Sound Sense (India)’s recently completed home theatre project, ‘The Dark Side’, has been shortlisted in the CEDIA Awards category, Best Home Cinema £40,000 – £120,000. The AV integration company used home theatre design software, The Cinema Designer (TCD), to design the 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos custom cinema room’s technical elements.
The cinema room had to include a Dolby Atmos set-up, something that has recently been made even easier with TCD, a large screen, a bright projector, well-defined acoustics, and enough seating to accommodate the client’s large family. The client also requested an open passageway between the home theatre and bar, which is located in an adjacent space. Added to that, the entire project had to be ready in time for the client’s house-warming party – due to be held in just over three months’ time.
Due to the tight time frame for completion of the project, TCD proved to be beneficial for Sound Sense when it came to designing the theatre’s crucial technical requirements.
“TCD was very useful in the initial stages of the project layout design with regards to the speaker placement,” says Ankur Bhatt, owner, Sound Sense. “We also made use of TCD for the RT60 calculation and projector brightness calculation, which we found useful for project documentation based on our experience from the CEDIA 2016 project submissions. The output reports of TCD are very defined, precise and compliant with industry standards; we strongly believe in the software. Whenever we use TCD, our clients are very happy with the presentation and the overall value-added service.”
TCD theatre designs are based on CEA/CEDIA CEB-22 and CEB-23 home theatre standards, and as such, the software can quickly and accurately design a cinema or media room and all of the documentation required to enter the CEDIA Awards. Coupled with the 3D CAD drawings that TCD produces in 30 seconds, this is all of the documentation needed in order to reach the required level for the standard of entry into the CEDIA Awards.
“Anybody using TCD can compete with companies with a greater level of critical mass,” comments TCD MD, Guy Singleton. “The CEDIA Awards has strict judging criteria when it comes to cinema room design. There are lots of aesthetically pleasing cinema rooms submitted each year which will not qualify due to the fact that the correct documentation and the correct calculations were not presented to the judges at the time of entry. TCD checks all of those boxes, and creates technically accurate cinema and media room designs in minutes.”
Prior to Sound Sense being brought onboard for this project, the client’s architect had pre-designed certain elements of the home theatre, including specifying the recliners for the room.
“We informed the client that the room size and the required screen size resulted in conflicting parameters, however, the client insisted that all the pre-purchased recliners be utilised in the room,” says Ankur. “Our final theatre room layout was designed with a compromise in the first row’s viewing angle, and by urging the architect to change the height of the steps for the remaining rows, the line of sight for these rows was corrected. To correct the acoustic issues in the room set-up, we outlined an acoustic design for the room to optimise the mix of absorbing and diffusing patterns.”
Due to the open passageway leading to the bar area – situated directly behind the theatre room – the back-surround speakers had to be set at 162°, however, Sound Sense insists the project adheres to CEDIA, HAA, ISF and THX standards.
Sound Sense installed Definition Install DC12i loudspeakers from Tannoy for LCR, DC6i speakers as side and back surrounds, with iW 6DS in-walls providing the immersive audio. Rounding off the audio design are Elac S12EQ subwoofers, Lab.gruppen E 4:2 and E 2:2 amplifiers, and a Marantz AV7703 11.2 channel network AV receiver.
Projection is taken care of by a Panasonic PT-RZ370 LED laser projector paired with a 188in 2.35:1 Milan acoustically transparent screen. Sources include a BDP-180 network 3D Blu-ray player with 4K video up-scaler and a Tata Sky+ HD set-top box.
A store room to the side of the theatre was incorporated into the design and converted into a standalone rack room. “The rack dressing for the project was designed per industry standards and proved to be a value-added service to the client, as having a dedicated rack in a country with intense heat and dust problems is particularly helpful,” notes Ankur.
Working with a restrictive timeline and managing the coordination with third-party collaborators and vendors meant that streamlining the efforts of the installation team was key.
“This project drove us to push the boundaries of our creativity to design budget-sensitive client solutions,” concludes Ankur. “Delivering an industry-compliant home theatre experience that appealed not only to the client, but also to our personal standards whilst fulfilling the client’s elaborate requirements and restrictions was well worth the effort.”
The CEDIA Awards are taking place on September 29 at the Warner Bros Studios London: The Making of Harry Potter, where all winners will be announced.