July 29, 2009
| by Lisa Montgomery
The Wii has unleashed and new degree of action and interactivity for gaming enthusiasts. A clever custom electronics professional (CE pro) in Normal, Ill., has made the world of Wii even more realistic by integrating it with a distributed audio and video system.
The setup is particularly well-suited for Wii Golf, says Jay McArdle of electronics integration firm Zeller Digital Innovations (ZDI), Inc.
“By distributed the audio and video throughout the house, a family can play one hole in one room, and have the audio in the hallway as they walk to the ‘next hole,’ or room and play again.”
Since ZDI’s first installation of the system in 2007, the setup has become a popular customer request.
“Now, anytime we put in a distributed audio and video system, we’ll add in the Wii,” says McArdle. If you already own a Wii console and a few TVs, the only added expense is a distribution system and extra wireless Wii bars, he adds. However, there are a few limitations. Three rooms are about all the system can handle, and those rooms must be within a 40 foot radius of the main Wii console.
“Distributed video has opened up other interesting applications for us,” McArdle continues.
In addition to the virtual golf course setup, a distributed video system can help parents monitor their kids’ computer use. The parents are able to see in real-time on the screen of any TV what the kids are doing on the computer. For one family, ZDI provided the parents with an even stricter means of control. From a touchpanel mounted in the kitchen they could flash the lights as a warning then turn off the computers remotely if necessary.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.