October 31, 2007
| by Steven Castle
Builder Aaron Vitale of Vital Building & Enterprises had seen enough home theaters, and he wanted a state-of-the-art one in his own residence. Only this wouldn’t be any ordinary high-end theater. Vitale likes watching several football games at once, and he wanted to be able to view the video feeds from multiple security cameras on his property. The solution: multiple screens, what else?
The main feature in the 35-by-45-foot theater space is a 144-inch Draper screen that receives video from a high-definition Sharp projector capable of 720p and 1080i resolution. The screen is flanked by four 42-inch high-def Samsung plasma screens. That’s enough video for this 18-seat room.
To the sides of the plasma screens and behind large fabric grilles are two Paradigm Signature S8 tower speakers and two Paradigm 15-inch subwoofers. A Paradigm center-channel speaker fires from beneath the screen, and four in-wall Paradigm speakers provide the surround sound at the sides and rear.
Home theater designer Glenn Drummond of Valley Home Theater and Automation designed the theater so sound from any of the screens can play over the audio system. Aaron just has to make that selection on the 10-inch Control4 touchpanel. Each screen also has its own DirecTV high-def receiver with DVR, and something recorded from one screen can be played on any other one in the theater—or throughout the house—courtesy of an Extron switcher.
One might think a theater this large would require a rack of power amplifiers, but Valley Home Theater & Automation relied on one B&K AVR507 S2 audio/video receiver that pumps out 150 watts per channel.
The Control4 system operates all the gear on a weblike network and is extended to the rest of the house in 10 audio zones. Vitale uses the system to browse and listen to his music collection stored on a computer, eliminating the need for more costly media servers. All of his DVDs were stored in a Sony 400-disc changer, also accessible via the Control4 interface.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates