How They Did It: Gaming Retreat

Mar 23, 2015

This client’s objective was to turn their basement into a gaming haven/sports retreat for their three boys. Encore Custom Audio Video completed a full gut-and-remodel job on the 800-sq.-ft. space to create a common entertainment zone with a divider between the two viewing areas. Their work earned them the Silver Technical Design award for Media Room in CEDIA’s 2014 Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition.

MR Silver 2014

Technical Highlights:

The primary users of the room – the boys – most enjoy the Playstation 3 (1) and Playstation 4 (2) systems that were incorporated into the build. Kids can play multiplayer games against their brothers and friends, who are on the other side of the room playing on a different monitor and on a different game unit.

The choices for viewing consist of one 65” flat panel, a 55” flat panel, and two 40” TVs. In addition, the entire system is controlled by Crestron (with a Crestron DM Matrix switcher), with iPad minis housed in the wall via magnets, and the choice of AppleTV, Blu-ray, or cable so they can watch any system in either part of the room at any time.

MR Silver 2014

The space also has two Crestron Lighting Modules (with 12 zones), two surround-sound systems, a single zone of audio in the middle of the space, and a Mirage Media Server for distributed content.

MR Silver 2014


The homeowners had made the decision from the outset to keep the space completely open. Encore gutted the entire room, framed everything, and then concealed all the structures in the open-flow area. All of the work had to take place at night or on the weekends, as that was the only time the homeowners could provide access.

MR Silver 2014

The area was designed for the kids, pure and simple. Not just the three boys in the house, but the scores of teammates and friends who will put the components and furnishings through their paces for seasons to come. Luxury theater seating allows for six to eight kids to relax in either section at any time, in addition to the four stools at the counter, which bring the total capacity to 20. Even with the room filled, it doesn’t have a cluttered feel.

A particular challenge for Encore was to not include a custom candy counter or popcorn machine or soda dispenser, which is one of their signature touches. The homeowners, however, knew the space would play host to dozens of different kids and made the prudent decision to keep the room a “no drinks or candy” area.


Encore calibrated the audio and video using the test DVDs provided by the manufacturers. No ISF calibration was done. The clients are satisfied with the overall sound and video quality that the system produces during competitive gaming, film review, and video game tournaments.

MR Silver 2014


Encore Custom Audio Video was integral in designing and implementing a space that would accommodate comfortable game play for 2 or 20. Now the entire junior varsity football team can huddle to review game footage, or the neighborhood kids can gather for a video game competition in a room with intense and realistic audio and video playback. And the controls are so user-friendly that a ten-year-old can start the system and find an age-appropriate movie.

MR Silver 2014 UI

Home Technology Professional:

Encore Custom Audio Video
Sterling, VA

CEDIA's Electronic Lifestyles® Awards competition is now open! Review categories and start your entry today at cedia.net/awards.



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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