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Case Study: Apple TV Remote Controls Hidden TV

Welcome Home Living selects Auton’s Automated Dream Machine under-the-bed TV lift for clean aesthetics and flexible control compatibility with Apple TV.

Integration company Welcome Home Living is no stranger to building and installing AV systems for complex, visionary projects. “We do a lot of custom stuff, and usually we’re hired when somebody really can’t figure out what else to do,” says Joe Ott, owner of Welcome Home Living.

Recently, his team were called in on a residential remodel with some unique AV requirements. In addition to an updated home theater and zoned audio distribution inside and outside the home, they wanted their bedroom TV completely hidden from view. Although there’s a variety of TV lifts on the market that fit that simple directive, the devil was in the details: They also wanted to be able to control the lift from an Apple TV remote. Their AV source for the room was a single Apple TV where they access all their streaming channels and music. Rather than having to use both an Apple remote and a universal remote to control the TV, Apple TV, and the lift, the homeowners wanted a clean and simple control experience.

Auton Under Bed

“We were like, ‘I’m pretty sure we can find a product that fits this bill,’ and for this project, we knew we could rely on Auton. They have some amazing solutions they can custom manufacture to make our situation work right,” says Ott.

Auton Motorized Systems is an authority in end-to-end customized automated concealment solutions, specializing in lifts that are fully customized to project specs, unlike off-the-shelf lift solutions with specifications that integrators must work around. The company is the chosen manufacturer for indoor- and outdoor-rated automated lifts for small and midsize displays, devices, and equipment. They are also the only specialist that engineers creative solutions robust enough to lift massive in-ground flatscreens and videowalls, according to the company.

Related: Concealed AV – Now You See It…

To meet the client’s requirement for complete display concealment, they installed Auton’s Dream Machine under the bed lift. The Dream Machine is tailored to fit under any bed, which gives homeowners the freedom to choose the bed frame that fits their lifestyle and décor instead of being locked into an integrated furniture lift solution that dictates the rest of the design choices in the room. It smoothly and quietly glides out from under the bed, making use of otherwise unoccupied space and transforming the room at a touch of a button from whatever controller the user prefers. As bigger displays become the norm, even in a smaller space, the lift has evolved to keep pace with ongoing technological evolution. The Dream Machine is available in models to accommodate the latest displays up to 80 inches in size and with programmable 180-degree swivel. For this project, Welcome Home Living fitted it with a Sony display, which was programmed to the raise to a comfortable height for the homeowners.

Autun Under Bed TV - Front

Auton’s control options — contact closure, IR, or RF — were also an asset that opened the door for further configuration.

“I came up with this untraditional system that utilizes the optical port on the display. I extracted the optical signal to enable the Apple remote to trigger the contact closure on the lift,” says Ott. “When we initially began the project, the carpenter had brought in another lift, but the remote wasn’t capable of triggering it from the optical port. Auton can solve any problem you want, and it worked nicely here.”

With the Auton properly configured, the homeowners don’t have to grapple with a universal remote that they don’t want or need.

“We’re seeing a trend where more clients want their AV hidden, but they also want it to be incredibly simple to operate. They don’t want to spend $800 to $1000 for a universal remote. They want to use the little Apple remote to be the main control hub. It’s small, easy, features voice control, and they know how to use it. They’d rather spend that $800 on labor for us to figure out how to make the Apple remote work for their needs. Ultimately, when you cater to what people want, you’re going to get all their business,” says Ott. “You don’t have to sell them on a new solution or concept. We can figure out how to make it work so it integrates with their lifestyle, and that’s what Auton specializes in.”

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