When a high-profile athlete needs a whole-home distributed AV and control system, MSD scores a touchdown.

May 31, 2017

Tackling a multi-room installation project that includes a whole home control system, distributed audio and video throughout, and a dedicated home theater with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound is never easy, as home technology professionals know. Some of the key challenges that come standard with nearly every large project:

  • Forgetting to include certain accessories (such as wiring and cables) in the initial bid, reducing profitability
  • Underestimating labor involved, which increases project timelines and reduces profitability
  • Leaving small but important parts back at the warehouse due to incomplete pick lists, leading to added mileage, wasted time, and (once again!) reduced profits

Of course, each of these errors also comes with the added cost of potentially upsetting the customer by delaying the project and presenting your firm as less than professional.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Get all the details right, and the customer will invite you back. That’s exactly what happened to Millennium Systems Design when the Orlando, FL-based custom integrator was called to install an extensive Elan g! Control system in the Winter Garden, Florida, home of a high-profile athlete.

Streamlined Business Process Equals Repeat Customers

“The client used Millennium Systems Design at their last home,” says Mauricio Barrientos, Director of Operations for Millennium Systems Design. “Due to the success of that project, it was an easy decision for the client to call us again and request us as their AV company for this new construction project.”

“The success of the first project was based on our systems and processes that we developed using D-Tools,” adds MSD Owner Mike Barry. In all, Barry estimates MSD has saved 5 to 10 percent in project costs over the years thanks to the efficiencies added by D-Tools. “When your average project is between $100,000 and $150,000, a five to 10 percent increase on profit is tremendous,” he says.

Most importantly, customers are happy. “We are a 90-percent referral based company, and D-Tools System Integrator has a lot to do with that,” says Barry. “Whether it’s a quote, a pick-list, a design, or project management, D-Tools is the backbone of everything we do here at Millennium Systems Design.”

In the past, MSD used Excel spreadsheets to help create bids and generate pick lists. “We’d sometimes have missing product when we designed a system, or we wouldn’t capture labor properly, increasing our internal costs for the project and reducing profitability,” says Barry. “We needed to be more efficient as a company.”

MSD encountered the D-Tools SI platform at CEDIA ten years ago and thought it could help solve these challenges. Today, Barry and his team, including Barrientos, General Manager Kale Scheitler, and Lead Technician don’t bat an eye when tasked with designing a large, multi-zone, whole-home system for even the highest profile clientele.

D-Tools Data Library Offers Simple-to-Use, State-of-the-Art Tech for Project

Essential to the successful project is the management of product data. D-Tools Data Library provided MSD with access to a comprehensive library of manufacturers’ products including those needed for the customer’s whole-home AV, control, and lighting needs. The family needed a whole-home control system and a sophisticated intercom so that the parents and five children could easily communicate within the sprawling 10,000-square-foot, single-story house located in Winter Garden, Florida. The husband, additionally, wanted a state-of-the-art system leveraging the latest smart home technology to control audio, video and lighting throughout, while the wife required something simple to use.

Millennium Systems Designs met these diverse needs with an Elan g! system using a combination of in-wall touch panels, handheld remote controls, keypads, and a mobile app to control 32 audio and 16 video zones throughout the home, in addition to smart lighting, surveillance cameras, the swimming pool technology systems, irrigation control, and a smart door bell and intercom at the home’s front entrance that enables the family to communicate with visitors at the door and with each other through touch panels installed throughout the home. The system also controls all the technology in the family’s dedicated home theater. 

The home theater, a casual space with a family room feel, features KEF in-wall, three-way LCR speakers behind a 123” acoustically transparent Stewart Filmscreen Luxus Deluxe projection screen, powered by a Digital Projection LED projector. The set-up enables the family to watch movies together in 3D, play video games, and even research homework projects using the Internet on the larger-than-life screen.

