Clever thinking: Inside award-winning home cinema by Clever Association

UK-based consultant and installer Clever Association recently triumphed when CEDIA put out its annual call for exemplary home cinemas for the 2017 edition of its EMEA awards. HiddenWires takes a look behind the scenes.

The statuette for CEDIA's ‘Best Home Cinema in the £120,000 - £240,000 category’ now sits proudly at the headquarters of the Clever Association, a stalwart of the custom installation industry since 2003.

Chosen by judges for its high technical and aesthetic standards, Clever Association excelled when set a brief of creating a multiplex-quality home cinema experience that can be enjoyed by all ages, including handling all technical design and specification, as well as décor. Expectations were particularly high as the client was specially extending its large detached property in North East England to create a “modern wing” featuring a dedicated large basement area to create a dedicated cinema and games space.

proscenium of cedia award-winning clever association home cinema project

view from front of leather fortress seating in clever association award-winning home cinema

Crucial to achieving cinema-quality images that secured the integrator’s win was the projection system. After careful consideration, Clever Association opted for a Runco LS-12D three-chip DLP projector to deliver 3D and 2D quality images. The HD model combines three advanced HD 16:9 DMDs and 12-degree mirror tilt to ensure high quality black level performance. The Runco projector was paired with Screen Research’s EL-1C fixed screen. Measuring 3556mm wide, the screen incorporates lateral masking to create a black border around the projected image.

To accompany the premium visual experience in offering an immersive movie-going experience is surround sound powered by Triad. The team selected a Triad in-wall system for its ability to offer powerful audio performance without compromising the décor.

The complete audio system comprises of three Gold 6 LCR loudspeakers, two pairs of Silver 4 surround sound loudspeakers, two Silver 8 subwoofer loudspeakers and two digital signal processing subwoofer amplifiers. Additional cables were also deployed in key positions around the room to facilitate an upgrade to 3D audio in the future, should the homeowner request it.

This system was integrated with a Datasat LS10 audio processor and power amplifier to create a textured, well-balanced sound, offering native support for all current formats (not limited to Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS Neo:X). It also makes the everyday experience of the cinema more enjoyable for the homeowner by augmenting the audio during the streaming of live sport and games.

The sound clarity furthermore was enhanced through the installation of 14 different-sized acoustic absorptive panels, which soak up the sound waves, reduce echo and reverberation, which Clever Association notes allows the film soundtrack to really stand out in the space.

back of racks installed clever association's 2017 CEDIA Award-winning cinema in UK

For making that all-important film choice on movie night, the family now has instant access to hundreds of Blu-ray quality films a Kaleidescape 1U server wherever they may be in the home. As many as eight people can seated in the cinema, with two love-seats among the comfortable offerings from Fortress Seating, with a laminated space found in between chairs. For added comfort, the Fortress dark blue leather seats feature a motorised recline mechanism and retractable arm rests. In addition to the audio, the seats have also been future-proofed, and have been pre-wired for D-Box to facilitate an upgrade to simulated motion at a later date if desired.

To ensure the home cinema is easy to maintain behind the scenes, Middle Atlantic racking houses all equipment, ensuring it is easily accessible via a pull-out design providing access to rear equipment connections. Furman power conditioners also were specified for both the projector and central AV system – designed to reduce noise and ensure consistent peak-level operation, regardless of load conditions, and offer high level AC protection.

leather of fortress seats and kaleidescape-controlling ipad in clever association's award-winning 2017 cinema

Clever Association also catered for the family’s preference for Apple devices and AirPlay and Apple TV technologies by putting an iPad at the heart of the system. From the tablet different family members can access entertainment, lighting, security, and "comfort" systems throughout the home – with an profile for each one set up to accommodate their individual preferences. The iPad is charged and stored using LaunchPort technology, offering induction charging.

The home entertainment system in the basement space can also be controlled using an RTI remote control for hard button control of systems.

art deco wall lights in clever association's 2017 CEDIA Award-winning projectAn integral part of the project’s success was due to how the integrator married high-level technical experience with attractive, comfortable surroundings. The Clever Association team worked closely with the interior designer to plan the décor – choosing fabrics for acoustic panels and the leather finish for the custom seating, as well as drawing up an AutoCAD design for the bespoke carpet in the room. Special attention to detail, such as the lighting along the carpet’s edges to illuminate the pathway to the cinema’s seating and luxurious art deco lighting complemented by accent lighting surrounding the screen and ceiling complete a stunning space that has brought a first-class cinema experience to life of one UK family.

Clever Association won the award for ‘Best Home Cinema £120,000 - £240,000’ with its ‘Deep Blue Cinema’ project at the 2017 CEDIA Awards (EMEA edition).



ATEN 8-way web enabled power controller

ATEN temperature sensor probe

Bespoke room acoustic absorptive panels (872 x 1890 x 50, 872 x 2340 x 50 notched & 872 x 2340 x 50)

Datasat high-output cinema power amplifier

Datasat high-performance cinema processor

Fortress electrical incline mechanisms

Fortress Kensington/Lexington cinema love seat sections

Fortress Kensington/Lexington single cinema seats

Fortress laminated table tops & retractable arm rests

Furman compact power conditioners (for projector and centralised kit)

Kaleidescape 1U server

Kaleidescape single output zone player

Middle Atlantic 1U blank

Middle Atlantic 1U vent

Middle Atlantic 43U slide out metal equipment rack

Middle Atlantic cable containment strips

Middle Atlantic quiet fan kit with thermostatic controller

Middle Atlantic service track stands

Middle Atlantic service tracks for equipment rack

Runco CineGlide anamorphic projector lens kit

Runco high-definition 2,100 lumen 3-chip video projector

Runco projector hanging kit

Screen Research 3556mm aspect matching screen

Screen Research RS232 remote control interface

Sequential start rack mount PDU

Triad digital signal processing subwoofer amplifier

Triad in-wall large subwoofer loudspeaker

Triad in-wall left, centre, right channel loudspeaker

Triad in-wall surround channel loudspeaker pair