HD Homes : Custom Home Theaters
Marriage is, among other things, about compromise. When these New Jersey homeowners were planning their dream home, she got the kitchen and master bath she always wanted. He got his man cave, complete with bar/kitchen, wine cellar and home theater.
The lower-level space was a blank canvas when blueprints began, so EDG gave the man the cave of his choice: a dedicated enclosed screening room with cinema-style seating or the kind of open multi-purpose entertainment space many customers opt for today. He chose home theater classic where family and friends could relax watching sports or movies with a no-compromise audio/video system.
EDG designed rows and risers so that everyone would have a clear view of the screen, and they met the customers’ wish for extra seating with a third row of stools with a bar in front to accommodate food and drinks. Comfortable theater seating is a must, but EDG also likes to design in creature comforts, and home theater audiences don’t want to have to balance food on their laps while watching the big game or a movie. Here, they have the best of both worlds.
EDG designers use computer-aided design programs to ensure sound and video are optimized for each seat location. The owner wanted to experience movies in aspect ratios of 2.35:1 or 2.4:1, the way most movies are shot, so EDG designed a Runco and Stewart Filmscreen projector and screen system that would accommodate those movies. That eliminates black bars at the top and bottom of the screen when 16:9 movies are up.
Exceptional sound was another note on the wish list and EDG met the challenge with an array of B&W loudspeakers built into the walls around the theater. Front-channel speakers stream the main left and right channel sound, a center-channel speaker delivers dialogue, and surround- and rear-channel speakers fill out the effects that place you in the middle of the action. Two B&W subwoofers give every crash and boom its full punch.
Since plans for the theater were drawn up before the house was built, EDG was able to work with the architect and builder to create the dual entry to the theater that the homeowner wanted. One entry is through the bar area for informal sports viewing. When it’s time for a night at the movies, guests enter through the foyer past the formal lobby with movie posters where they can stop to pick up a bag of steaming popcorn from the popper.
Lighting plays a starring role in this ultimate screening room. A Lutron lighting system comes with a keypad that the family uses to choose automated scenes for a particular event. Lights are programmed at brighter settings for Monday night football, for instance, so when the Sports button is tapped, lights preset to a higher level appropriate for socializing and viewing a football game. A Movies button brings lights down slowly over 30 seconds to give viewers time to settle into their seats before lights fade out to dark. When the movie is over, a tap on the remote control reverses the light fade, bringing levels up slowly while the audience adjusts to the brightness.
It takes a pile of heat-producing equipment to create the atmosphere of a movie theater. EDG built an equipment room adjacent to the theater where support gear is stored and kept cool to preserve the life of the electronics. When it’s time to upgrade or service equipment, there’s plenty of room to access the neatly stacked gear that comes with its own carefully labeled wiring diagram.
Comfort meets quality in this Digital Age cave and the audience never leaves disappointed.
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