So, How did Lairds come to install a Golf Simulator in Troon? Read on to find out all about it!
Troon is famous for golf. That is to say, golf is very much a part of the identity of this little sea-side town on the west coast of Scotland. It’s fair to say as well, that Troon has a rich heritage in the sport. For example, in 2016, the Royal Troon Golf Course saw the return of the Open Championship; a tournament that saw the world’s best golfers compete, in the sport’s most prestigious competition. A reported £20 million pounds was injected into the region from tourists and businesses over the period of this single event. If golf is a Scottish sport, then Troon is one of its cradles.
However, Troon is also known for rain, harsh sea winds, short days in the winter, and cloudy skies for a significant portion of the year. One or two hardy gentlemen will trundle to the golf course, rain or shine. But for most, it’s just not possible to golf all year round.
Our client is a typical golf-enthusiast, residing to Troon. He’s dissatisfied that he lives a mere walking distance from a golf course, but can’t golf for almost a third of the year. So, the team at Lairds have provided him with the perfect solution!
This project was spearheaded by our technicians, Jack and Calum. This was a great opportunity for the pair to prove themselves in a role of responsibility. Although Chief Mark was always around to help, this was the first time Jack and Calum where given plenty of room to plan and ultimately decide on the tech and materials needed to complete the task.
Therefore, they got to work, enlisting help from IT specialist, Taylor, and started to work out the details. First, Jack and Calum worked out that they would need a large frame to hold the screen of a simulator. To do this, Jack contacted Golf Swing Systems. After discussing the measurements of the space, the appropriate size for the golf sim was determined and the frame was ordered.
Next, the artificial grass carpeting and teeing-off pad was researched and sourced. After testing dozens of testers against one another – and leaving the office littered with patches of grass – Calum and Jack found a perfect texture to match the Green on a golf course. Finally, the teeing-off pad was found via FORB Golf. This pad is a perfect, even surface, made from artificial grass and with helpful built-in golf tees.
The Golf Simulator runs on a program called SkyTrak. A top-notch piece of kit that offers laser precision and accuracy. Thus, the gap between virtual and physical golf is bridged. Lairds selected the following technology to get the best out of the SkyTrak program.
First, Taylor, the IT specialist, sourced a gaming console for the SkyTrak to run on while the Golf Simulator is in use. Now, the SkyTrak can be run fully on an iPad if the client so wished. However, Taylor sourced a PC with many advantages. A custom gaming PC, this comes equipped with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 and Intel Core i5 10400F. This PC will run at peak performance, and the important feature is its robustness and upgradability. The client can use this PC for years, without needing to replace parts to ensure peak performance. This PC also comes with a top-notch graphics card and 4K capability, so the simulation will be as close to physical as possible.
Next, Calum sourced the projector for the job. He compared short throw projectors against traditional projectors and ultimately selected the Epson EB 2250U Projector. This is a projector we’ve used before on other projects, so we knew it would perform. Furthermore, Calum made sure that this projector was able to handle the job and be cost-effective for our client. It checks both of those boxes. In addition, the projector has a 16 x 10 throw ratio meaning that it would fit the screen for the golf simulator appropriately.
Once all the pieces arrived at our office, Jack & Calum used an open event space to assemble the Golf Sim and test each component. This gave Jack and Calum the chance to see exactly what they are dealing with.
The boys raised the frame up, set up the screen, laid down the teeing-off pad and set up the projector. As other businesses from the complex wandered through the area, they all wanted to know what Lairds were up to. And more to the point, they wanted to know if they could have a shot! Maybe if all goes well, we’ll install a Lairds Golf Sim and let everyone in the building use it to relieve stress.
Finally, the boys finished and got a look at the Golf Sim for the first time. The frame is 4.5 meters wide by 2.2 meters tall.
It was a full day of manual labour for Calum and Jack. Mark – not wanting morale to dip – came down and generously offered to be the one to test it out and make sure it worked, while the boys took a breather. And that is leadership. However, the marketing team got some cool footage!
Although, it may seem like Mark’s just having fun, it’s important to test a project like this for a handful of reasons. First, to calibrate everything. The program runs with a precise and intricate tracking process that gives a very accurate reading. It can also mean though that if things are off by just a tiny bit, then the results are effected greatly. Therefore, it’s important to calibrate the sim so that our client gets the maximum use from his program.
Secondly, it’s important to figure out how high and at what distance the projector will run at. Too low or too high, too close or too far away, and the projector doesn’t provide the correct throw ratio. Moreover, as the projector is behind and above the client when he will use the Simulator, it’s important to make sure there won’t be any shadows on the screen, ruining the visual display.
And most importantly, this is a good chance for Jack and Calum to make sure all the components operate as advertised. So with everything checked and prepped it’s finally time to take the Golf Simulator to site!
