Want inspiration for your home cinema? Then check out these fantastic installations
If you’re hunting for inspiration for your own home cinema project, or thinking of engaging a professional outfit to work its magic in your house, then there's no better place to start than the annual CEDIA Awards. Each year, they highlight the very best custom installations from the UK, Europe and beyond, covering everything from affordable media rooms and dedicated cinemas to whole-house makeovers, eco projects and even the crazy world of hi-tech yachts.
The entries are divided into categories depending on their price range and type, before being documented and judged by a panel including HCC’s very own CI fanatic Steve May. Here we highlight the winners, and those scooping 'Highly Commended' awards, in our favourite categories – media rooms, home cinemas and integrated homes – plus some of the finalists that may have just missed out on a gong, but are still highly impressive...
Winner: Lifestyle Technologies
Owned by a film fanatic with a passion for all things James Bond (hence the poster art on the walls), this room uses a 133in Da-Lite projector screen with automated masking in conjunction with a JVC PJ and Monitor Audio speaker array. Content comes from an Apple TV, Sky+HD and 10TB Mozaex movie server. Three rows of Cineak seating provide comfortable viewing for the owner's fellow agents.
Finalist: The Majik House
Formerly an empty basement, this room now caters for both movie nights and gaming sessions – the latter made all the more fun by the inclusion of a bespoke Vision Racer simulation seat. A Yamaha AVR, Monitor Audio and Linn speakers and a Velodyne sub create the hi-octane audio.
Finalist: Sensory International
This lavish-looking dedicated room was already used for AV purposes, but the owner wanted a professional makeover. The end result included replacing a legacy touchpad controller with an iPad that the whole family could get to grips with, and mounting a 110in fixed-frame projector screen, plus subwoofers and speakers, on the main wall. Visuals are delivered via a SIM2 3D model.
Highly Commended: The Big Picture
This ultra-swish movie den (we just love the integrated lighting...) features stud walls, bespoke acoustic panels and stretch fabrics to get the best possible sound from its hidden Pro Audio Technology speaker array. High-end bigscreen images come courtesy of an M-Vision Cine 3D projector and iMasque 2.35:1 screen.
Joint Winner: De Opera Domotica
A state-of-the-art cinema room with a 4.5m curved projection screen, this joint winner of CEDIA's flagship category offers premium-grade 3D via a Digital Projection Titan projector and heavy-hitting sonics from Wisdom Audio loudspeakers, amps and processors. Crestron controllers simplify the user experience, and there's even a PlayStation 3 on hand for super-sized gaming.
Joint Winner: Imagine This
A private 'screening room' in a purpose-built space, and designed to offer an opulent, luxury experience to its guests, this cinema incorporates a dizzying array of pro-level AV (including a frankly massive 6.8m screen), plus bespoke furnishings, and was calibrated to THX, ISF and HAA (Home Acoustics Alliance) standards. System control features a tailor-made GUI using visual elements from the room design. We believe 'Over £100,000' probably doesn't do it justice...
Highly Commended: Doneo
Turning a small room into a home cinema can pose problems – here, the main doorway was actually moved to allow space for the projector screen, source components and front L/C/R speakers. Cineak absorption and diffuser panels marshall the sound from the 7.2 Atlantic Technologies array, while an Optoma projector takes care of hi-def movies.
Winner: Finite Solutions
A garage-cum-cinema room, this system strikes the perfect balance between audio-visual pomp and the owner's modest budget. Hardware includes a Denon AVR, JVC projector and Bowers & Wilkins speakers; acoustic treatments are mounted onto the custom-built softwood/plyboard false walls. LED lighting and Rako controllers provide scene-specific illumination to suit the owner's mood. No room for the car? Who cares...
Winner: ET Home Cinema
A great example of how an AV system can be installed without too much impact on a room's usual function – in this case the owner's home office. With an Optoma projector on a drop-down lift, a Draper screen that descends from a ceiling recess and in-ceiling Monitor Audio speakers, only a few stabs on the Control4 interface on an iPad are required to go from paperwork to movie-viewing.
Featuring a 70in Sharp LED TV mounted on a swivelling, motorised Future Automation bracket, this modern-feeling den provides bigscreen thrills with the minimum of fuss – and the kit rack is squirrelled away in an adjoining room. Speakers are a mix of Artcoustic on-walls and Current Audio in-ceiling models.
Finalist: Inspired Dwellings
This sumptuous media room was completed as part of a project converting two apartments into a single family home. Movie and film content is viewed on the wall-mounted 55in Samsung LED TV, with sonics aided by a Monitor Audio R One HD soundbar. Subtle lighting and the lush-looking décor provide the finishing touches.
Highly Commended: Sound Environment
Part home cinema, part DJ 'booth', this room caters for the needs of a whole household. Again, a 55in Samsung Smart TV is the focal point – and is regularly employed for internet browsing, apparently – with Polk speakers and B&W subwoofers providing multichannel mayhem. All cabling is installed out of sight, and the amps/source components mounted in a bespoke cabinet.
Finalist: Olive AV
Another dual-function room – the owner demanded an intimate projector-based cinema and a space for throwing parties. A Crestron system provides control of the AV kit, lighting and blackout blinds so the right mood can be found for any occasion. Custom-finished Meyer Sound speakers blend into the décor; a JVC 3D model handles projection.
Winner: Synergy Technologies
Here, the installers were asked to deliver a high-performance AV system that remained 'invisible' when not in use, as the room doubles as an open-plan living space. Achieving that aim involved the fitting of a motorised projector and screen and speakers housed in the front cabinet and ceiling. The granite floors and oodles of glass necessitated discreet acoustic treatments, including special dual-lined drapes.
Winner: Dawsons Group
There's no point taking to the high seas in a glamorous super-yacht and making do with tinny audio – that's why each of the cabins onboard this 40m triple-deck craft is fitted with either a 2.1 or 5.1 system, using Denon AVRs, Linn in-ceiling speakers and Velodyne MicroVee subs, and controlled by an iPod touch. Kaleidescape zone players shunt movies around the yacht from a cental server.
Vist www.cedia.co.uk for more info
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