The 60-inch Pioneer Elite plasma TV had always been the cornerstone of this made-over family room. It just never really felt like part of the overall decor. So when the owners decided to remodel the space, custom electronics (CE) professional Todd Anthony Puma of The Source Home Theater, New York, N.Y., suggested that they recess the screen into a newly built wall. Per specifications provided by Puma, the contractor carved a shallow niche into the wall, sizing it slightly larger than the 60-incher, “in case the owners ever decided to size up to a bigger TV,” says Puma.
Also designed into the new wall is a yet-to-be-installed fire pit and LED lighting, which like the TV and a rack of audio and video components, will be controlled from a handheld URC TKP-1280 remote. Rather than require the owners to hunt and peck their way through the controls, Puma programmed the remote so that a single button press will close the shades, dim the lights and activate the A/V gear. Another button, used for casual entertaining, keeps the A/V on but opens the shades and turns on the lights.
To maintain a clean, modern aesthetic, Puma mounted the six Paradigm surround-sound speakers in the ceiling, and planted a Paradigm subwoofer underneath the couch. The rack of components, which includes a Kaleidescape media server, cable box, Apple TV and various gaming consoles, resides in a room three levels above the family room. Fishing wire behind the home’s existing walls between the rack and the TV was the most difficult part of the installation, Puma says. Wireless access points from Pakedge were added to the 5,000-square-foot residence to help with spotty Wi-Fi connections. “Now that just about anything, including an A/V system, can be operated with a smartphone or tablet, having a strong WiFi connection becomes crucial,” Puma says.
Pakedge WiFi access point and 24-port switch
Paradigm Sig 1.5 in-ceiling speakers (6)
Paradigm in-wall subwoofers (2)
Pioneer Elite 60-inch plasma TV
Kaleidescape Vault Blu-ray player
Crimson tilt mount
AudioQuest HDMI cabling
URC light dimmers
URC TKP-1280 remote
URC MRX-10 system controller
URC DMS-AV network home theater amplifier/processor
URC iPhone/iPad app
Lutron motorized shades
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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.