Editor’s Note: This profile of one of our Home of the Year winners originally ran in May of 2012. We’re highlighting past winners in anticipation of the May 2013 release of the new Home of the Year winners. You’ll want to check back in May, because the new winners are awesome.
There’s plenty to love in this 8,600-squarefoot home: 22 zones of music and 11 displays across the three-building property—plus an Apple-based Savant control system that allows these high-profile Apple fans to use their own devices to control all aspects of their abode. But the media room/playroom has to be the home’s crowning jewel.
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During the day, the space functions as the ultimate kids’ fantasy room, with shelves filled with toys and stuffed animals, dollhouses and art supplies—and between the shelves is a 58-inch Panasonic 1080p plasma display. At night, a JVC D-ILA (Direct-drive Image Light Amplification) projector shines on a 133-inch Screen Innovations motorized screen that descends from the ceiling, while a powerful 7.2-channel surround-sound system rocks the room.
Triad InCeiling Bronze8 speakers and Triad InCeiling Bronze4 Surround Sound Speakers are each mounted inconspicuously in the ceiling, while a Triad InWall Bronze6 Subwoofer is served by its own 500- watt amplifier.
“This is truly a dual-purpose room that operates equally well as a playroom and a powerful and compelling movie theater,” says Bryant Moore, president of custom electronics design and installation firm Moore Audio Design in Matthews, N.C. For true cinematic viewing, an anamorphic lens slides in front of the projector to display CinemaScope movies in the ultra-wide format.
Audio and video processing is handled by a Denon AVR-4311 networked A/V receiver, and movies are played on a Denon BDP-1611 Blu-ray/DVD/CD player. Different preset lighting scenes are controlled by programmable Lutron dimmers, and the entire system is easily operated from a Savant Select remote control. The system is wired completely with Tributaries 12-gauge speaker cable and high-quality interconnects.
The media room was just one magical conversion in this home. In the mid-1990s it had been outfitted with a home automation system that was hard to use with cumbersome plastic keypads and a lackluster interface. Understandably, the homeowners wanted a control system that would be easily operated from all of their existing Apple devices. So Moore Audio Design chose the Apple-based Savant control system to do just that.
The Savant system gives these homeowners “a way of interacting with media that seems so natural it becomes part of their day,” says Moore. They can access sources such as Apple TV, security cameras, cable boxes, or a ReQuest movie server. They can also control their security system, lighting and more from their iPhones or from one of the 12 permanently installed in-wall iPads or iPods located throughout the property. “That’s a very powerful prospect: allowing someone to control their home from a device they are already using,” Moore says. And thanks to the extremely “open” system, these globetrotters can control their home from anywhere in the world.