One of the best times to integrate technology and think about a home cinema installation is during a renovation. In this case, the homeowners were expanding their home to create a space for family fun and for entertaining guests, and part of the high-tech package would include custom-installed A/V products tied to a professional control system.
The custom electronics (CE) professionals at Surreal Systems, out of Anaheim, CA, already knew the homeowners from a previous job at a commercial building. The company came to this residential project when it was still in the design phase. This is helpful, says Surreal Systems President Matt Bernath, because layout, infrastructure and wiring decisions are easier to make when you’re involved from the beginning.
The homeowners were specific about what they wanted for this new 1,200-square-foot addition. “They wanted the look and feel of the Venetian sports bar,” says Bernath. As many millions of people have found, Vegas sports bars can be great places to relax or socialize because they offer a variety of activities all in one general area. The owners of this home wanted to create that same vibe.
This home cinema installation offers exactly that. It combines a home theater area with a 138-inch video wall, a bar and gaming area for mahjong, plus an adjacent outside deck with a swimming pool—all with seamless audio piped in through inconspicuous in-ceiling speakers. The effect is very much like a Vegas hangout.
A large TV for watching movies and sports is always a requirement for any family entertainment room, but a standard TV wasn’t going to be big enough, and a projection system wasn’t going to be bright enough. Surreal Systems suggested a video wall, similar to what you might see in a Vegas lounge. The company went with a 138-inch display made up of nine 46-inch Planar LCD monitors. The thin bezels of the Planar displays give the system a seamless look, with a brightness level and pixel density far exceeding that of any standard 1080p TV or video projector. Because each monitor is actually a 1080p display, the overall system produces a resolution greater than 4K. “It’s an incredible, very smooth-looking picture with great calibration tools,” says Bernath. The system comes with four off-board processors that scale all the incoming signals from Blu-ray players, a DVR and an Apple TV to the native resolution of the system.
Accompanying the display is a 7.1 surround-sound system featuring Definitive Technology StudioMonitors in the custom millwork. The game and bar areas of the room include SpeakerCraft in-ceiling speakers. Throughout the space, guests can enjoy the audio from the main display source or music sources. The same audio can also be piped outdoors to speakers around the pool, so the music experience is seamless across the entire Vegas-like environment. “When we turned the music on throughout the whole space, the way it properly blended at the default volume was a big hit for them,” says Bernath.
The family uses an Ovation music streaming system from Fusion Research to listen to Internet music and satellite radio. An Apple TV is also used for streaming their iTunes library. Occupants can also stream tunes directly from their own iDevices to the system via AirPlay.
Surreal Systems used a Lutron system for lighting control, which operates a number of different types of lighting loads, including hanging pendants, in-ceiling can lights, wall sconces and colored LED rope lighting. The rope lighting was added as an architectural accent that automatically cycles through various colors.
The lights and A/V equipment are both operated by a Savant home automation system. The homeowners like that they can control the entire home cinema installation and lighting with either their iPads or iPhones, as well as from a simple wall keypad.
Want to get even closer to the action? Check out this sizzling space in our slideshow below.
System Design & Installation
California Flooring and Interiors
Diamond Bar, CA
- APC G5BLK 9-Outlet G-Type 15-Amp Rack-Mountable Power Conditioner
- APC J35B 8-Outlet J-Type Power Conditioner with Battery Backup
- Apple TV
- AudioControl Model D3200 Amplifier
- Definitive Technology CS-8060HD Center Channel Speaker
- Definitive Technology UIW RSS III Reference In-ceiling/In-wall Bipolar Loudspeakers (4)
- Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 650 Speakers (2)
- EnGenius ENH210EXT Wireless-N Outdoor Access Point
- Integra DTR-70.4 9.2 Channel 3D Network AV Receiver
- Lutron LR-HVAC-PKG-WH Temperature Control
- Lutron RadioRa Main Repeater
- Lutron RD-RD-WH Remote Dimmer
- Lutron RRD-6D-WH Dimmers (3)
- Lutron RRD-6NA-WH Dimmers (8)
- Lutron RRD-8ANS-WH Switches (4)
- Lutron RRD-10D-WH Dimmers (5)
- Lutron RRD-H3BSRL-WH Hybrid Keypad
- Lutron RRD-H6BRL-WH Hybrid Keypads (4)
- Middle Atlantic Custom Rack Systems (2)
- Netgear GS724TP ProSafe 24-Port 10/100/1000 Smart POE Switch
- Planar 46-inch LED HD Clarity Matrix Panels (9)
- Savant Host Controller (HST-4501)
- Savant ICC-2000-00 iPad In-Wall Wired Charging Dock
- Savant Select Remote (SSR-1000)
- Savant SmartAudio SSA-3000 Audio Controller
- SnapAV WattBox IP+ Controllable 12-Outlet Rack Mount Power Conditioner (WB-600-IPVCE-12)
- Sony BDP-S790 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
- SpeakerCraft Aim 7 Two In-Ceiling Speakers (4)
- SpeakerCraft AMP98850
- SpeakerCraft OE5 One Outdoor Speakers (4)
- Velodyne Optimum 12-inch Subwoofers (2)
This project was originally selected as Electronic House’s “Best Multipurpose Room,” as part of the 2014 Home of the Year collection.