Hollywood Home of the Year Leaves Us Starry-Eyed


GOLD WINNER: Best Home of the Year

This Hollywood blend of drama, design and innovation--including 7.1 CinemaScope theater, pop-up televisions, and multiple surround-sound areas--earns our eager nod as best Home of the Year.

May. 04, 2009 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Our Home of the Year sits among the Hollywood Hills, where the stars shine as brightly inside the homes as they do in the night sky. We’re familiar with some of the A-list technologies here—CinemaScope theater, 7.1-channel surround-sound, intricate TV concealment, extensive automation—but we don’t often see them shine together in such a spectacular location, with equally stunning results. This home can’t settle for anything less than red-carpet treatment.

The residence was designed and built by Temple Home, whose co-owner, Xorin Balbes, has earned recognition for his restoration of famous Los Angeles-area homes. Balbes and architect Paul Ashley brought the vision, and left the audio-visual pyrotechnics to DSI Entertainment Systems.

“They developed it as the ultimate bachelor pad, and part of their thing was that they wanted all of the technology that a young Hollywood actor or director might want,” says systems developer and DSI co-founder Eric Thies. “Obviously, there were a lot of potential buyers here that fit that category, so for a 7,000-square-foot house they wanted a lot of technology crammed into it.”

As it turned out, this ultramodern beauty didn’t become the real-life set for Entourage types, but the nest of a young couple about to start a family. They might not have celluloid cred in Tinseltown, but they have some very cool toys at their disposal.

Three areas are filled by surround sound, including a rattling 7.1-channel JBL Synthesis system in the theater and an understated 7.1 Sonance architectural speaker layout in the family room. We’ll cut DSI some slack for only installing 5.1 channels of surround sound in the master bedroom—though the room features not one, but two televisions. There’s even a separate video game room that features a triple-screen auto racing simulator and a flat-panel TV that taps into a local PC for gaming fun.

The theater presents movies on a 125-inch Stewart Filmscreen in the superwide CinemaScope format (2.35:1 aspect ratio), accompanied by a Runco projector and CineWide anamorphic lens that fills the screen without black bars. Combined with the JBL system, which includes Synthesis processing, amplification and equalization, the theater rates with the finest of Hollywood screening rooms.

Says Thies: “We wanted a true cinema system, asking what a young actor would put in a screening room. The 2.35 screen was a no-brainer, and 80 percent of commercial cinemas are JBL Pro. The Synthesis system is basically a home version of it, so no one’s going to walk in to this theater and think we’re cutting corners.”

No corners were spared in blending the cutting-edge theatrics with the clean and modern design, and neither do all the high-tech props compromise the views from nearly every room. The family room’s 60-inch plasma TV stays hidden when not in use, then rises from the floor on a quiet hydraulic lift. In the master bedroom, another flat panel pops up at the foot of the bed when powered on.

Also in the family room, round and trimless Sonance speakers pulse audio from inside the ceiling, while a Sonance subwoofer booms its bass from an inconspicuous mount in a wall. “We didn’t have any place for speakers in there,” Thies adds, “and if someone wasn’t looking for them, they wouldn’t notice anything.”

The in-ceiling speakers complement many of the fixtures used by home’s expansive Vantage lighting system. Controlled within a Crestron automation system, the Vantage system includes scenes like WELCOME that turns on the entire first floor and exterior pool area lights when the family arrives home, and SECURITY and PANIC modes that crank on all the interior and landscape lights as well as power up the TVs to view the surveillance camera feeds. Even the exotic Italian finish on the Vantage Axolute keypads and slick Crestron touchpanels complement the decor and architectural style.

The blend of A/V and architectural touches doesn’t stop at the back door, either (35-foot sliding glass doors, by the way). The outdoor pool area and landscaping are included among the 20 zones of housewide audio and peppered with 16 unobtrusively placed speakers.

“The ability for technology to disappear was far more important in this house than others we’ve done, and the things we couldn’t hide, like touchpanels and keypads, had to be special,” says Thies. “We didn’t want to completely give up A/V performance, and I think we compromised here in the right ways.”

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Systems Design and Installation
DSI Entertainment Systems
West Hollywood, Calif.

Builder, Architect, Design
Temple Home
Los Angeles, Calif.

