Park Avenue Home Theater

The theater was inspired by the client’s favorite section of New York, where they have many memories of good times and special moments. 3/17/2008 8:00 AM Eastern

Park Avenue Home Theater

Mar 17, 2008 12:00 PM

The following information is courtesy of the 2007 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.

2007 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Awards Entry:
Best Large Home Theater, Level I: $56,000 - $85,000

The theater was inspired by the client’s favorite section of New York, where they have many memories of good times and special moments. The goal of the theater was to bring back the feeling of visiting Park Avenue and to be able to escape into the world of movies at the same time. The details and finishes of the room are inspired by architectural elements found on Park Avenue in New York.

There were a couple of challenges that we encountered during the design phase of the room. Rack placement was tricky because the client desired to see the components, but there was not a convenient place to put it. The decision to recess it into a pending cedar closet ultimately solved the problem, and this space was redesigned to include a separate back door to minimize degradation to the sound isolation goals of the room.

Acoustic paneling was included to absorb the first reflection point—in a fabric-wrapped panel which was continued throughout the decor of the room. The back end of the room was left reflective to achieve a more enveloping surround effect. Carpet was used on the floor, with heavy underpad, and the room was constructed with drywall and insulated wall cavities to damp the drywall.

Overall the room is acoustically very pleasing—dialogue is easily understood, effects are immersive and captivating and the sound is detailed and rewarding to the listener. Loudspeakers are placed in a conventional layout with LCR behind the acoustically transparent Screen Research 90in. 16:9 screen so that the sounds match the visuals. The SPL level was calibrated using THX guidelines and during normal scenes at reference level, typical readings were between 80-85DB. Maximum volume (peak) was in the 100-105dB range, depending on the amount of bass in the scene being measured.

The ventilation of the room was via the central HVAC system, with the room being in the lower level of the home, it was relatively cool to begin with and it was decided by the client that they were comfortable taking this approach. There was sufficient equipment spacing in the rack design to allow the factor heat sync designs to take care of heat dissipation, so no additional ventilation was required.

Video was calibrated using a Sencore color analyzer to ISF standards and there were no issues here. The sound was balanced from the client’s favorite chair to THX specification using a basic SPL meter and processor-generated test tone.

Equipment list

  • 1 B&W ASW-650
  • 4 B&W DS6S3
  • 3 B&W SIG. 7 NT
  • 1 Crestron CP2e
  • 1 Crestron ST-COM
  • 1 Crestron STX-1700CXP
  • 1 Crestron TPS-RFGWX
  • 1 Denon AVR-3805
  • 1 Screen Research FS-90-178-2W
  • 1 Sony VPLHS50
  • 1 Sony DVP 777 ES
  • 1 Middle Atlantic ERK-4425

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 5
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 3
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 2
    Project Management: 15
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 6
    Trim-out: 4
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 0
    Programming: 4
    Final Installation and Calibration: 22
    Client Instruction: 3
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 10
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 0
    Project Management by Others: 0
    Other time: 0
    Total Hours to Complete: 74

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