Case Study: A Multi-Purpose Room Reflecting a Passion For Music, Sport, and Cinema

The stylish design of a living room, featuring a DJ booth and state-of the-art AV capabilities, has been recognised at the 2017 CEDIA Awards. Lisbon-based technology integrator, Life Emotions, won the Best Media Room £20,000-£80,000 category for their creative execution of the brief.

The client wanted to create a bright, modern living area where they could relax and enjoy their hobbies of music, movies, and watching football. The brief specified a professional-quality DJ system; high-end audio and TV, with the ability to stream music and 4K video throughout the property and outside area; and storage for an extensive vinyl and CD collection.

One of Life Emotions first priorities was to investigate the available space to ensure the optimum sound quality would be achieved in the end design. Initial acoustic tests were poor and resulted in a change of room layout. Elegant Vicoustic acoustic panels have been fitted onto the wall, either side of the screen location. Made of two parts, each panel can be rotated in different directions to achieve a uniform, omni-directional scattering of sound, enabling effective diffusion without too much absorption. The striking angled design of the panels, which are made of solid wood, make them an attractive feature within the room. 

The DJ booth comprises two Pioneer CDJ-850 digital decks, a DJM-750 four channel mixer with a tempo-synced effects section, and a precision engineered PLX-1000 turntable. The decks feature full-sized jog wheels, a large display enabling fast music identification and selection, and pro-DJ features. They are capable of playing WAV, AIFF, MP3, and AAC files, have a CD drive which can read audio CDs, as well as CD-R/RW, and a USB port providing connectivity with other external devices. The client's music library is catalogued using Pioneer's rekordbox music management programme. The integrator has set the booth within a bespoke furniture unit which also houses the AV rack.

On the wall hangs a slim 75" Sony 4K LED display for the client to watch sport and films. The size was selected based on optimising the distance from screen to the couch. With four times the detail of Full HD, and a resolution of over 8 million pixels, the display offers real depth and clarity to images, along with eye-catching colours. The TV is flat-mounted using a discreet Future Automation PF65 bracket.

Life Emotions chose a pair of Sonus Faber Venere 2.0 acoustic speakers to provide outstanding audio output. The speakers are stylishly designed, with a wood finish, which perfectly complements the wood furniture in the room.

A key element of the project was the ability to stream music and video around the property so the owner can enjoy personalised content, from his Apple TV or Netflix, Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes accounts, wherever he is located. To achieve this, the integrator has specified an HDanywhere mHub 4K, Sonos Connect for music streaming and AudioControl P2260 twelve channel multi-zone high-power amplifier.

Control of all the AV system in the room has been integrated through a Savant home automation system, at the heart of which is a Savant SmartHost controller. The HVAC systems, which are managed using a Basalte Deseo intelligent design thermostat, have also been incorporated into Savant through a KNX interface. The occupants can easily and intuitively operate sound, vision, lighting, and heating/air con either by using a single Savant PRO remote or the intuitive Savant app on an Apple device. The app helps create instant ambiance, such as mood lighting for "movie night" and can store a personalised profile for individual users providing fast access to favourite scenes or settings.

The integrator wanted to ensure the power supply was robust for the media room and so chose to install two direct energy power sources from the main electrical panel that are managed by an ATS and UPS from APC. A power distribution unit from Pakedge manages all equipment on the rack. If one of the sources fails, the integrator is notified, and the system automatically changes to the other source. The power outlets allow remote control and sequence "power on" if there is a system failure, which facilitates service support as the house is over an hour's drive away.

The equipment is conveniently stored within a Middle Atlantic Slim 5 Series rack frame system which has been customised to fit within the room furniture, allowing easy management, while hiding undesirable wires and cables.

The project successfully combines functionality with aesthetics. In addition to building a stunning, contemporary living space, the client can enjoy extensive, high-quality music and video whether they're in the gym, bedroom, or garden. Despite the range of services on offer, they are easily accessible through a single interface. From the judges’ perspective, Life Emotions has delivered "A multi-functional room, which boasts impressive kit and was documented extremely well.