Soundbar Is a Family Room Standout
A custom-built soundbar provides the front channels in the audio system and matches the width of the wall-mounted TV.
FINALIST: Best Family/Media Room
February 26, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

These Minnesota homeowners had a few criteria for their new family room, according to Shane Seira of Minneapolis custom electronics pro Sensory Experience Design (SED).

“First, they wanted it to function as a living room first and as an audio/video room second,” says Seira. “One of them wanted a 53-inch TV, the other wanted great sound ... and neither wanted bulky equipment taking up space.”

They owners decided early on that floorstanding speakers were not an option, and because of design constraints of the room in-wall speakers weren’t going to fly either. SED had to look for another way to provide for the front three channels in the 5.1 surround-sound speaker system. They chose to have a custom-built James Loudspeaker bar made to match the exact width of the Sony TV and be installed just below it to look pretty seamless. An in-wall sub and surrounds were also incorporated to finish off the the 5.1 system.

The space is not designed to be a perfect home theater, rather a multipurpose living space for daily gathering, but the quality of audio was a concern for SED.

“Calibrated using Audyssey’s MultiEQ built into the Denon AVR-2808CI receiver, the owners have been more than pleased with the space,” says Seira, “often watching movies more here than in their theater.”

An AMX system and touchpanel controls allows them to easily operate all of the A/V and lighting, so they can sit on the couch and watch movies in a warm and comfortable space. Controls are integrated so the lighting corresponds with the A/V. “They can pause the movie, turn the lights up to go to the bathroom or grab something out of the fridge—and when they resume the movie the lights dim back down to the perfect setting,” says Seira.

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

Installer, Equipment List

Systems Design and Installation
Sensory Environment Design
Minneapolis, Minn.

Authentic Construction

Sony KDL-52XBR5
AMX MVP-5200i w/ inwall docking station
Denon AVR-2808CI
Denon DVD-3800BDCI
Lutron 2 Five Button Keypads
James Loudspeaker 110-SDX with Model Five amp
James Loudspeaker Two 32-SDX
James Loudspeaker PL-39LCR
Peerless SF660B
OnQ In-Ceiling WAP
Apple TV

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