February 23, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
This project was a twist on some other theater rooms, as it wasn’t exactly for the original homeowners.
The owners also own and manage some apartment complexes in the Chicago area, and they wanted to apply a theater room to a clubhouse under construction in one of the apartment communities. Local custom electronics pro Architectural Audio & Video had done the work on the homeowners’ personal spaces, so the firm was entrusted to design and perform the installation for this more commercial-like environment.
Mostly that meant adding a bunch more theater chairs, larger screen and enabling a flexible environment for non-viewing activities. “We were very limited on the alterations for the room, so we had to make what we had work,” says AAV’s Matt Koppin. “They wanted to make the system seat as many as possible, be simple to use, house the equipment remotely, make it reliable, and most of all exceed their expectations on performance (within the budget). They also wanted the flexibility to hold meetings in the room, so space to setup a presentation and connectivity were also necessary.”
It looks like AAV provided more than enough seating options and performance goodness in this space. For starters, they went with 28 seats from Irwin, which were covered in a custom fabric to better blend in with the room’s decor.
For the audio, an in-wall Triad speaker system offers surround sound unobtrusively, and Marantz electronics and Elan controls provide the system’s functionality and ease of use.
On the video side, a 126-inch acoustically transparent screen from Screen Research offers big high-def images as well as conceals the front-channel speakers of the 7.4 surround system (yep, four Triad subs pump out plenty of bass in here). A Marantz projector fills the screen with the video.
“By utilizing an attached mechanical room, we were able to remotely locate the equipment,” says Koppin. “With the Elan Via touchscreen, we were able to program a simple interface that anyone could use without much thought.”
The result? The room gets tons of use that’s great for the community residents and great for the owners, who get to show it off to prospective inhabitants. The system is used several days a week for movie nights, sporting events, and meetings.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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