Smart home design and installation firm, Progressive Home Technology, has recently completed an integrated, high resolution audio project for a new-build property in the up and coming coastal town of Hastings in East Sussex using Meridian and Control4.
Liam McLaughlin, director of Progressive Home Technology, explains: “The company formed in 2004, and actually started in the dining room of my father’s house, but has since gone from strength to strength. We now operate internationally from a beautiful barn conversion in Tunbridge Wells, just 40 minutes from London with two teams of on-site installers working across multiple projects.
“Most of my time is spent with clients and their design and build teams. This can mean working with architects to interior designers and any other professionals they wish to collaborate with. We are typically involved from the very conception of a new build or renovation project, planning the equipment rack, high quality networking, equipment specifications and other little touches that ensure everything works seamlessly when we come to install.”
Liam believes the company’s success is down to several key factors: “We hold ourselves to very high standards, so to ensure this is maintained across each and every project, we employ a network of specialists; from sound and video calibrators to lighting designers to bespoke furniture makers. This close-knit team of professionals works together to deliver a fantastic end result.
“We offer a full design and installation service as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrades, and are very forward thinking in our system monitoring and remote access. We know our systems inside out and can monitor, detect and ultimately remedy any potential problems long before our clients notice there is an issue.
“This means that our clients are offered a seamless day-to-day experience and the very best in new technology as well as firmware upgrades throughout the system lifetime, keeping equipment up to date long after the initial installation.”
Sussex By The Sea!
This particular project was a mixture in the main of a Control4 controls system, with the audio being taken care of by UK audio specialist, Meridian.
The client wanted premium quality audio and listening to their favourite music from multiple sources was also a priority alongside movies to reference standard in the home’s media room. At the same time, it was of course important that the audio technology complemented the interior aesthetic and integrated with the Control4 system. For the install team, Meridian was the most obvious choice.
In the media room, Progressive Home Technology specified an LG 65in OLED TV with a Kaleidescape system, delivering high-quality Blu-Ray content here and to other TVs in the house. This was complemented by Meridian Special Edition DSP7200 loudspeakers for the LCR audio. The team felt Meridian’s Special Edition DSP5200 Rear Speakers would deliver the bass and full-range audio performance needed, in partnership two Meridian DSW Subwoofers. Meridian’s 861V8 Surround Controller enables the set up to provide 7.2 channel THX Certified cinema sound for the immersive audio experience the client wanted.
The design of the Meridian Special Edition DSP7200 loudspeakers, finished in piano lacquer white, makes them a good match for the modern interior setting, whilst also offering the quality of sound needed. Containing four, integrated 150W amplifiers, the DSP7200 loudspeakers eliminate the need for an amplifier in the rack, reducing power and thermal management requirements, as well as increasing the space available to the homeowner.
“While the loudspeakers were chosen primarily for quality, the aesthetic influenced the striking layout of the room, which was designed around the loudspeakers,” says Liam.
Elsewhere, Meridian’s Sooloos digital media system has provided the backbone for multi room audio, providing lossless CD ripping and playback and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) audio streaming. The system is integrated with the client’s existing AVID turntable setup to enable him to indulge his vinyl passion and enjoy all his music through the Meridian DSP loudspeakers. The Sooloos system serves seven audio zones in the property, six from a Meridian Media Core 600 into an Audio Control Director amplifier which provides pristine audio to the kitchen, dining room, snug, bedroom, bathroom and gym. Meridian’s Sooloos integrates with the homeowner’s network making it easier to browse and play content from both the owner’s personal music libraries and Internet services.
“We recommended Meridian for all the digital connections in the home,” says Liam. “The active DSP design helps to save important space in the rack, easing venting requirements in what is a compact storage space. Thanks to Meridian we can get high resolution audio into the system when few other systems could offer a solution of comparable quality. Integration with the Sooloos system also influenced the choice, but the key requirement and deciding factor was for the best looking and the best sounding equipment within the overall budget.”
OK, so million dollar question time, what is Liam’s favourite part of the install? “For me, the uncompromising quality and made-to-fit nature of the installation is my favourite part. The perfect placement of four active floor-standers, playback of high-resolution audio from the Meridian Sooloos system, 5.1 HD audio from Kaleidescape or Blu-Ray, and a 4K display calibrated to ISF standards is all contained within a stunning and comfortable environment. That’s hard to beat, which is why I run a very similar system at home!
“For the client – it has to be the Meridian Sooloos system. He loves his music, and the Sooloos touchscreen fitted between the two main listening chairs gets a lot of interaction with guests. Using the Focus features to explore their favourite music is particularly well received. Any time we are there the client will always fire up the latest favourite and give us a blast while we chat about the next project.”
- Meridian 861V8 Surround Controller
- Meridian HDMI Audio Processor
- Meridian Special Edition DSP7200SE LCR Speakers
- Meridian Special Edition DSP5200SE Rear Speakers
- Meridian DSW Subwoofers (2)
- Meridian Media Core 600
- Meridian Control 15 Touchscreen
- The Director Model D3400
- Kaleidescape Premiere Movie System
- LG 65EF950V OLED 65in 4K TV
- Lumagen RadiancePro 4K Video Processor
- Furman Reference Mains Conditioning
- Control4 Home Automation Processor
- Control4 Touchscreens and Wireless Remote Controls
- Philips Dynalite Intelligent Lighting System