Press Coverage

17 Aug 2016

Source: Inside CI 17 August 2016

Savant and Cyberhomes automate this luxury family home

When a project manager and builder called upon Architect David Rosenberg and custom installers Cyberhomes, both recognised the opportunity to create a cutting edge smart home. Cyberhomes had previously worked with the developer on several residential properties, so he knew he could rely on their expertise and skills for this personal project.

The original objective for the installation was to build a multiroom entertainment system for the homeowner’s luxury five-storey home. When he was introduced to Savant and learnt about its potential, he was inspired to go further by creating a single point of control for all smart technology in the property. Cyberhomes’ lighting designer, Richard Voller, then designed and integrated sensational smart lighting for the home, inside and out.

Working closely with RGB and Savant Europe, Cyberhomes integrated all audio-visual equipent, heating, lighting and security controls into a Savant control system. Even the flow of the poolside waterfalls can be controlled through the Savant app on an iPad or smartphone.

Cyberhomes has worked with RGB/Savant Europe for many years and has implemented multiple Savant PRO projects in the knowledge that the support from RGB and Savant Europe is available if and when required,” commented Andy Mack, Director at Cyberhomes

Throughout the house, Cyberhomes specified Lutron lighting. As an elite partner, Savant was naturally the control system of choice for this project. As well as smoothly integrating with other products, Savant’s easy-to-use interface and personalised profiles give every family member their very own control experience. With all their favourite channels and scenes just a tap away.

However, it isn’t just the end user that favours Savant. The company empowers dealers to offer a high quality product, and tailored services that meet the expectations of today’s savvy consumer.

The great thing about Savant Pro is that the interface sells itself with a demo of the app to the client. This gives us the ability to concentrate on the details that enable us to deliver award-winning projects,” said Mack.

The whole home boasts seven TVs, plus a waterproof TV that’s set into the marble walls of the master en-suite bathroom. All are connected to two Sky HD and two Apple TV boxes via a Savant video matrix. Cyberhomes also installed a Savant modular card frame system, so that new video sources can be easily incorporated in the future.

I like being able to take my iPhone out of my pocket to turn on the TV without looking for a series of remote controls. I also enjoy being able to turn the en-suite TV on as I’m heading upstairs. I can even be lazy when my kids want to see something in the cinema room and set it up without having to move. With Savant, this has all become very easy,” shares the Hampstead Homeowner.

This entire project was designed for luxury and convenience and was thoroughly planned. Atmospheric lighting is triggered as people pass through certain areas of the house. Lights turn on automatically whenever somebody enters a bathroom. When it’s time for bed, a tap on the Savant app creates soft, gentle lighting in the corridors and stairwells to guide the family to their rooms.

The final element for this installation was security. Cyberhomes installed eight IC Realtime CCTV cameras to cover every part of the property’s exterior so the family feel safe at all times. With the ability to use the Savant app to remotely check home security footage, the family can put their mind at ease whilst away.

Jo Booth, Account Manager & Field Sales Executive at Savant Europe adds “Cyberhomes has been fantastic to work with over the years. The way in which it conducts its work and the results they achieve are a credit to themselves and their abilities as custom installers.

The client was impressed by the control and automation of his entire home, including the impressive basement home cinema—popular for every day TV watching, as well as big movie nights. Through the Savant app, anyone in the family can control the projector, speakers and video sources, removing the need for multiple remote controls. To make life even easier, Cyberhomes installed wall-mounted iPad minis on each floor to ensure the control system is always readily to hand. The magnetic docks serve as wireless chargers and have easy access to remove iPads if required.

08 Jun 2016

Source: Home Cinema Choice Magazine July 2016

Last issue we reported on a growing trend within high-end home installations towards modern designs and multi-functional rooms, yet this top-spec theatre shows there’s still a demand for more traditional aesthetics and that real home cinema feel. And with Dolby Atmos audio and Ultra HD visuals from numerous sources, this picture palace is state-of-the-art, too.

The project was undertaken by UK company Cyberhomes, and was part of a whole-house AV, automation and control installation. The owner wanted a home cinema that reminded him of the vintage movie house he used to go to as a child; he also wanted the room to double as a ‘theatre’ so that his own children could put on shows.

