reasoning is because the house itself is big—very big, like 12,000 square feet. And yet when it was originally infused with some high tech, the installation was decidedly incomplete and only gave the owners a taste of what should have been possible. Fast-forward a decade, and discussions with a different custom electronics pro shed light on the glaring omissions as well as the inadequacies of what was originally installed, and plans for a complete overhaul were under way.

As the electronics renovation continued, the powerful possibilities of a fully integrated whole-home technology system—and all of the sub-systems it tied together—became clear to the homeowners and now they can’t get enough. “Once it was all done, they loved it,” says Dave Raines, president of Harrison, N.Y.-based Osbee Industries, which tackled the project in two main stages. “After that we kept coming back for little projects, and it just grew from there.”

It would be tough not to want to continue adding to the systems that Osbee installed. When Osbee began the project, the biggest challenge, according to Raines, was persuading the homeowners to have their 10-year-old stand-alone Crestron audio system pulled out. Now, with everything centralized under the auspices of a full-blown Crestron automation system and its common user interface, having more pieces of electronics in their home now has actually made for much simpler operations than the disparate systems that were previously there. Benefits show in the aesthetics too—just look at how uncluttered the rooms are, with only a TV, a couple of architectural speakers and a touchpanel and keypad present.

Osbee went through and centralized the A/V first, where previously the Crestron audio system was in about half the rooms while local equipment fed the rooms that housed the six TVs. By the time Osbee finished its work with a Crestron DigitalMedia system, there were double the amount of video displays and they were connected to nine shared, centralized sources such as high-def cable DVR boxes, Blu-ray, Netflix and more. That includes a dedicated theater room, where the four teenaged children do most of their viewing and where they can choose between the wall-mounted plasma TV for more casual watching or a motorized dropdown Da-Lite projection screen/JVC projector combo for some serious entertainment nights. Other video zones include the living room, basement, playroom, library, bedrooms and a golf simulation room.

“They liked what they saw about sharing sources, so we added more and more TVs to the DigitalMedia system,” says Raines. Choosing sources is as easy as tapping on a Crestron touchpanel, selecting whatever room they’re in and then selecting the desired source for a movie or TV show. “Every kid, and each parent, has his own cable box so they can hit their name and play whatever is recorded on their own box.”

(View images of this award-winning home here)

Seven in-wall and four wireless touchpanels throughout the house are at the ready for commanding A/V, among other sub-systems, plus the family can also use any of six ML-600 remotes. Raines kept the operations as simplified as possible, mainly going with more “regional” coverage for the touchpanels scattered in various common areas (where they can control that specific room and some adjacent zones) plus one “master” control panel in the kitchen that offers access and control to basically everything. “Each room there’s some remote for the TV, but we try not to rely on the TV remote for being the lighting controller, so there’s always a keypad on the wall for when they walk into a room,” explains Raines.

System Design & Installation
Osbee Industries, Harrison, N.Y.
www.osbee.com
Builder
Hobbs Construction, New Canaan, CT
www.hobbsinc.com
Contractor
White Electric, White Plains, N.Y.
www.whiteelectricinc.com
Find an Installer
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who provide home theater systems,
lighting, home automation, A/V
and more! Locate an installer today!

Along with the video distribution, Osbee established 24 audio zones—19 indoors and five more outdoors, which pool from seven audio-only sources such as iPod docks, Apple TV, Sirius XM satellite radio and Pandora streaming. The audio system will also be interrupted by a “ding-dong” that plays in select zones throughout the house when someone drives past the driveway sensor; the audio will pause as the chime plays (surveillance video, meanwhile, can be viewed on TVs, touchpanels and web browsers). The A/V is run from gear that packs two of the three equipment racks located in the basement. After the successful first phase of the project that included the video, audio and the surveillance system—surprisingly for a home this big there wasn’t one prior—Osbee turned its attention to integrating control of lighting, motorized shades and HVAC … as well as a stealth 65-inch mirror TV (see sidebar). These comprehensive sub-systems incorporated 178 loads of lighting, 24 dimming modules, 50 Crestron Cameo keypads, 48 Cameo in-wall wireless dimmers, 10 motorized shades and 14 thermostats with nine remote temperature and humidity sensors.

Avid art collectors, these homeowners were attracted to the idea of a lighting control system the more they discussed it with Raines. Between the simplicity of the controls, the removal of wall switches and the ability to highlight particular areas, it was a no-brainer.
But rather than programming a boatload of preset lighting “scenes” that incorporate dimming or turning on and off certain lights to produce different ambiances, Osbee kept things simple and let the actual lights do the work. There are standard “welcome” and “goodbye” scenes that will turn on or off a majority of the home’s lights with one button press, but “we tried not to overdo it,” Raines notes.

