- When businessman Craig Duchossois and his wife Janet purchased a condominium on Chicago's exclusive East Lake Shore Drive, they embarked on a major remodeling project that would leave no detail unfinished. With a plush new architectural design, they wanted their home's entertainment systems and technology to both complement the new interior and to enhance their lifestyle. They decided to include in the remodeling project extensive audio and video technology and a whole-home control system from AMX.
"We sat down with representatives from AMX, and they said 'we're going to make it simple for you. We will interface with everything that you need in your home to whatever extent you want.' We said, 'Let's do it. Let's do it right. Let's keep it simple'. And bingo. Now we're there."
One Touch Simplicity
- Mr. Duchossois, CEO of The Duchossois Group, has very high standards. "Janet and I are not techies," he says. "We wanted a home control system to be very simple to operate." AMX Touch Panels control virtually everything in the home: the audio and video plus heating, air conditioning, lighting, shading, security, and even the fireplaces. "Before guests would arrive," Mr. Duchossois says, "I used to run around the house turning on lights, turning on the sound system. Now all I've got to do is push 'party mode' on the panel, pick the music, and we're there."
"There's nothing more comforting than to know that when you walk out the door, all you have to do is push 'all off' and everything is secured."
- Craig and Janet were initially worried that the system would be difficult to use. Mr. Duchossois says that "I'm elated to say that we were very familiar with it within a few days. The system is so simple and so self-explanatory, that our guests have picked it up with no problem."
- AV integrator Advanced Home Theater installed five Modero ViewPoint 8400 Touch Panels in the bedrooms, media room and office; two wall-mounted 12" Moderos in the kitchen hall and master bathroom; and two 7" Moderos in the guest bedroom hall and foyer. Three of these panels control everything in the home, while the others, including a Mio Modero R-2 Remote, operate those AV and comfort functions that apply to a particular room. AMX Vice President of Professional Services Mark Stoldt says "the goal was to provide convenience and simplicity to anyone staying in the home, but not to extend whole house controls to a guest."
- Mr. and Mrs. Duchossois are art collectors, and wanted the AV hidden unless they're using it. TVs and plasma displays disappear into credenzas, one-way glass or behind motorized wall panels. "Our interior designer was very concerned about the look of the panels," says Mr.Duchossois, "until she saw the AMX system. It in no way detracts from the design motif that Janet and I wanted to create."
- The Duchossois family plans to add a MAX digital media server to the system soon, to access, control and distribute their music and movie collection. "The MAX system is just sort of cool," Mr. Duchossois says, "particularly now that we're having grandchildren. The children will be able to control it wonderfully well."
- The biggest benefit, according to Mr. Duchossois, is the simplicity the AMX controls provide. "Coming in, one button. Going out, one button. Security, one button. Sound system...you've got lots of buttons, but it's easy to pick one right from the chute. Really, it's an ease of living issue." Craig and Janet like the system so much that they're adding similar controls to their residences in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Fisher Island, Florida. All three will use the same control interface, so there's no need to relearn the system when moving from house to house. That's simplicity.
"Coming in, one button. Going out, one button. Security, one button. Sound system...you've got lots of buttons, but it's easy to pick one right from the chute. Really, it's an ease of living issue."