Introducing CIPOD: changing the landscape of home cinema

CIPOD has introduced a new way of having the luxury cinema experience at home. Amy Wallington investigates.

Home cinema has always been a key area in the high-end residential market and is usually at the top of homeowner’s lists of what they want in their homes. Since the start of the pandemic, investments in home automation and technology and, in particular, home entertainment has increased dramatically.

There are many factors that can affect the quality of a home cinema, including the room size and shape, budget, the AV used amongst other things. The room size and shape are often something that stands in the way of an excellent home cinema experience. Homeowners want the room to sound great but on a very low budget which does not always equate to a great experience, while ensuring that it is fully sound proofed and sometimes located in a small space.

As well as room requirement issues, most home cinema installers have to work with architects, interior designers and other professions working on the home which can lead to more problems as they don’t always fully understand what is required to create a home cinema. More often than not, sacrifices have to be made which can sometimes result in the experience not being as good as it could have been.

However, a new concept has been introduced which mitigates a lot of these issues: the CIPOD. Based in the UK but shipped and installed across the world, CIPOD is a custom-built cinema pod which includes everything as a package. A modular design, the pods can be installed anywhere and configured to the exact dimensions required.

“Everything in this room can fit through a door and carried by two people,” explains Steve Burgess, finance director for CIPOD when I went to see a recently installed CIPOD in a large property in the UK. “The biggest components of this room are the panels. We have installed CIPODs into loft conversions, penthouses, basements, and more. They can also be installed into outdoor areas such as the back garden because it’s a self-contained unit and completely weather tight.”

As it is a modular design, the CIPOD can be built for any room size starting from 5x4x2.5m. Burgess continues: “It can be built into almost any size room but we advise no smaller than 5x4 because of the visual and sound effects, but we can scale up to whatever size is required. All we need from clients is the measurements of the room, a minimum height of 2.8m and one 32amp feed. Then we will come in and build their cinema within 7-10 days. It’s as simple as that.”

A very unique and attractive feature of the CIPOD is that it is essentially a freestanding box, meaning it does not touch the walls, floor and ceiling around it. “The CIPOD floats on springs, and because it’s not touching anything at all, we can install it into grade listed properties because it is entirely standalone. This also means that if the homeowners decide to leave the property and move somewhere else, we can just take it out and rebuild it in the new property.”

CIPOD comes as a package with high-quality AV systems to give customers the best home cinema experience possible. The package features IMAX Enhanced equipment including JBL Synthesis audio systems with Dolby Atmos full immersion, a Sony 4K Ultra-HD projector and a 16:9 ratio Ultimate Screens projection or a 2:39:1 Cinemascope Anamorphic ratio screen. The screen uses acoustically transparent material to allow for speakers to be positioned behind the screen, allowing sound to come through to give a more immersive experience. The projector can either be installed above the seats at the back or, if there is room to add a void behind the back row of seats, the projector can sit back into the void cutting out any extra noise coming from the projector.

A minimum of eight speakers and four subwoofers are installed into the walls and ceilings of the CIPOD to provide the surround sound. Dolby Atmos capabilities adds to this experience by moving the sound around the room to fully immerse viewers in the content.

As the CIPOD doesn’t physically touch any other walls, ceilings or floors within the property thanks to its rubber-based, sound-eliminating springs, sound and vibration doesn’t easily transfer to outside of the CIPOD making it soundproof.

Within the room, the sound has been carefully treated to ensure the best experience for the viewer. “The patented 3D fabrics used on the walls and ceilings in the CIPOD allows the sound to come from behind the panels, and when it hits the other side of the room, the sound is absorbed with no reverberation, so the viewer only ever has clear sound without any bounce off effect,” says Burgess.

The pod features a Crestron control system with control options through either the remote or the Crestron panel on the wall. Burgess states: “It’s all connected to the house alarm systems too. If you’re in here watching a film, obviously it’s quite loud and you’re not going to hear what’s going on outside of the room. So, if the security alarm or fire alarm goes off, the whole thing shuts down, doors open and the lights switch on.”

The package also includes air conditioning which can be controlled through the Crestron system, seating which can be designed as the customer wishes, and customisable panels. The panels can feature almost any design wanted and this can be changed at a later date by re-stretching new fabrics over the walls. The company can also upgrade and change out AV equipment too so that the homeowner always has the latest technologies.

The AV kit can be kept within a credenza underneath the screen or in a comms room next door if space allows. It also allows for a bigger screen if the equipment can be outside of the room.

CIPOD is a very unique and clever new approach to having a home cinema. It provides the full cinematic experience in a fully automated room which is sound proofed, includes everything as a customisable package, and can be packed up and moved to somewhere else if the residents decide to move house.

The showroom in Weybridge, UK is available to visit now.