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The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner

February 13, 2009 By Brooke Lange



Click the images below for bigger versions:
The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner - The Venetian mirrors from Murano, Italy, flank the media room’s opposing walls, while the wool carpeting was custom-made in Ireland.
The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner - The Hungarian artist who painted the portrait above the fireplace also applied the gold leaf to the fireplace and doors.
The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner - programming
The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner - equipment rack

2008 Cedia Electronic Lifestyles Award Winner

Media Room: Silver Technical Design & Best Overall Winner

Electronic Systems Consultant: All Around Technology—Rockville, Md.

This neoclassical space—a basement-level room in a historical home in Georgetown, Va.—is prim and proper. The mood is reserved and regal. Dignified. But press a single button on the 8-inch wireless Crestron touchscreen...

The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner - The Venetian mirrors from Murano, Italy, flank the media room’s opposing walls, while the wool carpeting was custom-made in Ireland.

Transformation. When that button is pressed, you will discover quickly that this 340-square-foot room is an exercise in technological denial, because all five TVs are concealed until they’re turned on. And when this room is turned on, so to speak, all dignity flies out the window.

“Their kids can have eight friends in there playing video games,” says Tim Rooney of All Around Technology. “They all can play video games on the main TV and on the two lower televisions—all while sporting events are playing on the top two TVs.”

As you can imagine, a dozen teens getting all riled up while playing the Xbox 360 Elite, PlayStation 3 or the Nintendo Wii makes for a pretty wild scene, especially with the addition of a Mac computer for YouTube, iTunes and Internet access.

The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner Equipment rackBut the system is simple to use—even for a youngster. The Crestron touch screen display mimics the media wall’s layout exactly: Just press the upper right-hand TV on the touch screen, and voila, that TV comes on. But this room can behave if need be.

It’s sophisticated enough for Dad’s multimedia presentations (he can use the screen as a computer monitor with his wireless keyboard and mouse).

The room and furniture orientation are conducive to multitasking. Seated guests can enjoy the conversation at hand, the roaring fire, or the roaring crowds on the TVs.

Dad can also quench his insatiable appetite for all things political in this room, which means he can watch five political pundits simultaneously. Or three pundits and two sporting events.

“From an interiors perspective, the design we came up with is really ‘a moment of technology in a traditionally detailed room,’” Rooney continues.

“The idea was to create a black shadowbox with five TVs—and they all float off the back side of the fiberglass- and fabric-covered wall.”

Previously, the room contained a Runco plasma above the fireplace, which slid behind a painting when not in use.

“The owner wanted something bigger and better than that,” Rooney says, adding that this is his fourth custom-designed system for this client.

This system, however, is somewhat of a replay of the owners’ previous media room—a projector and a drop-down 110-inch screen that flanked four CRTs.

“They didn’t want to harm this room’s interiors in any way,” says the electronic systems consultant. Thus, the idea of a ceiling-mounted projector was scrapped. Rooney’s team architected a media wall to give the client that “something over the top.”

First, the wall was moved forward 2 feet to accommodate the steel frame for the massive 103-inch Panasonic TV; the secondary sets—four 32-inch high-definition LG screens—circle the main screen.

New surround-sound speakers and subwoofers—a James Loudspeaker system powered by Anthem Statement amps—were incorporated into the system. Today, Rooney is still amazed at the picture quality.

“I was quite surprised at how great the 103-inch plasma was,” he says, adding that the owner can watch all five televisions while the lights are on (a projector wouldn’t allow for this scenario).

The More TVs, The Merrier - CEDIA Award Winner - The Hungarian artist who painted the portrait above the fireplace also applied the gold leaf to the fireplace and doors.

“We thought we would incorporate a projector to give him the same system he had [in the other house], but he really wanted this plasma television."

“I thought it was a somewhat risky investment—the TV was just released [at the time]. But my first impression was ‘Wow!’ I was really happy that the owner pushed the TV idea through. He was so right to get that plasma.”

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