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Helicopter Airlifts 85” Plasma TV to High-Tech Apartment

Home theater pros hire a helicopter to carry an 85-inch Panasonic plasma TV to an apartment on the 27th floor of a Dallas high-rise.

An 85-inch flat-panel TV isn’t the easiest of high-tech amenities to get installed into a home. It’s heavy, rigid and very expensive - nothing you’d want to drop on your toe, or anywhere else for that matter.

Try stuffing the unbendable screen into a standard-size elevator.

Faced with the dilemma of carting an 85-inch Panasonic Premier plasma TV to a penthouse in a high-rise Dallas apartment building, the home theater and home automation pros from SoundImage commissioned a helicopter to deliver the gigantic display to the 27th floor. From deck they were able to lug the set into the great room where it was framed in a metal casing to give the illusion of floating on air.

Although the air-lifted dispatch of the big-screen TV was definitely one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking parts of the renovation project, it was a much smaller screen that prompted the 26-year-old homeowner to outfit his 8,000-square-foot residence with a complete home automation system.

”We were sitting in the empty, gutted shell of the apartment when I noticed the owner using his white iPhone - a lot,” recalls SoundImage president Tony Militello. “When I casually mentioned the fact that he could run his entire house with just that one phone, that was it. He was ready to automate from top to bottom.”

RELATED: Home Automation & Control Market Analysis

The natural choice of system, due to its iPhone-like, Apple-based operating platform, was a Savant home automation system. “The owner was so adept at operating his iPhone, it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch for him to use it to also operate the Savant system,” Militello continues.

Confident that the owner would master the controls easily, SoundImage put all things electronic under the Savant system’s command: the heating and cooling system, the Jacuzzi, lights, gas fireplaces, motorized window shades, surveillance cameras, and every audio and video component, including, of course, the 85-inch TV.

Being able to easily access a central rack of audio and video and components from anywhere in the penthouse was of huge importance to the owner, and the Savant system delivers by presenting all of the A/V options on the screen of an iPhone and iPad (as part of the Savant mobile app). From this menu, the owner can choose from Apple TV, DirecTV, Blu-ray to watch on any of 11 TVs, ranging from 22 inches to 85 inches in size. A Savant matrix switcher and HDMI baluns enable 1080p video to be distributed to each of the displays. High-resolution views of the cityscape, captured by two Axis cameras, can also be displayed on any TV or iDevice.

Similarly, the homeowner can select from a library of music (his iTunes account or AppleTV) to play in any or all rooms, most of which were fitted with B&W in-ceiling and in-wall speakers (5 outdoor speakers from SpeakerCraft serve the patio). SoundImage preserved the integrity of the audio by pushing the audio through two Audio Control amplifiers.

The great room audio was enhanced further via a Savant surround-sound preamp. As part of the Savant control architecture, the preamp can be accessed from any iOS device, giving the owner the ability to tweak from a menu of onscreen controls the surround fields, DSP and delay time and other advanced settings for an enhanced listening experience. 

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Helicopter Airlifts 85” Plasma TV to High-Tech Apartment

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Article Topics

News · Slideshow · Displays · TVs · All topics

About the Author

Lisa Montgomery
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

24 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Robert  on  02/13  at  04:27 PM

Panasonic 84” plasma. this happend over 2 years ago, not exactly new news.

Posted by Vijay Trehan  on  02/13  at  07:45 PM

Great Job- things to come.

Posted by Ron  on  03/06  at  12:07 PM

This reeks of a publicity stunt.
Did they helicopter all the furniture too? The drywall, the cabinets and everything else? Most of it is much bigger, heavier and bulkier than the TV.

Posted by KMerriman  on  03/08  at  11:30 AM

The 26(?) year-old homeowner???

Posted by John of Muncy  on  03/10  at  08:28 AM

What does this guy do for a living?

Posted by Bob  on  03/14  at  12:36 PM

Proof that some people have too much money.

Posted by neff  on  03/16  at  04:47 PM

its sickening.. i work 40 hours a week and barely can afford to put food on my table.. n this guy here, well, you know..

Posted by Mike  on  03/17  at  10:26 AM


Proof that you don’t have much money….


Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/17  at  10:27 AM

OK, that was funny, Mike.

Posted by Kent Straith  on  03/22  at  10:30 PM

If you’re twenty six, and live in a downtown penthouse, you’re almost certainly playing for the Rangers, Cowboys, Stars, or Mavericks. There are a very limited number of ways that a twenty six year old gets that kind of money.

Posted by Frank  on  03/25  at  01:40 PM

“No use thinkin’ about what you ain’t got,
Just makes you bitter.” from Alright by ELO.

Posted by rub  on  03/28  at  09:27 AM

Do not forget Drug lord

Posted by Ron  on  03/28  at  12:01 PM

Don’t worry, we’ll all be able to afford the 85-inch plasma next year when it’s down to $1,500.

Of course, then the curved110 inchers will hit the market.

I checked-out the 55” 4k HiSense TV last night at Costco. I held my daughter next to the screen and she kept trying to pet the exotic birds on the screen.
The floor model was only $1,100!

Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.

Posted by The Destroyer  on  04/09  at  09:00 AM

Should have done more learning in school and maybe you too could have a penthouse in Dallas with a 85 inch tv

Posted by Charles  on  04/18  at  09:12 AM

Don’t hate cause you have a sh**ty job.

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