Home entertainment was the focus of one family’s home system upgrade, and the result was an award-winning modernization that delivered everything the clients wanted.   

This client required that their nine-year-old analog system be upgraded to the digital era. They wanted a system that allowed them to more easily interact with the home, especially while entertaining guests. Also important to them was the ability to control the system remotely through iOS devices to provide a feeling of security and peace of mind during the homeowners’ absence.

The physical layout of the game room was designed by the previous homeowners, and the current homeowners found the room was not conducive to entertaining. The clients wanted the game room system to be updated and moved to create better flow and functionality.

Luckily, Graytek had the foresight to provide a good foundation for the future expansion of the home automation system. In anticipation of future technology advancements, they wired the home extensively, allowing for subsequent possible updates. They were then able to perform an extensive upgrade to bring the existing system to current standards with a very reasonable construction time and budget.

The System

The primary objective of the new system was upgrading it from analog to digital. The existing component video matrix system could not accommodate today’s High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)specific equipment, such as the Blu-ray players and Apple TV requested by the client. The update to HDMI also required that they change the surround-sound receivers at every television location.

An additional video zone was added in the kitchen where a legacy touch panel was located. The client specified they wanted to be able to control the system through their various iOS devices. In addition to adding three 10-in. Crestron touch panels, the system is also fully controllable through the clients’ iOS devices.

As a cost-saving measure, Graytek retained the existing audio zones and wiring and used the existing amplifiers, but incorporated a Crestron audio matrix. They installed a five-stream Mirage music server to allow the clients to stream music subscription services, local and Internet radio, personal music libraries (iTunes) and AirPlay directly from their iOS devices.

Two speakers were added to the game room to upgrade it from 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound. The existing speakers remained in place, but the wiring was altered to adjust for the two additional speakers and the new television location.

The existing media room was transformed to include a racing simulator system. Graytek upgraded the receiver and television to accommodate the clients’ high-res video game consoles and replaced discrete speakers with a custom speaker bar designed to fit a new 60-in. television.

Integration & Automation Highlights

Graytek converted the nine-year old analog system, comprising standalone automation, to a sophisticated, easy-to-use Crestron system. They replaced first-generation touch panels with high-resolution Crestron touch panels, significantly upgraded the legacy system, which could not be controlled remotely through personal electronic devices, and brought it into the age of personal remote access through the use of iOS devices and laptops.

Designing and programming a system that was exceptionally simple to navigate and troubleshoot earned Graytek the Level III Silver Technical Design award for Integrated Home in CEDIA’s 2014 Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition.

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