Technology meets tradition in Scotland

Technology meets tradition in Scotland

A traditional family home nestled in a quiet corner of Scotland illustrates that it is possible to blend conventional design with smart home technology.  Combining the impressive features of over 140 Crestron products with the skill of the integrator, this award-winning project allows seamless control and functionality to be met on all levels.

As the family’s principal residence, this house would be a home of extraordinary detail and design, with every small touch meticulously calculated and considered. The entertainment system would therefore also need to subscribe to this ethos and blend simple yet comprehensive control with first-class performance. 

This challenging and exciting brief for Edinburgh-based integration specialists Hometech Integration, was: how to ensure that the latest entertainment and control technology would keep everyone in the family happy without dominating or conflicting with the décor of this large, classically-styled home. The answer lay in thorough planning, innovative thinking, many kilometers of cabling and the latest in Crestron equipment.

The importance of the AV system was clear, but with one over-riding aim – every member of the house should be able to access their own music and TV playlists in any of the rooms.  No small requirement given that the initial sketches included 40 separate areas where sound and vision would feature!  Alongside this, all content had to be available in High Definition, to give the family freedom to move around the property while still enjoying the same entertainment. Furthermore, control had to be simple and straightforward so that it could be operated by any family member, with parental control issues kept firmly in mind. 

With such specific requirements, a Crestron control solution was the logical choice for this demanding project.  In fact, Crestron’s sophisticated software and the company’s range of easy-to-use touchpanels, ensured that the installed system can be operated with such ease, that even the younger generation of this family is able to use the system with no problems. 

Encompassing audio, video, HVAC and security, the Crestron system delivers on all fronts.  With 25 Crestron touchpanels, control is fully accessible to all family members from anywhere within this large traditional family home.  Installed touchpanels include four wall-mounted TPS-4L panels, 17 wireless TPSI-6X remote controls and two WPRI-48s.  The WPR1-48 comes in especially handy in the bathrooms as, not only are these hand-held remote controls fully functioning and waterproof – but they also float – a perfect product for the hot tub!

To ensure that the family’s appetite for concurrent media and content could be satisfied, the system had to have the bandwidth muscle to match. With a generous helping of 9 iPods, 5 Kaleidescape players, 5 Sky HD boxes, 5 DAB tuners, 1 Apple TV and 2 pianos then added to the mix, this was a system that was shaping up to be something very special indeed. To add to this, two Blu-ray based home cinema systems were also installed.

Once built and installed, the system set a number of precedents. In the media room, over 1km of cabling was used to connect three bespoke storage racks that cradle one of the largest systems of its kind in the UK. A choice of 16 high-definition video sources and 16 audio sources can be distributed through the impressive Crestron Digital Media system to any of 29 TV screens and 40 pairs of loudspeakers throughout the property. 

Ensuring the need for parental control was met, a personal identification number was given to each user allowing control to be set on the children’s access to the main media server, as well as giving each individual tailored access to their own iPod, Sky HD box and Kaleidescape player from anywhere in the premises. 

Taking the system further and making sure that nobody loses touch with the world immediately outside the window, the touch-screen controllers also offer access to a weather station, which provides information on temperature, rainfall, humidity and barometric pressure. This was truly a remarkable system for a remarkable property.

Hometech’s inventive solution to maintenance was to set up a secure web page allowing engineers remote access for software upgrades and issue resolution. This was backed up by a ‘Black Box’ recorder which monitors a rolling 24 hour period which can be examined by engineers. The web page also allows the owner remote access to monitor and alter systems to a limited degree.

The amalgamation of the security, lighting and AV systems was of significant importance. When the security system is activated all lights illuminate and loud music plays to encourage the intruder to leave whilst the police are alerted. CCTV cameras, gate and entryway cameras can be accessed from any of the TVs, touch-panels or via the web.