“We tried to make things easy and seamless, so that they don’t have scenes they have to think about. When they walk into the living room and press ‘living room’ it’s done, it’s beautiful. There’s no ‘artwork mode’ or anything like that,” he adds. “We didn’t do so much dimming, but more proper lighting design to find out what the lighting levels are and get matching bulbs with the same color temperature.” Mixing wattages (35, 60, 70, etc.) of color temperature-matched bulbs for the various lights around a room, Raines suggests, instead of mixing bulbs that might change from pure white to yellow or orange when dimmed will still produce the desired effect. Now imagine that throughout this 12,000-square-foot home, and we’d call that an upgrade with impact.


Putting It to Use
Formal living rooms often get a bad rap. They’re so, well, formal who wants to just lounge in them? These homeowners had no idea what to do with theirs to make it more of an attractive destination, so they asked their custom electronics pro, Osbee Industries, how to spruce it up. “They told me, ‘We never use it, what should we do with it? Should we put a TV in there?’ I told them there were too many other TVs, and ‘The only way I’ll let you do a TV is if you do a mirror TV,’” says Osbee president Dave Raines. “That got the whole interior design of the room started, bringing lighter colors in, better seating.” So as clean as Osbee made the TV installations in the other rooms, the company actually took it a step further in here, putting in a custom-recessed 74-by-50-inch mirror from Seura that houses a 65-inch LCD. The screen only appears when the set is powered on, so it otherwise maintains the room’s relatively formal aesthetics—though the sofas certainly look comfy enough for lounging.

See Also:
10 A/V and Automation Terms You Need to Know
How to Plan Your Home Tech Makeover
9 Things to Consider in a Home Control System

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

Systems and Equipment

Control: Crestron
Lighting & Shades: Crestron
Displays: NuVision, Sharp, Seura
Projection Screen: Da-Lite
Projector: JVC
Speakers: Sonance, Niles
CCTV Cameras: Channel Vision
TV Mounts: Peerless
Phone System: Panasonic

