Home cinema install: Top-storey picture palace

This attic-room conversion dazzles with its smart decor and some serious AV serperates

An attic is an obvious place for any ambitious cinema fan to install a dedicated system. Firstly, it's probably not being used for much beyond storing boxes of junk. Secondly, it's not likely to get much (if any) walkthrough traffic – you can retire to the loft and relax with a movie in peace. The setup featured here has been achieved by custom install professionals, and the price tag, we're told, is commensurate with the level of hardware, control and acoustic treatments employed. But even for those with limited budgets it's certainly an inspirational makeover that could give you some ideas for your own project.

A touch of class

The theatre was put into place as part of a whole house project using Crestron automation and Lutron lighting control. As such, it too benefits from natty system control and dimmable illumination, managed either from the owner's iPad (via Crestron's app) or an in-wall Crestron TPMC-4SMD-FD touchpanel. Lighting is a key part of the room's allure, with a ceiling installation preferred to visible down-lighters or wall lamps.

Installer Imagine This admits that as an attic conversion the project threw up the usual issues in terms of room fitout and design. To aid with room isolation (there's actually an adjoining space used as an office), acoustic plasterboard and Green Glue was employed. On top of this, BAD panels were sourced from acoustic specialist RPG to provide diffusion and absorption.

Tight floorspace required the speaker system to be fitted in-wall. Here, Bowers & Wilkins' recent CWM8.5 speakers (two-way designs with a 1in Nautilus tweeter and a 7in midbass driver) were used all around the seven-channel soundstage, with the front trio built into a baffle wall. These aren't visible, as the wall also houses the Screen Research acoustically transparent screen, a rigid-frame model from the brand's Supreme 3 line.

The speakers are all fitted with back boxes, and are joined by a pair of HCC award-winning B&W DB1 subwoofers. These premium bass-shifters each pack a 1,000W amplifier unit and twin 12in drivers. Driving the speakers is Rotel's RSX1562 receiver, a seven-channel separate that offers a claimed 100W-per-channel. The brand's advanced parametric EQ proved vital in carrying out an HAA (Home Acoustics Alliance) calibration.

A SIM2 Nero 3D-2 is fixed on the rear wall, just above and between the rear surround speakers. Content for the setup is beamed in from a Kaleidescape system that combines an M700 Disc Vault with 1U server – in conjunction with the iPad control, this makes it as easy to use as cinema rooms come.

The finishing touch is the seating array. A duo of cinema sofas, mounted on a custom-made platform, provides accommodation for plenty of guests, and there's a surprise in the form of tactile transducers from Clark Synthesis, which add an extra dimension to the movie-watching experience.

Installer info

Imagine This (UK) Ltd
Web: www.imaginethis.uk.com
Telephone: 0845 680 6856
Email: [email protected]

Price: £undisclosed

Kit list

Bowers & Wilkins: 7 x CWM8.5 two-way in-wall speakers
Bowers & Wilkins: 2 x DB1 subwoofers
Rotel: RSX1562 seven-channel AV receiver; additional power amps for transducers
Screen Research: THX/ISF acoustically transparent fixed screen
SIM2: Nero 3D-2 projector
Lutron: QS whole-house lighting control system
Middle Atlantic: AV equipment rack
Furman: Power conditioners
Crestron: CP3-3 Series processor
Crestron: TPMC-4SMD-FD in-wall touchpanel
Crestron: iPad app
Kaleidescape: M700 player and 1U server
Clark Synthesis: 4 x TST429 tactile transducers