There are game rooms, and then there are some wild game rooms. The showcase room in this home is another story: It’s dedicated to wild game.
The owner of this 12,000-square-foot Dallas home has been going on safari trips to Africa more than once a year for nearly a decade, and when he had his sprawling residence constructed, he wanted to highlight a trophy room. It was also the impetus for bringing an electronic systems installation company on board, since the owner needed proper humidity control for the roughly 2,000-square-foot space and wished to enhance the room through lighting.
“That was the real reason for doing the automation,” says Rick Smith of Plano, TX–based Advanced Home Theater Systems, a Crestron dealer. “He’s got everything in there from full-size lions to wild boar, from little to big. He needed real-time control of the HVAC and humidifiers to maintain the humidity around 45 percent to keep the trophies from aging, and he really wanted to have finite control of the lighting.”
At night, the homeowner can press a button on one of the home’s 39 Crestron control interfaces—35 wall mounted, four portable—and everything turns off except selected mood lighting, such as sconces in the wild game room and study, which are dimmed to 25 percent. Another lighting scene for the trophies sets low lighting and highlights, creating shadows on the animals as though they were on an African landscape under the moonlight.
“He was more interested in the darker scenes to accentuate the shadows and make a more realistic, imposing look,” says Smith, “because if you encounter one of these critters in the nighttime, you might see a shadow before seeing the actual animal.”
The wild game room is a special stop on house tours, but the rest of the home is quite a prize, too. Ten Runco plasmas and a Samsung LCD are mounted throughout, and Monitor Audio Gold IW in-wall speakers handle most of the 16 audio zones. A notable exception is the media room, which rocks with a full 7.1-channel James Loudspeaker surround system and Halcro processing and amplification. The video features a Runco VX-2000d CW DLP projector that offers 1080p resolution and fills the CinemaScope 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen, a 116-incher from Stewart Filmscreen.
In the homeowner’s master bedroom, there’s a 65-inch Runco 1080p plasma. It marked a step up from the 60-inch TV originally planned, which was bumped when Runco introduced the larger model during construction. It also posed a challenge for Smith’s team, because the TV’s scaler and controller piece were in the equipment room—150 feet away from the plasma and, at the time, less than ideal for sending the 1080p signal and RS-232 serial control commands. Eventually it worked out, and now the owner has no trouble receiving distributed HD content from the comfort of his bed.
When his African safari guides visit, they book their stay in the homeowner’s four-star upstairs guest quarters, which includes a full kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms. Each bedroom has a 42-inch plasma, while a 50-inch Runco on an articulating bracket lets guest view the set from the dining or living areas. Let the high-definition safari begin.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.