Full Equipment List

2 3M Silicone Lubricant 13.25 oz.
1 Altronix AX-ALTV2416 Power Supply 16-Channel 24VAC CCTV Power Supply
1 Apple Apple TV Streaming Digital Video Player
1 Arlington LV3 3-Gang Low-Voltage Bracket
4 AudioControl Audio Control Architect 1160 16 Channel X 60 Watt Class H Amplifier 60 Watt/Ch, 16-Channel, Class H Power Amplifier
1 Bosch DHR-1600-050A
2 Carol Cable 12 AWG 3C SJOOW Power Cable 250 ft.
2 Carol Cable 14 AWG 3C SJOOW Power Cable 250 ft.
3 Channel Vision 6103 Dome Camera
1 Channel Vision DP-0232P Antique Brass Doorphone for Panasonic KSU
4 Cisco Aironet 1130AG Wireless Access Points
1 Cisco RV042 4-Port VPN Router
1 Crestron AV2 CRESTRON 2-SERIES PROCESSOR
2 Crestron C2ENET-1 CRESTRON ETHERNET CARD
3 Crestron CNX-BIPAD8 CRESTRON AUDIO DISTRIBUTION PROCESSOR
1 Crestron DM-MD16X16 CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA SWITCHER, 16X16
7 Crestron DMC-HD-DSP CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA HDMI INPUT CARD WITH DSP
2 Crestron DMC-VID-RCA-A CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA COMPONENT INPUT CARD
1 Crestron DMC-VID4 CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA COMPOSITE INPUT CARD, 4 PORT
2 Crestron DMCO-2222 CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA OUTPUT CARD, 8 DM COPPER OUTPUTS
1 Crestron C2N-IVDS24X24 CRESTRON INTERCOM VIDEO DISTRIBUTION SWITCHER
1 Crestron CEN-TRACK-AMFMXM CRESTRON TUNER RACK WITH AM/FM/XM RADIO TUNERS
2 Crestron C2N-SPWS300 CRESTRON 300-WATT CRESNET POWER SUPPLY
5 Crestron CAEN-4X1 CRESTRON 4 MODULE AUTOMATION ENCLOSURE
14 Crestron C2N-HBLOCK CRESTRON CRESNET DISTRIBUTION BLOCK
2 Crestron CEN-UPS1250 CRESTRON 1250 WATT UPS
1 Crestron TPMC-12W CRESTRON 12” TILT TOUCHPANEL, WHITE
5 Crestron TPS-6LW CRESTRON 5.7” WALL TOUCHPANEL, WHITE
1 Crestron CT-1000 CRESTRON 3.8” WALL TOUCHPANEL
2 Crestron C2N-DB12 CRESTRON 12-BUTTON KEYPAD
1 Crestron CNX-B12 CRESTRON 12-BUTTON KEYPAD
4 Crestron TPS-6X CRESTRON 5.7” WIRELESS TOUCH PANEL
2 Crestron CEN-HPRFGW CRESTRON HIGH-POWER WIRELESS GATEWAY
7 Crestron ML-600 CRESTRON HANDHELD REMOTE
4 Crestron CNRFGWA-418 CRESTRON 418MHZ RF RECEIVER
11 Crestron DM-RMC-100 CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA RECEIVER & ROOM CONTROLLER
5 Crestron DM-DR CRESTRON DIGITAL MEDIA REPEATERS
1 Crestron CNX-PBVR4 CRESTRON 4-PORT BALANCED VIDEO RECEIVER
1 Crestron CNX-PBAR4 CRESTRON 4-PORT BALANCED AUDIO RECEIVER
2 Crestron CEN-IDOCV CRESTRON TABLE-TOP IPOD INTERFACE
2 Crestron CEN-IDOCV-DSW CRESTRON WALL-MOUNT IPOD INTERFACE
1 Crestron CEN-SW-POE-5 CRESTRON 5-PORT POWER-OVER-ETHERNET SWITCH
1 Crestron PAC2 CRESTRON LIGHTING PROCESSOR
6 Crestron CAEN-BLOCK CRESTRON CRESNET AUTOMATION DISTRIBUTION BLOCK
2 Crestron CEN-RFGW-EX CRESTRON INFINET EX WIRELESS GATEWAY
29 Crestron C2N-CBD-W-T CRESTRON CAMEO KEYPAD, WHITE
16 Crestron C2N-CBD-A-T CRESTRON CAMEO KEYPAD, ALMOND
2 Crestron C2N-CBD-B-T CRESTRON CAMEO KEYPAD, BLACK
1 Crestron C2N-CBD-DSK-T CRESTRON CAMEO KEYPAD, DUSK
2 Crestron C2N-CBD-LAT-T CRESTRON CAMEO KEYPAD, LATTE
9 Crestron B-G1-FPW CRESTRON SINGLE-GANG FACEPLATE, WHITE
1 Crestron CLW-DIMEX-P-GRY-S CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS DIMMER, GRAY
29 Crestron CLW-DIMEX-P-W-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS DIMMER, WHITE
1 Crestron CLW-DIMEX-P-B-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS DIMMER, BLACK
2 Crestron CLW-DIMEX-P-DSK-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS DIMMER, DUSK
1 Crestron CLW-DIMEX-P-LAT-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS DIMMER, LATTE
1 Crestron CLW-SWEX-P-GRY-S CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS SWITCH, GRAY
6 Crestron CLW-SWEX-P-W-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS SWITCH, WHITE
1 Crestron CLW-SWEX-P-DSK-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS SWITCH, DUSK
2 Crestron CLW-DIMEX-P-A-T CRESTRON CAMEO WIRELESS SWITCH, ALMOND
1 Crestron CLW-SW1W-S CRESTRON IN-WALL SWITCH, WHITE
