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Case study – SMC comes up with creative solution at Notting Hill home

How do you give all members of a creative family the technology that they want from a modern home while concealing all the equipment? A recent installation from SMC provides some answers.

How do you give all members of a creative family the technology that they want from a modern home while concealing all the equipment? A recent installation from SMC provides some answers.

Systems integrator SMC has made a family very happy with its solution for their home in London’s arty Notting Hill. The client is a creative family and wanted a home that worked well for all, including their teenage children and frequent guests. The emphasis had to be on practical, simple, technology that could be used easily by the family and guests whilst being terrific fun and in keeping with the contemporary design of the house.

There are many special aspects to the installation. Everything is hidden away very neatly and simply. This was achieved by using plaster-in speakers and building most of the screens into cabinet work – some of which were artist commissioned – with both motorised and manual sliding panels.

To meet the family’s desire for showing movies, a dedicated cinema room was installed in the basement. A long narrow room with a low ceiling, SMC had to make the most of the tight space available. A Meridian 7.1 surround sound system, with front speakers hidden behind the frameless screen, was installed and an HD projector was housed beautifully in cabinet work built at ceiling height at the back of the room.

Controlled by a Pronto 9600, the source equipment was housed in a ventilated cupboard outside the room to optimise the staggered seating layout and a video connection has been discreetly installed inside the room to allow connection of a laptop as required.

The three teenage boys have a dedicated games/play room with Denon-driven 5.1 surround and a 65-inch Panasonic plasma screen, controlled via a Pronto 9600. A Blu-ray DVD, Sky HD box, Sonos and PS3 keep the boys and many of their friends fully occupied every evening – after homework of course! A rostrum at the back of the room has built-in auxiliary audio connections to allow for future aspiring band and DJ performances.

Sonos provides multi-room audio throughout the house in a total of 11 zones and is delivered through a selection of plaster-in, satellite and in-ceiling speakers, each in keeping with the design and quality requirements of each room. This allows the family to play and share their individual iTunes collections, as well as browse internet radio and connect laptops to listen to Spotify.

To give the father his higher quality sound experience, SMC installed Meridian DSP 7000 speakers in the ground floor living room with Meridian G-Series source equipment producing terrific quality sound. Standalone Arcam Music and Movie Solos provide other rooms in the house with independent source equipment – meeting the father’s desire to play CDs from his large music collection – and of course multi-room audio via Sonos.

Triad Silver series speakers were installed in the kitchen/dining room to increase the sound quality in this room.

The family naturally needed to feel safe in their home so SMC installed an NSI Grade 2 intruder alarm system and CCTV. The alarm can be zoned in several ways to allow the perimeter to be alarmed at night while allowing free movement in the bedrooms areas. CCTV can be monitored on any of the TVs or PCs and also remotely via the web.

Controls are kept as simple as possible via Philips Pronto, Sonos Controllers and iPhones.
SMC also manages the family’s IT requirements setting up PCs, faxes, printers and wireless network.

The systems are fully integrated so that all audio and video sources can be viewed or listened around the house, either independently or simultaneously during parties.

The clients have been thrilled with the installations. Their favourite is the cinema room and they have started their own movie club inviting friends on a regular basis to come over and watch a chosen movie.

Importantly the integrated system works very well for individual members of the house in specific ways – the father can enjoy his CD collection and the kids can dock their iPods, show off their iPhone controls and find unlimited music using Sonos. Their initial fear of complicated, over specified technology has vanished and they have a fun, thrilling and vibrant house.