December 09, 2009
| by Arlen Schweiger
It’s a good thing this room already has electronics toys, because Santa’s not popping out of the fireplace anytime soon.
Not only is the flue blocked off, but the firebox is stuffed with a couple of subwoofers.
That’s the compromise these homeowners made when they decided to transform this unfinished walkout basement into a home theater. The husband wanted to preserve as much seating area as possible, leave enough space to build a stage for their kids and keep the screen wall at the front of the room.
“He didn’t want a structure in there for subwoofers, so we didn’t really have a good place to put them,” says Tom Wells, president of Virginia-based custom electronics pro Integrated Media Systems (IMS). “They decided they wanted to abandon the fireplace and make it a screen wall, so that hole in the wall became a great place to install the subs.”
That was easier said than done. When IMS ran the idea by the building inspector, Wells was told, “you can’t just do that.” The fireplace shared a flue with another fireplace on a different floor of the home, so the theater room fireplace needed to be sealed off. With fire block materials and bricks, the seal was achieved. Without having to worry about the area as useful space, IMS went a step further by having some of the hearth’s masonry removed to create more room.
A 105-inch-wide Stewart Filmscreen CineCurve display was just the ticket to conceal the two Genelec HTS3B active subwoofers, as well as the trio of Genelec AIW25 self-powered front speakers. IMS framed the acoustically-transparent screen to provide enough depth to house the in-wall speakers in drywall to the left and right, with the center channel fitting within the frame.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.