16 Crestron CLX-2DIM8 CRESTRON DIMMING MODULE, 2-FEED, 8-OUTPUT
2 Crestron CLX-1MC4 CRESTRON MOTOR CONTROL MODULE, 1-FEED, 4-OUTPUT
2 Crestron CLX-4HSW4 CRESTRON SWITCHING MODULE, 4-FEED, 4-OUTPUT
1 Crestron CLX-1DIM4 CRESTRON DIMMING MODULE, 1-FEED, 4-OUTPUT
2 Crestron CLX-1DELV4 CRESTRON ELV DIMMING MODULE, 1-FEED, 4-OUTPUT
1 Crestron CLX-1DIM8 CRESTRON DIMMING MODULE, 1-FEED, 8-OUTPUT
16 Crestron CLT-2DIM8 CRESTRON TERMINAL RAIL FOR CLX-2DIM8
2 Crestron CLT-1MC4 CRESTRON TERMINAL RAIL FOR CLX-1MC4
2 Crestron CLT-4HSW4 CRESTRON TERMINAL RAIL FOR CLX-4HSW4
1 Crestron CLT-1DIM4 CRESTRON TERMINAL RAIL FOR CLX-1DIM4
2 Crestron CLT-1DELV4 CRESTRON TERMINAL RAIL FOR CLX-1DELV4
1 Crestron CLT-1DIM8 CRESTRON TERMINAL RAIL FOR CLX-1DIM8
5 Crestron CAEN-7X1 CRESTRON 7 MODULE AUTOMATION ENCLOSURE
12 Crestron CHV-TSTATW CRESTRON THERMOSTAT, WHITE
2 Crestron CHV-THSTATW CRESTRON THERMOSTAT WITH HUMIDITY, WHITE
9 Crestron CHV-RTHS CRESTRON REMOTE TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY SENSOR
2 Monster 50’ HDMI Cable 700 Series
3 Monster HT800 Surge Protector
10 Monster HTFS-IW HC In-Wall Surge Protector
1 Monster HTS-5100 MKII Surge Protector
2 Monster S14-2-CL EZ500 14/2 speaker wire
7 Monster S14-4-CL EZ500 14/4 speaker wire
6 Muxlab 500001 Component Video over CAT-5 Baluns
1 Niles DBI-1 Doorbell Interface
2 Niles OS-5.3 Outdoor Speakers
4 Niles RS-6, Granite Rock Speakers
1 Nintendo Wii component cables
1 Nintendo Wireless Wii sensor bar
1 NuVision NVU37L 37” High-Definition LED-Edge-Lit LCD
3 NuVision NVU55FX5LS 55” High-Definition LED-Edge-Lit LCD
1 NuVision NVU65FX5 65” High-Definition LED-Edge-Lit LCD
2 Panasonic 2 Channel DECT 6.0 Cell 2-Channel DECT6.0 Cell Station
1 Panasonic KX-A236 Phone System Power Supply
1 Panasonic KX-DT321 Digital Phone
2 Panasonic KX-DT343 Digital Phone
6 Panasonic KX-DT346 Digital Phone
6 Panasonic KX-DT346-B Digital Phone
8 Panasonic KX-TD7685 Cordless Phones
1 Panasonic KX-TDA50G Phone System
1 Panasonic KX-TDA5161 4-Port Doorphone Card
2 Panasonic KX-TDA5172 8-Port Digital Extension Card
1 Panasonic KX-TDA5480 CTI Communication Card
1 Peerless PRG-1 with Adaptor Plate for JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Bracket
3 Peerless SF660P Flat TV Wall Mount Bracket
6 Peerless SF680P Flat TV Wall Mount Bracket
1 Peerless SP850-UNLP Articulating Arm Wall Mount Bracket
2 Peerless SUF660P Ultra-Flat TV Wall Mount Bracket
1 Pioneer Elite Pioneer Elite BDP-05FD
1 Pixel Pixel AFHD-4 AM/FM Antenna AM/FM Antenna
1 Pixel Pixel PRO-500 Satellite Radio Antenna Kit Satellite Radio Antenna
1 Samsung 19” LCD
1 Samsung BD-D6700 Blu-Ray player
1 Sandisk Ultra 2GB Compact Flash Card
1 Sennheiser RS180 Wireless Head Phones
1 Seura 74” (W) x 50” (H) Custom Recessed TV Mirror with 65” LCD
2 Sharp 40” LCD 1080p
1 Sharp LC-52E77UN
2 Sonance PAIR Cinema Select SUR In-Wall Loudspeakers
2 Sonance PAIR Cinema Ultra 2 Surround
2 Sonance PAIR RK83 Rock Speakers, Granite
1 Sonance PAIR XT
3 Sonance Ultra II LCR In-Wall Loudspeakers (Front Left, Center, Front Right)
1 Sonance VP85
1 Techflex 1-1/4” Expandable Sleeving 25 ft. White
1 Techflex 3/4” Expandable Sleeving 25 ft. White
2 Universal Remote Universal Remote MRF-350
2 Universal Remote Universal Remote MX-850
1 Vudu VUDU XL
30 Wattgate 320i-BLK IEC Connector Black
200’ 12-2 Wire
1 18/2 Non-Plenum Spools
4 18/8 UNS SOL PLNM T-STAT
1 BR1
10 Cable Tie Adhesive Mount 10 Pcs.
10 Cable Tie Adhesive Mount 10 Pcs.
3 Cable Tie Screw Mount 10 Pcs.
3 Cable Tie Screw Mount 10 Pcs.
20 Cable Ties 14-1/2” Black 100 Pcs.
20 Cable Ties 14-1/2” Black 100 Pcs.
20 Cable Ties 4” Black 100 Pcs.
20 Cable Ties 4” Black 100 Pcs.
30 Cable Ties 8-1/2” Black 100 Pcs.
30 Cable Ties 8-1/2” Black 100 Pcs.
10 Clear Glue Stick 10”
10 Clear Glue Stick 10”
1 DA-CF-2048-R 2GB CompactFlash
1 Dolphin DC-1000P Super B Connector 1000 Pcs. Box
1 GK4
4 RG-59 500’
1500’ RG6
6 66 Blocks with brackets


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