Building an Intuitive Home Theater

The client wanted to achieve control and automation of lighting, shades, audio, video, security, and HVAC systems while keeping the interfaces extremely easy to use. 4/02/2007 8:00 AM Eastern

Building an Intuitive Home Theater

Apr 2, 2007 12:00 PM

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The following information is courtesy of the 2006 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.

2006 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Winner
Designers Choice Awards: Best Intergrated Home
Gold Technical Design, Level II ($177,000-299,000)

Genesis Home Technologies

The client wanted to achieve control and automation of lighting, shades, audio, video, security, and HVAC systems while keeping the interfaces extremely easy to use. The bonus room was to be kept as a multi-purpose room, while still delivering a great surround sound experience. The owner also wanted to showcase current technology, eliminate wall clutter, and provide entertainment for their family and friends.

Crestron controls the lighting, HVAC, audio, video, shades, security, and cameras. A master control with table top touchpanel (TPS 4000) is located in the kitchen and in-wall touchpanels in the master, garage hall, nook, foyer, and bonus. Automated lighting scenes are programmed for morning and evening. One-touch control of the bonus room through a wireless touchpanel closes the blinds, dims the lights, turns the projector and source on, and raises the screen from a bench seat below.

The timeframe on the project was very short for a builder "Street of Dreams" show. The house not only had to be finished but in absolute working order. The bonus room was not to be a dedicated theater, but a multi-purpose room that could double as a movie watching area. The system not only had to be completely hidden to achieve the aesthetic requirements of the clients, but it also had to deliver a great cinema experience with an easy-to-use system for the older, non-technical clients.

Since ease-of-use was considered the primary goal, the touchpanel design was chosen to be very easy to read and intuitive. Operation of the system is one-button oriented so that many things happen simultaneously. Quality, integration capable components were very important to providing a reliable system. Engineering and designing the system beforehand as well as racking, testing, and programming in house ensured success, especially in a restrictive timeframe. Lastly, we have become experts at "hidden systems"—from the theater room, to remote locating equipment, to concealed speakers and televisions.

The five most used functions of the system include the lighting control, security, distributed audio, media room, and control system. With the lighting control, the home had a significant number of circuits which traditional switching would have produced a lot of unsightly multi-gang switches. By installing a control system the client can control many circuits at once or individually. It is also integrated with the security and has automated lighting scenes for dawn, dusk, and goodnight. The homeowners were very security-oriented and were moving into a considerably larger home than they were used to. This required monitoring of the security that included doors, windows, glassbreaks, and motion detection. CCTV cameras were installed at four locations that record to a DVR and are viewable over the Internet. The fire/life safety system is also part of the security. The distributed audio system is an important function of the system because it is used by the clients on a daily basis. They can listen to their favorite radio stations, listen to their favorite artists on the music server, or have access to cable television or DVD. The touchpanels allow for easy selection of source and control of the house audio system. The media room was the bonus room, used constantly for watching movies or sports. The projector and screen provide a large format for viewing and 6.1 surround sound envelops the clients. When not in use, the room is a completely normal family room. Lastly, the control system has utmost importance because it is really the key for using all of the systems. Easy, intuitive touchpanels and automated features keep the complexity of the system hidden while remaining completely user friendly to the clients.

