$3,000 System Helps Stretch Homeowners’ A/V Dollars
One CE pro shows how sharing components for a system that supports more than one room can enhance your budget, and entertainment.
Maximize your dollars with components that can be shared between rooms, like Sony’s megachanger disc player.
August 20, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery

We always like to hear about homes that have been automated from top to bottom. While interesting and inspiring, that level of integration is nothing but a pipe dream for most folks. Focusing your technology attentions on a single room is usually the most economical game plan, says Jay Cobb, president of Hi-Tech Home in Clovis, Calif.

For less than $9,000, he and his team outfitted Nick and Corey Ferri’s master suite with sophisticated entertainment system that expanded to automate the home’s lights, thermostats, security system and other electronic devices. For now, the homeowners are content with strictly A/V, which includes a 50-inch Panasonic plasma TV, five Proficient speakers, a TruAudio subwoofer and a Control4 handheld remote control.

While this arrangement is impressive enough, the two pieces that really make this bedroom theater sizzle are a Control4 home theater controller and a Sony 400-disc DVD player. Together, the two devices give the homeowners more entertainment options than their local Cineplex. The Control4 unit displays the titles of their entire 400-disc library directly on the screen of the Panasonic TV. Using a Control4 remote, the owners can click on their choice and the video is instantly delivered.

The additional $3,000 that the homeowners spent to add the Sony player and Control4 controller to the arrangement (making the total cost of the bedroom technology closer to $11,000), wasn’t too hard to swallow, given that those devices would be shared with the 67-inch TV and 7.1 surround-sound system in the great room ($10,000). With the same click-on-a-movie ease as performed in the master bedroom, the owners can select a movie to play in the great room, which is where the Sony DVD player is located.

Enabling video resources, like the Sony megachanger, to share content with two or more rooms is a good way to maximize your entertainment dollar, says Cobb. But access is only one aspect of setting up a stellar bedroom system.

Here are a few other words of advice from Cobb on best master bedroom tech:

  • This is one room where a plasma TV can work really well. The TV will be watched mainly at night, so you won’t have to worry about seeing a glare that can sometimes occur on a plasma screen.
  • The bedroom is one place where mounting a display high—like over a fireplace mantle—is advisable. When you’re lying in bed, your eyes naturally project higher on the wall than if you’re in sitting on the family room couch.
  • Access to equipment in other rooms is handy, but make sure to outfit the bedroom with its own DVD player—just in case you’d like to pop in a disc you rented or bought.
  • Speaker placement, particularly the rear speakers, can be tough in a bedroom. With the combination of crown molding and having the bed against the wall, look for aimable in-ceiling speakers that can be pivoted to project the sound slightly behind the listening area.
  • Hide that DVD player and other local equipment in a cabinet or closet. It’ll keep your bedroom looking like a bedroom.

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

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