The Art of Technology

Whenever we talk to clients about designing a system, one of the most important aspects of the design almost always revolves around concepts on how to make it disappear. Next to ease of use, sound and picture quality, people are just as interested in the many ways that we can hide their electronics. Today, people are more likely to spend their entertainment time in a family room, or a room central to the house with easy access. These rooms are usually open to other rooms and are typically multi-purpose. Unlike a dedicated home theater that is often cordoned off to a room of its own, the family room becomes the more desirable choice and the need to hide gear becomes imperative.

The art of making electronics disappear is one that always get the creative juices flowing and knowing where to find the right products can be challenging. Here at RMS, we spend about as much time researching and developing solutions as we do installing them. The advent of the flat screen TV has certainly played an important role in the expanse of hiding techniques. Speakers are taking on different forms to fit into various environments while still maintaining great performance. Wireless technologies provide us the luxury of hiding electronics in remote locations.

Monitor Audio SoundFrames are an ultra-discreet loudspeaker available in a choice of two models, each with an in-wall or on-wall option. Its white or black matt cabinet has been developed to sit stylishly around wall-mounted flat screen displays for captivating home theatre sound, or in pairs as part of a high quality music system. Frames pre-prepared in high gloss black/white piano lacquer or primed for your choice of color, help SoundFrame speakers to co-ordinate beautifully with every room design.

For the complete custom effect the fabric grills can be printed with any image of your choosing. A professional printer in New Hampshire has been selected by Monitor Audio to provide this unique opportunity to customize the acoustically transparent grills. Family photos, favorite artist, or designer friendly colors can be chosen to create the ultimate effect. Such versatility gives the SoundFrame models a chameleon-like ability to blend with room décor, yet their performance is anything but discreet.

Media Decor provides uniques solutions to make your flat screen disappear. The Elite Moving Art is the most elegant solution for concealing TV’s with art. When the TV is turned on, the artwork silently scrolls from the bottom up inside the top of the unit and becomes a framed TV.

No one has more options than Inca Lifts when it comes to hiding a TV. Whether you need it to come up from the floor, down from the ceiling, or sideways out of the wall, Inca Lifts has the motorized solution for you.

SÉURA’s vanishing television mirrors, illuminated mirrors and waterproof televisions preserve the integrity of your decor, while providing unmatched performance. With SÉURA, you don’t have to choose between beauty and technology. You have the freedom to design around your unique style, without technology getting in the way.

Sonance Invisible Series speakers disappear in almost any standard wood or metal stud wall or ceiling. The all-new SA3 is an extended-bandwidth speaker that combines planar diaphragm midrange/tweeter technology with the proven low-frequency performance of a direct-radiating woofer.

TRUFIG’s revolutionary flush-mounting system integrates disparate devices and technologies into architecture, empowering architects and designers to create a harmonious family of nearly invisible design elements. TRUFIG’s philosophy relies on the principles of material authenticity, perfection in the smallest detail, and a systematic approach to design. From the selection of the materials, to the precise craftsmanship of each individual element, to the consistency of color and texture, everything they do revolves around an understanding of architecture, detail, and precision.

These are just a few of the exciting concepts we have available to make your next project a “work of art”. Contact us for more information.

Apr 19, 2011 / Articles / Blog / Inside RMS

Cedia 2006 Re-Cap

With another year of record attendance for Cedia, RMS survives four days in the Mile High City for Cedia Expo 2006. Here's a look at some new and upcoming products we felt would interest all of you.

Cedia or the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association was established to aid professionals in the A/V industry by providing educational standards for today's and tomorrow's home electronic systems.

Cedia Expo – Day 1

Sonos

Sonos has released a new software update which includes the ability to stream the Rhapsody music service without the use of a computer. Other features of the update include internet radio, alarms and additional language support. Sonos users receive a free 30-day trial to Rhapsody, which includes top 100 charts and instant music libraries.

 

APCAV

American Power Conversion announced it's new power conditioner and battery backup, The S20. Featuring full network capabilities, the S20 can be fully monitored and controlled over the internet or any home network. It also offers environment based monitoring that measures and reports ambient temperature. Humidity monitoring is available as an accessory option. The S20 should be available in the 4th quarter of 2006.

 

Sooloos – Get In Touch With Your Music 

Sooloos is a new company offering what they consider to be a music system, not a single product. By offering three product series, Sooloos tailors itself to meet the user's requirements.

What caught our attention the most aside from the fantastic build quality and their interesting company history was Sooloos' unique interface experience. Offering the most extensive amount of metadata we've seen to date with any music server system, Sooloos really offers a great, easy to use interface while providing enough information to satisfy every music lover's needs.
 

In addition to importing metadata from the AMG service, utilizing that data to it's fullest potential was another place Sooloos really shined. The system offers a feature they call focusing which gives the user the ability to easily define playlists based on such metadata as detailed genres, moods, and tags. The playlists can be further refined by selecting specific decades.

With Crestron and AMX modules to be released shortly, Sooloos is surely a product we're keeping our eyes on.