The 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos system is comprised of 7 KEF in-wall and 4 KEF in-ceiling THX-certified surround speakers, plus 3 KEF in-wall THX certified subs. The audio and video in the theater is all processed by a Yamaha AVentage AV receiver and controlled through an Elan HR2 handheld remote or via the homeowners’ smartphones or tablets through the Elan mobile app.
While the home theater is certainly a marquee project on its own, the rest of the house also provides an exceptional entertainment experience for the family, with distributed stereo audio supplied by 50 Origin Acoustics in-ceiling speakers in the foyer, office, library, bar, salon, wine/cigar room, dining room, kitchen, living room, and all outdoor living areas, plus surround sound configurations in the largest spaces, such as the kids’ lounge and the grand hall. Each room represents its own audio zone, with a 5-stream digital media player as the source, eight sources reserved for video distribution, and an additional three available for expansion.

Currently, five out of 16 video zones are in use, receiving feeds from 7 different sources, including five BrightHouse Cable / satellite receivers, a Sony Blu-Ray player, and a client-supplied AppleTV/Roku box.

Project Design and Management Made Easy

Managing such a vast multi-room project is normally one of the most difficult aspects of residential systems integration. Home technology professionals stand to lose thousands of dollars by underestimating labor. “D-Tools helped us tremendously with time management,” says Barry. “By knowing the amount of time we budgeted per device, we were able to schedule a profitable project.”

Additionally, he says, overall organization is improved using D-Tools. “The installation reports helped us manage our time, projects, and schedule, and gave us the flexibility to separate products by room and then assign different technicians to different rooms to keep things running smoothly.”

D-Tools has also made the design process simpler and more accurate. “We can attach accessories to each item as needed. For example, when we added the Sony Blu-Ray to the project, the HDMI cable was automatically attached. We’re no longer letting things like that slip through, which could add up and create a less profitable project,” says Barrientos.

In the case of multi-room installations such as this Winter Garden home, MSD uses packages to simplify the design and bid process. “We just create a television package that includes the screen, mount, surge protection, HDMI cable and labor. Then we insert that into the proposal wherever it’s needed, saving us time and eliminating redundancies,” he says.

Once all the products are specified, they automatically go into pick lists. “With the pick lists we can order by phase and have an accurate account of what we need,” adds Barry. This ensures nothing is left back at the warehouse—and, just as important on a project this size—that each piece of equipment is in the right room when it’s needed.

Designing and Documenting Robust Networking Systems

Of course, a project with this many IP-controlled devices needs an enterprise grade network, which MSD was also able to design in D-Tools. With a full gigabit hardwired network as well as 5 indoor wireless access points and one outdoor access point for comprehensive network coverage, the system easily services the control system, media systems, and the family’s personal devices.

The network and wiring systems also enable audio video equipment to remain hidden and easily serviceable in a technology closet without reducing signal quality. To accomplish the task, MSD relied on their own field technicians as well as wiring subcontractors, a process made easier by D-Tools’ capabilities. “The AutoCAD integration helped our technicians and wiring subcontractor see a more details view of the project and be able to makes changes on the fly as necessary,” says Barrientos. When you make a change in one area of D-Tools, the changes are reflected on all reports, minimizing data entry, reducing the chance of mistakes, and eliminating redundant work.

Improved Design Processes, Scheduling, Documentation, and Time Management

“D-Tools has improved our design processes, our scheduling, our time management, and our ordering processes,” says Barry. “We use D-Tools for all our projects now because we think it is the best tool for proposals, documentation, and system design.”

As a result of the care, attention-to-detail, and state-of-the-art technology systems, which all began with a proposal drawn up in D-Tools, the family has plenty of room to play and grow. “The clients now have an easy to use, elegant, trouble-free system that allows them to entertain friends and family and manage their daily life,” concludes Barrientos.

D-Tools’ data-driven estimation, design, and proposal capabilities helped MSD manage the project from  start to finish, improving the company’s overall efficiencies, streamlining business processes, and resulting in a very satisfied client.

