This home near Castle Rock, Colo., sits with a breathtaking view overlooking Buffalo Mountain and Devil’s Head lookout. It’s the couple’s fifth home over a span of nearly 30 years, for which ListenUp, a Control4 Certified Showroom in the Denver area, and its senior sales consultant, Kevin Russell, have designed an electronics system.
“The owners are always great to work with,” says Russell. “On this job, we ran into some integration issues, as sometimes happens, but because of our past relationship they knew we would quickly resolve things.”
The retrofit is a complete Control4-controlled project with whole-home Control4 lighting, Hunter Douglas shades, Control4 touch panels and door station, Bowers + Wilkins flush-mount loudspeakers (painted to match the ceiling) and Control4 and Arcam amplification. REL Habitat subwoofers in white are hung on the wall behind the furniture, for great bass. Alexa voice control is also used throughout the home.
There are two home theater areas with full surround sound — one downstairs and one in the client’s office. “One of my favorite parts of the system,” the owner says, “is that they mounted a 70-inch TV in my office along with in-ceiling speakers. Rather than just having a little monitor on my desk with the Mac Mini and keyboard, I use the big-screen TV as my computer monitor!” The homeowners chose Samsung’s The Frame TVs for the family room, master bedroom and the “mother-in-law” suite. Each “Frame” is a fully functioning 4K TV when turned on, and a piece of customizable artwork when turned off.
All the heavy equipment lives in a main level closet in a rack that’s easily serviceable, yet out of view. Russell and the ListenUp team recommended Pakedge routers with “Bakpak” to monitor the network, with offline alerts and access to manage the homeowners’ Access Networks Ruckus wireless access points. This configuration allows ListenUp to remotely fix most network issues without an in-home service call.
A 10-inch touchscreen in the kitchen displays icons for audio/video, lighting, HVAC, Hunter Douglas shades and security. There’s also Alexa voice control. Everyday control is done by thinking of an action, like “Watch TV,” or “Listen to Pandora” — again, either using the physical Control4 remote, touchscreens or voice. This same user-friendly control is consistent in all rooms of the home. “The team at ListenUp are experts in the technology and what’s going on,” says the homeowner, “and they come with technical solutions I never would have thought of. For example, we only have two Apple TVs, but they’re now serving all five different TVs with the video network…. [ListenUp’s] Justyn [Born] and Matt [Andreasen] have become like part of the family. I have Justyn’s cell number, and I’ll text him on a Saturday, thinking I’ll get a response on Monday, but he gets back to me the same day. At one point, one of the tablet controllers failed, and I called to ask if it was still under warranty. He said ‘Yes,’ came by and picked up the old unit, took it down to the store, and brought the new unit back. ListenUp knows how to treat repeat customers.”
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Nancy is a contributing editor for Connected Design