Moving all the pieces together to the site…. sucked. Especially the grass carpeting which likely weighed half a ton while rolled up. Moreover, transporting poles at 4.5 meters long is no picnic either! In fact, we would not have been able to transport them without a little help from Armour Home Improvements, a friend of Lairds. They donated a van for the day to help us get everything over to the site.
hile Lairds install tech into the home, Armour Home Improvements install everything else. From Windows, doors and more, check out their website here.
A saga within itself, we began to unpack the vans, starting with the dreaded grass carpeting. With a bit of ingenuity, We inserted a pole through the roll and “corn-on-the-cobbed it” (yes, you heard right… corn-on-the-cobbed it) and managed to lift it into the house. Tom from Marketing was even asked to stop taking notes and lend a hand. And he did…. sort of.
Don’t be fooled. These are not smiles but the grimaces of warriors!
Next we brought in the poles. The team had to navigate them through tight lanes and sharp corners to get them to the annex, where the simulator would sit.
It was actually good practice for the Lairds Pole Jumping Team!
Now everything is on site. Jack and Calum get right to work erecting the Golf Simulator in the annex space. Jack and Calum took just a couple of hours to place the grass carpet and build the frame.
Once the frame and grass was installed, the team next installs the projector and the computer and connects them to the SkyTrak. However, the boys ran into a snag when they realised that their measurements for the distance of the projector was a little short. They had intended to have the projector hang from the ceiling. Unfortunately, the projector would need to hang roughly where the back wall stood. Therefore, we brought in Davy, a fantastic joiner and frequent collaborator to help solve this problem. He suggested that instead of hanging the projector, a platform can be built into the back wall for the projector to sit on.
With the Projector successfully mounted, the next step is connecting it to the computer. As this is a space where our client will be swinging a golf club, the computer is tucked away in a cabinet out of harms way.
The SkyTrak console itself comes with a protective steel plate covering (In case of wild swings or severe frustration). But it was best not to risk it with the PC and so the boys placed it away in the cabinet.
However, to ensure that the computer could be turned on and off remotely, and with ease, the team installed the Wyrestorm UltraHD 4K HDBaseT Extender. This extender allows for 4K and ultra HD extensions to HDMI inputs over 15 meters from connected devices. This means that the client could have easy use and a clear space without sacrificing the quality of the PC or Golf Simulator Program.
After some careful calibration, all that was left to do was to get the Golf Simulator up and running. Therefore we fired up the SkyTrak, projector and PC and invited our client to play a couple of rounds!
With the black frame surrounding the screen, it is very easy to become absorbed in the simulation (which means the Golf Simulator is doing its job!) And with the precision laser tracking of the SkyTrak, our client can achieve an accurate reading of his golf game, without the adverse weather! In addition, this Golf Sim Program gives our client the option to download a few golf courses from over the world onto the program to play.
This was a great project, especially for Jack and Calum, as they proved themselves capable technicians. Most importantly, our client’s wish list was fulfilled. He can play golf all year round if he so wishes! He also expressed to us that the Golf Simulator is great fun when his friends come over for a few beers. Therefore, the Golf Simulator provides more than one use and can be a great alternative to charades or Netflix!
Lairds can offer packages on golf simulators and driving simulators that can be built to the size of your choosing. If you think it’s time to work on your golf year round, get in contact with us today!
This case study has a little bit of everything that we can offer residential properties. See, for instance, the glistening Video Distribution to multiple 4K Screens. The ambitious 13 zone Sonos Sound System install. Read all about our work in turning a family home into a Smart Home over a decade and a half.
Fifteen years ago, we completed an installation with one of our clients. They were so pleased with the work we had done. As a thanks, they referred us on to someone else who was looking to upgrade. However, they didn’t refer us the usual way, but instead suggested we simply knock on this prospective client’s door.
“I’m sure he will have some work for you,” the client said, casually. And so, we followed instructions and did just that…
Fast forward fifteen years… after knocking, we have developed a close relationship with this client. This includes multiple installations in the family home of this new client (Well, not so new now!).
At Lairds of Troon, we recognise that a home is an investment, and we recognise just how much can change over fifteen years. We’ve seen this client and his family grow and we’ve been able to come back time and time again. We’ve ensured that their family home, turned into a smart home, offers them the utmost comfort and usability. On every job we go the extra mile and provide the capability to upgrade and expand technological features. This means that their home continually returns on investment.
When this client’s home was still in the early stages of renovation, the team at Lairds installed a massive cabling infrastructure that would accommodate the tech installed at the time, and leave plenty of potential for upgrades, as and when the client should require them.