For additional information on D-Tools award-winning software for system integrators and a free 30 day trial, visit www.d-tools.com.

2 Unbelievable Rooms: 1 Small Space

The Challenge: 

Our client, an avid golfer, wanted to convert a standard exercise room into a quality multipurpose cinema room that doubled as a professional golfing simulation system. However, neither him, nor his wife, liked the look of the typical golf simulator. His vision was a room that could be used for both purposes but did not look industrial. He asked that his picture and sound be exceptional, yet unseen when not in use and he expected the acoustics in his room to be superior to any other theater he had been in. 

One design challenge of this room, keeping in mind that sound quality was very important, was the wall to wall window along the back of the room. Our client wanted to keep the window and incorporate it into the overall design. There were also two doorways in the room that the client did not want to see but he did want them to remain functional.

When we started discussing the requirements for when the room was being used as a golf simulator he informed us that he did not want any shadows on the screen and he wanted to make sure there was adequate protection for everything in the room from the golf balls that would be bouncing around. The client wanted the room to look like a pure theater when the golf simulator was not in use. Due to the small size of this room we definitely had to get creative when designing solutions for this client. 

The Solution:

Designing this theater took a lot of calculations, trials and creativity. The small size of the room became an issue when trying to find space for the golf simulation equipment. In order to make this room functional as both a theater and a professional quality golf simulator we came up with a few different solutions that worked together to give us a phenomenal end result. We were able to accomplish this by installing a permanent golf screen 1 foot away from the wall so when our client hit the ball there was enough movement to allow the ball to drop to the floor. We used the SIM2 short throw projector and mounted it 1 ½’ away from the screen into the stage we built. This eliminated the shadows that would occur with a normal projector mounted behind the golfer. We covered the projector with a film of Gorilla Glass to protect it. We then built a platform with a sliding rail on it which allowed us to move the front theater seats sideways providing enough room for our customer to swing his golf clubs. We also created a motorized curtain that comes out from both sides of the screen which protects viewers and property from the extremely rare errant sliced balls. 

To achieve the “club house” feel the client was seeking we added two café style tables and two TV’s on the side walls that are covered by the Vutec ArtScreens when not in use.  We used old movie posters for the artwork which adds to the overall cinematic experience. We included a single 12’ drapery rod that opens while golfing to reveal the large window in the back of the room which opens to a real putting green in his back yard.

To give our client a quality movie experience We than mounted a motorized Vutec screen with 2:35 masking which opens to cover the golf screen. We mounted the new Sony 4K Laser projector on motorized lift in the back of the room.  

We installed a complete Dolby Atmos system using the AudioControl Meastro M9, Parasound amplifiers and KEF in-wall speakers and subwoofers. To ensure the room was able to give him the best sound reproduction possible we hired CinemaTech to create and install a complete room acoustic package. Since the client wanted that true cinema experience with an elegant look, we used some creative design and CinemaTech panels to hide a door leading outside and a door leading to another part of the house. These panels were designed to be hidden, or secret, doors that could open with a press of a panel yet remain unnoticeable when not in use. As a finishing touch to give our client the old time classic theater experience we used special designed wood work throughout the room and star field acoustic panels in the ceiling.

There were many challenges with this room and even after 10 months of working with the client to design this room we knew that a lot of what we were doing was not part of any standard system and we had to re-engineer parts on the spot to create the finished product. It takes a special kind of home owner to accept all of the challenges that go into creating such a special room and we consider him a part of the team.



29th Annual MCBC Golf Tournament

This Monday was the 29th annual Master Custom Builder Council’s Golf Tournament. The tournament was held at The Golden Bear Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature-designed course, at Keene’s Pointe in Windermere, FL. Millennium Systems Design was lucky enough to be able to sponsor the green of the 9th hole, which is situated on a small hill overlooking a retention area. We have been fortunate enough to be in this location for the past 3 years and we think it is the best view on the course (and happens to be located next to the beautiful club house [read: bathrooms] which at 28 weeks pregnant was a big deal)!


