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Home entertainment


  • pg 1
									                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Home enTerTaInmenT

                                                                                                                                                 left: Introducing Ateca
                                                                                                                                                 Vision, an elegant range of
                                                                                                                                                 plasma and LCD TV furniture
                                                                                                                                                 with a gallic twist. Available
                                                                                                                                                 from BBG Distribution
                                                                                                                                                 Ltd is the UK’s number
                                                                                                                                                 one specialist supplier of
                                                                                                                                                 audio visual products &

                                                                                                                                                 right: A 42” Plasma TV
                                                                                                                                                 that vanishes when not in
                                                                                                                                                 use is installed in a Georgian
                                                                                                                                                 style home in Oxfordshire.
                                                                                                                                                 A false bookcase was
                                                                                                                                                 constructed and the TV sits
                                                                                                                                                 on a fully automated bracket
                                                                                                                                                 that swings into the room to
                                                                                                                                                 a 45 degree angle. When
                                                                                                                                                 viewing ends it disappears
                                                                                                                                                 back into the recess and the
                                                                                                                                                 automated bookcase returns
                                                                                                                                                 to its closed state. To
                                                                                                                                                 maintain the Georgian style
                                                                                                                                                 décor throughout the house,

Home entertainment
                                                                                                                                                 Cyberhomes Limited ensured
                                                                                                                                                 that all the smart technology
                                                                                                                                                 was hidden behind the
                                                                                                                                                 scenes, including the TV!

Story: Chris Moss – Digital Domain
                                                                                               Television: Forget the Corner!
In the rapidly developing world of technology, nothing moves faster than in the area of        At the heart of every home entertainment           less than 27” visible), flat screen TV panels         Plasma or LCD
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Inevitably, when there is more than
home entertainment. The days when home cinema, for instance, was the preserve of               system is the television … and most homes          are much larger, with (a genuine) 32” being
                                                                                                                                                                                                        one approach or design on the market,
                                                                                               don’t stop at just one. Once confined to the       the minimum for serious living room viewing
the wealthy enthusiast are long gone; today, most people have some idea of what home           corner of the room – as much to conceal the        and 42/50” models becoming the norm. High             comparisons are made and there is talk
cinema means because of the proliferation of inexpensive DVD players and all-in-one                                                                                                                     of winners and losers. In the case of
                                                                                               bulk of the cathode ray tube as anything – the     definition formats mean that picture quality,
                                                                                                                                                                                                        plasma and LCD flat panel TVs, this is
surround sound systems, available with their tea and cornflakes off supermarket shelves.       TV is enjoying new found freedom mid-wall          especially from good sources such as DVD or
                                                                                                                                                                                                        both unhelpful and misleading; there is no
                                                                                               and, very often, on the wall. And models are       Sky HD, is maintained at such sizes, providing
But how good are such systems and what do you get by paying a little more? What should         getting bigger each year. Whereas the old 4:3      the impact that the high drama or movie
                                                                                                                                                                                                        reason why the two types of screen should
                                                                                                                                                                                                        not co-exist and it is only vested interest
you be aiming for? What about whole house systems? What is involved and how much               ratio television peaked at 28” diagonally (with    experience demand.                                    that would have you think otherwise. Over
will they cost? How                                                                                                                                                                                     the last year LCD screens have improved
                                                                                                                                                                                                        considerably, with faster refresh times
much research
                                                                                                                                                                                                        going a long way to reduce their traditional
is required and                                                                                                                                                                                         problems of motion judder and blur.
where do you go for                                                                                                                                                                                     Viewing angle is more limited than plasma
                                                                                                                                                                                                        but LCDs offer vibrant colours and sharp
assistance? In this                                                                                                                                                                                     images and are the only option for screen
special feature, we                                                                                                                                                                                     sizes up to 32”. At the top end, screen size
                                                                                                                                                                                                        has already reached 60” and is set to go
will try to help you                                                                                                                                                                                    well beyond that.
through the maze of                                                                                                                                                                                         Plasma TVs start at 37”, rising to 65”,
information, jargon                                                                                                                                                                                     leaving aside Panasonic’s prohibitively
                                                                                                                                                                                                        expensive 103” model which most homes
and techno-speak,                                                                                                                                                                                       would struggle to accommodate. As
so that you have a                                                                                                                                                                                      far as TVs go, plasma is a more mature
                                                                                                                                                                                                        technology and has a distinct edge on
clearer idea of what                                                                                                                                                                                    performance. Its strength lies in the
would suit your                                                                                                                                                                                         scale and realism of its colour palette, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                        density of its black level, a wide viewing
needs and pocket.                                                                              above: In developing its new Kuro range of plasma TVs, Pioneer set out to deliver the best               angle and freedom from motion blur – the
                                                                                               visual experience ever from a flat-screen TV. Kuro achieves black levels 80% deeper than any             better option for sports and other fast
right: An installation for a                                                                   other flat-screen TV.... the deepest black levels produce the purest colours, which in turn reveal       moving programmes or action films.
private client by AV Synergy.                                                                  the sharpest details.

78 Traditional Homes & Interiors   November 2007                         www.thimagazine.com   www.thimagazine.com                                                                                November 2007 Traditional Homes & Interiors      79
                                                                                                                    Home enTerTaInmenT

     High Definition                                   signal, such as from Sky or Virgin Media,        standards, the decision must come down to
     HD TVs have introduced a dramatic step            or from an upscaling DVD player or a Blu-        economics as well as usage. For the main
     change in the viewing experience. HD              ray or HD DVD player.                            viewing room, it would be worth going for
     offers between 2 and 4 times the resolution          Full HD TVs are more expensive                Full HD, especially if it is intended to buy
     of non-HD TVs, dependent on whether a             than HD Ready models, although some              into the new video disc formats. If Blu-ray
     screen is HD ready or Full HD and source          manufacturers have been rushing out low-         and or HD DVD are not on your horizon, then
     material. The resultant quality in terms          priced versions of 1080p screens in order        the advantages of Full HD over a good HD
     of picture density, the level of visible detail   to capture an early slice of the market. For     Ready TV are less obvious. It is certainly true
     and colour vibrancy can be breathtaking..         someone wanting to purchase a new                that the likes of Sky HD broadcasts viewed
     at least until you get used to it! The            flat screen TV and faced                         on a 720p HD Ready TV raise the question:
     downside is that, without effective internal      with the choice of                               “how much better can it get?” or even: “how

     picture processing, HD TVs can exacerbate         the two                                          much better do I need it to be?”
     poor terrestrial or digital TV signals;
     this is not so much an issue on better
                                                                                                        right: The
     screens. To do them justice,
     HD TVs need an HD                                                                                  Viera TX-
     compatible                                                                                         32LXD700
                                                                                                        32” LCD TV is
                                                                                                        a HD-Ready
                                                                                                        TV that can
                                                                                                        signals. It has
                                                                                                        3 HDMI inputs
                                                                                                        and a built-in Freeview tuner.

                                                                                                        left: The Toshiba Regza X3030 series LCD
                                                                                                        TV comes in 37” and 42” variants, one of
                                                                                                        many Full HD TVs now available.

                                                                                                        below: A study at this private residence
                                                                                                        has incorporated a Sharp 32” LCD TV,
                                                                                                        Future Automation motorised TV bracket and
                                                                                                        Sonance in-ceiling speakers, plus, in cupboard
                                                                                                        below: Onkyo receiver and Pioneer DVD
                                                                                                        recorder – all available from Digital Domain.

      To understand the world of high definition, it is useful to know a bit about the terminology
      used to define it. Before the advent of HD, the maximum that UK TVs could generate was
      576 visible picture lines. On most sets these lines were interlaced, ie only alternate lines
      were displayed at any one time (lines 1, 3, 5, etc would be followed by lines 2, 4, 6, etc on
      a continuous switching basis). HD ushered in TVs capable of generating not only more lines
      but also non-interlaced or progressive pictures, where all the available lines are displayed at
      once, producing a more stable picture.
         The majority of TVs sized 26” and above are now HD ready or Full HD. HD ready screens
      have been around for a couple of years now, whereas Full HD sets are a more recent
      innovation. HD Ready sets have a minimum of 720 horizontal lines and are capable of
      handling a 720p signal (the ‘p’ representing progressive) typically from satellite and cable HD
      boxes and upscaling DVD players, without processing. They will also accept a 1080i signal
      from HD boxes but need to scale it down to fit the pixel structure of their panels.
         Full HD TVs have 1080 horizontal lines and are capable of handling a 1080p signal
      without processing. Sources are again satellite and cable boxes, which can output a 1080i
      signal, some upscaling DVD players and the new generation of video disc players: Blu-ray
      and HD-DVD.

