Big Theater, Small Package


Silver Winner: Home Theater $75,00 - $150,000

Good things fit in small spaces.

May. 09, 2011 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

You don’t need to build a new house to gain a home theater. The owners of this New Jersey home tapped into unused space in the basement, and now they’re enjoying a big-screen, big-sound cinema experience without leaving the comforts of home.

If only building this theater was easy. At only 11 feet wide by 17 feet deep and just 7 feet high, the space presented several challenges. Custom electronics firm Electronics Design Group (EDG) of Piscataway, N.J., was hired to survey the space and provide a floorplan for a theater that could comfortably seat five. EDG expanded its plan to include structural considerations to provide the best theater experience possible. EDG made suggestions for blocking out windows, rerouting the heating and air conditioning ductwork and running wire for lighting and electrical needs. Then it handed off the construction work to a contractor and architect and hunkered down with plans for the audio/video gear.

EDG brought in specialists from RPG Diffusor Systems to create a sound control system using diffuser panels and absorptive materials on the walls and ceilings. RPG measured the room and created panels that would scatter sound in an organized way and eliminate any distortion and unwanted reflections.

System Design & Installation
Electronics Design Group, Piscataway, N.J.
MDK Contracting, Livingston, N.J.
Stern-Ring Associates, Florham Park, N.J.
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The room’s surfaces were one challenge; the low ceiling was another. EDG would typically mount a projector to the ceiling and shoot the image onto the screen at the front of the room. Here, the 7-foot height of the room wouldn’t allow for headroom beneath a projector.

The original solution was to place the projector on the floor, which created a new set of seating problems. Then some technical serendipity occurred when the owner decided to upgrade to a 1080p projector. A Runco VX-22d 3-chip DLP projector with a longer throw distance (the distance a projector can be from a screen) enabled the EDG installers to position the projector behind the back wall in a mechanical room. This was a win-win, as the projector was out of the way and invisible—except for a small hole cut into the wall for the lens—though it could still project a bright, sharp image. As a bonus, heat and noise from the machine were confined to the adjacent room. 

The room height also affected the seating. Since there wasn’t enough height to install tiered, stadium-style flooring, the homeowners chose the next best thing: comfy pod-shaped gamer seats. The brown chairs blend with the earth tones of the room, and the muted shade prevents visual reflections that might interfere with images on screen. 
With the 1080p projector strutting its stuff on the 110-inch Stewart Filmscreen, the family is ready for anything high-definition that comes its way, including the latest Blu-ray discs and HD cable programming. We didn’t forget the powerful audio portion of this theater. Seven studio-grade Genelec AIW25 in-wall speakers are driven by seven Genelec amps and accompanied by a Genelec subwoofer for a rockin’ 7.1 surround-sound experience.

Thanks to a finely tuned room, a high-octane sound system and a top-notch projector, whatever is on screen keeps viewers strapped to their seats. EH

1) Active Thermal Management System 1
4" Insulated Duct / Fan Cooling System (100CFM)
1) Crestron CNPWS-75 Power Supply
6) Crestron CNXIRP IR Probe
1) Crestron CP-2E Control Processor
1) Crestron CNRFGWA-418 RF Receiver
1) Crestron CLS-C6 iLux Lighting System
2) Crestron BNX-B8 Keypad
1) Client Supplied PC
1) EDG 1RU – 1RU Connecting Block
7) Genelec RAM2 AIW25 Amplifiers
7) Genelec AIW25 Speakers
1) Genelec AIW-400 Rack adapter kit for RAM-2 Amplifier Module
1) Genelec RAM1-401 Rack Adapter kit for RAM-1 Amplifier Unit
1) Genelec HTS3b Subwoofer
1) HD DVR Cable Box – Client Supplied
1) Key Digital KD-CSW 4x1 Audi/Video Switch
1) Lexicon MC-8 BAL Processor
1) Middle Atlantic ERK-3525
1) Middle Atlantic CBS-ERK-25
1) Netgear EVA8000
1) Runco Vivix DHD Vivix Processor
1) Runco VX22d Projector
1) Sony BDPS500 Blu Ray Player
1) Stewart SNDQ110HFHG3WMX Luxus Deluxe 110” MicroPerf Wall Mounted Screen
1) Toshiba XA2 HD DVD Player
1) Tiverton Custom Gaming Jack – Client Supplied
1) Xantech CB18 Distribution Block
3) Client Supplied Theater Style Seat
2) Client Supplied Bean Bag Style Lounge chair w/ottoman

Installation Info
Systems Design & Installation:
Electronics Design Group, Piscataway, N.J.,
Acoustical Treatments:
RPG Diffusor Systems, Upper Marlboro, Md.,
MDK Contracting, Livingston, N.J., 973-615-1758
Stern-Ring Associates, Florham Park, N.J.,
Interior Design:
Karen Bowen Interiors, Short Hills, N.J., 973-467-1124

Project Details
Room Size (L x W x H): 20 x 12 x 7 feet
Cost: $133,000 (includes installation and labor)
Project Duration: 27 months
Construction: Retrofit

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