How EDG’s Bob Gullo Got His Start: 1994 ‘Media Room’
Bob Gullo of Electronic Design Group landed this 19-screen job at the home of Ed Desser, then-president of NBA TV
It may not seem hip today, but 15 years ago, this media room was the biggity bomb.
Commissioned by Ed Desser, then the president of NBA Television, the entertainment center features 18 tube TVs and a 108-inch projection screen.
“I bought a bunch of 19-inch TVs and stacked them on top of each other and thought it would be really interesting to see what — at the time — was on all three networks,” says Desser. “I liked it enough so I added some more. And I thought, if having six monitors on is good, well then, 19 has to be better.”
So Desser enlisted Electronics Design Group of Piscataway, N.J. EDG founder and president Bob Gullo recalls, “We worked with a cabinet maker, drawing sketches with pencils.” Today, EDG’s “sketches” are lifelike renderings.
The “control system” for the Desser media room was AMX, but there was nothing in the way of matrix switching, and of course, it was well before the days of DVRs. No instant replays here.
Each TV had its own satellite receiver. “It was more set up to be turned on and off,” Desser says. “The channels weren’t changed. Literally, it was push a button and have everything come on … like channel surfing with your eyes.”
Somehow, Gullo recalls that the centerpiece was a Draper screen with a Sony VPH 1041 projector, flanked by JBL 4412 speakers — “awesome speakers,” Gullo says.
The little TVs didn’t get audio.
It’s not so much that Desser was a sports fanatic. Sports programming was a job (and he’s still at it today).
Sharing space with the media room was a home office, surrounded with glass so Desser could watch the sports action while working on the, um, IBM Selectric?
As for his current home, Desser has one big TV and that’s about it.
Recalling the days of his happenin’ media room, he says his family didn’t quite know what to make of him. Loony or cool? “Probably a little of each,” Desser says.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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