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Multi-Purpose Media Room in Yorkshire

“Multi-purpose media rooms are great for the families who want to utilise their living rooms for both general purpose leisure and high-end cinema entertainment.”

Project Location: Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Project Cost: £45,000
Categories: Bespoke Home Cinema

The Brief

The room had to be a comfortable place to watch everyday TV, but the client also wanted the true cinema experience from a large screen and be able to play different games consoles on it.  Being the IT Executive for a major blue chip company the client was very tech savvy and had a lot of stored media. The system was intended for use by the whole family so a simple-to-use control system was essential.

Projector/ Plasma Combination

The client had some very specific ideas and new what he wanted. In some ways this makes our job a bit easier as we have a design brief to work to rather than, “I would like a cinema room please”. As the room was to be used for multiple purposes we suggested using a plasma and projector screen in the room. For normal TV/Sky viewing the client could use the 46″ Samsung LCD, or for movies or perhaps gaming the projector and drop down projector screen could be used. We used a more cost effective plasma so a little more could be spent on the projector as this is where the client wanted the quality to be.

Discreet Projection

We built a floating wall so the plasma could be recessed into it; this helped keep the room as aesthetically pleasing as possible. For the projector we chose a InFocus IN76, not only does it have a great picture but also HD ready. The InFocus range is housed in nice shells too so don’t look bad hanging from the ceiling. A Grandview electric drop down screen was placed in the ceiling with only a thin slot visible in the ceiling when not in use.

Enveloping 7.2 Surround Sound

The speakers are all B&W LCR7 in-walls at the front and four B&W CCM65’s carefully placed around the ceiling to get the best results from a 7.2 system. A Rel 305 and 405 subs are placed at the front to supply enough bass in the large room.

The speakers are connected to an Arcam AVR350 that deals with all the sources superbly as audio and video is switched though it. During the install we suggested to the client that he should include a Arcam DVD player as the video and audio quality would be superior to that of the media centres. After a demonstration of a Arcam DV79 the client decided that one needed to be included in the system. An Xbox 360 sat in the rack couple to a HD DVD player but under the floating wall we placed a video and audio sockets so if required ant other games console could be plugged in here and viewed on either the LCD or projector.

Media Storage Solution

A large 19″ rack was supplied so all the equipment would fit on it and leave enough room for other future upgrades for not only this room but the whole house if the system is to be expanded. The clients two media centres took up a lot of room but fitted nicely on the rack so all the media storage is centralized. To deal with the requirements of the media centres we ran a network cable from the office (upstairs) to this location. A Linksys wireless router was used to provide a switch so the media centres could access the internet for track information etc.

Mood Lighting

The lighting is controlled by Rako dimmer modules. This was chosen as the whole system was retro fitted to an existing room and the Rako lends itself to this perfectly. For the lighting we changed the two pendant fittings to two separate spot circuits and added a LED rope light under the floating wall to highlight it.

Simple Control

To control the system we opted for the Phillips Pronto. It is a great control device that we use with many of our systems. It is programmed to make this system as easy to use as possible. This is one of the most important parts as there are lots of components to control and the LCD/projector combo is confusing to use unless you have something like the pronto to sort it all out. The use of a wireless router in the room allows the pronto to display track feedback from the media centre (useful for listening to music without having to turn on either screen).

The Final Verdict

“When I first started to look into creating a dedicated home cinema I had some pretty strong ideas about what I wanted and had a very clear budget that could not be exceeded – I’ve got a good understanding of AV and computers and it was important for me to find a partner who could go with my ideas yet challenge me where they thought they could improve or enhance the design.

I am used to doing and managing work like this myself, but as an IT Executive for a major UK bank I didn’t have the time to go alone. Finite Solutions worked with me to understand what I wanted, came up with loads of ideas which we spent time planning, challenging and refining – and keeping within the budget at all times. They even took on new suppliers when I suggested alternatives.

When the installation started, the work was carried out very professionally and with the end in mind – I don’t accept anything but perfection, and Finite Solutions always strived to deliver this to me – in some cases their standards were higher than mine. At work I deal with the largest global IT suppliers, and Finite Solution’s service to me as a customer equalled or exceeded the best I experience at work. The result is looks and sounds fabulous, and my family use the room every day whether watching TV or a film, or listening to music.”

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