Flowery Design Elements Bloom into Full Theater Boom
Ceiling dome and acoustic panels glow in LEDs, while hidden projection system and James Loudspeaker/Velodyne surround sound make movie nights epic.
Credit: Joachim Schirmacher
May 06, 2013 by Arlen Schweiger

Sometimes form follows function, sometimes function follows form. In the case of this gorgeous home theater in Fresno, Calif., the design choices were first and foremost … and they’re certainly the first thing likely to grab your attention. Red colors pop throughout, an illuminated flower blossoms overhead in the ceiling’s dome, framed acoustic panels glow in LED lighting, and rich curtains add a dramatic touch to “showtime.”

It’s not always ideal when custom electronics pros must heed strict guidelines from an interior designer on a tech project, but Hi-Tech Home, Clovis, Calif., teamed with award-winning designer Michael Weil to deliver plenty of A/V sizzle and aesthetic splash. “His thing is that he never wants to do anything the same way twice,” Hi-Tech Home’s Chris Green says of Weil.

Unique would certainly describe the hand-painted flower ceiling dome, which Green says is a visual element that Weil wanted to work into the room from the beginning. Plus the homeowners can brighten, dim and make the color-changing LEDs up there “chase” each other around thanks to a remote operating the Control4 automation system. The reddish hue of the LEDs washing over the acoustic panels does not change color, but as with the dome, as soon as the owners press a button to start a movie the lights fade while the curtains part and the electronics spring into action.

In tandem with Da-Lite’s motorized masking for its 133-inch screen, the Control4 system knows whether to unveil the screen in a 2.35:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio, depending on if the homeowners select the 400-disc Sony Blu-ray changer as the source (2.35:1, since its mainly movie content) or satellite TV or Apple TV (16:9 mode), plus the masking can be changed manually with a button press. The horizontal masking fabric will cover the extra space on the sides of the 2.35:1-shaped screen when the narrower 16:9 content is showing.

(View images of this home theater here)

System Design & Installation
Hi-Tech Home, Clovis, Calif.
Interior Design
Michael Weil Design, Fresno, Calif.
Spadier Construction, Fresno, Calif.
Find an Installer
Find custom electronics installers
who provide home theater systems,
lighting, home automation, A/V
and more! Locate an installer today!

Weil did not want any electronics to be seen until there was a movie playing, so Hi-Tech Home installed motorized velvet drapes in front of the screen and hid the Digital Projection M-Vision LED projector within the ceiling on a customized Inca lift. There’s little wasted space in the lift design, so Hi-Tech Home had to program the electronics shutdown sequence into the Control4 system in a way that automatically removes the projector’s motorized anamorphic lens away from the regular lens before the projector could rise into the ceiling (the anamorphic lens is used for the 2.35:1 super-wide movies). “There’s no room for play on that at all, probably a half-inch between the front of the lens and the lip of the lift,” says Green, noting that recessing the projector was not an option with the cement rear wall.

The surround-sound speakers and subwoofers are also concealed (see sidebar), as is all the A/V gear—it’s not even in the room. Two packed, full-size Middle Atlantic racks that serve the entire home along with the theater are stored behind glass doors in a hallway of this multifaceted lower level. There’s also a gym, sauna and wine room, and you must pass through the wine room to get to the theater, whose exterior doesn’t let on to the grandeur that awaits. “It’s a standard wooden door leading into the room,” Green says, “and then when you go in and there’s all the LED lighting it’s quite a wow factor.”

Hiding Sound
Seven James Loudspeaker 803BE in-wall speakers and two 12-inch Velodyne subwoofers belt out 7.1-channel surround sound. Fed by separate Sherbourn amplifier and preamp/processor components, the speakers can be heard loud and clear but are pretty well kept from view. The outline of the front speakers can be made out but they blend into the red screen wall, while subs are up front behind a stationary set of curtains and the side and rear surround speakers are behind acoustic panels. Hi-Tech Home went through about a dozen fabric samples before finding one that was transparent enough to let the surround speakers ring through.

See Also:
Front Projection Basics: Your Ticket to Home Theater Nirvana
5 Ways Architects and Interior Designers Need to Pay Attention
Understanding Home Theater Screen Selection

Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.

Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.


