May 03, 2010
by Steven Castle
The ponies have their own music, 24/7. It could be pop music, classical or even talk radio.
They also have their own security system. Cameras inside and outside of their barn are visible on touchscreens and TVs in the main house. And when their gate is opened, a voice prompt over the security system alerts the homeowners.
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“They wanted to do something really nice outdoors. Then we found out they wanted to have pony barn out there,” says Netzer Martinez of Sixth Avenue Electronics, the installation firm for this northern New Jersey project.
“They wanted to make sure ponies had music,” Martinez says of the homeowners. Apparently, the two Shetland ponies, Summer and Autumn, like company. The family also wanted to option of what the ponies would listen to.
So the ponies have their own independent audio zone, one of three that is outside of this home, delivering a constant stream of an FM station. (We just hope they don’t really have to endure talk radio.)
The other two zones cover the pool/patio area and the cabana, which features a 50-inch Panasonic plasma TV.
The cabana is enclosed with glass doors, making it a four-season entertainment retreat. There are no independent speakers in the cabana, however. The family just uses the audio from the TV. Though if they’re watching a baseball or football game, they can route that audio to several hidden speakers in the pool and patio area.
The ponies, however, don’t have to listen to the big game if they don’t want to. They have their music. (We hope.)
The pool and patio area get their sound from Rockustics OmniPlanter and Rock series speakers that—you guessed it—are designed to look like flower planters and rocks. The two pairs of Planter speakers fire their sound downward and out of ports on their bottoms, while flowers bloom merrily on top. One pair is on the patio, while assorted Rock speakers surround the pool, spa and waterfall area.
All of this audio comes from an Elan System12 multizone audio system, with the homeowner’s music collection is stored on an Elan VIA!dj hard-drive-based system. Elan also provides control with a 4-inch N800 touchpanel remote outside and touchpanels in the house.
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