Wild Tech, Big Game Merge in Hunter’s Home
The prized room in this large Dallas residence is full of trophies from the homeowner’s many safari trips.

- Grand Spaces

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May 01, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger

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

Equipment List

Crestron PAC2 professional automation processor
Crestron TPS4L 3.8-inch color wall-mount touchpanels (2)
Crestron TPS-2000 5-inch ISys color in-wall touchpanels (12)
Crestron TPS-3100 6-inch ISys color in-wall touchpanels (2)
Crestron TPS-17L 17-inch ISys color in-wall touchpanel
Crestron TPMC8x 8.4-inch Wi-Fi media touchpanels (2)
Crestron CLX Series dimming/switching modules (37)
Crestron ML-600 handheld wireless controllers (2)
Crestron CNRFGWA-418 MHZ wireless receiver
Crestron CNX Series 8-button keypads (18)
Crestron CHV-TSTAT HVAC thermostats (9)
Crestron CHV-RTHS HVAC remote temperature sensors (15)
Crestron C2N-SPW300 300-watt power supplies and
Crestron Cresnet hubs (2)
Jandy Aqualink RS 7620 serial controller interface

Whole-House A/V Components & Distribution
Crestron C2N-IVDS24X24 video distribution (touchpanels) switcher
Crestron CNX-PVID8X3 video distribution (house TVs) switchers (2)
Crestron CNX-PAD8A audio distribution processors (3)
Crestron CNAMPX-16X60 16-channel multiroom amps (3)
Monitor Audio Gold IW in-wall speakers (18 pairs)
Boston Acoustics Voyager outdoor speakers (2 pairs)
Rockustics Hillside outdoor speakers (1 pair)
Peerless Industries wall mounts (11)
Runco XP-65DHD 65-inch 1080P PlasmaWall
Runco SP-50 50-inch 720p CinemaWall plasmas (4)
Runco SP-42 42-inch 720p CinemaWall plasmas (5)
Samsung LN-S2351 23-inch LCD
Gefen HDMI CAT5 Extreme
Gefen RS232 CAT5 Extender
DirecTV HR20-250 HD-DVRs (3)
DirecTV H20 HD satellite receiver
Linksys router and WiFi access points (3)
UltraLink analog interconnects

Media Room
Halcro SSP180 7.1-channel surround processor
Halcro MCA70 7-channel surround amplifier
Runco VX-2000d CW 1080P DLP with CineWide lens
Samsung BDP1000 Blu-ray player
Escient MX-111 DVD-CD management system
Sony 777ES 400-disc changer
DirecTV HR20-250 HD-DVR
Richard Gray’s Power Company SubStation 240s (2)
Richard Gray’s Power Company 1200S power conditioner
Middle Atlantic custom rack system
Middle Atlantic PD920-NS 20-amp power conditioner
James Loudspeaker Baby Grand Concerto in-wall subs (1 pair)
James Loudspeaker 83-SDX in-wall center
James Loudspeaker 36-SDX in-wall surrounds (1 pair)
James Loudspeaker 36-SDX in-wall surrounds (1 pair)
James Loudspeaker 62-SDX in-ceiling rear speakers (1 pair)
James Loudspeaker Model 6 subwoofer amp
Stewart Filmscreen EMSN116SST13WMX Electromask 116-inch CinemaScope Screen
Analysis Plus speaker cable and analog and digital Interconnects

Security & Communications
Panasonic KX-TA824 digital phone system
Panasonic KX-7736 speaker phones (6)
Holovision ORB gate entry system
Speco HT-INTB2 DC3112 hi-res color/night vision cameras (9)
Everfocus EDSR900F 9-channel LAN enabled DVR with 320 GB
GE NetworX NX8e security system

Systems Design & Installation
Advanced Home Theater Systems
Plano, TX

C. Michael Jones Design/Build
McKinney, TX

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