Garage Hangout

Some of the most creative work comes out of the least likely places. Take this garage multiplex in New Jersey.  The owners wanted a place where they could spend time with their teenage twins and where the kids could entertain friends apart from the other living spaces in the home.  So they gutted the bulky space above the garage, dressed it in New York Yankees blue, and Electronics Design Group set about designing a multimedia, multi-screen system that could satisfy the family’s varied entertainment needs.

Flexibility was a key component of the room. It had to be a home theater at times, a social networking hotspot at others and a den to play video games -- with room to move around. Sometimes it’s all those things at once.  The 106-inch motorized Da-Lite projector screen drops from the ceiling when it’s time for movie night or a Bronx Bombers game and then motors back into its housing in the molding above the front wall when the projector turns off.   Sitcoms and reality TV fare show on the 52-inch Sharp LCD TV that’s permanently mounted to the front wall.  The 32-inch Sharp LCD TVs on either side are dedicated for close-up viewing, serving as oversized game displays, computer monitors or video chat screens.

You need flexible seating in a multi-purpose room, so EDG came up with a combo solution that combines moveable recliners in front that roll on casters to other locations in the room. Stools positioned at the side walls allow players to belly up with a laptop that can rest on shelves extending from the wall. The seats in the last row are fixed, theater-style, and on a riser to provide a clear shot to the larger screens from all eight locations in the row -- a generous number of seats afforded by the supersized dimensions of the room.  

Technology Budget:

$ 84,000

* Excludes; Architect, Interior Designer, Carpenter & Furnishings.

Equipment List

(1) Crestron CP2E

(1) Integra DTC-9.8

(1) Rotel RMB-1085

(1) Sony BDPS500

(1) Audio Authority AVX-1166

(1) Audio Authority AVX-1176

(4) Audio Authority 9879

(1) Xantech AV61

(1) Crestron CEN-IDOCK

(1) Gefen EXT-HDMI1.3-144

(1) Extron P/2 DA 2xi

(1) Richard Gray 600 RM Pro

(1) D-Link DWL-2200AP

(1) Crestron CNRFGWA-418

(1) Sony VPLVW60

(2)Monster MP HTFS 500

(1) Da-Lite Tensioned Advantage Electrol 106”

(1) Sharp LC52D82U

(1) Chief PLPU

(3) Triad InCeiling Bronze/8 LCR

(2) Triad InWall Bronze/4 Surround

(1) Triad InRoom Silver PowerSub

(1) Crestron TPMC-8X

(1) Crestron TPMC-8X-DS

(1) Crestron ML-600

(2) Sharp LC32D64U

(6) Crestron CLW-DIM

(6) Oasis Quinta Loungers

(6) Oasis Quinta HT Rockers

(2) Oasis Quinta Bar Stool

Left, center and right speakers for the 5.1-channel surround-sound system are positioned in the ceiling at the front of the room. The Triad speakers’ midrange-tweeter module is angled toward the seating area to ensure clarity of dialogue and correct positioning of effects.  Surround speakers were mounted in the angled portion of the wall connecting the side wall and ceiling. The Triad powered subwoofer, which provides the deep bass and rumbles, is hidden in the cabinet beneath the 32-inch TV on the right side of the room.  A cabinet on the left, concealing all the electronic gear, completes the visual symmetry.

It takes a lot of technical wizardry to handle all the complex video switching required to enable the wide assortment of video sources used in this theater -- and to make it simple to use for the clients.  A video matrix switcher is the traffic cop that directs signals in the room and enables any video source to display on any TV.  Programmers at EDG translated the switching language into a simple graphic-based interface that the homeowners could easily understand.  Using the Crestron touchscreen controller, users tap on the picture of a TV on the touchscreen and that display powers on.  It’s a simple pressing process that allows family members to flip programs from one screen to another or to direct a source to any TV. 

Getting teenagers to remember to turn off lights can be a challenge. To help in this household, EDG placed a keypad controller on the wall outside of the theater. One button press powers off the projector and AV gear, returns the screen to its housing and fades the room to dark. 

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© Electronics Design Group, Inc.