The MCBC Golf Tournament is always one of my favorite days of the year. Not only because of the beautiful weather, fresh air and unlimited amounts of food, but also because it is a day where business isn’t discussed (as much) and everyone is out together for a good cause. To me it is a day to foster relationships with builders, vendors and even our competitors. We look at the tournament as a ‘thank you’ to the builders for all they do for us in this industry.


This year was our best booth ever! We started the day with mimosas and breakfast fatties (I will explain this later) and ended it with a selection of beer, steak and shrimp. Our booth always seems to create a buzz about the food we serve so I have included our recipe below in case you want to try it at home! We had a SunBrite TV connected to a Dish Network portable satellite TV antenna and two wireless KEF LS50s. We got a lot of comments about the LS50s, the golfers were all very impressed with the sound quality and were shocked to find out that they were wireless.

All in all we had a great time, ate a lot of delicious food and connected with people in our industry. Along with all of this we got to support the MCBC and raise money for charity, we are proud to be a part of this community and would like to thank everyone who made this event possible.

Breakfast Fatty:

The breakfast fatty is something that we have made for the MCBC tournament for the past few years. It is at the point now where we have people calling a week or two in advance to make sure we will be serving it again. I have outlined the layers below.

Layer 1: Woven Bacon
Layer 2: Sausage
Layer 3: Hash browns
Layer 4: Scrambled Eggs
Layer 5: Maple Syrup

After all of the layers are assembled you roll it up and put it on the grill. Once it is cooked you slice and serve. We like to serve it on sweet Hawaiian rolls. You definitely won’t find this on any diet plan but it is delicious!  

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment below or visit our website for more information about our company. 


NFL Green Bay Packers Hall-of-Famer Nick Collins Turns to ELAN for Total Control


PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, January 17, 2017 — After sustaining a neck injury and retiring from the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers football team at the age of 28, All-American Safety Nick Collins returned to his home state of Florida with his wife and children to begin the next stage of his career as a personal trainer.

When Nick and Andrea Collins began building their all-new 10,000-square foot ranch in Winter Garden, they envisioned a simple yet sophisticated smart home that would satisfy all of their entertainment, control and safety needs. In particular, they wanted to be able to control their home’s lighting, security, climate, audio and video systems from the touch of a button— regardless of their physical location inside the sprawling new home.

To make this dream a reality, they turned to local technology integrator Mike Barry of Millennium Systems Design, who they had worked with in the past on a previous home. “The Collins family needed total home control in the simplest way possible,” Barry explained. “I knew that the ELAN Entertainment and Control System would offer secure and instant remote control that could be relied upon for years to come as they went about their busy schedule. That’s why I chose to design the entire A/V system around it.”

With Nick and Andrea’s go-ahead on the game-plan, Millennium Systems Design installed an ELAN gSC10 System Controller, three ELAN g1 Systems Controllers, and two ELAN S1616A Multi-Room Audio Amplifiers to span the entire home. To control the system, Millennium Systems Design installed ten ELAN in-wall touch panels and connected three ELAN remotes, and with the ELAN mobile app Nick and Andrea Collins can control any technology within the home from anywhere in the world.

“We love having a touch panel in every room of the house,” Nick Collins said. “Regardless of what room I am in, I can adjust anything I need to, whether it be the music playing or the lighting levels. Even when I am out training, I can check in on the security camera footage from the ELAN App on my phone.”

With five children living in the single-floored ranch, the Collins family also required simple face-to-face communications enabled by the system. ELAN’s Intercom feature, Andrea Collins said, is an extremely useful tool that the family can use to communicate throughout the house. “I can call the kids from the living room using the ELAN touchpanel and it’s so much easier than yelling!” she added.

