Texas Brownstone Takes Whole-House A/V to New Level
From the first to fourth floor, this homeowner can easily manage all of his high-end entertainment systems.
Texas Brownstone
One brownstone, two very different homes.
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August 21, 2008 by Lisa Montgomery

Adding to the impact is an automated masking system that alters the shape of the screen based on the format of the chosen video. When Tony selects a DVD movie set in a 16:9 format, for example, a sheath of black fabric rolls down each side of the 2.35:1 screen. The ability to hide unused portions of the display eliminates visual distractions for a more engaging viewing experience. Should a CinemaScope movie be cued from the AMX touchpanel, the masking fabric rolls back up into a slim housing near the ceiling to reveal the entire superwide screen.

As the screen alters its shape, the AMX system revs up the projector, an Anthem surround-sound receiver, and the chosen video source (a high-def DVD player, high-def satellite receiver or Xbox gaming console are available via a touch of the AMX panel). Audio is fed to seven James speakers and three James subwoofers to envelop the 17-by-30-foot space. The volume level adjusts automatically based on the source that’s selected, per settings programmed into the system by Dodson.

Unlike most of the movie theater gear, though, the speakers are indiscernible, having been placed behind the walls and in the ceiling as the room was being finished. For the front three speakers, Dodson designed the wall underneath the screen to angle up slightly, so that the speakers would fire up a bit. “This puts the prize sound through your head all the way back to the snack bar,” says Dodson. “Creating an even distribution of sound was the objective for this theater. We wanted the sound quality to be equal for every seat in the room.”

Equal Entertainment
The rest of the brownstone gets its fair share of awesome entertainment, too. Content from a Marantz DVD player and three DirecTV satellite receivers, each with a built-in digital video recorder, can be routed to TVs throughout the house. There are 50-inch Philips plasmas in the living room and dining room; a 42-inch LG plasma in the master bedroom; 32-inch LG plasmas in three guest rooms, a sitting room and a rooftop patio; and a 32-inch Sharp LCD TV in the master bath. Video signals travel from various equipment locations to the TVs over a network of high-speed Category 5 cabling, a wiring infrastructure that Dodson says is more efficient and less expensive to install than conventional RGB cabling.

Tony can select and control the video sources from either an AMX touchpanel or a handheld AMX Mio remote. “While Tony’s getting dressed in the morning, he can grab either device to have the TV in the bedroom play a show he recorded the night before on the DVR, pause it, then continue watching the show on the plasma TV downstairs,” says Dodson. “No matter where Tony goes, the video can go with him.” That’s quite an accomplishment in a home that towers four stories tall. Add whole-house music, sophisticated lighting, a home theater and a robust home-management system, and it’s clear that Tony’s decision to go beyond the basics was a good one.

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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

Whole-House Audio and Video
AutoPatch PrecisLT 18x8 Audio Matrix
AutoPatch Optima 16x16 HD Video Matrix
AudioControl Model 1600 16x50-watt H-Class Amplifier
Russound R1250MC 12x50-watt Amplifier
CE labs Cat5TR HDTV Cat5 Transmitters/Receivers (9)
Paradigm AMS-100R In-Ceiling Speakers (16)
Paradigm AMS-150R In-Ceiling Speakers (4)
Paradigm Stylus 470 Outdoor Speakers (6)
James CS-110P 10-inch In-Ceiling Subwoofers (2)
DirecTV HR20 HDTV DVRs (2)
DirecTV H20 HDTV Receiver
Marantz DV-7000 DVD Player

Philips 50MF231D 50-inch HD Plasma TVs (2)
LG M4210C-BA 42-inch HD Plasma TV
LG M3201-BAF 32-inch HD Plasma TVs (5)
Sharp LC26D60U 26-inch LCD TV

AMX NI-4100 Controller
AMX MVP-8400 Modero Viewpoint Touchpanels (2)
AMX MVP-WDS Modero Viewpoint Docking Stations (2)
AMX R2 Mio Modero RF Handheld Remotes (4)
AMX NXA-UPS-1500 Uninterruptible Power Supply

Lighting and Shading
LiteTouch Lighting Control System
Lutron Vimco Motorized Shades

Runco VX-2cx 3-Chip DLP Video Projector
Stewart Filmscreen 120-inch 2.35 CinemaScope Screen
Anthem AVM 30 Surround-Sound Processor
Anthem MCA 30 3x225-watt Amplifier
Anthem PVA2 2x125-watt Amplifiers (2)
James 63-SDXLCR In-Wall Speakers (3)
James 33-SDXLCR In-Wall Speakers (4)
James 110-SDXP In-wall Subwoofers (2)
James EMB1500 Subwoofer
Microsoft Xbox 360 Gaming Console
AMX NI-3000 Controller
AMX MVP-8400 Modero Viewpoint Touchpanel
AMX MVP-WDS Modero Viewpoint Docking Station

Phone System
Panasonic KX-TAW848 KSU
Panasonic KX-T7736 Tabletop Phones (9)
Panasonic KX-T7860 Cordless Phones (4)
Panasonic KX-T7775 Door Phones (2)

Electronics Design and Installation
M Audio Video Design Group, Ltd.
Dallas, TX

David Schlossel
The Pacific Group
Arlington, TX

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