David Huse, owner of Theater Advice in Dallas, TX, knows that custom electronics integration means solving problems and satisfying customer requests. When a customer invites him into a home, Huse never knows exactly what kind of issues he’s going to find,
In the first project, the client wanted an outdoor TV for his cover, but not totally enclosed, backyard patio. The client didn’t want to spring for a more expensive weatherproof TV, so Huse’s job was to create a protective enclosure that would shield the TV from most of the elements (it would take six feet of water to get this TV wet) while also allowing it to be hidden away when not in use.
Because the placement was to be on a solid brick fireplace, Huse had to cut into the brick to create space for the custom cabinet, electronics and wiring. The TV was secured inside the cabinet with an Omnimout articulating mount that is post slim enough to fit in the space, but also allows the TV to be pulled out and positioned for wherever the viewers are sitting on the patio.
Also hidden inside the cabinet is a Sonos amplifier which connects to a set of rock speakers in the yard (not shown) and a cable set-top-box.
In the next project, the homeowner present the problem of what to do with a large alcove in the living room.
As you’ll see in the slideshow, this unusual alcove previously had a low cabinet with a TV sitting on top of that. However, because the alcove was deep, the TV was partially obscured to some viewers, and the homeowner wanted something that looked better in the room.
Huse suggest that the best option for the situation and the budget would be to build a custom cabinet that matched the low cabinet already there. With some modification to the existing structure, the homeowner would be able to have an elegantly-displayed TV and a more functional space.
Huse built the cabinet and hand-stained the wood. He installed a 65-inch Panasonic plasma with a Paradigm soundbar beneath it. Surrounding the TV he built in DVD storage space. On the floor level, a subwoofer is concealed by black acoustic fabric, and additional panels of fabric were added to give the design a better sense of balance.
Huse notes that with custom cabinetry of this sort, there’s very little room for error. Surrounding the TV, there’s only about 3/16 of an inch clearance, so measuring, and measuring again, and again, was very important. However the result looks like the cabinet and TV were made for each other, because they were.
LED accent lights in the alcove also complement the total look.
Huse also ensured that the system would be easy for the clients to use by leaving them with a fully-programmed URC MX-450 remote. He adds that at about $250, the MX-450 does all of the important things that much more expensive remote do, but saves his clients’ money. He also like that it’s easy to program. He programs the remote with full macros for every device plus three pages of channel icons, all without connecting it to a PC.
Click on the slideshow for more images of both of this installations.
To see two more Theater Advice projects check out this and this.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.