October 18, 2007
| by EH Staff
Do you love your dedicated home theater but aspire to bring entertainment options to other rooms in your home? It is possible. Here are some stylish, high-tech spaces that will motivate you to come up with ideas for your own home. Just keep an eye on that budget.
Curling Up in the Living Room - View slideshow
You don’t need a dedicated room with formal rows of seats to have a home theater. Any family room will do. And for some, the more casual the seating, the better.
This 50-inch Panasonic plasma HDTV is at the perfect height for viewing movies and HD programming in 1080i resolution. Above the plasma TV and hidden behind the grilles are three small Energy bookshelf speakers for the front channels, while the two Energy surround speakers are on stands in the back. Two Acoustic Energy subwoofers provide the bass from locations on each side of the couch.
“The Acoustic Energy subwoofers have a lot of punch, and that makes up for the small size of the Energy speakers in filling this room with sound,” says Rod Dykstra of design and installation firm Station Earth in Fergus, Ontario.
The only other piece of audio/video gear here is the Rotel DVD player, located below the TV for convenience when inserting a disc. All the other gear needed for audio/video enjoyment, including a Rotel preamplifier and amplifier, is in a rack behind the TV in the adjoining room. The rack slides out, allowing service access to the back of both the components and the TV.
A Vantage/Legrand control system is used to operate systems throughout the house, with an Elan whole-house audio system. In this room, the owners can press entertain on a Vantage keypad when entering the room, and the motorized shades descend, the lights dim, and the TV and audio system come on. If they forget to do that, they can trigger the same effect by pressing watch tv on the Universal Remote Control MX-3000 all-in-one remote.
Playing in the Rec Room - View slideshow
As if a billiards table isn’t enough entertainment in this room, there’s also a 42-inch plasma screen and in-ceiling speakers so players never miss a moment of the big game.
The Samsung plasma screen and a pair of Paradigm speakers don’t provide the sole audio/video entertainment in this space, though. The owner can call up any DVD from a Sony 400-disc DVD player in the adjacent home theater or from one of the other audio/video components. Or he can order up some music from an XM satellite radio tuner or his own computer that serves as a media server on his home network.