In-Ceiling Surround Sound Helps Max Out Narrow Theater Room
Credit: John Olson
An architectural speaker system from B&W and Triad deliver audio goodness, while Lutron motorized shades provide clever ‘door’ solution.
Not every house is designed with a room that has the perfect dimensions for the perfect home theater. In fact, unless someone was thinking about it when houses are being built, most aren’t. So, custom electronics professionals often are tasked to work with odd size rooms and turn them into stand-out home theaters. It’s one of these type of jobs that earned Innerspace Electronics of Port Chester, N.Y., well-deserved kudos for this one.
The homeowners for this project had two children that were growing up fast and so they wanted to build a home theater and entertainment room where they could enjoy movies together before the kids ran off to college. But the 12-by-29-foot room they chose, located in the lower level of the house, presented obstacles.
“The room design proved to be challenging due to its shape and size. Because the room was long and narrow, it was decided that the seating and screen orientation would work best if they were placed in a narrow setup,” explains Barry Reiner, president and co-founder of Innerspace Electronics.
A two-piece projection system was the chosen to handle the job of video, as Innerspace outfitted the room with JVC’s 4K-upscaling DLA-RS56U unit beamed onto a 96-inch Stewart Filmscreen fixed-frame screen. For a room that looks more like your traditional family room, this delivers them bigger-than-TV fun of 16:9 aspect ratio content as well as full 1080p HD and 3D images in their native form.
For audio, Innerspace installed three Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) CCM 7.3 in-ceiling speakers for the front left, right and center channels as part of the room’s surround-sound system. Two B&W CCM 663 in-ceiling speakers by the back wall serve up the rear surround details, while a Triad InWall Gold DSP PowerSub was used to provide the front LFE effects. A DTR-50.4 A/V receiver from Integra handles the processing and power to complete the surround-sound package.
(View images of this media room here)
Speaking of sound, this lower-level location plus the lack of a door (see sidebar) made sound proofing a key consideration, as well, which Innerspace managed to limit by treating the walls and ceiling. “The ceiling was insulated with high-density sound deadening insulation, then finished with Quiet Rock, a sound insulating dry wall.” explains Reiner. “This helps reduce the sound travel of the theater’s audio system to the floor above.”
And for ease of use, the theater can be controlled by either a Universal MX-900 remote control or via an Apple iPad or iOS device. For this family, that’s simplified controls for a simple, yet elegant, home theater room they’ll be able to enjoy for years, maybe even after the kids leave.
No Door? No Problem
Some rooms present interesting challenges for custom installers. This room was at the bottom of a stairwell in a lower level of the house, and because of the way it was situated, building a door for the theater was not feasible. To provide some kind of separation, Innerspace Electronics installed a Lutron Sivoia QS wireless blackout shade at the base of the stairs to create a dark and isolated environment. The blackout shade is a rolling piece of blackout fabric that is often used for windows, but Innerspace cleverly created a “door” for the room that kept any light out simply by having a long length of the fabric roll down and cover the opening. In addition, three motorized Lutron cellular shades can be used to black out the windows in the room at the press of a button on the Pico remote. —David Dritsas
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