High-end audio was also a crucial component of the family’s new smart home. To build an extensive audio system that would allow Nick and Andrea to listen to whatever they wanted in any room of the house, Millennium Systems Design divided the extensive system into 19 different zones of audio. “Every single room has its own audio zone, and each can be controlled through the ELAN system,” Barry explained. “It’s one of the biggest audio systems I have ever built.”

To ensure that the audio was felt and heard, Millennium Systems Design installed SpeakerCraft Profile Cinema in-ceiling subwoofers to produce targeted sound in the large spaces, like the Grand Hall. “The whole home audio system is hidden but heard,” Barry stated. “For example, to fill the outside courtyard with quality sound, I installed multiple SpeakerCraft RUCUKUS 6 One rock speakers that blend right into the landscape. The speakers look subtle, but they don’t sound subtle.”

Additionally, the Collins’ in-home theater has its own standalone Dolby Atmos audio system that is also controlled through the ELAN App. Creating an environment that embodies a cinema-like experience, Millennium Systems Design installed a 120” 1 Stewart Filmscreen Luxus Deluxe 123" 16:9 Soundscreen paired with a SIM2 projector that can play films and video games in 3D.  Additionally, Millennium Systems Design installed six ELAN-controlled reclining theater chairs with three big bean bag chairs for the kids. “We often host movie nights with our family and friends,” Nick Collins continued. “We pop in any movie we want, right at home. I also play video games with the kids in the theater, which is really awesome.”

Since Winter Garden, Florida experiences a fair share of thunderstorms, Millennium Systems Design made sure to protect all of the home’s technology with a Panamax M4320-Pro power conditioner. “Power protection is extremely important,” Barry said. “The BlueBOLT remote energy management in the M4320-Pro makes it really easy to reset the network after a storm. I get a notification in my office and I can easily reset the Wi-Fi, cable boxes, and more.”

According to Barry, the home is in an isolated area at the end of a power line, so they get some ‘dirty power’ coming into their house that may result in some of the devices acting ‘spotty’ or faulty. “Through Panamax, we were able to clean up that power to ensure a better performance for their devices,” Barry added. “With this much high-end technology, it’d be a shame if they didn’t work correctly just because of the power grid.”

According to Nick and Andrea, the family is happy, and the ELAN system gives them everything they’ve ever wanted in a smart home. “This system is basic but sophisticated; we really like that,” Nick Collins concluded. “We use it every single day. There is so much you can do with ELAN, it’s like an open book that we can keep adding to.”

For hi-res images, click here.

About Nick Collins

Nick Collins, a second-round draft pick out of Bethune-Cookman in 2005, played seven seasons (2005-11) for the Packers. The talented, athletic defender became one of the top playmakers in the league at the safety position and racked up 21 interceptions among 83 passes defensed in his career. Collins was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2008-10), and became the first Packers safety since LeRoy Butler (1996-98) to earn the honor in three consecutive seasons. His electrifying interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLV staked the Packers to a 14-0 lead in the eventual 31-25 triumph.

About Millennium Systems Design, Inc.

For almost 20 years Millennium Systems Design has provided Central Florida home and business owners with premium quality audio, video and systems integration technology. We collaborate with our clients and our partners to deliver customized low voltage system solutions that are tailored specifically to individual tastes, lifestyles and corporate environments. To learn more visit, www.msdhometheater.com.

About ELAN

ELAN develops an award-winning line of smart home entertainment and control solutions that enhance the connected home experience with personalized solutions for every homeowner. Products are distributed through a comprehensive channel of certified dealers throughout the United States, Canada and countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com.

About Core Brands

Anchored by the ELAN Smart Home Control Platform, Core Brands combines the strengths of its iconic control, audio, power management, connectivity and video distribution brands – ELAN®, SpeakerCraft®, Gefen®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, Furman®, Sunfire® and Xantech® – to deliver a portfolio of connected home and commercial solutions to its channel partners and end users. For further information, visit www.corebrands.com.