     www.thimagazine.com                                                                           November 2007 Traditional Homes & Interiors         81
Home enTerTaInmenT

                                                                                               right anD
                                                                                               below: Shake
                                                                                               the room with
                                                                                               your iPod. The
                                                                                               new BooM1 by
                                                                                               TwinMOS is a
                                                                                               station inspired by
                                                                                               the needs created
                                                                                               by the new ‘iPod’
                                                                                               generation. Unlike
                                                                                               any other similar
                                                                                               product designed

                                                                                               for the iPod, the
                                                                                               BooM1 is equipped
                                                                                               with a powerful
                                                                                               25watt sub-woofer
                                                                                               delivering jaw
                                                                                               dropping sound
                                                                                               and presence to
                                                                                               easily satisfy the
                                                                                               need of a small
                                                                                               private party.

above: Viewsonic VX2245wm –
a desktop multi-media display, with
integrated iPod docking station,
speakers and sub-woofer, produces
a rich sound for music, video, gaming
and TV.

 WIN an Arcam “rDock”
 iPod docking station worth
 Thinking about installing a home cinema or surround-sound audio visual distribution in your
 home – a stunning lighting scheme or hi-tech home security? Get one step nearer your
 goal with this promotion from Cyberhomes limited, a smart home technology design and
 installing company.
     Cyberhomes limited has teamed up with traditional homes & interiors to offer one
 lucky reader a day’s visit to their new multi-functional, hands-on demonstration showroom
 at Thame, Oxfordshire, which includes a personal advice session on home automation from
 Cyberhomes’ resident experts. The prize will also include an arcam “rDock” iPod docking
 station worth £130.00.
     The winner’s travel expenses within mainland Britain* will be paid and the prize
 will also include lunch and refreshments.
     To be in with a chance of winning, simply send your name, address and
 telephone number on a postcard to the address on page 9, marked ‘Cyberhomes
 Competition’ and the first entry drawn on 30th November 2007 will win.

 (See page 9 for rules of entry)

 For further details of products available please visit www.cyberhomesltd.co.uk
 *Up to a total of not more than £200.00

82 Traditional Homes & Interiors        November 2007                                                                www.thimagazine.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Home enTerTaInmenT

                                                                                    IN82 DLP
                                                                                    Full HD projector
                                                                                    combines state-of-the-art technology with sleek, low-profile
                                                                                    design and ease-of-use to deliver a stunning HD video experience;
                                                                                    price £3000.00, available from Digital Domain.

                                                                                    left: The wooden panels fold back to reveal this hidden
                                                                                    Cinema System. Available from SG Systems Ltd.

