Inside a Majestic Tech Upgrade for Home ‘Castle’

From 2007 to 2014, Digital Home Technologies meets the needs of this 10,000-square-foot “castle” with home tech upgrades.


First multiroom music, then a theater.

In 2007 the owners of this 10,000-square-foot “castle” began a journey into home technology by incorporating a multiroom audio system. Installed by Digital Home Technologies, Palatine, Ill., the Elan HD system piped music from radio tuners, a CD player and a laptop to in-ceiling speakers.

The owners controlled the system via hard-buttoned wall-mounted keypads and touchpanels.

“It worked well for its time,” says Digital Home’s John Goldenne.

By 2010 the owners were ready to update. So began the construction of a dedicated theater, again, handled by Goldenne. It included an Epson PowerLite Cinema projector, SpeakerCraft TIME Five 8 ceiling speakers, Sunfire subs and amplifiers and a 110-inch Stewart Filmscreen screen.

For control, a URC MX-980 handheld remote/MSC-400 controller combo was used. The theater was tied to the home’s existing Elan system so music could be distributed to this room too.

Related: Bringing Mardi Gras to a Home Theater

Fast forward to 2014. The client’s music collection had grown to incorporate downloads, stored on several iPhones; the owners were also ready for Apple TVs and media streamers. They needed a system with more horsepower, a more robust Wi-Fi network, HDMI signal distribution, and a more elegant interface than the 7-year-old touchpanels the owners had been using.

Again, Goldenne was hired to complete the third phase of the home’s tech update. “We tore everything out and replaced it with Elan’s latest home control system, the Elan g!.”

Old HD touchpanels were swapped for Elan’s modern TS-7 touchpanels and in-wall docking stations for the owner’s iPad minis and iPods. An Atlona HDMI matrix switcher was added for uncompressed transmission of digital A/V. Finally, the home’s existing wireless network was upgraded to an enterprise-grade system of Luxul products.

For now, the Elan g! system is focused on access and control of the owner’s audio and video systems, but it’s capable of managing the lights, thermostats and other electronic equipment. The integration of these amenities is likely for Phase 4, says Goldenne.

Stay tuned.

Related: Kalomirakis Builds Biggest Little Home Theater in New York City

About the Author

Lisa Montgomery:

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.

Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books.




AppleElanEpsoniPhoneMulti-room AudioSpeakerCraftStewart FilmscreenURC