Stunning Cinema Room Design Meets One of The Best Home Cinema Systems

When a client based in Abuja, Nigeria asked us to design a Home Cinema Room for his home he had one brief – quality. As experts in cinema design we are used to maximising return for a clients budget – “Bang for Buck” – for this room the approach was a little bit different. With no budget constraints we had free reign to deliver the very best home cinema system available. The below is the finished room design, our team will transform a blank concrete shell (measuring 4.2m wide x 6m long) to the below room – designed to hold up to five people and deliver the absolute best home cinema experience possible.

Home Cinema Room - Nigeria
Home Cinema Room – Nigeria

The Projector & Screen Choice

The projector and screen are pivotal to delivering a successful room and are actually the easiest choice to make. In this instance a 140″ wide Screen Excellence Acoustically Transparent screen was chosen – it’s 3.5m width fitting perfectly in to the 4.2m wide room. The projector choice is even more straightforward – match the budget to anything from the Sony Professional range of Laser projectors. In this case the top of the range VW5000 delivers a super bright 4K image using all of it’s 5000 lumens! This is a seriously impressive projector.

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Cinema Design Showing Projector Screen

The Cinema Audio Package

The above projector screen is acoustically transparent meaning we can fit speakers behind it – really tying the audio and video together seamlessly. For this cinema we went to our preferred speaker manufacturer – Artcoustic (who also created these stunning visuals for us). The Artcoustic approach is modular, allowing us to design speaker systems for any environment and most budgets. This cinema room has one of the most advanced cinema audio systems possible. In the below picture there are three front channel speakers (the long thin speakers with multiple drivers) with each channel enhanced by their own subwoofer (the speakers with two drive units) and then a further two subwoofers handle all the low bass needed for a room of this calibre (the speakers with three drive units). The result is absolutely mind blowing, the bass enhanced front channels allow “steerable” bass so you feel effects moving across the screen and the main room subwoofers deliver the kind of impact you can feel.

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Home Cinema Design Showing Speakers Behind Projector Screen

Rear Channels and height channels are equally well catered for with smaller speakers from the Artcoustic range providing fully immersive surround sound – complete with stunning 3D formats like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision and DTS X. It takes a special kind of home cinema receiver to handle a home cinema audio package such as this and the choice for this cinema room was obvious – Trinnov. In this instance we have installed a 16 Channel processor with two Amplitude 8 channel amplifiers. A special 3D microphone calibrates the room perfectly with the Trinnov system fully mapping the room and pushing audio out to each speaker as the film requires. The effect is jaw dropping with a very natural sound – we aim for a fully immersive system which drops clients in the middle of the action and this delivers!

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Home Cinema Design Showing Rear Speakers (normally hidden)

Cinema Fabric Walls & Acoustic Treatments

The best home cinema system in the world will not perform in a poor room so one of our more in-depth pieces of work is to fully acoustically model the room and insert treatments where necessary. In this room a huge amount of sound deadening and audio tuning material ensures that the clients hear the film sound track, not nasty reflections or audio effects introduced by the room. The acoustic treatments and the surround speakers are all lovingly wrapped in the customers choice of fabric – in this instance raw silk. The finished room is clean, classy and shows no sign of the huge amount of audio equipment and treatments contained within.

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Home Cinema with Fabric Walls and Acoustic Treatments

Bespoke Home Cinema Seating

A home cinema should be immersive – once the lights go down and the film starts clients should be dropped in to the heart of the action and be 100% absorbed until the film ends. A key part of getting the experience right is comfort – sitting in the same position during even the longest films should require no effort at all. These beautiful seats from Cineak perform that role perfectly. They are electrically adjustable to allow any size of client to get super comfortable with moving foot rests, back rests and head rests – they even have cup holders so the clients choice of refreshment is always in reach.

The Cinema Room Plan

Careful and precise 3D modelling of the cinema room allows us to work out every detail before the film starts. One of the key areas the 3D modelling helps with is the seating distances and heights. With the projector and screen combination used here the picture is bright and 4K resolution – allowing clients to get closer to the screen without it feeling too close – it all comes down to the immersive experience again!

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Home Cinema Design – Plan View

Summary

Thanks to our fantastic trade partners – Artcoustic, Trinnov and Sony – we have been able to design a home cinema room which is one of the best in the world. The client experience will be amazing and will be able to transport the client and his family around the world purely with the power of Hollywood. We can’t wait to build this – finished pictures to follow on the portfolio page.

Integrating Facial Recognition in to Security Systems & Home Automation

In recent years biometric finger print access has been used to replace security codes and security alarm fobs for convenience and heightened security. However we always been slightly uncomfortable with this approach – imagine an ultra high networth individual with a stunning art collection – how far would a determined thief go to access the property? The logical conclusion is removal of the clients thumb or finger to gain access. This may sound far fetched but a lot of our clients are kidnap risks and have huge amounts of wealth and property stored in their homes.

Facial recognition removes a lot of these challlenges and we are a lot more comfortable specifying these systems due to them not relying on a customers finger or thumb! They also benefit from being a lot more reliable and secure – it is a win win!

