Installations: The Real King of All Media Page 2

The Real King of All Media

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Still, what Gary's always really wanted is a high-end, top-notch modern home-entertainment system. And while we're at it, let's throw in some home networking and automated lighting, okay? Because, really, there couldn't be a better time: Since he was building a new house (construction started in January 2006, and the Dell'Abates moved in about a year later), custom installation would be a breeze. And high-def technology is reaching the point of no compromises required.

Yes, this would be the castle ruled by (with apologies to Stern) the real king of all media: The guy who now has no fewer than four brand-new TiVo Series3 high-def DVRs and who loves to slide a movie into a DVD player or barricade himself in a room to listen to new CDs or - when the weather chills - park himself in front of the plasma TV all day ("like a lunatic") to take total advantage of DirecTV's NFL package ("every game, every Sunday," as the slogan goes).

"It's unbelievable," Gary says of his life's audio/video makeover, which includes a Russound-powered music system in every first-floor room as well as in the second-floor master bedroom and bathroom. "I feel like I got everything I wanted. And my wife was really cool - she was just like, 'Go do it.' I love having audio in all these rooms - it's all the stuff I always wanted to do but wasn't able to before. I would have liked automated lighting at our last house, too, but I wasn't going to start snaking wires through the walls - it wasn't that important."

In the past, Gary says, "I would always splurge for a good TV. I always tried to do research - that Sony XBR up in the kids' playroom was a top-of-the-line TV in its day. I just got rid of an RCA TV. It wasn't as cool as I thought it would be, but it had all these features, like freeze-frame, and you could watch 20 channels at once. I've always been into weird gadgets and stuff."