Return to render

The install firm began by producing mood boards and concept visuals to work out the desired overall look and feel of the cinema room. This was followed by a 3D rendered animation, meaning the owner could see exactly how the room would appear—and give his approval—before any construction began.

As is often the case, the brief was for the biggest screen possible. Cyberhomes accepted the challenge, specifying a 130 in model from Screen Research, with a 2.35:1 ‘Scope aspect ratio. Acoustically transparent, it enabled the LCR soundstage of loudspeakers to be mounted behind in the optimum position.

Automated masking means the system is flexible when it comes to presenting content in different ratios. Playing a part here is a Panamorph anamorphic lens that works in tandem with the cinema’s projector, a 4K-resolution Sony VPL-VW1100ES. This is housed at the back of the room in a custom-built bulkhead behind a projector glass mounted at an angle specified by THX. To ensure the IR sync signal for the 3D glasses was ‘visible’ at all the seating positions, an additional IR sender was mounted behind the glass.

The room features a 7.2.4 speaker system, with all models coming from US marque Triad. The dual woofers are InRoom Gold Sub models, using 15in long-throw drivers. InRoom Silver enclosures handle front, left and centre channels; the surround and height channels are delivered via the brand’s InWall Mini/4s. A combination of amplification and processing from Procella Audio and Integra drives the system.

Acoustic adventures

In order to fine-tune the Atmos soundfield, acoustic treatments were introduced. The cinema is in a basement location, giving the installers an initial concrete shell to work with. Plasterboard was installed onto the walls, isolated from the concrete, with the space between filled with mineral wool. A stud frame was added on top of this to house the speakers and acoustic treatments. For the latter, audio specialist RPG Europe supplied a ‘Behind the Scenes’ system, comprised of 100 mm panels to deliver bass control, mid-range absorption and high-frequency diffusion. This, explains Cyberhomes, provided ‘a balanced and controlled room—rather than just high-frequency absorption which can leave a room feeling too dry, muddy and boomy.’

To keep the room as sleek as possible, a hung ceiling frame was employed (also acoustically fettled), above which cabling could be run. And the two stud walls that flank the entrance and form the alcoves for a bar area and the twin AV racks were filled with concrete to isolate. Doors out of the entrance also use acoustic seals for improved sound isolation.

For the front aspect, a full baffle wall was constructed, again using mineral wool in the cavities, with triple layers of plasterboard separated by green glue. All the room’s speakers are housed in bespoke boxes made from double-lined MDF and plywood. Acoustically transparent fabrics ensure that none of the speakers or the acoustic panels are visible.

With a 4K projector in situ, it’s no surprise to see 4K video sources in the kit rack, with a Kaleidescape Strato 4K the most premium option. This new addition to the media server specialist’s range debuted at CEDIA in September, and supports 4K/60p content with Dolby Atmos soundtracks.

Currently, there are over 100 4K titles available for download from Kaleidescape’s movie store, thanks to distribution deals with studios such as Warner Bros. The player is also ready for HDR content, should the owner choose to upgrade his projector in the future. As well as the Kaleidescape Strato, the cinema room can be fed Blu-rays from an Integra deck, and stream from Amazon, Apple, Sony and Roku media players, including 4K from both Netflix and Amazon Video. Also in the video chain is a new-for-2016 Lumagen Radiance 4K Pro scaler, providing an additional level of image processing. This was calibrated by an ISF-certified boffin to deliver  the optimum picture quality and colour accuracy with each of the video sources. All content is scaled to 4K resolution by the Lumagen (if they are not natively 4K) before being sent on to the Sony projector.

Scarlet fever

Away from the droolworthy hardware, the interior design of this cinema also catches the eye. It’s the kind of room that aims to look good even before anything is switched on. Cue up a flick or stream a TV show and the motorised front curtains–in traditional movie-theatre red–open to reveal the screen, using a suitably heavy material to give them a pleasing sway as they draw apart. And there are more curtains at the rear of the room, employed to limit any light reflections and reduce bass pressure peaks at the bar area. These automatically close when a film is playing and open again if the movie is paused or stopped.

Lighting is managed by a Lutron control system. This allows different scenes for the different uses of the room: entertaining, movie mode, live theatre, etc. Nor does the theatre descend into complete darkness when it’s film night–low-level lighting remains to make the steps visible and provide a degree of bias illumination for improved picture quality. The whole cinema is controlled via a Savant system, which also manages the AV, lighting, security and heating in the rest of the property.

