A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Simple, Warm Family Theater

lht06b_200.jpgThe following information is courtesy of the 2008 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.

2008 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Awards Entry: Best Large Home Theater Level II: $115,000-$150,000

Date design began: 12-06-06
Date installation was completed: 11-25-07


1. Synopsis describing the project goals, special features, or nuances.

The goal of this theater was simple, during a large scale whole-house renovation our client wanted to create a warm, inviting, high performance theater space for his family to spend quality time together. The primary role of this space is for the four daughters that “run the house” to enjoy watching movies with their friends and siblings on a nightly basis. The space had to be multi-functional and have an open concept to a bar/kitchen area, card table, and a 175 gallon salt water aquarium. The client fell in love with our design concept, and after approval of initial renderings and sample materials, we were given the freedom to complete the project on time and on budget with no further input from the homeowner.

lht06c_200.jpg2. Did you encounter any challenges or limitations in the design of the system or placement of equipment? Please describe the control system.

The theater space was an existing unfinished basement area located underneath the main family living space. We were challenged with low ceilings and existing ceiling mounted ductwork that could not be rerouted. We decided early in the design phase that we would hide all of the electronic components. The speakers are built into the walls and ceilings, and the projector and subwoofer are built into the back wall. The main equipment rack that houses all of the theater components (as well as some whole-house multi-room audio components) is located in a storage room behind the theater space. Because we were hiding all of the components we integrated a Kaleidescape system so that the family would not have to go into the storage room to load a DVD prior to watching a movie. A handheld RTI touchscreen was chosen for control to give each member of the family an easy to use interface. The youngest family member is four-year-old and she can easily operate the HD PVR, watch her favorite cartoon from the Kaleidescape, and control the lighting in the room.

3. Please discuss the acoustics including speaker placement and calibration as well as the SPL reading. Discuss the ventilation of the room.

The left, center, and right speakers were designed and installed behind the acoustically transparent Stewart screen. Left and right speakers were separated as much as possible and center in the middle of course. Speakers were centered with screen height to provide the most seamless and realistic co-relation between on-screen action and sound. The walls and ceilings were all fully insulated and double drywall glued together to minimize unnecessary resonances and audible rattles or vibrations. The fiber optic ceiling was treated with velvet and fully insulated as well which is an important component for bass management. The surround sound speakers were located in-ceiling over the main row of seats. This was the best speaker location due to the open concept theater space. The SPL reading using a pink noise signal on the DVD video essentials disc easily attained a reference level of 115dB. During action scenes of actual movie material the SPL level peaked at 122 dB; this was largely affected by the client’s preference for subwoofer levels.

lht06f_200.jpg4. Did you calibrate the theater? If yes, please discuss the video calibration and any challenges you encountered during calibration.

The theater was calibrated using Digital Video Essentials and a Sencore color analyzer. RGB drives and biases were fine tuned to reference 6500 degrees Kelvin. We found that at reference video settings the picture had excellent color accuracy, but was a little dull, so contrast and brightness were adjusted by eye to achieve a pleasing picture to us and the client. An important feature for the client was the ability to view the screen with ambient light in the room. We created day & night projector picture settings to allow for user selectable video settings to achieve best possible picture quality in any light condition.


Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Stewart Filmscreen
Model#: SNDQ100HST13WezMX
Product Description: 100

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: B&W
Model#: ASW-650
Product Description: 12

Qty: 2
Manufacturer: B&W
Model#: CWM800
Product Description: 2-Way 8

Qty: 3
Manufacturer: B&W
Model#: CWMLCR7
Product Description: 3-Way In-Wall Speaker

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Denon
Model#: AVR 3806
Product Description: A/V 7.1 Receiver

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Denon
Model#: DVD-1930CI
Product Description: DVD Player

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: ExpressVu
Model#: EX-VU-9200
Product Description: High Definition Satellite Receiver w/Built-in Recordable Hard Drive

Qty: 8
Manufacturer: Acoustic Innovations
Model#: DECO
Product Description: Custom Theater Seating – Leather

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: Ksystem-Base-Movies
Product Description: System for Movies

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: KUPGR-Music-Add
Product Description: Music Playback & Guide Service Upgrade

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: KUPGR-250-750
Product Description: 250GB to 750GB Disk Cartridge Upgrade

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: Kserver-1500
Product Description: 1U Server

Qty: 4
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: KDISK-750-L
Product Description: Disk Cartridge

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: Kplayer-5000
Product Description: Kaleidescape Movie Player 2

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: Klicense-Movies
Product Description: Movie Playback License

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Kaleidescape
Model#: KSUB-Life-Movies-Music
Product Description: Movie & Music Guide plus Software Upgrade – Lifetime

Qty: 2
Manufacturer: Lutron
Model#: GRX-3506-A-WH
Product Description: 6-Zone Grafik Eye for Automated Dimming & Pre-Programmed Lighting Scenes

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Middle Atlantic
Model#: WRK-44SA-32
Product Description: 44 Space Rack

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Middle Atlantic
Model#: UQFP-2D
Product Description: Ultra QFP 2 Fan LED

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Middle Atlantic
Model#: PVFD-44
Product Description: Plexi Vented Door

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Runco
Model#: CL610LT
Product Description: DLP Projector w/Long Throw Lens

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Monster Power
Model#: HTS 2600 MKII
Product Description: Reference Power 10 Coded AC Outlets 3 Coax, 1 Phone

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: RTI
Model#: T3
Product Description: Full Color Touchscreen Remote Control

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: RTI
Model#: RP-6
Product Description: Master Controller

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: RTI
Model#: RM-433
Product Description: RF Antenna

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: RTI
Model#: CM-232
Product Description: IR to RS-232

Qty: 1
Manufacturer: Denon
Model#: DCM-390
Product Description: 5-Disc Carousel Player

Qty: 2
Manufacturer: B&W
Model#: CCM80
Product Description: 8


Client Interviews: 5

Electronic Design and Engineering: 6

Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 4

Project Management: 40

Pre-wire/Rough-in: 16

Trim-out: 16

Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 0

Programming: 8

Final Installation and Calibration: 48

Client Instruction: 4

Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 8

Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 0

Project Management by Others: 8

Other time: 0
Describe Task:

Total Hours to Complete: 163

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