Tight Attic Space Transformed into Theater
An acoustically transparent screen and hidden 7.1-channel speaker system help keep this home cinema comfortable.
FINALIST: Best Home Theater $25,000-$50,000
February 17, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

Forget about storing the old clothes, toys and holiday decorations in the attic. These homeowners decided they wanted to finish theirs and provide a space for a home theater.

Only problem, like many attics, that space was at a premium so any electronics or speakers out in the open would potentially cramp the theater. “Due to the size of the space we had to work with we had to be quite creative,” says Kevin Hourihan of custom electronics pro Cyber Home Networks in Stormville, N.Y.

The Draper projection screen and SpeakerCraft Tantra model speaker system helped solve those space issues. The screen is acoustically transparent, so the front-channel speakers are installed behind it while audio is still able to carry through the screen. The side and rear channels in the 7.1 surround system are also concealed, with fabric treatment doing the job in those areas.

A JVC DLARS2U projector feeds the screen from its ceiling-mount position at the back of the room, and all the owners have to do is close the curtains to get the room ready for movie watching.

In terms of keeping equipment out of the way, such as the Denon A/V receiver and Samsung Blu-ray player, Cyber Home Networks housed the gear on a Middle Atlantic AXS rack in a knee-wall closet that’s at the entrance of the room.

“Before all of the equipment could be installed acoustically treating the room was critical,” explains Hourihan. “Being the room was in the attic we had to be sure the sound wouldn’t exit the room and escape to the master bedroom and kids rooms directly below the theater.

“We used premium grade carpet underlayment designed to reduce the transfer of sound from impact (footfall). Also used was A flexible, 2-pound per square foot, 1/4-inch thick, high-density material with a smooth surface designed to reduce noise transmission between two spaces. Applications include reducing airborne noise transmission through walls, ceilings and floors.”

For easy programming of the A/V and convenient macro controls in the theater, the homeowners can tap the Universal Remote Control MX3000 controller. Another solid solution that made this attic transformation a winner.

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

Installer, Equipment List

Systems Design and Installation
Cyber Home Networks
Stormville, N.Y.

Milbrook Architects

Denon 3808ci receiver
Samsung 1500 Blu-ray
Apple TV
SpeakerCraft Tantra In-Wall 6” Front Channels (3)
SpeakerCraft Tantra in-Ceiling Tantra 8 (2)
SpeakerCraft Tantra In-Wall (2)
SpeakerCraft Tantra 12” Subwoofer
JVC DLARS2U projector
Draper projection screen
Universal Remote Control MX-3000
Furman Elite 15 Power Conditioner
Middle Atlantic AXS rack
Impact Barrier acoustical treatment

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