Home Cinema                                        joist space. They are available manually              DVD and some digital broadcasts, in terms
If you yearn for that really big screen            or electrically operated and in a range of            of both multi-channel separation and sound
experience, then there is no substitute for        materials including acoustically transparent,         quality. Having a large screen without an
a projector and screen system. These can           for installations where one or all of the             audio system to match will neither capture
cost significantly less than a 60+” TV whilst      front speakers are behind the screen area.            the cinema experience nor do justice to your
offering all of the benefits of high definition.   Projectors can be mounted at low level, such          outlay on the screen, DVDs or satellite / Virgin
On a 105” screen, broadcast movies or              as on or inside a ‘coffee table’, or at high level,   Media subscription. You could go the cheaper,
sport in HD look phenomenal, whilst even           on or within the ceiling – lifts are available        all-in-one route for your amplification and
ordinary DVD, through a good player, is            to motor the projector out of sight when not          speakers but most such systems are built
stunning on such a grand scale. The most           in use.                                               down to a ‘starter-kit’ price and have real        A high end home cinema installation from Digital Domain: at the press
popular projectors are either DLP (digital light      Whether you choose a large flat screen TV          performance and connectivity limitations.          of a button, the picture ascends to reveal the centre speaker, whilst
                                                                                                                                                            the acoustically transparent screen descends to its viewing position.
processing) or LCD. They each come in both         (42” or more) or a projector and screen, this         The other big consideration is future-
                                                                                                                                                            Equipment comprises:
variants of HD but, it is likely that you would    will normally form part of a home cinema              proofing. Separates allow for gradual and             InFocus 777 3 chip DLP projector
benefit from a 1080p Full HD model to suit         system. The other components you will                 selective upgrade as individual components            Screen Excellence 98” diagonal, acoustically transparent, motorised
your serious viewing requirements.                 require are an integrated AV (audio-visual)           change or as budget becomes available; all-           screen
   Whether you have space for such a set-up        surround sound amplifier or receiver (includes        in-one systems usually have to be replaced           Revel Performa front speakers
depends on the size of your rooms; what you        a tuner), a DVD player or recorder and a 5.1          completely because they won’t integrate with         Speakercraft AIM8 Four directional, in-ceiling surround and rear
are prepared to see when the equipment is          surround sound speaker system (see page               other components.
                                                                                                                                                              Revel Performa B15a sub-woofer (1200watts)
not in use and your budget. Screens can be         88), plus HDMI and digital audio leads. A                As well as DVD, a home cinema system              Lexicon MC12 Reference digital AV controller
wall or ceiling-mounted, behind a pelmet for       surround sound amplifier and speakers are             will also handle Sky+ / HD or Virgin Media           Lexicon LX7 Reference 7 channel power amplifier
example, or even recessed within the ceiling       necessary to enjoy the full audio benefits of         HD digital audio and can be connected for the        Lexicon RT10 universal DVD player
                                                                                                         sound decoded by the built-in Freeview tuner         Sky HD box
                                                                                                                                                              Pixel Magic Pro digital enhancer
                                                                                                         of a TV. If you are buying an amplifier, make
                                                                                                                                                              Universal MX300 programmable remote control
                                                                                                         sure that it is capable of decoding the new          Future Automation picture lift
                                                                                                         high resolution audio of Blu-ray and HD DVD          Rako programmed, scene lighting
                                                                                                         discs (see Disc Wars, page 88) and has HDMI
                                                                                                         switching, if not upscaling, for your video
                                                                                                            Naturally, affordability is a major
                                                                                                         consideration in any purchasing decision.
                                                                                                         Every home cinema is designed around a
                                                                                                         client’s needs and circumstances but a very
                                                                                                         respectable set-up, employing a 50” Full
                                                                                                         HD plasma TV, could be put together for
                                                                                                         around £4,500, whilst £7,000 would buy an
                                                                                                         impressive, Full HD projector-based system
left: The Pioneer VSX-LX70 receiver has 7 channels of 180w output, the full range of
                                                                                                         that could well see you abandoning the
HD audio processing and HDMI switching and will play music from your iPod, PC and USB
memory stick.                                                                                            multiplex for good!

84 Traditional Homes & Interiors          November 2007                                                                          www.thimagazine.com        www.thimagazine.com                                                      November 2007 Traditional Homes & Interiors   85
                                                                                                                    Home enTerTaInmenT

                                                                                         above: Pure Digital has launched the Legato II, luxury DAB/
                                                                                         FM/CD/SD Micro System with EPG. Priced from £349.00.

     above: Available from Roberts Radio
     the Sound 16 is Roberts first DAB Hi-Fi, priced £350.00.

                                                          left: Onkyo’s
                                                          CS-515DAB CD/DAB
                                                          micro system, priced

                                                          right: The
                                                          Christmas tree isn’t
                                                          the only place you’ll
                                                          see sparkle this
                                                          year as ROBERTS
                                                          launches a new
                                                          limited edition model
                                                          of their best selling
                                                          Revival DAB radio
                                                          in sleek brushed
                                                          stainless steel. The
                                                          Stainless Steel Revival
                                                          DAB from ROBERTS
                                                          costs £200.00.

