This year, the install company entered a new project into the CEDIA Awards in the category of Best Home Cinema: £40,000-£100,000, installing a 7.1 solution that is upgradable to Auro 3D, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
“During the structural phase there were some other AV integrators involved in the project, and the client – a renowned politician – saw one of our projects and came to us with an expectation to make something similar (meaning, better),” Sawan Nichani, MacBee owner tells CE Pro Eu.
After considering the initial brief, it became immediately clear that the client wanted a seating capacity of 35 people, adding that he would consider having a mix of regular cinema seats and recliners.
The second requirement was very important to the client: he wanted a huge screen. “He wanted to have a larger than life experience which was ultra luxurious, as well as wanting us to design the interior,” Sawan adds. The politician was also keen to have first run movies; possibly DCI compatible.
“The client was very open about his budget (which was a first for us) and said he wanted the equipment to be within £100,000. This made designing the system easy, yet difficult – specially since the earlier companies had offered him an immersive audio solution,” he admits.
Although Sawan was sceptical about using cinema chairs in a luxury room, the team decided to try this option given that MacBee was responsible for the overall interior and wanted to deliver an authentic luxury cinema room experience, calling the finished project ‘Purple Rain’.
“During the first meeting we convinced the client that we would be able to fit in 18 recliners and also provide a bar at the back which could accommodate another five people,” Sawan reflects. “The layout had two bed-style recliners in the front which the client just loved.”
The room – measuring 20.5ft wide, 35.9ft long and 12ft high – was prebuilt and ready for fit-out, meaning there was limited space for structural changes.
“We started working on the accurate step heights and rows, which all fell into place,” says Sawan. “However, because we were trying to fit in a maximum number of recliners we had to be creative about using acoustic material for both deflection and absorption. We were restricted to 6in depth for acoustic treatment and installing speakers which were behind the fabric; the deflection was cleverly planned as a design element.”
Once the layout and placements were ready, MacBee set to work on a rattling test, finding that the prebuilt false ceiling and HVAC duct were both very noisy. Following this, the install team has the contractors break the whole ceiling and re-build it in line with regular resonance tests.
Due to the strict budget of £100,000, choosing the right equipment became the team’s biggest challenge. “We really wanted to have a future-proof cinema for the client, particularly because during the designing of the system the future of immersive audio was still unclear between Auro 3D, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X,” Sawan reflects.
“We wanted a system which could do all three or at least be able to so in the future. We narrowed it down to the only processor which could help us achieve the immersive audio solution and DCI AES input: the Trinnov Altitude 32. Since we were on a strict budget we decided to compromise on the number of speakers for the time being and invest a major chunk of the budget in the Trinnov Altitude 32 to make the system more future-proof – and the client was very happy with that.”
MacBee decided on a 7.1 JBL Synthesis system using six subs, three main speakers and six surrounds. The room is wired for 10 height channels for future upgrade. The JBL Synthesis SAM1 HF and SAM2 LF were chosen to cater to the depth of the room.
An Image Screen Cadre 2 Light screen was installed, offering a 150:1 contrast ratio (Intra-frame measurement), which was paired with a Christie DHD-555GS laser phosphor projector, providing 5500 ANSI lumens in light output. The team also added a Lumagen video processor to take care of 3D LUT colour cube calibration.
“We explained to the client that a DCI projection and server combination would not be possible with this budget, but the system is ready for an upgrade anytime,” Sawan stresses.
“We also gave an alternate first run server – with which the client could play first run ‘regional language’ films, however now Hollywood movies are possible. The client approved it in an instant.”
The whole system went through four to five days of HAA/Trinnov audio calibration and ISF/THX video calibration. “The final result is a really luxurious cinema which delivers high performance audio and video, plus it’s ready for any necessary upgrades for years to come,” Sawan enthuses.
“This project is a fine example of how all HTPs should think of each solution as if it were for their own home,” he advises. “That’s the only way to deliver what’s best for the client and it helps to build a long term relationship.”
In fact, the client is so impressed, the team has already received two requests for home cinema installs off the back of it, and will be implementing the immersive audio speakers and upgrading the projector to a DCI compatible one any day now.
|1. Trinnov||Altitude 32 – 16||Home Cinema Processor|
3. JBL Synthesis
|SAM1HF||HF Speaker (Main LCR)|
|3. JBL Synthesis||SAM2LF||LF Speaker (Main LCR)|
|6. JBL Synthesis||S4Ai||In-Wall Speaker (Surround)|
|2. JBL Synthesis||S2S EX||Subwoofer|
|4. JBL Synthesis||S4S BB||Subwoofer|
2. JBl Synthesis
|1. JBL Synthesis||SDA-4300||Amplifier|
1. Image Screen
|Cadre 2 Light||Projection Screen|
5. Audio Quest
|Red River XLR 4 Pcs Set||Cold Welded XLR Connectors|
|5. Audio Quest||X2||14AWG Speaker Cable|
|1. Audio Quest||
Red River 100 Meter Spool
|Balanced Audio Cable|
|Mac Mini||Media Server|
|1. Apple||Apple TV||STB|
|18. Stylica||Recliners||Custom Recliners|
|UFO Server||First Run Movie Server|
|1. Lumagen||2143||Video Processor|
|1. Christie||DHD-555GS||Laser Phosphor Projector|