Home Cinema Cellar
This client came to Ashway with the requirement of turning an unused space into a dedicated room for watching movies and sporting events on a large projector screen. We had an existing relationship with the client as we had previously installed a whole house audio system for him some years ago.
The space in question was a cellar/basement that had been tanked out and fully converted five years previously. The room had been used by the client’s two sons as a Den/Games room but had since become redundant due to the boys leaving home for university etc.
The brief was for us to design and install a suitable home cinema that would meet the following criteria:-
- Projection system
- Good surround sound
- Eliminate the current room echo
- Must be easy to use
- Must be a discrete install (no visible cables)
- Would preffer it if speakers were hidden too
- Movie server feature required
In order to provide the best viewing experience, we made an early decision to change the room orientation to allow for the best viewing distance Vs screen size in the space that was available.
Due to the amount of design work required on this project, we produced detailed drawings and 3D room layouts for signoff by the client prior to commencement of works. This allowed our client to get a real feel for the finished room and provided an excellent point of reference.
Our initial calculations showed the optimum viewing angle of between 30 & 36 degrees (in line with CEDIA recommended practices) was achievable with an 8ft wide screen. This was also well within the throw distance range of our specified projector.
Room acoustics factored in very early in our design as the original room was pretty much a box with wooden floors and a dual ‘barrel’ ceiling – which seemed to amplify the echo somewhat. Also, the preferred solution was to feature in-wall speakers – not easy to do in a basement that has already been converted and made watertight.
Our design successfully dealt with both of these acoustic requirements by removing the original plasterboard walls and re-skinning the whole perimeter of the room to create additional depth for which to house both a special acoustic foam (fitted within the wall to help deal with sound reflections) and the 8 speaker surround system. A series of removable panels of varying width (perfectly matching the height and position of the projector screen) were then designed and fitted. The panels were covered with an acoustically transparent material matching the new room decor – perfectly disguising the equipment behind.
Furthermore, the original brickwork of the barrel ceiling was exposed to further reduce the reflection of sound and to also become a feature of the room – uplit by smart lighting controlled RGB LED strips. The perimeter of the room also features a series of LED down lights which provide a welcoming ambience, whilst highlighting the bespoke panel features.
Due to the practicalities of the room location, the main equipment rack had to be located within the room itself. Great care was taken to find a suitable location within the room that would offer the least amount of impact on the viewing experience.
Our solution ensured that the rear and top of the rack be exposed to the newly formed inner-skin of the room (vented by a panel in a window that had been blocked up). This design reduced the need for heat extraction within the rack and hence unwanted noise within the room.
Control of the system is handled by the excellent SR250 remote (Control4). This control solution is linked to all aspects of the room providing the client with a very easy to use experience. Upon activation the projector fires up, the IP controlled amplifier switches on (and to a pre-set volume level – very important in case the last user was “having a blast”!), lights dim to a suitable scene and the user is presented with an intuitive on-screen GUI so they can select a source device.