Superhero cinema

The owner of this dedicated den says it's 'perfect'. Mark Craven isn't about to argue...

There are many things you could do with a 'disused' room in your house. Install a gym, house a collection of rare snakes, set up a tiny restaurant... Or you could opt for your very own high-end cinema room. To us, and the owner of this four-seat movie den, that's the obvious option.

This AV makeover was conducted by London installer Gibson Integration in a property in East Sussex. The client didn't want to get their hands dirty, charging the professional outfit with all aspects of the project, including room and system design, fit-out, joinery, electrical works, lighting design, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and equipment installation. And it all had to completed within a three-month time frame.

Gibson Integration's Colin Scrivener explains the process: 'The design element of the project included the production of a full suite of architectural drawings, 3D room layout plans, wiring schematics and equipment specification, as well as the interior design, including soft furnishings such as carpet and wall coverings.

'The initial works involved the strip-out of the existing room fabric, including the removal of a spiral staircase at the rear of the room! Acoustically insulated stud walls and ceilings were constructed and the relevant cables installed. Speaker recesses were formed within the screen wall for the left, centre and right speakers as well as for the dual subwoofer. Acoustic treatment was then applied to the surrounding area. Once all electrical and all visual cabling had been installed and checked, we then secured all cables to prevent "resonance rattle".'

It was during this phase that the HVAC work was undertaken, including new piping for the room's climate control setup. Then the entire room was plastered in preparation for the interior finishes, including the four-zone Lutron intelligent lighting setup. With the groundwork complete, it was time to start plumbing in the hardware...

American splendour

The cinema room uses some of the finest AV components around, with a heavy American presence. Image-wise (and with no secondary TV screen), everything revolves around the ISF-calibrated ceiling-mounted Runco Q-750i LED projector. This fires via a fixed anamorphic lens onto a Screen Research 100in screen with motorised masking.

The screen wall hides the front soundstage of the seven-channel Procella Audio system. Two-way P8 enclosures (with 8in midbass drivers) are used for the left, centre and right channels and a quartet of the voice-matched P6s deliver the rear and surround channels. LFE is provided by Procella's lush, over-engineered twin 15in P15 subwoofer. This is powered by dedicated Procella amplification; the rest of the setup is fed its sonic supper by a Sherbourn processor and power amp. The system easily reaches  THX reference level and beyond, with half-a-dozen absorption panels – decked out with movie art – aiding acoustics.

Content for the setup comes via an Oppo BDP-95EU Blu-ray deck, Sky+HD receiver and Boxee TV. This trio of components are housed in ventilated Middle Atlantic racks (along with the processor/amplification and control hardware) at the rear of the room, themselves fitted into a bespoke cabinet for a neat finishing touch, while a Furman power conditioner protects against any unwanted electrical surges.

Naturally for a system at this level, control isn't achieved by a plethora of plasticky handsets. Instead, a Crestron touchpanel and processor have been programmed to provide simplified control over all the hardware, and when a movie starts, the lights dim automatically.

And what does the owner think of the cinema? 'It’s perfect!' is the verdict – and the installer is already being sounded out for a multiroom music system. Although to be honest, we'd be loathe to leave this one...

Kit list:

Runco: Q-750i LED projector; low-profile ceiling mount  
Whitney: Fixed anamorphic lens
Screen Research: 100in fixed e-mask screen, 2.35:1
Sherbourn: PT-7030 AV processor; PA 7-350 power amplifier
Fortress: 4 x Matinee motorised reclining seats   
Procella: 3 x P8 LCR speakers
Procella: 4 x P6 surround speakers
Procella: 1 x P15 dual 15in subwoofer with 700W amplifiers
OPPO: BDP-95EU Blu-ray player 
Sky: Sky+HD receiver
Boxee: Boxee TV
Furman: P-1400 AR E power conditioner
Middle Atlantic: 2 x MA-SRSR-X-15 pull-out-and-turn equipment racks
Crestron: MTX3 wireless colour touchpanel; MC3 control processor
Lutron: Grafik Eye QS four-zone dimming module; See Touch keypad
Custom-Finished Acoustic Panels
Bespoke cabinet

Price: £undisclosed

Installer: Gibson Integration

Install info:

Fortress of sonic-tude
The cinema features four Fortress motorised recliners, arranged in a shallow crescent formation

You're surrounded
The surround and rear channels use wall-mounted Procella P6 enclosures. The rest of the speakers are hidden in the screen wall

Lens flair
Runco's Q-750i projector uses LED illumination technology to craft its Full HD images. Here, it's partnered with a Whitney anamorphic lens

Universal soldier
Spinning discs is an Oppo BDP-95EU. A true universal player, it allows the owner to gorge on Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio platters as well as Blu-rays and DVDs

Master and commander
The processor is a Sherbourn PT-7030, which incorporates a pair of  high-spec Cirrus Logic 32-bit DSPs. This works in tandem with Sherbourn's flagship 7 x 350W, PA 7-350 power amp