Integrator Rescues Ye Olde Poolside with Clever TV Install #SoCustom

65-inch weatherproof Seura TV and rugged outdoor lift hide behind a fake wood-storage cabinet that doesn’t hinder the old farmhouse feel.

Integrator Rescues Ye Olde Poolside with Clever TV Install  #SoCustom

Fake wood storage cabinet hides 65-inch weatherproof Seura TV and rugged outdoor lift, without marring the olde farmhouse feel. : Creative Systems USA

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A homeowner wanted an outdoor living area straight out of the olden days, with ye olde pool house … and a 65-inch TV.


“The ‘pool house’ was to look like it is hundreds of years old sitting next to a pond — not a swimming pool,” says integrator Harry Blanchard of Creative Systems USA, based in Collegeville, Penn.

In the original pool-house design, the architect called for a TV to be installed in a faux window, Blanchard explains, because the client wanted to see the TV from the patio and the pool.

“It wouldn’t look out of place at all, and it would give me the container and overall height needed to hide the TV and lift.”

— Harry Blanchard, Creative Systems USA

“The major two problems with that idea,” he says, “was the window was small and it was facing away from the pool by 90 to 120 degrees.”

So Blanchard suggest instead that a TV be installed in a stone wall to be constructed around the back patio. The solution was acceptable except for one thing: The wall was only two feet tall.

“We could have had a pocket built in the ground to create room for the TV and the lift,” Blanchard says, “but the TV would not have been high enough to see from the pool.”

In any case, the patio furniture would have blocked the view, and “the builder wasn’t thrilled about the pocket below grade.”


Blanchard to the rescue with an idea for a fake wood-storage structure: “It wouldn’t look out of place at all, and it would give me the container and overall height needed to hide the TV and lift.”

Architect happy. Builder happy because the design didn’t require a pocket below grade. Homeowner happy.

I asked Blanchard what the biggest challenge was on this job.

“Outdoor rated TVs and lifts aren’t cheap,” he says of the 65-inch Seura Ultra Bright display, and the Future Automation outdoor lift system with swivel. “If the client didn’t trust me to make it cool and right, the cost would have been the biggest challenge.”

Creative Systems tied the TV and lift into a Crestron home-automation system already installed by the company. All of the A/V sources and head-end gear are housed in the home located about 150 feet away.

The relay modules are located in the pool house. Crestron lightning-strike protectors are employed to protect the main house processor from lightning strikes at the pool house. Surge protection is provided by Furman.

Topping it off is a landscape sound system from James Loudspeaker.


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About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

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