By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Despite the recession or, more accurately, because of it, New Jersey-based A/V integrator Talk of the Town recently remodeled the second of two showrooms in the Garden State.
The upgraded facility, located here, features dedicated theaters, lifestyle rooms and energy-efficient integrated control systems that dramatically demonstrate to homeowners, designers, architects and builders the wide variety of home entertainment and automation options available to them.
According to Robert Dodge, operations director for the CEDIA-certified custom A/V specialist, the grand re-opening this spring couldn't have been timelier given current trends amonghomeowners. As the economy continues to struggle, he explained, more families are taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy entertainment at home as opposed to taking vacations or going out to the movies and other venues.
Indeed, installations of home theaters and dedicated media rooms are on the rise, he said, as families realize that they can save money and spend more quality time together by entertaining at home. “Elegant dinners and lavish vacations are wonderful,” noted Dodge, “but investing in entertainment and automated conveniences you can enjoy every day at home is quickly becoming the wiser choice for many people.”
Talk of the Town's new showroom was designed to show families the wide variety of home entertainment possibilities that are available to them, the company explained. Its three dedicated home-theater spaces feature unique sound systems, distinctive interior design elements and a variety of video sources, including LCD and plasma displays and large-screen front-projection options.
Unlike some A/V showrooms, however, the focus is not entirely on home theater and media rooms. The rest of the house is also represented, with dedicated areas of the showroom featuring a lifestyle/family room, a custom-designed kitchen space, outdoor deck and garden scenes, and even a sports room with a bar, all completely integrated with A/V and control technologies.
“We are particularly proud of what we have accomplished,” Dodge said. “To be able to build seven state-of-the-art product showcases during this difficult time is a testament to our company's strength, the quality of our personnel, and the commitment of our many vendor partners” — which range from Anthem, B&W, Crestron and Elan to Runco, Sony, SpeakerCraft and Sharp.
The showroom isn't only geared to homeowners, however. Talk of the Town believes interior designers, decorators, architects and custom home builders will find the showroom invaluable for learning about the competitive and environmental advantages of incorporating whole-house A/V solutions in their projects.
What's more, the showcased electronics demonstrate more than entertainment features. “We can automate climate, lighting and shade/drape control to minimize unnecessary energy usage, even when you're not home and forgot to turn something on or off before you left,” explained project manager Robert Seaman. “We can automatically have a group of shades close when the hot sun is beating on your house during the summer, or open automatically in the winter to help warm your home.”
The Allendale facility joins Talk of the Town's other New Jersey showroom in Hoboken, which was completely renovated last year.
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