April 21, 2010
by Arlen Schweiger
What’s better than being able to watch movies on a 122-inch projection screen? Watching them while you’re soaking in a Jacuzzi.
As long as there was an addition being built to this home that would include a media room, why not make sure it would be viewable from the nearby outdoor space? Ask and ye shall receive, was what Jeff Cooper, president of Menifee, Calif.-based Simply Sight and Sound, relayed to these homeowners, who certainly deserved a treat for the place after it was nearly destroyed by wildfire. Thankfully the home was saved, and the owners are able to fully enjoy it.
“This room was part of an 1,100-square-foot addition to the house. It was initially planned as nothing more than a small TV room for the kids with just a flat panel on the wall and a Wii gaming system,” says Cooper. “After looking at the room layout, and learning more about the different prospective uses, we pitched the idea of making this a full on fun/media room. The owner was very receptive and actually asked if we could design the system so it could be viewed from the outdoor Jacuzzi as well while still having a great a sounding system.”
The video request was relatively easy, when you combine the room’s rear sliding doors with a whopping projection screen. There actually is a flat-panel display still in there, but it’s mounted along a side wall (a 52-inch Sharp LCD) if one’s facing the projection screen wall. That’s when the screen is in view, of course—it’s a 122-inch Stewart Filmscreen motorized model that was installed flush into a cabinet soffit and can retract when not in use with the room’s Epson projector.
For the audio solution, Simply Sight and Sound used a combination of Pinnacle front-channel speakers and SpeakerCraft surround speakers ... plus a pair of SpeakerCraft speakers to be set up outdoors. Three Pinnacle QP9 speakers were installed into the upper section of the cabinet, including the center channel in a cavity that the maker notched into the upper soffit. Four SpeakerCraft Aim Wide 3 models act as the surrounds (the audio is fed by a Denon receiver), and two more were installed outside for the coverage by the sitting and Jacuzzi areas.
An Escient Vision media server supplies convenient storage and access for the homeowners’ media, and RTI controller and remotes can navigate things easily whether people are sitting indoors or in the tub. “The system is controlled inside by an RTI T3-V Remote, which talks to a local RTI RP-6 System Controller and the whole-house RTI XP-8 Control system,” says Cooper. “For controlling the system from the Jacuzzi, we programmed an RTI U2 system controller to give the family full control from the outdoor area.
The room also features integrated lighting control to set the mood for movies or Wii gaming. Lutron RadioRA dimmers were installed so lights could dim upon a source selection and brighten when a movie is paused or when the system is shut down.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.