Home of the Year
Custom Sized Entertainment
A 103-inch plasma and two 50-inch TVs give this family a mega dose of fun.
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Silver Winner: Family/Media Room
May 11, 2011 by Steven Castle

If you like a lot of family room, try this one on for size. It’s 28 feet long by 21 feet wide, with an 18-foot-high ceiling. And that big screen over the fireplace? It’s a 103-inch plasma screen. Don’t you just want to lie on those huge sofas and sink in—like, forever?

Oh, and this family room is just off the kitchen. It’s the run-of-the-mill, everyday-use room by the family who occupies this sprawling 20,000-square-foot estate in Dallas. The big home theater is another story altogether.

But what’s not to like about this space? The Runco 103-inch 1080p PlasmaWall display is flanked by two 50-inch Runco 1080p plasma TVs. And all those dark rectangles on the sides? They’re not empty spaces awaiting more TVs. They’re beautiful Wenge (pronounced weng-gay) tropical wood panels that hang in front of the wall to help hide custom-made speakers from California Audio Technology (CAT). (The large area above the TV will house some artwork.)

Long and narrow CAT speakers fire from behind the steel mesh between the side TVs and bottom Wenge panels. Another 30-inch-long center-channel speaker is mounted in the long rectangle between the 103-inch display and the firebox.

The front speakers were constructed in a D’Appolito array with the tweeters located between the midrange drivers. This loudspeaker design is often used in horizontally oriented center-channel speakers.

Two more CAT speakers are mounted in the ceiling, and two 12-inch CAT in-wall subwoofers fire from behind the bottom of the Wenge panels. The panels were designed so the sound would emanate from beneath them. “We went through several different designs on the subwoofers,” explains custom electronics (CE) pro Greg Margolis of HomeTronics, which outfitted this mansion with technology. The numerous designs were partly because the subwoofers could not fit fully into the wall, but the Wenge panels provided an elegant and musical solution.

System Design & Installation
HomeTronics
Dallas, Texas
www.hometronics.com
Architect
Childress Engineering Services
Richardson, Texas
Builder
TPMC Builders
Dallas, Texas
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In fact, the entire fireplace wall had to be rebuilt rather late in the construction process to accommodate the 103-inch plasma display. As Margolis explains, the speakers had been installed and HomeTronics mocked up what the planned 65-inch plasma and two 42-inch TVs on the sides would look like, when the homeowner had second thoughts. It was decided that the planned TVs wouldn’t be large enough, and the 103- and 50-inchers were ordered to replace them.

The wall cavity that was designed for the smaller TV wasn’t deep enough or strong enough to accommodate the 485-pound 103-inch display, so the builders had to reframe and reinforce the area. In addition, HomeTronics installed four low-voltage fans to help ventilate heat generated by the TV.

The family gets its video from five different satellite receivers that can be routed to any TV in the home, a Blu-ray player or Kaleidescape video server. For the family’s convenience, a Kaleidescape reader resides inside an equipment rack located in a closet at the back of the room and allows them to pop in a new disc. The audio is powered by an NAD T 755 surround-sound receiver. “The NAD receiver has a lot of current, so it works out pretty well,” says Margolis. “And there’s a lot of sound pressure from those speakers” to fill the big space. EH

