Blessed with wonderful lakefront views and stunning architecture, the master bedroom of this high-end Florida home had all the makings of a relaxing respite – not a high-performance media room.
Still, the owners were convinced that this space could be redesigned to accommodate a big-screen TV and a surround-sound system without interfering with the view or the clean, uncluttered aesthetic. But with curved walls covered in glass and flanked with pockets for hiding motorized drapery tracks, mounting a TV to the wall was out of the question, says Jeff Galea, CEO and president of Boca Theater & Automation, Boca Raton, Fla. The custom electronics (CE) pros at Boca also considered installing a mechanism that could slide the TV out from underneath the bed, but again, lack of space (due to electronic mattresses) prevented it.
The only solution, says Galea was to bury the display 10 feet into the ground and assemble it on an electronic lift. Able to respond to commands from a portable AMX touchpanel—the same one the owners use to monitor and manage the lights, thermostats, and other gear throughout their 10,000-square-foot house—the lift would raise the TV into perfect viewing position.
Although a seemingly simple solution, it was one that would involve some serious excavation and engineering. After ripping up the concrete floor and foundation, crews dug into the earth to create a cavity for a specially constructed watertight and ventilated fiberglass housing that would hold and protect the display while it was in the down position. A motorized lift from Inca was incorporated into the design, customized to bear the weight of the TV and the front left, right and center speakers, and move the entertainment system up and down 80 inches.
After the “dirty work” was complete, the floor and windows were replaced, the TV was wired to a rack of A/V equipment located in an equipment closet elsewhere in the house, and speakers for a 5.2 surround-sound system were installed. Special ordered from Bay Audio, the size of the front, left, right and center speakers frame the display perfectly, so much so that they look as if they are simply a part of the TV bezel. The rear Sonance architectural speakers were installed flush into the ceiling near the headboard of the bed. Two Sonance subwoofers complete the audio arrangement, also having been tucked into the ceiling while the room was being renovated.
Two AMX 5200i touchpanels communicating with four AMX NI processors manage everything electronic in this master bedroom, and every other room in the house. From wireless touchpanels the owners are in complete control of the motorized TV lift, electronic window coverings, lights, heating and cooling, music and security in this 300—square-foot space. Drilling deeper into the menu, they can monitor and manage the rest of the house, right from the comfort of their bed. Additionally, backlit Lutron keypads mounted into the nightstands at each side of the bed lets the owners quickly turn on and off the lights in the bedroom and the entire house. For these homeowners, two types of control—portable touchpanels and stationary keypads—were better than one.
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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.