May 03, 2010
by Stephen Hopkins
As anyone with a big family can tell you, finding time to spend together can be harder than sewing silk from sow’s ear. Just as difficult can be finding time for home renovations.
With Thanksgiving only 17 days away, the owner of this theater tapped custom electronics firm Audio One of Miami, for a last-minute home-theater upgrade of epic proportions.
With such little time for Audio One to create an updated design and equipment plans, making the most of the present equipment and room was critical. Existing Apogee THX System One speakers were retained, but a damaged center-channel required replacement.
After the existing speakers and room acoustics were analyzed, a Genelec HT324A center speaker was selected for its power, precision and active EQ for acoustic matching. The amplification was upgraded to Mark Levinson 430 series models, and audio processing was left to a Lexicon MC12HD.
An outdated CRT projector and 16:9 screen were scrapped in favor of a Runco three-chip DLP projector and anamorphic lens setup with a 123-inch Stewart CineCurve 2.35:1 screen. The homeowner’s carpenter handled the extensive woodwork modifications.
Following the design phase, physical installation was compressed into a three-day timeline — including a full day dedicated to audio and video calibration. Audio One took special care to properly integrate the new center channel with the existing speakers and higher-performance electronics.
A combination of the Genelec’s active EQ, Sencore processors and the Lexicon’s automatic room-correction system made the different models blend as seamlessly as possible.
The Kaleidescape system can engage or disengage the power-sled anamorphic lens based on the film’s aspect ratio. Photo by Myroslav Rosky
A mix of new and existing sources found their way into the updated system, including a Kaleidescape DVD server, Sony ES Blu-ray player, Western Digital movie player, DirecTV HD DVRs and even VHS VCRs. The Kaleidescape system can engage or disengage the power-sled anamorphic lens based on the film’s aspect ratio, while other sources have a fixed lens position with manual override.
Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.