Equipment list

  • 31 Bay Audio 565MP speakers
  • 2 Bay Audio 566MP ceiling speakers
  • 3 Bay Audio Cube speakers
  • 3 Bay Audio Cube subwoofers
  • 1 Bay Audio 965 speaker
  • 2 Bay Audio 960 speakers
  • 1 Chief RPA-012 projector bracket
  • 1 Crestron PAC2 lighting processor
  • 1 Crestron CNX-PAD8A audio switcher
  • 1 Crestron C2ENET-1 Ethernet card
  • 1 Crestron C2N-IVDS24X24 video switcher
  • 1 Crestron CAEN-7x2 lighting enclosure
  • 4 Crestron CLT-1DIM4 termination blocks
  • 4 Crestron CLT-1DIM8 termination blocks
  • 2 Crestron CLT-2DIM2 termination blocks
  • 4 Crestron CLX-1DIM4 dimming modules
  • 4 Crestron CLX-1DIM8 dimming modules
  • 2 Crestron CLX-2DIM2 dimming modules
  • 2 Crestron CNAMPX-16X60 amplifiers
  • 1 Crestron CNX-B4 keypad
  • 2 Crestron CNX-B6 keypads
  • 9 Crestron CLW-DIM wallbox dimmers
  • 3 Crestron CLW-SLVD slave dimmers
  • 1 Crestron TPS-4000 Isys 10.4in. tilt touchpanel
  • 3 Crestron CHV-TSTAT thermostats
  • 2 Crestron CHV-RTS remote temp sensors
  • 1 Crestron STX-1700C SmarTouch two-way wireless touchpanel
  • 8 Crestron CNX-BF12 keypads
  • 1 Crestron CLW-SWS wall box switch
  • 1 Crestron CNX-B2 two-button designer keypad
  • 5 Crestron CLW-SW wall box switches
  • 3 Crestron TPS-2000L Isys 5in. wall-mount touchpanels
  • 3 Crestron CT-1000 ColorTouch touchpanels
  • 1 Crestron AV-2 dual-bus control system
  • 1 Crestron STRFGWX two-way RF Gateway
  • 1 Crestron CAEN-BLOCK Cresnet terminal block
  • 8 DMP Sentrol 5820A-W ShatterPro glassbreaks
  • 2 DSC BV-600
  • 3 Edwards Signals and Security Systems 135 ROR heat detectors
  • 1 Elan Z601 communications controller
  • 4 GE Secutiry ESL 240COE carbon monoxide detector
  • 15 GE Security ESL 541NCSXT Smoke Detector
  • 1 GE Security 60-757 security input module
  • 1 GE Security 60-744 security input module
  • 1 GE Security 60-746-01 keypad
  • 1 GE Security 60-783-02 RS-232 module
  • 1 GE Security 60-734-01 panel
  • 4 Goldenstate GS-208 Siren speakers
  • 5 GRI window contacts
  • 7 GRI door contacts
  • 1 Holovision 100EL door station with camera
  • 2 KEF Soundlight speaker systems
  • 3 LG 20LA6R LCD flatpanel TVs
  • 3 Lutron Sivoia QED roller shades
  • 1 Marantz VP12S4 DLP projector
  • 1 Marantz DV8400 DVD player
  • 1 Middle Atlantic Prodcuts ERK rack
  • 1 Middle Atlantic Products custom rack shelves
  • 1 NAD T163 surround sound preamp
  • 1 NAD T973 7-channel amp
  • 1 Orchard Lake Electronics GOTZBOX
  • 3 Panamax Max 2 surge protector
  • 1 Panamax MAX in-wall Powerkit-TL
  • 1 Panamax MAX 4300
  • 1 Panamax MAX 4310
  • 1 Panamax MAX 5300
  • 1 Panamax MAX 1500-UPS
  • 1 Pelco MCS4-2E power supply
  • 3 ProVideo dome cameras
  • 1 ReQuest Fusion Pro 120 music server
  • 1 ReQuest Video Request video library system
  • 2 Sanus Systmes VM2 flatpanel mounts
  • 1 Sherbourn C12 cooling unit
  • 1 Sonance iPort docking station
  • 1 Sony DVP-CX777ES 400-disc DVD changer
  • 1 Tributaries interconnects
  • 1 UStec ProLAN structured wire panel and terminations
  • 15 UStec 2x2 TecPort locations
  • 6 UStec 1x1 phone/TV locations
  • 1 Vutec 01-RETR-45-80 PRO retractable screen

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 6
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 10
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 10
    Project Management: 20
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 80
    Trim-out: 90
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 40
    Programming: 50
    Final Installation and Calibration: 82
    Client Instruction: 2
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 4
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 8
    Project Management by Others: 8
    Other time: builder's interior designs, drawings done on paper: 0
    Total Hours to Complete: 410

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