Home Theater Has Epic Family Values


SILVER WINNER: Home Theater $250,000 and Up (Photo by Myroslav Rosky)

This non-dedicated theater complements Runco, Stewart and Kaleidescape with gaming and comfy seats.

May. 03, 2010 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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An outdated CRT projector and 16:9 screen were scrapped in favor of a Runco three-chip DLP projector and anamorphic lens setup with a 123-inch Stewart CineCurve 2.35:1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.

A Crestron DVP-Pro video processor allows monitoring of 12 security cameras, as well as automatic split-screen when someone enters the property, even during movie playback. The DVP-Pro adjusts the security images based on the position of the anamorphic lens, so images of visitors or intruders are never distorted.

Unlike many high-end theaters, this is no basement queen. It sees daily use by the family. Thanks to a plethora of sources, there’s something for everyone. There’s also a seat for everyone, with the two front-row loungers ideal for gaming, the movie sweet spot on the center couch, and a back-row bar table for casual viewing.

Comfort is king, especially for large gatherings.

Down to the Wire

With an overly compressed timeline, there was little room for error or on-the-fly design changes. While some existing equipment deficiencies were identified during installation, both budget and design stayed constant throughout the build.

The homeowner’s contracted carpenter made extensive updates to the stage area, facilitating the switch from a 16:9 screen to a superwide CinemaScope 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Of course, if 4:3 non-HD content (or traditional 16:9 HDTV content) is called for, the Stewart screen can mask the sides to properly display the narrower aspect ratios.

Security feeds are displayed split-screen when someone enters the property, and even that video receives a touch of processing as it’s properly scaled to compensate for the presence or absence of the anamorphic lens.

Thanks to careful and detailed planning, the Audio One team was able to complete its assignment on time. The sound and picture in this theater is reference quality, and trumps some installations that take months or years to complete. It must have been a very happy Thanksgiving.

Despite the high-end components, this is a family-centric theater. There’s a seat for everyone, with the two front-row loungers ideal for gaming, the movie sweet spot on the center couch, and a back-row bar table for casual viewing. Photo by Myroslav Rosky

Systems Design & Installation
Audio One

Jim Pratt Woodworking

Room Size
18 x 25 feet

17 days

1 APC, S20BLK, Battery backup and power conditioner
1 Apogee, Sound Motion Picture Theater System,OneSurround Sound Speaker Package
1 Crestron,TPS15B,15 inch Touch Panel
1 Extron,HDMI201,HDMI over cat5
1 Genelec,HT324A,3-way active center channel speaker
1 Lexicon,MC12HD,EQ Balanced surround sound processor
2 Lutron,GrafiqEye,6-zone dimming system
4 Monster Cable,M850i,M850i Interconnecting cables
6 Monster Cable,HDMI,HDMI Cables various sizes
4 Monster Cable,M1000HD-8,Interconnecting cables
1 Mark Levinson,No. 431 2,Channel amp 200w per channel
2 Mark Levinson,No. 433 3,Channel amp 200w per channel
1 Mark Levinson,No. 436 1,Channel amp 350w per channel
3 Richard Gray, 1200C,Custom surge protection, Noise removal and High Current-on-Demand
1 Velodyne, DD-1812, I8 inch Signature Subwoofer

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