One Eagles Fan's Amazing 9-TV Man Cave

One Eagles Fan's Amazing 9-TV Man Cave

You likely watch the Eagles every Sunday. If you're like most fans, you likely watch them in your living room which has one pretty nice television in it like most warm blooded Americans.

Level reader and diehard Eagles fan Brent Blanchard is not your average fan. Not only did Brent send in photos of his nine television setup in his man cave located in Medford Lakes, NJ, complete with wet bar and beermeister, he also sent along a 3-page PDF file describing his ridiculous setup in incredible detail.

Oh, and he says he has actual field goal posts from the Vet.

"The football goalposts that book-end the monitor wall are the actual uprights used in the west endzone of Veterans Stadium by the Eagles, and are positioned at regulation NFL width of 18.5 feet apart," Brent writes. "I dragged these to my car during a demo crew lunch break (the south goalposts were crushed into a dumpster a few minutes later)."

Amazing. [more photos below]

Here's a sampling of his description:

Monitors

The video wall is the centerpiece of the 400 sq. ft. Control Room. Eight 24” monitors surround a 55” center unit. Each monitor has 4w external speakers and is mounted to moveable boom arms allowing them to pull outward and rotate 90 degrees in all directions (useful for video gaming or closer viewing). Space was allowed for eventual upgrade of the center monitor to 70”.

The monitor bank is justified left-of-center on the wall, a) to align with the room entrance, and b) to allow Wii gamers space for arm-swinging that’s generally not required for the Xbox. Floor-level chairs set close to these monitors allow gamers to optimize viewing angles

...

Video Sources

Integrating various types of video sources was the most challenging part of the Control Room’s construction. I established HDMI as the base format, which required all other formats to be converted. Of the 29 electronic items involved (9 monitors, 4 switchers, 16 source inputs), 16 have integrated HDMI connectors. The other 13 possess composite, component, RF or VGI outputs, which require a host of signal converters working furiously under the monitor bank.

Because every item above requires its own power, a total of 43 electronic components are being powered within the large black boxes under the monitors. (Factor in the 17 room lights and surround system, and the room draws some juice!) But that’s what was required to allow every component to transfer seamlessly, which in turn allows for displaying up to nine of the following video sources with the touch of a button:

Recordable Verizon Fios box #1
Recordable Verizon Fios box #2
Recordable Verizon Fios box #3
Direct TV receiver w’ NFL
Dell online #6
Dell online #8, both w’ wireless keyboard & mouse
Live Turtle Cam with remote control
Live 151 CCTV Cams
XBOX console
Wii console
BluRay player
DVD player
DVD player #2
VHS player
Sony FX1 hd tape cam
Sony G55 hd drive cam

The two Dell computers are hard-wired with dedicated cat5’s to maximize bandwidth for live events. But they also perform other functions:
The top unit (#6) is configured for:

A. Primary ESPN3 sports matrix
B. Live outbound streaming of Turtle Cam video at www.implosionworld.com/turtlecam.htm
C. Pan/zoom the live video feed from roof of LBI condo
D. Primary Fantasy Team live scoring
E. Primary web access

The bottom unit (#8) is configured for:

A. Listening to music db of over 75k songs. Guests can easily create playlists in Itunes jukebox.
B. Secondary ESPN3 sports matrix
C. Secondary Fantasy Team live scoring
D. Secondary web access

That's not even getting into the power setup, the audio setup, the lighting setup, the photography setup, the artifact setup, etc.

Oh, and in addition to all of the electronics, the "Control Room" as Brent calls it also has a gaming area complete with regulation bubble hockey, foosball, knee hockey, and darts. "It also features a relaxation area with oversized sofa and chairs which opens out to the rear porch, back yard and lake," he writes.

The lake is a nice touch.

We salute your amazing efforts and have only one other question.

Can we be friends?

Got a decent TV setup of your own for watching Philly sports on? Show us! the700level@gmail.com

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

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USA Today Images

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

It's been nearly two months since Villanova won the National Championship in one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history.

Since then, the Wildcats have been honored by the city (parade), the New York Stock Exchange (opening bell), the Phillies (first pitch), the Flyers and the Union. Earlier this week, head coach Jay Wright addressed the Eagles.

But that will all pale in comparison to where the Wildcats will be next Tuesday, when they become the latest championship team to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. and will be streamed on www.whitehouse.gov/live.

In his pool, President Obama had Villanova finally advancing past the second round — "I know that eventually they're going to break through. They've had some bad luck over the last couple of years," Obama told ESPN.com — but had the Wildcats falling to Kansas in the regional semifinal.

