The representative of a private client contacted us, asking us to create a private luxury screening room. They checked our credentials and were certain that we would provide them with a highly technical solution.
An unprecedented journey
The client had a very hands-on knowledge of the technical aspects and deliverables of a luxury screening room. Consequently, their brief to us was very clear. Firstly, the client needed the screening room to perform at the highest technical level. Secondly, it was to be suited for use by the family and visiting friends. Visitors would need the control to be intuitive and automated, whilst the client would need manual control of all technical aspects.
The client had links with commercial audio and video experts abroad and had firm requirements for the technical capabilities. They understood the criteria for the design of the room and would appreciate and follow our methodology throughout the process.
The project, from enquiry to final handover, has taken us on a unique journey of design, cutting edge technology and job satisfaction!
We took care of all electronic and electrical systems, from the screening room electronics, to the lighting.
Giving a great deal of thought to the robustness of the electronics; we added fail-safes and specialist devices, such as power conditioning. (These were used for both the equipment rack and the active loudspeakers). We used reset equipment for the Sky decoder and addressed redundancy by splitting the AV and the lighting control processors.
With a dual control approach to the AV programming, we gave the less technical members of the family and the client’s visitors an automated experience. On the other hand, we gave our client full manual access to the settings they might require. This included things such as the projector and lens modes, audio codec selection etc. Consequently all of the users had just the right level of control.
We included a full range of acoustic treatments for the space; including the use of green glue and absorption, reflection, diffusion and bass management materials. Using the acoustic treatments greatly improved the modal response. We were able to achieve better overall sound because there was more even distribution of pressure.
To achieve THX Reference level performance in such a large room (270cum), we used Procella’s range of THX approved loudspeakers. This allowed us to meet the client’s requirements for sound. To deal with MSV, wave collisions, standing waves and nuls, we installed two Procella P18 high output subwoofers. Importantly, we placed the subwoofers in the baffle wall.
Our client needed the projection screen to be as large as possible. To achieve this, Screen Research constructed the immense bespoke 250” screen for this project. We selected an ISF and THX approved acoustically transparent fabric screen. It had a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and vertical motorised masking. Naturally, we used the screen masking in conjunction with the intelligent lens system and digital crop files. By saving a variety of presets, our client could enjoy content in a diversity of aspects; 2.35:1, 2.40:1, 1.78:1 and 1.33:1/4×3. We installed the screen on a baffle wall containing the front left, right and centre channel loudspeakers and subwoofers. As a result, there was no disassociated dialogue.
We selected a Christie projector, with an incredible 12,000 lumens and, using an IMB module and external 3D processing units, this would later be upgraded. Defocussing the lamps to approx 50%, meant that we met industry standards.
We designed a local data network to link with the existing system in the main residence. In anticipation of the data streaming that may be required, fibre and copper data links between the two networks were provided.
For a serviceable installation, we housed the electronics in two Middle Atlantic racks, in a separate equipment room. So as to make the project serviceable, accessible and maintainable, we used a Neutrik patch system for connection. This would mean that we could independently move the racks, for maintenance or additions. Should it become necessary in the future, they could also be fully redesigned. We installed a Crestron touchpanel in one of the equipment racks, to provide a hardwired maintenance interface. For the more able users, we programmed advanced setup functions and maintenance options, such as a Sky reset function.
Once we had fully installed the equipment and the room furnishings were in place, we completed a final audio room correction process. Lastly, we performed HAA (Home Acoustics Alliance), THX and ISF calibrations.
The client was delighted with this luxury screening room. In short the room performed at the highest technical level and it looked amazing! They enjoyed the process of working through the project with us, saying that we were adaptable and accommodating. Similarly, all of the construction professionals involved praised our service, for our reliability, expertise and pursuit of perfection!
In short, we achieved our aims, we delivered an astounding luxury screening room. We ensured that all users could enjoy the luxury screening room; the client, with their more technical needs, and the family, with their need for simplicity.
I engaged Guy Singleton and the team at Imagine This to design and build a cinema room for me in the UK. The team there took my brief and extremely high technical standards and delivered a superb room which not only looks and feels amazing but performs at the highest technical level. They were dependable, reliable and efficient and their professional approach ensured the project was a success. We have since also asked them to help with a number of other smaller projects that have also shown how flexible Imagine This can be.Sir Peter Jackson
For further reading, please see our articles, How Much Does a Home Cinema Cost?, What’s the difference between a media room and a home cinema? or even Why Upgrade to Lutron HomeWorks QS Lighting Control System?.