Background Music System
A/V Routing System
DSS Distribution System


Reference furnished upon request


When we asked our client if we could include their home in our portfolio, their business manager replied "Sure - just don't say anything about who owns it, where it is, what's in it, or how much it cost… and no pictures except the racks." We will certainly respect their wishes — but we also intend to tell you as much as possible because it is the largest and most technically sophisticated A/V system we've ever designed.

The Background Music System provides completely invisible studio-quality music to every room in the house. Eight stereo sources (five DSS digital music channels, two FM radio tuners and a 200 disc CD jukebox) are fed into a Cobranet-based audio transmission system that distributes the audio (as a 100BaseT data signal) over fiber-optic cables to five equipment rooms spread throughout the home. In each equipment room, the signal is decoded into analog audio and feeds a matrix router, which routes the audio directly to the inputs of professional-grade audio amplifiers. Each amplifier (which includes a digital DSP module with gain control and a stereo five-band parametric EQ) connects directly to the speakers mounted in each room. Utilizing a dedicated amp/DSP module for each room allows the sound to be fine-tuned to accurately match the acoustics of each individual room. We also provided an elegant proprietary wall-mounted volume control (we call it the "Spin Control") that uses a CAT5 connection back to the A/V control system to allow source selection and volume control in each room. Because no audio flows through the Spin Control, the direct connection from source to amp to speaker is maintained and provides the highest fidelity possible.

The A/V Routing System is a unique feature of this project that allows audio and video signals to be routed throughout the home with unprecedented ease and flexibility. In each of the five "equipment zones," all A/V source devices (CD/DVD/VHS/BGM) and all A/V destination devices (TV/speakers/recorders) are interconnected via A/V matrix routers — allowing any source to be seen/heard at any destination. All signal routing is programmed into the A/V control system software or may be easily defined via any of the control system touchpanels throughout the home. For example, while watching a DVD movie in the Master Sitting Room the user could simply press the "Send To" button on the touchpanel, select "Jacuzzi" and walk into the nearby Jacuzzi where the same DVD is now being shown. Or, while watching CNN on the TV in the Master Bedroom the user could walk into the Master Bath, touch the "Spin Control" mounted by the door and automatically hear the CNN audio over the Master Bath background music speakers. Possible routing combinations are limited only by the desires of the user, and may be changed at any time.

The DSS Signal Distribution System utilizes a single 22" satellite dish to feed more than 60 DSS receivers used in the home. All DSS "set top" boxes are remotely located in the five Equipment Rooms (rather than at the individual TV sets themselves) in order to reduce visual clutter and to consolidate the required phone system wiring that each receiver requires. From the remotely mounted dish, the digital signal passes through a series of multiswitch/amplifiers and is routed via broadcast "hardline" cable to each of the equipment rooms. There, the signal is split as required to feed the individual receivers, again using ultra high-bandwidth broadcast cable. All receivers are controlled either via RF wireless handheld controls or via the A/V control system. In addition, all recording devices (VHS decks) are equipped with dedicated DSS receivers so that the user may record one program while continuing to watch another.