It was the ultra-contemporary European-style Kreon light fixtures that set the tone for the technologies in this master suite.
“Once we saw how modern they were, we knew we had to be just as sleek with our integration of the electronics,” says Edwin Melendez of Multimedia Innovations in Hallandale, Fla.
One of the slickest implementations of high-tech is the 50-inch Runco high-def plasma display that traverses on a motorized track installed within the ceiling. A command from a portable AMX touchpanel activates the Trak-kit track that pulls the set from a specially designed pocket in the wall and slides it into the correct viewing position. If the homeowners press the bed button, the set faces the bed; when they touch living area, the track rotates the TV toward the adjacent sitting area.
Wherever the TV goes, the surround sound follows. The Multimedia Innovations installers attached a custom-designed James Loudspeaker soundbar to the bottom of the TV so that the front left, right and center speakers turn along with the display. Both the bed and sitting area were fitted with their own pair of Stealth Acoustics invisible in-ceiling speakers to complete the two distinct surround-sound environments.
As the TV moves, the homeowners can use the touchpanel to darken the room, choosing to dim the lights or engage the motorized window shades and draperies. In seconds, the room is primed for movie viewing, and the AMX device is ready to grant yet another request.
From the touchpanel’s interactive on-screen display, the homeowners can select video from a Sony Blu-ray player, Kaleidescape media server, DirecTV high-definition cable box, or the hard drive of a computer. The same variety of sources is available to other TVs in the suite, including a 32-inch Seura mirror TV and a 12-inch touchpanel attached to the wall in the adjacent bathroom.
Mounted behind a specially designed pane of two-way glass, the Seura unit is only visible when it’s powered on. The display of the AMX touchpanel, on the other hand, is always active, ready to initiate control over systems in the master suite as well as the entire house.
“The display shows a complete overview of what’s happening throughout the house,” says Melendez. “At a glance, the homeowners can see which audio and video sources are playing and where, which lights are on and the setting of all the thermostats in the house.”
The panel also puts them in touch with the front door. Whenever the doorbell is pressed, the touchpanel rings and activates an intercom feature that allows the homeowners to speak to the visitor and unlock the door right from the bathroom. How’s that for staying on track?
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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.