March 28, 2007
| by Steven Castle
You may know Paul Teutul Sr. as the gruff father and hard-driving boss on the TLC’s “American Chopper” reality series, which chronicles the interior workings of Teutul’s family-run custom-motorcycle company, Orange County Choppers. But what happens to the hulking, confrontational biker when he comes home after a hard day in the shop? Let’s just say that a whole-house music system helps soothe his soul.
Teutul’s new post-and-beam-style home features other technologies, too, from satellite radio to security cameras to make him feel at ease. “I was building a new home and wanted a modern look and feel,” says Teutul, who is far more comfortable with motorcycles than he is with electronics.
“He came to me to do the security, and I asked about whole-house audio,” says installer Anthony McGregor of AJM Security in Washingtonville, NY. So a whole-house audio system was installed to deliver sounds to the family room, bedroom, bath and office of the main house, as well as the pool area and a cabana outside. “He’s not too much into the new technologies, but he likes to come home, sit down on the couch and turn on the tube. All the other stuff was a plus.”
McGregor set out to tailor a comprehensive home electronics system with the care that Orange County Choppers attends to its customized bikes. At the heart of the system is a NetStreams DigiLinx whole-house digital audio system that sends signals from a central location to the bedroom, bath and office via high-speed Category 5e networking cable. This Internet Protocol (IP) audio system precludes the need to wire a house with miles of speaker wire, though speaker wire is used in the final phase of getting the audio signals to the speakers. The signals are delivered via Category 5e cabling to NetStreams’ SpeakerLinx consoles in each room, amplified there and delivered via speaker cabling to the in-wall and in-ceiling Polk speakers. Two more SpeakerLinx deliver sound to outside Niles speakers on the porch around the house.
The Polk speakers in the family room flank a 55-inch Fujitsu plasma screen, and there are two speakers set into the back wall. Teutul can call up his favorite ‘60s rock classics via the NetStreams’ in-wall controllers, which are tied to a Polk XM Satellite receiver and ReQuest hard drive media server. The ReQuest media server can be called up via the NetStreams system, or independently in the family room system. There’s also a VideoReQuest system that works with a DVD changer to provide a video library with on-screen operation.
In the backyard, tunes emanate from Niles rock speakers around the pool or from the Niles in-ceiling speakers in the bar, which also has its own Fujitsu plasma screen, Polk XM satellite tuner, and Integra receiver and DVD player.
Operating everything, including a surveillance system, wireless Lutron RadioRA lighting control system, and HAI security system, is MPlus control, which can be operated via a wireless PC tablet. There’s also a universal remote for the audio/video system.
So is Paul Teutul Sr. as hard to work for in his home as he is on TV? Not really, says McGregor. “I am happy about my investment in these systems,” Teutul says. “They are great investments, and they allow me to have hours of enjoyment.”
Systems & Installation
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates