Cool Homes
Jazz Lover Uses JBL and Elan for Whole House Music
JBL, James and RBH loudspeakers jazz up this whole-home makeover, while Elan and RTI systems make the entertainment smooth and seamless.
November 09, 2011 by Krissy Rushing

This complete home makeover started with some work on a small water closet near the pool. And thank goodness for that, because without it Greg Jackson might not enjoy a seriously jazzy whole-house music system in his 3,500-square-foot home.

“Greg’s a huge jazz fan. He loves his concerts on Blu-ray and DVD, and this played a major role in the design of the overall system,” says Aaron Bayer of Audio Video Systems in Frisco, Texas, which had installed electronics systems at Jackson’s business. This time, though, the high-tech goodies were meant for all play and no business. “The house is set up to get the best sound for music,” Bayer says.

JBL speakers are used throughout the home, including the outdoor space, where they are joined by an underground James Loudspeaker subwoofer and incognito RBH rock speakers. The effect is powerful outdoor music that is heard but not seen. More JBL surround-sound speakers can be found in the family room and master bedroom. And if the doorbell rings, the music throughout the home is turned down, so if Jackson is having a party he can hear his guests arriving.

The lavishly outfitted outdoor area also includes two SunBriteTV 46-inch 1080p HDTVs chosen for their weather resistance. Jackson can listen to XM Radio or audio from any other source, such as DirecTV or the iPod docks, which are piped throughout the house via an Elan distributed audio system.

Entertainment Tour de Force

The JBL speakers star in Jackson’s jazzed-up home: “When I play a video or music, it feels like I am there,” says the proud homeowner. “The JBL speakers provide the exact experience that I was looking for when listening to music and concert videos.”

All that audio is nice, but the home’s technological tour de force may be the multidisplay game room upstairs. Three HDTVs can all play something different, such as Xbox, DirecTV or a Blu-ray, or they can all play the same content. Bayer and his crew accomplished this by using a Gefen Crosspoint 8x8 matrix HDMI switcher, which allows the use of any of eight sources on any TV. Jackson can control what is on every screen by just pressing a button on the Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI) T4 remote control.

The three TVs are from Samsung’s 8000 series, which were chosen for their ultra-efficient LED backlighting and ultraslim profiles; each is less than an inch thick. They also refresh at 240Hz instead of 120 or 60Hz, which is great for viewing fast-action sports. And they are 3D-ready. Thanks to the Gefen HDMI switcher and the Samsung 3D Blu-ray player, Jackson and his guests can watch 3D movies on any of the TVs.

Jackson also wanted karaoke on the game room system, using dual wireless microphones. So Audio Video Systems equipped the space with JBL Project Array speakers with compression drivers to handle the dynamics of a live microphone. (A dome tweeter would have been more likely to blow when used with a live microphone.)

The room is perfect for entertaining or watching big games, especially during the parties Jackson hosted for the 2011 Super Bowl and Dallas Mavericks playoff games. Because he has friends who aren’t able to navigate the stairs easily, the same video feed plays downstairs. In the future, Jackson would like to upgrade by adding this synching ability to the family room and the outside areas.

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Layered Control with elan and RTI

The best feature of a good home control system is ease of use. That’s why Aaron Bayer of Audio Video Systems in Frisco, Texas, provided homeowner Greg Jackson with two levels of control, via a variety of remotes and touchscreens used throughout the house.

The first level of control is through the Elan g! control system, using the TS7 and TS2 touchscreens. “This system has a very comprehensive level of automation,” Bayer says. In addition, Jackson can use an iPad or iPhone to control the system. This allows him to arm or disarm the security or remotely log onto his home network from his phone or an outside computer. “If someone is coming over to clean the pool or house, he has quick access to let them in, see if everything is okay and have a visual confirmation that the person has left,” says Bayer.

The Elan system is integrated with the Lutron lighting control system, HVAC, security, irrigation control, and more. “Being able to adjust lights and security, view cameras and adjust HVAC when I’m away is great,” says Jackson.

An even more convenient layer of control comes from Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI), with several controllers in the master bedroom, family room, guest room and game room. For outdoor use, an RTI U2 waterproof remote can float in the pool.

Upstairs, an RTI T4 wireless tablet allows quick and easy control of all three game-room TVs. On the main home page of the user interface, Jackson simply touches the screen he would like to control. For more straightforward viewing, a backup RTI remote lets Jackson control only the main 65- inch display.

Equipment list
Control: Elan, RTI
Speakers: JBL, James, RBH
Lighting Control: Lutron
Video displays:
Samsung, SunBrite
Racks: Middle Atlantic
Network Switching: Pakedge
Security: DSC
A /V Processing: Integra, Samsung
B lu-ray: Integra, Samsung


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