May 05, 2011
by Grant Clauser
Often when homeowners go to a company like Audio Video Interiors (AVI) for a home theater and integration project, they want something different, something that will stand out from the rest of the house and provide a special entertainment experience.
The Aurora, Ohio, owner of this theater certainly got something special, and while the end result is stunning, it blends in rather than stands out against the home’s existing aesthetic—right down to the barrel vaulted ceilings and architectural columns. Involved in the art and design staging field, the homeowner felt that design elements should be repeated throughout each room of a house to create an organic flow from one space to another. “He had some pretty specific requests,” says AVI project manager Joe Calderaro. “He wanted it to be a room where people could flow easily in and out.”
To create that “flow,” AVI used elegant draperies rather than a door as the entryway to the theater. Inside, the theater seats eight guests, but an adjoining media room on the other side of the curtained entryway includes two flat-panel TVs and a surround-sound system, which are all connected through the Control4 home control system to the same media sources as the main theater components.
Media sources available to guests include a DirecTV receiver, Sony 400-disc Blu-ray player and Internet-based content from an AppleTV or Roku receiver. A Digital Projection iVision projector lights up the 123-inch Stewart Filmscreen display. Because the owner didn’t want big speakers interfering with the decor of the room, AVI went with a perforated screen and mounted Triad Gold Monitor speakers behind it with Triad Silver OnWall surrounds and Triad Silver subwoofers for the theater’s 7.2 speaker system.
Calderaro notes that the unusual shape of the room, with a curved back wall, open entryway and curved ceiling elements, created acoustical problems that needed to be dealt with. “There were issues, nulls and peaks, but Triad speakers are pretty friendly. We needed to do a little tweaking to the space when the room was nearly finished,” he explains. “I know he (the owner) is very happy with the audio. He’s also a musician and has a good ear for music.”
Lighting also plays a key role in this room and is used as a way to play up the metallic finish on the ceiling and other decorative elements. When the accent lights are on, activated by a Control4 remote, the ceiling resembles a sunrise. Additional wall sconces complete the look. One button on the remote dims these decorative lights and brings up the picture for movie time.
Ease of use was another priority for this owner, as he’d struggled with complicated home theater systems in the past. The Control4 remote met his expectations, providing quick, easy access to all of his media sources, both in the theater room and in other entertainment locations throughout the house. EH
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.