news - December 2019
RTI Case Study: A Tale of Two Townhouses
RTI and Mattera Design Inc. deliver intuitive control of whole-house audio, video and security systems in UN ambassador's combined Manhattan residence.
Editor’s note: Sometimes we come across extremely large residences, which take a lot of planning in order to sort out the technology and design a system that is intuitive to use and functions without major outages. The following case study from whole-house automation manufacturer, RTI, presents another aspect of the large residence – a residence that adds square footage, where existing technology has to be incorporated with newer technologies. These types of projects are even more difficult to get right.
Description of Project
In 2014, technology design firm and systems integrator Mattera Design Inc. was called on to install whole-house audio, video, and CCTV security systems in a six-floor Manhattan townhouse. The owners — one of whom served as a UN ambassador — hosted a constant stream of guests, making intuitive operation over the high-end technology a primary concern. To meet these needs Mattera Design relied on solutions from RTI. Both the homeowners and their guests were thrilled with the end result.
A few years later, the homeowners’ satisfaction with their RTI system hasn’t changed; what has is the size of their residence. To provide temporary living quarters for officials from the ambassador’s country, they recently purchased a second six-story townhouse located next door and combined it with their original property to create a massive home with over 15 rooms. With the expansion of their property came the need to extend audio, video, security, and automation systems across both townhouses. Once again, Mattera Design got the call.
Security in the extended property is provided by a Luma Surveillance 510 Series NVR and multiple dome IP cameras. The combined townhouses offer 22 audio zones, encompassing eight bedrooms, a great room, reception room, dining hall, home gym, multiple balconies, the rooftop, and backyard. Sources, including three Denon HEOS amplifiers, are distributed by three RTI AD-8x audio distribution systems and played out on Sonance IS4 in-ceiling speakers indoors, and 8-inch Episode® Landscape Series satellite speakers — powered by 2000W Crown® amplifiers — outdoors.
10 local areas — four guest bedrooms, the master bedroom, master dressing room, kitchen, family room, gym, and home office — are equipped with Samsung 4K displays and Sonance SB46L or SB46M soundbars. Each floor is outfitted with an equipment rack to house cable and satellite boxes, Apple TVs, and Denon AVR-X3600H AV receivers, with signals distributed to displays using multiple RTI VXT-LR HDBaseT long-range extender sets. Headend components, including an Araknis Networks router and Gigabit switches, are located in a main equipment rack in the basement.
RTI all the way
“There wasn’t any question about which control solution we would be utilizing in the second townhouse,” said Joseph August Mattera, owner of Mattera Design. “The homeowners have loved the ease of use and practicality of their RTI system and wanted to see it extended over the combined residence. And we knew that the additional square footage wouldn’t be a problem. By pairing a main control processor with slave processors, we can scale an RTI system to virtually any size we need. And with the company’s Integration Designer programming software, we can easily integrate new components and provide a consistent control experience across all interfaces.”
At the heart of the townhouses’ control system lies RTI’s XP-8v control processor, which Mattera Design paired with 10 XP3 slave processors — one in each of the local rooms. The homeowners and guests interact with the system using a variety of interface types. Each local room is equipped with RTI’s T2x handheld remote for control over displays and video sources. In addition, each floor of the residence features a KX7 7-inch in-wall touchpanel that provides control over any audio zone and the ability to view security footage. For master control and on-the-fly changes, an iPad and iPhone running RTI’s RTiPanel app serve as floating devices.
For a low monthly fee, Mattera Design provides the homeowners with remote service and maintenance for their system using RTI’s cloud-based RTiQ remote management solution. With RTiQ, the company can monitor the status of all the home’s devices from anywhere in the world via a dashboard, and receive email and text notifications that alert them if a failure occurs. They can then remotely trigger an action to restore the failed system or component.
“Based on the last few years, the homeowners knew exactly what they could expect from their expanded RTI control system, and they weren’t disappointed,” adds Mattera. “From a user’s perspective, nothing has changed. It’s the exact same level of intuitive control, just on a larger scale, with a consistent GUI across more control devices. There is, however, one difference that has really impressed them, and that’s the remote service and maintenance program we offer using RTiQ. They’re busy people, and they love that we can address simple issues such as locked-up components without bothering them with a service call.”
RTI products used:
1 x XP-8v control processor
10 x XP-3 control processors
3 x AD-8x audio distribution systems
10 x T2x remote controls
6 x KX7 7-inch in-wall touchpanels
Multiple VXT-LR HDBaseT long-range extender sets
About the Manufacturer: