Classic Theater Embraces Next-Gen A/V Systems
An SXRD projector and 7.1 surround sound blend into this theater's arches and columns.
Classic Theater Embraces Next Generation Technology
Click to enlarge. The latest display and sound technology powers this classically designed theater.
December 07, 2006 by Rebecca Day

Tucked into the mountains of North Carolina is a vacation retreat that only looks traditional. Inside is a bleeding-edge theater that seats 10, a super-slick remote control system and 7.1 channels of surround-sound thunder.

The columns and arches of the 22-by-24-foot space are part of a classic theater look engineered by theme-theater architectural company First Impressions, whose CineLoungers provide the cushy seating.

Located in the center of the house, the theater had to be acoustically isolated from the adjacent great room and office. The owners wanted the equipment to be visibly isolated as well, revealing none of the boxes and blinking lights that would break the classic spell.

The audio/video equipment is located in a room off the side behind a curved door that matches the arches in the room. The same curved panels mask six front, side and rear speakers behind acoustically transparent material throughout the room. The center-channel speaker anchors dialogue to the screen from an enclosure on the proscenium.

The Qualia projector provides the bright, crisp picture using Sony’s SXRD (Silicon Xtal [Crystal] Reflective Display) projector, a form of LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology. The low-maintenance SXRD technology is a boon for integrators, says system designer Charlie Dearmin, because they don’t have to make frequent service calls to recalibrate the projector or converge the tubes, as they had to do with old CRT projectors.

The Qualia’s long-throw lens preserves sightlines by allowing the projector to mount in a soffit at the rear of the room rather than above the seats. But while concealing the projector put design concerns to rest, it created a heat issue for Dearmin. “The Qualia runs hot, so I mounted two fans remotely in the attic and built ducts for ventilation,” he explains. Turns out his fix had a side benefit as well. “Since they’re mounted in the attic, we don’t have a noise problem from the fans.”

Equipment List: Video

  • Sony Qualia 004 SXRD projector
  • DVDO iScan VP30 HD video processor
  • Stewart Luxus Deluxe 124-inch Screen Wall
  • DirecTV TiVo satellite receiver
  • Sony DVP-NS999ES reference DVD player
  • Escient DVDM-100 DVD Management Center
  • Sony DVP-CX777ES 400-disc DVD changer

Equipment List: Speakers and Electronics

  • JBL Synthesis Three 7.1 Digital Home Cinema/Music system
  • ExactPower EP15A power conditioner
  • APC SmartUPS 250 uninterrupted power supply
  • LiteTouch 5000LC lighting control processor
  • Aprilaire 7780 Communicating HVAC thermostat
  • BTX drapery control

Systems and Room Design MHS Technologies Newland, NC Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.

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