This is a feature of any installation that we always recommend and even though it adds an extra initial cost, we regularly install secondary and tertiary upgrades that are made easier and cheaper because of this. The cabling infrastructure is what the Audio and Visual Distribution of the home runs on. Those willing to invest in their home, like our client, will reap the benefits for years to come.
The audio system we installed is a 13 Zone Sonos Sound System that spans the entirety of the house and provides high quality audio in almost every room. At the time of the installation, to have so many audio zones in a Sonos installation was practically unheard of and we were not 100% sure of what the outcome would be. However, we went for it anyway and, as a result, we succeeded without having to make any compromises on the sound quality or connectivity, making this a great achievement for the team at Lairds.
Next, we installed the Video Distribution. There are 6x 4K Screens throughout the house, not including the 75-inch 4K Screen in the main entertainment room. Each screen needed to achieve that high quality picture, no matter the varying factors. We installed the HDBaseT 100m Pulse Eight 8×8 Matrix as a central Control point for Video Distribution and through a little bit of tinkering we got three standards of receivers (HDBaseT 70m Receiver, 100m Receiver and 70m with integrated Audio Amplifier) to fulfil all the requirements for the given TV locations, distances, and specific technical settings.
The main Entertainment Room is another instalment that we did. It really is the centerpiece of our work in the house. The TV screen is an impressive 75 inches and has a gorgeous 4K resolution display making it perfect for movie nights, watching sports at the weekend or just relaxing to the latest David Attenborough Documentary.
The audio in the entertainment room is provided by the market leading M&K Sound. We installed the 5.1 M&K Sound System to create an immersive and ambient surround sound that perfectly complements the quality picture of the TV. The speakers run through the Yamaha RX-0485 Receiver, which can perfectly handle the 5-channel enhanced surround sound. The Yamaha receiver has the built in Yamaha MusicCast system for optimum usability and control. This gives the client a multitude of options as it can connect to music streaming services, making it perfect for playing music when the television is not in use. To top it all off, it also has the capability of working via voice-command when paired to Amazon Alexa.
The perfect set-up of the Entertainment room was complete and now runs multiple systems such as Sky TV and a Blu-Ray Player, with capabilities for adding more services and consoles.
After these installations, the client now had excellent tech in almost every room. However, to ensure that our clients get the most out of their tech, there is more to consider than just getting the stuff into the home and connecting it. That’s why we take considerations, such as design, ease of control and as we mentioned, potential for future upgrades, into account.
As part of our considerations of the design of the house we wanted to make sure that the tech we installed was in no way obtrusive to our client and that it looked clean and sharp in their home. The cabling infrastructure that we installed goes a long way to achieving the desired discretion. The AV Rack is the brain of the network, contained in a remote part of the house. The cabling then leads from this Rack through the walls to all the systems, creating an invisible nervous system in the home.
Lastly, we made sure to provide our client with an elegant solution to bulky plugs and multiple wires of the equipment by using Sync Box modules. These are implanted into the wall and keep the wires neat. They reduce the distance from the wall to the protruding edge of the plug down to 10mm, so that the TV Screens are flush and clean, right up on the wall.
To tie it all together we installed the Elan G1 Automation Control Point to provide the ultimate ease of use over all the tech in the house. The Elan G1 is an elegant automation system. It offers integration of the Audio Visual technology, but also lighting, heating, and security. With the Nest Thermostat from Google, our client has control over their underfloor heating. They can use the Elan G1 Control to set timers and temperatures throughout the day. Therefore, becoming fully cost effective and comfortable in their own home.
We installed CCTV cameras to the front and the rear of the property. We used cameras from PTZ with capabilities of night vision, motion detection and a 90° tilt and rotation. Meanwhile, this connects to the network and can be monitored and configured using the Elan Control Point.
Elan boasts the ground-breaking on-screen display user interface for ease of use, or an intuitive, all-in-one remote control. As a result, this feature perfectly ties the house together and creates a synergy between the different network features in the house.
Lairds installed Ruckus Unleashed WiFi for prime connectivity. Ruckus Unleashed provides the home with superfast upload and download speeds that blow ordinary consumer WiFi providers out of the water.
Our most recent work on the client’s home came when they added an extension to their home that included three extra bedrooms and a garage. For this we extended the cabling as well as a fibre-optic backbone from the attic to the ground. Having that professional relationship with the client for so long, allows them to get the best work from us. They knew to bring us in right at the design stage for the extension. We were able to plan every move in harmony with the other tradesmen and set up our extra CAT6 cabling in a way that granted our client optimum use from their network. By adding the optical fibre Backbone we future-proofed the client’s home as they have the extra option to upgrade using fiber optics, which is soon to be the best accessible way to transmit data along a network.
This is an example of how things can change and evolve over fifteen years. The team at Lairds of Troon can offer repeat satisfaction to our clients, via excellent technical expertise and client relations.
