Residential interior design continues to evolve to include technology as both part of the design and part of the experience. In this Design Showcase, we focus on four brands from across the pond that deliver unique solutions that designers need now to deliver a better home entertainment experience to luxury clientele.
Display Technologies, Meridian, TPI, and Light Walls—all based out of the UK and distributed by Apex Technologies in the United States—offer highly specific design-driven high-performance products that answer problems such as hiding the video display in unusual situations, creating an immersive cinematic experience that uses every part of the room (not just the front wall), and delivering speakers that take home audio to another level in both performance and breathtaking design.
Since 1977, Meridian Audio has been crafting innovative, elegant, high-performance audio solutions. From its flagship DSP (Digital Signal Processing) loudspeakers with integrated amplification to its discreet and powerful range of in-wall loudspeakers, Meridian delivers easy-to-install, high-resolution audio systems for home cinemas and whole home music solutions. The renowned Meridian experience is now available in a variety of environments thanks to its collaborative partnerships with industry leaders like Jaguar, Land Rover, LG Consumer Electronics, and British Airways, ultimately transforming the way people experience sound, wherever they may be.
In the project pictured below, Jason Bellanti, COO and technology integrator at HTA Certified Spire Integrated Systems, had worked with the client in the past. “When she came into the showroom with her interior designer, we had the Meridian DSP7200 speakers on display,” says Bellanti. “When the interior designer and the client saw them, she knew she wanted to include them in her room as a functional design element. Then when they listened to them, they were sold.” Spire had the black DSP7200s on display, but the client and interior designer opted for a bold, stark white finish to tie the room together.
"Architects love Meridian speakers because they don't require rack space," says Ryan Donaher of Apex. That's because with the Meridian DSP series, the speakers contain internal amplifiers that deliver all the power needed for robust room sound, eliminating the need for separate amplifiers located in a closet somewhere.
Interior designers also love Meridian DSP speakers because they can match other design elements in the room exactly. In one case, the homeowners wanted to match the Roche Bobois cabinet in their living space to the Meridian speakers. Meridian was able to supply the RAL color to the furniture company so that they could customize the cabinet to match the speakers exactly. In another case, the Meridian DSP speakers were custom-painted to match a cappuccino machine!
"Meridian is about design options and performance, even in compromising positions that are less than ideal. In every case, the DSP technology improves performance," says Donaher.
Display Technologies is a British brand specializing in advanced projector screens, mounting brackets and custom installation solutions. Its focus is on the combination of technical performance and design for install, ensuring that all Display Technologies products meet the needs of the homeowner, architect, designer, and installer.
In the image above, you might ask, where is the projector shining onto the screen? It's stashed—incredibly—in a cabinet behind the seating area thanks to a unique mirror mount from Display Technologies, pictured here.
All directions of Display Technologies' Vertical Mirror Mount are now combined to create the DT-VMMv2. With Universal mounting and orientation, this flexible configuration is able to be used with the vast majority of projects, despite space constraints.
TPI Sound manufactures an exceptional and comprehensive range of professional audio equipment, including loudspeakers, amplifiers, audio processors, and accessories for the studio, high-output, and theater markets.
TPI’s team of world-class engineers, led by Giles Smith, designs and builds professional audio equipment which offers "simply the best performance on the planet." TPI’s products are manufactured in England to precise military specifications and tolerances, giving you outstanding value and lifelong performance. Their roster of professional users—such as Warner Brothers, Atlantic Records, and Sony Music—who rely on their recording studio systems is a testament to the brand.
The TPI Professional Cinema line delivers the opportunity to bring reference-quality cinema playback into the home environment.
TPI has several key technologies that allow their speakers to produce very high SPL (sound pressure levels) with Soft Dome Tweeters, achieving professional power output while maintaining high-fidelity musicality.
There is also a wide range of 4" deep loudspeaker models, all of which achieve the required performance criteria for Dolby Atmos Professional playback. "This is a very big deal as most other professional speakers are designed for commercial spaces, not homes. TPI brings Dolby Professional-compliant product to the residential market, with a 4" deep custom install solution," says Donaher.
If you or your client want a world-class luxury home theater, with professional performance credentials, TPI is an incredible brand worth considering.
Light Walls is the go-to dynamic LED lighting partner and home of innovative immersive and dynamic LED-based lighting for creative residential and commercial applications. With ready-made or custom solutions, Light Walls helps you deliver projects from modest linear LED Dynamic Lighting systems, to immersive video systems, artistic creations, and large-scale commercial installation. Light Walls has a wide portfolio of products matched with design expertise, creative vision, and manufacturing capabilities to enable you to realize unique and exceptional experiences.
From a design perspective, there is no end to how creative a designer, architect, or integrator can get with Light Walls technology. "Light Walls can bring nature in and create a view of the forest. We even have an integrator who outfitted the Omaha Natural Gas Company using Light Walls to create images of faux pipes in the ceiling that look as though gas is running through fake pipes," says Ryan Donaher of Apex Technologies. "The exciting component is LED lighting technology that adds motion and movement into light that has never been done before. Any creative person will jump all over this." From an integration perspective, it's all done with minimal rack space and is amazingly inexpensive compared to direct view video walls.
So whether it's jaw-dropping audio performance, breathtaking sculptural speakers, unique video display solutions for tricky rooms, or new lighting technology, Apex delivers with its portfolio of products.
"One of the things that sets Apex apart is we offer design services. Our partners can call us if they have a project, and we help them specify product working directly with these brands," says Donaher. "We abide by all standards from Dolby, CEDIA, and others to make sure that our technology integrators are delivering exactly what the homeowner wants. We want to know that our products are being installed with an awesome team behind them, and not a guy working out of a van." To that point, almost every one of Apex's dealers are HTA Certified!