UK Garage Rocks

Angus Murray, Angus Projects Director at New Wave AV, provides the inside track on this exciting and fully loaded garage conversion Dolby Atmos home cinema.

Angus explains, “The client was completely new to us and he found us after seeing New Wave in an advert in Home Cinema Choice.  Having seen the advert, he looked at our website, reviewed the portfolio and booked a visit to our Experience Centre. The client was looking to convert his garage into a dedicated cinema room.

Angus reports that the sales process was pretty straight forward. After the customer and Angus had experienced the company’s Dolby Atmos demo room, both reviewed the floor plans and discussed what the aim of the room was.

Angus says, “We did a proposal which included an initial design confirming size of screen, viewing angles and target SPL. Once this was received it was agreed to have a follow up meeting at the Artcoustic showroom to have a listen to more of the range and to review the design. Following that meeting and design review, the client confirmed that he wanted to move forward.”

The client wanted a high-performance room based around four seats.  Angus elaborates, “He was very clear that he wanted 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos, a 4K movie server and a starlight ceiling. After one revision prior to the project being confirmed, the specification did not change. The client had a very clear view of what was required, and our job was to ensure that it could be achieved.

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The room

Angus says, “The client was very involved and hands on with the building works, which is very unusual for us – typically we are asked to look after every element of the room.  This meant that communication and documentation had to be very detailed. He had obviously never built a cinema room before, so it was a real learning experience – luckily, he was very capable and quickly understood what was required.

“When the client came to our Experience Centre he listened to our Artcoustic media room and loved the performance and form factor of the speakers. The ability for the speakers to be colour matched was critical as the rear and surround speakers were going to be on show. The audio specification was Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 so the room had to be designed around incorporating 11 speakers and two subwoofers. A floating build out to incorporate the front three speakers, acoustic treatment and the screen was designed with the rear and surround speakers wall mounted. An Anthem MRX1120 was specified for both processing and amplification.”

Home cinema

Movie buff

As the client was a real film enthusiast a Kaleidescape 4K Movie Server was specified along with a 2.40:1 Screen Research acoustically transparent screen. A Sony VPL570ES projector was specified due to its high performance, brightness and lens memory.  The client also wanted to be able to simply control every element of the room so Control4 was specified for this aspect. This allowed control of all AV sources as well as lighting and the Lutron window treatment.   

Lutron was specified for the blind due to the ultra-quiet performance and reliability. The blind was built into a recess above the window to ensure it was completely hidden until required.

This build was not the most straightforward the team has taken on, as Angus reveals, “This room had many technical challenges. The screen size was very close to the maximum available for the throw ratio. It was so close that we decided to get a projector to site to ensure that the distances would all work. On the front wall a floating section was designed and built so that the Artcoustic 8-4 Spitfire Speakers and Control2 subwoofers could all be housed behind the acoustically transparent screen.

“It was a great design feature for the room but that build out only made the throw more critical!  The room had a very low ceiling with a beam across the middle, so the ceiling design was based around incorporating the beam in the design and creating two separate sections of starlight using Starscape panels.”

Angus adds, “A coffered ceiling was created at the same height as the beam to improve the symmetry in room, this section was then lit using linear lighting within a plaster in profile. The Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers were incorporated within the starlight ceiling whilst the rear and surround speakers were colour matched with the walls. The client didn’t want the ceiling speakers to penetrate the original ceiling so the Starscape panels were battened off the ceiling to give the extra height above required. The panels also needed to be custom notched around the projector bracket.”

Angus also says that the rack sizing was critical due to it being incorporated within an existing build out in the room. Rack elevations including BTU ratings were issued to ensure suitable access and ventilation. The rack incorporated power management to ensure that if any device did require rebooting this could easily be done by the client.”

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This project really went to prove that the devil is very much in the detail.” Concludes Angus. “The room layout and low ceiling meant every design decision was critical to making the room work as well as required. Any good cinema room starts with a good design and this room was no different and was therefore designed to Dolby and CEDIA’s full cinema specification. We have a range of software solutions that allow us to do these designs such as The Cedia Designer and Cinema-Tools. These applications ensure a level of predictability in the rooms final performance.   

“There was a huge amount of communication between us and the client at every stage of the build.  Floor layouts, reflected ceiling plans, room renders and sectional detail drawings were all produced to ensure the build went smoothly. The project manager booked regular site visits to deal with any queries that the client had.”

As an added bonus, the Artcoustic visited at the end of the project to do a final audio calibration to ensure that the performance was at its very best. On the same visit, lighting scenes and custom programming was reviewed with the client and tweaked to his requirements.

So, favourite aspect time and for Angus its the DMX controlled Starscape Starlight ceiling and the underlit coffer, which creates a real wow factor that due to the low ceiling height has real impact as soon as anyone walks in. As for the customer, its the immersive audio that is achieved by the Artcoustic 7.1.4 speaker system. 

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Essential Kit List

Sony VPL-VW570ES 4K Projector

3 x Artcoustic 8-4 Spitfire Version

4 x Artcoustic SL 2-1

4 x Artcoustic Target SL

2 x Artcoustic Control2 Sub

Anthem MRX1120 AV Receiver

Screen Research 120in 2.40:1 Screen

Control 4 Mains Dimming & DMX Lighting Control

Control4 EA1 & SR260

Kaleidescape Strato 4K Movie Server

Sonos Port

Starscape Infinity Ceiling Panels

Lutron Roller64 Blind

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