 

Cedia Expo – Day 2

D-Box

D-Box gave an impressive demonstration of their upcoming ultimate gaming gear simulator. Offering such features as a race car seat style with adjustable depth and recline, an adjustable pedal plate, aluminum construction, a tilting support tablet for keyboard and steering wheel usage and an optional joystick adaptor plate for flying control. For those of you unfamilar with D-Box's technology, here's a brief overview.

The patented, award-winning D-BOX® motion simulation system provides dramatic, realistic motion that is perfectly synchronized with onscreen action and sound for an experience beyond your wildest imagination. These cutting-edge technologies and products are the final link in the convergence of audio and video into a completely immersive multimedia experience.
 
Motion simulators uses a two or four point suspension system to lift and move your seating in perfect synchronization with the onscreen action and sound, creating a virtual-reality experience in your living room or home theater. You're literally drawn into the action as never before, experiencing the same motional forces as the actors and players you're watching.
 
While they only demonstrated a single PC based racing game, several titles will be supported including Microsoft's Flight Simulator. We felt the system could have used some additional steering tweaks but the overall experience was quite a thrill and should be on any racing fan's Christmas list.

 

 

Slim Devices and Infrant Technologies

We were finally able to get hands on with Slim Device's Transporter that was announced last month and loved everything it has to offer. The only thing left for us to test is actual sound quality but we're confident it'll blow us away.

We were also surprised to see a new NAS device in the pipes from Infrant called the Repertoire. Available in October 2006 with both 2 and 3 Terrabyte versions to choose from,  this may be the ultimate companion to the Transporter. We will be contacting Slim Devices shortly for pre ordering combos.

 

Crestron
Typically Crestron has one if not the largest booth at the show and this year was no exception displaying several new products. We'll start with their upcoming user interfaces.

TPMC-8X WiFi Touchpanel 

The TPMC-8X is a replacement to the current Isys i/O TPMC-10 WiFi Touchpanel. This next-generation wireless touchpanel is packed with new features including a thin, lightweight magnesium casing, an 8.4" SVGA active matrix touchscreen, 1.5 GB of storage memory, and an AMD Geode™ processor for much improved speed and performance. Other features include a biometric fingerprint scanner, built-in bluetooth and 802.11a|b|g Wi-Fi capabilites, dual microphones, stereo speakers and onboard applications for conferencing and voice over IP. We're anxious to get one of these babies in-house for further testing.

TPMC-4X 

Even though this product was previously announced earlier this year by Crestron, this was our first hands-on experience with the product. Based on a 3.5" touchscreen and Wi-Fi communications, the TPMC-4X is Crestron's first true 2-way handheld remote. If the performance of this touchscreen is what we expect it to be, this could be a great addition to our handheld remote selection. This is another product we're excited to start testing out as soon as possible.

Stay tuned for days 3 and 4…

Sep 18, 2006 / Articles

Now And Zen

Residential Media Systems Ltd. showcases their talents in Lancaster General Hospital’s 2006 Decorator Show House.

Enter Room Twenty of this year's Lancaster General Hospital show house and you will find yourself in a room unlike any other.  The room, aptly named "Now and Zen," utilizes the latest in home automation technology to envelop a weary visitor and encourage a deep level of relaxation.

 

A single tap on the user friendly touch screen surrounds you in the environment of your choice. Be it calming ocean waves, a relaxing rain forest, tranquil water falls, or a peaceful snowfall, the combination of lighting, music, and high definition visuals wisks away the stress of everyday and clears the path for deeper thought and meditation.  Elegant zen accents, simple design, and the integration of earth tones with the natural artistry of Brad Stroman combine together to bring the interior of this room full circle.

 
Show House Overview 

A historic family farm known as "Lime Spring Farms" will showcase the talents of Lancaster County interior design professionals and local artists September 9th-30th. More than 30 professionals, including designers, artists, florists, painters, chefs, craftspeople, and landscapers, will donate their time and talent to transform Lime Spring Farm into a showcase of home design for three weeks.

 

The show house is open for tours Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m to 4 p.m.; and Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.to 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person or $18 for groups of 10 or more. Proceeds raised by the Decorator Show House will benefit cancer care and treatment at Lancaster General Hospital.  Ticket holders can also attend the many demonstrations, seminars, and other special events held on the property during the open house, providing design enthusiasts ample opportunities to learn about home and garden design as well as entertaining tips.

 

In addition to house tours, guests are invited to enjoy a meal or snack at the “The Farmhouse Café,” featuring the culinary talents of local caterers. Guests can also stop by “La Boutique pour le Cure,” for a unique shopping experience featuring work by local craftspeople, designer fabrics, garden accessories and entertaining necessities.
 
The café and boutique are open during regular show house tour hours. Guests need not purchase a tour ticket to sample the cuisine or shop at the boutique. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 717-544-4661.
 
Through volunteering, fundraising, and special projects, The United Auxiliaries to the Lancaster General Hospital supports the efforts of the hospital in improving the health and wellness of the Lancaster community. Through the commitment and dedication of its members and generous support of its sponsors, The United Auxiliaries has been able to provide the necessary funding for new medical services with the latest medical technology. The United Auxiliaries celebrates its 59th anniversary this year. 
 

