There’s something to be said for doing handling a home improvement task yourself. There’s a sense of accomplishment and pride, not to mention the fact that you probably saved some money. When automating devices in a home, there are plenty of projects for a DIYer to tackle, and the owner of this 9,500 square-foot home did so with gusto, fishing plenty of high-speed wiring throughout the house while designing and constructing the home himself.
However, the Shefford, Quebec, resident knew when it was time to hand over the reins to a professional, and hired Onyx Audio to install a new RTI control system, which would tie together audio, video, lighting, and security systems
“Our client was the ultimate do-it-yourselfer. There were no building designers, contractors or sub-contractors, so his home automation ideas were really out-of-the-box and creative,” says Jean-Francois Gilbert, technical director and project manager at Onyx Audio. “For example, he wanted the lighting control to work in tandem with the security system, so when the garage door motion sensor is triggered after sunset, the garage and hall lights turn on.” Based on the creative ideas generated by the homeowner, Onyx Audio used RTI’s XP-8s control processor, which is equipped with ample processing power and memory and designed for advanced and large-scale projects.
16 Zones of Audio
The audio experience was perhaps the biggest priority of the homeowner. Using two RTI AD-8x audio distribution systems and a CP-1650 power amplifier, the audio is able to travel to 16 zones, providing rich music throughout the home.
The audio sources include three Sonos Connect network audio players that are controlled via RTI’s Sonos two-way driver. Through seamless integration with the RTI system, the “Selected Player” function allows all Sonos Connect players to be controlled from a single page of an RTI user interface, which gives the homeowner the power to select and play songs anywhere in the house.
The homeowner can also group players on the fly, and external audio sources plugged into any player can be accessed from any other player. To deepen the dynamic experience, “Favorites” may be assigned to preset buttons that display dynamically updated media titles, descriptions and artwork information.
Whole-House Control via Touchpanels
For a complete whole-house experience, Onyx Audio also integrated video, lighting, and security components into the comprehensive control platform.
For video in the four TV rooms, a Binary 6×6 HDMI matrix controlled via the RTI Binary driver routes five video sources — including two HD cable boxes, two Apple TVs, and the security camera DVR — to any display.
A whole-house Centralite JetStream lighting system controlled via RTI’s Centralite 2.0 driver enables the homeowner to adjust the lights in the entire home effortlessly from any RTI user interface.
Finally, a DSC alarm system was seamlessly integrated into the control solution with RTI’s DSC driver to provide the homeowner with convenient access to a virtual keypad.
A total of five RTI KX7 touchpanels are installed throughout the home, including the kitchen, master bedroom, main entrance, garage, and family room. With these easy-to-access wall-mounted panels, the homeowner can operate every component of the A/V, lighting and security systems with simple and intuitive screen navigation.
The 7-inch LCD touchpanels also feature custom-tailored layouts, showing specific options for each room. RTI’s T2x, T1-B+, and SURFiR handheld remotes provide and additional mode of control in each of the four TV rooms. Each remote provides quick, intuitive control through hard buttons.
In addition to the hard buttons, the T2x’s 2.8-inch touchscreen interface is also programmed for full control of devices throughout the environment.
Two iPads and two iPhones running RTI’s RTiPanel app round out the control experience, giving the homeowner seamless, intuitive control of the entire system from anywhere.
“We’re really proud of the unbelievable control we were able to achieve with this residence,” says Gilbert. “It’s very sophisticated and intelligent, but from a user standpoint, it’s intuitive and simple to use. For us, because of the drag-and-drop simplicity of RTI programming software and the large library of two-way drivers, integration was practically effortless. We were able to deliver exactly what our homeowner had envisioned.”
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