Sonitus makes a big noise with whole home project

This attractive new family home at Hildenborough, Kent, has become a showcase for the home automation and AV integration skills of local installer Sonitus Home Limited.

A spacious five-bedroom new-build in the Kent countryside has given local integrator Sonitus the opportunity to design and build the perfect example of a modern integrated whole-house system comprising audio, video, climate control, Wi-Fi, security and a home cinema. 

At the suggestion of one of their contractors, the family contacted Sonitus to explore how technology could enhance the experience of living and working in their new home. Their first requirement was for automated lighting design throughout, but the scale of the project quickly expanded once the family had seen Sonitus’ proprietary control app, which offered them control over all connected devices through a smartphone, tablet or touch screen anywhere on the property. Suitably impressed, the family gave Sonitus cart-blanche to design a showcase for the complete smart home repertoire, connecting and controlling reliable indoor/outdoor audio, multi-room video, whole home climate control, high-speed internet, home cinema and robust CCTV and alarm from a single user interface.

Sonitus’ Director Oliver Down, explains, “Initially the family were unsure about what they wanted, other than the fact that they didn’t like the lighting they had at their existing property. So, we started by introducing them to our Sonitus app for inspiration. They’re an absolutely lovely family and, as it happens, very enthusiastic about all of the possibilities of smart convenience inside and out. They said yes to everything.”

Home office transformed

“As soon as we completed the lighting design, the next job was the home office connectivity. The lockdown had presented our customer with a big challenge because the home’s existing broadband speed was under 1Mbps – I kid you not. So, we installed an antenna on the roof and brought 50Mbps down to a Draytek 4G 2927 router and out to Ruckus R320 APs, covering every room,” explains Oliver.

He adds, “Now that broadband speed is on everyone’s shopping list, the new network needed to be fast, stable and reliable. And because Habitech’s (supplier of much of the equipment) IP infrastructure and support is among the best in the industry, the choice of Draytek and Ruckus was a no brainer. We’re delighted with the results and the family is happy: they can connect, browse and download at will, trouble-free.”

High quality audio distribution

Oliver continues, “Inside the home and outside, the audio needed to perform at full range with definition and be very discreet. We installed Sonance speakers throughout: VP66R in-ceiling speakers in the kitchen, the basement and gym and in the home’s orangery, as well as two Sonance Outdoor Patio systems of satellites and subs covering the two zones, around the swimming pool and on the orangery terrace.

“Control from the Sonitus app means the family can enjoy great sound in individual spaces or have the same selection playing as they walk from house to garden, and they love the results.”

Cinema/games area

Again, when designing the cinema AV the team used brands from Habitech’s line-up, installing a JVC LX-NZ3 4K projector playing on a 113in HD Progressive Acoustically Transparent Projecta screen and choosing for the audio a Sonance discreet 7.1 cinema setup, comprising three VP66-LCR in-walls, four VP66R SUR/SST in-ceiling surrounds and rears plus an i8 cabinet sub. In this space an iPort Launch Port sleeve protects an iPad running the Sonitus app, which controls the entire system.

Unblinking eye

Oliver continues, “Situated in the Kent countryside, the home needed a visible deterrent to trespassers, so we installed a Dahua Security system of eight intelligent CCTV cameras and 8TB NVR. This can viewed on the home’s TVs and controlled and viewed, once again, directly via our app. It gives the family the reassurance that whether they are awake or asleep at home or away, there are eyes on the property, giving them perimeter surveillance and smart motion detection in real-time 24/7.”

So, what about installation challenges? Oliver says, “There weren’t any. The install went like a dream. It took a year in planning and execution, with about a month on site. Everything we did just worked and continues to perform brilliantly.

“Our customers don’t have to worry or even think about the tech: very quickly it’s become part of their lives. This is the most satisfying part of what we do; I’m proud of the job we did for the family – on schedule and within budget.

Essential Kit List

JVC DLP LX-NZ3 4KUHD Laser Projector

Projecta Fixed Frame 113in Acoustically Transparent HD Progressive Projector Screen

Sonance Visual Performance VP66 LCR 6.5in Rectangular Speaker

Sonance Visual Performance VP66R SST/SUR 6.5in Round Single Speaker

Sonance I8, 8in (203.2mm) Cabinet Subwoofer

iPort Launch Case and Wall Station

Sonance Visual Performance VP66R 6in Round Speaker

Sonance 4.1 Patio Series Outdoor Speaker System

SCP Direct Burial Gel Speaker Cable 4C/14AWG 105 Strand Oxygen Free Copper

Dahua 8 Channel NVR with POE and EPOE

Dahua 5MP Wizsense IR Fixed Focal Eyeball Camera POE

Ruckus ICX 7150 24 Port POE Series Switch

Ruckus Unleashed Zoneflex R320 (Wi-Fi 5) 802.11ac Wave 2 Dual-Band Access Point

Draytek G1280 24+4 Port Gigabit Switch

Draytek P2500 44+6 POE+ Gigabit Switch

Draytek Vigor 2927 Dual Ethernet Gigabit Wan Router

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