Who says you have to have a 5.1-channel surround sound system? Or 7.1? Or whatever-point-whatever? And who says the speakers have to be aligned left-center-right and just so?
Sometimes, you need to deviate from the normal guidelines. Take this cool looking indoor pool room, designed for a Mansions and Millionaires Designer’s Showcase taking place through Oct. 30 at the Chestnut Manor estate in Upper Brookville on Long Island, N.Y.
Audio/video pros Dave Silkin and Gregg Feldman of Royal Systems in East Melville, N.Y., could have gone nuts with speakers all around the whimsical and wood-lined space, but they had a budget and had to keep the system simple. The solution: A Knoll Systems DLP projector and three SoundTube speakers that hang like large pendant lights from the ceiling. Feldman’s company, Mozart Multimedia of East Islip, N.Y., performed the installation work.
Feldman says the two-way, 4-inch SoundTube speakers disperse the sound well through the large space. And they’re set up so there isn’t just one sweet spot where you can hear left-center-right just so. The center speaker is actually the left channel, and each speaker flanking it is the right channel, so no matter where you are in the room, you’re getting left and right stereo sound.
“The room is not about surround sound for us,” Feldman says. “It’s about the acoustics throughout the room.”
The Knoll Systems HDP2300 DLP projector throws an image 22.5 feet across the pool at the fixed, 100-inch Severtson screen. Royal Systems opted for the Knoll projector because of its long throw distance and high contrast to battle the amount of ambient light in the room.
A Parasound ZAMP V.3 amplifier powers the speakers, while a Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-ray player provides the 1080p video goodies.
The system is controlled by an Elan g! control system, using the HC4 controller and TS2 4-inch OLED touchscreen with the tabletop Valet option. A wireless router is used to provide iPhone control of the IP-based Elan g! control system. Through the Elan system, the audio/video presentations automatically turn on in the show space at 10 a.m. and turn off at 4:30 p.m.
Interior designer Katharine Posillico of Katharine Jessica Interior Design did not have to be talked into including cool A/V technology into this relaxing space. “Technology is ingrained in everyday life, so I don’t plan any space without some sort of audio/video system,” said Posillico. “The second-floor Pool Room at Chestnut Manor is the ultimate lounge and game room, so naturally I included a large projection TV and a full audio system.”
“The Mansions and Millionaires Designers’ Showcase is a great way to show how technology is influencing designers, builders and homeowners,” said Dave Silkin of Royal Systems. “But the great thing about the ELAN g! Control System is it’s not just for millionaires.”
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates