Home Entertainment on a Budget

The clients’ main objective for this theater was a custom design with a large screen. 3/05/2007 7:00 AM Eastern

Home Entertainment on a Budget

Mar 5, 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 Designers' Award Winner
Gold Technical Design, Large Home Theater
Level I ($40,000-70,000)

Architectural Electronics

The clients’ main objective for this theater was a custom design with a large screen. Because of budget constraints, Architectural Electronics offered the client several options from their selection of pre-designed theaters. Since the designer only had to make modifications based on the room size, the cost was minimal. The room measured 19ft. wide by 27ft. long, which meant a substantial amount of power was needed in both projector light output and audio. The result was a room that looks fantastic both on and off, sounds great, and meets an excellent price point.

The room has space for three rows of seating, which meant sight lines; screen and projector location were critically calculated to allow all seats to see the screen. The equipment rack was deliberately located in the rear of the room to prevent distraction and was flush-mounted in the wall in an adjacent equipment closet to minimize the overall visual impact in the room. The control system is the most important aspect of the theater. Unfortunately, easy to use control systems and low budgets do not always go together. We chose Remote Technologies' RTI T2+ universal controller with RF for its durability, light weight, ease-of-use, customization with both a touchscreen and hard buttons, and rock-solid RF reliability. System power and source control is seamless, and the clients have quick access to their favorite channels, recorded TV and lighting control.

Because of the room’s size, two pairs of direct radiating surround speakers were hidden in the columns on each side and a pair of in-wall direct-radiating speakers were hidden behind acoustic panels in the rear. The front left and right speakers were hidden in the columns in the front, which are open to the back screen area. The center speaker and subwoofer are hidden just below the screen. One-hundred-and-five dB reference levels were achieved with the Arcam P1000 7-channel power amplifier. Additionally, the system was balanced to achieve equal levels from all 10 speakers in the prime seating location.

An inhouse ISF engineer calibrated the system. The Dwin TransVision 4 processor would only accept PC black levels. Since both HD cable and DVD sources were outputting video levels, we had to adjust brightness down to compensate. Grayscale was 1,000 degrees too cool, however, when we calibrated to D65, light output dropped below acceptable levels for the rooms 135in., 1.3-gain diagonal screen. Therefore, the projector was left at 7,500-degrees Kelvin.

Equipment list

  • 1 American Power Conversion UPS 1500VA rack mount
  • 1 Arcam DiVA AVP700 preamp processor
  • 1 Arcam DiVA P1000 7-channel power amplifier
  • 2 Atlantic Technology 6200LR-PED left/right speakers with stands
  • 1 Atlantic Technology 6200C center-channel speaker
  • 4 Atlantic Technology 4200LR side-surround speakers
  • 2 Atlantic Technology IWTS10LCR back-surround speakers
  • 1 Crestron iLux CLS-C6 six-zone lighting controller
  • 1 Custom-fabricated columns, acoustic panels, proscenium, and draperies
  • 1 Denon DVD-1920 DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD player
  • 1 Dwin TransVision 4 1280x720 DLP Projector
  • 1 Furman Sound Elite 15DM power conditioner
  • 1 Furman Sound RL-LED gooseneck LED rack lights
  • 1 Middle Atlantic ERK-3520 equipment rack
  • 5 Middle Atlantic RSH custom rack shelves
  • 1 Remote Technologies T2+ touchscreen universal remote control
  • 1 Remote Technologies RP-6 remote control processor
  • 1 Scientific Atlanta 8300HD
  • 1 Stewart Luxus Deluxe 135in. StudioTek 130 fixed screen
  • 1 Velodyne SPL-1200R subwoofer

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 8
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 6
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 4
    Project Management: 15
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 4
    Trim-out: 2
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 25
    Programming: 5
    Final Installation and Calibration: 25
    Client Instruction: 2
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 0
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 0
    Project Management by Others: 0
    Other time: builder's interior designs, drawings done on paper: 0
    Total Hours to Complete: 76

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