Kitchen Serves Up Full Technology Menu



Several clever and practical electronics installations — think TVs rising out of granite — raise this kitchen to a new level of functionality.

May. 03, 2010 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Operating a TiVo was as high-tech as the owners of this award-winning home used to get. But with more than four times the square footage of their previous home to now manage, they realized it was probably time to expand their electronics repertoire.

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To ease them into a high-tech lifestyle, “we knew that whatever we put in it had to be easy and seamless,” says their CE pro Matt Koppin of Architectural Audio and Video in Naperville, Ill.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchen. The space features two flat-panel TVs, two pairs of multiroom audio speakers, motion sensors, a wireless access point, keypads and a wireless touchpanel.

Although the area is loaded with electronics, it’s difficult to see any of it. Both 26-inch LG LCD units are hidden most of the time. Only when a button is pressed on a Control4 wireless touchpanel does one of the displays reveal itself, ascending silently from a granite countertop.

Operating the Nexus 21 motorized TV lift might be a piece of cake, but installing it was quite the opposite. “It was one of the most challenging aspects of the entire project,” says Koppin.

The Architectural Audio and Video crew had to work closely with the cabinetmakers and the granite supplier to preserve the integrity of the cabinet and countertop without sacrificing the performance of the electronics.

“We cut the granite slab that rises up with the TV larger than it had to be, so that if anything spilled on the countertop and leaked through gap when the lift was down it wouldn’t hit the TV or the other electronics inside the cabinet,” Koppin explains.

“We made sure, though, to keep that gap very small — around 1/16 of an inch around all four sides — so that when the slab sinks into the countertop you can barely notice it.”

The covert design of the other TV may not be as dramatic, but it’s just as effective. Attached to an articulating mount, the set can be pulled from inside a wall cabinet and swiveled in any direction so that no matter where the family is hanging out — by the stove, at the breakfast nook or around the center island — it’s within perfect view.

Tied to a Control4 home controller, both flat-panel TVs can access any of the home’s four surveillance cameras and video from a wide variety of components stashed in various locations throughout the house. The entertainment options — including a 400-disc DVD player, high-def DVRs and Blu-ray players — are displayed for the family right on the screen of whichever TV they turn on; they use the Control4 remote to navigate the menu and click on their choice.

Each TV has its own dedicated pair of Niles Audio in-ceiling speakers. Or if it’s music the family wants, they can use the Control4 on-screen menu to select from a docked iPod, music server, AM/FM/XM tuner or Rhapsody Internet radio service to play through either or both pairs of speakers.

Cleverly mounted TVs, multifunctional speakers and tons of entertainment choices make this kitchen fun, but technology also has a huge impact on the room’s functionality. For example, a motion sensor activates the lights in the pantry when somebody steps inside. “This feature is particularly helpful when they’re carrying in the groceries,” says Koppin.

And when the owners want to prepare for a quiet family evening, a party or some other event, all they do is touch a button on the Control4 keypad that’s mounted to the wall in the connected mud room. The command sets the lights and pipes the appropriate type of music into the space. For example, a party button sets the mood by turning off the task lighting near the stove, bringing up the lights by the island and calling up a playlist of dinner music.

So have all the amenities converted the home-owners into tech enthusiasts? “Now that they have it,” says Koppin, “they don’t know how they ever lived without it.”

Cutting into Countertop
Having a TV pop up from the countertop is super cool, but it can also be super difficult to design and afford. Here’s what the crew at Architectural Audio and Video went through to get the homeowners’ 26-inch LCD TV to perform the trick:

  • Spent hours trying to find a motorized lift small enough to fit into the confined space yet large enough to support the TV weight and raise it 25 inches.
  • Reinforced the lift so it could bear the weight of the granite slab that pulls away from the countertop as the TV rises.
  • Carefully cut a slab from the solid piece of granite — any mistake could have cost the homeowners thousands of dollars.
  • Trimmed the removable slab to keep the gap between it and the rest of the countertop as small as possible.
  • Pulled wire from audio and video sources to the inside of the cabinet.
  • Built protective shelves to hold the controllers for the TV and lift.
  • Painted the inside of the cabinet black to make the equipment and interior of the cabinet less noticeable when the TV is up.

