The 21st Century Cinema Experience

Not all of our projects start from scratch – some require a little TLC on an existing foundation. For this home cinema project, we were asked to upgrade an older style to the newest technology.

One of the benefits of being a CEDIA Member of Excellence is that we’re always first in line when it comes to new trends. The Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association gives us exclusive access to the latest tech, which we introduce to our customers wherever possible.

This home cinema project is the perfect example.

Overhauling the extra space

In this project, we didn’t have a huge space to work with – but we did have spare space. This would give us the additional challenge of matching the ‘big screen’ experience in a limited area. In its former state, the area featured a small projector style screen with lighting either side to guide the viewer’s eye.

Straight away, we could see that there was an entire wall space that was not being used to its full potential. Similarly, the wooden flooring did not lend itself to the cinema effect. The room suffered from poor acoustics and an unwelcoming feel. Rather than a half-baked ‘man cave’, we would completely reinvent the whole ambience of the room without impacting the structural integrity.

Getting to work

The purpose of this room was to entertain. Not only would the central screen be used for viewing, but for gaming, sports and online streaming. We decided to integrate a 3.5m viewing screen that could show:

  • Sky television
  • Games consoles such as the Xbox
  • Netflix and Disney+.

We added decorative uplights, installed in a beam fashion across the ceiling and below the screen itself. With coloured lighting, this would add instant cinematic style to the room and draw the viewer’s eye to the big screen. We also improved upon the existing lights in the space – instead, moving crystal lights to the left of the screen and the adjacent wall so as not to distract the viewer.

Not only would the screen be enhanced by these lights; it would also change aspect ratio to suit the viewing format. This would make the area more universal, ideal for entertaining the whole family.

Sound as a pound

The previous space needed investment into sound quality, and lacked the appropriate features. We installed a 10-speaker surround sound system to carry the waves for better distribution.

It was important not to make this intrusive, particularly in a small space. So, we added stretched fabric walls with sound absorption and diffusion to dampen extraneous sound and hide the speakers. Added to the chrome detailing, this would create a luxury feel for the home.

Taking back control

Upgrading from a simple projector to a fully immersive cinema would require intuitive controls. We didn’t want to overwhelm our users – we knew the room would be enjoyed by a whole family of varying ages.

We created a bespoke hand-held remote control for one-touch operation of the entire system. Not only can viewers enjoy their favourite media; they can trigger automatic colour-changing lighting. Switching from one medium to another comes easily – Netflix becomes Xbox at the touch of a button.

This project was installed as part of a system for the entire house, incorporating lighting and video control across multiple rooms. Our client valued flexibility above all else, changing the look and feel of the space according to their needs.

The result

Our client was stunned by this transformative space, giving them a professional, up to date home entertainment experience. In addition to transforming the home, this project also showed how an upgrade can increase market value and general accessibility in a space. There doesn’t always have to be tons of room, either.

Every detail, from ceiling coffers and skirting to immersive screens, has been considered. This property is emblematic of the effects an upgrade can have, without having to start from scratch.

If you’d like to transform your living space, contact SONA today.