Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump Founds Non-Profit to Supply Specially Adapted Custom Smart Homes to War Vets with a Little Back-End Gefen Connectivity
Compassion, professional AV expertise and cutting-edge connectivity coalesced to manifest a completely automated home for a wounded warrior that’s both Veteran friendly and engineered for long-term enjoyment. The Gary Sinise Foundation is providing a huge service to veterans by outfitting automated living spaces for those whom are most severely wounded while serving our country.
One of these specially adapted custom smart homes is located in Georgia and was designed specifically for Iraq War veteran Michael Schlitz. The one-of-a-kind home includes a custom automation system tied to nearly every audio/video device in the house as well as HVAC and other equipment for maximum convenience and ease.
One of the greatest challenges was the in-home entertainment system in the great room, in which a motorized 70-inch flat panel display is integrated with a main media server and three other TVs using a Gefen 1:4 Distribution Amplifier for HDMI.
“The great room installation actually presented us with a big challenge,” said Joel Berrettini, the Wisconsin-based integrator responsible for implementing and overseeing the A/V and automation part of the installation.
“We were using a Gefen distribution amplifier with some other signal extenders, but they didn’t support HDBaseT, provide remote power or offer RS-232 connectivity. We had a big problem when we switched between channels and sometimes just trying to get a picture at all; often we encountered a black screen or snow. The system was jus tdevoid of a picture.”
To combat this situation, Berrettini tried resetting all the interconnected TVs, the media server and the receivers, but nothing solved the issue. When supplied with the Gefen 4K Ultra HD ELR-POL Extender w/RS-232 and 2-way IR, he found the problems vanished.
“Because the Gefen extenders are using HDBaseT, we were able to send power to the receivers and hook up everything to the Elan home automation system through the RS-232 port. This way, anyone can operate the A/Vsystem from an iPad, smartphone, IR remote—whatever is easiest.”
Now the great room is fully integrated with seamless switching. All TVs, including the one in the great room, receive signals from the main media server going through the Gefen distribution amplifier then over one standard, in-conduitCAT-6 cable to the TVs using the Gefen extenders.
“The Gefen equipment just worked flawlessly right out of the gate,” added Berrettini. “We really couldn’t have completed the installation without them.”