A wall-mounted iPad outside the door allows pre-selection of the use of the room (cinema and source, theatre, etc) prior to popping in. The Savant interface is also accessible from the homeowners’ own smartphones. Feeling chilly during a screening of Everest? Just nudge up the heating from the comfort of the vintage-style cinema chairs.

This project has been shortlisted for a CEDIA Award in the heavyweight Best Home Cinema over £100,000 category. Whether or not it scoops a top prize will be revealed in July, but it’s obvious that the owner already feels like he’s a winner, saying that he believes it offers a performance that it is ‘superior’ to a typical cinema experience.

Cyberhomes built our home cinema to the most advanced possible specification—the Ultra HD and 3D sound combination is truly spectacular!‘ commented the homeowner.

KIT CHECKLIST

  • SCREEN RESEARCH: 130in, 2.35:1 acoustically transparent projector screen with automated masking
  • SONY: VPL-VW1100ES 4K projector
  • PANAMORPH: FDC1SYS anamorphic lens
  • SONY: FMP-X5 4K media player
  • TRIAD: 8 x InWall Mini/4 LCR speakers; 3 x InRoom Silver LCR speakers; 2 x InRoom Gold Sub subwoofers; 2 x RackAmp 600 amplifiers
  • PROCELLA AUDIO: 2 x DA-05 DSP power amplifiers
  • INTEGRA: DHC-80.6 AV processor/amplifier; DTA-70.1 power amplifier; DBS-30.3 Blu-ray player
  • KALEIDESCAPE: Strato 4K Ultra HD movie server
  • LUMAGEN: Radiance 4K Pro 4242 scaler
  • AMAZON: Fire TV 4K media player
  • APPLE: Apple TV
  • ROKU: Roku 4 4K media player
  • SAVANT: Integrated control system
  • LUTRON: Homeworks QS P6 lighting control
07 Apr 2016

Source: CE Pro Europe website 7 April 2016

CE Pro feature on Cyberhomes Hampstead projectCyberhomes talks CE Pro Eu through its award winning Best Whole House Integration project in Hampstead, which saw the company integrate AV, heating, lighting and security controls into a Savant pro home automation system and install a home cinema into the sub-basement property.

The client for this particular project is a property developer that Cyberhomes had worked with on numerous occasions, this time enlisting the integration specialist’s help for his own home.

We had installed the AV, automation and control systems into a number of his developments,” says Andy Mack, Cyberhomes founder and director. “It made sense then for him to turn to us when he was building his own house.

The client wanted a multi-room audio-visual experience for his five-storey home, but when Cyberhomes demonstrated the possibilities of a single point of control for all smart technology in the property, he was inspired to go further.

Cyberhomes ended up integrating audio-visual, heating, lighting and security controls into a Savant pro home automation system. Even the flow of the customer’s poolside waterfalls can be controlled though the Savant Pro App on an iPad or smartphone.

Savant  was chosen as the most suitable as the card frame allowed for expandability,” Andy explains. “The Savant Pro App gave the home owner the most flexible way of adding custom scenes to his system without the additional expense of programming.

This was the first project that Cyberhomes had undertaken that had a sub-basement (a multi-storey below ground living space). “This led to a variety of different rooms that you wouldn’t often find all in a single property: bar, pool, gym, cinema, etc.,” Andy reflects.

Cyberhomes’ lighting designer created smart lighting for the home—inside and out, installing a Lutron lighting control system with 36 custom-engraved wall plates.

By integrating this into the Savant Pro control system, the family can switch on or off (or dim) any light in the house or garden, with just one touch of a screen.

Lights turn on automatically whenever somebody enters a bathroom and atmospheric lighting is triggered as people pass through certain areas of the house.

When it’s time for bed, a tap of the App creates soft, gentle lighting in the corridors and stairwells to guide the family to their rooms. Outdoor lighting is tuned to an astronomic schedule, switching on as dusk approaches, and off again in the early hours when everyone is likely to be in bed.

Home Cinema

Locating the cinema off to the side of a large, open-plan basement presented some audio-visual and lighting challenges.

