Since 1977, the Utah Valley Parade of Homes has been an annual showcase of new, high-end, and designer homes located throughout Utah Valley. The self-guided tour has featured the area’s finest builders, developers, and remodelers who aim to showcase the most innovative ideas and the newest trends. This year’s 41st event included 33 different homes ranging from 2621-square-foot $200,000 homes to behemoth 13,000-square-foot $2 million residences. One parade home in particular had to blaze a new trail in home entertainment.
The six-bedroom home boasted 9000 square feet of luxury living featuring a home cinema and multiple areas that had to be entertainment-ready before the home was even purchased and the homeowners moved in. To that end, Integration firm Tym — a longtime Utah Valley Parade of Home supporter and multi-award-winning integration firm — set about designing an AV backbone that would scale well into the future for any entertainment needs.
“The new parade homes are the ultimate showroom for the public,” says Matt Montgomery, co-founder of Tym. “Although home owners haven’t yet moved in, everything must be fully staged with all the electronics operable in order for builders and developers to completely capture the vision they’ve designed as part the home. Parade homes have much tighter deadlines, with only a few weeks — or even days — from the time the paint dries until the doors are opened. That means all wiring and cables need to be settled on before homeowners purchase the home. The downside is that this can pose limitations for customers wanting a state-of-the-art home theater and other entertainment spaces.”
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Tym needed a flexible and scalable video distribution solution. In addition, the platform needed robust features that would support any entertainment area, from a full home theater to simple, display-only setups. To ensure a successful install, the company chose to use Just Add Power (J+P) — its go-to video distribution solutions provider. J+P’s Ultra HD Over IP is a scalable video distribution infrastructure that allows integrators to build a scalable and cost-effective infrastructure to distribute video sources up to 1080p resolution or meet evolving 4K requirements by mixing and matching devices available within J+P’s portfolio of solutions. Every source is outfitted with a J+P transmitter that fits the source specifications and reliably distributes video to a small J+P receiver attached to any screen. The video signal can be scaled up or down based on the screen’s resolution.
“This home was pre-wired for several future TVs,” says Montgomery. “If the home owner chooses to add a TV down the line, no matter what format, we only have to add a Just Add Power receiver on the back. Just Add Power gave us future flexibility that wasn’t just critical for meeting the project demands for the Parade of Homes, but for our customers as well.”
The setup for the Parade included a 20-x30-foot large projection home cinema with Sony 285ES 4K projector and one flat screen in the game room, great room, and master bedroom that also had to support surround sound. Three other displays throughout the home were installed with a soundbar. With J+P, it could provide 2-channel downmixing in areas where surround sound wasn’t being utilized.
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Sources included Kaleidescape, Apple TV, video feeds from the surveillance system, Blu-ray players, and two cable satellite receivers. With the J+P IP-based backbone, Tym was able to consolidate all the sources. No matter where the homeowner is, the experience is the same. And just as they can just add a J+P receiver to any future display, the system ensures that they can add more video sources with just another transmitter.
The other critical component was control programming. The client selected Control4 as their control platform using a tablet application. J+P is control agnostic, easily integrates with any system, and ensures a reliable user experience no matter what control solution is selected. Because the distribution gear is centralized and neatly tucked away, the interface eliminated the basket of remotes for multiple video sources and freed the home of cable clutter and component furniture.
Once the Parade successfully wrapped up and the home owner moved in, Tym expected some phone calls from the homeowners to address any system changes.
“We measure effectiveness by how many service trips it takes to resolve issues for the clients,” says Montgomery. “There have been no service trips to date. And once they start planning for their next phase, it’ll be as simple. With J+P, we can scale, and we can scale with a number of options, including tiling and downmixing.”