CyberHomes Builds an Evocative Home Cinema
One homeowner’s dream became a reality when Oxfordshire-based CEDIA member, Cyberhomes created a luxurious home theatre that mirrors his childhood trips to the cinema. Having exceeded the client’s expectations, Cyberhomes was rewarded for its work at the CEDIA Awards 2016, where it scooped first place in the Best Home Cinema Over £100,000 category.
The owner wanted a movie room that 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 a Dolby Atmos set up and 4K Ultra HD capabilities.
To kick start this major project, 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 to provide an insight into what the completed area would look like, allowing 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. This lighting set up is part of a wider scheme throughout the cinema, controlled by a Lutron lighting control system. Multiple lighting circuits are integrated within the room for a succession of lighting scenes to be quickly and easily selected. These scenes can be selected depending on the activity within the room at the time, be it for entertaining, live theatre action or in movie mode, where the lights automatically brighten if the movie 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 theatre prop.
These initial design steps were integral to the overall success of this project, as only when the interior design had been established could the construction and specification of technologies ensue.
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. However, viewing distance calculations indicated a slightly smaller screen would be optimal.
As a solution, a 130in. 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. To satisfy any doubt of a fully optimised 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.
Motorised 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 focussed on the sound quality for this luxury home cinema. Specifying Procella Audio amplifiers and Triad speakers, a 7.2.4 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.
Bringing together all of the carefully considered design and technology elements within the room, the entire cinema has been programmed to be controlled via a Savant Pro control system. This smart system controls the AV, lighting, security and heating in the home cinema and 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 controlled from iPads or from the homeowner’s own smartphones.
As a result, Cyberhomes has achieved the classic and luxurious look of a vintage home cinema whilst integrating market-leading technologies for this stunning set up. A multi-functional space which is practical and intuitive for all family members to enjoy has been successfully achieved.