Compact Home Cinema with Big Picture Quality


When a destructive house fire tore down one homeowners dream cinema room, it was up to Midland-based installer, The Big Picture, to not only restore the room but to also upgrade the original system and design.

From start to finish, The Big Picture managed the entire project single-handed, implementing stand-out acoustic treatment, re-orientating the whole room and specifying industry leading products to create a CEDIA Award-winning, state-of-the-art screening room.

Following a fire, which caused irreparable smoke damage to this homeowner's existing home cinema, The Big Picture was faced with a blank room to rebuild and design a brand new screening room. The client wanted to use this opportunity to upgrade and enhance all aspects of the previous room for a true cinematic experience.

This project was not without its challenges. Whilst a strict budget of £25,000 had already been placed on this project, The Big Picture discovered the slight room, measuring just 4.7m x 3.8m, was bordered with acoustically problematic glazed windows and doors.


At the first stage of installation, The Big Picture suggested re-orientating the room to position the screen at one end of the room, which would allow them to discreetly store the projector in the under stairs cupboard of the hallway. Not only was this a brilliant space saving concept, but housing the projector outside the cinema room also limited noise disruption.

Next, to improve the audio-visual qualities of the room, The Big Picture replaced the internal glazed doors with solid opaque materials and blocked the windows to reduce sound transmissions. The preceding block-work, which housed the old in-wall speakers, were removed in places and supported with lintels. The room was then re-boarded and fitted with three Klipsch THX KL7800 in-wall speakers at the front and two KS7800 towards the rear.

Another stand out sound management feature for this project was the acoustically treated stretch-wall fabric that was designed and installed solely by The Big Picture. For exact measurements and quality purposes, an intensive design process was needed to ensure all aspects, ensuring all appropriate acoustical treatments were perfectly placed. As well as offering supreme acoustic qualities, a finish fabric was tucked into the track to form an aesthetically pleasing acoustical wall. For more controlled sound in the room, The Big Picture installed absorption, diffusion and also four bass traps to absorb longer wavelengths.


For a true cinema visual experience, a 4K Sony projector with Screen Excellence 4K screen was installed Control4 and DMX control RGB dimmable ribbon strips which have been implemented for a dramatic lighting effect, mirroring the illusion of commercial cinemas. The Big Picture had recommended a constant-height screen system within the briefing stages of this project. Their solution utilised the Sony’s memory-zoom ‘anamorphic’ capabilities; along with custom dual-format masking system to deliver the ultimate viewing experience.

The Big Picture Tech SpecThe Big Picture ensured all aspects of the room from audio, visuals and heating and cooling were perfected for this project. One common problem with compact home cinema rooms is sufficient projector heat management.  To ensure the projector had optimum ventilation, Sony fans were set to operate at a low level whenever the room was in use. This helps to control the projectors temperature whilst improving aural dynamics in the near-silent cinema room. The projector sits in a custom housing where an active ventilation system pulls hot air out of the enclosure’s top reservoir and forces cool filtered air into the projectors rear intakes.    

Working in close collaboration with the client throughout the project, The Big Picture successfully provided an innovative, creative and bespoke solution for the client, whilst adhering to the strict finite budget of £25,000. As a result, this project was recognised in CEDIA’s 2015 Awards ceremony, receiving top place in the category Best Home Cinema under £40,000.

Judges described this project as having “impressive levels of dedication to a great result. An innovative use of materials and, in particular, interesting screen masking system makes this project a worthy winner.”

The Big Picture