November 07, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
“Emmitt wore a different helmet in each quarter of the game where he broke the record. He broke it in the third quarter, and everything from that run went to the Hall of Fame. For the other three helmets, supposedly one is in [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones’ house, one is in Emmitt’s house, and the other is in mine,” the homeowner says.
The car stereo hobby is also how he met Hoover, whose company has roots in high-end mobile audio/video. “I’ve always been into audio/video,” the homeowner says. “I just moved from the car into the home. I’d rather have all this sitting in the house than in the driveway.”
A driveway couldn’t accommodate everything in this ex-garage, which Audio Advisors senior service technician Jim Votino helped transform into a theater. While a Lutron lighting system highlights the memorabilia on the side walls, it’s not easy to take your eyes off the front wall. That’s filled by a 110-inch Stewart Filmscreen fixed display (fed by a Sharp 1080p DLP projector) and three 32-inch Sharp LCD TVs.
A pair of Velodyne subwoofers and seven in-wall Sonance Silhouette II loudspeakers put viewers in the middle of the action. The rear surrounds are hidden in the back wall behind a high-resolution silkscreen photo of the Swamp that the homeowner had digitally reproduced from a media guide. “Half the sky is orange and half of it is blue, so I said that’s the shot I had to use for the backdrop.”
The homeowner used to travel regularly to the stadium in Gainesville, but 10-month-old twins make the home theater a more convenient game day destination now. There’s no shortage of tailgating options, though: The back of the room features a full wet bar with an icemaker and two beverage centers.
Thanks to the Crestron automation, the homeowner and his wife, also a Gators alum, can keep tabs on the babies’ room camera or see what guests might be arriving from a touchscreen controller or any of the big screens. The TPMC-8X touchpanel also allows for simple video switching between sources—including DirecTV, PlayStation 3, a Sony DVD megachanger and a Sony Blu-ray changer—plus all the clicking between games and switching from the small screen to the large one at times. It’s even a snap for the family’s 6-year-old daughter, the homeowner says.
The theater is devoted to Florida down to the chairs and floor, with faux alligator fabric upholstery and alligator-texture carpeting. Just swampy enough for this Gator.
Click here to view more pictures of the Gator Theater.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.