A Classic Mix of Tech and Whimsy
The basement of a vacation home gets a dramatic home theater makeover.
If you wished on a shooting star, you might land a theater like this nine seater. The floor-to-ceiling space utilizes a former storage area in the basement of this vacation nest north of Pittsburgh. It boasts the latest home theater gear, complete with DVD management, satellite radio, big-screen Internet browsing and video gaming. And if you get there at the right time, you might catch that shooting star—as in a fiber-optic-driven comet that zips across the star-studded ceiling.
August 01, 2005 by Rebecca Day

Jeff Braddock, owner of installation firm Tech Homes Inc., credits the homeowners for a vision that brought together the latest electronics, a classic theater design and a touch of whimsy. “They really wanted to be able to launch the comet after guests entered the theater,” he says, “so we put a comet button on the Crestron touchpanel.”

Tech Homes provided the technological wizardry, programming what Braddock calls “seamless switching” between sources. Every input fades into the next over the course of three seconds to create the illusion.

Smooth transitions are also important when content switches between drama, sports, video games and web surfing. One minute the Sony projector might be showing a PowerPoint presentation and the next, a montage of security camera feeds from cameras located throughout the property. “He can pan, tilt and zoom the cameras with the Crestron controller if he wants a better look,” Braddock explains.

An Internet feed is also good for business—both for the homeowner when he wants to telecommute and for Braddock’s custom electronics company. “We can make changes to channel icons or update presets over the Internet,” Braddock says. “That saves a trip to the house.” Just one more reason these homeowners can thank their lucky stars.

A Crestron control system handles the operation of the audio, video, temperature, security and lighting systems from two controllers with menu screens that are simple enough for guests to operate without instruction.

Equipment List

  • Sony Qualia 004 SXRD projector
  • Stewart Filmscreen SND120V screen
  • Speakers
  • Klipsch R-5800-W
  • Klipsch KL-650-THX
  • Klipsch KL-525-THX
  • Klipsch KW-120-THX subwoofer
  • Electronics
  • ReQuest Multimedia VRQ1 digital video controller
  • Mitsubishi HSU-778 VCR
  • DirecTV HR-10-250 HDTV satellite receiver with TiVo
  • Denon DVD-1710 DVD player
  • Crestron C2N-TXM XM satellite radio tuner
  • Dell Optiplex SX280 PC
  • Klipsch KA-1000-THX amplifiers
  • Aragon 3005 amplifiers
  • Other Components
  • Acoustic Innovations theater design
  • Crestron STX-1700CXP 5.7-inch wireless touchpanel
  • Crestron TPS-RFGWX gateway
  • Crestron TPS-5000L 12.1-inch wallmount touchpanel

Systems and Room Design
Tech Homes, Inc.
Powder Springs, GA

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