May 01, 2008 by Lisa Montgomery
Homeowners Gary and Gina De Caster don’t let the blustery conditions of a harsh Wisconsin winter get them down. They just escape to their own private oasis complete with a heated swimming pool, tanning salon, sauna and fully equipped kitchen for a bit of warm-weather relaxation. Attached to the master bedroom and great room, the 4,000-square-foot structure was a welcome addition to the house, doubling its size to 8,000 square feet. “The owners can have a pile of people over in the middle of January for a pool party,” says home systems contractor John Ebli of Premier Electronics. His Green Bay, WI–based company livened up the space by outfitting it with a variety of electronic systems. A B&K audio distribution system and Crestron video distribution system sets the mood by delivering music and movies to the space. A combination of 13 NHT and Elan speakers planted in the ceiling ensures that every square inch is covered with audio. Even the tanning salon, sauna and half bath have their own speakers. Using a wall-mounted Elan VIA64 touchpanel or a wireless Crestron WiFi touchpanel, the owners can choose music from an AM/FM receiver, one of four satellite receivers or a CD/DVD player, all of which are housed in a dedicated eight-seat theater just a few steps away. Video from one of two DVD players can also be called into the area from the touchpanels. They can watch the same movie that’s playing on the 135-inch Stewart Filmscreen in the theater on their 65-inch Sony XBR rear-projection TV near the pool or select something completely different, like a program stored on one of two digital video recorders. “Gary uses one DVR for his favorite shows, and Gina uses the other to record her shows,” says Ebli.
Whether the owners and their guests choose to swim, soak in the hot tub, view a movie or share something tasty from the built-in grill and pizza oven, lighting can complement the activity. A Lutron HomeWorks lighting system can arrange six different lighting scenes, including one designed for nighttime swimming, called the skinny dip scene. Just a tap of a button on a HomeWorks keypad or the Crestron wireless touchpanel does the trick.
Wall-mounted Elan and HomeWorks keypads are a great way to control this luxurious space when the homeowners first enter, but the Crestron touchpanels are better for on-the-go control. The touchpanels communicate directly with the home’s Crestron home management system, as well as with the Lutron lighting and B&K audio system. This level of integration gives the owners access to every system in the residence, including the security and heating and cooling systems, surveillance cameras, and all 18 zones of audio and video on the property. The Crestron panel can even show them who’s at the front gate through a video connection to multiple outdoor surveillance cameras. If the visitors are arriving for a plunge in the pool, Gary and Gina simply touch the party icon on the panel to warm up the music, lights and TV in their fantastic home-based getaway.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
Crestron PAC2 processor
Crestron Adagio media system
Crestron TPMC-8X WiFi touchpanels
Elan VIA64 touchpanel
Elan VSE volume controls
Crestron PVID 8x3 video switch
B&K CT610 receiver
Sony DVP-CX995V DVD changer
Sony DVP-NS999ES DVD player
NHT IW3 in-ceiling speakers
Sony 65-inch XBR TV
Crestron control system
Lutron HomeWorks control system
Systems Design & Installation
Green Bay, WI
Van’s Lumber, Luxenburg, WI
Bonnie Zelzer, DePere, WI
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