One of the ways we can be sure that we are doing good work is by customer referral. We take great pride when a customer has enjoyed our service. So much so, they have staked their own reputation by recommending us to someone else. And so, this case study is a testament to how we are motivated to do right by our customers, new and familiar, by building and maintaining professional relationships with our clients because we recognise just how beneficial it can be for all of those involved.
Check out our other projects in home automation!
Check out our other recent Case Studies here and here!
This project began when our client got in touch with us to request that we come and have a look at an area of his home that he felt was being under-utilized. In his small kitchen/diner space, our client wanted to install a state-of-the-art VR Gaming System and Entertainment Zone. As a company that deals in Audio Visual and Home Automation, we felt confident in our ability to install the tech for our client. What excited us was that the area was small and square and gave us a blank canvas to work with. We wanted to flex our design abilities and give our client a space that was multi-functional and intuitive, but also a space that looked cutting-edge.
We encountered early on, an issue with building the Television into the wall as the wall was external and made from hard brick. To build it into a wall like that would be tricky and potentially costly. However, if we could build it into the wall then we would be able to provide a flush finish that would help create the modern design we wanted to achieve.
So, we enlisted the help of our talented Joiner, affectionately known as Davy. Davy is a seasoned veteran of his craft and he erected a false wall, which we then built the
The false wall, which was initially a solution to a problem, grew into a feature of the room that had lots of potential and increased our scope of design. Not only could a television be built into it, allowing for the desired flush finish, but the false wall also provides storage and shelves below the television and provides room for tucking behind the wiring of the multiple devices.
After the installation of the television, we worked with a range of products from HideIt Mount Inc. We used mounts specifically designed for each console, namely our client’s Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, to mount the client’s various consoles and controllers onto the wall. Our false wall stood like a column and didn’t reach either end of the room. We mounted the either side of the false wall, onto the original wall, and their wiring leads in behind the false wall. This meant that almost no wiring was visible, and the mounts themselves are discreet and use minimal material, giving the display an organised and clean look. The only mount that wasn’t provided by HideIt Mounts, were the mounts for the VR controllers. This was a blessing disguise because it meant that the team at Lairds got to custom make them with a 3-D printer!
The real centrepiece of the VR Gaming and Entertainment Space is the VR console itself. VR is the most immersive entertainment available and it’s still a technology that captures our imagination as a tool of the future. We wanted to ensure that our client was able to experience this to the maximum effect, and an important thing to consider was making the space safe for VR use. Our Client’s VR set wasn’t wireless, however, and this was an issue for us. In fact, at the the time, no VR on the market was wireless yet. As we had set out to make the wiring as hidden and discreet as possible, this issue gave us something to think about.
Our solution was to install a metal arm to the top right corner of the false wall on a hinge which could swing out and hold the wires of the VR set up in the air. This feature meant that the area was secure for our client to have as much fun as he wanted without any trip hazards. And the arm folds back and the wires retract neatly in behind the false wall and out of sight when the VR set is put away. As far as the appearance of the space was concerned, our elegant metal arm extends and retracts and folds neatly. Its thin, retractable design is discreet and keeps in line with our sleek and modern display.
Overall, the appearance of the VR Gaming and entertainment space is sleek, futuristic, and cutting edge. The perfect place for an enthusiastic gamer. The false wall has a muted blue painted finish and one final touch was the LED RGB Light strips running down either side of the false wall. These lights not only give off the desired futuristic vibe that gamers prefer, but the lights installed are energy saving and environmentally friendly.
The display was looking 100%. The last thing we made sure of, was that our client had a multi-functional and intuitive space that allowed for ease of control. We installed a SkyQ Box behind the false wall that lets our client switch from gaming to entertainment depending on his plans and his company, and each device is connected and can be controlled via Amazon Alexa, meaning our client can use voice control to use any of his systems, and even adjust the volume or even the brightness and colour of the LED RGB Strips on the false wall.
The team at Lairds had a great time putting together this VR Gaming System & Entertainment Space for our client and enjoyed the opportunity to problem solve and get creative with the design. If this is something that interests you, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with the team!
For obvious reasons this is one of our favourite projects.
Not only working with amazingly talented people but we are into our gadgets… Need more be said?
When your absolutely crazy about Formula 1 what do you do?
When your a hard working 16 hour a day businessman what do you do?
Fuel your passion! Rev it up a bit, and power in!
Our clients playground, den, entertainment spot, chillout area, and memory palace has been meticulously designed by one of the most talented people you’ll ever find.
This project was built inside a barn that had been an integral part of our clients business for a number of years so the memories were ingrained. With friends who are the best tradesmen in their field they set to work to create this masterpiece. Each and every detail is a memory. The images on the wall, the cleverly converted kitchen units, to even the paint on the floor. The cars in the garage.
