Thursday, September 24, 2020
 Stealthy Control 

As part of a major Orlando home renovation, Florida-based integrator A/V Creative Concepts was tasked with creating an immersive living room home theater. The centerpiece of the room was to be a newly constructed marble fireplace, where a 75-inch Samsung display would be mounted. In addition, the homeowners wanted other home theater components to maintain a consistent design aesthetic throughout the space. This wasn’t a problem for the majority of equipment, which would be hidden away in a main rack. Surround sound speakers and control devices, however, would be visible and needed to either blend into or complement the home’s décor.

To address this challenge for the surround sound system, A/V Creative Concepts turned to James Loudspeaker. The company created a custom soundbar for the installation, designed to fit perfectly in an extremely shallow three-inch void in the marble. For the subwoofer, they customized their EMB-10DF to fit under a custom wood bench spanning the fireplace. To blend in, it was finished in a powder coat to match the floor tiles. SXC420 architectural ceiling speakers were used for the remaining Dolby Atmos, surround, and rear channels, and were covered with painted square grilles. For the control system, A/V Creative Concepts relied on solutions from RTI.

“In addition to a complementary design to their home, the owners of the Orlando residence required a simple and user-friendly control experience,” said David Athey, principal of A/V Creative Concepts. “RTI checks both of these boxes, and has been my go-to for control and automation for 18 years. Not only does the company offer all the advanced functionality of more expensive control systems, but they have also placed heavy emphasis on design and making sure their products evolve to meet modern tastes.”

Behind the scenes of the home’s control system is RTI’s XP-8s advanced control processor. The unit is controlling the living room’s Samsung display via RS-232; Denon 6000 series home theater receiver, HEOS Drive multi-room streaming amplifier, three WattBox power conditioners, and a Luma surveillance system using IP drivers. There are three cable boxes and a Samsung Blu-ray player that work with IR and custom-mounted sliding doors that lead out to the home’s pool and work via relays.

The homeowners control the components using a T1-B+ handheld controller featuring a sleek industrial design, and an iPad running the RTiPanel app. “The T1-B+ is an extremely powerful remote when paired with the XP-8s processor,” added Athey. “While the iPad is fully loaded for control, the homeowners primarily rely on the handheld controller, whether it’s for opening doors or selecting their favorite music presets via the HEOS drive.”

Beyond the living room, A/V Creative Concepts also provided the homeowners with an additional T1-B+ controller in the main bedroom and KX1 1.2-inch in-wall audio distribution keypads in the dining room and lounge, which provide a clear readout from the HEOS drive. In the guest house, an XP-6 control processor and T1-B+ controller provide visitors with intuitive control over an additional Denon 6000 receiver and Samsung Blu-ray player.

“Our client is very pleased with their RTI control system, which really delivered the ease of use and industrial design they were looking for,” said Athey. “It’s a system anyone can comfortably use with minimal or no instruction. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.”

  • Equipment List
  • RTI XP-8s Control Processor
  • RTI T1-B+ Handheld Controllers (3)
  • RTI RTiPanel iPad License
  • RTI KX1 In-wall Audio Distribution Keypads (2)
  • RTI XP-6 Control Processor
  • James Loudspeaker Custom Soundbar
  • James Loudspeaker Customized EMB-10DF Subwoofer
  • James Loudspeaker SXC420 Architectural Ceiling Speakers
  • Denon 6000 Series Home Theater Receiver
  • HEOS Drive Multi-room Streaming Amplifier
  • WattBox Power Conditioners (3)
  • Luma Surveillance System using IP Drivers
  • Samsung Blu-ray Player with IR
  • Samsung 75-inch TV