The Puck Drops Here in Honor of Canadiens
GOLD WINNER: Best Fun Room
Despite its location in Alberta, this Montreal fan decked out his bar and media room in the Canadiens' red, white and blue.
Talk about a fish out of water—or, more appropriately, a frozen pond. Homeowners Jon and Tanis Rivard live in hockey-crazed Canada, smack between Edmonton and Calgary in the Alberta town of Red Deer. But rather than root for the Oilers or Flames, Jon is fanatical about hockey’s version of the New York Yankees—the 24-time Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens.
Coincidentally, so is the staff at Calgary-based custom electronics firm Home Concepts, so when Jon approached them with the idea to outfit an entertainment room in Canadiens colors, they were happy to oblige.
“When he has friends over he has to fend for himself,” says Home Concepts’ P.J. Aucoin. “There aren’t too many of us Montreal fans out here. But it was a fun project for us, even though we’re in Calgary.”
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The space, which was constructed as part of a new home build, really consists of two impressive media areas—a theater featuring a 119-inch projection screen and a bar with three 26-inch LCDs. When friends are over, hockey nights in Red Deer are fun from any seat; the big screen is easily viewable from the bar, and the bar TVs are all on articulating arm mounts so they can be extended and swiveled.
A Panasonic 1080p projector fires at the Da-Lite screen and can access content from three high-def cable DVRs and Blu-ray player or act as an on-screen interface for viewing the front-door surveillance camera or making selections from the Escient iPod dock. The projector is virtually hidden within the ceiling alcove above the row of theater chairs.
Wide audio coverage makes Jon and his buddies feel like they have rink-side seats. A full 7.1-channel surround-sound system featuring Klipsch speakers and a Sunfire subwoofer rock the theater area, while another pair of in-ceiling speakers serves the bar.
“Across the top of the RTI touchscreen they can select the video source for any TV they want, and then select the audio source,” says Aucoin. “So they can have three hockey games on with radio in the background maybe, or one game as the main audio choice.”
Another way Jon feels like a part of the action is by surrounding himself with Canadiens memorabilia and team colors.
They’re not as in-your-face as you’d find at a sports bar, but it’s clear this is Canadiens territory. The backsplash tiles and half of the bar stools are red, and above the bar a bulkhead area with lighting forms the shape of a “C” outlined in blue. Jon originally wanted the backsplash as red, white and blue stripes, but the interior designer put that idea on ice. There is some blue, however, emanating from all the A/V gear on display in the equipment rack, per Jon’s request. Home Concepts installed it at the base of the stairs, with the wiring accessible from a closet.
Montreal graphics even adorn the main pages Aucoin programmed into the RTI touchscreen, while other favorite teams serve as background pages on command pages for the radio (Saskatchewan Roughriders) and Jon’s DVR (Dallas Cowboys). The touchscreen also incorporates a full web browser, perfect for keeping up with scores and fantasy sports updates, or even emailing some trash talk after a Canadiens’ victory.
It may be the ultimate man cave for a hockey-loving Dad, but this entertainment area is also fun for the family’s daughters. One of the three HD DVRs contains only children’s programming, and the touchscreen page for controlling the device was programmed with a fading pink background.
Home Concepts also built a stage in front of the 119-inch theater screen so the girls and their friends can put on shows or sing along to music.
“We picked a screen that can be easily wiped and cleaned with a damp cloth in case kids touch it with dirty hands, and we located the speakers behind the screen a little higher than we’d normally, so if kids do bump into it they’re not bumping into a speaker grille,” says Aucoin. “We typically like to put the speakers about dead center on the screen [height], but these are in the top third of the screen.” Aucoin notes that the Klipsch speakers have pivoting tweeters that were angled toward the listeners, and Sencore calibration helped fine-tune the audio system.
The kids can also plug in a Nintendo Wii to play on the huge screen, with a wireless sensor bar so it’s not tethered to the equipment rack, in case Dad’s watching the Canadiens and the girls are elsewhere.
Systems Design and Installation
Calgary, AB, Canada
Bob Leontowich Homes
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1 Panasonic PT-AE3000 Projector
1 Da-Lite 119” Cinema Contour Perf
2 Panamax Power Conditioner + Rack ears
1 Denon AVR-2310CI Reciever
1 Panasonic BD-60 Blu-ray Player
3 Klipsch R-5800 In-wall Speakers
4 Klipsch CDT-5650 In-Celing Speakers
1 Sunfire HRS10 1000 watt Subwoofer
1 RTI T2C ZigBee Remote
2 Elan S8.6 Multiroom Controller (1 Zone is the Bar Area)
1 Elan Communications controller with Camera Door Station
1 RTI CB8 Connecting block
1 RTI XP8 RF Processor with 2 Zigbee Repeater
1 Elan V883 HD Video Distribution Switcher
1 RTI K4 Touchscreen + Video Isolator
1 Marantz ST7001 AM/FM Tuner
1 Escient FP1 Fireball iPod Dock
1 Aton 63C Speaker Pair (Bar)
1 Middle Atlantic ERK4025 Rack
5 Middle Atlantic U2 Shelves
1 Middle Atlantic U3 Shelf
1 Connectec + Liberty Interflex RG59 for Interconnects
4 Proflex Advanced HDMI Cables
2 Key Digital KD-VP8 (Converts Camera and iPod composite video and outputs component video into HD Matrix Switcher)
7 Lutron RA-6D RadioRa Dimmers
3 Lutron RA-AD Accessory Dimmers
2 Lutron RA-232 Interfaces
1 Lutron RA-REP-WH Repeater
3 Samsung 26” LCD TV
3 Small Articulating Panel Mount
2 Shaw Motorola HD Cable Box
1 Shaw Motorola HD-PVR Cable Box
1 D-Link N Gigabit Router
1 D-Link Network Switch