Our task was to bring it together with innovative ways to use the technology at our disposal. the car simulator was always on the cards but the extras just brought it slap bang up to date and helped put the icing on the cake so to speak.
The first floor of this amazing place the car simulator and space AV needed to have top quality sound. With the room audio it would have been a disappointment to have horrible echoes and slaps with the construction of the room. We got our heads together and designed a more intimate solution. Studying the size of the room and acoustic specifications of a number of speaker solutions we settled on the Sonance 4.5 Inch speakers evenly spread throughout the room powered by a Sonance amp.
It is the age old conundrum. When your working with commercial clients, the amount of speakers required becomes a more in depth conversation. If you can imagine a room with twenty people sitting, eating, talking. With 4 speakers, the volume would have to be higher for the music to be audible. Normally by that time, the twenty people wont be able to hold a conversation because to each of them their voices may be drowned out. Adding to the quantity of the speakers will allow for that volume level to be lower and the coverage to be greater in the room. This results in a comfortable background music level and the ability for the company to converse freely.
With the even, comfortable coverage in the room, we decided to add some magic to the mix. Our client had searched high and low for a good old Wurlitzer music box. With a room full of speakers we thought it would be a shame not to take advantage. So with a bit of jiggery pokery and a couple of Sonos units we included the Wurlitzer not only as a source but a separate zone for the room for those more intimate retro moments. Just picture the Fonz and you’ll know what I mean…
Multi Zone and Car Sim Audio taken care of, now onto our focus point. The custom built, Formula 1 Simulator. Running the industry’s go to racing simulator, iracing
There are a lot of companies out there putting massive price tags on simulators. We aimed to bring the absolute best specification to our client pushing the budget to its limits. Sometimes customer satisfaction is more important than profit. How did we make this car simulator and space AV shine?
We started with the latest and best components and built the core system from scratch. The latest GeForce RTX 2080Ti and an Intel Core i9 10900k Overclocked to the MAX!! Solid State Drives and a nice 128Gig of memory thrown in for good measure. Liquid cooled, Air filtered, all built into the freshly built simulator platform.
We added a rumble seat, surround sound system and the stunning Fanatec Racing wheel system. There is plenty of room for upgrade too, the F1 Reclining seat and chassis is perfectly capable of being mounted to the DBox Motion frame with minimal disruption. We have the multi screen setup and using an UltraHD video Matrix system we have a fourth screen available for the ‘crowds’ to view the action whilst having a chilled beer or two. There is also the ability to add more screens or projectors to the system as and when required and with the zoned sonance speakers, the engine sounds are stunning!
All of the above is controlled by a simple, intuitive, button…
All of this amazing Car Simulator Technology is the platform for IRacing, The worlds number one online racing platform. Developed as a centralised racing and competition service, iRacing organises, hosts and officiates online racing on virtual tracks all around the world. And with their technology, on this platform, it looks absolutely Sublime!!
Our client also has the comfort of knowing that we are there if needed for upgrades, remote support using secure access systems and a wee bit of calibration now and again when needed.
These kinds of projects are the core of our business, taking technology and fulfilling our clients dreams.
Stately home smart technology retrofit in one of Ayrshire most prominent and historic stately home estates had been converted into a number of stunning apartments.
Situated approximately 25 miles southwest of Glasgow in west central Scotland, Coodham is roughly equidistant between the three main towns centres in Ayrshire: Kilmarnock, Irvine and Ayr. Just off the A77 trunk road, Coodham is only 45 minutes from Glasgow city centre.
Although the estate and stately home is exquisitely attractive, the development of the estate and its properties has had a bit of a chequered past. For instance, these apartments had been badly cabled. Moreover, it seemed that any cabling had been an afterthought. Low quality coax and Cat5 thrown in. Similarly, no plans or schematics for routes, terminations or connections were available. Although lighting control had been installed it wasn’t operational and no documentation could be found. This particular flat was fully finished and decorated and the new owner was looking for a near invisible but high performance system that would endure and entertain.
The challenge was evident. The challenge was accepted.
Our requirement here was to implement a suitable system and install the required infrastructure to bring them up to the standard expected from this level of property. Moreover, without impacting on the existing finishes of the property.
From the outset this was the challenge to beat all challenges. To clarify, the floors were solid oak wood, the skirting and doors all matched.
The main focus of the retrofit project would be the surround sound system and big screen in the lounge. Followed by a centrally managed wireless network. Secondly, a centralised lighting control. Thirdly, video distribution throughout the property and lastly, multi-room audio. Finally, it’s controlled centrally from an app or panel based system.
The Pièce de résistance would be the curved walls of the room and the fact that the owner demanded the most minimal of audio system visibility but the maximum in performance!
