Xtremely Simple Page 3
Hawk also uses the den system for R&D on the phenomenally successful Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. "I mostly do that on a PlayStation 2 development kit, a modified unit specifically designed for testing games," Hawk explains. Gaming on a full-blown home theater setup brings "total immersion in what you're playing," he says. "It helps you appreciate how far the graphics have come." The PS2 console sits in the component stack along with a Sirius Sportster plug-and-play satellite-radio receiver. Hawk can claim that the Sportster is also for R&D since he hosts his own weekly show, Tony Hawk's Demolition Radio, on Sirius's extreme-sports Faction channel.
"Satellite radio has so much more clout now," Hawk says. "Before, it was, like, 'Satellite radio? What's that?' But now people say, 'Oh, that's where Howard Stern is going.' That makes it a lot easier to get celebrities on the show. A couple of weeks ago we had a Metallica show, and [drummer] Lars Ulrich called in. That was huge." Hawk reflects on his opportunity to bounce his musical tastes off satellites. "The most surprising aspect is how quickly an hour goes by when you have guests like Tom Green."
Family Guy Up an open stone stairway that wraps around one side of the two-story living room and down a hall lined with Dr. Seuss paintings ("I enjoy reading his books to my kids, and I like his art," Hawk says) is the master bedroom. The system here is anchored by a Sony 42-inch plasma HDTV and is fed by a Sony A/V receiver, a Sony high-def satellite receiver, and a Pioneer DVD recorder resting in a Salamander Designs stand. The TV's speakers provide stereo sound, while another Crestron touchpanel controls the components. The home-entertainment gear in the bedroom of Hawk's son Riley.
At the other end of the second story is the bedroom of Hawk's 12-year-old son Riley, who inherited his dad's 42-inch Panasonic plasma TV and, based on all the posters on the walls, his love of skateboarding, too. The rest of Riley's system consists of a Sony A/V receiver, DVD player, and satellite receiver/hard-disk recorder along with a JVC VCR, a Creative I-Trigue 5.1-channel multimedia speaker system, and, of course, PS2 and Xbox game consoles. Hawk's other sons - Spencer, 5, and Keegan, 3 - each make do with a Sony 27-inch TV and DVD player.
Hawk's obvious devotion to his family and the frustrating experiences he had with the whole-house system in his previous home both played a major role in how he set up the systems in his new house. Simplicity is especially important to Hawk considering his hectic life - what with journal ists and photographers barging into his home in the early morning hours. And since home entertainment plays a huge role in his relationship with his sons, even a self-proclaimed electronics nut doesn't want to waste time fussing with an overly complex system. "I try to spend most of my free time with my sons," Hawk says. "And they're heavily into movies and videogames. SpongeBob is our common ground."