We were brought into the project’s fold by the builder with a clear goal: to take the existing Rako wireless lighting system to the next level, infusing it with expanded capabilities, all while introducing an immersive multi-zoned audio/video experience.
Our collaboration extended to working closely with the project’s brilliant interior designer, a partnership aimed at crafting lighting systems that beautifully complemented the client’s treasured art and prized wine collection.
But the true showstopper of our involvement? Creating a home cinema that seamlessly transforms into a cutting-edge golf simulator with a simple switch.
The Control System
The house already had a wireless Rako lighting setup on the top two floors but lacked control for everything else.
The client chose a Control4 upgrade, which would not only manage the existing lights but also the new lighting circuits. And that’s not all, this smart system would also handle the new multi-zoned audio/video setup, as well as the heating, AC, CCTV, and intercom.
For the client’s seamless control, we installed Control4 touchscreens on the walls, provided Neeo remotes, and set up the Control4 mobile app.
These user-friendly tools gave the client easy ways to take charge of their home.
The Audio and Video Systems
Originally, each room had its own separate audio/video setup, mainly with just TVs. But we wanted to enhance this.
So, we decided to bring together all the possible video sources consisting of three Sky Q boxes, two Apple TVs, and the CCTV – into one central rack.
To make this happen, we used a clever Blustream video matrix. This enabled us to send these video sources to any screen anywhere in the whole property. Imagine starting a show in one room and then easily continuing it in another part of the house.
For an even better audio experience that could be enjoyed across multiple rooms, we introduced a Control4 24-Zone audio matrix.
Paired with a Bowers & Wilkins Distribution Amplifier, which powered both the Artison Soundbars and B&W In-Ceiling speakers. Resulting in better sound for each video source – a step up from the TV’s own speakers. And on top of that, the client could play their music in any room they liked.
When it comes to TVs, every screen (except the lounge) has an Artison Soundbar. We added Custom Grilles to seamlessly blend the soundbar and TV together.
Outside is where we really let our creativity flow.
Two Sonance Garden Series 8.1 systems were used for the pool area and the main garden area. The gazebo boasted a Samsung Terrace outdoor TV, and two B&W AM-1 outdoor speakers.
The auditory experience extended to the Courtyard area with a pair of B&W AM-1 speakers.
All of this was connected to the central rack to allow continuity from the house to the garden.
The Standout Room
One of the real highlights was the Home Cinema / Golf Simulator hybrid.
Our client, a passionate golfer, had a vision – the ability to effortlessly switch from teeing off on a virtual green to unwinding with a movie marathon.
To bring this vision to life, we enlisted a Barco Medea Mk2 projector. It not only showcased cinematic content in its finest detail but also made the golf simulation strikingly realistic.
Partnered with a B&W 7.1 Dolby Atmos speaker ensemble, all driven by the Arcam AVR and Amplifier, the result was an immersive sensory feast.
As for the golf simulator itself we used a TrackMan 4 Launch Monitor with TrackMan Performance Studio 9 on a customised PC to cater to the unique preferences of our client.
The primary hurdle in this project revolved around the screen itself for the Home Cinema / Golf Simulator combo.
Initially, we were presented with a screen recommendation from another company.
Unfortunately, that screen couldn’t handle the demands of both purposes. Despite having the correct degree of acoustic transparency, it was overly taut, causing golf balls to rebound at full speed upon impact rather than rolling back naturally.
We found ourselves discarding the original screen and collaborating with a local company that specialised in crafting golf screens for simulators.
Our objective was to identify a screen that could withstand the force of a golf ball impact without forcefully propelling it back at the player, while also maintaining the necessary tension to provide a clear movie-watching experience.
Crucially, the screen also needed to be acoustically transparent, allowing sound from the speakers positioned behind it to flow through.
We found the right one the met the criteria above to the clients’ standards.
The client was extremely satisfied with the results of the Control4 upgrade and the overall customer experience.
So much so that they opted to enrol in our Aftercare service.
This decision signified their trust in us to provide ongoing service and maintenance for their system.
It also granted them the benefit of our swift assistance at the property, should any issues arise with the system – a privilege extended beyond the standard one-year warranty included with all our projects.
Furthermore, we integrated a Domotz box to enable remote monitoring and troubleshooting.
This addition ensures that the client’s peace remains undisturbed even when quick fixes are required.
We wanted to create a high-end quality house and we needed the AV to reflect that. We looked at how we use the house, and we want to automate lots of the sorts of boring functions of a house, so that the lighting, the television, access, security would all be in one place. And it would need to be very easy to use. And it is with the Control4 upgrade!
We can do it all on from just our phones, wherever we are, either in the house, or away from the property. It's enabled us to create a great living space and atmosphere. The cinema room and golf studio is just a fantastic space, and really, really easy to use. It's a special place to go and watch a movie or play golf.
Our experience with Surrey AV was really, really good! They were there through all three phases, beginning to end. It was an easy process. They worked together with my building project manager it just worked.