How complicated can a technology upgrade be? Upon substantial investigation in this stately home smart technology retrofit we made use of the buildings voids. Luckily for us, the rooms were effectively framed rooms within rooms. Certainly not an easy process but we managed it nonetheless.
We couldn’t determine any routes or terminations for existing wiring and therefore condemned it and ripped it out. We had to plan a new route for the external connections to the property and centralise any connections. Wifi was a big contribution to this project. Due to the construction using a lot of steel framing, Ruckus was the go to choice to obtain the required coverage.
Curved walls with embedded invisible speakers of this size was certainly an experience. Once we opened the walls to determine the void behind we built frames to hold the acoustic back-boxes and with millimetre perfect precision fitted the speakers. Actually convincing the plasterer that he could plaster over the speakers was an interesting conversation!
Speakers installed, fully calibrated and plastered and the room painted.
Then came the TV. We installed A 75″ Samsung Smart TV. And looked fantastic. A truly modern experience. But something was missing…
In keeping with the architecture and design of the property we suggested a custom built frame. Complete with a professionally taken photograph of the property printed on canvas and automated to cover the screen when the power is off. The result?
State of the art ‘invisible’ speakers by Stealth Acoustics,
Amplification by Sonance and Yamaha,
UltraHD video distribution from Pulse Eight,
Multi zone audio and speaker system from Sonance.
75″ Screen from Samsung.
Wireless connectivity was achieved using Ruckus Unleashed.
The fully bespoke custom built picture frame for the TV. We took moulds from the frames of the clients extensive art collection and recreated them for this project. Automation and motor by Somfy. Image by one of Ayrshire’s most exclusive art photographers at Imagini.
The entire property and its lighting was automated using RTI, XP6 complete with TX2 Remote Control and KX2 Touch panels.
This case study follows the work we did on a small scale project that really demonstrates the many details that need to be considered for every job. This projector installation came with a Projector and Projection Screen with a surround sound speaker set-up. This created an immersive and high quality audio visual display that would be the staple source of entertainment for our client. However, this installation took place in a home that was fully plastered and painted. So, to avoid disruption we had to think outside of the box on a few occasions to deliver.
This client came to us looking for an installation of a projector and screen set-up in their living room. They felt like small screens were the technology of yesteryear, and at Lairds AV, we have a certain affinity for that type of thinking! What’s more is that this client, along with their family where avid sports fans and with this new setup they wanted to make their sports viewing into a proper event.
The Projector we installed was the Epson EB-L735U. In a slick black, this projector offers native 4K resolution for the most stunning and immersive display. It has a compact design which is perfect for installing in smaller spaces like home cinemas and living rooms.
The position of the projector is so important and we had to get this part spot on. That may seem obvious, but this isn’t just a case of pulling out the trusty tape measure and marking a cross on the ceiling. Instead, we had to make precise calculations based on the room size, the projector type, and the screen to determine exactly where the optimum position for the projector was. Once these calculations are made, you can guarantee an installation that will completely optimise our client’s viewing pleasure.
The installation however, required some extra work as the ceilings and walls had already been plastered and painted. We run lengths of cable through walls and ceilings to connect all the kit together, and this avoids ugly wires lying around, and guarantees speedy connectivity. Normally we get in before the tradesmen, when the house is still a skeleton and this allows us to have a little freedom and ease when cabling.
This doesn’t always happen though, so we are prepared to do some extra work to ensure minimum disruption. In the case of a finished room, cutting through the walls and ceiling can lead to extra costs. What we did for our client then, was go through the rooms above. We flipped up the floorboards and ran the cabling this way. This limits the amount of holes we have to cut and more importantly avoids disruption to the interior design of the room for our client.
We installed a gorgeous Non-Tensioned Screen to offer a comprehensive display. This screen was Big and provided a clear and rich display that especially makes the colours on the screen jump out to the viewer, making this setup perfect for sports viewing.
The projection screen was to be installed against an external wall and so the mount proved to be tricky.
“Sometimes, in this industry, we can setup and configure all the kit in the world, but it’s the straightforward brackets, and other simple tasks that end up causing you the most bother.” Our installer Mark said, chuckling.
Although the top of the projector sits a few inches just below the ceiling, it is actually held by two discreet holdings that connects the the wires to the cabling we installed. This meant the projector was in the perfect position for viewing pleasure and the design was still elegant and neat. The next part of the projector installation is the audio.
No projector installation would be complete without a top-notch sound system. We relied once again upon the Sonance Visual Performance speakers to help us create a perfect surround sound that really creates the immersive experience that the client was after.
We also installed a a Sonance subwoofer to really pack a punch. This set up makes you feel like you’re in the stands at Wimbledon or Wembley, or at the heart of any blockbuster too.
