Focus On Residential AV: Smart Choices for a Smart Home
May 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jack Kontney
With the ready availability of powerful control systems, it's no surprise to learn that today's dream home is, almost inevitably, a smart home. On the recommendation of their builder, the owners of a spectacular 6000-square-foot residence in La Jolla, Calif., engaged San Diego Sound and Video to create such a system for them. While the primary goal was whole-home integration of computers, video, and audio, the owners also wanted control of lighting, shades, the swimming pool, and the security system.
“This is clearly the trend in new-home construction,” says San Diego Sound and Video owner David Wood. “We work closely with a couple of custom home builders in the area. Over the past few years, we've built up a level of trust with them, and they brought us in to bid on the job.”
One of those areas of trust is in working with other subcontractors.
“Obviously, we're focused on audio and video,” Wood says, “but that infrastructure can be used to control the systems we don't specify. Project management is how we really provide value.”
To ensure a smooth, seamless integration, early involvement in the building process is critical so the house is pre-wired to meet all possible contingencies.
The control system for the house is based around the System12 (S12) multi-room AV controller by Elan Home Systems. The S12 handles both composite and component video sources along with massive audio connectivity. With its RS-232 and IR control ports, it also provides the ability to interface with a wide variety of third-party systems. The backbone of this system is two S12 controllers, each paired with an Elan D1650 audio distribution amplifier. This provides full-power stereo sound for up to 16 independent zones, 15 of which are in use. In addition, the house contains two large video rooms, each with a dedicated surround sound system. Video signals are routed through an Elan V883 video controller.
“The Elan S12 is a self-contained rack-mount system, and has great flexibility in terms of programming,” says senior systems designer David Greenstein. “And it has the highest-quality amplifiers on the market, especially in the home-audio arena.”
The showpiece of the residence is the upstairs great room — roughly 40'×40' with large glass walls east and west. The visual centerpiece of the room is the wood-paneled south wall, which houses a 65in. Sharp Aquos LC-65D64U, a 1080p high-definition LCD television, above a large fireplace. To accommodate the desire to allow TV viewing from anywhere, Wood specified a Chief PDR dual swing-arm wall mount. This allows the massive Aquos to be pulled 3ft. off the wall and rotated for viewing from either the west-facing front patio or the pool and barbeque area on east side of the house.
“With so much ambient light, we knew the Aquos was the right choice,” Wood says. “The screen has a very matte finish, and we needed the lighter weight of an LCD.”
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