Two-way A/V

Seven Speakers plus one TV equal two separate 5.1-channel surround-sound systems.


Gold Winner: Master Suite

Master bedrooms with sitting areas can present dilemmas when installing home entertainment systems. This is because the homeowners often want to view a TV and enjoy audio from both their bed and sitting areas. This contempo California beachside haven posed an even greater challenge, because the sitting area and bed are perpendicular to one another.

Why? So the owners can wake up, raise the motorized shades and gaze out to the Pacific Ocean. Some views are simply too good to pass up.

The only place for a TV was in a corner opposite the sitting area. So the custom electronics (CE) pros at Surreal Systems in Anaheim, Calif., proposed putting the 55-inch Samsung LED TV on an articulating and swiveling arm. At the touch of a button the motorized arm brings the TV out of a custom-made cabinet and turns it toward the bed area for easy viewing.
The Chief Manufacturing PXRUB motorized arm also moves the TV from its hiding spot in the cabinet to its position for the sitting area by bringing it flush to the front of the cabinet and tilting it slightly downward.

Not only is the video position flexible, but the surround-sound can be directed toward either location. Surreal Systems outfitted the master suite with two sets of Definitive Technology’s surround speakers: two are installed in the ceiling above the sitting area and two more above the bed. The lucky homeowners just press a bed or sitting area button on their Crestron wireless remote, and as the Chief arm positions the TV, the sound is routed to the appropriate speakers.

Three more Definitive Technology speakers are housed in the top of the custom-made cabinet. Surreal Systems worked closely with cabinetmaker Miller & Pidskalny of Santa Ana, Calif., and provided them with the Definitive Technology in-wall speakers to mount in the cabinets. The result: two 5.1-channel surround-sound systems using a total of seven speakers.
Also housed in the cabinet is all of the A/V gear for the master suite area, which comprises the entire, recently renovated floor. (The rest of the house will be renovated and upgraded next.) These components include an Integra DTR-30.2 A/V receiver, Samsung Blu-ray player, Crestron Adagio music distribution system, Panamax power conditioner and a variety of music sources. The cabinet had to be built to exacting standards, as a 450-pound piece of glass imported from Europe would rest atop the equipment racks.

System Design & Installation

Surreal Systems, Anaheim, Calif.


Sea Pointe Construction,
Irvine, Calif.

Interior Design

Barbara Segal, Newport Beach, Calif.

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The Adagio processor functions as the A/V hub of the master suite, routing music from an Apple TV receiver, two AM/FM tuners and DirecTV receivers to separate listening zones in the master bath, walk-in closet and adjacent patio. Two more in-ceiling Definitive Technology speakers are in the master bath, along with a 23-inch Samsung edge-lit LED TV in a custom-made frame that hangs in front of the mirror.

The dual-position A/V system may steal the show in this bedroom, but one of the suite’s best features is its ease of control. The homeowner is a technology enthusiast who wanted all of the bells and whistles, explains Surreal System’s Matthew Burnath, but the systems still had to be easy to operate. “So we had to trim down the options in some cases,” he says.
For example, when the homeowners access a music page on one of their Crestron touchpanels, they are invited to choose a music source (five are available) for each of four entertainment zones (bedroom, bath, closet, patio).

The Crestron system also controls the lighting in the area and provides an interface for control over the Somfy Systems motorized shades and the motorized skylights in the dressing area. EH


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