      WIN One of Three Gemini 55
      DAB Digital Radio Recorders
      Do you ever want to record your favourite radio programme so that you can listen
      to it at another time when you won’t be disturbed? robertS has the perfect
      solution with the new gemini 55, a portable DAB digital radio recorder with
      instant record function.
          Simply press record when your favourite programme, such as the Archers or
      Chart Show, comes on and it will be recorded straight onto an SD card, which
      slots neatly into the top of the radio. You will then be able to listen to
      the programmes again at your leisure. Intuitive cassette key navigation
      lets you easily fast forward, rewind, start and stop the SD card in
      just the same way that you used to with the traditional radio cassette
          It is available in two colourways, piano black and ice white and
      costs £99.99.
          roberts radio have teamed up with traditional homes &
      interiors to offer three lucky winners the chance to win a gemini 55
      of their own. Simply send your name, address and telephone number
      on a postcard to the address on page 9, marked ‘gemini giveaway’
      and the first three entries drawn on 30th November 2007 will win.

      (See page 9 for rules of entry)

      For more information call 01709 571722 or visit www.robertsradio.co.uk

     www.thimagazine.com                                                                           November 2007 Traditional Homes & Interiors    87
 Home enTerTaInmenT

 Surround-sound amplifiers / receivers
 process and amplify the Dolby Digital or
 DTS (Digital Theatre Systems) soundtracks
 on DVDs or satellite broadcasts. On
 most discs, these appear as a 5.1 audio
 track, representing 5 full range speaker
 channels: front left, centre and right plus
 2 surrounds, often positioned in the rear      above anD

 corners of a room, and a low frequency         below: Audio
                                                Pro Allroom 5.1
 effects channel (the .1) output from a
 sub-woofer. The front soundstage carries
                                                speaker system a
 the main soundtrack of films, just as in the
                                                compact, well-built
 cinema, with the centre channel used for       speaker system that
 the majority of dialogue. The surround         will do justice to
 channels are used for special effects,         music and action
 ambient sounds, atmosphere and music           movies alike –
 score. Some DVDs, often special editions,      comes in a variety of
 have extra, rear channel audio, known          fun colours as well
 as Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES. To take         as black, white and
 advantage of these, the 5.1 configuration      silver.
 can be expanded to 6.1 or 7.1, with the                                above: The Komponent loudspeaker system from Linn Products
 addition of dedicated rear speaker(s), in                              a benchmark in affordable, high-performance loudspeaker design.
 which case the surround speakers are                                   Offering a serious, precision engineered alternative to mass-market
 located more to the sides of the listening                             surround-sound systems, the Linn Komponent system delivers authentic
 position.                                                              Linn values in a simple and stylish package.
     Most AV amplifiers now have 6 or
 7 channels and, where a disc contains
 just 5.1 audio, are capable of extracting
 appropriate, separate rear channel sound.
 AV Amplifiers also have Dolby Pro-Logic
 II which allows them to convert stereo
 audio from Nicam TV broadcasts, CDs and
 even VHS tapes into a fairly convincing 5.1
 channel sound.

                                                                                              above: Speakercraft
                                                                                              was the first company
                                                                                              to introduce a
                                                                                              directional speaker, the
                                                                                              Aim8 Five; both the
                                                                                              bass unit and tweeter
                                                                                              can be independently
                                                                                              pivoted by up to 30°
                                                                                              behind the ceiling
                                                                                              flush grille, creating
                                                                                              a soundstage of
                                                                                              incredible focus and

                                                                                              above right anD
                                                                                              right: From high
                                                                                              end French speaker
                                                                                              manufacturer Focal,
                                                                                              the elegant Profile
                                                                                              range of
                                                                                              stereo and home
                                                                                              cinema speakers
                                                                                              have refined curves
                                                                                              which combine
                                                                                              exceptional rigidity
                                                                                              with tonal clarity –
                                                                                              available in
above: Jamo A 70 series loudspeakers. Available from Jamo Danish Sound Design.                a range of finishes.

88 Traditional Homes & Interiors       November 2007                                                                     www.thimagazine.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Home enTerTaInmenT

