AWE Showroom Visit Elevates PBIAV Home Cinema Project

Sussex-based smart home integrator PBI Audio Visual (PBIAV) has recently completed an impressive home cinema room inspired by a visit to the AWE Show Apartment in Epsom.

Carried out within the converted annexe of an attractive family home in West Sussex, this project has seen the realisation of a dream, hi-spec 11-seater cinema, created for a multi-generational family to enjoy weekly movie nights. The initial brief included a relatively modest home cinema budget, which almost doubled in size following persuasive demos in the extraordinary cinemas at AWE HQ.

Before visiting AWE, the client already had a firm idea of which speaker brand he wanted to drive the audio for his cinema room. The client experienced two different cinema set-ups in the AWE Performance and Reference cinemas, both with audio-visual packages at varying price points. After hearing the performance of Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers, the client decided that this was, indeed, the best option for his project.

“Following the visit, our client was so impressed by the Reference Cinema, they decided to significantly increase the budget to achieve maximum impact and replicate a similar experience. In fact, the client agreed to double their budget and proceed with a 7.4.4 Bowers & Wilkins system” says Dan Beck, Director at PBIAV.

The client was not only wowed by the audio experience, but they also loved the furniture and opted to have the same range of FrontRow Serenity seating for their cinema too. 

“Every home cinema project we do brings its own challenges, and this one was no different,” adds Dan. “The width of the room threw up some issues, but we worked hard to complete the installation to match the client’s brief. In the end, they were incredibly pleased with the results, as were we.”

The Bowers & Wilkins 7.4.4 surround sound set up is delivered by a combination of 600 and 700 Series speakers with four powerful ISW-4 In-Wall Subwoofers.

“Bowers & Wilkins are known for being at the pinnacle of professional audio solutions and, with this 7.4.4 configuration, the client is delighted with the power as well as the precision that they first heard at AWE,” explains Dan.

To meet the client’s brief of having technology concealed as much as possible within the space, four Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series CCM684 in-ceiling speakers were fitted, with grilles and bezels colour matched to the ceiling. Meanwhile, 700 Series architectural in-wall speakers (three x CWM7.3S2, four x CWM7.5S2) were installed behind the movie screen and within the side walls. Four Bowers & Wilkins ISW-4 In-Wall Subwoofers with two long-throw 8in drivers are capable of moving the large quantities of air required for high-quality, controlled deep bass. The result is minimal intrusion into the room and a listening experience that immerses the viewer within the storytelling of each movie.

For cinematic quality audio performance, a Marantz CINEMA 40 9.4 channel AV receiver features 9 x 15W of built-in amplification. This AVR includes seven HDMI inputs, is Dolby Atmos and 8K compatible, and features HEOS built-in streaming.

For the screen, PBIAV selected a three metre super thin model made with an acoustically transparent material. This allowed for the biggest screen possible within the space, while also providing an opportunity to conceal speakers behind the screen.

Following demonstrations at AWE, the Sony VPL-XW5000 native 4K projector was selected to suit the screen size and the dimensions of the room. Boasting 8.3 million pixels and up to 2000 lumens, as well as being one of the most compact native 4K projectors on the market, it’s a strong high-performance solution for this tightly spaced cinema.

To overcome the potential viewing issues caused by a long and narrow room, a stepped seating plan was incorporated to optimise each of the eleven FrontRow seats. When combined with the low ceiling height, the client was concerned that the projector could potentially be a distraction, but a projector enclosure solved that issue.  

PBIAV then needed to calculate the ideal position of the projector to ensure that the throw ratio was correct. Working with the Sony Projection Calculator, the projector was installed into the ceiling from the attic above to ensure enough head height was available in the room below.

A neatly organised Sanus rack houses all the supporting technologies, including the Marantz CINEMA 40, a Sony Blu-Ray and Apple TV combination, and Control4 automation equipment.

The client was delighted with the final installation, and excited to use his new home cinema to host family and friends to watch the biggest blockbusters the way they were meant to be seen.

Here’s what he had to say. “I can’t speak highly enough of PBIAV as installers and as people. They really took onboard what I wanted and did a brilliant job of creating my vision. Having four subwoofers really blows me away, it feels like I’m a part of every movie I’m watching.”

This project highlights the benefit of demonstrating different options to clients in an immersive, true-to-life environment, such as the AWE Show Apartment. It can make a huge difference to the agreed budget and final specification.

Sony VPL-XW5000 Projector

Sony 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player

Marantz CINEMA40

Marantz AMP10

B&W 700 Series: x3 CWM7.3S2 & x4 CWM7.5S2

B&W 600 Series: x2 CCM684(P)

B&W Subs: x4 ISW-4 and back boxes

FrontRow Seating

Sanus racking

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