The Dark Side of the Room

We got some great pictures and a detailed description fromthe French custom installer “The Dark Side of the Room”. They installed this amazing 9.2 Home Theater – which is shortlisted at CEDIA AWARD 2013 Region 1 in the “Best Home Cinema under €48.000” category. The result of the competition will be published in June. Check out more pictures in our album “Dark side of the room”.

The text is a bit long but very informative – so find your best chair – sit back – and enjoy this description of Home Theater dreams coming true

The Dark Side of the Room

… installed this 9.2 Home Theater – build in an existing basement. The result is a stunning multi-purpose room, with it’s TV, it’s tensioned projection screen and it’s desk in the back.

It’s build with two rows. The front row can either become a bed or disappear under the back row to make room for the Wii players. The owner wanted to be able to project the screen from his computer on to the big screen, so a HDMI wire was pulled to the location of the desk in the back.

Carefully designed, built and calibrated, this mini-theater is nothing short of stunning.

  • The M&K Sound setup is strong and accurate
  • The d-ILA projector throws a large picture on the Screen Research Screen
  • and the Lutron/Crestron lighting and control system makes the whole experience breathtaking

The making of the Home Theater

The customer wanted to convert a room in their basement into three things:

  1. A home theatre
  2. A playroom for the kids
  3. A home office.

They were very concerned whether it was possible to implement all three things into this one room. But they couldn’t resist an attempt to try and realize their fantastic dream.

We made a building draft and asked two interior designers to come up with an experimental drawing.They made a 3D rendering of a two-row room with a desk in the back and a large playing area in the front.

One of the projects included a mattress, which could be slid under the podium, with three positions: completely hidden (Wii/Kinect configuration), partly hidden (seating position for the kids in the front row) and completely pulled out (for watching a movie lying down – or for accommodating friends for a night).

M&K Sound loudspeakers proved to be the perfect solution for our demo room. The S300 is one of the best speaker systems that we have ever heard, its exceptionally accurate and energetic sound has a captivating effect. My only regret is that we did not discover M&K Sound sooner.

It is worth paying a visit now to Home Movie, for it is great fun to sit smiling inadvertently in your seat while watching a loud flm sequence. It is also interesting to see how a true home cinema is capable of providing a musical experience that makes your jaw drop in surprise.

We had given the designers guidelines for including wall paneling, which they neatly incorporated in their drawings. We completed the drawings with the technical elements and the construction started.

The front half of the ceiling was made of a canvas of boxes, with four depths, which was filled with acoustical panels and foam, for a very unique look and elaborate audio treatment.

Additionally, the customer asked us to be able to choose between a flat screen and a projection screen. The way we did that was to have a fixed TV screen between the front speakers (hidden behind an acoustically transparent fabric), and a motorized screen research tensioned projection screen with a black backing (so as to get rid of reflections on the TV).

The sound system, from M&K Sound, is a 9.2 setup, with two subwoofers in the front, three LCR speakers and six surrounds (in order to create an array of surround speakers and make sure both rows and – to some extend – the seat behind the desk would get proper surround imaging).

The projector is a JVC (best value for money in its category) and a Prodigy pack from Crestron makes it easy for every user to choose a program and switch from the TV to the projector.

All the gear is installed in a rack enclosure – in a cabinet next to the screen. The cabinet door is split and can therefore be opened even when the screen is down, allowing the users to access the Blu-ray player or the Integra receiver.

The projector is hung above the desk, in a custom made piece of cabinetry, along with some lighting. The opening on the front of the projector has been covered with fabric so the air can flow through it for cooling down purposes and the 3D emitter is located below the opening for the lens.

Two windows needed to be blacked-out. A couple of Sivoia rollers from Lutron, with side channels, took care of that problem. They are controlled from the same Grafik Eye QS unit that controls the lighting scenes.

The room is small but was carefully designed, and we did not find any noticeable problem when calibrating it. All the seats are located so as to avoid room mode issues, and we reverted to manual equalization after trying the Audyssey auto-setup and observing it was worse than no eq.We carefully calibrated the JVC projector, creating ISF-day and ISF-Night modes for Games/Movies.

The customer was very impressed with the result – as were we. The imaging and dynamics rendered by the M&K Sound / Integra association was very efficient.

We from DSR would like to thank Didier Autric from Dynamic Home Cinema – the French distributor of M&K Sound.

© studio 5.56

Technical Specifications

The Speakers

  • M&K Sound S300 fronts
  • M&K Sound S300T surrounds, 2 pair
  • M&K Sound X10 subwoofer
  • M&K Sound V12 subwoofer