February 05, 2010
by Arlen Schweiger
We love it when homeowners express their passions or hobbies in their home theaters. We’d already seen Harley-Davidson show up in one cool theater environment, and here it is again in a completely different context.
For one thing, this New Jersey theater is a dedicated room, and for another it’s not your typical basement project. It’s in the home’s attic space. That in itself was a bit of an unusual challenge faced by custom electronics pro Premier Home Theater of Newton, N.J.
“We were contacted by this owner to help them turn their attic into a theater for the whole family to enjoy. Upon meeting with the owner we realized we would have to get very creative to make you forget you were in an attic,” says Premier’s Robert Kowalski. “We gave the walls a three-dimensional feel by stacking acoustic panels and popping some color in with the amber fabric on some of the panels. We also designed in an LED fiber-optic ceiling to open the space up and take your attention away from the various angles in the ceiling.”
LED star ceilings can certainly bring viewers to a heightened theater experience, and we’ve seen them installed in a number of rooms like this. Halfway through the project, though, this owner wanted to bring in another visual element to add to the room’s appeal: a Harley-Davidson soda machine. It actually worked well in more ways than one, Kowalski notes.
“He was thrilled to find out when it showed up that it matched the room perfectly,” says Kowalski, noting the color scheme.
As far as the actual movie and TV viewing, an important aspect was the aspect ratio. Premier installed a 2.35:1 screen that can mask to 16:9 so the common super-wide CinemaScope and traditional HDTV viewing aspect ratios would be incorporated to their fullest as projected from the high-performance Runco projector.
Special care and attention also went into the equipment rack as well as sub-systems integration. “We were able to build the equipment rack into an unused opening in the wall to provide a very clean look in the room,” Kowalski says. “We also integrated the lighting and HVAC control into the Crestron system so that everything is automated through the TPMC8X touchscreen controller. The client loves the way everything turned out and can’t believe that this used to be his attic.”
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.