Ultimate Home Office Mixes Work & Play
Five displays and 7.1 surround sound make the office space sizzle in this California desert home.
News, sports, movies—this homeowner can watch ‘em all at once on the 70-inch Sony Qualia and four 32-inch Sony TVs in his home office. Photo by Michael Neveux.
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October 01, 2007 by Arlen Schweiger

Blockbuster action heroes might get the glamour and the girls, but villains generally have better gadgets. The James Bond series blurs that line, with our hero enjoying his share of cool stuff. But his enemies are no slouches when it comes to evilly delicious technology and futuristic hideouts, as this La Quinta, CA–homeowner points to Bond villainy in describing his own home office, whose audio/video setup could make Goldfinger yearn for a 21st century touch.

“The multiple TV setup in the office may not be as cool as Elliot Carver’s in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies,’ but it still has to be classified as cool and functional,” says the homeowner, with a nod to Jonathan Pryce’s bad-guy character in the 1997 flick. The five televisions—a 70-inch Sony Qualia rear-projection set along with four 32-inch Sony LCDs—is definitely cool. Throw in a surround-sound music system, iPod docking station, Xperinet media server, AMX wireless color touchpanel home control and network router for the space, and you’ve got one fully connected lair.

Mixing Work and Pleasure
Because the homeowner conducts most of his business and spends most of the day in the home office, it seemed natural that the room would serve as the signature space for Indio, CA–based RNX International’s comprehensive installation approach. Aside from the office, the company installed audio/video solutions in everything from the master bath to the great room to the exercise room to the kitchen to the outdoor terrace.

As an avid golfer—virtually a prerequisite for residency in the Palm Springs area—the homeowner cites the Golf Channel as a constant on the displays, which he says are typically left on throughout the day. Other mainstays are Fox News, Bloomberg, CNN and, since the room doubles as a prime viewing space for his wife and kids as well, the Disney Channel. During the workday, television audio often gives muted way to tunes streamed from an iPod and iPort Music System from Sonance.

The audio/video preamplifier and separate power amp from Anthem fuel the 7.1-channel surround-sound system in the office. The setup includes three Genelec speakers, four Thiel in-ceiling speakers and a 200-watt Genelec subwoofer. There’s plenty of thump when the homeowner wants it, whether he’s on a lunch break and cranking up the iTunes or enjoying a movie with the family.

“That room serves multiple purposes. It’s a very comfortable office that’s also built as a home theater,” he says. “The sound system is powerful, and the fact that the 70-inch TV is complemented by four 32-inch sets really makes it a useful information center. Besides being useful during the day, it’s hard to get around the killer enclave that it makes for watching movies. It’s a little like having a nightclub sound system in an 800-square-foot theater.”

Stepping Up
The uberpopular iPod supplies much of the office and the entire home’s music content, with help from networked Apple computers that allow for easy music transfer. Other audio and video content, from sources such as CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and a cable DVR, is either stored on or distributed by an Xperinet 1.75-terabyte hard drive server and an ADA Suite 16 system.

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

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