Dan Griffin


Twitter: @griffin360

212.481.3456 x25






The Importance of Lighting

So I have been tasked with writing a blog.

 About what I asked?

 Anything I was told.  Anything that pertains to our industry.

I’m not sure how this goes.  I usually write technical documents, scopes of work, planning and strategy documents.  A blog is supposed to be personable and have feelings.  Not easy for an engineer.  I have such disdain for the ridiculous, unfeasible and short sidedness of this feat.  Releasing my feelings could be dangerous.  I struggled for days while trying to choose a topic. While on a job site yesterday I looked up at the ceiling and immediately I knew what I had to write about.

We see many high end residences in the 2+ million dollar market.  It seems these homeowners are always pressed for time and let other people make decisions for them.  Everyone wants to make sure the home looks good.  But it seems very few people take the time to make the house functional or practical.  I know that 52,000 square feet for 2 people isn’t exactly practical but let’s just accept the fact it happens.  Even those homes can be functional and designed in a logical way.  So this is where I start my topic – Functionality and Practicality in a new residence.  Let’s start with a topic near and dear to my heart, lighting.

I can’t tell you how many homes I walk into while under construction, like I did yesterday, and see an enormous great room with an expansive sea of ceiling in excess of 24 feet in the air.  Then I see the ceiling dotted with recessed lighting fixtures in a nice symmetrical pattern.  Start with the hard fact that lighting and electrical work is a commodity.  You will see the same electricians on a 1500 square foot home as you do on a 15,000 square foot home.  Why not?  Electricity is electricity.  You need to get power from the service to all the lights and receptacles in your home.  Same principle exists for calculating wattage and power and following the NEC. So it is easy to understand why the lighting layout in a small home is essentially the same (and equally as undesirable) as a much larger home.

You spend time selecting the right granite, designer plumbing fixtures and custom cabinets. But you spend maybe an hour selecting locations for lights or types of lights or maybe you just have the builder, electrician or designer do it.  It really doesn’t matter that much, right? Light is light and power is power.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is, nothing in your house has the power to make your home more comfortable, more beautiful, or more enjoyable than lighting. Step back to that 24 foot ceiling with recessed cans. The typical incandescent or halogen lamp has a life span of 2000 to 4000 hours depending on its usage.  That means most lamps will need to be replaced about once a year. How are you going to change those lamps? Most likely, you’ll call someone that has a lift to change your lamps.  That means they have to get it in your house, move your furniture, be on your carpet, scare the dog..., you get the picture.  Those $5 lamps ending up costing you $50 each to reinstall when it’s all said and done.  That doesn’t take into account the inconvenience of someone having to be home to have the service performed.  So the first thing you need to think about is maintenance.  Everything you put in your home will break down or need to be replaced or taken care of periodically to look its best.  Everything. Even the granite needs a special cleaner and a sealer. When you are thinking of some really cool idea to add to your home make sure you have a maintenance plan or you are prepared to pay for the maintenance.

Now that we’ve opened the door on one problem let’s talk about some solutions. LED lights are a very smart option for your home.  They save power (almost 80%), generate much less heat and last up to 50,000 hours. Well, most of them...right now there are more varieties of LED on the market than any other product I have ever seen.  You almost need a class to be educated on Color (Kelvin temperature) CRI, R value, beam spread and lumens.  All LEDs do not look the same or do the same thing and you do get what you pay for. The range is anywhere from $1 to more than $70.  I’m sure they will come down in the future, proliferation has a way of doing that, but that’s where they are now.

With LEDs come endless options. Pick the wrong color temperature and your room will be stark and cold, or your office will be uncomfortable and make your eyes tired. Have art? LED is perfect because of the lack of UV emissions but the wrong CRI and R will make that expensive painting look horrible. Life span?  Most LED lamps aren’t designed to be installed in contractor grade recessed can fixtures and lose up to 20% of their life.  Still, 40,000 hours is still better than 4000 hours

Are you overwhelmed yet? 


