July 07, 2009
by Arlen Schweiger
With three displays in the main portion of this house at 50 inches or larger, even with a 61-inch plasma this pool house didn’t get used much for viewing.
Now, thanks to the help of Southern California-based custom electronics pro Future Home, that’s quite opposite the case. The pool house might be the home’s coolest hangout area—four LCD TVs and a projection screen will do that.
“There was no compelling reason to venture out to the isolated building,” Future Home’s Murray Kunis says of the original pool house layout. “So the homeowner called a meeting to see what could be done to turn this into a destination [and decided], well let’s combine [the] love of sports, movies and sports memorabilia all into one venue.”
The existing fireplace/plasma wall was removed and replaced with a custom wall holding four 52-inch Planar HD LCD panels. Above are three Sonance full-range main speakers and dual sub-woofers below behind the wood grills.
Each panel has its own dedicated HD DVR DirecTV satellite receiver, and using a Crestron video distribution each TV can also independently select the Blu-ray or Kaleidescape movie player. All this, as well as the lights and outside awning (for when the sun is really beating down) are controlled with a wireless 6-inch Crestron panel. For entering and leaving the room a 12-inch panel is mounted in the wall by the entry French doors.
When it’s time for really big-screen movies or sports, a single button automatically turns off all four LCDs, lowers an 8-foot screen and fires up the Runco 3 chip projector. The movie collection, Blu-ray, HD satellite and the Sony PlayStation 3 are all viewable on the Stewart Filmscreen Greyhawk model.
For even more eye candy in this sweet room, numerous signed sports jerseys, baseballs and footballs and other rare sports mementos are all over the place. “The large number of Pittsburgh items are a give away to the owners favorite team,” says Kunis.
One button can also turn everything off in the room when someone leaves, or bring the lights up to comfortable mood setting and then turn off all the lights two minutes later—giving everyone enough time to leave and head back to the main house. “Of course, if anyone is so inclined, the touchpanel also controls the outdoor spa where you can relax after a busy Sunday of cheering your favorite team,” Kunis says.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.