|•NEC 50-inch plasma HDTV ($5,495)
•5 Elan MM650C ceiling speakers ($350 each)
In the Middle Atlantic rack ($950)
•2 Teac T-R670 AM/FM tuners ($299 each)
•Sony SLV-N900 VCR ($125)
•Elan System 12 multiroom A/V controller ($5,650)
•5 Elan Z-661 six-channel power amps ($870 each)
•Furman M-8 power conditioner ($60) On the closet shelf
•Yamaha RX-V559 A/V receiver ($450)
•Sherbourn TST 2/200 power amp ($999)
•2 DirecTV high-def satellite receiver/DVRs
•2 DirecTV standard-def satellite receivers
You'll find Elan Via! Valet controllers ($1,999), with their 6.5-inch touchscreens, in the home theater, family room, home office, game room, master sitting room - and, most intriguingly, in the kitchen, where one mounted to the bottom of a cabinet doubles as a TV. Wall-mounted Via! panels ($1,700) handle the control duties in the master bedroom and master bath, while Elan Z-200W ($360) and Z-250 ($420) keypads are used in the remaining rooms. "We've found the system very user-friendly," reports Geri. "And we're all grateful we don't have to juggle four remotes."
Works in progress include adding an Elan Via! dvdj DVD controller ($2,650) to a DVD megachanger so the Smeriglios can access their disc collection from practically any room in the house, turning one of the basement rooms into an Xbox-based gaming area, and installing Sonance SoundHenge Redux rock speakers ($400 each) in the backyard. As with any family, their needs are constantly evolving - another reason why a system-in-a-box approach is rarely the best way to go.
It's also why your relationship with an installer rarely ends once the gear is up and running. If you develop a good rapport with an electrician or plumber who understands your house, you don't then go looking through the Yellow Pages for somebody different every time something needs to be fixed. It's the same with an installer. Go to a generic big-box store for your installation needs, and it's a crapshoot who you're going to get. But if you stick with the pros in the local custom installation shop, you're likely to find somebody who can understand both you and your system.
"Wayne and Jim keep us posted on the latest and greatest, in case we need to upgrade," confirms Michael. "Because it's so difficult to keep up in the world of electronics, we really do rely on them to keep us informed."
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