Hidden Audio, Video and Automation in Hoboken

Outfitting a condo with invisible speakers, motorized hidden TV and a Total Control automation system.

Neighbor envy apparently is a potent driver for custom audio/video systems. That’s a good thing. This project in Hoboken NJ got started when the owner saw the Serious Audio Video truck parked outside as technicians were busy installing a system down the street.

A conversation started, one thing led to another, and pretty soon the company was designing a new system for this condo as well. Casey Johnston, president of Serious Audio Video, Union City, NJ, says that the homeowner initially wanted a simple installation of a flat screen TV and surround sound speakers. “I’m more of a designer,” say Johnston, so he looked at the big blank wall in this home’s living room and offered to come up with something special.

A few days later he showed his plans to the homeowners. Rather than just hang a TV on the wall and install some speakers, he suggested building out an electronically controlled fireplace with the TV and components installed around it. The key feature, however, is that everything could be hidden. That way the TV would only be the focal point of the room when the users wanted it to be.

Instead of hiding the 55-inch Samsung LED LCD TV behind some cabinet doors (that would have been the easy way out), Johnston suggested a system that would conceal the unit behind a piece of artwork. When the homeowners want to watch something, pressing a button on a remote activates the Future Automation motor that automatically lifts the painting out of the way, and does so silently.

The speakers around the TV and fireplace are also invisible. Serious Audio Video used speakers from Stealth Acoustics that are designed to be flush with the drywall and can then be spackled over and painted. The result is that three main speakers (left, right, center) and two subwoofers are completely hidden, but still perform perfectly.

Around the corner from the TV and fireplace is a built-in cabinet housing all the components including a Denon Receiver, Sonos Connect, Apple TV and a URC Total Control home automation system.

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A comprehensive smart home system was not initially on the homeowners’ wish list, but they were convinced when Johnston showed them how easy it was to operate. It was the Total Control app that sold them, he says.

With the Total Control system, anyone can use either a handheld remote control or a smartphone/tablet app to easily watch a movie or TV show, turn off the room lights, adjust the temperature (via a Lutron RadioRA thermostat) or raise/lower the motorized Qmotion window shades. It also allows them to play music from Sonos anywhere in the house. The owner especially likes the all-off feature which can shut down all systems with one button.

Serious Audio Video was also able to program the Total Control remote to easily interface with all the Samsung Smart Hub features on the TV.

Since the system has been installed, the homeowners not only love the TV and surround sound, but they’ve become addicted to the automation.

View the slideshow for more pictures of this hidden TV installation.

More articles about motorized home products and cool installations:
Motorized and Automated: The Smartest Smart House on the Block
MantelMount TV Mount Puts Your Fireplace TV at Eye Level
4 Clever Motorized Products for Your House

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