Cyberhomes overcame these issues by using a heavyweight blackout curtain to block out external light, while visuals are taken care of courtesy of a high-brightness Runco projector with a long-throw lens.

Cinematic sound is generated through the intelligent configuration of a multi-speaker system: two B&W speakers are positioned in the ceiling for surround effects, and three in the wall behind the acoustically transparent, 150in Seymour & Screen Excellence projection screen.

Through the Savant Pro App, anyone in the family can control the home’s smart technology via an iPad or smartphone, plus wall-mounted iPad minis have been installed on each floor. These are easily removed from their magnetic docks, which also serve as wireless chargers.

The family can also use the iPads to check home security footage: Cyberhomes installed eight IC Realtime CCTV cameras to cover every part of the property’s exterior. The system even allows the family to monitor the property remotely from their smartphones while away.

Reflecting on the challenges presented, Andy says: “We were integrating systems like CCTV, heating, security, intercom and they seemed to be a first for a number of these third parties’ products to integrate with the new Savant Pro platform. There was a lot of liaising between Cyberhomes, Savant and the third parties to successfully make this work.

Everything has come together as a single coherent solution. All our projects integrate similar aspects but none are quite as cohesive as this extent of high class finish achieved in every room of this project.

The client was also impressed with the outcome: “Having worked with Cyberhomes on several upmarket property development projects, I knew they could deliver the type of smart capabilities I wanted for my own home—and they didn’t disappoint.

I like being able to take my iPhone out of my pocket to turn on the TV without looking for a series of remote controls. I like being able to turn the ensuite TV on as I’m heading upstairs. I like being lazy when my kids want to see something in the cinema room—I can set it up without having to move. And, of course, I love that I can turn all the lights out at night with a touch of just one button.

About the Author

Alice Gustafson · Alice is an experienced CI/AV journalist. Gaining knowledge of the global install market at Pro Audio Asia, Pro Audio Middle East and Worship AVL Asia, Alice brings her considerable knowledge of the AV and install markets to CE Pro Europe and Commercial Integrator Europe. Feeding the sites with insightful daily updates from across Europe, as well as engaging with the industry across the titles’ growing social media presence, Alice is a key member of All Things Media’s growing editorial team.
Contact Alice Gustafson: alice@allthingsmedialtd.com
29 Feb 2016

Source: HbD Magazine Feb 2016


HBD Cyberhomes Smart Home award article February 2016Smart homes technology specialists Cyberhomes have won the custom installation (CI) industry’s Install and Technology Solutions Award (ITSA) for ‘Best Whole House Integration’.

The award recognises the quality of a fully integrated automation and entertainment system designed, built and delivered by Cyberhomes. Having worked with a property developer client on several previous projects, Cyberhomes were given the opportunity to provide the integration of the AV (including a cinema room), lighting, heating and security systems for his own luxury family home in Hampstead.

Cyberhomes Director Ion Smith said: “The client had previous experience of Lutron lighting control and multi-room audio but the concept of integrating these, along with all the AV controls, heating and security into a single control system was new to him. Once we had demoed the Savant Pro system to him he was sold on the concept.

Cyberhomes’ client added: “Having worked with Cyberhomes on several upmarket property development projects, I knew they could deliver the type of smart capabilities I wanted for my own home—and they didn’t disappoint.

The ITSA judges commented: “The results of Cyberhomes’ work speak for themselves—a tour de force of custom install in every room they reached, creating a smart house that ticks all the boxes of advanced 21st century living and ups the home automation ante; the client couldn’t have asked for more from this team of innovative installers. A truly deserving winner in what was our toughest category to judge. This is what CI is all about!

Cyberhomes work closely with clients, architects, developers, interior designers and M&E consultants from the very start, wherever possible, to integrate control and AV systems with the overall building design and performance. The Cyberhomes founders have a background in outside-broadcasting technology for the BBC and take the same rigorous approach with the equipment, cabling and software behind home automation projects. AV racks are built and tested at Cyberhomes’ rack building facility in Thame and all the wiring looms created in a controlled environment before installation.

18 Feb 2016

Source: Construction UK Magazine Feb 2016

ConstructionUK Cyberhomes featureIt has just been announced that Smart home technology specialists Cyberhomes have won the custom Installation (CI) industry’s Install and Technology Solutions Award (ITSA) for ‘Best Whole House Integration’.