Facial Recognition - Facial Recognition Security Systems
Using Facial Recognition in Security Systems & Home Automation

Benefits of Integrating Facial Recognition

The benefits of facial recognition can be huge and we have listed a few examples below:

  • Automated Door Locks – simply looking in to a wall mounted camera can unlock doors and gates automatically. By the time a client reaches the door it has unlocked. If the face is not recognised then access is denied.
  • Access Control – Different members of the household can access different areas so staff and the children can’t access the wine cellar and staff can only access within set hours. The gardener can open the side gate but not access the home. A properly designed system can be run and configured by the house manager allowing complete control of personnel throughout the property.
  • Intruder detection – a fully armed security system can report activity to a central monitoring station – allowing interaction with potential criminals before they even reach the home. Facial recognition recognises and ignores the pool guy whilst focusing on and tracking the person who slipped through the side gate they forgot to shut behind them.
  • Integration with a Home Automation system – Imagine returning to your home and your favourite radio station is playing, lights at the right level and the temperature set as you like it. With facial recognition we can specify any event to happen at any time as you enter or move through the property – allowing audio and lighting to follow you around the home for instance.

Summary

For our high end security systems facial recognition is a logical upgrade allowing huge amounts of flexibility and control with none of the disadvantages of traditional biometric systems. The future is here and it rocks!

How to improve Wifi in a residential setting

In the modern home WiFi should be treated as a utility – everyone needs it and it should be fast, reliable and always available. Unfortunately the ISP provided routers are generally low quality and built to very tight budgets. This can result in a WiFi signal which is great in the room which houses the router but the WiFi signal can become weak and under powered as clients move around the home. Add in a few family members streaming to portable devices and the whole system can quickly become unusable!

What do the terms Wired Wifi and Mesh Wifi actually mean for Home WiFi?

There are two ways to improve WiFi around the home but both use the same principal to get a better signal – they place a Wireless Access Point closer to the client device. An incoming telephone line is often in to an area which is not ideal for a client to use the WiFi – customers don’t often stand in the hall or closet to surf. Both of these technologies move the WiFi emitter in to the main living space and in larger houses then multiple WAPs provide a WiFi signal to ensure great coverage throughout.

Mesh WiFi Networks – Mesh networks basically take a WiFi signal and repeat it so client devices get a good signal. The more the number of “hops” the slower the signal – for instance a repeater in the living room may boost the router WiFi nicely but a repeater further up the house might repeat the living room signal – meaning all traffic goes through the living room repeater before finally arriving at the router. These hops can seriously impact a clients experience. Newer mesh technologies such as Google Wifi use a dedicated wireless back haul to connect which means a faster connection and less hops to the internet – providing a better client experience.

Wired WiFi – In a wired WiFi system a client talks to a local WAP and their traffic travels down a network cable direct to the router and providing a fast internet experience. Multiple wired WAPs around the home ensure a great signal everywhere and a solid user experience.

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Google Wifi – Home Wifi Emitters

How to handle Roaming Clients

With the above technologies it is easy to see how a Wired WiFi solution will outperform a Mesh network – even the newer Mesh technologies – as they have a dedicated connection and they share less infrastructure on the way to the internet. All these WAPs can cause an issue with client devices though, imagine an iPhone on the ground floor which is streaming from YouTube. The WiFi signal may only have to travel a couple of meters and the device will show 5 bars, full power. If that iPhone then moves up the house it may stay connected to the original WAP – it had a good signal and it will stay connected for as long as it can to make the most of the signal it had. The phone wont necessarily appreciate the fact that it has a closer WAP on the 3rd floor which will also provide that great signal. This approach makes perfect sense for the vast majority of people who only have one router. With our WiFi systems we install a Wireless controller which monitors the signal from all WAPs and auto optimises them to work together – providing the best possible WiFi signal throughout the house but also handling client devices – passing them from WAP to WAP as clients move around the property. The end result from a client device perspective is one huge network which doesn’t vary as clients move around the home – WiFi perfection!

Hybrid Wifi Systems

Most homes in the UK do not have network cable installed to key locations – although our full home systems do! – which means pulling cables can be difficult if not impossible. Our high end WiFi systems therefore allow us to mix and match technologies – wired WiFi to key areas with mesh backup for areas with weak or no signal. The disadvantage of the mesh network is minimised as the signal may only have one hop – a mesh WAP talking to a wired WAP – before the client reaches the internet. The same wireless controller handles the entire management ensuring clients get a fantastic user experience.

We are often asked to provide WiFi to garden rooms and offices without a wired network connection, we install long range, directional WiFi on the main house which provides a stunning signal in the garden room and the outdoor space. The modern WiFi technologies have seriously quick connection speeds which allow clients to work on servers in the main house and easily handling web surfing and email – even for multiple clients in an office environment.

