Imagine this for a winter vacation: You ski in Aspen all day, then return to your luxurious mountain house to rest your weary muscles. And you head right for the bedroom. Ahh, such a soft sanctuary. But you don’t sleep—at least not yet.
You listen to some of your favorite music as you and your honey soak in the bath’s Jacuzzi tub. The tunes float over the water from four in-wall speakers tied to an AudioReQuest hard drive music server, or perhaps a favorite channel from the XM Satellite Radio, both located elsewhere in the house. “It sounds really good in there,” says David Raife, president of electronics company Paragon Technology Group. You can even watch TV on a 23-inch LCD screen that articulates on an arm near the vanity.
Once you’re done soaking, it may be time to review the highlights from your day of skiing. The homeowners are avid skiers and like to videotape themselves during the day, then use a docking station to plug the camcorder into the 50-inch Runco plasma screen and see how well their skis turned.
Ready to view something other than the day’s fun? A touch of a Crestron wireless controller can bring up an easy-to-use menu of DVD covers on the plasma screen. The movies are stored on a Kaleidescape video server system. The DVDs can be arranged by genre, actors, directors—and all of these at the same time. The movie fires up on the high-definition Runco screen, and surround sound emanates from the B&W front speakers and two in-ceiling SpeakerCraft units. You can even catch a little rumble from a Velodyne subwoofer tucked under the bed.
Some 1,100 DVDs and 1,200 CDs are available to enjoy in this bedroom at the touch of a button, but the only electronics in this space are the plasma screen, the speakers and the Crestron controllers. You wouldn’t want too many electronics cluttering up a master suite designed for rest and relaxation, after all.
Perhaps later it’s time for some romance. A touch of the controller can dim the lights, draw the shades, turn on the gas fireplace and play soft music over the speakers to enhance the mood. The Crestron system also controls the Lutron lighting and Lutron QED motorized shade system.
Need to check on the kiddies or the car that just turned into the driveway? No problem. The touchscreen or the plasma screen can display images from security cameras around the house.
When it’s time to turn in, just set the Crestron controller to night mode. The exterior lighting stays on until about 10 p.m., all hallways stay partially illuminated at night and the heat is turned down to the preferred nighttime level.
In the morning, the Crestron system allows you to wake to your favorite music, which can also play as you get yourself ready in the bathroom. Or you can catch a morning news show or the sports and stock reports via the small LCD near the vanity.
The lights can come on gradually, and the shades can rise for that incredible view of Aspen Mountain. What better way to prepare for another glorious day on the slopes? Go out on the balcony, aim the telescope at the mountain and get an up close ski condition report.
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