January 04, 2012
| by Lisa Montgomery
TV placement in a bedroom is often tricky. Mounted to a wall, the set can be too high, too far away or angled in a way that makes it uncomfortable to view from the bed. Usually, the best position is at the foot of the bed, but who wants that black beast staring at them all night? The solution for the owners of this posh master suite was to have their 42-inch Runco LCD TV installed into a custom-crafted cabinet.
Designed specifically to complement the style, shape and size of the bed, the leather-covered cabinet was equipped with a motorized lift from Activated Decor (see sidebar) so the screen would stay hidden until the owners were ready to watch it. The wiring to power the lift and feed video to the TV was routed underneath the flooring as the house was being built. The lift is triggered via a wireless signal from a portable Crestron TPS-6X touchpanel, a setup designed and programmed by Sublime Integration of Mississauga, Ont. The bedroom electronics are part of a larger control system in this 17,500-squarefoot home, which was recently selected by the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) as an award-winner of its annual Electronic Lifestyles contest.
The owners really don’t have to do anything special to trigger the lift, explains Dan Whitfield, owner and principal of Sublime. From the menu of the Crestron touchpanel, they just choose the source they want to watch -DVD player, cable box, or something else- and the lift starts to move. In a few seconds, the TV is in prime viewing position, and “we timed it so there would be something on the screen the second the lift is up,” says Whitfield.
Should the owners choose to watch TV from the two occasional chairs in the room, they can press the button labeled seating area on the touchpanel, and the lift swivels the TV 140 degrees toward that viewing spot. Two Sonance speakers built into the ceiling above the headboard of the bed provide the audio. When the owners are ready for some shuteye, they touch the power off button, and the screen lowers into the cabinet.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
A lot goes into crafting a custom cabinet, especially when electronics will be incorporated into it. In addition to complementing the size and style of the bed in this master bedroom, the cabinet had to accommodate a motorized lift from Activated Decor (http://www.activateddecor.com) and a 42-inch Runco TV. Careful calculations and collaboration between the custom electronics (CE) pros and interior designer ensured that the opening of the cabinet would permit the lift and the TV to travel smoothly into place. Measurements had to be spot on, says custom electronics (CE) pro Dan Whitfield of Sublime Integration, ississauga, Ont. For this reason, Sublime went with a local manufacturer when selecting the TV lift for this project. “They were able to work closely with us and the interior designer on the project and even add technology that would allow us to do things like have the lift move to two different preset positions,” says Whitfield.
Cabinet cost (includes design, construction, TV and lift): approximately, $19,000