Best Master Suite
Bronze Winner
JVC QMotion
Smart Controls and Music in Master Suite
Technology Creates a Restful Retreat
View Slideshow
May 12, 2014 by Grant Clauser


System Design & Installation
Elite Home Technologies
(a division of HiFi House)
Broomall, PA
www.hifihouse.com
Architect
Warren Claytor Architects
Wayne, PA
www.warrenclaytorarchitects.com

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Many technology enthusiasts put all their best equipment and design elements into their media room or home theater. Not so with these homeowners. They like to relax in bed with music or a movie, so the master suite was where all the ingenuity went.

The family was having an older farmhouse remodeled and knew they wanted to incorporate the latest technology into their project, so they connected with Malvern, Penn.-based HiFi House to learn what was possible. Harry Blanchard of the company’s Elite Home Technologies Division delivered more than they could have imagined.

Like a lot of homeowners, they wanted advanced technology, but they didn’t want to see it. Blanchard says this is an area in which the company excels, and that experience was instrumental to completing this project.

The first request was for a large TV that could be viewed comfortably from the bed. The problem was that directly in front of the bed was an impressive fireplace, and the couple insisted on hanging original artwork above the mantel—no TV could be placed there. An idea for a lift that could bring a TV up from under the bed was also considered, and abandoned. Then Blanchard showed them how a TV could be lowered from a hidden spot in the ceiling. Everyone loved the idea, but it came with a question: Was there enough space above the ceiling? The attic above the bedroom wasn’t high enough to allow the TV to drop straight down, but it would fit if lowered on a trap door. The attic was also weatherized properly so there was no risk that the TV would bake or freeze, depending on the season.

Stealth Audio Everywhere

Hiding high-performance gear is one of Elite Home Technology’s specialties. The company’s Harry Blanchard especially likes the Sonance VP-49 architectural speakers because they’re quite small (only the 4-inch grille shows) but perform very well. He says that one of the tricks to maximizing the performance of small speakers is matching them with a good subwoofer. The Sonance BPS-1 works perfectly in these situations because it can be capped with the same 4-inch grille as the VP-49, which makes only a small visual impression in a ceiling. Even the laundry room attached to the master suite has this speaker trio. “I put a subwoofer in every room of the house,” says Blanchard.

Having a 60-inch Sharp TV descend from a hidden hatch in the ceiling exudes cool, but this room needed audio, too. To satisfy this part of the A/V equation, Blanchard ordered a custom-built Leon Speakers L/C/R soundbar that could also be attached to the TV’s trap door (the speaker actually weighs more than the TV). Complementing the Leon soundbar are two Sonance in-ceiling speakers plus a pair of Sonance in-ceiling subwoofers, one at the front and one at the rear of the room. “The homeowners had no idea they were getting two subwoofers,” notes Blanchard, “but they love the way the system sounds.”

The couple enjoys a variety of A/V sources, including TV DVRs, a Blu-ray player, Apple TV and streaming music, all from the comfort of their bed. A Crestron remote allows them to control the system, including the room’s Lutron dimmer switches, while an iPad resting on an induction charging panel on the nightstand allows easy viewing of the home’s many security cameras.

The A/V fun doesn’t stop in the bedroom, though. When the couple steps into the master bath, they can continue to watch their TV show by turning on the 19-inch Séura LCD TV hidden behind the mirror. When the TV is off, it completely disappears and the mirror functions as a typical mirror. Audio is provided by two more Sonance in-ceiling speakers and an in-ceiling subwoofer. For convenience a Crestron touchpanel is positioned near the bathroom sink so no one has to handle a remote. From the touchpanel the users can cue up their favorite TV channel or Pandora station, and then send that music to the kitchen when it’s time to go downstairs for breakfast.

The homeowners are thrilled with the system, says Blanchard, and they didn’t totally understand how cool it would be until they saw it in action.


Home tech and home automation ideas:
High-Tech Home Control Additions to Your Master Bedroom
Integrated Control vs. Multiple Apps for Home Automation
How to Add Lighting Control to Your Home

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.


MECHANICAL AREA - EQUIPMENT RACK (Continued in “Lower Level”)

AUDIO SOURCES:
Crestron CEN - iServer in rack – iPod based servers (x2)
Crestron CEN-TRACK (tuner) – ATC-AMFMXMD (x2)
Crestron ATC-Audionet card (AM/FM/XM/Pandora)


VIDEO SOURCES:
Verizon HD /DVR cable boxes (one for each member of the family) (x4)
Apple TV (x2)


SWITCHING/PROCESSING:
Crestron CP3
Crestron DM-MD8X8
Crestron DMC-C-DSP card (x2)
Crestron DMC-HD-DSP card (x6)
Crestron SWAMP-24X8
Crestron SWAMP8-E
Integra DTR 30.5 (Family Room)
Integra DTR 30.5 (Master Bedroom)
Sonance Sonamp A800 (x7)