Systems Design & Installation
Architectural Audio and Video
Naperville, Ill.

Charleston Development Group
Naperville, Ill.

Heartland Granite
Aurora, Ill.

Room Size
34 x 20 feet

18 months (includes entire house)

1 PRO151FD Pioneer Elite 60 Plasma
1 LN22A450 Samsung 22” LCD TV
1 LN32###0 Samsung 32” LCD HDTV
2 26LG30 LG 26” LCD HDTV
1 SB3220HD Sunbrite Outdoor Weatherized 32” LCD TV
1 UT42X902 Hitachi 42” Ultra-Thin LCD TV
1 SM-LP-F-L SnapAV Strong Mounts Low-Profile Mount
1 SM-ART2-L SnapAV Strong Mounts Articualting Mount
1 D3-F-BLK SnapAV Strong Mounts Flat Fixed Mount
1 SM-ART1-S-KIT Snap AV Strong Mounts Articulating Mount
1 D2-T-BLK SnapAV Strong Mount Tilting Flat Wall Mount
7 AVM-HC300 Control 4 Home Controller
1 C4-TSM10-G-B Control 4 10.5” Wireless Color Touchscreen
1 C4-IPDKTT1-E-B Control4 Tabletop Docking Station for Ipod
1 C4 7” TS Control 4 Ethernet Touch Screen-7”
1 AC-RWB3.8-G Control 4Mini TS Wall Box - Retrofit
1 C4-HC1000v3-E-B Control 4 Home Automation Controller
1 AVM-16S2-B Control 4 Audio Matrix Switch
1 C4-TUN2-E-B Control 4 Multi-Tuner (AM/FM)
1 C4-XMOD Control 4 XM Module for Mulit-Tuner V.2
2 C4-3URMK-NV-B Control 4 3 RU Rack Ear Kit
1 C4-SR250-Z-B Control4 System Remote
4 C4-2URMK-B Control4 HC300 Rack Mount
55 LDZ-101-A (Almond) Control 4 Wireless Dimmer
9 LDZ-101-B (Black) Control 4 Wireless Dimmer
19 LSZ-101-A (Almond) Control 4 Wireless Switch
3 LSZ-101-B (Black) Control 4 Wireless Switch
1 LSZ-3W1-A (Almond) Control 4 Wireless 2 Button Keypad
17 KPZ-3B1-A (Almond) Control 4 Wireless 3 Button Keypad
1 KPZ-3B1-B (Black) Control 4 Wireless 3 Button Keypad
10 KPZ-6B1-A (Almond) Control 4 Wireless 6 Button Keypad
1 KPZ-6B1-B (Black) Control 4 Wireless 6 Button Keypad
1 LOZ-5S1-W Control 4 Wireless Outlet Switch
4 WMS-10 Card Access Wireless Motion Sensor
2 SR5003 Marantz 90 x 7 Surround Receiver
2 BD7003 Marantz Blu-Ray DVD Player
1 SoundBar/SoundBar Grill Artison SoundBar
1 CVS12ES-B-A Sony HD Video Switch
9 CVB1-A Sony High Def Breakout Box
1 DVP-CX777ES Sony 400 Disc DVD Changer
1 Cables and Interconnects Estimated Cables and Interconnects
1 TV Lift Motorized Lift for 23” LCD TV (Pivoting)
1 UA-PRO250 ProMounts Medium Articulating Mount
1 PR6010 Winegard FM Antenna
1 WM2040 Winegard FM Antenna Mount
6 FG01298 Niles Audio HD LCR In-Wall Speakers
6 FG01152 Niles Audio LCR/FX Bracket Kit
8.5 FG01298 Niles Audio CM750 In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair)
14.5 FG01301 Niles CM700 Series New Const. Bracket Kit
4 FG00880 Niles Audio PR6 In-Wall Speakers
4 FG00320 Niles 6 Series Bracket Kit
1 FG00989 Niles Audio OS6.3 Outdoor Loudspeaker
