Hobbs Extension

Project Description:

Client:
 Mr Hobbs
Date:
 Summer 2012
Category:
Control system, Control4, HDMI Distribution, Home Cinema, Multiroom Audio

Background

Mr Hobbs has been a customer of ours for several years; we originally took over the maintenance of their TV and Satellite equipment and have since done several further jobs at the property.

Origins

The house was now having a extension added to accommodate a new Media Room, Bar, Swimming Pool/Sun Room, Patio Area as well as the refurbishment of the Master Bedroom, Dressing Room, Bathroom and two further guest bedrooms. The client approached us at the design stage, prior to any work being carried out.

Requirement

It was at this stage where we were able to tailor a package for this fantastic new space, taking in to consideration every requirement. The requirements were as follows:

  • Sky+ HD
  • Apple TV
  • Blu-Ray DVD
  • 5 Disc CD Player
  • iPod Dock
  • Discrete built in Home Cinema System
  • Multi-room High Definition Distribution
  • Multi room Audio Distribution
  • Outdoor Speakers for patio
  • Touch Panel for control of system
  • Simple control of all of the above with one control
  • All equipment and cables to be out of sight.

Due to the location of the new extension one of the major factors for this system was the location of the satellite dish. They already had one dish for the main house, situated on the roof and one dish on the detached cottage. Aesthetically a third dish would not have looked right, however both of the current dishes were not within a close proximity to the new extension.

Solution

After our initial discussions we first provided the client with a budget proposal, whereby we put together three separate packages, each staggered in price range. Once package was decided on we then consulted with the Architect, Project Manager and Electrical Contractor to discuss our plans and provide a wiring schematic. We provided the electrical contractor with all the correct cables and met on site to extensively explain all of the requirements.

Due to the layout of the Media Room it was decided that a large LED TV would be the main source for viewing at this stage. This TV, along with the three front speakers and sub woofer were to be recessed in a custom made wooden frame. Included in our wiring plan was the cabling for a projector, should this become a requirement further down the line.

In order to incorporate all of the video sources and to distribute them to several points we specified a HDMI matrix. This would allow for up to four inputs to be distributed to four outputs with simultaneous viewing of any of the inputs in any room.

As part of the audio the client wanted the facility to dock an iPod/iPhone and listen to their music collection in any of the new four rooms. On top of this the lady of the house had a love of CDs and requested a 5 disc carousel for their existing collection, again to be available in any room.

We specified Control4 as brains of the system, this would allow control of all of the devices via one simple user interface, and most importantly with one control doing everything.

We utilised a free space at the end of the seating area to house all of the cabling, Audio Video and Control4 equipment.

As mentioned above, another challenge we had to overcome was the satellite dish. We once again liaised with the Project Manager and decided to upgrade the satellite system in the cottage. Here we would fit a new fibreglass dish, maintaining the cottage satellite service and running an underground cable through a duct to the new extension. Due to the distance between the dish and the extension we ran the system over fibre optic cable, resulting in no loss of signal and with the benefit of not having another dish.

Results

Quite simply the overall finish of this project is stunning.

We have integrated all of the aspects of the system which has simplified the use of all the different components into to one easy interface. We supplied two racks at the end of the seating area to house all of the equipment. These racks are enclosed in a bespoke unit, blending in seamlessly with the new décor. Ventilation is provided at this point to extract any hot air from this cupboard, with a thermosat to keep the air at the correct temperature to ensure longevity of the electrical components. All of the new data and signal cables come back to this point, where we terminated in neat patch panels, labelling accordingly.

The Home Cinema experience in this room is now truly fantastic, the recessed speakers look and sound stunning, filling such a large room with ease. Due to the colour of the dark wood used throughout the build, we suggested altering the finish of the speakers which come as standard in white. After discussions with the client and architect we were able to have the fine mesh grille of the speakers professionally sprayed to blend in perfectly.

With Control4 at the heart of this system we are able to provide a clean and easy system to operate, across many different platforms such as our favourite Control4 System Remote, iPad, iPhone, Android devices and PC/Mac desktop software.

We counted a total of 12 separate remote controls for the media room, now all easily managed with one. This has helped massively in the ease of use of the entire project, with the press of one button the TV comes on (on the correct channel!!), the surround sound amplifier changes to the correct audio input at a preset level, the sky box turns on and the matrix sets to the correct input. From there the remote will act as a typical Sky remote doing all the usual actions and the volume of the amplifier is adjusted as you would expect. Not only does this mean our demonstration and handover is done quickly, most importantly the client can operate the system right away, saving time and lots of headaches! Not stopping there via any of the Control4 remotes we can easily switch to CD, Apple TV, Blu-Ray, iPod and control all of them without having to remember which remote to pick up and where to point it!!

In the Pool area we provided a touch panel for control of the complete system, but primarily for the outdoor area. From here we can select to watch any of the sources on the Pool TV, listen to a CD, wirelessly stream music or just listen to the radio.  On top of all this we added in Internet Radio, setting some stations as favourites, which allows the client to access radio stations from all over the world.

All in all this system is the perfect package and can suit many different styles of room and budget. The Media room is perfect for relaxing and catching up with day to day events but also doubles up as an awesome room for watching movies and sporting events.

The multi-room audio system is fantastic for entertaining and can be easily altered from anywhere. The streaming of audio wirelessly via Control4 or Apple/Android devices is a truly fantastic addition to the system.