January 21, 2011 by Lisa Montgomery
Studies show that music can help motivate people to exercise longer and harder. Just having a good beat can keep the feet moving and the arms pumping. The owners of this home gym have access to not only a wide assortment of music; they can also pull high-def video into the space and view it on either of two 55- inch Samsung LED LCD displays. Affixed to the wall directly across from his and hers Life Fitness treadmills, the TVs are connected to a Control4 housewide video distribution system that allows each TV to pull content from a rack of components stored in a nearby utility room. There are his and hers cable boxes, a DVD player and a server that manages real-time and recorded video captured by a host of surveillance cameras positioned strategically at the front door, driveway and back yard.
The owners use a handheld Control4 remote to bring up a list of video options on either or both TV screens, navigate the menu and enter their choice. If they both choose the same program, they can blast the audio through the room’s two in-ceiling TruAudio speakers. If not, they can each don a pair of wireless headphones to hear the audio from only their TV.
The same goes for music, only in this case, the homeowners almost always choose the same source: the online music service, Rhapsody. Thousands of songs—everything from classical and contemporary to hard rock and holiday tunes—can be streamed to the speakers in the workout area, as well as to speakers in other areas. To streamline the selection process, the owners created a special exercise playlist comprised of several of their favorite upbeat tunes. Lady Gaga is a favorite of hers, so there’s a playlist for that, too. Playlists are viewed and chosen just like the video library: via the Control4 remote and on-screen menu.
Tucked away in the corner of the lower-level, the gym is a place free from distractions so the owners can focus on getting in the miles and reps they need to stay fit. If they do ever want to see what’s happening elsewhere in the house, they hit the camera button on their remote to see views from all eight cameras at once. The Control4 system also flashes the lights when the doorbell rings, so they never miss an important visitor or delivery.
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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.
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