Massive Project - Take Two

Project Overview

A year after installing all of the shades in custom designed pockets on every window in the home for the highest level of privacy and security, we were asked to fix the original AV and automation system.  The owners complained of many day to day struggles with the operation of the original system, which was set up to be a bunch of small systems with an over-tasked “residential grade” automation controller to manage it all.  For a property with 20+ TV’s, 20+ zones of audio, and 8 surround sound systems spread out over 3 separate structures, not to mention far away gate controllers, the system was simply too large for anything other than a professional grade system.

As one of the leading Crestron integrators in the Southeast, with all in-house programming and an extremely experienced technical team, Synergy was brought in to design, manage, install and program the system so it all worked seamlessly, despite the massive size of the property.  We designed a Crestron-controlled automation system with the highest quality video switcher on the planet, DigitalMedia, in this case a 32×32 model for the main home and an 8×8 model for the guest house.  No longer would the home act as 10 separate systems but as one cohesive centralized system.  With our expertise, now any source can be sent to any room in the home, greatly reducing the complexity of the system for the owners yet vastly increasing the power available to them. Installation took a matter of weeks and very few fixes to the overall code would be needed thereafter, which is a tremendous feat for an installation of this size.

We tightly integrated an existing 3rd party IP telephone entry system on two separate gates that had previously proven too difficult to integrate, tied to the guest house via fiber network connections.  We read in the TCP commands sent to our system from the gate phones and then took a memory snapshot of what was playing in 8 different areas of the home, changed the audio input to play the doorbell chime over the speakers and changed the video input to view a high definition picture of the gate cameras, then after 30 seconds change everything back to the previously playing source, if any.  Without a centralized distribution system, this would have been impossible.

Another major service we provided was to reprogram the Lutron Homeworks QS lighting system to better match the lifestyle of the owners.  While many of the ill-conceived equipment decisions for the lighting system had been made prior to our arrival, we vastly changed how the lighting system worked by making better programming choices and standardizing the programming from room to room to make the system much more intuitive in daily use.  Lighting systems can be made indispensable with proper programming or completely frustrating with poor programming, all with the same hardware.

Like this, many of our systems are what we call takeover projects: systems that have been attempted by other integrators but never really work right, an unfortunately commonplace occurrence in our industry.  We are then brought in to fix the systems so they work right and those clients become lifelong clients of ours.  Of course, much time and expense is saved by picking the high performance option in the first place, but it’s often extremely difficult to separate the pros from everybody else.

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