April 19, 2010
by Arlen Schweiger
We’ve always touted how it’s much easier to have a sophisticated technology system installed in your home while the walls are open during construction, if possible. This southern California home underwent a big remodel, but the walls were already set and furnishings had been incorporated by the time the homeowners decided to add A/V.
It wasn’t the easiest job for Anaheim-based Surreal Systems, but the custom electronics pro was able to do what it could with the cabinetry and structure to ensure a smooth A/V upgrade.
“Thankfully it was a single story home, allowing fairly significant access through two different attic openings,” says Surreal Systems president Matt Bernath. “Their entertainment spaces include a great room theater system, kitchen, patio, living room and master bedroom house music, and a master bedroom TV. Everything had to be housed in rack systems and integreated into existing cabinetry.”
The homeowners also are big Apple enthusiasts, so they wanted to make sure the installation would be consistent with their Mac computers and able to distribute music and videos from iPods and Apple TV. Plus other systems like intercom and surveillance would need to be added.
“We chose to specify the NetStreams house music and A/V system to satisfy their desires for an intercom/doorbell and IP camera setup out front, in addition to their need for high-quality audio. With such busy lives, they wanted this system to be easy to use, with lifestyle presets including ‘party’ and ‘everyday’ music modes,” says Bernath. “Additionally, with their travel schedule they like the ability to view the IP camera from anywhere in the world.”
Within the whole-house music and automation system, the family’s favored area is the great room entertainment setup. Surreal managed to stow the electronics components in the cabinetry below the TV, and a URC remote can capably handle all of the commands for A/V, whether it’s Apple TV, DISH Network or Denon Blu-ray viewing, or listening to streamed iPod and Mac music.
“With such an open floor plan, we found that locating the controls in central places allowed full interaction without the expense of a control on every corner,” Bernath says. “The homeowners got exactly what they wanted.” Including a nice 60-inch Pioneer Elite plasma, surrounded by Definitive Technology speakers, to enjoy it all.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.