Kids Wifi Networks and Guest Networks

Children nowadays are fully connected and expect an always on connection. This can be great but obviously has some issues with some of the content available. Our networks can restrict access to certain sites and – a firm client favourite – be set to a time schedule. Children’s WiFi can be switched off at a clients preferred time, ensuring devices aren’t used past bed time – bring around the end of family arguments! Guest networks can sit alongside client networks and provide guests to the home with all the benefits of the internet without allowing access to your local devices, so a visitor wont automatically try to connect to your Apple TV or have access to your family photos.

Summary

There has never been a better time to be wire free! The technology exists to make every home fully connected with a reliable and fast WiFi signal. Some clients will be happy to roll their sleeves up and install something like Google WiFi whereas others will engage someone like us to design and install something bespoke. Either approach is good but do not settle for a poor connection!

How Home Automation Can Make Life Easier

A Crestron Home Automation system can make life a lot easier for clients with a disability such as reduced mobility, vision or hearing. A well installed system can increase independence and reduce the need for careers.

Exactly how can Crestron Home Automation help?

A Crestron system can control – and therefore automate – anything electrical in the home. One button press, or voice command, or time schedule can perform preset actions when required. For a person with limited movement something as simple as closing the curtains can be a struggle or require a visit from a career. With a Crestron system the curtains can automatically close at nightfall with lights coming on to a clients preferred level or they can close with a button press or a voice command – there are lots of options which may or may not suit depending on the disability. The ways automation can help is endless and each of our solutions is designed with a particular end client in mind, ensuring a bespoke system which meets a clients needs exactly. All interfaces to the system are custom designed and created so if a client has limited range of movement then buttons can be larger, if a client has limited vision then high contrast text can be used – whatever suits the particular client.

Harry Potter stuntman, David Holmes, explains more in this excellent Youtube Video:

Harry Potter stuntman David Holmes explains how automation helps

Some Examples of Home Automation helping with Disability:

  • Closing of curtains and blinds – Easily achieved by a button press or a voice command – or closed automatically at nightfall.
  • Opening and closing of doors – All types of doors can be automated so entry and exit doors can be automated but also internal doors providing privacy and ease of access.
  • Security and Fire integration – For clients with vision or hearing issues alarms can be integrated in to lighting circuits to provide a visual stimulus and the aforementioned doors can automatically shut off the room with the source of the fire – providing a means of escape.
  • Shower and Bath integration – voice command of showers and baths can automatically provide water at the correct temperature and the voice command ensures no fiddly controls to master.
  • Communications – Phoning and emailing contacts can easily be performed by talking to devices rather than typing, opening up a world of communication options.
  • Audio Video controls – the new Crestron remote controls feature voice commands so simply talking to the remote control can allow clients to view their favourite TV show, watch the latest block buster or catch up on the latest pod cast for work.
  • Heating and Cooling Controls – The same remote control, or touchpanel, allows voice command of heating and cooling systems allowing clients to set a more comfortable temperature or turn up the ventilation system.
  • Lighting Controls – our traditional lighting control systems add convenience by allowing a simple button press to control all the lighting in a room or zone but with the addition of voice commands then this even easier.
  • Human tracking – We can even go one stage further and track the location of the client in the home – enter a room and the lights will come on and the heating will be set to the correct temperature. If the client was listening to music in the room they have come from we can bring this through to the new room. As clients approach doors they can open automatically – even entrance doors with a voice based confirmation if approaching from inside the home.
  • Intercoms and door access – Easy communication with the front door or gate allows clients to talk to and view visitors before choosing whether to open the door or not.
Crestron for Disabled Clients
Crestron for Disabled Clients

Summary

Crestron Home Automation can seriously improve the quality of life for clients with disabilities – the above information is only a starting point – anything is possible and we love to design systems which meet clients needs. Feel free to get in touch to see how one of our systems could revolutionise your life.

A Gaming Oasis installed in a family home

Our Home Cinema Rooms aren’t solely for movie nights with the family – they also perform stunningly well as gaming rooms. High end surround systems fully immerse the player with audio coming from all sides, behind and even the ceiling! The projected image in this example is 4m wide and lit by a super powerful 4k Sony Laser Projector.

Ultimate Gaming Room
Ultimate Gaming Room

Zero Compromise gaming

Utilising one of our home cinema rooms for gaming makes perfect sense:

  • Superb Audio with full surround sound
  • Huge 4m image to really immerse the player(s)
  • Extremely comfortable seating which is perfect for longer gaming sessions
  • Soundproofed room so you don’t disturb the family!

The last item is important – our gaming rooms are isolated from the rest of the home so as well as performing brilliantly for audio in the room they also minimise sound leakage in to the rest of the home. After all, there are a total of six 10″ subwoofers hidden behind the screen – you can feel every rocket and grenade in the above game! Clients love to invite their friends round for a gaming session, multi-player games really come in to their own on screens of this size ensuring whether the clients love Gran Turismo or FIFA the experience is great.

The multi-use aspect of these cinema rooms is fantastic – the room is equally at home hosting the family for a Friday night film nights as watching the boxing in the early hours with friends.

Contact us to see how we could enhance your home.

Home Cinema Room - Rear View
Home Cinema Room – Rear View