Master Plans for Treating Your Suite as Command Central

You can get really comfy, and enjoy all the A/V and automation perks in your master bedroom and bathroom with the right systems installed.


Credit: Simon Berlyn Photography

How many times have you done it: You start watching a TV show, game or movie in the family room, and you want to finish watching it from the comfort of your bed? Or, you wish you could control your whole house—including the security system—from the kingdom known as your master suite.

That’s what the homeowners wanted as part of this high-end installation by DSI Entertainment Systems in West Hollywood, Calif. The master bedroom and bath have all the audio and video the homeowners could want, in addition to complete connectivity with the rest of their house—including a pool safety and security system.

All they have to do is operate an in-wall Crestron touchscreen to control lighting, heating and air conditioning, pool, spa, fountains, a pool safety system, security system, surveillance cameras, entry gates and radiant heated floors. Their audio and video selections can be made even more conveniently—from in bed with a handheld remote control.

Even better, their A/V selections are somewhat customized, with his and her DirecTV DVRs—we know most couples have different preferences—as well as different Sirius Satellite radio streams and Kaleidescape music streams for the parents and kids. A 65-inch Runco XP-65DHD1080p-resolution plasma TV is mounted over the fireplace in a recess, and two Sonance in-ceiling Ellipse speakers provide the sound in the main bedroom area.

The Runco TV uses a Runco video processor located in an equipment the rack to provide pristine 1080p pictures, delivered via HDMI over Category 6 gigabit Ethernet cabling.

Looks were a big concern for these homeowners. They didn’t want the electronics to clutter their bedroom space, so all of the video sources are part of a central rack located in the garage. There isn’t even a DVD player in the bedroom, though the couple has a choice of movies on a Kaleidescape hard-drive-based server system.

The mahogany paneling was built on site, so DSI Entertainment Systems could work with the woodworkers on any little tweaks that were needed for the electronics installation and to make sure the TVs (there are also two TVs in the adjoining master bathroom) were flush to the wood surfaces. DSI also powder-coated the 5-inch Crestron touchpanel bezel to match the mahogany trim.

The dual bathroom TVs satisfy the man of the house’s appetite for news and sports. A 15-inch Sharp is wall-mounted near the vanity, and a 32-inch Runco HD LCD provides video for the shower and bath. Three Sonance Visual Performance in-ceiling speakers—one of them a single speaker producing stereo sound in the shower—provide the necessary audio.

With all the plumbing and other features to navigate, installing the bathroom TVs proved to be one of the chief challenges for DSI. So was integrating the SonarGuard pool safety system, which detects changes in the water pressure, such as a little one jumping in while unsupervised. The system usually sounds a siren, but in a home as large as this one, that siren may go unheard. DSI ensured that the alert could be heard from the master suit by having the system broadcast a tone over all the speakers, and emit a voice warning, “Pool emergency,” through the built-in speakers of the touchpanels.

Master Commander
How do you get a master suite as sweet as this? Lots of planning, for sure.

“There were a lot of drawings and plans throughout the process to make sure everything was going to be correct,” says Patrick Martinez of home systems design and installation company DSI Entertainment Systems, West Hollywood, Calif.

Consider these features for your own bedroom update:

  • TVs that provide good site lines from the bed and bath.
  • Audio speakers placed unobtrusively.
  • A/V system tied to whole-house sources.
  • Streaming audio and video services.
  • Convenient control of:

-Whole-house lighting.
-Security system.
-Surveillance cameras.
-HVAC (heating and air conditioning).
-Pool and spa.
-Whole-house audio and video.
-Bedroom TV and audio (via handheld remote).


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