August 28, 2009
by Arlen Schweiger
Originally, this sweet Lake Tahoe weekend home was not going to have a television. Maybe the family’s four kids would have put up a fight, but then again there are more than enough viewing opportunities in the main home—our award-winner that features a plasma and drop-down projection screen in the family room.
Well, this weekend retreat eventually did wind up with a media room, especially for the kids as part of a playroom/multipurpose media room, but it came with a catch. Because we really do mean multipurpose—the converted spare room had to house the washer and dryer.
Ordinarily that might be a pretty big and conspicuous inconvenience. Leave it to custom electronics professionals to integrate that into an entertainment system. OK, no not as some smart washer/dryer connected to an automation system—but aesthetically as simply another type of component that could be stored in an equipment cabinet.
CE pro Rolling Thunder Group stacked the washer and dryer in the cabinet on the right side of a 65-inch Panasonic plasma, while power sources are shelved in the custom cabinet on the left, and other A/V gear, like the video sources, surround-sound electronics and SpeakerCraft audio distribution components, are housed in a Middle Atlantic pullout rack system within cabinetry below the TV.
“The media room is prewired and framed for a drop screen,” says Rolling Thunder’s Jeff Symonds, but, “we had just completed the family’s primary residence with a drop down but the costs were adding up so we decided to prepare for a phase 2.”
Phase 2 is no slouch. There’s the aforementioned Panasonic Pro 65 plasma, a Denon Blu-ray player, Integra processing and SpeakerCraft 7.1 surround sound system with an Artison in-wall subwoofer, Monster Power power supplies, and RTI control over everything.
The back patio’s A/V is also fed by the media room/play room’s gear. Also for the kids, there’s a chalkboard that comprises the wall to the left of the media center, and they can climb up to a loft area from which the plasma can be seen.
“The display is viewable from the loft,” says Symonds, and the space “makes a lot of room for slumber parties and play dates.”
And if the kids get chalkdust all over themselves, well, there’s always the washer and dryer ready after the movie’s over.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.