Clever Association has secured a prestigious award for an exceptional, dedicated home cinema in the 2017 CEDIA Awards. The industry trade association named the technology integrator as winner of the Best Home Cinema £120,000 - £240,000 category for a project which excels both technically and aesthetically. The client was extending their large detached property to incorporate a "modern wing" with a large basement designed to accommodate a cinema and games room. Harrogate and London-based Clever Association was briefed to create a home cinema with the quality of a multiplex, for the avid movie-going family, including technical design and specification, as well as décor.
Crucial to achieving cinema-quality images is the projection system. Accordingly, Clever Association chose a Runco LS-12D three-chip DLP® projector, which delivers exceptional 3D and 2D performance. The HD projector, which features an elegant chassis design, combines the power of three advanced HD 16:9 DMDs™ and 12-degree mirror tilt for the finest black level performance. The Runco projector has been combined with a state-of-the-art Screen Research EL-1C fixed screen. An impressive 3556mm wide, the screen has lateral masking to create a black border around the projected image to enhance its quality.
Three-dimensional surround sound is also paramount to achieving an immersive cinema experience. The consultancy selected a Triad in-wall system which generates incredible audio without compromising the decor. This comprises 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. The speakers have been placed to optimise sound quality throughout the room. Additional cables were pre-installed in key locations throughout the room to facilitate an upgrade to 3D audio in the future, if the need arises.
The integration of a Datasat LS10 audio processor and power amplifier has successfully resulted in a rich, textured, well-balanced sound. With native support for all current formats, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS Neo:X, the unit works to ensure the movies sound exactly the way the filmmakers intended. The Datasat unit also intelligently augments game playing and streaming of live sport. The sound clarity has been enhanced further through the installation of 14 different-sized acoustic absorptive panels, which soak up the sound waves, reduce echo and reverberation, enabling the film soundtrack to really stand out. The family now has instant access to a vast array of films through a Kaleidescape 1U server which can store up to 325 Blu-ray discs. The device provides high quality playback, along with safe storage, of the family's movie collection while making it accessible throughout the entire house.
The cinema has seating for eight, including two love-seats with a laminated area between chairs for refreshments. The luxurious Fortress dark blue leather seats have a motorised recline mechanism and retractable arm rests. The cinema has been pre-wired for D-Box to facilitate an upgrade to simulated motion if required in future. Behind the scenes, a home cinema needs to be robust and easy to maintain. To meet this requirement, the Middle Atlantic racking, used to store all the equipment, has a pull-out design which provides simple access to rear equipment connections for service purposes. As a highly-demanding environment, Furman power conditioners have been included within the specification for both the projector and the central AV system. These boxes dramatically reduce noise, ensuring consistent peak-level operation, regardless of load conditions or time of day. Furthermore, they assure high level AC protection, in the event of a power surge, avoiding potential damage to the equipment or the need for an engineer.
The family had a preference for Apple devices and so were familiar with and enjoyed using, features such as Airplay and Apple TV for movie rentals. As such, an iPad has been set up to operate the home cinema. The tablet provides access to a control app, used throughout the property for all entertainment, lighting, security, and "comfort" systems. The app stores a profile for each of the family, containing preferences for different services. Simple touchscreen icons lead the user through functionality and control options for each activity. The iPad is stored and charged using Launch Port technology, which uses induction charging and removes the need for a cable. In addition, the home entertainment system can be managed using a basic RTI remote control providing "hard button" control of the entertainment options.
The final key component to recreating the cinema experience is the décor. The integrator worked closely with the interior designer to select fabrics for the acoustic panels, the leather finish for the seats, and drawing up an AutoCAD design for the bespoke carpet. The carpet lightens towards the edges to highlight the steps, and facilitates navigation in and out of the cinema. To complete the luxurious interior decoration, art deco lights adorn the walls complemented by accent lighting around the screen and ceiling. Clever Association has thought through every aspect of this project in detail, from the technical element to the ambiance and comfort of the audience. The client can enjoy films at the highest standard, with breath-taking sound quality and lifelike colour imagery, in the exquisite comfort of their own home.