A home entertainment experience by Stewart and Digital Home Systems
This newly built upscale home in Rye Brook, NJ, includes a wide-open basement that the homeowners began to visualize as the ultimate entertainment room. They needed the flexibility to entertain family and friends, host hordes of 'tweens and teens who love video games, and to watch sports, movies, and television programming in an immersive environment.
Working within a strict budget and a Thanksgiving Day deadline, Digital Home Systems of Rye Brook, NJ, created an audiovisual system that easily transitions from a day-to-day Xbox games to special sporting events and even family movie night seamlessly. The system provides touch panel or mobile device control and, most importantly, makes the family’s new house “a safe and fun place for the kids to hang out after school every day,” said the client.
According to Tom Manna of Digital Home Systems, the two-piece projection system technology provided by Stewart Filmscreen and Epson made the technical aspects of the project easy. “The added value Stewart provides to their dealers is an invaluable benefit,” he said. “Their expert knowledge of how light reacts with screen materials is what guarantees success if I listen to the advice.”
The challenge for Manna was discerning the client’s needs and then settling on a solution that would offer excellent picture quality and flexibility for viewing a myriad of programming options in a variety of environments. “The family didn’t want to sit in the dark to watch television or play video games,” Manna explained, “but did want that immersive experience for movies.”
Together, they explored various options including a traditional home theater design and a quad-screen LED setup, which would have offered the size and “wow factor” needed for the wide basement wall but could not deliver on the true cinematic experience. “The affordability of the Epson projector and the Cima by Stewart Filmscreen projector screen allowed us to provide a big experience, “ Manna added. “We gave the family 136 inches of viewing space for less money than a 75-inch LED screen.”
The process began with a visit to the Digital Home Systems showroom, where Manna demonstrated to the homeowners how well a two-piece projection system works in high-ambient light. “Once we overcame that fear, showing them that the picture will look as good as it does on an LED, even when the lights are on or the shades are open, we were 80 percent there," he added.
It wasn’t until the system was installed in the home, however, that seeing became believing. “The homeowners thought they were looking at a demo at first,” Manna said. “We had to turn on a sporting event through the cable box before they believed the picture quality was in fact what they would see every day.”
With the money saved from the Cima screen and Epson projector, Digital Home Systems decked out the rest of the system with everything a family room needs, including a Totem Tribe in-wall 5.1 surround sound speaker system, AppleTV, and a Control4 system for AV, lighting, and temperature control.
The components sit in a closet about 75-feet away, permitting Digital Home Systems to hardwire the projector and allowing use of the wireless Xbox game controllers – an important factor since the homeowner’s teenage son and his friends use the system nearly every day. “It’s amazing,” the boy commented on the opportunity to play his favorite sports games on the 135-inch diagonal Stewart CIMA screen with Tiburon G2 (16:9 aspect ratio.)
A full bar with a refrigerator and overhead LED lighting sits to the side of the sparsely decorated seating area. Together the amenities and technology create the ideal environment for big family gatherings or small groups of friends.
The family says they hardly use the LED screen in their upstairs living room anymore, preferring to watch their favorite TV shows on the projection screen. “We knew we’d watch sports and movies down here, but we find ourselves watching TV on the big screen, too,” the homeowners said. “This room has become our living room and where we spend our time as a family now.”