eprinted with permission from the Control4 blog:
Of any space in a house, a home theater probably packs in the most technology. There is the rack of sophisticated gear that processes, amplifies and feeds content to the surround-sound speakers and video projector. Usually, there is a variety of viewing options, including movies and programs from Blu-ray players, media servers and satellite receivers. And sometimes, there are motorized assemblies that open cinema-style draperies and lower a huge screen into the room from a trapdoor in the ceiling. All told, it’s a lot of technology for a family to manage and operate without the help of a reliable, intuitive, custom-programmed control system.
Easy, straightforward supervision of a wide assortment of powerful A/V gear was the primary objective of the owner of this dedicated theater, a 600-square-foot addition tacked onto his and his wife’s existing 7,000-square-foot home. Having struggled for years to operate the equipment of a basic media room in his house, he craved something much simpler yet robust enough to handle a more sophisticated setup, home theater, according to custom electronics professional Jason Hoppen of Hoppen Home Systems, Tampa, Florida.
This stubborn space was still in place when Hoppen, as well as the architectural firm Beasley & Henley Interior Design of Winter Park, Florida, were hired to design a completely new, high-end entertainment destination, and where money would be no object in terms of its architectural and technological sophistication. “The architect was brought in to take the design of the theater to the next level; we were given the task of providing the family with a reliable and robust means of control … and a way to really crank the volume, not only in the theater but throughout the rest of the house including that existing media space,” Hoppen says. “When this client parties, he really parties, so he was clear about his request that the audio be loud and precise.”
Using the architect’s plan and the client’s audio requisite as a guide, Hoppen and his team put together an audio/video masterpiece, comprised of powerful amps, reference-grade speakers and subwoofers, 119-inch projection screen and JVC projector, all of which blend in beautifully with the new room’s barrel ceiling and custom millwork. More importantly, Hoppen Home Systems consolidated the control of every piece of technology in the room into one convenient handheld device. Perusing a menu presented on the screen of an iPad, or on the screen of the 119-inch display, the owner can choose what he’d like to watch—a command that also tells the projection system to activate and the lights to dim.
The entertainment options and unified control doesn’t stop at the doors of the theater, though. From the Control4 menu on an iPad, or from any of several wall-mounted Control4 touch screens in key areas throughout the house, the owners can summon music to any and all of 30 distinct listening zones. Each pair of in-ceiling speakers in each zone is driven by its own 110-watt amp; again, a measure to ensure that music could reach the volume level the owners craved. Also key to the party atmosphere is a quick, easy way to set the lights. A “Party” command issued from any Control4 device creates instant ambiance by beautifully illuminating the architecture, key decorative elements and signaling a Sonos music system to play music throughout the entire living area. And what if someone drops in unexpectedly? No worries. The Control4 system notifies the owners by broadcasting a chime through the speakers the second a guest presses the doorbell. One finger swipe on the iPad brings up the Control4 menu, and a tap gets the house ready for entertaining on the fly.