Gutting this A/V rack was just the start of our home-theater overhaul

In video two of our ongoing smart-home overhaul series with Control4, Digital Trends hones in on home theater. What was once a technological marvel just 15 years ago had grown outdated and accumulated a significant amount of dust. Not only did the home theater space and equipment closet need a metaphorical and literal freshening up, but the theater’s projector had to be moved, and a new control system had to be integrated.

If you haven’t yet gotten caught up with the scope and scale of this smart home transformation, be sure to check out video 1 of this series.

Given its reputation for exquisite, audiophile-approved audio gear, it might seem surprising that we ripped a 75-lb McIntosh A/V receiver and high-end CD player out of the system, but the CD player wouldn’t be needed, and the new Audio Control Concert AVR-9 A/V receiver would provide plenty of potent power along with all the latest surround sound processing needed for this project, as well as 4K video support.

The projector not only needed significant modernization, it also had to make a move. To allow for the throw distance required by the projector that was in use (and minimize on the heat and noise it put out), the previous home owner had to install it in an adjacent room — a bedroom, no less. Our installation partner for this project, Technology Design Associates, took control of moving the wires and power outlet, and installed a new projector mount for the quiet and cool Sony 4K projector that was supplied for this installation. As you’ll see, the results are a considerable upgrade on all fronts.

You’ll also see a lot of other old equipment ripped out — a monster CD changer, FM tuner, and a few other components — to make room for a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player and some Apple TV set-top boxes. A newer addition which we just got started implementing is a serious of Roku Ultra 4K media streamers.

The home theater can also source music from a Sonos Bridge installed downstairs in the audio rack. If that sounds a little complicated, that’s because it is. If there were no control system to link all those components together and make switching among them and controlling them easy, the homeowners might never use all this sweet gear. That’s where Control4 stepped in. From keypads to tablets and even Amazon Alexa control, this theater is dialed in for easy use, and instant upgrades in the future.

And we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for next week when we dig into our third installment and see how several new smart home elements come together.

Some components of this installation were provided and installed courtesy of Control4, Sony, Audio Control, and Sunbrite TV.


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