The speakers were all received by the Yamaha Amplifier & Receiver. This has built in Yamaha MusicCast systems to make it extremely user friendly and also totally compatible with multiple streaming services and devices. The Amp has HDMI inputs and 4K and Dolby Atmos capabilities to enable it to perform to suit the client.
With the surround sound, the Sonance speakers were set up in a 5.1 configuration which meant that the front speaker configuration was LCR (Left Center Right) with a left and right speaker at the rear. Only, there was one issue when setting this up. A support beam ran right through the center of the ceiling. This meant that our front center speaker would not be equidistant from the left and right speakers.
Fortunately, there was a way around this. Settling for a speaker that was off-center would ruin the aesthetic of the set up. So, we installed two speakers either side of the beam and configured them as one. This kept the set up nice and symmetrical and let us deliver the surround sound as we wanted it.
Some electrical work went into this job to provide a set up that was easy to use. It allowed the client to turn everything on with just the push of one button. We installed a 12-Volt trigger into the projection screen that allowed our client to turn on her projector and activate the screen by turning it on and lowering it to the desired height for instant viewing.
By the end we had the perfect set up for enjoying sports or movies right in our client’s living room. They’d be able to count the blades of grass on the crystal clear display. They’d feel like they were in the stands with the excellent surround sound. And yet they had all the benefits of being in their own comfy living room. The design looks simple and elegant thanks to our work behind the scenes (i.e. the cabling in the ceiling and walls). This Projector installation is looking its very best.
Read about our other home installations here
Read about the brands we work with to provide that excellent surround sound
You can find out more about home cinema installations here
In this new build Control4 home some jobs are more challenging than others and the most challenging are the ones where you have to fault find a system installed by another business.
This Control4 system was installed in a demo home for a builder who since went out of business. We then got a call from a prospective client who purchased a home in a lovely new estate in Mauchline. Their home was the demo house for the development and from initial perspective the video, automation and audio system was ‘all singing all dancing’. But things took a turn for the worse with the economic climate. This client’s system effectively failed after a period of time with no support as the installing companies had ceased to exist.
On initial inspection we realised that as it was a demo system. This meant there was no consideration for future development of the system or upgrades. Our challenge was to reinstate the working system and configure it to allow for software updates, and possible future upgrades.
Initially when working with a legacy or pre-installed system the bulk of the job entails figuring out what has been installed, where the cables go and obviously the fault finding. In this case nothing was operational, so the odds of everything failing simultaneously are very low. Therefore, we believed it was initially a power issue. This proved correct. It turned out that the network had been ‘ripped apart!’ when the power connection for the hot tub had been installed. This had also had caused the Control4 ‘brain’ to fail.
It was relatively pain free to bring the system back from the brink once the wiring infrastructure and system core had been replaced. Moreover, the media hub was upgraded for the clients. We used the Zappiti media server for this and had it operational in a relatively short time. Using Pulse Eights Neo Pro, we had the Zappiti working throughout the house QuickTime.
The last thing to do was to create the software to operate the TV through the Control4. We contacted the manufacturer to obtain the IR codes as this was not the original TV for the system, no mean feat!
All in all quite a lengthy job due to the investigative process involved. Once we had the system up and running it’s an option for the client to upgrade at any time in the future. They also have access to the online facilities that come along with the Control4 system.
Extending and already spectacular family home located on the west coast of Scotland, our clients asked Lairds for Easy to use Audio Visual and Home Cinema throughout the home and garden. Functionality, control and the requirement to add to the system at a later date was high on the homeowners priorities.
A Quality system easily controlled. In other words, the homeowner already benefited from having a Sonos system installed and with Control 4, but they wanted the ability to add to these systems using compatible products that would increase the functionality. Meanwhile they wanted to add more audio zones and distributed Audio Visual tech and a Home Cinema.
Secondly, hidden technology – Having a young family the owners primary concern was the access to devices and systems stored on the network and safety element for the children. Therefore, working with the homeowner and designer we were able to accommodate all of the devices and systems stored on the network in a specially designed AV CAB discreetly housed within one of the kitchen cupboards safely out of reach of little hands. They are also big advocates of the outdoor lifestyle and were looking forward to using their newly refurbished garden space for the kids and entertain their friends and family.
Fantastic extension project, from the ground up this stunning extension was planned with the family space in mind. For instance, the kitchen space was extended to allow entertaining, cooking and relaxing. Moreover, kid friendly, and safe. Meanwhile, open plan space where the parents can keep an eye on the little ones.
In addition, A 7.1 surround sound system with an underfloor subwoofer as well as video distribution to the rest of the property. Lastly, a multi-zone audio including their fantastic outdoor space all brought together by Control4.
