October 29, 2009
by Arlen Schweiger
When you think of custom home theaters, special illusions usually don’t come to mind, says Rob Roessler of Illinois-based Audio Video Concepts. He was happy his team could add a little slight-of-hand for the homeowners and guests.
On top of the usual theater “magic”—like everything working properly, easily and blowing away the viewers with outstanding performance—this room features a slickly designed screenwall in which the 110-inch Stewart screen appears to be floating.
“The homeowners wanted a room that was easy for their family to operate and had a ‘wow’ factor while entertaining,” says Roessler. “Ease of operation was taken care of by a Crestron 8.4-inch touchpanel that controls all aspects of the room including equipment and lighting. With the panel anyone in the family can press one button and bring the room to life.
“The ‘wow’ factor was addressed with a little AVC magic,” he continues. “Acoustic panels were separated from the screen instead of installing them tight to the screen frame. In addition, the panels were moved out away from the screenwall, which created a shadow box effect. The screen was then mounted with lighting added behind the acoustic panels to create the illusion of a floating screen.”
Even with the additional accent lighting there, Roessler says there are no worries about any compromise from the Runco projector’s images, because the lights are on the same plane as the screen, as opposed to the lights being placed behind or in front of it.
The Audio Video Concepts team had a relatively blank slate to deal with in this room, but there were still some challenges. Roessler notes: “Obstacles to overcome included a waterline and shutoff valve located at the front of the theater room. We knew the homeowner had to have access to the shutoff in case of an emergency so, AVC proposed acoustic panels that would open and close like a door for easy access. Additionally, entry to the room was in the rear and a ‘transition’ needed to be accounted for between the bar room floor and the risers for theater room seats. AVCs design team addressed this with a recessed entryway into the theater room which enabled the incorporation of stairs as well as space for a refrigerator, microwave, and cabinetry in the back of the room.”
For some audio magic, AVC installed a Paradigm speaker surround-sound system, fueled by Yamaha electronics. Viewers can kick back and relax in comfortable Berkline theater chairs to enjoy the show.
“Now the homeowner can really wow his audience with the magic of a custom touch panel and lighting illusions,” says Roessler. And, of course, high-def Hollywood magic on a 110-inch screen.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.