He then had Kansas beating North Carolina to win the title.

After surviving the first weekend for the first time since their Final Four run in 2009, Villanova ousted Kansas, 64-59, before shocking Buddy Hield and Oklahoma in the national semifinal, winning by 44. The Wildcats then won one of the most memorable championship games in NCAA Tournament history when Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tar Heels, 77-74.

Union transfer contract of Michael Lahoud to Miami FC

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Union transfer contract of Michael Lahoud to Miami FC

The Union have cashed in on Michael Lahoud.

After terminating his loan to the New York Cosmos on Tuesday, the Union recalled Lahoud and officially sold the 29-year-old midfielder to Miami FC of the NASL for an undisclosed amount.

“Mike always served the club in a professional manner during his time here,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart, who loaned Lahoud to the Cosmos this offseason. “We thank him for his service and want to wish him the best of luck in Miami and in his future endeavors.”

Lahoud, whose prorated $115,637.50 guaranteed salary comes off the Union’s salary cap, was acquired in 2012 in a trade with Chivas USA for defender Danny Califf. He made 58 appearances with the Union before being loaned out.

Eagles' left guard job is Allen Barbre's, but backups are pushing

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Eagles' left guard job is Allen Barbre's, but backups are pushing

Allen Barbre is the Eagles’ starting left guard.

For now.

The 31-year-old offensive lineman started all 16 games at left guard in 2015, and as of Tuesday at OTAs, he was still a starter for Doug Pederson’s new-look offense.

But that could change.

There are several players pushing for the left guard spot. Among them are Stefen Wisniewski, Malcolm Bunche, Isaac Seumalo and Andrew Gardner.

“I definitely am trying to start somewhere,” said Wisniewski, a free-agent signing. “I think I would be a good starting left guard.”

Wisniewski, 27, signed a one-year prove-it deal in early April to join the Eagles (see story). After being taken in the second round of the 2011 draft, Wisniewski has started 77 of 80 possible games in the NFL. He clearly views himself as a starter in the NFL.

For the last two weeks, he’s been working with the second team at guard and center.

“Yeah, it’s weird. It’s definitely weird,” Wisniewski said. “I haven’t spent much time with the twos in five years. Probably a week or two. So it’s definitely different, but I’m just looking at it as a temporary thing, though.”

This offseason, the Eagles added veteran Brandon Brooks to play right guard, taking over for Matt Tobin, but Barbre is still slotted on the left side. In fact, to hammer the point home, the starting offensive linemen have their lockers in a row in the deep corner of the locker room, from left to right: Jason Peters, Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brooks, Lane Johnson.

So, as of late May, Barbre is still the starter.

“I really like where we're at. I like the depth at that position right now,” Pederson said last week. “But yeah, Allen Barbre is my guy and he's our starter.”

Wisniewski is the most accomplished of the backups pushing for that starting left guard spot, but he’s not alone.

Bunche, who was on the Eagles’ practice squad in 2015 after going undrafted out of UCLA, has been working with the second team at left guard during practice. And the second-year player thinks he has a shot at the starting job too.

“Oh yes. But not just that one,” Bunche said. “Throughout the season, anything can happen. That’s one thing that [offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland], he talks about it a lot, you never know when you’re number is going to be called. You just gotta stay in tune with what’s being called, the play-calling, the different techniques going into certain games. I feel I have an opportunity to take that spot if I wanted to. My mindset it to come in and get better each and every day.”

Another possible starting left guard isn’t with the team right now. Third-round pick Seumalo, from Oregon State, is back at school because of the NFL graduation rule and Oregon State’s quarters system. He would be a logical choice to compete for that starting job, but he’s missing valuable time at OTAs.

Meanwhile, Barbre, who had started just eight total games in his seven-year career before 2015, is trying to stave off his competitors. The veteran knows the team brought in a bunch of new offensive linemen this offseason (they have 17 on the roster). He just doesn’t care.

“Honestly, I wasn’t really worried about that,” Barbre said Tuesday. “Honestly, I thought I played fairly decent (in 2015), if you studied the film and you understood what went on. There was a lot of stuff that was tough on the O-line, so it made it kind of tough on us.”

The criticism of the offensive line last season was loud, especially criticism of the guard positions, but Barbre did his best to avoid it.  

“I don’t even read it,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t even care. You guys got your jobs and I have my job. We all have different things we have to do.”

Right now, Barbre’s job is to hold onto that starting spot, while Wisniewski and the rest try to steal it away.