The system goes one step further, automating the lights and music to each person’s personal preference when he or she comes home. When he pulls up to the gate, his classical music comes on in the kitchen and lights are lit if it’s dusk. When she arrives home and her garage door opens, Miles Davis or John Coltrane fills the kitchen.
The music is piped in through five Elan in-ceiling speakers. Two pairs are flush mounted over the kitchen’s work and sink areas, and a single speaker is centered over the breakfast nook. This dual voice-coil speaker, as it is called, contains two tweeters that play on separate channels, so it sounds like two speakers.
When the couple wants to watch TV, a 23-inch Sony high-definition LCD is available. It is cantilevered on an arm, so it can swing out and face the eating area. The TV speakers can be used, or sound can come through the five in-ceiling speakers. And instead of scrolling through hundreds of stations, icons to change to the couple’s favorites are a touch away on the Vantage screen.
Below the TV is perhaps the most important piece of equipment: a cappuccino machine. In the future, a wine-management system called eSommelier will enable the couple to view the inventory of their extensive wine cellar on the Vantage touchscreen.
Soaking in the Spa - View slideshow
What happens when the owner of this elegant bath enters his relaxing escape? Certainly, bathing and shaving and the like. But there’s much more. By putting a finger to the AMX 7-inch in-wall touchscreen, he can access his large collection of eclectic music that’s stored on his iPod, call up a TV station on the bath’s 26-inch LCD screen, or watch a show recorded on a DVR (digital video recorder) system.
The iTunes music from the owner’s iPod is routed to the luxurious bath from an iPort system in another part of the house. The owner simply docks his iPod there, and the music is available via the AMX home control system.
The music comes into the bathroom through two 6.5-inch Boston Acoustics in-ceiling speakers. When the TV is turned on, that audio is automatically routed through the speakers instead. The two speakers provide plenty of audio for this bath space.
The 26-inch LG LCD HDTV has a 720p resolution and is located on the wall opposite the mirror. The owner can turn on the news in the morning and see it in the mirror. Alternatively, the LCD can be turned 190 degrees so it can be viewed from the stylish tub, which is actually inside a turret with windows overlooking California’s Santa Monica canyon.
The owner can access TV programs recorded in other areas of the house, thanks to a TiVo-like housewide DVR system. And the AMX touchpanel can display views from three surveillance cameras. The owner can see what’s happening around his property without ever leaving the comfort and seclusion of the master bath.
The DVD player and other sources are located in a closet in the great room, which helps keep the bathroom clear of electronic clutter.
Taking it Outside - View slideshow
In La Quinta, CA, golf is a way of life. To hone his putting skills and give his kids a chance to pick up the sport, the owner and his wife had their own green installed. But there’s more to do than swing a club in this outdoor living space. Beneath an enormous covered patio are a dining area, a barbeque setup loaded with top-notch appliances, and a media area featuring a 40-inch Sony 1080p LCD TV. The display is tucked into cabinetry and mounted on a pull-out swivel bracket on the wall above the fireplace. Four ceiling-mounted Bay Audio speakers accompany it.
The family can pick from an assortment of video components that are installed in a rack inside the house. By pressing buttons on a portable AMX Modero touchpanel or an AMX MIO DMS keypad, the owners can cue up programs on high-def cable, movies stored on an Xperinet media server or film from a standard DVD player. The choices are displayed on both the screen of the touchpanel and the TV. The RNX design and installation team categorized the movies to make it easier for the family to find a particular flick. Music is an option, too, as an Audio Design Associates A/V distribution system pipes tunes into the space from an Apple iPod, laptop computer, music server or AM/FM tuner. Whether the entertainment comes in the form of a movie or a song, the audio signals can be distributed to every speaker in the backyard, including Sonance landscape rock-style speakers positioned around the swimming pool and putting green. Music and movies are important to the enjoyment of this outdoor living space, but so is convenience. RNX
Follow Electronic House