Ex-Home Gym Flexes its Theater Muscle
Pros confiscate closets to expand space for small but high-performance upper-level entertainment room.
image
FINALIST: Best Home Theater $25,000 to $50,000
August 24, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery

The owners of this theater were willing to sacrifice valuable storage space to transform a spare room into a small but mighty home theater. “The room was really too small to function as much of anything, other than a place to put workout gear” says Chris Green, general manager at Hi-Tech Home in Clovis, Calif.

Measuring less than 200 square feet, the room didn’t quite have the chops to accommodate the enormous screen and surround-sound system the owners had in mind. So before a single piece of equipment could be installed, contractors from Alta Custom Homes (also in Clovis), enlarged the room by several feet by removing an existing wall, tearing down a built-in bookshelf and turning two closets in the hallway into square-footage for the theater.

The closet conversions also gave Hi-Tech Home a place to fish the network wiring that would connect the theater’s Sony 400-disc changer to TVs in the master bedroom and family room.

“This would give the owners a huge bang for the buck,” says Green. “At the time of the installation (the project was finished in January 2009), the Sony changer was about 1/8th the cost of a hard-drive (multiroom) system. The only drawback is that everyone has to watch what’s playing in the theater, unlike a hard-drive system that allows everyone to watch whatever they want.”

That was another concession the owners made—this time, to conserve cash. The entire project came in at less than $50,000, including the build-out, cabinet work, new carpeting, painting, lighting, and of course, the labor and equipment. Not bad, considering the room would boast a 110-inch Da-Lite screen, a Panasonic 1080p projector, Denon 7.1 surround-sound receiver and a Control4 control system, in addition to the Sony megachanger and seven Berkline chairs.

This equipment provides a fantastic movie experience for the family, although Green admits that a 92-inch screen might have been a better fit for the still smallish 12-by-16-foot area.

“When you’re sitting in the front row, the 110-inch image is a bit overwhelming,” he says.

Still, the owners love the effect, especially when playing video games. The on-screen navigation menu of the Control4 system makes it easy for them to transition from a movie to a video game. One press of a button—choosing the Wii, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 icon that’s displayed on the 110-inch screen—switches all the necessary inputs and adjusts the lighting levels.

All the gaming consoles, as well as the A/V equipment and front speakers, are hidden inside a cabinet custom-built for the room—another space-saving strategy.

Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.

  Find an Installer
  Find custom electronics installers who provide home theater systems,
  lighting, home automation, A/V and more! Click here to get started.


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.

Installer/Equipment List

Systems Design & Installation
Hi-Tech Home
Clovis, CA
www.hitechhome.net

Equipment
Da-Lite 110-inch screen
Panasonic PT-AE2000U-EC projector
Denon AVR-3808CI receiver
Sonance Symphony S623T speakers (2)
Sonance Symphony LCR speaker
Sonance Symphony S623TR speakers (4)
Sunfire HRS-10 subwoofer
Sony DVPCX777ES DVD/CD changer
Sony PlayStation3
Nintendo Wii
Microsoft Xbox 360
Dish Network high-def receiver
Control4 LDZ-101-W dimmers (3)
Berkline theaer seats (7)
Sanus VMPR1 mount
Minuteman R1-ETR700 UPS
ATM System 3 fan unit


FREE Charter Platinum Membership
Claim your FREE Charter Platinum Membership to EH Network and receive 6 FREE issues of EH Magazine.*
First Name
Last Name
Email Address

We understand your email address is private. By granting you access to the EH Network, you agree to receive email communications from us, including our newsletters. You can manage your subscription at any time in the future.
* The new EH Network launches and your free subscription begins December 2014.


Topics

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.