October 18, 2007
| by EH Staff
He can also use the plasma screen as a computer via a wireless keyboard and see video feeds from cameras around the house. If someone rings the front doorbell while he’s enjoying a game of nine-ball, the telephone emits a distinctive ring, and he can check to see who it is by having the feed displayed on the TV. The telephones also function as an intercom system throughout the house.
All this is possible with a Control4 home control system that uses IP to bring together the operation of audio/video, security and other systems over what is essentially a computer network with high-speed data wiring called Category 5 (the same cabling you use for high-speed Internet access).
Three- and six-button touchpads in the room give the owner control of the lights via the Control4 system, and there are some preset lighting scenes that raise or dim the lights. The Control4 system also integrates the operation of the heating and ventilation system. All systems are operable via a wired Control4 touchscreen.
When it’s time for some drinks, there’s a refrigerator beneath the plasma screen.
No matter what pool players want to do in this room—whether it’s watching the big game or a movie or listening to some music—they can call their own shots.
Retiring to the Bedroom - View slideshow
First it’s an ordinary master bedroom; then it’s a media room. The owner of this luxurious master suite relished the idea of watching TV in bed but didn’t want a bunch of electronic equipment intruding on the room design. With that in mind, the installers at Florida–based Criteria of Naples designed a system that would transform a 61-inch plasma TV into a work of art whenever the owner wasn’t watching a movie or TV program on the screen. A beautiful frame was wrapped around the TV to finish off the look.
On command from a Crestron touchpanel, a painted canvas rolls down from a slim housing within the frame to completely cover the surface of the display. Later, the owner can use the touchpanel to power on the TV and 5.1 surround-sound receiver. From there, he can access his 1,200 DVDs, thanks to an Escient DVDM-300 Media Management system. The DVDM-300 organizes the DVDs into categories and displays them on the screen, taking the trouble out of finding the perfect flick for the evening.
The owner can darken the room without ever leaving the bed by pushing just a couple more buttons on the touch panel. One command lowers a series of motorized shades over the windows; another command fades out the lights. And, if the owner needs to take a bathroom break, there’s a smaller LCD TV in the bathroom that can play the same movie that’s on the bedroom set.
Cooking in the Kitchen - View slideshow
He likes classical music. She likes jazz and blues. So when it’s time to cook up some tunes in their spacious kitchen, these Ontario homeowners enjoy an eclectic electronic stew.
The musical ingredients are sorted by an Elan Via!dj music server located in an equipment rack outside the kitchen. The rack stores the couple’s wide-ranging music collection to a 400-GB hard drive for instant access and organizes his and her titles according to each person’s tastes.
Finding the right stuff is made even easier by the 12.1-inch wireless Vantage/Legrand touchpanel sitting on the countertop. Vantage is known for its lighting control, but the system can control everything, including the Elan whole-house audio system. “The Elan-Vantage combination has been flawless, and the Vantage system is very robust and requires minimal programming,” says John Stumpf of the installation firm Station Earth in Fergus, Ontario. “They wanted control over everything and wanted a simple interface.” An intuitive layout on the touchpanel allows them to access music, control the lighting and perform other functions in their home with ease.