Technology can certainly look weird at a traditional home if it is overly front and center. But thanks to inventions in built-in and wireless technologies, you can have a home that feels as traditional as you could possibly want, yet still enjoy video and music everywhere and anytime you want it.
Including a fantastic A/V (audio/video) solution to your home, like most important improvements, is something which can be simple or a really major project. It’s up to you how far you want to take it, while it’s concealing your electronic equipment, installing whole-house sound or fully wiring your home for the electronic era.
Want to hide that cable box, DVR and Blu-Ray player? Set them in a cupboard or closet (with just a tiny bit of venting, please) and benefit from programmable radio frequency (RF) remotes. By using radio waves, an RF remote can talk to its hub through walls, allowing you to hide those black boxes and their wires.
Want to hide that TV? Just set it behind a mirror. This flat-panel display is concealed behind an electronically controlled mirror (sometimes called a dielectric mirror), together with all the TV elements recessed into the wall. A remote control changes the mirror from reflective to clean so that you don’t have a large black rectangle onto your wall whenever you’re not watching TV.
Firms like Seura, Hidden Television and Frame My TV have mirror Alternatives for existing TVs or incorporated TV mirrors.
Smart Touch Design – Flat Screen TV Frames
Your home theater does not need obtrusive speakers at the walls, on the shelves or in your prized historical built-ins; this mirror-covered TV is paired with ceiling-mounted speakers.
Many ceiling-mounted speakers come with “steerable” tweeters so you’re able to aim the sound at the primary seating place in the area — like the sofa across from the TV. This way the surround sound can surround the movie watchers.
Instead, you can recess a flat-panel TV into the wall over a fireplace and pay it with ornamental doors or possibly a hinged painting.
This an example of a hinged and motorized painting on a recessed TV. If you’re not seeing, you can leave your room decorated with all the furniture and artwork you love. When you’re ready to observe, the artwork can respectfully step apart at the push of a button.
Another amazing trend in TV mirror technology is embedding a thin liquid crystal display (LCD) behind a mirror. Most frequently used in baths, these TVs can remain completely hidden when they’re off, but just switch them on and you can catch up on the news or weather while you get ready in the morning.
The best way to have it done. If you’re doing a major remodel or building new, then your general contractor can certainly do the wiring and construction as part of the general work. To install the TV, but you ought to seek the services of a media setup professional unless you’re pretty darned handy.
Setup Audio Zones
On the sound side of concealed A/V technology, built-in speakers can practically invisibly add audio throughout your house. Whether you use a wireless sound system, like you from Sonos, or even a prewired system, such as the ones from Niles or Russound, you can set up your home with separate audio zones; children can listen to their item upstairs while the grownups like a glass of wine and chill together with neighboring sounds downstairs.
Especially nice is you can control the quantity, link multiple chambers with the identical music or let people in different areas to listen to different sources. It’s a high-tech system which does not impede in your traditional interiors.
Here you can view the ceiling speakers are employed from the kitchen, adjacent dining area and adjacent family room. Because no walls divide those spaces, all 3 rooms are connected in one unified sound zone.
This is what a normal A/V closet may have inside. There is a variety of equipment, such as an A/V amplifier, a Blu-ray player and many Sonos ZonePlayers. Each of those silver boxes sends a streaming sound signal to a zone made up of a special set of speakers — perhaps the garden or the kitchen or the spacious dining room and living room area. This way you don’t have bulky A/V equipment sharing space with precious antiques and other furnishings.
The white box bridges that the Sonos network to a home theater system so it can be its own sound zone once the TV is off.
Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote Control – $349.99
This new remote from Logitech uses RF instead of infrared (IR) light to convey with some tiny hub which can be placed in a closed area, closet or cupboard to control your equipment. It speaks to a small black puck called a hub, which sits where your equipment is.
The hub comes with an IR “blaster” that sends the right IR remote control signals to control every one of your devices cable boxes, DVRs, VCRs, Blu-ray players etc.; you simply program the remote on the web by selecting the versions of all the devices you have.
This lets you hide all of your A/V equipment, freeing you to leave your decoration as technology free because you would like it to be.
Sonos Play3 – $299
Wireless sound equipment like that from Sonos lets you insert whole-house sound without cutting open up your ceilings to add speakers. The organization’s wireless speakers, like the Play 3 shown here, plug into a power outlet and speak to your music source (PC, Mac, Internet radio, Rdio, Pandora, Spotify etc.) on your Wi-Fi network. You are able to add them throughout the home and link them all up or put them up as separate audio zones which can each have their own sound source.
You control the speakers from an app in your own iOS or Android device to choose which speaker plays what songs, adjust amounts etc..
The best way to have it done. The installation for a system like this is really straightforward, you can do it all on your own, right out of the box.
Wiring the Whole Shebang
If you really want to go the whole nine yards and wire a home for sound, home theater systems and so on, you really have to be able to access the areas inside the ceiling or walls. Within this room ceiling speakers have been tucked into the recesses of the box-beam ceiling and just become part of the ceiling layout.
New ceiling speakers can be added from over if you have an attic space above the ceiling in question, however when it is a ceiling between flooring, it is ideal to install the wiring once the entire ceiling is spacious, either during new construction or a major remodel. Wireless has come a long way, but built-in speakers still require wiring for signs, and they obtain their power from amplifiers someplace else in the home.
More and more A/V amplifiers, streaming video, streaming sound, Blu-ray players and TVs have built-in Wi-Fi which lets you control them through your Apple or Android devices via apps, so it is a lot simpler to incorporate new technologies now than it had been just two or three years ago. But in case you have the chance to wire speakers in your home when it is under construction, just do it. The wiring isn’t that pricey, and it is difficult to do after.
The best way to have it done. If you’re prewiring a home project for video and audio, you will want to employ a media setup professional and have them coordinate with your own contractor. In this manner speaker mounts, wires, controls and TVs will get the electrical and structural support they want.
KOHLER Moxie(R) 2.0 gpm single-function showerhead with wireless speaker – $199
Don’t like ceiling speakers in the bathroom? Don’t have room to get a speaker on a shelf? This water-efficient showerhead from Kohler has a speaker built in to it.
More: 3 Shower Sound Systems That Beat Your Clunky Old Radio