New Construction Needed Theater Help

Electronics Design Group knew exactly what to do when encountered with the challenges of this new construction's home theater.


Photo by Bill Psolka

This performance theater was designed into a new-home construction that didn’t have a basement or crawlspace. The house sits on a concrete slab, and the theater risers had already been poured — incorrectly, of course. Enter Electronics Design Group, whose first challenge was to determine the right size screen for the room, and then layout the proper riser configuration.

The next request was that, when in use, the room could not interfere with the master suite above or the one wall adjoining the family room. Isonene insulation, resilient channel, and dual layers of Sheetrock all aided in eliminating the noise that would disturb other spaces.

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However, the biggest challenge for the installer was trying to educate the trades that were building the room. None had ever worked on a large-scale performance room, and there was a learning curve in getting them up to speed on how the room would be constructed to meet audio and video requirements. We were able to place all equipment for the room in the plan, and construction worked to that layout.

The projector was located at the very rear of the room, and the racks are in an adjoining closet. The TFT display on the surround processor allows easy management of video sources, as one cannot see the screen from the equipment rack. The Crestron control system has a 5.7-inch color wireless touchpanel; operation is intuitive for all sources, which includes management of HVAC and lights.

Equipment and speaker placement drove the design of the room. The homeowners wanted great video, so the installer decided not to use a perforated screen. The center channel was placed above the screen, with an angle down towards the seats. The left, right, side, and rear speakers are all hidden behind acoustically transparent fabrics. The room was modeled by Acoustic Room Systems, and their treatment product produced terrific results, with the best audio control for the space. The proper absorption, reflection, and diffraction made this room dynamic for both high and low level sound passages. Audio is calibrated to 85dB, with a maximum of 105 dB.

HVAC was designed to minimize distracting noise in the room, and a remotely located radon fan has a register located right over the projector’s exhaust, pulling the heat from the unit. When shutting the system off, the remote fan is timed to run for as long as the projector’s cooling fan operates.


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