September 18, 2009
by Arlen Schweiger
This 36th-floor apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side boasts breathtaking views in all four directions—who would want to clutter that up with a bunch of TV screens?
Exactly. But the owner does have an A/V bug and wanted to fully automate his bachelor pad ... he just needed to make sure his custom electronics pro could hide as much as possible.
Henry Daas of New York-based Flatiron AV & Computers explains how the company pulled off the feat, starting with the placement of the equipment. The end result is a spectacular mix of A/V and automation, highlighted by dropdown projector, projection screen and HDTV.
“Our first critical decision was the location of the head end,” says Daas. “Although the apartment is spacious by New York standards, closets are always at a premium. We opted for a wall cutout in the living room so the front of the Middle Atlantic rack would be exposed while allowing access to the rear of the equipment through a closet. The loss of precious closet space was kept to a minimum.”
After that was decided, it was on to the displays in the living room and master bedroom. No one wanted to interrupt those views, and that’s where the fun really began.
“We opted for a Vutec motorized screen and Lift-Tech projector lift in the living room and a Lift-Tech ceiling plasma lift with extension in the master,” explains Daas. Lift-Tech was also used for its motorized projector mount, which lowers and raises a Sony VSX-2000 projector into the ceiling.
For unobtrusive but effective audio to go with the creative video solutions, Flatiron incorporated SpeakerCraft Time speakers in both locations to achieve excellent sound without interrupting any sight lines.
One last bit of trickery—a single cable box and DVD serve as video sources for all the displays, so there’s even fewer black boxes. Flatiron utilized a Sony Component matrix switch to accommodate this request of the homeowner.
There are 11 speakers total –- (5) SpeakerCraft Time 3, (4) James Loudspeaker CS62 surrounds and (2) Sonance in Ceiling subwoofers with amplifier; all are ceiling mounted. The electronics include Parasound; the Classic 7100 w/ HDMI switch matched with the Classic 5125 and Zamp (for surrounds). And lastly, control for this stealthy setup comes via a Control4 HC-500 and Control4 10.5-inch Wi-Fi touchpanel.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.