Basement Home Cinema

The Brief

This particular client came to us with the specific desire to have their own dedicated Cinema room, in which the whole family could enjoy.

The Cinema room was approx 6.5m square and would need to seat at least 8 people plus storage area. The client was keen to get the largest screen that would fit in this space with a big sound to match. Wow-Factor was very much at the top of his wish-list.

Having agreed a ball-park budget, we set about designing a suitable solution which comprised of:

  • Full HD Projection system
  • 7.2 ‘High End’ surround sound
  • In-wall ‘hidden’ speakers
  • 2-tiered ‘curved’ seating layout
  • Colour changing LED lighting panels
  • Fully automated ‘mood lighting’
  • Integration with other house shared devices (i.e. SkyHD, AppleTV)
  • Movie server
  • Effortless operation via Control4

Detailed Design

As with all good home cinema projects, our solution started with the seating. We had specified 3 x double and 3 x single cinema seating (seating 9 people in total). The benefit of supplying these ourselves meant that we were able to determine the best layout for these seats within the room.

Due to the amount of design work required on this project, we produced detailed drawings and 3D room layouts for signoff by the client prior to commencement of works. This allowed our client to get a real feel for the finished room and provided an excellent point of reference.

Our initial calculations showed the optimum viewing angle of between 30 & 36 degrees (in line with CEDIA recommended practices) was achievable with an 9ft wide screen.

Overcome Issues

Our original design included a curved ceiling feature which covered two steel supporting beams. Unfortunately this idea had to be significantly changed due to the finished floor level being higher than what was originally planned.

The raised ceiling section (seen in photos) was designed as an effective alternative option that still allowed the supporting beam to be totally hidden from view. The inclusion of LED lighting created a fantastic ceiling feature, from what otherwise would have been a bit of an eyesore.

Hidden Audio

The front (LCR) speakers were positioned behind a 3m acoustically transparent fixed frame projector screen (16:9).

This sized screen was within the throw ratio of the chosen projector and still allowed for the two in-wall subwoofer boxes to sit either side of the screen.

We had to produce a detailed stud-layout drawing for the joiner, to ensure that no studding would end up where a speaker should be.  This was especially important for the subwoofer housings as they both required fixing tightly to the studwork prior to plaster-boarding.

Let There Be Light

In terms of equipment, our solution featured a 7.2 surround system (we also wired for some additional ceiling speakers in case the client upgraded to Dolby Atmos in the future).

As part of the lighting design process, the idea of slatted panels was suggested by our client (who had recently seen something similar whilst on holiday).

Working closely with the joiner, we were able to come of with a solution that featured a special recess for the RBG LED strip to be housed within – perfectly creating the effect our client was looking for.  The panels were then covered in acoustically transparent material which helped to reduce audio reflections and also allowed for the two side speakers to be totally hidden from view.

Further lighting in the room included recessed LED spot lights (custom painted black, to blend into the dark ceiling), and RGB strip lighting on the step and ceiling feature.

Matt finish paints were specified to minimise on light reflection from the screen.  Speaker grills for the sub-woofers & rear surround speakers were also custom painted black to blend in with the décor of the room.

Effortless Operation

Control4 was the selected system of choice to operate the whole room (including lighting).

Not only did this make the Cinema room very easy to operate, it also allowed it to integrate with other home automation features that operated throughout the property.