Product Showcase
Fortress Seating

Beverly Hills Housewife’s Real Home Theater
This theater sits in the center of the house, not in the basement, and it’s the best decision the homeowners could have made.
November 04, 2012 by Lisa Montgomery

Equipped with top-notch equipment, this theater was designed for serious movie viewing. Its location, however, makes it so much more diverse.

Rather than trick out the basement or a back room, the owners asked the custom electronics (CE) pros at DSI Entertainment Systems, West Hollywood, Calif., to place it smack dab in the center of their house, in what originally was being used as a traditional family room. “It’s always been a dream of mine to have a home theater, so having it at the core of our house is ideal,” says Kyle Richards, one of the featured actors on the Bravo hit Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Adds her husband Mauricio Umansky: “Located here, the home theater gets used way more than it would have in the basement. We use the theater to watch the news and sports and as a place to entertain friend and for the kids to hang out.”

Kyle Richards, courtesy of Bravo TV

While the 26-by-14-foot room underwent a major remodel, “our goal was to make it casual and inviting,” says Kyle, DSI drew up the plans for the A/V. The crew replaced a 60-inch plasma TV and mid-grade speakers with a Runco video projector, 135-inch (diagonal) Stewart Filmscreen screen and a high JBL Synthesis audio system. DSI mounted the acoustically transparent screen within a niche of a newly constructed cabinet, leaving room behind it to house the front three speakers and two subwoofers. The remaining speakers of the 7.2 arrangement were built into the ceiling. The components, which include JBL amps and processors, and an Apple TV box, DirecTV receiver and Samsung Blu-ray player, are hidden away too, tucked inside three equipment racks concealed by wooden cabinet doors at the bottom of the screen. “I’m a huge movie buff, so I tend to use the Apple TV the most because I can download new releases whenever I want,” says Kyle.

As this would be a primary relaxation spot for the family, the system had to be simple to use and the furnishings comfortable—and stylish. A specially programmed button on a Crestron MLX3 handheld remote kick starts all of the necessary equipment. The Umanskys use this same remote to direct music from an iPod dock or XM Radio receiver (also stashed in the equipment rack) to any of several speakers in the house.

The wood paneling and navy blue upholstery carries through the cozy, casual feel of the rest of the house, but with a home theater twist. The projector, which is suspended from the ceiling at the back of the room, was ordered in the same hue as the Fortress Seating chairs. The theater is getting so much use, the Umanskys have decided to add motorized features to the seats, which already feature built-in cupholders. 

Check out more inside pictures here.

Equipment List:

Runco LS10i Video Projector
Stewart Filmscreen 135” Velux 135” 16.9 Microperf Screen•     
JBL AV2 Pre-amp      
JBL AVA7 7-channel Amp    
JBL HT4V Left, Center, Right Speakers    
JBL SS8 Surround Speakers (4)     
JBL PS1400 Subwoofers (2)     
Crestron MTX-3 Touchscreen Remote
Crestron CEN-RFGW-EX Wireless Gateway    
Crestron MC-3 Core 3 Processor    
Crestron Lighting Dimmers (4)     
Crestron CHV-TSTAT Thermostat    
Apple TV•     
DirecTV HR25 Receiver    
Samsung Blu-ray BDP-7900
Fortress Theater Chairs    
Furman Elite 15i Power Conditioner    
Middle Atlantic Rack

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

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