Getting a whole home overhaul can be an intimidating and expensive process. Aside from the construction part of a remodel, the technology upgrade can easily be a bit overwhelming.
The owners of this home wanted to go big with their overhaul, but they also wanted to make sure they didn’t spend or expand in ways that were necessary for their lifestyle. Essentially, they wanted the most “bang for the buck.”
With a budget of $50-60,000, they asked Surreal Systems of Anaheim, CA, to design an audio/video, lighting and control system.
Structured wiring went in first, laying the groundwork for the Crestron Adagio distributed audio system. The Adagio offers 6 zones, but Surreal Systems was able to utilize an additional zones from an Integra AV receiver. Further, Surrreal used subzones to in the dinning room, living room, master bedroom and bath buy adding additional volume controls without taxing the budget.
The music system relies on 2 iPods for a lot of audio content rather than a centralized hard drive server, plus Sirius XM Radio. Those source offer plenty of music choices for the family.
The company used a similar pragmatic approach to adding lighting control to the home. They integrated 15 of most commonly used lighting loads, but left the option to expand if the family needed to.
By integrating automatic HVAC controls into system, the family was also able to stick with the budget and save on future energy bills.
Surreal Systems continued the more-from-less approach in the distribution of video to the home’s eight TVs. Rather than succumb to eight separate TV set-top-box fees, the family instead went with a solution that distributes basic cable to all the TVs, plus a DirecTV DVR to the main rooms. Two Blu-ray players feed the living room and family room.
Aside from the ample audio and video integration, the project included a couple fun bells and whistles. For one, the home owner asked for the ability to control the family pool and spa through an iPhone while away, so they could warm up the water on their way home. An iPhone can also control all the home’s AV systems, which allows a lot of flexibly and expands the number of control interfaces in the house without expanding the cost.
Surreal Systems Inc.
5540 E. La Palma Ave
Anaheim, CA 92807
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.