Home Theater Fun and Games

Five leather, motorized recliners invite you to sit and enjoy the show, while a rear table and stools beckon the passing guests from the billiard room to stop in for a look. One of the client's reque 9/17/2007 4:00 AM Eastern

Home Theater Fun and Games

Sep 17, 2007 8:00 AM

The following information is courtesy of the 2006 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Designers' Choice Awards. For more information on how to become a member of CEDIA, or information on its awards program please visit or call (800) 669-5329.

2006 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Winner
Best Large Home Theater
Level I: $40,000 - $70,000

This theater is unique in that it does not use a traditional riser but a step down into the foundation. We worked alongside the contractor and structural engineers to design a step that would maintain the structural integrity of the foundation walls and floor while keeping in mind sight lines from the second row. We then custom made the step lighting to accentuate the change in elevation from front to back. A custom-finished rack with thermal management was cut through the rear wall, resulting in gear that looks hot while at the same time staying cool. Five leather, motorized recliners invite you to sit and enjoy the show, while a rear table and stools beckon the passing guests from the billiard room to stop in for a look.

One of the client's requests was to have an Xbox system as part of the theater, but with absolutely no visible wires. We had found the available wireless transmission systems to be sub par in terms of reliability, so we ran conduit beside the floor heating to locations under both rows of seating. In doing so, we worked with the electrician to ensure proper hydro placement for the Xbox and the motorized seating. Now when Xbox play is desired, the kids just plug in the controllers under their chairs. The user interface is an MX3000 touchscreen remote that not only controls the theater, but also lighting and the music server. The husband is a Corvette collector, so the graphic user interfaces were custom tailored to include a picture gallery of his latest vehicle build.

In order to soundproof the room we worked with the builder, drywall contractors, and HVAC contractors to oversee the installation of resilient channel and Icynene spray foam in the ceiling and walls. The HVAC duct work and piping was suspended on foam insulation to prevent reverberation throughout the home. The clients did not want an incredibly loud system, but one that was pleasing to listen to, and also to look at. For this reason, wall-mounted speakers were chosen.

Theater calibration was done to industry standards by a trained ISF professional. As in most cases with DLP technology, once the grayscale was tracked properly, everything else fell perfectly into place. The end result is a theater room that the family uses regularly, not only for their weekly movie nights, but also for kids’ parties and sleepovers. The clients view this room as a welcome, valuable addition that they wonder how they ever did without.


  • Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi surround amplifier
  • Pioneer Elite DV45A DVD player
  • Bell Express Vu 9200 dual-tuner HDTV PVR
  • InFocus SP7210 DLP projector
  • Premier Mounts PBLUMP projector mount
  • Energy Take tower loudspeakers
  • Energy CR3 rear surround and side speakers
  • Energy S10.3 powered subwoofers
  • Draper 106in. Onyx 16:9 fixed-mount projection screen with Veltex
  • Lutron GRX2404 Grafik Eye controller
  • Lutron SPS600 spacers
  • Universal Remote MX3000 touchscreen remote
  • Middle Atlantic ERK-4425 rack system
  • Middle Atlantic custom shelves and trim plates
  • Middle Atlantic TD4 and TD2 DVD drawers and partitions
  • Elan ZPOWER rackmounted surge suppressor and power block
  • Elan ZFANR rackmounted cooling unit
  • Elan VIA DJ hard drive music server
  • Elan IRDKIT infrared system
  • Custom-made step lights
  • Front-row seats—model Barcelona (leather with motorization)
  • Tributaries interconnects

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 10
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 25
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 20
    Project Management: 20
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 25
    Trim-out: 30
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 15
    Programming: 20
    Final Installation and Calibration: 40
    Client Instruction: 3
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 5
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 20
    Project Management by Others: 0
    Other time: Spray Foamed walls and ceiling with Icynene for soundproofing: 7.5
    Total Hours to Complete: 240.5

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