The award recognises the quality of a fully integrated automation and entertainment system designed, built and delivered by Cyberhomes. Having worked with the property developer client on several previous projects, Cyberhomes were given the opportunity to provide the integration of the AV (including a cinema room), lighting, heating and security systems for his own luxury family home in Hampstead.

Cyberhomes Director Ion Smith said: “The client had previous experience of Lutron lighting control and multi-room audio but the concept of integrating these, along with all the AV controls, heating and security into a single control system was new to him. Once we had demoed the Savant Pro system to him he was sold on the concept.” Cyberhomes’ client added: “Having worked with Cyberhomes on several upmarket property development projects, I knew they could deliver the type of smart capabilities I wanted for my own home—and they didn’t disappoint.

The ITSA judges commented: “The results of Cyberhomes’ work speak for themselves – a tour de force of custom install in every room they reached, creating a smart house that ticks all the boxes of advanced 21st century living and ups the home automation ante…the client couldn’t have asked for more from this team of innovative installers. A truly deserving winner in what was our toughest category to judge, this is what CI is all about!

Cyberhomes work closely with clients, architects, developers, interior designers and M&E consultants from the very start, wherever possible, to integrate control and AV systems with the overall building design and performance. The Cyberhomes founders have a background in outside-broadcasting technology for the BBC and take the same rigorous approach with the equipment, cabling and software behind home automation projects. AV racks are built and tested at Cyberhomes’ rack building facility in Thame and all the wiring looms created in a controlled environment before installation.

01 Feb 2016

Source: SVI magazine Jan/Feb 2016

Setting the scene on our Install & Technology Solutions Awards’ Best Whole House Integration winner, the private home of a property developer, Cyberhomes had worked successfully with the developer on several previous residential projects before, but this time—in the tradition of all the best action movie sequels—was personal.

SVI issue 131 coverThe developer was making a significant expansion of his own home so he naturally turned to Cyberhomes for the AV and automation of his home. Starting from absolute scratch, the original property on the site was knocked down, a two-storey basement was dug out and a new three storey house built on top of it. As the client had previous experience of Lutron lighting control and had used Sonos systems before, he understood the benefits of multi-room audio. However, the concept of integrating these, along with all his AV control, heating and security into a single control system was new to him… but once Cyberhomes had demoed the Savant Pro system to him he was sold on the concept.

As a result of all this, Cyberhomes were engaged on the job, but only when most of the main construction had been completed and first fix electrics were about to commence. So, coming in a bit late in the design day in the grand scheme, but still with the opportunity to ensure the necessary cabling infrastructure could be installed.

THE SOLUTION

Taking the concept of a leisure room to its ultimate conclusion, the basement level mainly consists of a large playroom and in the corner of it is a cinema room with a permanent projection screen (150-inch diagonal, 163-inches wide x 63-inches high). One wall of the cinema is open to the playroom, or can be closed off by the use of a heavyweight curtain that has its rails in the ceiling so it hangs from floor to ceiling creating perfect blackout.

Sound-wise, the front-centre-left speakers are B&W in-wall, fitted behind the screen which is acoustically transparent. Because of the open side, the surround speakers could not be in the walls, so B&W in-ceiling speakers were used. The seating is a large area of comfy ‘lounging space’.

Bespoke cabinetry houses the Runco projector which projects through a hole cut in the cupboard door, whilst a Lumagen Radiance video processor ensures optimum picture quality from all the sources. The cupboard is force ventilated to ensure the projector doesn’t overheat. Screen size and distance between the projector and screen meant that a high-brightness projector with a long throw lens was required.

Getting back to illumination, the whole house has a Lutron lighting control system with 36 custom-engraved wallplates. There are also a number of occupancy sensors that can trigger lighting automatically as rooms are in-use (for example bathrooms and en-suites), plus some decorative lighting features that light up as you walk past them. There are also a number of features in the grounds/gardens that are lit by exterior lighting for which Cyberhomes programmed an astronomical schedule, so that these features are lit automatically as dusk approaches and then turn off in the early hours. There is a ‘night mode’ too that operates without having to turn on/off different lighting circuits. As the lighting is so important to the overall interior design of the property, Cyberhomes also recommended working with their own lighting designer to get achieve the best possible lighting solutions.

