Pure Audio Power and CDGi Design Make This Home Theater Stand Out

Nantucket Media Systems worked with Cinema Design Group (CDGi) from the ground up to build a masterpiece worthy of a 2017 Gold Home of the Year Award for home theater over $75,000. The space includes Wisdom Audio speakers, Datasat processing, Sony projection, Savant automation and Dolby Atmos.


The owners of this home theater didn’t pussyfoot around when it came to the equipment driving the roughly 400-square-foot entertainment space. Nor did they skimp on the design or architectural details. They even had the entire room acoustically engineered and the audio system expertly calibrated.

“This theater sounds as good as it can possibly sound,” says Michael Alpert, president of Nantucket Media Systems, of Nantucket, Mass.

He credits the outcome to close collaboration between the homeowners, his team of integrators, and fellow subcontractors. “We all came to the table with different ideas, but were all flexible enough to work together and create something special.”

It started with the bones of the house. Although structurally sound, the basement for the theater needed some TLC. A portion of the existing slab was removed and contractors trench into the earth to create a higher ceiling of 10 feet. With that extra height, the homeowners were able to get the stadium style seating layout they wanted and Nantucket Media Systems could mount the projector high enough to preclude anyone from hitting their head on it.

The Nantucket Media Systems team cloaked the HVAC ducts with a custom-built soffit and applied two layers of sheet-rock. This construction method prevents the high-octane audio in the room from spilling out into other areas of the house.

With the shell of the theater complete, the integrator teamed up with Cinema Design Group (CDGi) to add architectural elements, like acoustical wall and ceiling treatments, carpeting, seating, and light fixtures. These features would all impact the performance of the Wisdom Audio speakers and amplifiers selected for the project, so Wisdom Audio and CDGi worked together to ensure perfect placement of the acoustical panels and the speakers that would rest behind them.

Integrator Nantucket Media Systems had the entire room acoustically engineered and the audio system expertly calibrated.

The next step was calibrating the audio equipment to compensate for any minor acoustical anomalies that might still be present in the intricately designed room. A high-end audio processor from Datasat was added for this purpose. Including such features such as memory profile settings, equalization, room optimization/correction and extensive automation controls, the RS20i was the last link in the audio calibration chain, giving the Dolby Atmos surround-sound setup the brain and brawn to perform to perfection.

While audio was obviously a high priority, the video presentation is completely on par. Sony’s flagship VW5000ES 4K projector pairs with an acoustically transparent 13-foot-wide screen from Seymour Screens. Nantucket Media Systems made sure the owners had plenty of 4K content to watch by adding Kaleidescape Strato media server. Equipped with an internal 6 or 10TB hard drive, it can store as many as 180 4K Ultra HD movies, 330 Blu-ray quality movies, or 1,500 DVD quality movies.

All of the equipment is tied to a Savant control system, which allows the owners to operate the theater, as well as the lights and fiber optic star ceiling, from a custom-designed iPad interface.

The system also automates certain features; for example, when it receives a cue from the Kaleidescape media player that the movie to be displayed is a wide CinemaScope format, it tells fabric masking panels on the screen to roll up so the entire 2.35:1 aspect ratio is available. When a narrower 16:9-formatted video is chosen, the Savant system instructs the masking to slide back over the screen. Then, as the movie begins to play, the room lights dim and the heating and cooling fan activates.

Equipment List

  • Savant automation
  • Wisdom Audio speakers
  • Wisdom Audio amplifiers
  • Datasat processor
  • Sony projector
  • Lumagen Radiance video processor
  • Kaleidescape media server
  • Oppo Blu-ray player

Beautiful racks sit in the back of the theater.

About the Author

Lisa Montgomery:

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.