Room Size (L x W x H): 20 x 22 x 8 feet
Project Duration: Part of 2-year whole-home project
Construction: New
Cost: $145,000

Systems and Equipment

Control: Control4
Screen: Da-Lite
Projector: Digital Projection International
Speakers & Subwoofers: James, Velodyne
Processing & Amplification: Sherbourn
Motorized Drapes: Mechoshade
Projector Lift: Inca
Equipment Racks: Middle Atlantic

Full Equipment List

(for the Whole Home)
(4) Arlington D8K88C Non-metallic Waterproof Enclosures
(2) Axis Technology 241Q IP Encoders
(1) Binary B-200-HDSPLITTER-1X2 HDMI Splitter
(4) Binary B-RGBIR-500 Component Baluns
(2) Binary B-RGBLR-350 Component & Stereo Baluns
(1) Boston Acoustics HSi 470T2 In-Ceiling Stereo Speaker
(2) Boston Acoustics HSi S6W2 In-Ceiling Passive Subwoofers
(1) Card Access IDP10A Doorbell/Phone Event Package
(3) Card Access IGA-10A Garage Automation Packages
(5) Card Access WCS10-R Wireless Contact Relay Switches
(5) Card Access WMS-10 Wireless Motion Sensors
(6) CE Labs AV700 Composite Video Amp/Splitter
(1) Channel Vision IU-0252 Oil Rubbed Bronze Door Intercom Unit
(1) Channel Vision P-0920 Telephone Entry Controller
(1) Channel Vision TE-110DS Door Strike Relay
(1) Chief CM2L40 Automated Flat Panel Pop-up Lift
(1) Chief PSB2029 Adapter Plate
(3) Cisco AIR-LAP1141N-A-K9 Wireless Access Points
(3) Cisco AIR-PWRINJ4 Power Injectors
(24) Control 4 AC-6C-X Custom 6-Button Engraved Keycaps
(7) Control 4 C4-16AMP3-B Multi-Channel Amplifiers.
(1) Control 4 C4-4Sight Remote Access Subscription
(1) Control 4 C4-CHE-16X Composer Home Edition
(6) Control 4 C4-FS1-Z-BR Fireplaces Switches
(1) Control 4 HC800-BL Primary Home Controller
(3) Control 4 HC300-E-B Home Controllers
(7) Control 4 HC200-E-B-NR Home Controllers
(1) Control 4 C4-Intercom-E Intercom License
(2) Control 4 C4-IPDKTT1-E-B Tabletop iPod Docks
(1) Control 4 C4-MyHome-Site-E Unlimited Device License
(9) Control 4 C4-SR250-Z-B System Remote Controls
(6) Control 4 C4-TSWMC7-EG-BL 7” InfinityEdge Touch Panels
(9) Control 4 C4-TSWMC5-EG-BL 5” InfinityEdge Touch Panels
(6) Control 4 CCZ-T1-W Wireless Thermostats
(24) Control 4 KPZ-2B1-W Wireless 2-Button Keypads
(37) Control 4 KPZ-3B1-W Wireless 3-Button Keypads
(12) Control 4 KPZ-6B1-W Wireless 6-Button Keypads
(117) Control 4 LDZ-101-W Wireless Dimmers
(10) Control 4 LOZ-5S1-W Wireless Outlet Switches
(74) Control 4 LSZ-101-W Wireless Switches
(22) Control 4 C4-TDIM1-Z-LA Wireless ELV Dimmers
(1) Control 4 C4-IOX-E-B IO Extender
(1) Crown Audio CDi1000 Professional Amplifier
(1) Da-Lite Perm-Wall 133” Projection Screen
(1) Da-Lite Pro-Imager Horizontal Screen Masking System
(1) Dell PowerConnect 3524 24-Port Managed Network Switch
(1) Digital Projection M-Vision Cine LCD LED Projector
(1) DirecTV SWiM System
(1) DirecTV HR24 HD-DVR Satellite Receiver
(13) DirecTV H24 HD Satellite Receivers
(1) Furman IT-Reference 20i AC Power Conditioner
(1) Furman SPR-20i Power Voltage Regulator
(1) Hanchett Entry System Door Strike & Faceplate
(10) Hancock & Moore Monterey Theater Seats
(1) Honeywell 4B-H902 Central Vacuum Power Unit
(3) Honeywell 170301 30’ Grey Hose Socks
(1) Honeywell H300 Elite Electric Power Brush w/LED Headlight
(2) Honeywell H400 Premier Electric Power Brushes
(1) Honeywell Vista 250 Security System w/ICM
(1) Inca 900411 Custom In-Ceiling Projector Lift
(1) Inca 900822-200 Projector Lift Power Sense Module
(7) James Loudspeakers 803BE Concerto Beryllium Series 8” In-Wall Speakers
(1) Just Add Power HDMI over IP Video Distribution System
(2) Linear RE-2N Residential Telephone Entry Systems
(2) Linear MT-2B Visor Transmitters
(1) Linear CCM2 Color Video Camera for RE-2N
(1) Mechoshade WhisperTrac Automated Curtain System
(2) Middle Atlantic 54326 Slim-5 43 Space EQ Racks
(2) Middle Atlantic DOP543 Smoke Plexiglass Doors
(1) Middle Atlantic Duct Cool 2 A/V Closet Cooler
(2) Middle Atlantic PDT2015CN Power Strips
(29) Middle Atlantic RSH4S2S Custom Cut Rack Shelves
(1) Nexus l-39 TV Lift System
(1) Omnimount 37ARMB Medium Flat Panel Cantilever Mount
(1) Omnimount Motion 40 Automatic Cantilever Mount
(1) Omnimount Motion 52 Automatic Cantilever Mount
(1) Omnimount SB200F Ultra Low Profile Flat Panel Mount
(2) Panasonic TC-L37DT30 37” LED TVs
(1) Peerless SUF640P Ultra-thin Flat Panel Mount
(1) Planet FGSW-1828PS 16-Port Network Switch
(3) Planet GSW-2404SF 24-Port Network Switches
(1) Planet UTM25EW-100NAS 4-Port Gigabit Router
(3) Samsung UN26D4003 26” LED HDTVs
(1) Samsung UN32D5500 32” LED HDTV
(2) Samsung UN40D6000 40” LED HDTVs
(1) Samsung UN46D6000 46” LED HDTV
(3) Samsung UN55D7000 55” LED HDTV
(1) Sanus VLF311 Large Full-motion Cantilever Mount
(2) Sanus VMF308 Super-Slim Full-motion Mount
(1) Schneider Optics Cine-Digitar Anamorphic Lens
(1) Schneider Optics Kino-Linear Motorized Projector Lens Mechanism
(1) Sherbourn 7-350 7-Channel Amplifier
(1) Sherbourn PT-7020-C4 Pre-Processor Tuner w/Integrated Control 4
(2) SolidDrive SD Invisible Speakers
(5) Sonance 421R SST In-Ceiling Stereo Speakers
(3) Sonance XSSTR In-Ceiling Speakers
(4) Sonance Extreme ST In-Wall Speakers
(2) Sonance LS10SUB 10” Underground Landscape Subwoofers
(8) Sonance LS47SAT 4” Landscape Satellite Speakers
(6) Sonance SA1.5 Invisible Speakers
(6) Sonance VP45 4.5” Visual Performance In-Wall Speakers
(38) Sonance VP45R 4.5” Visual Performance In-Ceiling Speakers
(18) Sonance VP65R 6” Visual Performance In-Ceiling Speakers
(1) Sony BDP-CX7000ES Blu-ray MegaChanger
(1) Speco DVR-8WM/2T 8 Channel Surveillance DVR w/2TB HDD
(6) Speco HT-7247iHR Intensifier Dome Cameras
(4) SB Components HHASP2 – 1 in/2 Out HDMI Splitters
(1) Strong SM-ART1-M Medium Articulating Mount
(1) Tripplite AV550SC Structured Wiring Back-up Power Block
(2) Velodyne SC-12 - 12” Front Firing Passive Subwoofers
(1) Velodyne SC-IW – 5” In-Wall Passive Subwoofer
(3) Velodyne SC-1250 – 1250 Watt Subwoofer Amplifiers
(1) Versa Technologies POE-1200G 12-Port Gigabit POE Injector Hub
(1) Versa Technologies POE-2400G 24-Port Gigabit POE Injecotr Hub
(1) Vutec Artscreen Cover Art to hide Flat Panel TV
(6) WyreStorm HBT1T100/01 HDMI, Ethernet, IR & RS232 Over CAT5 Extender

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.


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.