Disc Wars                                           collections. This involves up-scaling to              Multi-Room Distribution                            simultaneously in different parts of the house       Multi-room systems have many attractions,      pad and flush-mounted in-ceiling or in-wall
There is no shortage of software to play on         HD resolution (720p or 1080p), via HDMI               With so many good audio and video sources          and can be accessed via a control pad, a TV      the main ones being convenience and the            speakers. The choice is limitless, however.
your home cinema system (see page 84).              outputs, and utilising the HDMI inputs on             available, it makes sense to consider how          screen or even a wireless touch-screen remote    absence of clutter; in most cases, the only        Control pads range from simple, push-button
DVD remains the dominant disc format,               your TV, projector or AV amplifier. Whilst            these might be integrated to allow them to be      control.                                         visible evidence is a wall-mounted control         keypads to small or large colour touch-screen
although two high definition replacements,          this is not real high definition, the insertion       enjoyed throughout the home. Multi-room                                                                                                                LCD panels, whilst speaker options can also
Blu-ray and HD DVD, are competing for the           of additional lines of information produces           systems do just that. Central processing                                                                                                               include anything from discrete wall-mounted
succession. With so much confusion around           a noticeably smoother image than from                 units, often with built in amplifiers, enable                                                                                                          units to large floor-standers. It is worth
the new formats, it has not been a good             conventional players. Some manufacturers,             music, radio, TV and DVD to be independently                                                                                                           spending time with a home entertainment
time to commit to either. In the meantime,          like Arcam, have chosen this route for now in         accessed and controlled in any room, as long as                                                                                                        custom install specialist when planning
DVD players are available that will squeeze         preference to prematurely boarding the HD             it has been pre-wired. Wiring schemes can be                                                                                                           your system; many will offer free or low cost
the best possible pictures out of your DVD          disc bandwagons.                                      as simple as three cables to each room, for two                                                                                                        designs to meet your specific needs and will
                                                                                                          speakers and a control pad; larger rooms may                                                                                                           be happy to discuss options, whatever your
                                                                                                          justify additional speakers and rooms with TVs                                                                                                         budget. Most systems will allow you to start
                                                                                                          can be incorporated via video distribution up to                                                                                                       off modestly, activating perhaps only 3 or 4
                                                                                                          high definition quality, if required.                                                                                                                  rooms – an equipment outlay of as little as
                                                                                                             Audio sources embrace CD, radio including                                                                                                           £3,000 – but with the longer term flexibility to
                                                                                                          Sky or Freeview digital stations, one or more                                                                                                          expand when the time is right. As long as the
above: The Denon DVD-1940 DVD player is an affordable player that upscales to 1080p via                   iPods, Windows Media Centre or a hard                                                                                                                  cabling is installed initially, there is no need
HDMI to get the best from your existing DVD collection.
                                                                                                          disc server, as well as the sound from all                                                                                                             for upheaval later.
 DVD is widely recognised as the most successful home entertainment format to date. In a few              video sources. Hard disc servers, sometimes                                                                                                               A well-planned system is not just
 short years, it established itself as the successor to VHS, via an avalanche of players and an           known as music / video libraries, will store                                                                                                           a pleasure to use; it is also a serious
 immense catalogue of films and television programmes. But DVD, although a digital format,                all your CDs and DVDs on a hard drive, with                                                                                                            investment in the property which will
 is standard definition fare. Now, some ten years on, high definition should surely produce a             capacities from 160 gigabytes to 1.5 terabytes                                                                                                         add re-sale value. Indeed, for some types
 natural successor to which we will transfer over time? Well, probably, but not with the ease             or more – a 21st century storage solution                                                                                                              of property, a music system, or at least
 and at the pace we might expect, thanks to that age old marvel: the format war! Not having               to finding shelves or cupboards for an ever                                                                                                            pre-wiring for one, is fast becoming a
 learned from previous experience, the audio-visual equipment manufacturers are split behind              expanding collection of discs. They come in                                                                                                            pre-requisite feature. The ideal time
 the champions of the respective offerings – in the blue corner, Sony, with Blu-ray and, in the           single or multiple output versions, which                                                                                                              for installation of cabling is during
 red corner, Toshiba, with HD DVD. Not only that, most of the film studios aligned themselves
                                                                                                          enable different tracks or films to be enjoyed                                                                                                         refurbishments, conversions and new builds
 with one or other format. There are exceptions and positions are changing all the time but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 but a good custom installer will endeavour
 things look set for a ‘war’ to continue for the foreseeable future as the two formats vie for
                                                                                                                                                             above: A combination keypad that provides Rako programmed lighting and zone operation               to minimise the amount of disruption
 supremacy. Whereas the success of DVD was boosted by the take-up of Sony’s Play Station 2,                                                                  within a Living Control multi-room audio system.
 the alignment of Microsoft and, therefore, it’s X-Box, with HD DVD and Sony’s PS3 with Blu-                                                                                                                                                                     where a system is required in a finished
 ray (naturally) serves to perpetuate the struggle for survival.                                                                                                                                                                                                 situation.
                                                                                                                                                              Home Automation
     Both formats are capable of delivering Full HD video and new, high resolution audio                                                                      The Design for your home entertainment
 streams, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, but, so far, neither has acquitted itself very well,                                                                       systems(s) would not be complete without
 focussing more on the race to get players and discs to market rather than fulfilling the                                                                     considering a few automation gizmos.
 original hardware and software specifications. Thus, early adopters, particularly of Blu-ray,                                                                We mentioned projector lifts and electric
 find themselves with players that will not cope with some special features nor handle the                                                                    screens earlier but what about your TV?
 highest of HD audio codecs, whilst many early disc releases have been lacking in the highest                                                                 For those situations where it just isn’t
 resolution sound and features promised by the new formats. Some of these inconsistencies                                                                     possible to locate it on a wall central to
 are likely to be resolved within the next six months but this uncertainty will delay the take-up                                                             your seating position, how about wall-
 as potential buyers wait for an acceptable, no-risk solution.                                            above: The Philips Pronto Pro wireless              mounting nearer to a corner but on a
                                                                                                          remote control is a universal hand-held touch-
                                                                                                                                                              motorised bracket: when not in use, the
                                                                                                          screen that can be programmed to handle the
                                                                                                                                                              TV occupies a minimum of space flat
                                                                                                          work of numerous remote controls and with                                                                                                              above: Speakercraft 8 zone / 8 source
                                                                                                                                                              against the wall but, for viewing, one remote button press brings it out to a pre-determined
                                                                                                          single button commands for multiple activities                                                                                                         multi-room controller – the brains at the
                                                                                                          in every room in the house.                         angle. It needn’t stop there. Perhaps you don’t want to see your TV at all when not in use; a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 centre of an audio-visual distribution system,
                                                                                                                                                              picture or mirror lift could be the solution or house your TV in a sideboard, chest or foot-of-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 it need never be seen but connects to every
                                                                                                          below: The iDyl hard disc server is a               the-bed ottoman, from which it rises elegantly with the press of another button!                   room in the house via concealed wiring
                                                                                                          multi-room media server that can store                 Curtains and black-out blinds, ideal for the home cinema, can be motorised and their
                                                                                                          and distribute your music, video and photos         operation incorporated into a command sequence that prepares your room, as well as your
                                                                                                          throughout the house; single units are              equipment, for the big movie. And then there’s lighting. Whether you are throwing a party,          With thanks to Chris Moss at Digital
                                                                                                          available up to 1.5 terabytes.                      having a few friends round for dinner or settling down to watch TV, nothing creates the right       Domain who can be contacted on
                                                                                                                                                              mood like ‘scene’ lighting – using a combination of down-lights, up-lights, table lamps, etc        07989 274402
                                                                                                                                                              with different pre-set, but adjustable, brightness levels. Lutron are leaders in the field of
                                                                                                                                                              pre-wired systems whilst Rako produce a range of retro-fit options that will not disturb your
 above: The BeoSound 9000 from Bang & Olufsen is a stylish CD platform. At the touch of a button,,                                                                                                                                                                For more information and advice on all
                                                                                                                                                              décor. Imagine controlling your lights from a series of pre-programmed scenes using a hand
 the CD clamper slides from disc to disc with a speed and smoothness that ensures the break between                                                                                                                                                               matters relating home electronics visit
                                                                                                                                                              held remote from the comfort of your armchair. What may have been the height of luxury
 CDs seems no longer than the normal gap between tracks. BeoSound 9000 can memorise the titles of                                                                                                                                                                 Digital Domains website at
                                                                                                                                                              once has now become a relatively inexpensive addition to the convenient lifestyle – the
 up to 200 tracks and display them as they are played. Place upright in a bookcase, or hang directly on                                                                                                                                                           www.digitaldomain-hes.co.uk
 a wall.                                                                                                                                                      control kit for a room with 4 independent lighting circuits can cost less than £500.

90 Traditional Homes & Interiors          November 2007                                                                           www.thimagazine.com        www.thimagazine.com                                                                            November 2007 Traditional Homes & Interiors         91

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