Traditional and Terrific Home Cinema

Rob Simmonds, Director at Maven, gives EI the tour of this award-winning project – ‘Traditional Cinema’ – which picked up the Best Home Cinema Over 50K at the Smart Building Awards.

Rob explains, “This traditionally themed Cinema room is part of a whole-house system we installed as part of a large refurbishment at a Northamptonshire period property.”

Upon entering the matching themed Cinema lobby the impressive Lutron-controlled carnival ceiling lights assist with making a choice from a selection of sweets, snacks, and popcorn from within the panel-fronted storage, the opposing storage is where the Cinema AV rack is housed. Pressing the ‘cinema’ button on the Lutron keypad activates the lighting in the room along with turning on the cinema system ready for viewing.

Rob says, “The idea in this room was to have a traditional look so a deep red colour theme with brass fixtures & fittings is consistent throughout. In between bespoke dark-wood panelling and acoustic fabric on the walls, a selection of custom vinyl illustrations of classic movies are beautifully lit with hidden warm-white LED strip.”

Maven Home Cinema

The two day-beds form the front row with a raised rear row of four upright seats. The red velvet curtains retract on the Silent Gliss motor rail to reveal a 10ft wide 16:9 acoustically transparent projection screen which sits in front of an array of three pairs of Artcoustic A6 cinema monitors, accurately angled so that the bottom LCRs are specific for the front row, and the LCRs above angled for the rear row.

Rob underlines, “Three Artcoustic dual 10in Impact subwoofers handle the bass with plenty of acoustic headroom, amazingly due the woven screen there is zero movement in the fabric even when really pushing this system hard.”

Rob continues, “Although this is a dedicated cinema room and a 2.35:1 screen was considered, the client still wished to watch SkyQ as a main viewing source along with a huge Kaleidescape collection of 16:9 content therefore rather than feel like watching on a ‘less-wide’ screen, we maximised screen height for the best impact and comfort of viewing.”

Artcoustic SL8-4s are positioned within Dolby reference guidelines for the sides and rears, and the four Architect SL4-2s complete this Dolby Amos 7.3.4 audio system. A huge challenge for the team was ensuring there was the correct level of bass being produced from subwoofers that could not be in the room or on show. A precisely positioned fire door meant that there was a limitation of screen wall depth along with the depth of gather for the screen curtains when retracted so everything had to be worked backwards from this.

Maven Home Cinema

Rob explains, “We originally needed two deeper subwoofers to hit the levels needed however with some testing prior to finalising we were able to liaise with Artcoustic to calibrate and achieve the same levels (with additional headroom) with three shallower subwoofers – and all hidden!”

A combination of joinery and acoustically treated foam backed fabric on the walls helps with first reflection points precisely calculated with the use of laser and mirrors as part of the design for the side walls and ceiling.

High end video performance is achieved with the Sony VW870 laser projector with all video sources send at full 4:4:4 resolution via an HDMI over fibre kit. Switching and processing of said local and global sources is via Arcam AV processor and amplification.

Control of this room is made simple with the Control4 system via either the 10in touchscreen hidden behind a bespoke brass and timber lift-up fascia in keeping with the room design or once seated can be fully controlled with the handheld Neeo remote.

For comfort the heating and air conditioning systems within the room are integrated with the Control4 system so that the ‘dead-band’ is managed to ensure the two system do not fight against each other. Also airflow minimisation is activated when watching video sources to ensure any fan noise through the duct work is not audible without compromising heating or cooling of the room when in use.

A simple double-tap of the lighting keypad’s engraved ‘Room Off’ button turns off all of the equipment for the room and closes the screen curtains then sets the room temperature back to a pre-set level. Then over a 30 second period the lights gently fade off – just enough time for the last person to leave or in case they forget to take your popcorn!

Rob sums up, “This room is one of the best cinemas we have ever had the pleasure of designing and installing. We have carried out many larger and smaller rooms of varying designs but going into this cinema just feel luxurious and it’s a great change from a modern room with minimalist design. Everyone who gets the chance to experience this room is constantly saying wow at every turn of the head, be it the curtains, screen, speakers or overall design.

“The best moment with this cinema was the first time we demonstrated it to the client, not only was he completely blown away by the picture quality but the audio and sound effects made him jump out of his skin! I have never seen anyone so shocked at the sound that this sort of room can produce, and the smile on their faces afterwards gave us goosebumps – a very rewarding reaction to a lot of hard work.”

A well-deserved win here, keep your eyes peeled for more winners from the Smart Building Awards over the coming weeks on this website and in the pages of Essential Install.

Essential Kit List

Front Row Seating: Custom day-bed, custom upright rear row seating and foot stools on raised floor

Silent Gliss: Glide Curtain Tracks with tug feature – Red Velvet Fabric

Lutron: Homeworks QS Lighting Control

Middle Atlantic: SLIM5 43U rack with fine floor skirted castor base

Furman Power conditioning & surge protection

Pakedge PDU

Netgear: S3300 series (fibre) stackable Gigabit Network switches with POE+ with 10GB Uplink

Coolmaster: HVAC automation bridge

Control4, EA-3, 10in T3 with custom cover panel, NEEO Touchscreen Remote, SR260 Handheld Remote & Docking Station

Amazon: Echo

SKY HD, SKY Q, Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire 4K

WyreStorm: NHD 400 Series Decoder, HDMI over Fibre Balun Kit (Projector)

Kaleidescape: Strato C Player, Mini Player

Sony: VPL-VW870 4K Laser SXRD Projector

Custom Velvet edged 10ft wide 16:9 Acoustically Transparent woven screen

Arcam: AVR 30 AV Receiver + Power Amplifiers

Artcoustic: 2 x Cinema Spitfire Series A6 (Left) – Front & Rear Row Angled Array, 2 x Cinema Spitfire Series A6 (Centre) – Front & Rear Row Angled Array, 2 x Cinema Spitfire Series A6 (Right) – Front & Rear Row Angled Array, 2 x SL 8-4 – Two-Way Precision Monitor (Sides) – RAL Finish, 2 x SL 8-4 – Two-Way Precision Monitor (Rears) – RAL Finish, 2 x SL 4-2 Architect In-Ceiling Speaker (Atmos Fronts) – RAL Finish, 2 x SL 4-2 Architect In-Ceiling Speaker (Atmos Rears) – RAL Finish, 3 x Spitfire Series Control 1 Subwoofer, 3 x Subwoofer Power Amplifiers

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