This was a fun project to work on as it was one of our larger media room projects last year and it sort of played out like one of those reno shows on HGTV. I call this the reno/retro project as although it was a renovation, we did have to retrofit wiring to get the end result. Our main goal was to maximize the space and still make it functional. With the old setup, my client had a large plasma display with some mix and match Bose speakers along with some shelving and a credenza to hold the equipment.
The new design involved a built-in unit that would frame a projection screen, and to help maximize the space we utilized some in-wall LCRs so we didn’t have to worry about placing tower speakers in the space. Contrary to what some people believe, in-wall or in-ceiling speakers do sound amazing if installed and setup properly. That said, we opted to use Proficient Audio’s flag ship line of Kevlar made in-wall LCRs for the front stage. We also replaced the surround speakers with the matching models so that all speakers would have all the same sound characteristics, very important in a home theater. For the low end we employed a couple of existing Velodyne subs, which fit nicely underneath the granite stage. We also used my clients’ existing Denon A/V receiver to power all the speakers.
As you can see from the after picture, the end result was a clean and spacious room. You might wonder where is all the equipment and wire? This is where the retrofit part of the project came in. All the wire had to be routed back to an adjacent mechanical room where all the a/v equipment for the entire house is racked.
The projector chosen for this project was Epson’s flagship model, the Pro Cinema 9700UB. A winner of Sound & Visions Editor’s Choice Award, this projector gives you the best bang for you buck! Equally important for producing the outstanding video was the use of Screen Innovations Reference Motorized Screen. The reference series screen features a tab-tension design to create the flattest area as well it is acoustically transparent as the LCR speakers are behind the screen. All Screen Innovations screens can be custom ordered to suit any install environment.
If you are thinking of setting up a dedicated theater room such as this, there are many things to consider when it comes to budget. From the electronic equipment to the room decor and furnishings. For this project the budget for the custom installation and electronics was in the range of $20K-$25K. With the use of the products mentioned above, we were able to achieve an excellent cost/performance ratio. When the room was revealed, the owner was ecstatic of the sound and video quality, comparing it to a much more expensive system he has in his 2nd home which includes a Runco projector!