Inside and Out AV Upgrade
Sometimes simple plans can evolve into massive undertakings.
That’s what occurred when leading area home entertainment/automation integrator Dallas Sight and Sound was approached by a client with a simple room reboot in mind.
“The homeowner was remodeling a large room into a place to watch sports, as well as have a pool/ping pong table for his kids; it evolved into a sports/movie/gaming room,” recalled Dallas Sight and Sound System Designer Bill O’Connor. “In addition, they wanted two more TV-watching areas outdoors (the patio and the arbor). We also greatly improved their options for listening to music on the whole-house system by changing out some components and adding iPod docks and Apple TV.”
The client chose to contact Dallas Sight and Sound for the most reliable reason: word-of-mouth from a trusted source.
“We were highly recommended by the builder (Stuart McIlyar with Manning Snelling and McIlyar) who had worked with us on previous jobs, and he liked our commitment to service,” O’Connor said.
And although the client initially only wanted a sports-oriented room, he was open to the Dallas Sight and Sound team’s suggestions. “We proposed using the room not only for sports, but also for movies, and as a gaming room for his eleven-year-old son and his friends,” O’Connor said. “The homeowner had also not considered some of the newer technologies available, like Apple TV and other networked options, and we were able to show them the value of these components in their system.”
Beyond basing the redesign around the sports theme, the customer had other requirements: “It was to be as inconspicuous as possible. And, of course, making everything easy to use was paramount,” O’Connor stated.
There were technical challenges involved in the work as well: “Controlling multiple TVs of the same brand, using multiple satellite receivers of the same brand, is always a test, especially when it comes to making the control intuitive,” O’Connor said. “And we added a sports ticker that receives a live feed, which presented new challenges, including integration onto the existing network. Most sports tickers are meant to be left on all the time at sports bars or other commercial venues. Figuring out how to keep it updated while shutting the power off was a challenge, and required us working closely with the manufacturer to achieve the homeowner’s objectives.”
The Dallas Sight and Sound team was able to integrate this world-class system without disrupting the look and feel of the home. “The equipment is all hidden in cabinets, and the Triad speakers are all ceiling-mounted,” O’Connor said. “The Samsung TVs in the sports room are recessed into the wall, creating a very clean look. In other areas, the satellite receivers are all centrally located, so we didn’t have to have those boxes out with the TVs. The goal was to give it a clean look, and we achieved it beyond the client’s expectations.”
The homeowner was very pleasantly surprised by the end result of the work: “The final product came together extremely well, and they found it easy to control three TVs simultaneously. They also really enjoyed the outdoor features,” O’Connor stated. “The homeowner has told me that the TV by the pool gets the most viewing. We deal with a lot of hot days here in Texas, and they really enjoy hanging out by the pool with friends and watching the World Series, or the NBA Playoffs!
“The homeowners love to entertain, whether it is a formal event or a bunch of the kids’ friends coming over for a swim. With the entertainment options they have now, they are hosting parties on an almost weekly basis, especially when there are big sporting events happening. For the kids, this has become THE place to hang out, listen to music and watch TV.”