Dealer Builds $500K Home Theater to Re-create CEDIA Demo

Prather Warren of Innovative Home Media added a second level to his home/showroom to accommodate the Triad/PMI CinemaPlus home theater demo from CEDIA Expo 2009.

It took Prather Warren, founder of Innovative Home Media, six months to complete the installation of the Triad/PMI CinemaPlus demo system from CEDIA Expo 2009 in his home.
Robert Archer · February 9, 2011

For years, the audiophile method of system improvement nearly always centered on the upgrade of components, while ignoring the most important variable in residential sound: the room.

But over the past decade-plus, the manufacturing community and high-profile experts like THX, Gerry Lemay of the Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA) and Anthony Grimani of PMI, Ltd., have reshaped how the consumer electronics community approaches home audio.

Highlighting the educational efforts of these experts and the manufacturing community was the system demo conducted by Triad Speakers and PMI during CEDIA Expo 2009. As part of their system demo, Triad and PMI showed CE pros how good a home theater could look and sound if the proper steps were taken to overcome some of the typical hurdles that are encountered during the implementation of a system.

IHM Lands Triad and PMI’s Ultimate Demo System
Prior to CEDIA Expo 2009, Baton Rouge, La.-based custom installer Prather Warren, founder of Innovative Home Theater (IHM), began discussions with his Triad sales consultant, Bill Ruark, about the plans he’d drawn to build a high-end theater in his own home. 

In their discussion, Ruark mentioned Triad and PMI were building the ultimate CEDIA Expo demo system based on their CinemaPlus program and that if he was interested, Warren could purchase components from the system once the show had concluded.

Taking Ruark up on his offer once the show had ended, Warren contracted an 18-wheeler to transport the system’s drywall, amplifiers, speakers, cabling and other equipment the 525-mile distance from Atlanta to Baton Rouge. The shipment from Atlanta was 25,000 pounds. Upon acquiring the building materials and equipment from the CEDIA room, the scope of the project changed substantially.

System Exceeds Expectations
Undaunted by the task, Warren started from the ground up to ensure the system was placed in an environment that wouldn’t compromise its performance. Above his home’s existing carport, he added a second-floor that houses a demo room of the exact dimensions. Addressing everything from the walls, floor and ceiling, to the room’s HVAC, the room takes into account everything from its frequency response to the ambient noise levels produced by the room’s HVAC system. 

Getting into the fine details of the room and system, Terry Hill, general manager of PMI, and Warren built a hush box for the projector and installed a 300-pound QuietDoor. From there Robbie Burns of Better Acoustic installed the room’s acoustically transparent fabric on the walls and ceiling. Finishing up the room, Warren and Hill installed seating and carpeting.

With the room now finished, Hill assessed the room by saying it’s one of the best demo environments in the entire custom installation industry. “I believe Prather has built one of the most competent demo rooms in the country and not just in the region,” boasts Hill.

The room includes Triad Platinum LCR in BaffleWalls, six Triad Gold Surrounds, 12 Silver DSP subwoofers, and Parasound Halo electronics.

“With the addition of Crestron, Stewart Filmscreen and DPI upgrades, the theater has a retail value over $500,000,” says Warren.

Both Triad and PMI stress Warren’s system is just one example of what can be done when a scientific approach to system design is combined with top-of-the-line components. “There is nothing arbitrary about this system,” says Grimani. “It approaches perfection.”

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  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at

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  Article Topics

News · Demo · Home Theater · Installation · All Topics
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