The History of Lime Spring Farm
Located at 2452 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, PA, "Lime Spring Farm” was originally built by Peter Lehman in 1720 and was inhabited by nine generations of his descendents. The Lehmans were a philanthropic and politically connected family. The 110-acre farm, just west of Rohrerstown, is one of the oldest homesteads in Lancaster County. 

Besides hosting lavish parties, Lime Spring Farm was the scene of leisurely picnics, open-invitation fishing and ice-skating — and a terrible family tragedy. But the graceful tree-lined lane off Marietta Avenue is easy to drive right past, never hinting at the beauty and history that lie just beyond the curved driveway.

Today, the Lehman descendants number just four. In 2004, sisters Peggy Neff and Nancy Tanger were the last family members to move off the farm, which includes four homes. The always-philanthropic family donated the $6 million proceeds from the farm’s sale to the Lancaster County Historical Society. But for all its gracious hospitality, the historic farm’s 18th-century homes have never opened to the public, until now. 

Sep 11, 2006 / Articles

Home Improvement: From Old Cellar to New Theater

Residential Media Systems was proud to be awarded the front cover article in the Feburary 2003 edition of Audio Video Interiors. The following is a reprint from that issue.

Tunnel Vision

An old root cellar is converted to a state-of-the-art theater featuring a Dwin HD700 projector, Triad in-wall speakers and premiere leather seats. 

story by Krissy Rushing

photography by Chuck Spang 

Article Reprint

 

Jul 1, 2006 / Articles

TV Technology is New Year’s High Resolution

Local expert fine-tunes business to 'demystify' the flat screen

By Judy A. Strausbaugh

Maybe on New Year's resolution you've made is to become more savvy about new TV technology.

If not, and you plan on watching TV in 2006 and beyond, it might be a good idea to bone up on high-definition TV and flat-screen technology.

By the end of this year, the Federal Communications Commission wants stations throughout the country to convert to digital broadcasting, enabling viewers to tune into clearer, crisper images.

New televsions, painfully thin and sophisticatedly sleek, are equipped to handle high-definition images, making your father's chunky cathod-ray tube set completely obsolete in the next three to five year, say experts.

But many consumers are paralyzed by the whole idea of changing. The choices seem myriad, the set designs are different, the prices are high ($3000 to $10,000), and we don't really know how any of it works.

More importantly, the transition if forcing consumers to measure the value of TV in their lives. Who would have thought that buying a TV would boil down to a lifestyle issue?

All we want is to be able to watch TV.

One man who hears the plea is Matt Early, owner and president of Residential Media Systems Inc. in Manheim Township.

Flat Screen: Judge on looks 

Early has founded a sister company, n|vision™. that designs and installs home entertainment "systems" that feature plasma flat-screens that life out a wood cabinet and turn on at the single push of a button.

The cabinets are equipped with hidden speakers and can handle DVD players, satellite radio, electronic game sets and even home computers.

Early said more and more home owners want all of their electronic and home entertainment devices working together in one place. What customers ultimately want, he said, is to plug it in and turn it all on using one remote control.

"We lead busy lifestyles," he said. "People want it simplified."

Residential Media Systems is known for custom-fitting such systems in existing and new homes. For several years, the company has served upscale homeowners.

But the technology is becoming an everyman affair, and Early decided to build units that could be available to a broader market. "Flat screens were the drive behind n|vision™," said Early, 41, who has been involved in electronics and automation for 20 years.

Besides designing and building home-entertainment systems, Early finds himself spending a lot of time "demystifying" flat-screen technology for his customers.

"It's one of the most-talked-about items on the market," he said.

Early's advice is to "step back, take a deep breath, and consider the most important factor of all: Does the picture look good?"

Whether it's a plama or an LCD (liquid crystal display), it is really just a big computer monitor with a TV tuner and speakers.

The most important task the screen must perform is delivering a consistently good picture, whether the buyer has basic cable or has subscribed to high-definition channels.

Early said plasma, which often get a bum rap, has progressed significantly in recent years. Today's plasma screens are in their fifth generation.

Plasmas work by illuminating thousands of tiny flourescent lights to create an image.

Created by the military, plasmas suffered from poor quality when attempts were made to mass produce them for the consumer market.

Today, manufacturers have addressed the quality issues and "life expectancy has quadrupled to 60,000 hours" or 10 to 15 years of normal TV watching, said Early.

LCD, commonly used in computer monitors, is relatively new to large-screen TV. It offers the same longevity as a plasma TV, but "it falls short of the clear lucid quality of picture that plasma provides," he said. The screen is also hard to view from an angle, he said.

Early expects LCD screens to improve as the market matures.

He also expects the prices of flat screens to drop as they begin to dominate the TV market, "replacing the conventional TV as we know it by the way of the vinyl record, Beta and the eight-track." 

Source: Lancaster Sunday News: Business Front Page 

Jan 1, 2006 / Articles

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