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This work presents an integrated system that uses speech as a natural input modality to provide user-friendly access to information and entertainment devices installed in a real home environment. The practical limitations introduced by the on-line nature of the application as well as the implementation challenges and solutions are analyzed. The focus of the present study is on the implementation on the front-end signal pre-processing block that consist of an array of 8 microphones connected to a multi-channel soundcard and a tandem of workstations performing all signal pre-processing tasks, such as, acquisition, filtering, and beam-forming. Evaluation of the beamformer's performance in realistic home environment with controllable noise sources is provided. Furthermore, speech and speaker recognition results using the front-end that was deployed are presented.