Xtremely Simple Page 2

For Hawk, the answer is, not as often as he'd like, since he spends a l ot of time on the road. "I travel so much that I usually watch DVDs on my Apple PowerBook," he concedes. "Only once in a while do I get to have a movie night at home, so I make sure it's really good. The last DVD we watched was [the Jet Li martial-arts epic] Hero. Everyone said it was so visual I wanted to watch it at home." tony hawk 2 The system in the master bedroom features a 42-inch plasma HDTV.

One thing Hawk has to be at home to enjoy is HDTV. "It's mesmerizing," he says. "I find myself looking at programming I would normally not even consider watching because the picture is so brilliant." As if on cue, he flips the plasma set to a vivid high-definition program showing hot-air balloons hovering over the green, undulating Vermont countryside. And we're - mesmerized. When I snap out of a high-def-induced daze a minute later to ask what we're watching, Hawk also takes awhile to reply. "I don't know - whatever," he says. "Discovery HD, I think? But the picture is unbelievably sharp."

Hawk's only complaint about HDTV is that there just isn't enough programming. "Even when you go to the movie channels, it's hard to find," he says. A DirecTV high-def hard-disk recorder is an essential part of the system, since it lets Hawk catch up on shows he's missed. "I had to find one on eBay since they were in such short supply," he says.

The Game's the Thing Hawk does almost all of his music listening on an Apple iPod. "I have over 10,000 songs in my iTunes library," he says, adding that he listens to "all kinds of music, from the Beatles to the Buzzcocks." His current playlist includes The Killers, Radiohead, Mars Volta, Dr. Dre, 999, Pixies, Le Tigre, The Cure, and Beck.

tony hawk 4
Hawk supervises construction of a skateboarding park in his backyard.
Apple's AirPort Express wireless hub feeds tunes from his PowerBook into the den system, which Hawk operates from a Crestron touchpanel remote. Scoping out the gear in Hawk's rack, we spot a sleek Sony DVD player and the beastly (140 W/ch!) Marantz SR9300 receiver, which feeds four Snell ceiling speakers for the left/right front and surround channels and a Snell center speaker in the wall above the TV. An NHT subwoofer in a cabinet next to the gear stack pounds out the bass.