Hide Everything But the Image

Barco Residential argues that today’s projectors need to be able to cope with a wide variety of installation scenarios that deliver immersive entertainment and cultural experiences woven into the fabric of the home.

To deliver maximum benefit, it’s also important for integrators to get involved in the planning of a new home or renovation as early as possible.

To underline this approach, Barco Residential has produced its ‘Architectural Integration Book’ which underlines how to achieve perfect integration across a whole range of scenarios. Download your copy from the Barco Residential Website.

Creating these ‘Architectural Digital Canvases’ in close partnership with the company’s integration partners, the aim is to deliver a solution that integrates perfectly and complements the design and architecture of any residence.

Each client’s lifestyle is unique, and every residence is unique, so customers are looking for ways to discretely integrate different experiences into their living spaces, not limited to home cinema, but also including new media art, gaming and architectural video. This calls for more customised and architecturally integrated solutions, that offer beyond what any

mass-produced TV or home cinema solution can offer. Underpinning this approach is Barco Residential’s mantra of ‘Hide Everything but the Image’.

The main steps

Architects and designers tend to follow four main steps in any project; Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Document/Permits and finally Construction.

 Ideally integrators should be involved from step one. This is the time advice and inspiration can be provided as to what kinds of experiences the client might be interested in.

Does the client love movies? Is the client interested in new media art? Is the client an avid gamer? How can the digital canvases that enable these experiences be integrated seamlessly into the design and architecture of the home?

However, in reality, integrators are not usually involved until step four, at which point it’s usually too late to make the modifications necessary to enable the different experiences and seamlessly integrate the technology into the fabric of the home.

Barco is determined to highlight the opportunities created for clients, architects, designers and integrators by engaging as early as possible in the design process.

Design essentials

When it comes to the look and feel of a property, there are four basic elements of interior design: line, form, colour and texture.

In recent times, AV has been an important feature of high-end homes, with integrators able to incorporate audio into the design of a room, using in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, or high end designer speakers in living rooms and dedicated listening rooms.

The video solution has often been more challenging. Most designers don’t like large TVs taking up walls, and as they take up more space are nearly impossible to seamlessly integrate. Since integrators are not involved early enough in the design phase, opportunities to address this are limited.

However, if designers, architects and custom integrators engage earlier to determine what kind of experiences the client would like to integrate into their home, of course the result can be much more seamless; and projects can offer more opportunities for true integration simply because they are easier to hide.

Barco underlines that it’s important for integrators to really engage with the types of integration solutions that are available, as well as the performance curves of different designs.

Examples include an understanding of things like free projector rotation and the capabilities of the warping engine integrated into Barco Residential projectors allowing the installation of projectors off axis or tilted. Again, the earlier these conversations take place, the better the integration can be.

Real World Examples

Barco argues that with its capabilities, performance and elegance can come together in any home cinema design. With correct system design, even a large and powerful projector like the Prometheus III can be hidden inside the ceiling.

The result is a room that delivers true luxury, a comfortable attractive room, with all of the technology hidden. The mantra of early interaction is underlined again here, as this will deliver more opportunities to hide the projector in the room, or the next room.

Additional systems such as mirror drop products and making full use of the special features like the Warp Engine, that allows near unlimited freedom in projector placement, can also take place at this point. Barco works with partners to make available custom designed mounts, mirrors, hush boxes, port glasses and cooling devices that enable discreet and agile integration of projectors.

As projectors have also migrated away from dedicated spaces into more general living areas, the need to fully integrate has increased. In these spaces, the challenge to be hidden and high-performance are even stronger than in the dedicated space.

Each living room has a different set of circumstances, and integrating a big screen, projector and speakers into the space can seem like a daunting task. The design community are perhaps even less aware of the potential for technology making the home a more stylish entertaining place to be in these areas than a dedicated cinema.

Barco looks to come to the rescue with a whole range of solutions that can keep the design of the room completely uncompromised, but deliver the entertainment or aesthetic experiences homeowners will be excited by, as all the technology remains completely hidden until needed.

The opportunities to integrate and help enhance home design do not end inside the home, as Barco can help deliver impressive experiences outside as well. As well as design considerations, outdoor installations of course have to compete with high ambient light, temperature, humidity and weather.

These all provide a unique set of physical challenges that need to be overcome. However, especially if the integrator is involved early, all of these challenges can be overcome by intelligent design, projectors and screen placement and using all of the technology delivered by working with Barco.

The Architectural Integration Book publication also underlines a series of real-world examples of where these principles have been applied to living rooms, dedicated cinemas, spaces where the outdoors meets the indoors, and completely outdoor solutions.

Each project has used not just the power and precision of the projectors’ performance, but clever technologies and techniques to make sure the experiences are woven into the design of the home.

This article first appeared in the pages of Essential Install Magazine, subscribe here.

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