Epic home cinema

Home cinema on an epic scale

Every now and then a home cinema project comes along that has few restrictions… a clean slate for the designer to create “movie magic”.

One such project came to fruition last year. Michael Bigley from Sydney HiFi Castle Hill sat down with us to discuss how they created an epic cinema retreat that offers the highest level of cinema performance within a modern family home.

 

Home cinema room
The view from the back row platform.

 

It all started when the client approached Michael after reading about Krix. “The client was fantastic to work with – he was genuinely interested in the story of Krix and loved the fact it was engineered and made here in Australia. The commercial cinema history really resonated with him.”

The system specification was then created with the intention of exceeding the clients’ expectations. The immense size of the space was an important consideration, measuring in at 9.8m x 7.4m x 3.7m. The final specification meant the system could play incredibly loudly and cleanly in the room, with over 10dB of headroom available above reference levels.

 

Home cinema room
Installing the front soundstage – this photo gives a good idea of the immense scale of the speakers.

 

The Series X 3-way Cinematix were chosen for the main speakers, with two colossal Megacyclonix sitting between them. With sensitivities of 101dB and 106dB respectively, the front soundstage of speakers and subwoofers could effortlessly drive immense volume levels in such a large room.

“It was then time to focus on the speaker layout and processing. We wanted to ensure every viewer was surrounded by what was happening on screen. Every seat needed the ‘Wow Factor’. We knew the Trinnov Altitude32 could not only offer incredible optimisation and configurability for the room, but it could also handle the crossover functionality for the bi-amped Cinematix, all within the one unit.”

 

Trinnov microphone
Measuring the room – the Trinnov microphone can find any speaker in the room to within 10mm.

 

A 9.4.6 system was drawn up to Trinnov specification, with front wide speakers bridging the gap between the front soundstage and side surrounds, adding another point of origin for the spatial cues of sounds throughout the room. With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Pro functionality built into the processor, the system could draw out every little positional and dynamic detail from movie soundtracks.

“The front wides, surrounds and overheads were positioned at up to 5m distance from the ‘hero seat’, so we needed a surround speaker that could deliver clean and high-volume effects from those distances. The Megaphonix family of speakers were the obvious choice, each of them angled towards the main seat.”

So which projector and screen system would complete the experience? For that, Michael specified a 240” cinemascope screen with the Barco Balder, a natively scope 4K UHD projector. The 5.6m wide screen allowed the left and right Cinematix speakers to be spaced out to reach recommended angles while remaining behind the screen. The soundstage would feel expansive and wide, while sound to picture coherency remained intact. An example of this continuity would be a muscle car slowly moving across the screen – the sound of the engine rumbling will move from left to right of screen and match the picture perfectly, adding to the illusion and drawing you into the movie. It’s things like this that make a great home cinema exceptional.

 

Home cinema room
Three tiers of seating allow for up to 12 viewers.

 

“For the room décor, three rows of modern, comfortable recliners were supplied by the client, and we were able to place acoustic treatment behind the curtains and overhead. We were stopped short of being able to paint the ceiling dark, but I can understand why. There’s a variety of complementary textures, colours and lights, and a dark ceiling would have felt a little too heavy in the room.”

 

Home cinema room

 

When we asked Michael what the biggest challenge of the project was, he said it was mainly the geographical distance. “The project was about 3 hours away, so in the design and build stages I couldn’t just jump in the car and whip around to the site. It helped having such an enthusiastic and down-to-earth client. He had very high expectations and standards, and we were able to deliver on them. The family are taken to another world every time they enter the room, and that is what it is all about.”

 

Room dimensions:
9.8m deep x 7.4m wide x 3.7m height

Speakers:
3 x Krix Cinematix
8 x Krix Megaphonix Flat
4 x Krix Megaphonix
2 x Krix Megacyclonix subwoofers
2 x Triad silver 12” in ceiling subwoofers

Electronics:
1 x Trinnov Altitude 32-24
Parasound Halo power amplifiers (18 channels)
2 x Yamaha PX-10 2 channel power amplifier
2 x Triad 700 amplifiers
1 x Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K Blu-ray
1 x Apple TV 4K

Projection
1 x Barco Balder CinemaScope native 2:37 5K UHD projector
1 x 240” 2.37:1 Oz Theatre Screens – Majestic Acoustic Vision 4K  screen

Control:
1 x Control4 EA-5 processor
1 x Control4 handheld remote