News / Media

9 Overlooked Home Theater Features

Many home theater enthusiasts, especially DIYers (and I’m including myself here) tend to fuss all about the big picture and sound-in-the-round speaker approach, while neglecting many important details.

Sometimes installers are guilty of the same thing (though usually it’s the client’s taste or budget that’s to blame). A home theater is more than a room and more than a collection of electronics all tethered together. When done right, a home theater is a total experience.

A well-done home theater is inclusive, comfortable, and- most importantly- not noticeable once the movie's on.

To get to that sublime experience, you need to pay attention to all the details

The truth is that few rooms are perfect for a home theater before the gear arrives, and many still aren’t perfect after the gear’s been installed and connected. In fact, perfection is rarely achievable, but there are a number of features that any home theater enthusiast overlooks at their own peril…

To read about the impact of lighting, reflections, seating, and more, click here.

To read about the impact of lighting, reflections, seating, and more, click here..

Posted by ryan Tue, 17 Dec 2013 16:29:00 GMT

Waterproof Crestron Remote

For those who want to keep their remotes outside or play with them in the pool or jacuzzi, Crestron has an answer: a weather-proof remote. It even floats!

Crestron describes their UFO Waterproof Wireless LCD Remote (UFO-WPR-3ER) as “A rugged, waterproof remote with extended range RF performance and advanced color LCD display.” Its color screen and large, easy to press buttons can be used to control your outdoor lighting, jacuzzi, TV, music, and more.

Go here to see a video of it in action where we most recently installed it:

Crestron's Floating Remote

Posted by ryan Fri, 15 Mar 2013 20:47:00 GMT

Yale Offers Crestron Connected Wirelessly Controlled Door Locks

Yale Locks & Hardware revealed that its wirelessly controlled door locks now integrate with Crestron control systems to provide direct communication, control, management and monitoring of home security.

The Yale Real Living line of access control locks—the first Crestron Connected residential door locks—enable homeowners to lock and unlock doors remotely from a Crestron touch screen or a mobile device, set schedules, and personalize access to the home.


The Crestron Connected initiative embeds Crestron control intelligence into a wide selection of third-party source equipment and display devices, such as projectors, displays, and audio/video receivers, to operate seamlessly with Crestron control technologies. Using Crestron infiNET EX wireless protocol, the new Yale Real Living wirelessly controlled door locks receive commands and send information to the Crestron controller, allowing other devices to come to life based on the lock’s activity.

Homeowners can lock or unlock doors from anywhere in the house using a Crestron touch screen or remotely using Crestron Mobile Pro/Mobile Pro G for Apple and Android mobile devices. When the door is locked or unlocked, the Crestron system can simultaneously turn lights on/off, adjust shades and temperature, and set the alarm. Homeowners can also give access to others and create a schedule to allow guests to enter the home on specific days, and program other settings tailored to each person. Each family member and guest receives a unique PIN, so the homeowner can monitor system activity. For example, the system can be set to automatically send a text message to parents when a child has arrived home from school. The system also monitors battery and alarm status. A Crestron Connected device is recognized natively by the Crestron processor and allows for full control capabilities out-of-the-box, without any special drivers or modules.

To read the full article, click here.

Posted by ryan Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:00:00 GMT

Crestron Launches Motorized Shades with Quietest Motor

Debuting at CEDIA Expo 2012, Crestron’s motorized window coverings are available in roller shades, Roman shades, skylight shades and drapery track systems.

By Julie Jacobson, July 23, 2012

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We knew something was up with Crestron when a patent application came through in July for a “Drapery Assembly with a Powered Carrier.”

Indeed, leading home automation provider Crestron Electronics is launching its own line of shading controls to compete with category leader Lutron Electronics.

In a press release issued today (reprinted below), Crestron says it has the “quietest motor on the market” – a superlative generally bestowed on Lutron.

True to form, Crestron is launching a complete line, including motorized roller shades, Roman shades, skylight shades and drapery track systems. “Designer-inspired” fabrics and hardware finishes complete the line. The company says the line can be integrated with non-Crestron control systems.

Over the past decade, Crestron has added several subsystems to its home integration line, including A/V switchers and receivers, thermostats and lighting controls. The video switchers and lighting in particular have lured many integrators away from specialty manufacturers of these lines.