Equipment Location –The homeowners brief was to locate the AV CAB in a central location within the home. There was minimal space available to accommodate the AV CAB, to overcome this issue Lairds of Troon sourced a suitable AV CAB that was of a compact design but could still accommodate the various devices and cabling and could be stored safely within a kitchen cupboard.
Underfloor Sub – With any project technical issues may occur, having a rather large sub located under the floor was a particular challenge, consideration had to be given to future maintenance or upgrade should this be required without damaging the specialised flooring that was being overlaid. Above all, Lairds of Troon worked seamlessly with the builders and the homeowner to allow for an access point without compromising any aspect of the flooring.
£13.000 to £15,000
Having a young family that had a love of home entertainment systems and enjoyed the cinema experience, the client invested in a dedicated space within the garden area of his home that he could build a dedicated home theater and multi-purpose entertainment area. So, the planning of his garden retreat home cinema began!
The client had distributed services within his own home which he intended to extend to the new build within the garden area therefore he required a video distribution solution and a quality home cinema system within his budget.
The client had contacted us only 2 weeks prior to his garden retreat build being underway. As a result, the builders did not know when we would need access or the stages in which we would have to be involved with cabling or other parts of the infrastructure. Therefore imperative that the site visit had to be arranged within a very short timeframe.
The client had a limited budget to include all of the requirements of the system such as distributed audio/video and full home theater equipment, Lairds worked with our suppliers to find the best solution and packages available to allow the client to have the system they wanted and the ability to expand at a later date.
Video Distribution system
Audio Distribution system
Whole home wifi network
£9,000 to £11,000
5.1 Speaker craft surround sound system
Mid-Range Yamaha Amp
Neo 4×4 video matrix
2 x 15 unit Av Racks
Specialized sync boxes
This project is a retro fit whole home wiring project.
Our brief was to establish a solid, reliable, wired infrastructure in this property that will enable the simple integration of technology for the family’s time in the home as well as add value to the property for future sale. This modern property is located on the south end of Ayr in Ayrshire in an estate where there could be a number of homes on sale at any one time. Making the property stand out from the crowd can only help with the family’s investment. We would also provide a number of independent top quality audio and entertainment zones inside and out.
With this project the clients were living in the property whilst building works were progressing.
From initial consultancy and design for the 5 bedroom new build smarthome, we aimed to flood wire this fantastic property with industry top quality cable as well as setup a number of Samsung Smart Tv’s fed by a state of the art 4k video matrix including control for input devices including three sky boxes and a media server.
Each of the screen locations would have their own individual audio zones, as well as individual room control. Blinds, heating, and lighting would also be controlled via the automation system.
Initially, our challenge was to find a route from the loft to the AV Cab without damaging the property. Consequently, our investigation proved the drop route from the loft space to the ground floor and with due care and attention taken to minimise disruption the works proceeded.
Our skilled joiner ingeniously built the AV Cab into an area that was effectively dead space, moved the radiator and boxed the cab into place, still providing access to cabling for setup.
So, we determined the AV Cab location. There was a small radiator in an alcove to the left of the main entrance to the property. This meant, the drop route and the space was ideal to house the AV Cab. Additionally, the radiator was relocated, and a platform was created to allow the cab to be situated in the previously wasted space. This setup allowed the client peace-of-mind from tampering fingers of 3 small children.
The TV’s were all Samsung Smart TV’s of various sizes sourced for the client, all have warranties supplied and even a waterproof TV screen at the hot tub!.. A variety of brackets were used, from flat mount with tilt to full cantilever systems.
Video distribution was supplied using Wyrestorm’s fantastic HD Base T system. Very reliable and a quick install.
For HD video provision we have developed our own media center. This device provides all formats of video, audio and images to all zones in the property. In other words, a very robust, and reliable system.
Multiple Surround sound locations were created using the superb speakers from Sonance. Additionally, they are powered by the latest Yamaha AV receivers. This results in complimenting the video zones and Sonance outdoor series audio systems.
The core of the system however is the network hardware. Without a reliable and secure network the system can never be anything more than basic. As Network security is a major focus of our business, in this case we advised against off the shelf hardware and upon agreement we installed a managed network.
This comprised of the latest smart switches, Network Intrusion Detection, remote network monitoring and secure VPN and firewall hardware. As a result, this robust network was fully integrated into the physical security aspect of the home. IP Cameras, Alarm System and door access were all installed and available through the control system.
Therefore, our client can rest easy knowing his family is safe from nefarious hackers any other local threat.
With simplicity being the key the chosen control system in this case was Control4. One of the industry’s most well-known automation systems. Control4 brings that simplicity to the client as well as robustness and the ability for the installer to upgrade and maintain the system and provide remote assistance if required.