Home Theater With Five Screens In One

Crestron, PMI and D-Box pack some serious video punch in this daring theater re-do.


Any discussion of this theater must start with the massive 12-foot-wide Stewart Filmscreen Director’s Choice screen wall. No ordinary screen wall, this one features masking fabric that extends from the top, bottom and sides automatically, depending on the screen size and format, such as 16:9 high-definition TV broadcasts, and 2.35:1 movie images. But still, this isn’t what makes it so unique.

The screen can also display up to four images from different video sources at one time, thanks to home control company Crestron’s DVPHD processor. The processor also enables the screen to display side-by-side images for head-to-head video gaming, with audio for one side coming from the speakers on the left side of the theater and audio for the other side coming from the right side speakers.

“The Crestron DVPHD was a major shift in the evolution of this theater,” says Michael Fehmers of electronics design and installation firm DSI Entertainment Systems in West Hollywood, Calif. The young, tech-savvy homeowner initially just wanted to replace an old theater with a nicer one, but not have something crazy.

There’s still more. Digital Projection International’s (DPI) custom-ordered Titan three-chip DLP projector produces superwide CinemaScope (2.35:1) images without the use of a separate anamorphic lens that moves in front of the projector, which is usually required for viewing Cinema- Scope images. The Titan’s lens zooms and focuses to switch between formats.

And those formats? They all appear in the optimal size for their resolutions, thanks to Performance Media Industries’ (PMI) 2.0 technology, which allows the Titan projector, screen wall with masking and Crestron processor to synchronize their settings properly. PMI provides all of the sight line, aspect ratio and image size engineering to ensure that the picture is optimized at every seat.

Accompanying all of this video manna is a JBL Synthesis speaker system featuring 12 speakers and four subwoofers for a 9.1-channel configuration. Six speakers sit behind the acoustically transparent screen, along with two subs, while six 8-inch multipole surrounds are flush-mounted in the side and rear walls. The front speakers consist of three high-frequency horn and three low-frequency woofer modules. Two additional subwoofers are mounted beneath the riser for the second-row seats and ported via precision-drilled holes.

The guests seated on the riser feel some great vibrations, but those in the front row are treated to D-Box motion simulators that pitch and roll the seats according to the motion on the screen.

There’s also a slick Kaleidescape hard-drive based movie server to dish up the flicks.

And we’re still not done. All of the A/V goodness is controlled by two Crestron touchpanels, a 15-incher mounted in a console between the seats and a portable 6-inch unit that can be passed around. All of the features and functions of this killer theater were programmed by the custom electronics (CE) pros at DSI Entertainment Systems.

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