Good!  Let’s look at light placement.  Why is the light for the kitchen sink always behind the person at the sink?  I don’t know about you but I hate shadows over the area I am working.  When I am working in the kitchen cooking I like light and plenty of it. I want to see what I’m doing. When I entertain, (and the kitchen is always an entertainment area) I want softer lighting that shows off my rare, hand selected, searched for hours, granite and my expensive custom cabinets, my exquisite tile back splash and my beautiful appliances. Guests should be comfortable and able to focus on the important things, the food, the wine and the company.  Can you do all that with just a few lights in the ceiling?  Maybe to a degree, but you will never fully get the effect you are looking for. It usually takes more than 1 circuit to offer multiple scenes in a room. There are three classifications of lighting:

                General – the room is lit and you can see everything.

                Task – you need light to focus on the job at hand, your kitchen, office desk, hobby table

Accent - things you want to show off – art work, wine collection, tiled barrel ceiling, hand painted groin vault ceiling, any crafted detail in your home that you would like to highlight.

Yes, that’s a lot of light, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or cumbersome.  Just well thought out and placed correctly. There are dimmer switches and lighting control systems to adjust all your lights right where you want them with the push of a single button. Pretty cool and practical too.  The key here is planning.  Yes, it takes a little of your time.  You can even work with someone knowledgeable (and practical) and let them make a plan for you.  Why not?  You spend time and money carefully adding features, furniture and art to your house to make it your home. Don’t you want to see and enjoy what you paid for? That is where an experienced technology company can make your life easier.

So let’s move on to another topic that’s near to my heart – Wine Cellars.  For those of you that have a room called a wine cellar because it was too small to be anything else and you’re just storing some booze you purchased at the grocery store – just go ahead and skip this section.  For the true wine aficionado, please read on.  Moving to Florida was a bit of a culture shock.  One of my first experiences was a wine cellar on an exterior wall with a westerly facing window. I figured it was just one of those rooms that was labeled wine cellar and was designed more as an art feature. Then I saw the cases of $100 per bottle Napa cab. Oh My!  A quick visual inspection revealed vents, at least there was temperature control.  I asked the homeowner what type of cooling system he had.  After all, an ideal wine cellar is kept at 55 degrees and at 70% relative humidity.  He had a puzzled look on his face and said Trane, I think.  Hmm.  I didn’t know Trane made temp control for wine cellars.  He pointed to the thermostat and I realized he meant the AC system for the house was just vented into the Wine Cellar.  He said he had a hard time getting it below 65.  Well, I’m sure that window doesn’t help with heat, let alone all the UV that’s coming in. I guess I shouldn’t have brought that up – I saw a light bulb go on over his head.  Of course being the engineer I just had to say – you know that in the winter (if we have one) that vent that supplies cold air in the summer will be supplying hot air in the winter.  Another light bulb went on followed by a few expletives I was told I can’t put in a blog (I’m not sure – it was pretty colorful).  Anyway, I’m out of space and time. 

Look, I have been involved with some very substantial projects. The number of decisions a homeowner has to make is daunting. There is a point that you just get overwhelmed and frustrated.  I get that. Try to remember, after the newness wears off you are left with maintenance and practicality.  Take the time to think of this when you are making your other decisions because maintenance equals money and practicality equals enjoyment.  If you’re not sure or you brain shuts down, find an advocate or a professional you trust to help you navigate. 


-Rob Jones
Senior Engineer, Millennium Systems Design

What the tech?

What the tech?

What the tech? is Millennium Systems Design's blog where we will post about innovations in technology, the AV industry and running and AV company. We hope that you will enjoy reading these posts and can find what we have to say useful. This blog has always been a topic of conversation at website meetings and we are excited to put it into action. Keep checking back for new posts, discussions and advice.