A Speaker-driven Home Theater Design

This performance theater was designed into a new home-construction project that did not have a basement or crawl space. 8/06/2007 8:00 AM Eastern

A Speaker-driven Home Theater Design

Aug 6, 2007 12:00 PM

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
Designers' Awards: Large Home Theater
Gold Technical Design, Level IV ($160,000-210,000)

Electronics Design Group

This performance theater was designed into a new home-construction project that did not have a basement or crawl space. The house sits on a concrete slab, and when Electronics Design Group (EDG) first joined the project, the theater risers had already been poured incorrectly. EDG's first challenge was to determine the right size screen for the room, and then layout the proper riser configuration. All viewers now have great sight lines. Secondly, when in use, the room could not interfere with the master suite above or the family room adjoining one wall. Designing the room with isonene insulation, resilient channel, and dual layers of sheetrock aided in eliminating the noise that would disturb other spaces.

EDG's biggest challenge in the development of this room was educating 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. They 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 control system is a Crestron system with a 5.7in. 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. As the client wanted the best performance video, EDG did not employ a perforated screen. The center channel was placed above the screen, with an angle down toward the seats. The left, right, side, and rear channels are all hidden behind acoustically transparent fabrics. The 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 105dB.

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.

Calibration of the theater was completed by an ISF- and HAA-certified technician, bringing the system to industry standards, and presenting a very film-like image. EDG did not experience any issues in performing the calibration, as it had complete and discrete control of lights, and ws able to trim both subwoofers to the proper level.

Equipment list

  • 12 BarcaloungerViewing Collection seats in black leather, motorized
  • 1 Ceiling & Walls double 5/8in. sheet rock with Resilient Channel
  • 1 Ceiling & Walls Isonene sound-proofing insulation
  • 3 B&W Signature 8NT in-wall Audiophile three-way speakers
  • 3 B&W BB-Signature 8 metal backboxes for Signature 8NT
  • 4 B&W Signature 7NT in-wall Audiophile two-way speakers
  • 2 B&W ASW850 1000W powered subwoofers with 15in. Kevlar driver
  • 1 CinemaTech Acoustic Room system, includes fabric, diffusor panels, and SelectSound room modeling
  • 1 Crestron CP2E control processor with Ethernet
  • 1 Crestron CNPWS75 power supply
  • 1 Crestron ST1700C active matrix wireless touchpanel
  • 1 Crestron CNRFGWA remote RF receiver
  • 100 Crestron Model#: Cresnet cables
  • 300 CSC 18/2 pair shielded cables
  • 100 CSC 22/4 pair shielded cables
  • 300 CSC RG6 quad-coaxial cables
  • 250 CSC RGB6 six-conductor RBGHV cables
  • 300 CSC Cat-5e Cables
  • 2 Extron Electronics AAP-Architectural adaptor plates for game jack/VGA/LAN
  • 1 Furman Sound IT-reference discrete symmetrical AC power conditioner
  • 1 Furman HRKIT-RED rackmount kit
  • 1 Gefen CAB-DVIX-60MM fiber-optic DVI cable
  • 1 Lutron Scene controller (part of Homeserve light control system)
  • 1 Lutron Sivoia center-pull pinch-pleat drapery track
  • 1 Middle Atlantic AX-S rack
  • 500 Monster Cable 14/4 speaker cables
  • 1 Motorola digital HD cable box (client-supplied)
  • 1 Rotel RSP1098 DD 7.1 surround processor with TFT display
  • 1 Rotel RDV1060 progressive-scan DVD player
  • 1 Rotel RMB1095 high-current 200Wx5-channel amplifier
  • 1 Rotel RB1080 high-current 200Wx2-channel amplifier
  • 1 RuncoVX5000D reflection DLP projector with Vivix processor
  • 1 Runco RUHK-004100 hanging kit
  • 1 Samsung SIRT351 off-air HD receiver
  • 1 Stewart Filmscreen EMSN117HFHWX Vertical Screenwall ElectriMask

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 12
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 32
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 6
    Project Management: 32
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 14
    Trim-out: 8
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 12
    Programming: 24
    Final Installation and Calibration: 64
    Client Instruction: 4
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 8
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 12
    Project Management by Others: 12
    Other time: builder's interior designs, drawings done on paper: 4
    Total Hours to Complete: 244

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