Home of the Year Awards
Game On! 3 TVs Fill Wall with Sports & Blu-rays
Surreal Systems outfitted this small dining room space with a trio of high-definition viewing options, as well as full control over the owner's vast iTunes collection.
FINALIST: Best Fun Room
July 13, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger

Whether you’re constructing a home or buying an existing one, if you want extensive A/V systems in there you should make sure everything’s taken care of before you move in. The hassle will be out of the way, and you can start enjoying your systems the day you move in.

That was a priority of the owner of this home. Once he bought it, he knew he wanted a serious setup for his sports and movie viewing, and music listening. He turned to custom electronics pro Surreal Systems to have his system ready and waiting for when he settled in.

“The home he purchased was already complete, but prewired for only very basic services,” says Surreal’s Matt Bernath. “During the design phase the client mentioned that he wanted a dedicated ‘game’ room, where three TVs would serve content from dedicated DirecTV tuners, with the 60-inch plasma capable of playing video games, Blu-ray with Netflix Downloads, and Karaoke as well.”

A Pioneer plasma serves as the main display, while Samsung 37-inchers flank it, and Samsung also provides the Blu-ray player with convenient Netflix streaming. But that menu of requests posed challenges to Surreal Systems in the way of retrofitting all this cable and electrical into such a small room (it’s the dining area), while also designing the audio and video to function to its optimum potential in that room size.

“It was necessary to add a dedicated electrical circuit, in addition to running a satellite distribution network well above what was already in the home,” Bernath says. “Additionally, we had to source a hard drive-based Karoake player and wireless mic setup that would ‘play well’ with our other integration-friendly components.”

Another requirement was that the system needed to integrate with the homeowner’s several-thousand song iPod music collection. Surreal went with Universal Remote Control’s MX6000 and PSX1 products to accomplish this task, allowing him to operate the iPod from anywhere in the home, with full metadata and control.

“We tied into the house music speakers for additional entertainment beyond this room,” Bernath says. “We programmed the remote to seamlessly operate all components, which was particularly challenging to simplify the control of three separate TV systems.”

Taking the homeowner’s inquiries on how to maximize the space in the small room, Surreal recommend the closet A/V rack and in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, which come in the form of Definitive Technology models.

Big music and big TV options for big game days—and a bit of A/V envy. “There’s no doubt he got want he asked for and more,” Bernath says. “And now we’re starting work on another similar room for a sports buddy of his.”

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

Installer/Equipment List

Systems Design & Installation
Surreal Systems
Anaheim, CA

Equipment List
APC H10BLK Power Conditioner
Definitive Technology Mythos 8 Speaker
Def Tech UIW RSSIII In-ceiling speakers (2)
Def Tech UIW RLSII In-wall Speakers (2)
DirecTV H21 HD Receivers (2)
DLink Ethernet Switch DES1108
Middle Atlantic CLSCool Closet Fan System
Middle Atlantic Free Standing Rack System
Peerless ST640 TV Mounts
Peerless ST680 TV Mount
Pioneer PDP6020FD 60” Plasma TV
Samsung BDP2500 Blu-ray Player
Samsung LN37###0 37” LCD TVs (2)
MRF350 and MX6000 Universal Remote Control System
Universal Remote PSX1 iPod Dock
Universal Remote Lighting Dimmer
Denon AVR2309CI AV receiver

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