Smart Controls for a Complicated Home
A cleverly designed automation system gives a home the smarts to operate all by itself… almost.
Touching a button on an MX-900 remote from Universal Remote Control tells the Draper screen to roll down from the ceiling, a Runco video projector to rev up and a rack of A/V components to activate.
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February 11, 2008 by Lisa Montgomery

The distribution system was divided into 23 distinct listening zones and subzones, which allows different songs to play simultaneously in different areas. The music travels from a rack of components in the main hallway to more than 23 pairs of Elan speakers mounted inconspicuously into the ceiling of each listening zone. In one zone, the Vantage system goes a step further to ensure a wonderful listening experience. The noisy compressor that cools the owners’ 500-bottle wine cellar shuts off automatically when the entertain button on the Vantage keypad in the adjacent tasting room is engaged. The same command brightens the room’s chandelier and wall sconces and waits for the owners to select a song to play while they sit back and sip from their own private stock. When the owners are finished, another button press reactivates the compressor.

Hollywood Heyday
In addition to great wine and music, the homeowners love classic movies. Their home theater was designed as a tribute to all the old-time favorites, including “Gone with the Wind,” “Bridge on The River Kwai,” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” Large film reels and movie posters of Hollywood’s biggest legends adorn the dark-blue faux-painted walls, creating a casual yet engaging environment for big-screen viewing. While the room decor screams screening room, no display is visible—until the owners press the movie button on the Universal Remote Control MX-900 remote. This one command triggers a sequence of events that transforms what appears to be a glamorous theme-inspired living room into an honest-to- goodness home theater. Within a matter of minutes, a 110-inch Draper video screen descends from the ceiling, a Runco video projector hidden inside a ventilated bulkhead revs up, the lights dim, and a rack of audio and video components tucked behind the bar prepares to play the movie of choice.

Pop-Up Video
The ceiling offered the perfect hiding spot for the theater room’s 110-inch motorized screen. In other areas of the house, Station Earth coordinated with the interior designer and architect to conceal flat-panel TVs inside cabinetry or blend them into the wall surface by framing them with custom millwork. “Of the 12 displays in the home, only two are visible when they’re not in use,” says Stumpf. Just as they do to control their lighting, music and home theater systems, the owners need only touch one button on a keypad or touchpanel to bring a flat-panel TV out of hiding. In the library, for example, a 43-inch Pioneer Elite plasma TV rises out of a custom-built motorized lift enclosure. When the owners are finished watching TV, another button can lower it back into the cabinet. Stowed away from sight, the TV lets the real magic of the room shine through—the elegant decor, the soft, subtle lighting effects, the beautiful background music, and of course, a touchpanel that lets the owners control their entire home with just a few taps on the screen.

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

Equipment List

Lighting Control System
Vantage/Legrand Infusion controllers (2)
Vantage/Legrand MPES-4-IC36 main power enclosures (2)
Vantage/Legrand secondary power enclosures (6)
Vantage/Legrand 120-volt latching relay modules (3)
Vantage/Legrand 120-volt dimming modules (20)
Vantage/Legrand lighting keypads (70)
Somfy motor-driven drapery tracks (4)

Whole-House Audio System
Elan S12R System 12 controllers (2)
Elan D1651 digital amplifiers (2)
Elan VIA DJHC hard drive music server
Elan DTNR digital dual radio tuner
Elan S12XK Link Kit for System 12
Elan VIASC4 four-port system controller
Elan MP650C in-ceiling speakers (25 pairs)

Keypads, Touchpanels and Remotes
Elan VIA64 LCD touchpanels (4)
Elan VIA Valet LCD touchpanels (3)
Elan VIA284 wireless LCD touchpanel
Elan Z100 in-wall keypads (6)
Vantage/Legrand Web Tablet PC touchpanel
Universal Remote Control MX-900 remotes (3)

Audio/Video Components
APC S15 power management system
Scientific Atlanta HD cable boxes (5)
EchoStar HD satellite receivers (2)
Pioneer Elite DV79AVI DVD players (3)
Pioneer Elite VSX-74xi surround-sound receiver

Home Theater
Runco CL610LT DLP video projector
Runco projector-hanging kit
Draper Ultimate Access V 110-inch motorized screen
SpeakerCraft AIM5 speakers (5)
Energy S10.3 subwoofers (2)
Pioneer Elite VSX84txi surround-sound amplifier
Pioneer Elite DVD player
Universal Remote Control MX-900 remote

Pioneer Elite 43-inch plasma TVs (2)
Pioneer Elite PDPS35 plasma TV speakers (4)
Sony 23-inch LCD TVs (2)
Sony 26-inch LCD TVs (2)
Sony 32-inch LCD TVs (4)
Sony 40-inch LCD TV

Racks, Lifts and Mounts
Activated Decor motorized plasma lift
DB Industries flat plasma mounts (2)
Middle Atlantic racks (3)
OmniMount articulating wall mounts (5)

Electronics Design and Installation
Station Earth
Fergus, Ontario

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