Installations: The Real King of All Media Page 4

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And just how would this jibe with the guy who's appeared on The Howard Stern Show wearing nothing but tighty-whities and a set of headphones? As with McCabe's jobs for other customers, Gary's system is pretty unobtrusive. The lighting control keypads on the walls are barely noticeable, and the Preference ceiling speakers blend right in with the décor. Meanwhile, almost all the A/V gear is stacked downstairs in a basement closet, operated via remote controls and the Russound wall controllers.

One piece of gear Gary's definitely not hiding away is the Panasonic TH-58PZ700U 58-inch 1080p plasma TV, which is new on the market this spring. Some of McCabe's customers actually have cabinets built over fireplaces to hide their flat-screen TVs. And while Gary's Panni does indeed rest over the great-room fireplace, the set is out, proud and unenclosed. (Hey, he never claimed to be an old WASP from Newport.)

"You know, if I'd gotten the 65-inch plasma, I'd have had to move the sconces," Gary muses, referring to the light fixtures mounted to the right and left of the set. "The TV wouldn't have fit. Guys don't think about that stuff; it's 'Just give me the largest TV you have.' The biggest issue people have with the Panasonic 103-inch TV - aside from the fact that it's 70 grand and that they're on back-order - is that they buy them and then literally can't get them in the house. It's like the size of a mattress, but you can't bend it around the corner."

Setting out some sandwiches on the kitchen island, Gary's pretty blonde wife Mary pipes in: "Then I wouldn't have ordered sconces. I would have said, 'Just fill the whole top of the mantle with the TV.'" (Seriously, is this woman a total babe or what?)