Meanwhile, many of the specialty vendors, such as Lutron (Radio Ra 2), Key Digital (Compass Control), Gefen (GAVA), URC (Total Control), somfy (TaHoma) and Remote Technologies Inc. have expanded into Crestron’s realm of home integration to offer their own multifunction control systems.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 26 Jul 2012 17:00:00 GMT

Installation of the Week : Crestron In-Wall Touchpanel

Crestron V-Panel Integrated 15” Wall Mount HD Touch Screen - TPMC-V15-WALL

Audio Impact recently installed this very stylish and versatile touch panel solution in a La Jolla Home. Blending style and function with the latest high-definition graphics technology, this flush mount touchscreen also includes a built-in front-firing speakers to provide clear audio for listening to multimedia, as well as for intercom in combination with the integrated microphone.

Posted by chantal Wed, 11 Jul 2012 17:43:00 GMT

5 high-tech smart homes for the super rich

By By Jerold Leslie | – Tue, Jun 26, 2012

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Super-luxury estates don’t just come with swimming pools and tennis courts these days, but also boast elaborate home theaters and special controls that can unlock doors or adjust thermostats even if you’re halfway around the world.

“I’ll walk into a dark house with a buyer, press one button and turn on the lights, the music and the home theater downstairs,” says Debra Johnston, an Atlanta real estate agent who specializes in high-end properties. “The whole house is ready to go – and the client can see that.”

More and more high-end properties feature such “smart-home” technologies - professional-grade audio/video systems, plus lights, thermostats, window shades and more that you can control with an Apple iPad or other smart device. Read on for five of the poshest smart homes.

Lakefront estate, Plano, Texas

List price: $5.9 million

This six-bedroom estate’s elaborate media room features a domed ceiling that depicts thousands of twinkling stars - and even an occasional meteor streaking across the sky. There are also eight reclining chairs, as well as custom-painted murals depicting a panoramic view of Florence, Italy. As for electronics, the media room boasts a Sony (SNE_) video projector, a 147-inch screen, a 7.1 surround-sound Super THX speaker system, four DSS satellite receivers and more. The home’s state-of-the-art electronics also include remote-controlled shades, lights and other amenities, as well as built-in wiring for audio, flat-panel TVs and high-speed Internet.

Oceanfront estate, Dana Point, CA

List price: $23 million

Located on the Pacific Ocean some 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 10 miles east of Catalina Island, this Tuscan-style estate boasts remote-controlled lights, drapes, audio/video and more. A Crestron control system runs the built-in 60-inch built-in flat-panel TV and surround-sound system in the home’s great room, as well as two flat-panel TVs and a ticker-tape display in the “sports room.” You can also control the property’s security system/video cameras remotely, as well as a 15-zone audio system that features built-in speakers inside and out of the six-bedroom home. But the estate’s coolest feature is probably its home theater, which boasts a professional-grade video projector, a 160-inch screen and 11 reclining seats.

Clock tower penthouse, Brooklyn, NY

List price: $19 million

This three-bedroom penthouse doesn’t have the world’s most elaborate electronics, but is in one of the coolest settings around – a 98-year-old former factory’s clock tower. Spanning the top three floors of Brooklyn’s famed 1914 Clock Tower Building, the condo boasts one-of-a-kind windows carved out of the structure’s four huge clocks (which still function). As for electronics, the penthouse has 12-speed CAT wiring and a Crestron system that controls lighting, heat, air conditioning, audio/video and shades.

Tuxedo Park estate, Atlanta, GA

List price: $11.5 million

This newly built 2-acre estate features all sorts of cutting-edge technology, from a home theater that cost nearly $1 million to lights, thermostats and more that you can control remotely. Virtually every room in this seven-bedroom/13-bathroom home is connected to central music and security systems and comes prewired for CAT5 cable, PBX phones and high-speed Internet access. There’s also a high-tech geothermal heating/cooling system and super-efficient thermal-pane windows and icynene insulation. But it’s the property’s home theater that really shines. Outfitted with 12-seat German-made leather seats, the space boasts a $160,000 Digital Projections Pro-Cinema Commercial Projector, a 171-inch Stewart film screen and a $17,000 Snell surround-sound speaker/subwoofer system.

