May 01, 2008
by Steven Castle
What do you do if you’re an ex-college football player who loves watching several games at the same time—and has a high school gridiron-playing son who likes the same? Short of building a sports book like one in a casino, maybe you could go with multiple screens.
That’s exactly what the owners of this home theater/bar area/billiards room/card-playing area did with their large walkout basement space. A Stewart Filmscreen screen in the main theater area receives images from a Runco CL-810 single-chip DLP projector and is flanked by two 26-inch Sony Bravia 720p LCDs, while two more of the Sony LCDs hang by the bar area. The bar TVs are visible from both the billiards and card-playing areas, which flank that space.
“They wanted a really fun sports playroom, with multiple displays that all had the capacity to play the same or different programming simultaneously,” says Barry Reiner, president of systems contractor Innerspace Electronics. Each display is fed the bone-crunching hits from a dedicated high-def DirecTV satellite receiver, though only the big screen gets an HD DVR. Speaker sound can come from either of the TVs in the bar area and from the big screen in the theater. If a game on one of the theater LCDs becomes exciting and football-loving owners want to hear its audio, they simply switch it to the big screen and feel like they’re at the game.
In the theater room, Triad InWall speakers are positioned below the screen and in the ceiling for the four surrounds. The bar, billiards and cards area are fed by eight in-ceiling Sonance speakers that are also connected to the whole-house audio system.
“The remote control interface had to be straightforward and easy to use. We accomplished this by incorporating a Universal [Remote Control] MX-3000 touchscreen remote control in conjunction with a Universal MSC-400 controller and an IR router system,” says Reiner. Any complicated macro or multiple command sequences are programmed into the MSC-400, which receives a radio frequency signal from the remote control and passes that on, often via infrared, to the necessary audio/video components. “We also extended the home’s existing whole-house Crestron audio system into the space.”
“It’s a really fun party room,” says Innerspace vice president Andrea Reiner. “Behind the bar is a wine room, and they had a huge Super Bowl party.” The owners’ teenage daughter also gets in on the fun when she invites her friends over for movie nights.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates