NFL Player Adds Theater with a View to Park City Home
The dual-level theater features a JBL Synthesis 7.2-channel Everest surround system. Video sources include a pair of Kaleidescape M500 Blu-ray players, three DirecTV satellite feeds with DVRs, plus an Integra DPS-30.1 DVD player. Additional audio sources include two Audio Request servers, an AM/FM radio, three XFM satellite radio feeds, as well as a couple of iPod docks. There are also a number of Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii game consoles.
In the world of professional football, most players use the off-season to rest up and recuperate after a rigorous season. For an NFL player born and raised in Utah, winters are best for returning home and spending time with the family, as well as indulging in some skiing.
Part of the relaxation regime for this successful athlete, who prefers to remain anonymous to retain his privacy, involves music and movies. To fulfill his exacting needs, Park City-based S3 Entertainment developed a customized AV system using a number of Creston Electronics control elements within the player’s new three-story home.
“S3 Entertainment offers a range of design and installation services for clients around the world,” said company CEO Arthur Mayo. In addition to numerous installations throughout North America, S3 has designed and shipped systems to locations as far afield as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Dubai.
Located in Park City, and completed in late-2009, the project’s centerpiece is an exercise area in the upper-rear story with glass doors that provide viewing access into the main area.
The upper level within this Park City, Utah, townhouse theater room is an exercise room and 12-person sauna complete with theater-quality acoustics, theater control, and a glass wall for a perfect view of the movie screen below.
“We designed a space that would seat 10 people very comfortably,” explained Dan Ray, S3 Entertainment’s lead designer, “with highdefinition audio and video systems. In addition to fully reclining, motorized chairs, and a kitchenette with a bar, the room features a large 150-inch Stewart Filmscreen 235 projection screen with variable horizontal and vertical masking fed by a JVC DLA-HD990 DLP projector, with programmable Panamorph lenses. Video sources include a pair of Kaleidescape M500 Blu-ray players, one for the theater and another for feeding content to other areas of the home. We also provided three DirecTV satellite feeds with DVRs, plus an Integra DPS-30.1 DVD player.”
A trio of 60-inch NEC Model 60XR5a plasma flatpanel displays is provided in the great room, the family room, and master bedroom, with a 50-inch NEC Model 50XR6a plasma display in the living room.
The dual-level theater features a JBL Synthesis 7.2-channel Everest surround system with wallmounted loudspeakers and dedicated subwoofers that each contain four, 15-inch drivers. Additional audio sources include two Audio Request servers, an AM/ FM radio, three XFM satellite radio feeds, as well as a couple of iPod docks. There are also a number of Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii game consoles.
All video and audio routing, either two-channel stereo or multichannel surround sound for the theater, is controlled through a series of Crestron Professional Dual Bus Control Systems with wall controllers and wireless pads. Lighting is controlled by a Crestron iLux CLS-C6 Integrated Lighting System. Total AV budget is reported to be in excess of $250,000, of which $14,000 was spent on the Crestron units.
“The 4,000-square-foot mountain retreat was built with entertainment in mind,” Ray continued, “and includes a great room, a recreation room, and upper and lower patios. Within the theater room, the upper level is home to an exercise room and 12-person sauna complete with theater-quality acoustics, theater control and a glass wall for a perfect view of the movie screen below. The room also has an Apple iPod docking station so the homeowner has the option of watching movies or listening to music while relaxing in the sauna or during a workout.”
Several Design Challenges
The unique, two-story home theater created several design challenges. “The high ceilings and glass wall made the acoustic tuning, lighting and sight-line adjustments more difficult than usual,” Ray said. “To overcome these obstacles, the room had to be acoustically engineered, and then calibrated to the exact dimensions of a movie theater”.
The theater’s lighting design was divided into two iLux systems, which allowed the homeowner to control the upper and lower lights together or separately. And the sight lines had to be adjusted to accommodate viewing from the theater’s bottom and top floors.
The installation’s infrastructure is based on a Cat-6 1-Gbit Ethernet backbone that connects to six Apple AirPort Extreme WiFi base stations and a quartet of 16-port Netgear hardware switches. “The majority of audio and video signals, including HDMI, are carried over the Cat-6 network, either wired or wireless,” Ray stated. “The longest cable run is around 200 feet.” The installation took a total of four weeks, with a four-person technical and programming crew.
Beyond the Theater
S3 Entertainment set up the townhouse with 11 audio zones and four video zones, the latter covering the recreation room, great room, master bedroom, and movie theater. Each area is equipped with a Crestron ML-600 MiniLCD handheld remote and a compact TPMC-8X WiFi touch panel.
Dedicated audio zones in the home include a recreation room, bar/game room, patio, kitchen/great room, deck, master bedroom, master bath, office, theater, exercise room, and sauna, most of which are outfitted with either a Crestron handheld remote or an in-wall panel with a 12-button, re-programmed keypad.
“The 8x panels are set up to operate in any of the rooms,” said S3’s Crestron programmer Nick Dietz. “That way the client and his guests can operate the various systems anywhere in the house, including lighting systems.” The TPMC-8X touch panel features a Windows XP Embedded OS with an 8.4-inch active-matrix SVGA display.
The dedicated audio zones comprise the recreation room, bar/game room, patio, kitchen/ great room, deck, master bedroom, master bath, office, theater, exercise room, and sauna, most of which are outfitted with either a Crestron handheld remote or an in-wall panel with a 12-button, reprogrammed keypad.
“The rec room, office, and exercise room feature Crestron Isys TPS-4L wall-mount touchpanels,” Dietz recalled, “while the master bedroom has a larger TP6-L panel and the kitchen/dining room a more flexible TP8-L model.”
Within the theater, Dietz also programmed the appropriate controllers to automatically adjust the variable-masking screen to match the aspect ratio being output by the Kaleidescape Blu-ray players. And for a 2.35:1 formatted disc, the system will automatically bring over the appropriate lens in front of the DLP projector. He also offered manual override to allow 16:9 presentations, for example, to be stretched to full screen width. “It’s a flexible and simple setup for the user, which the client really appreciated,” he said.
High ceilings and a glass wall made the acoustic tuning of S3 Entertainment’s duallevel home theater a bit more challenging than usual. Acoustic designer Jakub Paszynin, from Philadelphia-based Teknamat, recommended a combination of one-inch thick absorbent panels on the sidewalls and RPG wooden panels to provide sound diffusion on the rear walls. The treatment dampened some of the standing waves across thet room dimensions, and reduced the overall reverb time, the acoustic designer noted. A track-mounted Whisper Wall also runs from floor to ceiling, with gray, 66-inch-wide Bailey & Griffin stretch fabric to conceal the wall-mounted acoustic treatment. “The end result,” Paszynin stated, “was far less reverberant than the original space, but with some liveliness to enhance the listening experience.”
Taking Control of the Home
Crestron 8x panels are set up to operate in any of the Park City home’s rooms. That way the client and his guests can operate the various systems anywhere in the house, including lighting systems. The TPMC-8X touch panel features a Windows XP Embedded OS with an 8.4-inch active-matrix SVGA display. Here are four examples of pages that were designed for the Crestron control system.
Mel Lambert ([email protected]) is principal of Media & Marketing, a Los Angeles-based consulting service.