Cape Cod waterfront estate, Cotuit, MA

List price: $10.9 million

This 7.6-acre estate’s smart-home technology runs not only all systems in its four-bedroom main house, but lights, heat and the like in its one-bedroom carriage house as well. The system controls the home’s built-in audio/video, 14 flat-panel TVs – even the temperature in the estate’s massive wine cellar.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 05 Jul 2012 16:49:00 GMT

Installation of the week: Crestron Programming

Pre-Programing another Crestron System, featuring Crestron Core 3 with Crestron Digital Media.

The system will have 15” in-wall V-Panel touchscreen and over 29 rooms of audio. This stunning La Jolla home will also have a dedicated Theater. Stay tuned for more on this exciting Crestron System.

Posted by chantal Thu, 07 Jun 2012 16:22:00 GMT

Home Theater makes a Relaxing Family Upgrade

Published Apr 27, 2012 By HD Living

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What better gift can you give to your family than entertainment? When one homeowner wanted to bestow upon

his extended family, there was only one area home theater/automation integrator he needed to call: Domes Audio Video Environments in Virginia Beach, Va.

“The homeowner considered the sports bar/game room to be a very important part of the home, and needed a space their grandchildren, kids, family and friends could enjoy together,” recalled Domes President Lee Whedbee. “They requested it be a relaxed space with a large screen and access to both audio and video collections, as well as lighting scenes for party modes, playing cards and gaming.”

In addition to excellent sight and sound, “The home-owner wanted ease of access to his music throughout his home, the detached pool building and antique car garage,” Whedbee said. “He wanted an intuitive interface that visiting friends and relatives could operate without detailed instructions.”

How did the homeowner come across Domes? Extensive research, after which “he called Domes, and we went to his home to do a complimentary site survey and discuss his wishes for the job. He was impressed with our ideas, length of time in business, and that we are a family business.”

Next on the homeowner’s priority list was a dedicated home theater which could seat 10 people. Domes designed a tiered seating layout with five seats on each row, keeping the first row 12 feet from the Stewart screen.

Comfort paired with a Runco VX-22 projector hidden in a motorized lift in the ceiling and projecting onto a 110-inch Stewart screen provided breathtaking video. The room was treated with an acoustical wall absorption system and hidden Meridian speakers and amplification provided the audio.

The project was complete after about six weeks—10 days to prewire, two weeks to install the equipment, and about two weeks to program and de-bug.

The homeowner was surprised—and delighted by the end result. “The most surprising aspect of the entire job was the ‘control’,” Whedbee stated. ”We used a Crestron Control System throughout the home including the ‘Sports Bar’, pool building and antique car garage. This allowed for ease of use for both audio and video throughout. DVDs and Music CDs could be easily accessed from any room, alleviating the need for cluttered stacks of DVDs and CDs on the shelves.

“He loved to entertain and this was the place to do it. Push one button and the automation took over. The lights began to dim, the curtains parted revealing the Stewart Screen, and the DVD began. His guests were amazed, and he was delighted to see them enjoy the theater as much as he did!”

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Posted by chantal Wed, 06 Jun 2012 19:15:00 GMT

Electronic House 2012 Awards: Audio Passion Inspired Home Theater Design

Sweet sounds take center stage in this theater, thanks to Monitor Audio speakers, an Integra preamp and a powerful Crestron amp.

May 01, 2012 by Lisa Montgomery

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It’s obvious when entering this grand, custom-crafted theater, which part of its design took priority: the audio. A contact sensor on the door that leads into the 27-by-16-foot space triggers an array of small LED fixtures, showcasing a pair of high-grade Monitor Audio Platinum tower speakers. Most people would have chosen to let the huge reference speakers stay hidden behind the acoustical fabric that covers each of two speaker cavities built into custom cabinetry at the front of the room. But not this homeowner. “On a scale from 1 to 10, his passion for audio is a 20,” says Ryan Lipkovicius of Audio Impact, the San Diego–based custom electronics design and installation fi rm hired to build this theater.

Several small, energy-efficient LED lights were carefully positioned within each of the cabinet’s two speaker cavities. When the door to the room opens, they illuminate so the speakers can be seen through the acoustical fabric. Part of Monitor Audio’s Platinum line, the speakers are the company’s top performers and this theater’s crowning jewel.

