Neat-O: Wireless System Rebuilt for ‘This Old House’ in Wake of Superstorm Sandy

Integrator uses Gefen wireless solution to reconstruct New Jersey home’s IT network destroyed by Hurricane Sandy for TV show ‘This Old House.’


Local integrator Scott Craig headed to the seaside town of Bay Head Shores, nestled in Point Pleasant, N.J., for some major repair work in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Even though this storm left its mark of devastation more than two years ago, homeowners are still to this day getting back on their feet.

While volunteering his time to help a local family, Craig took on the duty of completely rebuilding the audio/video system in the Santos’ home during a major reconstruction. The existing cabling was rendered useless as it was completely damaged by the storm. Craig had to systematically re-wire the residence while adhering to the schedule of the television show This Old House, which was in the midst of documenting the rebuild.

“The home was being raised in the air to rest on helical pilings to prevent future tropical storm damages and the new structure beneath the residence was not going to allow for typical low-voltage wiring,” says Craig. “I needed to come up with a creative solution.”

Craig worked with Gefen to specify the best solution for this unique situation. Gefen’s 2×2 Switcher for HDMI, a Gefen ToolBox Extender for HDMI over POL with 1 CAT-5 and the GefenTV Wireless for HD Long Range were all selected and donated to the cause by Gefen.

“When I need a creative HDMI solution, I always turn to Gefen for products that I know will work and continue to work long after the installation is complete,” says Craig.

The Gefen 2×2 Switcher for HDMI 1.3 allowed centrally located equipment to be mirrored to the home office and the children’s playroom so parents could monitor what the children were watching. The Extender for HDMI over POL with 1 CAT-5 delivered high definition content along a single CAT-5 cable to the display in the home office. Gefen’s Wireless for HD LR was able to transmit 1080p full HD through walls to reach the playroom. Though initially skeptical about relying on a wireless HDMI solution, Craig found the Wireless for HD LR worked perfectly with no signal drops, jitters or audio delays that you can see with other wireless products. 
“One thing that really impressed me was how well the Gefen products worked together—there were no handshake issues,” says Craig.  “And the 2×2 Switcher for HDMI came in very handy during filming the episodes for This Old House. We were able to mirror the show’s logo on multiple displays so when they walked around the rebuilt home, all the displays were presenting the logo.”

Craig often refers to this now-completed installation as a framework for demonstrating how wireless connectivity can take an A/V system to the next level. “The Santos family has repeatedly told me how thankful they are for the ease of their new system,” adds Craig. “The Gefen equipment brought solutions with integrity and gave me total peace of mind.” 


About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.