Room to Grow

In a perfect world, your home theater would be a regular rectangle with proper measurements of 14 x 20-feet topped by 9-foot ceilings.  But there is no perfect world, and few basements are built from the ground up with ideal home theater proportions in mind.  In this New Jersey project, structural columns interrupted the space where the theater was to go, so the homeowners adjusted by building a theater “nook.”  It ended up fitting well with their plans to isolate the room from the rest of the house to keep noise to a minimum, but it required acoustical tweaking to tailor the sound to the space.

Originally, the owner was set on a 103-inch plasma TV for the wow factor.  EDG convinced him that a projector would deliver the big-screen experience he wanted at a price within his budget.  For the amount of money a 103-inch plasma TV would command, the family could get a DLP projection system, including a 110-inch screen, pad the room with acoustical panels and get a secondary 55-inch plasma TV in the rear of the room to boot -- while still having money left over.  That decision had to be made before the room was framed out, so EDG personnel cut out a piece of plotting paper with a diagonal measurement of 110 inches and placed it on the wall where the screen would go. The owner gave his thumbs up when he positioned himself in what would be the prime seating location and imagined the view.

Technology Budget:

$ 122,500

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

Equipment List

(1) Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11 Base Station w/3 port Gigabit Ethernet Router for Control4

(1) Apple AppleTV – 160 160GB Apple Tv

(1) Audio Authority 9880 Dual Cat 5 Enclosed receiver - Surface Mount Box - 1 output

(1) Audio Authority AVM-562 AVAtrix 6x6 Cat 5 Matrix w/rack ears

(2) Audioquest Forest HDMI - 1 M HDMI HDMI to HDMI

(3) Audioquest Forest HDMI - 2 M HDMI HDMI to HDMI

(7) Audioquest VDM-A - 2.0 M Digital Audio Cable

(7) Audioquest YIQ-A 2 M Component Video RCA to RCA

(1) B&W CT74 2-way custom install home theater LCRS, 2”x6” Blue kevlar bass/mid range driver, 1” soft dome tweeter, grille included

(1) B&W CTSW12 Closed box subwoofer system with optional rack mount amplifier. Designed to fit in home theater cabinetry. 12” paper/kevlar cone driver

(6) B&W CWM7.4 2-way in-wall system, 1” nautilus tube loaded soft dome tweeter. 6”blue kevlar cone bass/mid range

(1) B&W SA-250 dedicated in-wall subwoofer rack-mount single channel 250W Amplifier. Black Finish

(18) Control4 AC-3x-xx/AC-6x-xx Standard 3/6 button engraved keypad

(1) Control4 C4-2URMK-B 2U Rack mount kit - HC300

(1) Control4 C4-3PNAV-IPAD Mobile navigator license for ipad

(1) Control4 C4-BDP-CX7000ES Sony Blu Ray 400 disc mega changer

(13) Control4 C4-DIM1-Z-xx Wireless Dimmer, 1000W, 120VAC

(1) Control4 C4-HC1000V3-E-B Home Controller HC-1000 no remote

(1) Control4 C4-HC300B-E-B Home Controller

(1) Control4 C4-IOX-E-B IO Extender

(3) Control4 C4-KP6-Z-xx Wireless 6-button keypad

(2) Control4 C4-PW200-G-WH Luxul Pro-WAV 200, DWL-2100AP

(1) Control4 C4-SR250-Z-B Systems Remote Control

(1) Control4 CCZ-T1-W Wireless Thermostat

(1) Dataprobe IBBN15 15A iBoot Bar provides independent control of 8 outlets

(1) Digital Projection 109-684 M-Vision Adjustable Ceiling Mount

(1) Digital Projection 110-003 M-Vision Cine LED with 1.85-2.40 Lens

(1) Elite Screens PVR110WH1 110” 1.78:1 Fixed Screen 54"x96”

(1) Furman Elite-15 Pfi 15A HT Power Conditioner Power Factor

(1) Furman F1000-UPS 1000Va Rack Mount UPS

(1) Geffen EXT COMPAUD 143 1 in 3 out Component Video Distribution Amp

(1) Integra DTR-80.1 THX Ultra2 Plus, 4-Zone, 9.2 Channel Network Receiver

(1) Integra IRK-180-4 Rack Mount for DTR-80.1

(1) Key Digital KD-CATHD HDMI over dual Cat 5 Balun

(1) LG BD590 Blu Ray DVD Player w/Vudu, Pandora, Netflix, Picasa: Wireless & 250GB Memory

(1) Middle Atlantic ERK-SYS ERK Equipment Rack System

(8) RPG Acoustic Panels RPG BAD Arc Acoustical Diffusion curved panels

(1) Tiverton TSL1-RCAR6G Video Game Jack

(6) Xantech 282MRP Standard High output mouse emitter

(1) Zinwell WB68 Wide band frequency (Ku/ka) 6x8 Multiswitch for MPEG-4 Compression HD Compatible receivers - Direct TV Approved

To accommodate the ductwork around the perimeter of the room, EDG had the builder construct soffits, lower the ceiling and then cut out a cavity to give the room much-needed height. The architect sketched out a tiered, well-lit cavity with visual appeal.  Beveled acoustic panels on the walls of the theater help control the sound in the room.

Automation in the theater is from Control4, an intuitive, reliable system that gives owners the ability to manage AV equipment, lights and even temperature all with a simple clicker remote control.  With one button, the owner can start the series of commands required to watch a movie: powering on the projector, receiver, amplifiers, and Blu-ray player and setting gear to the correct inputs.  Control4 also includes a touchscreen that shows homeowners the status of systems, including what music is playing in which room, time and outside temperature. This owner elected not to add lighting and HVAC control beyond the theater for now, but knowing he could do so in the future without rewiring his house was major part of  the Control4 system’s appeal. 

All theater and Control 4 gear for whole-house audio,  is stored in an equipment room adjacent to the theater. A separate storage room serves several purposes, in addition to maintaining a clean, tidy look in the living spaces.  Amplifiers and hard disk drives produce can run hot, and ventilation in an equipment room ensures that equipment doesn’t overheat.  Game systems, too,  are stored in the equipment room, out of view, thanks to RF technology that sends signals to controllers without the need for wires.  A separate space with organized racks gives EDG maneuvering room to ensure that technicians can get to equipment easily for service calls and to upgrade equipment.  

As in many upscale households today, iPads and iPods are part of the culture. Control4 is compatible with Apple’s AirPlay wireless transmission system, enabling homeowners to send music and movies from an Apple TV to TVs throughout the house. EDG also wired in an iPod dock so that friends can plug into the house-wide music system when they visit.  Here, there’s something.

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