A VISION

There are seven Samsung TVs around the property, ranging from 32- to 65-inches and all have the ability to view the different video sources (2x Sky HD, 2x Apple TV) via a Savant video matrix. There’s also a waterproof TV set into the impressive marble walls of the master en-suite. Both Cyberhomes and the client knew that more video sources are likely to be added in the future, so a Savant cardframe solution was used that provides the potential to easily provide more video sources and integrate them into the system when required.

All the rooms have in-ceiling speakers for access to the multiroom audio sources.

Heating control is provided by Heatmiser with dedicated control points in most rooms; this is fully integrated into the Savant Pro app for climate control through Savant and to allow energy saving automation to be implemented. Taking care of security, IC Realtime CCTV cameras ensure all the exterior and interior of the property can be monitored… even remotely when the property is unoccupied. And in the lower basement is the swimming pool and gym where, as well as the lighting being controlled by the Lutron system, it is also possible to control the waterfalls in the swimming pool area from the Lutron wallplates and the Savant Pro app.

WIN-STALL

Best Whole House Smart Home Technology IntegrationThe entire property is controlled using the Savant Pro system via iPad minis and the family’s own smartphones. There is an iPad mini wall-mounted on each floor of the property using a magnetic dock; so they can be removed easily if portable control is required with no fiddly cables required when putting them back on the docks for charging, making the whole control process intuitive for the residents and easy to alter for any future install adjustments.

In all, a hugely impressive work of CI ingenuity that our ITSA quartet of industry professionals found compelling. A worthy winner, then, of the coveted Best Whole House Integration Award, our congratulations to Cyberhomes on their tour de force of smart tech integration.

SVI Jan-2016 Cyberhomes feature spread

27 Jan 2016

Source: inex online

The Marketing Director of smart homes technology specialist Cyberhomes, reviews the latest developments in fully integrated home automation and entertainment systems.

Today’s clients are keen to maximise the opportunities presented by new smart homes technology but often with as little on show as possible, minimising ‘wall clutter’ and other impacts on interior design. They also seek a flexible, user-friendly approach to control provided by the latest intuitive software, using touch-screen controllers and occupiers’ smartphones.

Home automation can enable every light in and around the house to be dimmed or switched on and off with touch-screens and smartphones, as well as discreet local wall panels replacing conventional light switches. Pre-set scenes are also available to create specific lighting moods, which should be considered alongside the overall interior design scheme. Additionally, all the lights in a house can be turned off with a single button or lighting can be set to holiday mode, creating the impression that the house is occupied.

Multi-room audio and video systems can now include a music player for each family member to enjoy his or her own diverse music collection and streaming service. Discreet ceiling speakers in various rooms and external speakers in the garden can be organised into audio zones, each providing music and sound selected from the central AV system. Similarly, video content from multiple, centralised sources – such as Sky, Virgin TiVo and Apple TV boxes, Blu-ray discs and movie servers – can be distributed to TVs located anywhere in the house.

electricals

Although dedicated cinema rooms are still called for, very often a single room has to work both as an everyday living space and also a high-specification 3D home cinema. Here, at the touch of a button, a projector can descend from the ceiling, a screen gently lowers in front of the TV, the lights dim and motorised blinds close, creating the ultimate home cinema experience with stunning picture quality and jaw-dropping surround sound.

In such situations, Cyberhomes has designed cabinetry housing the screen and front speakers. Here, a tilting mechanism enables speaker adjustment to suit the precise distance to the seats once furniture positions have been finalised, optimising acoustic performance. Speakers can also be hidden behind removable, ‘acoustically-transparent’ fabric panels to suit interior designs. Working closely with interior designers and architects is therefore key to combining the best performance and design.

Smart technology allows discreet CCTV cameras and door or gate entry systems to display on any of the touch-screen control panels throughout the house or on smartphones, including when away from home. Owners can also check and adjust heating, lighting and other functions when they are away.

Intruder alarm systems can also be integrated with home automation, allowing additional actions to be triggered automatically.

Initially involving smart homes specialists optimises integration of the system with the overall building design. The AV racks should be built and tested and all the wiring looms created in a controlled environment, minimising connections and other work on a building site.

See this feature in the features section of inex online

inex online