Custom-designed total visual and audio immersion
Custom-designed total visual and audio immersion
June 20 2022
The owner of this high-performing custom home cinema in Australia found our integrator, Scott Sauer from The Digital Picture online. After auditioning the demo in their showroom, they were blown away. The clients knew straight away that they wanted an experience like that in their own home for daily TV, movie and sports watching.
A CUSTOM LUMAGEN SCREEN FOR MULTIMEDIA ENJOYMENT
It’s not easy to design a system that can deliver the best video for all of these media sources. So Scott had a long discussion with Lumagen. They decided that a custom aspect 2.10:1 ratio screen could be the solution. The clients did not like black bars on the sides when watching 16:9 TV content on a scope screen. However, they wanted a wider cinematic screen for movies, with no black bars on the top and bottom.
The main issue to solve here was that the short room length dictated the maximum screen width (throw distance). However, the extremely tall ceiling would make a regular cinemascope screen look small. The clients expressed that they did not want that effect. The 2.10:1 aspect screen solved all of the constraint issues while still looking tall. Plus the Lumagen allowed for 16:9 and 2.4:1 content to be played without black bars.
The 16:9 content uses non-linear stretch. The amount of stretch is almost inconceivable so faces look completely natural. Plus all cinemascope content easily fits the screen using custom sizing and cropping settings supplied by Lumagen. This combination was a complete success, and the clients are extremely happy with the result.
THE CHALLENGES OF SUBWOOFER PLACEMENT DESIGN
The audio system is also important to these clients. They fell in love with the Dolby Atmos system in Scott’s demo room. So the install had to have 9 bed channels and 4 height channels. The main issue came when deciding on where to place subwoofers. Scott investigated a 4-subwoofer design. However, due to constraints in the room, after further analysis and testing of subwoofer placement, Scott ended up presenting a two-sub design.
THE POWER OF REW TO CREATE THE PERFECT SOUNDING ROOM
Further virtual subwoofer placement testing in Room EQ Wizard resulted in two 18” subwoofers custom made from Triad. Both are wall mountable with one behind the screen and one on the floor at the rear left of the room.
During calibration, Scott spent a great deal of time on pre-calibration testing of the subwoofers. With execution of multiple configurations of sub levels, phase, and time alignment, and testing each time to ensure that not only did the graphs look correct, but the bass sound was correct, hit hard and was in phase. Readings from each sub were taken and loaded individually into REW and put through the alignment tool giving several options to test.
USING ALL AVAILABLE TOOLS TO CREATE THE PERFECT CONFIGURATION
"The StormAudio Core 16 audio processor was selected for this home theatre as it provides unrivalled levels of sound quality and audio tunability. This audio processor allows for superb bass management and room calibration through Dirac Live".
Scott further explains, "on top of this, we utilized the excellent bass management tools in the StormAudio pre-amp and Dirac Live to ensure that the bass was correct across the seating area. We completed a total of 5 individual setups on the day and tested with the best configuration picked for its perfect phase and consistency across the seating positions".
Finally, careful speaker selection ensures the even distribution of Atmos effects across the seating area. The front wide speakers are Triad in-ceiling LCR speakers with square enclosures and the drivers angled on a 45 degree baffle. They installed these in such way that they point toward the seating area and offer perfect coverage for all seating positions.
Each Atmos in-ceiling speaker is a Triad Rotating SAT speaker, with the main driver and tweeter housed inside a rotating chassis allowing them to be pointed across the room towards the centre of the listening area. This ensured that all seating positions were evening covered with height effects. The added benefit of this rotating speaker is that the external grille is still square to the timber feature ceiling and not on an angle which would ruin the look of the ceiling.
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY
"I cannot stress enough how easy the clients were to work with", Scott says."‘Communication was clear on both sides as were expectations. Budget was transparent and flexible and the clients were open to suggestions of upgrades and options to improve the system as the project progressed. To be fair this was one of those rare projects where we were given an opportunity to succeed without being held back and it was a pleasure".
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM SCOTT ABOUT THE STORMAUDIO ISP PROCESSOR
“Using StormAudio ISP processors in my projects has enabled me to offer my clients a level of pure natural sound quality and immersive audio sound field that has been unachievable with other high-end audio processors that I have used in the past. The combination of incredibly high quality components with robust and highly configurable software makes the StormAudio a world-class piece of hardware.”
Products used: ISP Core 16 Installation by: The Digital Picture Distribution by: Cogworks