Theater Overcomes Potential Disasters
Oddly-shaped ceiling and curved back wall could have been acoustic nightmares.
SILVER WINNER: Home Theater $50K-$100K
May 03, 2010 by Steven Castle

There may not be anything about this home theater space that stands out and wows you. The decor is very nice. Its wood trim and warm look is inviting. And there’s a 123-inch fixed screen showing a Full HD 1080p picture from a top-of-the-line three-chip DLP projector. We’d take that in a heartbeat.

Then there are the B&W 804S front speakers, paired with a B&W HTM3S center channel, four B&W Signature 7NT surrounds, and two REL R-505 subwoofers producing some very fine sounds.

There are comfortable Acoustic Innovations Deco home theater chairs, a nearby rack containing a Rotel processor and amplifiers, a Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player and a DirecTV HD receiver. Finally, there’s a slick Crestron TPS-6X wireless touchpanel to control it all. Very nice, indeed.

What’s not to like about this 28-by-28-foot home theater space? Oh, that’s right: It has no super-duper descending screen or wowee button that’s going to make us gush about what an awe-inspiring innovation it is. It doesn’t even have superwide CinemaScope (2.35:1 aspect ratio) capability!

So, wait a minute: A $35,000 three-chip SIM2 C3X projector isn’t wowee enough? The SIM2 projector produces a great picture, even for that exalted price range, says electronics installer Barry Reiner of Innerspace in Port Chester, N.Y. And the projector itself has a really nice look, he adds. It’s not a big, hulking thing hanging from the ceiling. “It has a lot of style, and it’s not obtrusive looking.”

Reiner’s also a big fan of the B&W speakers - as well as the B&W and Rotel electronics pairing. “We think B&W makes a wonderful product. They’re great performers. And with Rotel, we wanted to use a nice-quality surround product above the mid-priced range.”

OK, so there’s seriously good audio and video here. And a nice looking room. But shouldn’t we be, like, bouncing off our seats at some incredible application or pop-up geegaw?

Adding Acoustical Treatments
Instead, let’s talk acoustics. Yes, as in boring, old acoustics. Reiner says the family in this house wasn’t crazy about adding acoustical treatments, but at the same time, they didn’t want sound from the theater leaking upstairs to the family room. The idea was that the parents and the teenagers could entertain separate guests in separate areas without audible conflicts between the two.

So acoustics company SoundSense engineered an acoustically suspended ceiling that is separated from the rest of the home’s structure, thereby preventing sound vibrations from traveling from the theater to the upstairs areas.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

Installers/Equipment List

Systems Design and Installation
Port Chester, N.Y.

East Hampton, N.Y.

Room Size
28 x 28 feet

1 Sim2 C3X 1080T2
1 Chief Ceiling Mount Bracket
1 Stewart SNDQ123HST13wez
1 Rotel RSP-1069
1 Rotel RMB-1095
1 Rotel RB-1080
1 Pioneer Elite BDP-51FD
1 Digital HD-Ready Cable Box with DVR
1 Panamax MAX 5100PM
2 B&W 804S
4 B&W Signature 7NT
5 B&W BB-W8
2 REL R-505
1 Crestron TPS-6X
1 Crestron CP2E
1 Crestron PW-2410RU
1 Remote Control Repeater
1 Key Digital KD-CSW 2x1
1 Middle Atlantic AXS-35
1 Middle Atlantic TRACK50
1 Middle Atlantic TS1640
1 Middle Atlantic AXS-WT-50
5 Middle Atlantic RSH-4A
7 Middle Atlantic EVT-1
2 Middle Atlantic BL-3
1000ft 12 gauge 4 conductor cable
200ft RGB-HV cable
1000ft Category 5e data cable

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