Home cinema install: let the fun and games begin

What do you do when you move into your new house and find the previous owner has left a pool table in the attic room? Turn it into a Star Wars-inspired media den, with 4K projection and immersive audio, and customise the table while you're at it. This was the brief given to Yorkshire-based installer Bespoke Home Cinemas, and the results are eye-catching.

The placement of the 3m-wide screen and opposite wall seating aren't where you'd naturally expect, but as the pool table had to be retained and the room has doors at both ends, designing the cinema across the room's shorter throw was the sensible option. A 5.1.2 speaker configuration using on-wall surrounds, in-ceiling heights and behind-screen positioning for LCR speakers and subwoofer (making use of the attic eaves) was chosen, with power and processing from an Arcam AVR550 receiver – the latter's Dirac room correction suite employed to tackle the cinema's unusual shape.

Adding to the room's galactic aesthetic are two key details. Firstly, a vast 8m x 2m fibre optic star ceiling, using modules from Starscape, was installed – surrounding it is an RGB 'halo frame'. This, plus additional lighting and AV operation, is handled by Control4 automation hardware.

And then there's the pool table. Aware that its original oak-effect styling wouldn't fit with the rest of the space, the installers opted to modify it by wrapping it with a carbon fibre film. Then, for a one-of-a-kind finishing touch, a custom-made microcomputer was installed, linked to LEDs in each of the table's pockets. Pot a ball and the pockets light up (one side 'dark', the other 'light'...), and a Star Wars movie quote emerges from the room's speaker array. Very smart.

Another essential (but invisible) feature is the treatment carried out at floor level. Working to reduce sound leakage to the bedrooms below (by 56dB, says the installer) is an under-carpet acoustic rubber matting system. Taking out skirting boards and fitting new flush doors also allowed acoustic treatment to the walls, finished in a stretched fabric.

Installer Info

Bespoke Home Cinemas

Kit Checklist

Sony: VPL-VW550ES 4K HDR projector
Display Technologies: 3m-wide acoustically transparent 2.37:1 fixed-frame projector screen
Arcam: AVR550 AV receiver
Artcoustic: 3 x Spitfire SL6-3 (LCR); 2 x Architect SL2-1 (Atmos channels); 2 x Target (surrounds); Performance Series subwoofer (4 x 10in drivers)
Sony: UBP-X1000ES Ultra HD Blu-ray player
Roku: 4K media streamer
HD Connectivity: 4K video matrix
Sky: Sky Q PVR
Control4: Automation processor and scene lighting
Starscape: Modular star ceiling
Custom made: Arduino computer and Neopixel LED pool table

Bespoke Home Cinemas