The owners of this beautifully designed contemporary master bedroom had nearly given up on having a TV in their room.
“They didn’t really like the idea of having to look off to the side to see the screen,” says Frank Palazzetti of Audio Video Excellence in Pleasantville, NY. Attaching a flat screen over the fireplace was an option, but that was also nixed.
The homeowners had painstakingly chosen special white marble for the fireplace so the last thing they wanted to do was cover it up with a TV. Placing the set in a cabinet at the foot of the bed was considered as well, but that idea was ultimately deemed too intrusive for a room with such sleek, modern lines. Left with few other options, the crew at Audio Video Excellence looked to the floor—or rather, beneath the floor, for a solution. After a portion of the flooring had been carefully cut away, Audio Video Excellence installed an Electro-Kinetics TV lift into the floor and mounted a 50-inch Pioneer plasma TV to the top of it. Most of the time, the TV and lift hide out in the basement below the bedroom.
A top for the lift was stained to match the grain of the floor for when the TV is in the down position. When the owners press a button on a Crestron ML500 handheld remote, the TV ascends to a perfect viewing height. Another click of the remote can swivel the TV to the left or right toward the homeowners’ gym equipment or sitting area. Audio Video Excellence programmed the remote so that the same command that turns on the DVD player, high-def cable box or super VHS VCR would elevate the lift and turn on the TV. The audio from these video sources can be played through a pair of Paradigm in-wall speakers, the TV’s built-in speakers or Sennheisser wireless headphones. The owners enter their speaker choice on the remote. Another click can bring up images on the screen captured by surveillance cameras positioned around the property. It’s a convenient way for the owners to check up on the house before turning in for the night.
Music listening is another option in this master bedroom. The ML500 can signal the Crestron audio distribution system to play tunes from an iPod in the kitchen or from a Marantz AM/FM tuner or CD player that share space with the video components in the family room.
At this point, the owners can power down the TV with one command that swivels the set back to its home position and lowers it quietly into the floor. Now, if only there were a motor that could make the bed.
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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.