When Ian Poulter isn’t traveling the globe on golf tournaments, you might find him tinkering in his 6-bay garage, where his prized collection of cars is proudly displayed, and carefully monitored and managed by the same Crestron control system that runs his 6,000-square-foot home.
As one of the most unique applications of technology for the Poulter family, says custom electronics (CE) professional Tracy Adcock of Orlando-based HSS Custom AV, via a menu on a Crestron touchpanel (there a total of 16, including one in the garage), Poulter can cue any of the six garage doors to open, depending on which car he’d like to drive. Aimed at each bay is an Axis surveillance camera, so Poulter can view on the touchpanel the current arrangement of the cars.
This ease of control carries through to the house, where comfort and convenience were Poulters’ main reasons for outfitting his house with a plethora of technology during its construction. “I wanted to be the best at what I do when I’m on the golf course. So when I built my house I wanted the best products possible to make my life easier,” says Poulter. Having 16 touchpanels and an iPad app from which to monitor and control all things electronic, therefore, was a crucial part of the design. “They can just go to the touchpanels to check on things and control them without having to run around the house,” says Adcock.
The panels also function as intercoms, a feature that is put to good use everyday by the Poulters as a way to monitor the baby. “The nursery as its own camera and microphone, which can be accessed by touching the Monitor button on any touchpanel,” Adcock explains.
While the custom-designed touchpanels definitely make the household easier to manage, having certain things happen automatically is the ultimate in convenience. To minimize heat build up and glare from the hot Florida sun, HSS Custom AV programmed the Crestron system to move the Lutron motorized shades up and down based on the position of the sun. Exterior lighting turns on and off automatically, too, per the system’s internal astronomical clock. And for an extra degree of protection, interior and exterior lights activate, and the shades open whenever the security system is tripped.
Security becomes even more crucial for Poulter when he is away from home on a golf tournament. From a smartphone he can monitor all systems tied to the Crestron control processor and make adjustments if necessary. “You can do anything from wherever you are,” Poulter says.
When Poulter does get a chance to relax and unwind, the automation system delivers ample entertainment throughout the property. A Crestron DigitalMedia HD video distribution hub feeds content from a variety of components to every TV, including two 50-inch Sunbrite TVs outside. One of Poulter’s favorite features of the video distribution system, says Adcock, is the ability to turn on and off any TV from the master bedroom touchpanel. “He can even see what the kids are watching and shut off the TVs at bedtime.”
One of the best places to watch video is in the dedicated 12-seat home theater. Like the rest of the TVs, the Helios 3-chip DLP projector/123-inch Vutec Silverstar Screen combo has access to three gaming systems—PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii—plus a Blu-ray disc player, DirecTV receiver, cable boxes and Apple TV. The big screen can display one source, while the two LCD screens on each side of the VuTec display something else. “I can watch sports on the big screen and the kids can play video games or watch movies on the smaller screens, says Poulter. “Everyone is happy.” Using a handheld Crestron touchpanel he can move a game or program from a smaller screen to the larger screen. That same touchpanel offers a quick way to set the lights in the room. RBH speakers and subwoofers comprise the surround-sound system.
Music travels to built-in RBH speakers throughout the house just as freely as the video travels to the TVs. A Crestron Sonnex multiroom audio distribution system makes that magic happen, and again, the Poulters choose what they’d like to hear and where they’d like to hear it via any touchpanel or an iPad.
Individualized control of the various systems of the house via touchpanel is handy, but often the Poulters need some of those separate systems to work as one. Here’s where global scene settings, customized by HSS Custom AV, spring into action. By touching the Party button on a touchpanel, for example, the Poulters can prepare their home for a gathering of friends in seconds. LED lighting accentuates trophy cases and illuminates a stunning glass and stainless steel staircase while activating the music system. Other scenes set the mood for other occasions, so whether Poulter is on or off the golf course, he can always celebrate his decision to embrace a high-tech lifestyle.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.