Waterfront Beauty

When it was time for this homeowner to have their third home fitted with electronics they returned to Audio Video Design (AVD) of Newton, MA. After going through the design process two other times, they had a very clear vision of what they desired. Quality installation was, of course, the top priority. However, they wanted the most cost effective, state-of-the-art solutions but not necessarily the most cutting edge products.

Bob Copeland, one of AVDs highly experienced systems integrators, had designed the audio/video and lighting systems in the previous two homes. "After several discussions, we came up with the right combination of products and systems that would achieve the desired results at minimal cost," said Bob. "Ultimately, we were able to get everything on their wish list using solutions that amounted to a considerable cost savings to them."

One such solution was the use of a 13-zone Sonos digital music system, which is atypical for a custom installation. A combination of in-wall, in-ceiling, and bookshelf-type speakers were wired and installed throughout the house. The individual Sonos zone players were placed in a rack down in the basement. All the music is stored on the homeowner's computer, which he can access with the Sonos wireless handheld controller from anywhere in the house. On the fly, he can play music in any one zone or create separate groups for playing the same music in those combined zones.

There was no overall control system for the house, which again was unusual for a house of this size and sophistication. Since the house featured massive windows in the back that faced the ocean, it was critical that an independent Lutron lighting and comprehensive window shading control system were installed.

The installation of automated Lutron shade covers blocked the full force of the sun and was programmed for different positions during different times of the day. For instance, the shades were lowered at a certain time to minimize fading of the furniture and carpet from direct sunlight. Lutron shade controls were coupled with Lutron lighting controls to reduce wall clutter and best utilize the control and processing hardware. Additionally, the lighting was designed to provide accents to highlight the client's extensive art collection. Security was also a major factor and custom security screens were used on all operable windows providing the ultimate in security with the least amount of visual distraction.

The contemporary home was new construction, so it was necessary for Audio Video Design to work very closely with the builder, Delulis Brothers and Erling Falck, the architect and interior designer. Regular site meetings were held once a week to ensure all the trades were working in alignment and that the individual projects came in on time and on budget.

A key element in the home that required such a coordinated effort was the main AV system in the great room. All the electronics, including a 61-inch Pioneer Elite plasma TV, had to be fitted into a custom cabinet. It was necessary for the cabinet to be the focal point in the room, not the technology. Anthem separates and other source devices were racked mounted inside the cabinet. Canton bookshelf speakers (L/C/R array) and a Velodyne sub were flush mounted in the cabinetry. A Universal Electronics remote with an RF interface provides total control of the main AV system. The RF capability allows control of the components even though they are hidden inside the cabinet.

"As a solutions-based company it's our responsibility to provide the client with all possible options within their stated budget and design requirements," concludes Bob. "This project was far more modest than the majority of our installations, yet it meet the client's objectives perfectly. It is ultimately all about the installation. To look at it you'd think they spent far more than they did."

Pioneer Elite PRO 1410 61" Plasma TV
Anthem AVM 30 preamp and MCA 50 5-channel amplifier
Canton Ergo speaker system
Velodyne SPL-1000 10" subwoofer
13-zone SONOS music distribution system
Lutron lighting and drape control
Universal Remote MX- 900 remote controller

Audio Video Design
617 965 4600