Installations: Sky High Page 2

0605_installations_rail2By putting almost everything in the closets, Tamburello was able to keep the living room/dining room area gear-free. The owner wanted as little as possible blocking the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows - and that included the TV. While the space easily could have handled a 65-inch set, Tamburello went with a Toshiba 42HP84 42-inch plasma HDTV. "The idea here is to have the TV sitting very low so it's not obtrusive to the view," he explains. "This way the eye is immediately drawn to the window."

A platform with wheels was designed for the set, with a 7-foot tether to hold the cabling and to make it easy to roll the TV anywhere in the room. "This allows you to both move the entire TV and swivel it once it's in place," Tamburello says.

Since the TV is near the wall of windows, it would have been difficult to place traditional speakers there, even in-wall models. So Tamburello put all of the Sonance Symphony S623TR speakers in the ceiling, with the front left, center, and right ones above the windows, and the left and right surrounds over the couch on the opposite side of the room.

The living room is controlled by both the wireless Crestron remote and an in-wall touchpad placed discreetly in the entryway just before you walk into the room. "We have the panel here so that it doesn't interfere with the whole experience in the living room," explains Tamburello. "It's completely out of the way. You can walk in the door and, by touching a few buttons, have the whole apartment ready to go. We stripped the panel down to controls for the Denon DVD player, Sony five-disc CD changer, and, as with every installation I've done in the last year, an iPod. It rests in a cradle on a shelf in the entryway. Just walk in the door, put your iPod in the cradle, and you can play music anywhere in the apartment."

Next to the in-wall touchpad sits the lighting control, which lets you select from several "scenes." Press a button and you can set the mood. For instance, the "Ambiance" setting gives you low lighting for cocktails - showing off the New York skyline - while "Entertain" takes it all up a notch. "Cinema" brings the lights down for a theater-like viewing experience.

Walking into this luxurious space, with works by famous contemporary artists on every wall, you wouldn't expect one of the most creative aspects of the apartment to be hidden away in a linen closet. But it's an installer's job to adapt to each new environment and find clever ways to keep the entertainment in front of you - and the gear out of sight.

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