8 FG01304 Niles Audio CM730SI Single Stereo Spkr
2 FG01236 Niles Audio SW10 10” 125 Watt Subwoofer
2 SI-1230 Niles 12 Channel x 30 Watts Amplifier
1 FG01254 Niles ANT-SAT XM Antenna
1 FS726TP Netgear 24 Port Ethernet Switch w/ POE
1 SR224 Linksys 24 Network Switch
2 24 Port Patch Panel Belkin 24 Port Cat-5 Patch Panel
1 TH46PZ85U Panasonic 46” Anti-Reflective Plasma TV
1 BL-C30A Panasonic IP Pan/Tilt Wireless Camera
4 BB-HCM531A Panasonic IP Pan/Tilt Outdoor Camera
1 BB-HNP11A Panasonic Recording Software for Cameras
2 KX-T7736 (Color White) Panasonic System Phone w/Display
6 KX-T7736B (Color Black) Panasonic System Phone w/Display
2 KX-T7737B (Color Black) Panasonic System Phone w/Display
4 KX-TD7896B (Color Black) Panasonic Cordless System Phone
1 KX-TA824 Panasonic Advanced Hybrid Phone System
1 KX-TA82470 Panasonic Expansion Card
2 KX-T30865B Panasonic Door Intercom (Black)
1 100ORB Holovision Custom Door Spkr Faceplate
3 Wireless Access Point OnQ Wireless Access Point
1 363476-01 OnQ 42” Modular Enclosure
1 364522-01 OnQ 2 x16 Enhanced Video Module
1 1267062-01 OnQ 1 x 6 Basic Telecom Module
2 363485-01 OnQ 1 X 11 KSU/PBX Telecom Module
2 363490-01 OnQ KSU Interface Kit for KX-TA624
2 MP AV 800 Monster 8 Receptacle Surge Protector
1 MP HT UPS 1000 Monster Cable Battery Backup
1 MP HT UPS 1000 Rack Monster Cable Rack Mount for UPS1000
1 Monster 8 Surge Panamax Surge Protector
1 ERK-4425LRD Middle Atlantic 44 Space Rack Enclosure
1 CBS-ERK-25 Middle Atlantic Skirted Wheelbase
11 VTF-1 Middle Atlantic 1 Space Vent
1 U4 Middle Atlantic 4 Space Rack Shelf
1 U2 Middle Atlantic 2 Space Rack Shelf
1 3900A Beam Serenity IQS Vac Power Unit
1 Deluxe Cleaning Kit Dirt Devil Turbo Team Cleaning Kit
2 Bare Floor Care Kit Dirt Devil Bare Floor Care Kit
3 Hose Sock Dirt Devil Hose Sock
4.6 Universal Inlet Kit Dirt Devil 3 Valve Universal Inlet Kit
6 Vac Pipe Dirt Devil 2” PVC Pipe 80’ Pack
1 Vac Pan Black Vac Pan Baseboard Inlet
2750 14/4 w/Cat-5 Windy City Wire
1500 14/2 Windy City Wire
2000 Siamese Cat-5E Windy City Wire
4000 (2) RG-6 Quad/ (2) Cat-5E Windy City Wire
2000 22/4 Windy City Wire
2000 Cat-5E Windy City Wire
1 FA1660C First Alert Custom Control Panel w/ Battery Backup
2 FA570 First Alert Alpha Keypads w/ Display
4 4219 Ademco 8 Zone Hardwire Expanders
13 Door Contacts Ademco Sealed Door Contacts
37 Window Contacts Ademco Sealed Window Contacts
2 995 Ademco Passive Infrared Interior Motion
4 5812NT Audio Glassbreak Sensors
1 CK-IS2560 Ademco Passive Infrared Interior Motion
1 Keyfob Ademco Keyfob Arm/Disarm
1 747F Ademco Electronic Siren

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