“The best compliment for any experience with watching a movie is being completely transported to a world you simply did not know existed. That was the first comment we received after this home cinema was installed at the client’s home and they watched their first movie,” says Bjorn Mateijsen of Netherlands-based Beter Beeld & Geluid (Better Sound & Vision) of the extensive Dark Knight-themed home theater.
The home theater was the second Better Sound & Vision had installed for this particular client, albeit a much larger one than the first, which had featured Anthem electronics and Revel loudspeakers.
“He also wanted a cleaner look for the room, with more focus on the image, with less distraction from the room,” says Mateijsen. “The main challenge of this project was to make sure that the budget limitations were met and that the quality was never compromised.”
JBL Synthesis System Serves Up Full-Throttle Sound
The theater was designed and built completely from the ground up.
The audio installation consists of a 7.1-channel JBL Synthesis Four system paired with four JBL Synthesis S2S-EX subwoofers, two JBL Synthesis 820 amplifiers for the subs and a JBL Synthesis SDA8300 amplifier, with AudioQuest cabling.
The use of space and acoustics were calculated before the build started. The room and the acoustical treatment was completed in cooperation with Netherlands-based Pinna Acoustics, and all the treatment is hidden behind acoustically transparent panels.
By employing JBL’s “SoundField Management” the difference in measurement per seat is said to be less than 1.5dB, and uniform bass is delivered throughout.
“We advised a JBL Synthesis Four system with four S2S-EX 15-inch subwoofers that were placed in every corner for a maximum experience in every seat. The reverb time of the room has a perfect Dolby reference for small home cinemas,” says Mateijsen, adding that “everything was done to soundproof the room up to 65dB.”
Projection Pieces Provide 4K Ultra HD Video Spectacle
On the video side, a Screen Excellence 4K Enlightor 120-inch-wide, 16:9 reference fixed screen is paired with a Sony VPL-VW320ES Ultra HD projector.
Added visual appeal comes from the back of the room, where life-size posters of Batman and Catwoman hang and shelving shows off the projector, electronics and Blu-ray disc collection.
Concealing all the loudspeakers within the room’s four “false walls” allows attention to go to the image as the sound immerses the viewers.
The sound system was calibrated with JBL Synthesis’ ARCOS (Adaptive Room Correction and Optimization System) processing using eight microphones to create “a very holographic effect,” according to Mateijsen.
“The only compromise we had to make was not to extend to a multi-dimensional audio setup; this might be an upgrade for the future,” he notes. “This cinema can easily play at every level, but performs the best at reference level where you are really transported into a new world without any boundaries.”