$1 Million Texas Home Theater Models Performance After Capitol Studios Dolby Atmos Music Room
The focus is on Seymour-Screen Excellence’s Enlightor Neo Acoustically Transparent Film Screen Surface with reference quality and a motorized theater masking system with adjustable ratio at 22 feet wide
Ames, IA – October 9, 2020 – A long-time customer of the Texas-based A / V integration company Sound Lab Designs hired school principal Ernie Blumenthal to create a theater in a house he had built. One that is truly uncompromising and in accordance with Dolby Atmos® Music’s performance specifications.
Blumenthal recruited German architect Jochen Veith (JV Acoustics), known worldwide for creating world-class recording facilities, and Californian specialist in theater interior design Brad Keeler (Progressive Design). Keeler, along with Maurice Patist (President of PMC USA Speakers), had previously updated the rooms in the Capitol, including Studio C, which was converted to Dolby Atmos Music in 2017.
Blumenthal and his client flew to Los Angeles to experience several Capitol rooms. Studio C – the room certified by Dolby Atmos Music – immediately set the standard for the acoustic performance of its theater.
Accordingly, Blumenthal and his team built the theater like a professional recording studio. Two acoustic access doors and a room-in-room construction completely isolate the theater from the house. As for the floor, a 5 “slab of concrete sits on top of acoustic isolation pads, which in turn rests on the 4” concrete floor of the main house. Walls are separated by a gap with acoustic treatments in between.
Keeler installed the interior according to Veith’s specifications. Diffusers are positioned on the walls and acoustic treatments are suspended from wires on the ceiling, which also creates a beautiful visual element. “With its 27 feet wide and 35 feet deep floor space, 16 foot ceilings, and tiered seating, the theater feels great overall. So that it still looks fresh in the years to come, we opted for light wooden floors. In view of the acoustic treatment of the walls and ceiling, this was not a problem, ”says Blumenthal.
The theater’s air conditioning was designed to be completely silent. A separate AC unit manages the equipment room, in which the amplifiers and the projector are located. A specially made 50,000 watt isolating transformer with voltage regulation supplies all devices with clean electricity. “Once completed, the room was tested and exceeded all design specifications. With a full bandwidth pink noise of 110 dB, there was a drop of almost 80 dB at all frequencies outside the room, ”notes Blumenthal.
The audio part of the theater consists of PMC’s flagship QB1-XBD fully active loudspeakers as a front network, QB1 active loudspeakers for the center, 22 wafer 2 surrounds in Dolby Atmos configuration and two PMC XBD active subwoofers as an acoustic bass array around the rear Improve bass reproduction in any position in the room. This is a similar but larger version of the PMC system used in Capitols Studio C. A StormAudio ISP 3D.32 ELITE manages the pre-amplification and immersive audio processing.
With such a critical focus on audio performance, a commercial-sized movie screen was required that would not detract from the poorest performance of the PMC center channel and network behind it, while still providing reference video. Also required was the ability to set the aspect ratio down to 4: 3 for this Film Noir Buff homeowner.
To this end, the team turned to Seymour-Screen Excellence for its flagship Enlightor Neo 4K HDR with an acoustically transparent projection surface framed in its motorized ART (Adjustable Ratio Theater) masking system. The setup used is 22 feet wide and has a native aspect ratio of 2.40.
Enlightor Neo and its predecessor Enlightor 4K are arguably the best rated acoustically transparent film screen surfaces in the CEDIA channel. Neo is a randomly knitted, matte white 1.0 gain material that does not require compensation. Hence, it is a prime choice among discerning theater designers and engineers in film and post-production / mix facilities. It is generally recommended by loudspeaker companies and acousticians to commit to demanding tasks.
ART is the newest and largest of Seymour-Screen Excellence’s three masking screen platforms (ART, TAM, TRIM). Designed by Managing Director Chris Seymour, ART is unique in that it is a wall masking solution that comes in sizes from 160 to 350 inches wide (viewable image) and in its largest size is 20 feet high and 30 feet wide Foot reached including masking. To accommodate the various video formats, ART is available with either 2-way masking fields (left / right or top / bottom) or 4-way independent masking fields, and offers unlimited intermediate positions for masking fields, including up to 4: 3 by 120 inches Masking on each side. ART was a star at CEDIA Expo 2019 and was named the Best New Product Winner.
Chris and Erin Seymour accept an award for Best New Hardware Product at CEDIA Expo 2019 for Adjustable Ratio Theater (ART).
ART is complemented in this installation by a 4K laser projector with 30,000 lumen digital projection and an anamorphic lens. A Lumagen video processor was used to scale and control the aspect ratio.
The back of the theater appeals to the homeowner’s audiophile and features a top of the line VPI turntable, McIntosh phono preamp, and bespoke stand. Since the room is set up like a recording studio, it can play back all types of music and films, from mono to stereo to full surround.
The placement of the turntable has been carefully selected to avoid getting feedback from the speakers.
“This two-year project was completed in 2019 for a homeowner who simply wanted the best,” says Blumenthal. “The total cost of the theater, including equipment, was over $ 1 million and I dare say this studio-quality theater really does have the best sound and picture available today, perhaps some of the best in the US.”
“I am proud to say that our ART system covers the best venues in America, from this theater (the first ART sold) to private VIP screening rooms, film studios and most recently the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. We also offer dealers the “Fly the Factory Guy” option, where we set up and calibrate our movie screens and masking systems, ”said Chris Seymour.
About Seymour-Screen Excellence
Seymour-Screen Excellence was founded in 2010 as a joint venture between Seymour AV (Chris Seymour) from the USA and Screen Excellence (Patrice Congard) from the UK and combines the leadership and innovation of their acoustically transparent projection screen materials for custom high-end installers in North America. The company’s state-of-the-art screens offer impeccable image quality and acoustic transparency that are superior to conventional perforated screens or other less sophisticated woven screen materials. Manufactured at the company’s facility / headquarters in Ames, Iowa.
Originally founded on the latest materials and the latest design by Patrice Congard, who is recognized as the originator of the modern acoustically transparent screen, the company has expanded its range in recent years with many innovative new solutions developed by Chris Seymour. These include award-winning film screen technologies for suppressing ambient light, the first color temperature tunable LED backlight kits with white temperature of the channel, and motorized one-way and 4-way masking systems.
During the CEDIA Expo 2017, Seymour-Screen Excellence, in cooperation with Audio Excellence and Wolf Cinema, was named the best home cinema demo by the AVS Forum. Follow Seymour-Screen Excellence on Twitter @SeymourScreenEx and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeymourScreenExcellence/ www.seymourscreenexcellence.com
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