When one theater won’t suffice, put in two or even three. That was the thinking behind the design of a 10,000+-square-foot home in Winter Park, Fla. The homeowners frequently host more than 100 guests at a time, so they needed big entertainment areas, and lots of them, says Curtis LeMaster from home systems integration firm Control Designer in Orlando, Fla.
The house features a dedicated theater, as well as a music room and a game room. There’s a 60-inch flat-panel and surround-sound system in the family room and plenty of speakers around the pool and patios. LeMaster and his team craftsmen and technicians were charged with designing and installing the electronics gear for every area, an extensive project that took four years to complete.
Each area was designed for a particular purpose, which is a departure from the more common request for a multipurpose entertainment room. The music room, for example, was built as a venue for live bands. There’s a stage, commercial-grade speakers and lighting, outlets for amps, a dance floor and plenty of nightclub-style seating for guests. Just in case the partygoers would rather watch a ballgame or a movie, a Panasonic projector and 110-inch motorized Stewart Filmscreen screen were added. A bank of glass doors can be pushed aside to permit people on the patio to also see the show.
Multi-screen sports viewing and game playing (video games as well as foosball and cards) was the plan for the game room. A video wall comprised of one 52-inch Sony TV and three 40-inch Sonys, can display four different ballgames simultaneously. A 5.1 surround-sound system broadcasts audio from the largest screen only; however, viewers can pulls a program (and audio) from one of the smaller TVs onto the larger one by touching the SWAP button on an AMX touchpanel.
When movie viewing is on the agenda, guests can stroll over to the dedicated theater, where a 110-inch Stewart Filmscreen screen, JVC projector and an all-digital Meridian 7.1 system present the show. Acoustic paneling and short wiring runs from a dedicated Blu-ray player were used to help ensure that the audio and video quality is always top-notch.
Another popular spot for partygoers are two patios. Here, they can relax to music provided by several outdoor speakers or watch something on the two 40-inch Sony situated by the summer kitchen. The covered patio features four pairs of in-ceiling Bay Audio speakers, and the swimming pool gets its sound from a combination of Rockustics rock speakers in the landscape, Niles Audio planter speakers, and Rockustics speakers suspended from a palm tree.
Although the various entertainment areas differ in functionality, they can all pull from the same rack of audio and video components. A sophisticated Vaux A/V switching system permits signals from multiple sources, including a Samsung Blu-ray player, Audio ReQuest CD management system, NuVo AM/FM/XM tuner, Apple TV box, and six high-def cable receivers, to travel throughout the property.
Users tell the system what they want and where they want it to go via the screen of an AMX touchpanel. Each entertainment area has its own touchpanel; however, Control Designer programmed the control menus on all of the panels to look identical. “This makes the system easier for everyone to learn and operate,” LeMaster explains.
Simplicity was essential, not only for operating the audio and video equipment, but the entire house. Also controllable from the AMX touchpanels are thermostats, lighting (including colored LED fixtures), pool and spa equipment, a security system, surveillance cameras, intercom communications, several Lutron motorized window treatments, and electric patio screens.
Click here to view photos of some individual rooms.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.