Source: Building Products magazine Tennant, marketing director at Cyberhom...
This impressive project ‘Hampshire Cinema Seduction’ by Cyberhomes picked up the Best Home Cinema £120,000 – £340,000 category at this year’s CEDIA Awards.
Ion Smith, founder and director of Cyberhomes, explains, “This customer wanted the ‘ultimate home cinema room’ with no compromises. He wanted the biggest screen possible and calculations showed that the largest screen that would fit would just meet recommended viewing angles from the seating positions. The sound had to be Dolby Atmos and if possible, he wanted more than the popular 7.1.2 arrangement.”
A Celerity active optical fibre connection between the Lumagen processor in the plant room and the projector was also included which is 4K 4:4:4 60fps capable, although projector only supports up to 4:2:0 colour depth. A second active fibre HDMI allows local connection of a games console in the cinema room feeding back to the Lumagen processor.
Other features include Riello UPS units within the AV racks to allow for safe shutdown of equipment in event of a mains power failure and a Pakedge IP-controlled PDU allows remote rebooting of devices if required.
Domotz network monitoring is in place to deliver notifications of any devices on the network that aren’t responding so the team can remotely reboot. Cyberhomes has also provided the client with the Domotz Violet app so he can also remotely reboot a specific device.
The room was acoustically treated using a bespoke acoustics package designed and installed by Vicoustic. To assist with acoustic isolation of the cinema room from the rest of the house, an acoustic isolating door was also installed for the cinema room (to recording studio standards) which was designed to match the other interior doors of the home.
A StormAudio ISP 3D 16 Elite processor provides the Dolby Atmos decoding. Initially this was going to be a 9.1.4 implementation, but part way through the design process an update was made available for the processor allowing it to support 9.1.6, so the height speaker positions were redesigned to accommodate an additional pair of height speakers. The full Atmos 9.1.6 spec did not come out until after the cinema had been finished.
A 16-channel StormAudio PA 16 Elite amplifier provides amplification for the main speakers (using 15 of the available amps) and each of the four subwoofers have their own dedicated James Loudspeakers M1000 amplifiers.
All the speakers are from the James Loudspeaker range. The main LCR speakers (James Loudspeakers QX830) are located behind the screen with all the surround (James Loudspeakers QX530) and height speakers (James Loudspeakers QX520) correctly located according to Dolby’s Atmos design guidelines.
There are two James Loudspeakers M122 12in dual subwoofers at the front of the room in bespoke low-level cabinets and a further two QX1020 10in dual subwoofers at the rear.
The team used two-channel outputs from the Storm processor allowing them to manipulate the equalisation and set the crossover settings so that the front subs take more lower sub bass, whilst the rears offer more sub bass punch.
All speakers and the acoustic treatment panels are located out of sight behind bespoke stretched fabric acoustically transparent walls from Desmond & Sons.
A ‘sawtooth’ design was created to give the room aesthetic appeal, with LED strip lighting integrated into the ‘teeth’. These LEDs dim automatically whenever video content is playing, leaving just the floor lights dimly illuminated (unless in daytime viewing mode).
Dedicated air conditioning unit in the plant room with temperature probes inside the racks are also included automatically maintaining a maximum temperature of 24° in the racks. The AC unit is connected to Wi-Fi and so can generate Savant Pro notifications if rack temperature exceeds the limits.
Some of the challenges involved dealing with the considerable size of the projector, in fact the ceiling had to be reinforced to take the combined weight of the projector and housing. A special cabinet housing had to be built (by Vizbox Enclosures Limited to the team’s specification) to house the projector.
Forced ventilation is built into the housing and this was designed to ensure it aligns with the ventilation grills on the projector. Fans were dislocated from the housing to minimise any vibration noise.
The cinema room has its own air conditioning and heating to maintain comfortable conditions with no natural ventilation as well as being connected to the house’s air recirculation/heat recovery system. Vents are discreetly located in the coffer.
When the cinema room is turned off, a ‘purge cycle’ is activated with the air conditioning and air circulation systems to refresh the room as many of the homeowner’s friends are smokers.
Chris explains some of the other challenges, “The room layout design necessitated that the main seating position would be almost exactly in the centre of the room. Therefore, to minimise standing waves, the rear subwoofers were moved in from the corners to give greater flexibility when calibrating them.
“At full brightness, the projector would be too bright for the screen under traditional movie viewing conditions. However, the brightness was necessary to meet the requirement for using the cinema in ‘daylight’ conditions. Therefore, two brightness levels were programmed into the projector and ISF calibration undertaken at each setting. The required vertical height of the projector meant that it was lower than the height of the door, so a clever coffer design was required to accommodate these different heights while making the integration of the projector appear seamless with the room.”
Other special touches included a bespoke starfield ceiling created with star positions carefully planned before the custom optical fibres were installed. This ensured that all the ‘stars’ avoided the speakers and other items above the false ceiling.
The room that was being used for the cinema originally had an external window in it which was ‘bricked up’ to remove any natural daylight from the room.
However, the client didn’t want it to look bricked up from the outside, so a fake window was installed, complete with double-glazing, motorised Lutron blind and integral LED lighting; so from the outside it looks like a real window maintaining the aesthetic balance of the house.
Topping the whole experience off are bespoke leather seats from U.S. brand Fortress seating.