Rewarding the best cinemas, media rooms and whole-house integrated systems constructed in the last year, the CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Awards show just how seamlessly and stylishly advanced audio-visual, automation, control and lighting systems can be incorporated into modern homes to enhance the lives of the people who live in them.

Best integrated home installation over $500,000

Why it won: Specifying the very best of everything, the family in this home enjoy HD audio and video over fibre-optic served up by a Meridian Sooloos Music server and Kaleidescape Blu-ray movie server. Security around the 700sqm home includes 16 cameras that monitor the status of all doors, windows and PIR units, and the house is fully automated, down to controlling the temperature of the outdoor swimming pool via any one of the seven Crestron V control touchscreens. The system also includes the seamless integration of one of the world’s biggest TV screens – a Panasonic TH103PF12W 103 inch plasma – which was fitted into a hand-made steel frame before going into the entertainment cabinet.

Installer: Len Wallis Audio, NSW

Best integrated home installation $250,000500,000

Why it won: A showpiece in hidden entertainment systems, the smartest element of this home installation is in what you don’t see – until you need it. A 50 inch plasma TV folds down from the ceiling in the master bedroom and a custom-built lift raises an 85 inch plasma from complete concealment in the living room floor when required. With eight separate areas able to receive video, and 13 for audio, the music even reaches into the wine cellar, thanks to SpeakerCraft CRS8-One in-ceiling speakers that accompany the 32 inch full HD Sony LCD television also installed in there!

Installer: Len Wallis Audio, NSW

Best integrated home installation $150,000250,000

Why it won: The challenge in this three-level, 550sqm waterfront property was to maintain its pristine, minimalistic appearance while integrating a fully automated entertainment and security system. Everything, consequently, is hidden away: there are Tru Audio and Linn in-ceiling speakers throughout – some disguised as rocks near the pool – and even the security features had to be out of view, including making sure that the piezos, reed switches, miniature smoke detectors and all control boxes were recessed. Cleverly, a Vantage iPhone control application means the owners can monitor their home’s security, allow access to tradies and even turn on the heating without being anywhere near the property.