Talk about a fish out of water—or, more appropriately, a frozen pond. Homeowners Jon and Tanis Rivard live in hockey-crazed Canada, smack between Edmonton and Calgary in the Alberta town of Red Deer. But rather than root for the Oilers or Flames, Jon is fanatical about hockey’s version of the New York Yankees—the 24-time Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens.
Coincidentally, so is the staff at Calgary-based custom electronics firm Home Concepts, so when Jon approached them with the idea to outfit an entertainment room in Canadiens colors, they were happy to oblige.
“When he has friends over he has to fend for himself,” says Home Concepts’ P.J. Aucoin. “There aren’t too many of us Montreal fans out here. But it was a fun project for us, even though we’re in Calgary.”
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The space, which was constructed as part of a new home build, really consists of two impressive media areas—a theater featuring a 119-inch projection screen and a bar with three 26-inch LCDs. When friends are over, hockey nights in Red Deer are fun from any seat; the big screen is easily viewable from the bar, and the bar TVs are all on articulating arm mounts so they can be extended and swiveled.
A Panasonic 1080p projector fires at the Da-Lite screen and can access content from three high-def cable DVRs and Blu-ray player or act as an on-screen interface for viewing the front-door surveillance camera or making selections from the Escient iPod dock. The projector is virtually hidden within the ceiling alcove above the row of theater chairs.
Wide audio coverage makes Jon and his buddies feel like they have rink-side seats. A full 7.1-channel surround-sound system featuring Klipsch speakers and a Sunfire subwoofer rock the theater area, while another pair of in-ceiling speakers serves the bar.
“Across the top of the RTI touchscreen they can select the video source for any TV they want, and then select the audio source,” says Aucoin. “So they can have three hockey games on with radio in the background maybe, or one game as the main audio choice.”
Another way Jon feels like a part of the action is by surrounding himself with Canadiens memorabilia and team colors.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.