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

Products
4) ADA PTM 1645 Multi-Zone 16 Channel Amplifer
1) ADA Suite 7.1 Surround Sound Processor
4) AMX NXC-Com2 RS232 Communication Card
1) AMX MVP-TDS Touch Panel Docking Station
31) AMX UX-RX02N Endeleo Component Receiver
4) AMX UDM-0808 Endeleo 8x8 Matrix Switchers
19) AMX ENV-VST-C- ViewStat Color Communicating Thermostats
1) AMX IRS4 IR Expansion Module
2) AMX MET-7 Audio Keyapd
7) AMX MVP-8400i 8.4
1) AMX MVP-5200 5.2" Wireless Touch Panel
1) AMX NI-2100 Control Processor
1) AMX NI-3100 Control Processor
1) AMX NI-4100 Control Processor
7) AMX NXD-700vi 7' Inwall Touch Panel
11) AMX PS 4.4 Power Supplies
7) AMX MIO-R4-ZGW Remote Control, Receiver and Charging Base
4) APC AP-9567 Power Distribution
30) APC C2 Flat Panel Surge Protector/Noise Filter
1) ATI 1802 Power Amplifer, 2x180
2) ATI 1803 Power Amplifier, 3x180
1) ATI 1805 Power Amplifier, 5x180
4) ATI 1807 Power Amplifier, 7x180.
2) Audio Control BLD-10 Balance Line Driver
2) Audio Control BLR-10 Balanced Line Receiver
2) Audio Control BVR-30 Component Video Receiver
2) Audio Control BVD-30 Component Video Driver
1) Auton 1002-P-S-M Plasma TV Lift w/swivel
1) Auton 4000-INV Invisotrack Vertical Lift
1) Autopatch Precise AVS-PL-0808-00P DSP 8x8 Audio Matrix Switcher
1) Autopatch Precise AVS-PL-1818-00P DSP 18x18 Audio Matrix Switcher
1) Autopatch Modula AVS-MD-1632-340 16x32 Component Video Matrix Switcher
12) California Audio Technology CAT 2.7 In-Ceiling Speaker
2) California Audio Technology CAT 3.7 In-Ceiling Speaker
4) California Audio Technology CAT MBX-CS4 Custom 12 in Subwoofer
11) California Audio Technology CAT 4.7 In-wall Speaker
3) California Audio Technology CAT 7.7 In-wall Front LCR Speaker
8) California Audio Technology CAT MBX-S4 In-wall 12 in subwoofer
2) Chief Manufacturing PDR-4042 Articulating Plasma Mount
5) Chief Manufacturing PSM-2124 Static Wall Mount Bracket
3) Chief Manufacturing MWR6049 Articulating LCD Mount
7) Chief Manufacturing PNR2081 Articulating Plasma Mount
4) Chief Manufacturing PLPU Tilt Wall Plasma Bracket
5) DirecTV HR-21 HD DVR Receiver
1) DirecTV H-21 DSS Receiver
4) Iport FS-4 Ipod Docking Station
1) Kaleidescape KServer-5000 3U DVD Server
1) Kaleidescape KPlayer-6000 1080P Player
1) Kaleidescape KPlayer-300 1080P Mini Player
4) Kaleidescape KDisk-2000 2TB Disk Cartridge
6) Lutron HWD-6D Maestro Dimmers
7) Lutron HWI-PNL-8 Panel Enclosures
1) Lutron HWI-RPM-4M Motot Module
48) Lutron HWI-RPM-4U Dimming Module
3) Lutron LV-32 Low Voltage Enclsoure
5) Lutron HWI-MI-120 Module Interface
2) Lutron HWI-H48 Processor
51) Lutron ST-5B See Touch Keyapd
7) Lutron HWI-WLB Wire Landing Board
2) Middle Atlantic MRK-4426LRD Rack System
2) Middle Atlantic CBS-MRk Caster Base
3) Middle Atlantic AXS Rack Systems (various heights)
2) Middle Atlantic Track-50 Rack Tracks
2) Middle Atlantic TS-1640 Track Stands
11) Middle Atlantic RSH4 Custom Rack Shelves
1) NAD T-755 Digital Surround Receiver (Family)
10) NEAR A8 Outdoor Speakers (Pool)
2) NEAR CAL-6 In-ceiing Weather Proof Speaker
6) NEAR R8 Rock Speaker (Front Yard)
45) Newport N325.9 In-Ceiling Speaker
3) Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-Ray Player
1) Qsonix Q110-250 CD Mgmt System
1) Richard Gray RGPS-400 Pro Custom 220V Surge Protector
5) Runco CR26 LCD Display, 26 in
7) Runco CR-32 LCD Dispaly, 32 in
2) Runco CX-40 LCD Display, 40 in
2) Runco SP42 Plasma Dispaly, 42 in
5) Runco SP50 Plasma Display, 50 in
1) Runco VX22D DLP Projector, 3 Chip and DHD Processor
1) Runco Autoscope Anamorphic Lens System
2) Runco XP-50DHD Plasma Display, 50 in
1) Runco XP-103DHD Plasma Display, 103 in
5) Samsung PN58A650 Plasma Display, 58 in
1) Stewart Filmscreen SN127CFHG3WMX Microperf Filmscreen 49H x 115W
1) Symetrix 8x8 DSP DSP Processor, Sport Court
1) Symetrix DSP-322 DSP Processor, Theater Bass Balancing
1) Straight Wire Misc Lot Custom Interconnects
1) Panasonic TH-42PX25U Plasma Display, 42 in
1) Cinematech ARS Acoustic Room Treatement System
8) Cinematech Espada Theater Chair Incliners with armrests

Installation Info
Systems Design & Installation:
HomeTronics, Dallas, Texas, http://www.hometronics.com
Architect:
Childress Engineering Services, Richardson, Texas, http://www.cesglobal.com
Interior Design:
Wyll Interior Design, Dallas, Texas, http://www.wyllinteriordesign.com
Builder:
TPMC Builders, Dallas, Texas, 214-741-7744
Acoustics:
CinemaTech, Addison, Texas, http://www.mycinematech.com

Project Details
Room Size (L x W x H): 28½ x 21½ x 18 feet
Cost: $150,100 (includes installation and labor)
Project Duration: 3 years (whole-house)
Construction: New

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