An interesting couple, recently retired and with a great enthusiasm for life, approached Exeter-based CEDIA member Intelligent Abodes with some home automation ideas they had researched to modernise their home environment.

The site visit revealed a fascinating building – a converted stable block complete with the original ironwork still in place which separated the bedrooms and a Victorian grain dispenser for the horse feed!

The customers clearly wanted to maintain these
quirky features while creating a contemporary environment. With that in mind, their goal for automated control was focused on the living space where they could afford to discreetly introduce state of the art control without compromising the historic surroundings.

This couple had created an amazing living space with a large open plan kitchen extending through to a vast living room with log burner, both with folding doors leading onto a covered terrace whilst a mezzanine made the most of the high ceilings. They wanted an environment that would support entertaining and relaxing with scene lighting and an audio- visual solution at the touch of a button. They knew what they wanted, but as usual their ideas were larger than the budget – so we had to work with them to meet their needs within budget.

A key requirement was high quality products that would blend into their environment whilst offering sophisticated control. The couple wanted an ‘all off’ function which was achieved through one button press on the slick RTI RK3V, an in-wall colour touch screen with a gloss black finish bezel to match the black glass kitchen units. They wanted to eliminate the need for several remotes to control the audio visual and lighting systems; this was achieved by using a combination of the Lutron QS International Keypads , In-wall RTI RK3V touch screen and a hand held remote RTI T2-C+ touch screen, housed on an illuminated charging cradle in the living room area.

The Audio solution needed to support sound in three zones: external terrace, kitchen-dining room and the living room, where we incorporated a 5.1 digital surround sound via a THX rated AVR. One of the considerations for the project was quality of sound, particularly as the front of the house was wall to wall glass; consequently, the subwoofer had to provide sufficient bass to promote a smooth sound with acoustic depth. This was achieved using an Onkyo 1009 AV Receiver, with powered zones, Polk TL3 Wall Speakers with a Polk PSW125 Subwoofer.

Intelligent Abodes were aware that the client wanted a discreet look so used a combination of high gloss black and white speakers. In the kitchen dining area, we used Polk TL3 with its ring radiator tweeter technology we were able to deliver full Size speaker performance without the big speaker! Beyond 30KHZ! In the large patio area, we used Polk Atrium certified anti-salt and corrosion waterproof speakers in black so that they blended well with the rustic charm of the redundant estate garage.

The client wanted access to a variety of audio sources including internet radio, Sky, FM radio, BluRay, CD, USB direct connect and an RTI iPod docking station. All sources provided an on-screen visual display to their Samsung 8000 smart TV, plus remote control and in-wall colour touch screen control with full meta data feedback showing artwork and giving full control of sources.

To meet the clients visual requirements we incorporated two Samsung Smart TVS in the living room and the snug area with full 1080P capability and control of the visual sources (Sky HD , Blu Ray 3D Player ). This was achieved via using the HDMI loop Sub main out of the AVR and a Wyrestorm point to point extended set. The system was controlled using the RTI handheld remote with its unique feature of combining programming direct IR control from the remote for the Smart Panel and a Zigbee Mesh network via the powerful RTi XP6 Processor for the main source equipment providing a fast response rate for control.

The lighting consisted of a combination of the latest LED and Tungsten decorative fittings, controlled with the RTI Control and Lutron NWK IP interface. The client wanted to discreetly hide an unsightly IR receiver and remote for the splash back tile light with RGB colour changing in the kitchen. This was achieved by combining the control system and illuminating the independent control which was an added bonus to the client, giving them a one touch control system.

It was a great delight at the end of the project to see the finished design working in situ, as it was intended, and enhancing the social experience.

Equipment Used:

Onkyo 1009 AVR
Onkyo 809 Blu Ray
Wyrestorm point to point extended set
RTI XP6 Processor
RTI RK3V in wall touch Screen
RTI I pod Doc
RTI T2-C+ Touch Screen Remote
POLK PSW 125 Sub
POLK Atrium External Speakers
POLK TL3 Wall Speakers
Samsung 8000 Smart TV
Samsung Sky HD Box
Lutron QS NWK Interface
Lutron QS Grafik Eye x 2
Lutron QS International Seetouch keypads
Lutron Syntetic load interface
Lutron Electronic low voltage Interface
Draytec 2850N Router
Package 24 port switch