It would take plenty of horsepower to drive these freestanding giants, plus the rest of the Monitor Audio 9.2-channel surround-sound system. Audio Impact chose an Integra DHC-80.2 preamp for its ability to work well with other A/V components and numerous audio decoding options, and a Crestron Procise Proamp-7X400 amplifier for its pure, raw output of power.

Another important part of the audio design was the engineering of a carefully constructed and acoustically treated shell. “Sam Cavitt of Paradise Theater in San Diego calculated all of the parameters, including the room dimensions, number of seats and size and position of the screen, and the software (from Kinetics Noise Control) figured where we needed to put acoustical materials, how to position the speakers, and where to put the seats so the audio reproduction was true and smooth,” says Lipkovicius. To further enhance the acoustical performance, Audio Impact and Paradise Theater instructed the contractors to “float” the room so none of its walls or ceiling would touch the walls of adjacent rooms or the floor of the room above it. Air conditioning vents, light fixtures and electrical outlets were treated with special isolation materials so that no sound would escape from the theater.

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Posted by chantal Mon, 07 May 2012 16:24:00 GMT

Audio Impact Wins Gold in Electronic House Home of the Year 2012

Audio Impact is proud to announce that it has won the 2012 Gold Best Theater from Electronic House.

The stage was set during the client discovery. When asked, “How would you describe your dream theater?” the client paused to reflect, then said “A special place. A room that draws us in, that brings us together as a family and where we can experience amazing sound and vision in comfort and serenity. A special room that creates an emotional bond as soon as we enter”. A tall order to be sure but attainable since the team was assembled early enough in the process to design and engineer excellence.

It starts with the room; the foundation of the performance theater environment. Room ratios and construction techniques were addressed to create an ideal scenario for quiet room construction and smooth acoustical performance. Subsystems were engineered, including mechanical, electrical and lighting to assure no unwanted sound entered or propagated through them. A detailed set of construction documents guided the project contractors through each step. The result was a theater “chassis” that would support the profound performance.

The engineering continues in the design of the system. The engine that provides the horsepower for our clients envisioned experiences. Monitor Platinum PL 300 reference towers and PL 350 center are perfectly matched with 6 of the newly developed Platinum In Wall PLIW for side and rear surrounds while 2 PLW-15 Subwoofers provide the prodigious bass. These superb components are precisely matched with the rooms acoustical environment resulting in accurate sound reproduction whatever the source. Powered and processed by the Integra THX Ultra 2 DHC-80 with Audyssey and Crestron PROAMP-7X400 amplifier there is no shortage of power and enveloping quality sound. The visual elements of the theater features the Runco LS-10 1080p projector driving a 135” 1.78:1 micro-perforated Stewart Filmscreen. The LS-10 complemented with Runco’s video processing provides plenty of visual excitement which is accurately rendered on the Stewart screen surface.

All the theater, house-wide audio and Crestron control systems are housed in 2 Middle Atlantic ERK racks concealed in ventilated cabinets in the rear of the room. The equipment rack cabinets and Projector compartment are constantly monitored by Crestron temperature C2N-RTHS sensors and turn on ultra quit exhaust fans if needed. The System features Crestron ADMS Intermedia Delivery System that brings movies from a Sony 400 Disk Blu-ray changer, Netflix, Hulu, The homes computers, Youtube to life at the touch of one button. There is a HD Cable box along with an Apple TV. The entire Theater Audio/Video, Lighting and HVAC is easily controlled via an in-wall removable TPS-6x wireless touchscreen remote. There are quick assess to lighting scenes and even a virtual keyboard for the ADMS.

Finally comes the blend of performance and aesthetics. The theaters acoustical components, which were specified as a result of an acoustical modeling process were integrated with the interior design artfully. The screen wall features display columns where the beautiful Platinum towers are nestled in an ideal acoustical surrounding and illuminated by concealed lighting. Behind the perforated screen sits, not only the PL350 center but custom engineered baffles to provide both expansive sound stage and accurate imaging. The whole assembly housed in a furniture grade cabinet design. Walls and ceilings feature concealed Kinetics acoustical devices behind a stretch fabric system which is complemented by pilasters, housing the surround speakers and gorgeous millwork trim throughout.

The impact upon entry is stunning, the serenity of the space is enchanting but when the system is fired up the experience is astonishing. Whether seated in the first row or the third get ready to “suspend your disbelief” for the home theater ride of your life.

Posted by chantal Fri, 04 May 2012 16:13:00 GMT