Step into the Matrix with Movie-Inspired Home Theater
Where's Neo? Stewart Filmscreen 110-inch screen, Runco LED projector, Bowers & Wilkins speakers part of Matrix-themed home theater.
Lisa Montgomery · June 11, 2014
Many owners of home theaters draw inspiration for the room’s design from a favorite movie. For this owner, that flick was The Matrix.
“However, he didn’t want to go too overboard with the theme,” says interior designer Bethany Johnson of Gramophone, Timonium, Md. “He just wanted to incorporate subtle Matrix-like touches, nothing too outrageous.”
The walls of the 1,125-square-foot space reflect the mood of the popular sci-fi thriller, as does the innovative use of colored LED lighting that creates the illusion of stepping into a tunnel.
The tunnel effect also helps draw viewers’ eyes to a 110-inch screen from Stewart Filmscreen. Designed as part of the room architecture and fed content by a Runco Q750 LED projector, the 16:9-format screen sinks into the millwork. This is an adequate viewing material for now, but the screen lacks the visual punch of a wider CinemaScope-format (2.35:1) screen, which the homeowner plans to eventually incorporate.
“The 16:9 screen came from the theater in the owner’s previous house,” explains Gramophone systems designer Lee Kirby Smith. “By repurposing it, we were able to curb costs a bit and apply the budget to other areas, namely, to the audio system.”
“The owner enjoys concert videos just as much as he does movies,” continues Smith. “So it was important to him that the audio be powerful.”
A suite of Bowers & Wilkins speakers and a Velodyne SC-15 subwoofer does the job, but without overpowering the room visually. The three front speakers and subwoofer are hidden within the millwork. The remaining speakers of the 7.1 arrangement are tucked into the ceiling.
For music without video, the owner can use the theater’s URC MX-980 handheld remote to summon tunes from a Sonos music system, which along with an Oppo Blu-ray player and Sony 400-disc Blu-ray changer (also repurposed from the previous theater), was installed by Gramophone in a large closet near the theater.
Without the visual distraction of components and speakers, the design of the room and the performance of the equipment raise this home theater to a new dimension of entertainment excellence.
Theater Changes with the Seasons
When the owners of this custom theater aren’t settled in for a movie, they often use the space to host parties, and the room’s colored LED lighting helps set the mood. Using a URC MX-980 handheld remote, the owners can set the lights to one particular color, or choose a different hue for each of the room’s four columns. For example, during the holidays, the columns can glow in green and red, or for football games, Baltimore Ravens’ purple and gold can take over. Overhead, a controllable star ceiling twinkles during most occasions.
Audioquest HDMI Cables
Audioquest Speaker Cables
B&W Speakers CM8
B&W Center Speaker CMC2
Chief Inverted Custom Projector Mount RPA-560
Chief Projector Mount Ceiling Plate CMA-115
Lutron Grafik Eye 3-Zone Lighting Controls GRX-MR3/T/WH
Numinus 4’ StarDome w/ Shooting Stars 400-CL-SM-SF, 400-SS
Numinus RGB LED Color Changing Strip Lighting
Oppo Universal 3D Blu-Ray BDP95
Runco QuantumColor Projector Q-750D
Sonos Connect ZonePlayer ZP90
Stewart FilmScreen Luxus Deluxe 110” Screen SNDQ110H
URC Universal Remote MX-980
Velodyne SubContractor Subwoofer SC-15
Velodyne Subwoofer Amplifier SC-1250
CE Pro’s sister publication Electronic House named this home the bronze winner for 2014 Home of the Year Awards in the Home Theater ($150K+) category.
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Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home. Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
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