March 15, 2011
| by Arlen Schweiger
If only James Naismith could see this. The basketball pioneer might think his game had been taken over by the imagination of Jules Verne. For one thing, this basketball court actually resides at someone’s home. There’s also an exercise room, bowling alley, baseball diamond, tennis court and swimming pool, where guests can cool off while watching movies and sports on the outdoor theater screen.
“Most facilities that have this level of automation and amenities are normally in a commercial environment,” says Bryan Cruikshank of custom electronics firm HomeTronics, which outfitted this Dallas-area residential compound. “The complex is something you would see in Las Vegas or an entertainment park.”
The homeowner does have ties to basketball - he hosts local youth basketball tournaments and other area teams to train in the gym and exercise room. The charitable owner also invites players and coaches over for “several movie nights throughout the year.”
Staff from a Division I college even consulted on the design and implementation of the training facility, says Cruikshank, and the homeowners’ extensive property provided more than enough room to accommodate it—along with the rest of the complex, which features multiple screens, distributed music and automation.
Rockin’ Sound System
California Audio Technology provided the front left, center and right speakers, along with two subwoofers as part of the surround sound while HomeTronics used weatherproof models from New England Audio Resource for surround speakers.
A home control system from AMX ties together the mass of audio/video, and includes the ability to view and listen to all of the complex’s 10 sources on 13 displays and in eight audio zones at any time. For its use as a true training facility, the basketball court features three video cameras to record the games and workouts for remote viewing. The live pan/tilt/zoom cameras enable coaches to instruct from remote locations, and clips from the recordings can be emailed for repeat viewings and coaches’ scrutiny.
The two-lane bowling alley was designed after a popular local hangout, and includes dazzling visuals like black lights, a disco ball and a large screen above the pins and plasma by the scoring table. HomeTronics installed a 12-foot Da-Lite screen that drops in front of the pins.
Related: March Madness: The Home Court Advantage
By the pool there’s a cabana with three 65-inch LCD TVs, but the real fun comes from the 25-foot outdoor Da-Lite screen, which receives images from a 5,000 ANSI-lumen Runco MBX-1 projector, enhanced by the 1,600-watt surround-sound system. “The outdoor movie theater was icing on the cake,” says Cruikshank. Thanks to this homeowner, the cake feeds more than its share of hungry hoopsters.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.