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Home Theater Audio Performance with Limited Room

lht15b.jpgThe following information is courtesy of the 2007 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Designers’ Choice Awards. For more information on how to become a member of CEDIA, or information on its awards program please visit www.cedia.org or call (800) 669-5329.

2007 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Awards Entry: Best Large Home Theater, Level III: $120,000 – $143,000

The space allocated for this home theater in the basement of a new-construction residence was somewhat limited. Fortunately, there was just enough room for the equipment and a few chairs to comfortably seat the homeowners and their grandchildren. The homeowners’ primary audio requirement was that the room be designed so that one could hear the softest of sounds of a movie soundtrack without having to turn the volume up too high. However if they were in the mood to play it loud, it had to have the muscle of a high performance system.

In conjunction with the limited room dimensions, it was necessary to acoustically treat the room to meet the performance criteria set by the home-theater designer. A 4in. treatment zone was reserved for the side and back walls of the theater. Limitation in space also meant that flush-mount loudspeakers must be used for the surround channels. System control was provided by an Elan Home Systems touchpanel in a wood housing that the homeowner selected to be stain-matched to the woodwork in the theater.

4in. of Owens Corning Black Acoustic Blanket was used on the front and side walls, as well as in a recessed portion of the ceiling. This was done to dampen first reflection zones and enhance imaging. The door location presented a challenge in controlling reflections from the front loudspeakers. Therefore, a custom door was fabricated with a recessed pocket to accept absorptive material. RPG 2D and 3D diffusers were used on the rear and side walls to enhance surround envelopment and to prevent the room from becoming too dead. The acoustical treatments and flush-mount surround loudspeakers were concealed by a stretch-fabric wall system. Cabinetry built on the front wall was sufficient to house the front loudspeaker and subwoofer array. The center-channel loudspeaker was placed behind an acoustically transparent screen for sonic accuracy. A JBL Synthesis 2 sound system using the new SAM front-loudspeaker array was specifically chosen for its performance and flexibility in calibrating to the room’s dimensions and volume.

The video projector was calibrated in accordance to ISF standards without issue.

Time and Expertise Worksheet

Task Hours

Client Interviews: 9

Electronic Design and Engineering: 20

Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 8

Project Management: 55

Pre-wire/Rough-in: 12.5

Trim-out: 14.5

Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 22

Programming: 5

Final Installation and Calibration: 51.5

Client Instruction: 2

Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 5

Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 0

Project Management by Others: 50

Other time: 0

Total Hours to Complete: 254.5

Equipment List

Qty: 3 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: SAM1HF

Qty: 3 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: SAM2LF

Qty: 3 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: S2S

Qty: 4 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: S4Ai

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: SDP5

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: SDEC-3000

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: S800

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: JBL Model#: 57150

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Integra Model#: DPS-6.5

Qty: 3 Manufacturer: Monster Cable Model#: MP HTS 5000

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Middle Atlantic Model#: ERU 4425LRD

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Scientific Atlanta Model#: Explorer 8300 HD

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Epson Model#: Powerlite Pro Cinema 810

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Screen Research Model#: FS-80-178-1W-B

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Panamax Model#: MIW-PWRKIT-TL

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Elan Model#: VIA! Valet6.4

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Crestron Model#: CLS-C6A

Qty: 1 Manufacturer: Owens Corning Model#: Black Acoustic Board

Qty: 6 Manufacturer: RPG Model#: Skyline LP

Qty: Manufacturer: Monster Cable Model#: Interconnects

Qty: 5 Manufacturer: Acoustic Innovations Model#: Royal Cinema Chairs

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