May 03, 2010
by Steven Castle
The curtains close over the curved glass wall of the sitting room, and in the bedroom area three custom-sized Lutron Sivoia blackout shades descend for those rare times the owners don’t want to feel like they’re lying on the beach. Another blackout shade descends to block light from the sitting room.
The curtains and shades are controlled by a Crestron system, with keypads on either side of the curved, custom headboard. The whole-house Crestron system is also tied to the RTI remote — a Crestron touchpanel has yet to find its way into the bedroom — and the homeowners can see a layout of their house via their kitchen’s 12-inch touchscreen.
You don’t often see a motorized lift slide a TV out from under a bed, lift it and flip it up. The special lift costs about $14,000 and comes from MK 1 Studio.
The steel housing under the bed for the lift, explains Lipkovicius, actually serves as part of the bed frame, which was designed by Ken Ronchetti at Ken Ronchetti Design Group, and fabricated and installed by Design Synthesis of San Diego.
Facing downward, the TV slides out on two arms, which then angle up as the TV is tilted up and into a viewing position. For this reason, the relatively lightweight, 39-pound Samsung UN46B7000 46-inch LED TV was chosen. The set is also just 1.2 inches thick, which also helps with its transport and storage. The lift contains channels for wiring that are 2 inches wide in the tightest turns. Access panels in the bed skirt can be opened to service the lift.
The only drawback to this TV and lift arrangement: It’s an edge-lit LED TV. This makes it thinner than those that have full LED backlighting panels, but it also means a less uniform picture due to it only being illuminated from the sides. Plus, it lacks local dimming, in which arrays of backlighting LEDs turn off in dark areas of the picture, vastly improving both contrast and all-important black levels.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates