April 24, 2013
by Steven Castle
Editor’s Note: This profile of one of our Home of the Year winners originally ran in May of 2012. We’re highlighting past winners in anticipation of the May 2013 release of the new Home of the Year winners. You’ll want to check back in May, because the new winners are awesome.
Step into this lounge and theater, and you might think you were in a chic Manhattan club. That was the intent of interior designer Dominic Gasparoly of GW Design, who combined his talents with the custom electronics (CE) pros at Audio Video Design in Rego Park, N.Y, to produce this knockout basement theater and lounge area in the Hamptons. White oak floors with a silver finish and walnut panels cast a stylish sheen in the jazzy lounge and bar area, while in the theater red abounds as the floor turns to wall turns to ceiling, with carpeting everywhere. One almost expects disco or mood lighting, but a powerful home theater experience awaits instead.
“Red gives it a nice, cozy and warm atmosphere,” says Gasparoly of the theater. Press a couple of buttons on Crestron’s 8.4-inch color TPMC-8X touchpanel, and you’ll be embraced by an audio/video extravaganza featuring a powerful array of Bay Audio speakers and superwide CinemaScope images from Digital Projection’s 3-chip Titan DLP projector.
The Titan 1080p-250 projector automatically adjusts format sizes from broadcast HD 16:9 to superwide CinemaScope movie images, with side masking from the 156-inch Stewart Filmscreen VistaScope display. “Using the motorized preset for lens shift on the Titan, we are able to toggle between a 123-inch image in a 1:78 aspect ratio to a dramatic 156-inch image in a 2:40 aspect ratio,” explains Marcel Bendenoun of Audio Video Design.
Not three, but four Bay Audio PTM/Two speakers fire from behind the acoustically transparent microperforated display. Due to the size and depth of the room, and the fact that the speakers had to be placed a foot from the back of the screen, two of the speakers are used to handle both the top and lower center channels. This ensures intelligible dialogue through the center channels. Gobs of bass come from two 18-inch Bay Audio Impact subwoofers and a massive 24-inch Bay Audio Rumble subwoofer, also located on the front wall.
Four more PTM/Two speakers are in the side walls for surrounds, with their drivers exposed and their enclosures painted red to match the walls—and two more blend into the black rear wall to round out the 7.1-channel system.
Sound was contained to the basement construction by floating the walls and ceiling with Resilient Channel suspended framing during construction. Layers of Sheetrock, Acoustiblok vinyl and QuietRock were used on the walls to help prevent the sound from seeping into other areas of the house.
LED strip lighting separates sections of the theater and lends it a vibrant touch. It’s controlled by a Lutron lighting system, which also illuminates a blue LED in a front corner to alert the homeowner when someone is at the front door.
The lounge area can play the same audio and video as the theater or be its own separate zone. It features a 40-inch Samsung LED TV, six Sonance Visual Performance VP67R in-ceiling speakers,
Bay Audio JamSubs and a Crestron iDoc if guests want to play DJ with their iPals.
The area, which also contains a pool table, bar and arcade games, is wrapped in velvet drapes and punctuated with large chairs like those you might find in a Manhattan lounge. Get comfortable, big shot. The night is young.
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Great Basement Home Theaters
Dealing with Light in a Home Theater
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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