Music System Upgrade Turns into Home Media Overhaul

What started as a simple addition to an existing music system turned into a complete system overhaul. 11/14/2006 10:29 AM Eastern

Music System Upgrade Turns into Home Media Overhaul

Nov 14, 2006 3:29 PM

The following information is courtesy of the 2005 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Designers' Choice Awards. For more information on how to become a member of CEDIA, or information on its awards program please visit or call (800) 669-5329.

2005 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Winner
Designers Choice Awards: Best Intergrated Home
Level IV ($300,001-400,000)

Starr Systems Design

What started as a simple addition to an existing music system turned into a complete system overhaul. The first phase of Starr Systems Design’s (SSD) contract involved adding music and a plasma TV to an exercise room. The team’s next task was to redesign and re-install the family room media system. The master bedroom soon followed with a new media system, and then a master bath renovation required a music, lighting control, and television installation. The clients were so impressed by the new systems that they asked SSD to upgrade the Lutron lighting control system, the whole-house music and control system, and eventually the home theater. Simply put, the client wanted everything to be state-of-the-art and, more importantly, integrate seamlessly into the family’s lifestyle.

The client was an active family of five includes a husband and wife and their three children. The husband is a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist. The entire family is socially conscious and deeply involved in their community and several local charitable associations. The home is almost always filled with friends and family, so creating a functional system was a must.

The SSD team had several challenges in the install process. They were working with wiring that was installed by another contractor several years ago, and it was not very well documented. In many cases, wiring did not exist where it was needed. Obviously, a home with this level of fit and finish presents a significant retrofit challenge. The client had asked that none of the home’s systems (music, television, data network, lighting control, motorized draperies, the home theater, surveillance cameras, etc.) be down for more than one day. To make matters worse, the homeowners wanted the new home theater completed over a two-week period while they were away on vacation.

Although we knew it would be easier to rip-out the old system and start from scratch, in order to meet the clients’ requests, the installers had to install the upgrades one phase at a time. This required extremely detailed planning, scheduling, and project management, as well as constant communication with the clients. Using AMX’s Netlinx products enabled them to do a tremendous amount of preparation offsite—effectively replicating segments of the client’s systems in SSD’s offices. They systematically upgraded each system in the home, adding features and improving performance throughout the process.

The finished installation consisted of an eighteen-seat home theater, a combination of AMX wired and wireless touchpanels and keypads provide access to music, television, lighting, motorized draperies, and the home’s surveillance cameras. The surveillance camera system provides realtime local and remote monitoring and recording of six cameras installed throughout the property. A Lutron Homeworks lighting control system provides convenient operation of indoor and outdoor lighting, while the ReQuest media server and XM Satellite Radio tuner provide the family access to all of their favorite music at the touch of a button.

Equipment list
  • 1 ADA TuneSuite AM/FM/XM tuner package
  • 2 AMX NI-3000 Netlinx master controllers
  • 1 AMX NI-4000 Netlinx master controller
  • 1 AMX AXT-CV10 Color Tabletop touchpanel
  • 2 AMX MVP8400 Modero wireless touchpanels
  • 1 AMX NXI Netlinx-integrated controller
  • 1 AMX NXC-ME260 Netlinx master Ethernet card
  • 1 AMX PLB-AS16 audio matrix switcher
  • 3 AudioControl Architect Model 100 2-channel power amplifiers
  • 2 AudioControl Architect Model 560 16-channel power amplifiers
  • 2 Active Thermal Management Cool-Stack temperature management systems
  • 1 Active Thermal Management System 2 ventilation system
  • 1 Auton Systems 1000.5 motorized lift assembly with swivel
  • 2 B&W CWM650 flush-mount in-wall speakers
  • 1 Barco Graphics 808S CRT video projector (Owner supplied)
  • 1 Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite multi-channel digital recorder
  • 1 Faroudja VP400A Line Quadrupler (Owner supplied)
  • 1 Hughes HDVR2 DirecTV receiver with TiVo (Owner supplied)
  • 2 JBL Synthesis S1M main left/right cinema speakers
  • 1 JBL Synthesis S1C-S center speaker
  • 2 JBL Synthesis S1S-EX 18in. subwoofers
  • 4 JBL Synthesis S4A THX flush-mount surround speakers
  • 1 JBL Synthesis S1000IC interconnect kit
  • 1 JBL Synthesis SDP-5 THX digital surround controller
  • 1 JBL Synthesis SDEC-1000A THX digital equalizer/crossover
  • 2 JBL Synthesis S650A 5-channel THX power amplifiers
  • 2 JBL Synthesis S800 2-channel THX power amplifiers
  • 1 Lutron HomeWorks Lighting Control System
  • 1 Middle Atlantic component rack system and accessories
  • 1 Motorola HD cable TV converter (Owner supplied)
  • 3 Omnimount flatpanel mounting brackets
  • 3 Panamax MAX 4300-EX rack-mount surge protectors
  • 2 Panamax MAX 5510 AC regenerator/surge protectors
  • 1 Panasonic PT-42PHD4 42in. HD plasma display
  • 1 RCA DTC100 HD DirecTV receiver (Owner supplied)
  • 1 ReQuest Multimedia FusionPro 120 media server
  • 1 ReQuest Multimedia FusionZone 120 media server expansion zone
  • 1 Rotel RSP-1068 surround preamplifier/processor
  • 1 Rotel RMB-1075 5-channel power amplifier
  • 1 Rotel RDV-1050 DVD player
  • 1 Rotel RX-1050 stereo receiver
  • 2 RTI T2 TheaterTouch remote controls
  • 4 RTI T2 AP-20 RF distribution amplifiers
  • 1 RTI T2 MS-516 5x16 powered multi-switch
  • 1 Somfy drapery control system
  • 1 Sony KLV-30XBR900 30in. flatpanel LCD television
  • 1 Sony DVP-NS999ES Progressive Scan DVD/SACD player
  • 1 Sony DVP-NS975V DVD player
  • 1 Sony RDR-GX7 DVD recorder
  • 2 Sony SLV-N900 HiFi stereo VCRs
  • 1 SpeakerCraft infrared repeating system
  • 2 SpeakerCraft MT4 flush-mount in-wall speakers
  • 2 SpeakerCraft WS720 outdoor wall-mount speakers
  • 1 Stewart Filmscreen 138in. micro-perforated projection screen
  • 1 Tributaries Direct Series audio and video interconnect cable

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 21
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 24
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 18
    Project Management: 96
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 108
    Trim-out: 28
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 33
    Programming: 260
    Final Installation and Calibration: 279
    Client Instruction: 6
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 6
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 40
    Project Management by Others: 12
    Other time: builder's interior designs, drawings done on paper: 0
    Total Hours to Complete: 931

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