Home Cinema

This room was the client's pride and joy and they had a strong idea of what they were wanting to achieve. They wanted a cinema that would create hours of enjoyment for their family and friends with a larger than life screen, great picture quality and big sound.

Key Design Objectives:

  • Acoustic insulation for sound proofing
  • Anamorphic Cinemascope screen & projector for the true cinema experience
  • Speakers positioned for intelligibility
  • Automated lighting and blinds
  • Intuitive touch screen to control audio visual and lighting

Audio System

From the early onset of this project we worked closely with the contracted builder to ensure appropriate acoustic insulation was provided during the structural stage of construction. All walls and ceilings have been insulated and treated. A solid core door was specified incorporating a full perimeter raven seal to ensure this did not become a weak point of isolation at the end of the project. An acoustic baffle wall was designed and installed at the rear of the acoustically transparent screen to optimise speaker performance and ensure seamless on axis synergy between both video and audio systems. This wall incorporated the use of both absorbers and diffusers to reduce in room slap echos and the curved baffle wall assists in creating a more effective front sound stage.

A seating platform was constructed at the rear of the room to ensure optimal viewing. This floating floor arrangement also acts as a bass trap allowing for both multiple rows of seating and inscreased bass performance.

The acoustic design for the room took into account a myriad of performance factors including the micro perforated screen surface and positioning in relation to speakers, seating position and placement of acoustical treatments to enhance the rooms audio intelligibility.

The use of a Sunfire 400 watt 7 channel power amplifier was used to ensure the speaker system provided enough power to facilitate THX playback levels of 85 decibels with a peak performance of up to 110 decibels. A combination of Procella and Triad speakers were specified due to their power handling capabilities and their strong reputation for high performance audio in dedicated home cinema applications. Audio calibration was optimised using Audyssey EQ calibration and dual subwoofers were used at the front and rear of the room to ensure even bass distribution to all listening positions.

A 'black out' automated blind with an integrated acoustic absorber was used to completely eliminate unwanted ambient light penetrating the large window at the rear of the room, it also serves as an acoustic buffer from the harsh reflections normally associated with glass surface.

Video System

The Stewart Cinecurve anamorphic screen allowed the homeowner a maximum image size whilst delivering full acoustic transparency based on optimal seating position. This cunningly concealed the Procella LCR and subwoofer speaker system allowing all high definition sources to be viewed in true cinema scope format. The careful selection of a fixed Panamorph lens and DVDO line scaler was a perfect pairing with the JVC DILA high definition projector. Ambient light & reflections were controlled by a combination of flat neutral colours on walls and ceilings and the use of a 'black out' blind to prevent any potential light leakage penetrating the room from outside. All sources were ISF calibrated to ensure optimal video performance and colour accuracy. Foot lamberts post calibration resulted in a measurement of 18 which will reduce to 15 once the projector lamp is ready for replacement.

Control System

A Pronto 3.5" colour touch screen with RF capability was specified to ensure seamless 'one touch' control of all related audio visual hardware and preset customised functions. All equipment is controlled via RS232 and TCP/IP for bi directional intuitive control.

A C-Bus IP interface was also provided allowing seamless control of all lighting functions and preset moods via this 2-way interface. In addition we incorporated the use of an in ceiling occupancy sensor so when entering the room for the first time all lighting turns on creating a welcome mode. Once the system is engaged this function is automatically deactivated and on commencing a movie the lights dim to create a very warm and engaging atmosphere.

Installation

An early challenge was a change in room design based on our recommendation to relocate the equipment location from the front of room position to a side recess adjoining a neighbouring study/office. This provided a much better solution in relation to ventilation. It also provided greater accessibility for future servicing. Another added benefit meant that all source components were located at a height where the loading and unloading of discs didn't require crouching for access. However penetrating the side wall meant a potential weak point for sound isolation to adjoining rooms. This potential problem was resolved by using a Middle Atlantic slide and rotate equipment rack and an acoustic barrier was constructed surrounding the rack to ensure no sound leakage. This maintained acoustic integrity whilst still providing adequate access to the rear of rack for installation and servicing requirements. An additional thermostat controlled exhaust system was supplied to ensure adequate ventilation, this was also ducted to the ceiling space above to provide a continual stream of circulation thus ensuring longevity of electronic components.