A complete makeover of a home’s audio and video systems can be completed in just four days, if you have the right plan. That’s how long it took DTV Installations to create the ultimate 110-inch projection home theater for a Darien, CT. homeowner, install a modern video system in his master bedroom, and craft a complete outdoor audio system that can be controlled by smartphone – with all of the wiring and equipment hidden in the walls and basement.
Painters love blank canvases, because they can let their imaginations run wild and create a masterpiece. That’s the DTV Installations looks at projects like this whole home installation in Darien, CT. The client wanted us to create a high-end home theater, a video system for the master bedroom, and a modern, weatherproof outdoor audio system.
We started with what we would consider the “ultimate” home theater – which only took three days to complete. This is our favorite type of work: the walls were open when we began and we were starting from scratch. We supplied all of the equipment, with the client receiving big discounts because we are authorized dealers for all major manufacturers.
Most of the equipment for the system was to be kept in the home’s basement, right underneath the theater. So the first thing we did was run all of the necessary high-quality cables (including top-of-the-line HDMI cables) and set up the Middle Atlantic A/V equipment rack in the cellar. That rack housed a Denon AVR-S710W 7.2 channel home theater receiver supporting Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple® AirPlay®, and Dolby Atmos®, a URC MRF-350 RF extender to allow a URC MX-780 universal remote control system to transmit and receive signals through the walls and floors, and a Panamax power filter and surge protector.
At this point, the upstairs walls were closed and we were able to cut all of the holes required for the home theater equipment, but we waited to do the actual installation until painting was completed so no paint or dust got onto the components. Finally, it was time to “make the donuts.”
We started with the speakers, which included high-end Polk Audio 70-RTs installed in the ceiling in optimal locations for the Dolby 7.2 sound system, as well as a Proficient Protégé FS12 powered subwoofer, all connected with Monster speaker cables. The projection system we installed in this ultimate home theater consisted of a gorgeous Draper 110” fixed screen, and a state-of-the-art Sony VPL-HW40ES full HD/3D video projector which we hung on a Peerless ceiling mount.
With the home theater complete, next on the agenda was the home’s exquisitely-redesigned master bedroom – which was crying out for an equally exquisite video system. The client already had the HDTV, but needed a design which would match the room’s contemporary, clean look.
We decided to install the flat-screen HDTV monitor over the bedroom dresser, where there would be perfect sight lines from the bed; it made sense to place the home theater equipment in one of the dresser drawers. We started by snaking cables through the wall to connect directly between the television and the equipment concealed in the dresser – without being visible, of course – and we installed a new electrical outlet which would be hidden by the HDTV. Once all the wiring was in place, we hung the high-definition television in the proper position, and connected the cables through the back of the dresser to the home theater equipment stored there.
There was one important detail left, though. Remote controls often won’t work when equipment is hidden behind doors or walls, so in those cases it’s necessary to install an infrared repeater system to let the signals reach their intended destination. We used a Xantech IR extender to accomplish this task so the client would be able to effortlessly control his brand-new, beautiful video system from the comfort of bed. The entire master bedroom portion of this project required only three hours of work.
Last on the client’s list was a permanent outdoor audio solution, and we had just the right plan. We mounted strategically-placed high-end Polk Atrium 6 outdoor-rated speakers to the sides of the home (using white speakers to match the color of the house), and powered them with a Sonos Connect:AMP amplifier. The high-performance Polk speakers are not only considered weatherproof by the manufacturer, they exceed the standards set by the U.S. military for outdoor equipment making them the perfect choice for often-rugged Connecticut winters. The Sonos amp provides 55 watts per channel, with full Sonos connectivity to the home’s sound system.
The real beauty of this audio installation – other than the stellar sound it produces throughout the property – is that the Sonos amplifier is wireless, so it can be fully controlled by any smartphone or tablet. This installation only required half a day.
Finally, we calibrated all of the systems for perfect video and audio, programmed the universal remote control system, and walked the client through operation of his new home theater, master bedroom installation and outdoor audio system, step-by-step. He was thrilled with the project – and we were thrilled with the way it came out.