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Entertainment Technology

Whole House A/V

Entertainment - Whole House Audio & Video
A distributed audio system is used to deliver music and often times video to multiple rooms in the home from a centrally located system. This design provides the ability to share sources between rooms. Speakers can be integrated into rooms of the home in several different ways. Commonly the speakers are flush-mounted in the ceiling or walls to become almost invisible. Options exist for speakers that are completely invisible. These speakers can be placed in the wall and then dry-walled or painted over making them completely disappear. Outdoor living spaces can be added to the system with speakers shaped like rocks, stones, bricks, planters, and even coconuts.

The quality and performance of these speakers varies greatly ranging from quality background music all the way through high end speakers that deliver stunning full range sound and massive power handling. When creating a design for a distributed audio system Entertainment Technology will work with you to discover the level of speaker needed for your application.

Music and Video Sources
One of the first decisions to make in the design process is what would you like to be able to see and hear throughout your system. AM and FM radio tuners are commonly added to whole house audio and video distribution systems. Many clients will also add single disc and multidisc CD players to their systems. For people with larger music collections hard drive based CD servers and Ipods can be integrated into the system. These devices allow you to store thousands of CD’s in one place and with many of the systems we offer you can access them from anywhere in the house. Satellite music from Sirius and XM along with music channels offered by your cable or satellite provider can be played through a multi-room audio system. These options can provide you with comercial free music for hours of entertaining.

Many of the common video sources can be distributed through your home utilizing this very same distribution network. DVD players and cable or satellite boxes can be centrally located with the audio sources. Newer internet based devices like Apple TV and Vudu give you the ability to rent and purchase movies on line and have them instantly downloaded to your entertainment system. For people with large DVD collections we install DVD servers. These hard drive based devices give you the ability to store all of your movies in one place and access them from anywhere in your home. An on screen guide is provided for these devices that allow you to browse through your collections by title, artist and genre. Imagine starting a movie in your home theater and finishing it in your bedroom with nothing more than a button press on your remote control.

Control Interfaces
Once you have decided what sources you would like to have available in your home the next step is to assess how much control you would like to have over the source from each room in your home.

Volume Controls. The first level of control available is a volume control. This is a simple device, the same size as a single light switch, commonly installed just inside the door to a room. The volume control will allow you to adjust the output level of the speakers from off or mute all the way to max. With a volume control installed in each room you can have several different levels of sound throughout the home. There are limitations to a volume control based system however. Typically these systems have only one source available at a time. This means that if you want to listen to a CD in the Master bedroom it will also play in every other room connected to the system. One of the other major drawbacks to this type of system is its lack of control.

   Rotary Volume Control

 Slider Volume Control

 To turn on the system, change a radio station, and switch the song playing you must return to the central audio distribution location to do it manually. Volume control systems are the most economical systems available and come in two different styles, slider and rotary. They also come in lots of different colors to match your home.

Keypads. The next level of control is a keypad based system. Keypads are placed inside of individual rooms of your home much the same way as volume controls are. Traditionally keypads are hard button based but more manufacturers are offering them with at least small touch screens on them. Keypads allow a much higher level of control and convenience than a volume control does. From a keypad located in your room you will be able to turn on the system, change the source playing and even control the source. This would allow you to walk in the bathroom, turn on the system and choose the radio station or playlist you want to enjoy.

 OnQ Keypad    Control4 Keypad    Elan Keypad    Crestron Keypad  

 

Keypad based systems often allow as larger degree of flexibility to be added to the system as well. Several different sources may be played in your home at the same time. This means that you may be listening to music from your Ipod in the master bedroom while your spouse listens to satellite music in the living room. Keypad systems in a lot of different cases may also control lighting, motorized drapes, and other sub systems within the home.

Touch Panels. Touch panels offer the greatest level of control possible with a multi-room audio and video system. Not only can you turn on sources and control them but you can receive real time feedback from them. With satellite radio for example you can change the channel but with a touch panel in the room you can receive such information as the current song, artist and station that is tuned. You can pull up on the screen a list of all of the artists, songs, and playlists available on your Ipod. Touch panels will provide you with information telling you which lights are on in the home, if the alarm is armed or disarmed and in many cases even show you the picture from the surveillance cameras located in your home. These panels come in wall mount, table top and even wireless to provide lots of options for your home.

 Control4 7" Touch Screen  
 
 Elan 7" Touch Screen  
 
 Crestron 8" Touch Screen  
   
 Crestron 6" Touch Screen  

 

Entertainment Technology