OK, so the Savant system is way cool—and the touchpanels just need power and Ethernet connections. So what about the other cool stuff?
Start with the full-blown Vantage lighting control system, using very Euro keypads styled by BTicino of Italy. During the Street of Dreams show, every day at 7 a.m. the lights turned on at preset levels, and the music turned on. Genesis also added the usual GOOD NIGHT, ALL OFF and VACATION scenes that power systems up or down depending on whether someone is in the house.
Hey, there’s also a stunning media room—we just can’t help it—with a 65-inch Runco 1080p plasma TV hung like one of the overlapping pieces of woodwork. Bay Audio’s Phantom series speakers are concealed in the ceiling for an immersive 5.1-channel experience. And when the views on the screen or out the windows overlooking the city aren’t enough, there’s a bar in the back with a wall of windows that opens to another media space outside. This has a 60-inch Runco plasma and four Bay Audio in-ceiling speakers. The speakers play audio off the whole-house music system or the TV. And if the TV is turned on, the speakers automatically switch over. Homeowners can also access the Kaleidescape DVD server that stores DVD movies right to hard drives and organizes them on screen by genre, artist, and producer—with cover art.
Here’s another cool Savant trick: Say you want to control something in the house via the TV? No problem. An on-screen display overlays the picture on the Runco plasmas, and icons for the lighting, security and other systems spin in the foreground. We’d call that stunning, but let’s just refer to it here as super sweet.
There are four other Bay Audio speakers outside the kitchen on a patio and two more in the outside area of the master bedroom. The kitchen features four very small 3-inch-diameter Bay Audio speakers that blend in with the ceiling’s down lights.
And naturally, everything can be controlled via an iPhone, on site or remotely. Homeowners can see the video feed from the three security cameras on the TVs, Savant touchpanels, iPhone or computers.
Even the Aprilaire HVAC system has some sleek features—as in no thermostats. Temperature sensors in every area were installed in the walls so they are practically invisible.
Stunning? Yes. Super sweet? Most definitely.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates