One homeowner’s dream became a reality when Oxfordshire-based CEDIA® member Cyberhomes created a luxurious home cinema that mirrored his childhood trips to the movies. Having exceeded the client’s expectations, Cyberhomes was rewarded for its outstanding work at the 2016 CEDIA EMEA Awards, where it scooped first place in the Best Home Cinema Over £100,000 category.
The owner wanted a movie room which closely resembled the vintage cinemas he frequented as a child. This classic home cinema would also double as a bar area for entertaining, as well as a play-house-style theatre for his young children to use as a stage when performing plays for their parents.
Whilst this fun room needed to be both aesthetically in tune with the homeowner’s reveries and would function suitably for his children’s shows, it was also essential that this cinema had the most up to date audio and visual technology. This included the integration of Dolby Atmos sound and 4K Ultra HD capabilities.
First Cyberhomes set about composing a selection of mood boards and concept visuals to establish the overall look and feel of the cinema room. These boards were then transformed into 3D rendered animations that allowed the client to visualise the finished product.
Bespoke faux lime lights have been positioned in front of the small stage to uphold a theatrical ambience. A Lutron lighting control system drives multiple lighting circuits for a succession of scenes to be quickly and easily selected. including live theatre action or movie mode, where the lights automatically brighten if a film is paused or stopped.
Adding to the dramatic design of this home cinema, automated front curtains open when the movie begins; the weighted material ensures these curtains sway as they open and close for a realistic and classic theater prop.
The client was specific with his requests for only the best technologies to be chosen. One of the main features included in the brief was to enlist the largest screen possible, but viewing distance calculations indicated a slightly smaller screen would be optimal.
As a solution, a 130” Screen Innovations 2.35:1 acoustically transparent screen was selected, which also allowed the LCR speakers to sit in the ideal position behind the screen. A Lumagen scaler was ISF calibrated by a certified professional to ensure the premium image quality and colour accuracy for all video sources projected onto the screen.
Motorized masking allows the correct screen ratio to be selected whether the homeowner is watching 4K streaming of Netflix and Amazon Prime video content, made possible by a Roku media player, or the very latest movies available on Kaleidescape’s Strato 4K movie player. This system also allows the selected Sony 4K projector to play movies at UHD resolution.
The Sony projector is housed in a custom-built bulkhead with an anamorphic lens and projector glass mounted at THX specified angles. Leaving no room for error, Cyberhomes ensured the IR sync signal for 3D glasses was clear at all times, regardless of the seating positions. To achieve this, an additional IR sender was mounted behind the projector glass.
Next, Cyberhomes focused on the sound quality for this luxury home cinema. Specifying Procella Audio amplifiers and Triad speakers, a Dolby Atmos set up was established within the acoustically-treated room. For this homeowner, a thorough and robust acoustic treatment was paramount, not only in the cinema room, but also in the plant room which was also located within the home cinema space.
Stud walls were isolated using isolation rubbers to prevent vibrations and Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), ROCKWOOL and acoustic plasterboard were used where necessary to control sound reflections and stop sound transference to and from other rooms in the home. For the plant room, additional silencers are fitted to venting inlets and outlets to further reduce ambient noise. Acoustically-transparent fabrics were used to camouflage the speakers and acoustic panels.
The entire cinema has been programmed to be controlled via a Savant Pro control system, which also controls the AV, lighting, security and heating throughout the rest of the home. There is a wall-mounted iPad on the exterior of the cinema before the entrance, which enables pre-selection of the use of the room. Once in the room, the whole system can be intuitively controlled from iPads or from the homeowner’s own smartphones.