SECOND FLOOR

MASTER BEDROOM:
Sharp LC-60LE857U
Activated Designs FD-120-9 (TV Lift)
Crestron DM RMC 100C
AudioQuest HDMI
AudioQuest, CAT to TV (232 Controls)
Leon Speakers custom LCR speaker bar
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1 subwoofers (x2)
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote
iPad w/iPort Sleeve and iPort inductive tabletop charger


WIC:
CEN-RFGW-EX gateway
Panasonic cordless phone antenna
Crestron DM RMC 100C (Bathroom TV)


MASTER BATHROOM:
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1 (x2)
Crestron TSW-1050 touch panel (for system, and local Mirror TV control)
Séura 19” TV behind a 60” x 32” custom mirror and frame


LAUNDRY ROOM:
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1
Samsung UN26EH4000 with DM RMC 100C
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote


GUEST BEDROOM:
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1
Crestron CEN-RFGW-EX
Samsung UN46F5000
Crestron DM RMC 100C
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote


SLEEPING PORCH:
Mobotix M-15 IP security cameras (x2)
Raytech Dual panel high power IR blasters (x2)
Pixel tech professional grade XM antenna


FIRST FLOOR

FAMILY ROOM:
Samsung UN55F8000
Chief PXR-UB motorized articulating arm bracket
Leon Speakers custom LCR speaker bar
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1 (x2)
Crestron DM RMC 100C
Xbox 360 w/Kinect
Nintendo Wii
Crestron DM-TX-201-C
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote
CEN-RFGW-EX gateway


KITCHEN:
Samsung UN40F6400
Activated Design TPL-265-9-S (TV Lift)
Sonance VP-49 (x4)
Sonance BPS-1
Crestron DM RMC 100
Crestron CEN-RFGW-EX gateway
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote
iPad w/iPort Sleeve and iPort inductive tabletop charger


BREAKFAST ROOM:
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1
Crestron TSW-1050 touch panel


OFFICE:
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1
Crestron CEN-RFGW-EX gateway
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote


OUTDOOR COVERED PATIO:
Sunbrite TV SB4610HD
Crestron DM RMC 100C
Sonance VP-49 (x2)
Sonance BPS-1
Crestron MTX-3 touch screen remote


STUDY PORCH ENTRANCE:
Mobotix D-15 IP security camera


FRONT ENTRY CAMERA:
Mobotix D-15 IP security camera
Custom hidden phone door box intercom with door bell switch


MUDROOM ENTRY:
Mobotix D-15 IP security camera
Custom hidden phone door box intercom with door bell switch


LOWER LEVEL

EXERCISE/TRAINING AREA:
JBL Control 30 (x4)
Paradigm SUB 1
Crestron TSW-1050W


RACKS AND POWER CONDITIONING:
Torus Power – WM75BAL/AVR/TVSS
Misc Middle Atlantic racks and accessories
Furman Sound Reference SPR-20i power regulators (x4)
Furman Sound F1500-UPS and Batt1500-EXT for network and cameras
Furman Sound BlueBOLT card for F1500-UPS
Panamax M4320 BlueBOLT power/surge units (20 amp) (x2)


PHONE/INTERCOM:
Panasonic TA-824 phone/intercom KSU
Panasonic KX-7736B phone handsets
Panasonic KX-TD7896 cordless handsets
Panamax MB-850 UPS


ENTERPRISE NETWORK:
866-K9 - Cisco 800-series router + VPN
901-1112-US00 - Ruckus ZoneDirector wireless LAN controller
Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 access point (x6)
C3560CG-8PC - Cisco Catalyst switch: 8 Gigabit PoE+ Ethernet ports with PoE and two dual-purpose gigabit uplinks
C2960S-48TS - Cisco Catalyst switch: 48-port Gigabit Ethernet ports with two SFP uplinks
SG300-10P – Cisco 300 series POE switch
SG300-28P – Cisco 300 series POE switch
QNAP NAS 12TB server for security camera recordings


CELL PHONE SIGNAL BOOSTER:
Wide Band Directional Antennas (x2)
AG Pro 70 In-Line Signal Booster
Wall Mount antenna – 700-2 (x8)
Surge suppression and misc splitters, etc.


BARN AND GATE:
Mobotix M-15 security cameras (x2)
Mobotix T25 gate camera
Call box interface to Panasonic phone intercom system
Raytech Dual panel high power IR blasters (x2)
Yamaha RS-700 stereo receiver
Yamaha YBA-11 Bluetooth adaptor
Meridian Director DAC
Paradigm SUB 10
Paradigm Stylus 470 (Pair)
Furman Sound F1500-UPS
Furman Sound Batt1500-EXT for network and cameras
Furman Sound BlueBOLT card for F1500-UPS
Misc Middle Atlantic racks and accessories
Fiber runs connect the two buildings


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