July 13, 2010
by Lisa Montgomery
There’s more to do in a pool house than swim. The owners of these two all-season structures can watch movies, listen to music, or just float around the fountains and waterfalls that spill into their heated pools.
There’s no need to carry in a disc or boombox. Each pool house is tied to an audio and video distribution system, which can be accessed and controlled from a single Control4 touchpanel. The panel also lets the owners operate the lights, water features, heating and cooling and security.
For the project pictured most prominently (click here to view additional photos), the custom electronics pros (CE pros) at simpleHome in Westborough, Mass., designed a separate control page for each system. From the main menu on the natatorium screen, the family simply picks a page, like POOL AND SPA, and the appropriate control options appear.
Other pages provide access to two Sony ES 400-disc DVD changers located in the main house and a local iPod docking station. The family can choose a different movie for each of the pool house’s 50-inch plasma TVs or have the same show play on both. Each TV is attached to an articulating wall mount at opposite ends of the building, and is viewable from either the pool or the sitting area.
Hearing music involves sliding an iPod touch or iPhone into a tabletop docking station. Or the family can go to the touchpanel to choose FM, XM or Rhapsody. The tunes are piped to numerous loudspeakers by the swimming pool, in the atrium, and the courtyard between the original house and newly built structure.
The owners of the pool house pictured in the last two slides of the slideshow have plenty of audio/video choices, too, but they took video to the next level by incorporating a projector into the space. There’s no screen; instead, images from the BenQ projector are displayed on a wall. According to CE pro Mike Fallert from The Sound Shop in Colorado Springs, Colo., the cream-colored wall serves well.
“It’s a big enough area to accommodate a 130-inch picture and doesn’t interfere with the interior design like a standalone screen could have.”
An automated pool cover contributes to the viewing experience. The owners only open it to swim—by pressing a button on a Control4 remote, keypad or touchpanel. It usually remains closed to prevent the room from becoming too humid and the projector lens from fogging up.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.