The basic solution package provides a dedicated home theater plus two additional rooms of audio with independent volume control in each. To watch a DVD, for example, you touch the DVD button on the remote and all the components necessary power up and set themselves automatically. CD-quality audio can also be extended to other rooms. The high-end New Home Solution, the NHS-3020, puts entertainment at one’s fingertips in a luxurious home theater plus up to 12 additional entertainment zones. You can listen to different sources in different rooms; digital in-wall keypads control the system. A preprogrammed LCD touch-screen remote is used in the home theater. Among the components available are of course a Sony HDTV display, a 400-disc DVD/CD changer, a DVD recorder/VCR combo, and a Sony ES AV receiver. Most of the components come prewired, programmed and built into a special rack, ready to incorporate into the new home by plugging into the standard wiring already installed in the walls. A Sony spokesman observed “This whole-home solution provides custom and semi-custom builders and integrators the ability to separate themselves from the competition, offering home buyers an integrated solution that is ready to use when the move in.” Cost to new home buyers of the high end system completely installed can range from $20,000 to $40,000.
Super-Custom “Smart House” Alternative – The home media center and electronically integrated home are becoming a lifestyle standard for a growing number of people. Many of them turn to CEDIA experts (Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association) for a super-custom home system which can take an 8 to 12-month process to design and build. A typical system costs about $15,000 to design, building and construction costs $35,000 and up, and high end electronics components can reach $50,000 to $1 million for the audio and video equipment. If you’re looking for a complete “Smart House” system where security, lighting, curtains – everything is controlled, the total cost could well run as high as $350,000. Some of the very best HT designs have been featured in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, and The New York Times. An acoustic specialist can be involved, and denser, more expensive drywall can be installed to improve sonics in a home theater. One home owner who did most of the installation on his own, at about 30% of the usual cost, said he probably wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t think most of its value would be recouped – home theater is considered an amenity important to high-end property.