JBL Synthesis SPD5 processor (1)
JBL Synthesis S7150 amplifier (1)
JBL Synthesis S800 amplifier (1)
JBL Synthesis S2S (2)
JBL Synthesis S4A (4)
JBL Synthesis SAM3H (3)
Activated Designs Custom Pop-Up Lift (1)
Altronix ALTW-248300 (1)
Audio Authority 977RPO (1)
Audio Authority 1365 (2)
Allen GB183A1 (1)
APC BH500NET (1)
CE labs AV400COMP (1)
Channel Vision C-0498 12 Leg Octopus Part 2 (2)
Chief MCSU (1)
Chief VCM Inverted Projector Ceiling Mount (1)
Chief PDDual Arm Wall Mount (1)
Cisco AIR-1242AG (1)
Cisco AIR-ANT-2485P-R (1)
Crestron CHV-TSATW (9)
Crestron CHV-RTS (9)
Crestron PRO2 (1)
Crestron C2ENET-1 (1)
Crestron CNX-BIPAD8 (2)
Crestron CNX-ASBK (2)
Crestron C2N-SPWS300 (1)
Crestron CEN-IDOC (2)
Crestron C2N-TXM (2)
Crestron C2N-TXM-C50 (2)
Crestron CNX-PVID8x4 (2)
Crestron CNXRMC (9)
Crestron CNXRMCLV (3)
Crestron TPMC-8X (5)
Crestron TPMC-8X-DS (5)
Crestron ML-600 (5)
Crestron CNRFGWA-418 (5)
Crestron TPS-6L (8)
Crestron BB-6L (8)
Crestron ABAR-1 (1)
Crestron CNXRMC (2)
Crestron C2N-CBD (6)
Crestron TPS-4L (4)
Crestron BB-4L (4)
Crestron CAEN-7X1 (1)
Crestron CAEN-BLOCK (1)
Crestron CLX-2DIM8 (1)
Crestron CLT-2DIM8 (1)
Crestron PAC2 (1)
Crestron C2ENET-1 (1)
Crestron C2N-CBD (1)
Crestron CHV-THSTATW (1)
Crestron CHV-RTHS (1)
Crestron PRO2 (1)
Crestron C2ENET-1 (1)
Crestron CNX-PAD8A (1)
Crestron CNX-ASBK (1)
Crestron C2N-SPWS300 (1)
Crestron AAS-1 (1)
Crestron CHV-THSTATW (11)
Crestron CHV-RTHS (2)
Crestron C2N-HBLOCK (2)
Dedicated Micros DS2AD-9-160 (1)
Furman Elite-15i (1)
Furman M-10 (3)
Furman PST-8D (2)
Furman Elite-15PFI (2)
Furman D10-PEP (1)
Integra DTR-5.8 (2)
Integra DPS-5.5 (1)
Jandy Aqualink Serial Adapter 7620 (1)
Key Digital KD-HDP50 (1)
Key Digital KD-HDP20X (1)
LG 60PG60 plasma (3)
LG LHT888 theater system (2)
LG 42LG60 LCD (3)
Liberty Wire CRESCAT (7,500)
Liberty Wire CRESNET (11,000)
Liberty Wire DSI-1RU (1)
Liberty Wire 14/4C-EX (4,500)
Liberty Wire CAT (3,000)
Liberty Wire RG59 (1,000)
Liberty Wire RGB5C (100)
Liberty Wire RGB3C (100)
RG59 COAX/18 Gauge wire RG59-18/2 (1,000)
Marantz SR6001 (2)
Middle Atlantic CBS-5 (2)
Middle Atlantic HTX (2)
Middle Atlantic LBP-1R (1)
Middle Atlantic 5-29 (1)
Middle Atlantic SP-5-29 (1)
Middle Atlantic RRF45 (1)
Middle Atlantic HB-1 (7)
Middle Atlantic VTP-1 (12)
Middle Atlantic HBL-2 (4)
Middle Atlantic HBL-3 (3)
Middle Atlantic HBL-6 (1)
Middle Atlantic HBL-5 (1)
Netgear FS726TPNA (1)
Niles Audio AVDA3 (1)
Panasonic KX-TDA50 (1)
Panasonic KX-T0151 (4)
Panasonic KX-TDA5172 (1)
Panasonic KX-TDA5180 (1)
Panasonic KA-TDA5193 (1)
Panasonic KX-T7633 (6)
Panasonic KX-TD7684 (4)
Pakedge WAP-W3-01 (3)
Pakedge PI-02-01 (1)
Premier Mounts CTM-MS2 (1)
Premier Mounts PSD-S (1)
Premier Mounts PP-5 (1)
ProMounts UF-PRO310 (4)
Runco VX-2000D-CW (1)
Siemens 66M1Block (2)
Siemens 66M2Block (1)
Siemens 66MC4 (3)
Sonance X6R (14 pair)
Sonance A6RMT (13 pair)
Sonance Cinema Sub RMF (2)
Sonance Mariner 82 B (8)
Sonance X4R (3 pair)
Sonance A4RMT (3)
Sonance A8RMT (4 pair)
Sonance X8R (4 pair)
Sonance 875D SE. (6)
Sonance B6R-5/8” (13 pair)
Sonance B4-5/8” (3 pair)
Sonance B8-5/8” (4 pair)
Sonance X6S (6 pair)
Sonance B6S-5/5” (1 pair)
Sonance A6SM (4 pair)
Sonance B6S-5/8” (7 pair)
Sonance A6SM (5 pair)
Sonance X8S (2 pair)
Sonance B8S-5/8” (2 pair)
Sonance A8SM (2 pair)
Sonance Cinema Sub RMF (2)
Sonance X6S (3 pair)
Sonance B6-5/8” (1 pair)
Sonance A800D (1)
Sonance Mariner 82 W (1)
Sonance DBRKT (1 pair)
Sonance X4S (3 pair)
Sonance B4S-5/8” (3 pair)
Sonance A4SM (2 pair)
Sonance A6RMT (1 pair)
Sonance B6r-5/8” (3 pair)
Sonance E1 (5)
Sony BDP-S500 (3)
Stewart Filmscreen 125” Diagonal Fixed Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall (1)
Vantage HA4803NX Btcino Axolute (10)
Vantage IC36 Infusion processor (1)
Vantage MDS8RW101 dimming modules (11)
Vantage MDR8RW101 relay module (1)
Xantech AV61 (1)

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