Home cinema install: Attic addict

Discover why a confined space need be no obstruction to home cinema nirvana

This issue’s pro install reflects a common concern – how to harness wasted loft space. The brief here was to indulge the owner’s passion for enjoying sports events in the company of friends and family, and to have movies and kids’ TV shows accessible from a simple touch-screen controller. Support for 3D was a must, too.

When installer Finite Solutions conducted an initial survey of the property, it became clear that accommodating a full-blown seven-seat home cinema – and rear bar area – within the available attic space would be a bit of a challenge. To ensure that everything could be incorporated without compromise, the company produced a detailed three-dimensional model of the room. This enabled Finite to give the owner a ‘walk-through’ of the proposed design before getting the drills out.

Widescreen wish

In addition to the AV equipment itself, Finite’s work included lighting, carpeting, decorations and raised tiers for the cinema seats and bar. During the design phase, the owner decided to upgrade to a 21:9 display; fortunately, the chosen JVC projector was easily adapted to the desired aspect-ratio with a motorised Panamorph anamorphic lens.

The acoustically-transparent 100in screen was then fitted with a masking system. During setup, the best display format for each source was determined and the system programmed so that the correct combination of masking and lens is applied automatically.

In-wall speakers from Bowers &Wilkins were specified for the 7.1 audio system. The CWM7 fronts and centre are positioned behind the screen, four CWM682s handling side and rear duties. All are driven by a Rotel  processor and amplification. Low-frequency slam is provided by a sub, again from B&W, which is also concealed behind the screen. The Rotel processor, upgraded for 3D passthrough, handles display control, too. One of its audio outputs feeds a speaker mounted in the ensuite bathroom, ensuring that the owner misses none of the action.

To fulfil the ease-of-use brief, a Kaleidescape 450 stores the family’s movie collection. It’s augmented by a Sky+ HD box and Denon DBP-1611UD 3D-capable Blu-ray player. These, together with the amplification and other equipment, are mounted in a hidden rack. A Crestron 5.7in touchpanel accesses pre-programmed lighting modes, and offers family-friendly ‘movie-time’ and ‘intermission’ presets.

The last neat touch is that the front row of cinema seats – which were covered with the owner’s choice of leather – are enhanced by a D-Box motion-controller system. This allows them to feel, as well as hear, those explosions!

Kit Checklist...

Projection: JVC X-7B
Screen: Screen Research 100in with anamorphic mask system
Amplification: Rotel RSP-1570 processor; RMB-1565 and RMB-1575 power amplifiers
Blu-ray: Denon DBP-1611UD
Other sources: Kaleidescape Home Cinema 450; Sky+ HD; PS3; Xbox 360
Front and centre speakers: B&W CWM7
Rear and side-surround speakers: B&W CCM682
Subwoofer: B&W ASW-10XP
Speaker cable: Chord Rumour
Infrastructure: Crestron TPS-6X 5.7in wireless touch-screen controller; Prodigy control processor; Prodigy lighting control; Middle Atlantic rack/cooling system
Cinema seating: Fortress – front-row fitted with D-Box motion-control actuators

Price: £Undisclosed

Installer: Finite Solutions

Seven facts about this install...

All in leather
The comfy-looking seats were custom-made by Fortress. The front row have been enhanced with a D-Box motion-control system

Discreet delivery
Bowers and Wilkins in-wall speakers were chosen for there unobtrusiveness as well as sound quality

At your fingertips
A 5.7in Crestron touchscreen provides simple but comprehensive control of the whole cinema

DVDs on demand
All of the owners DVDs have been imported into the Kaleidescape system for ease of access – while a Denon DBP-1611UD provides 3D Blu-ray playback

Totally TV
Sky+HD presents the owners with all the hi-def sport the owners could possibly want

Power it up
Rotel’s  RSP-1570 processor handles the decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio surround mixes

CinemaScope capers
In front of the JVC 3D-capable X-7B projector sits a motorised anamorphic-lens for 21:9 movie presentation

This feature first appeared in the March 2012 issue of Home Cinema Choice