Best Home Cinema (over £100,000)
Winner: MACBEE Pvt. Ltd for The Red Carpet Cinema
New Delhi-based installer, MacBee, has recently scooped top prize at its first attempt in the prestigious CEDIA Awards 2015 for “an elegant and well thought out cinema room which exceeds the client’s expectations” in the Best Home Cinema over £100,000 (₹9,882,240/ €143,402) category.
For this client, a cinema-connoisseur and owner of a chain of multiplexes, this home cinema project called for the largest screen possible, DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) compliance and seating for up to 20 people; a luxurious and personal screening room that could compete with the quality and technology of a commercial application.
Whilst the brief for a giant screen and 20 seats may have initially appeared straight forward, Macbee soon discovered that fulfilling this request would not come without its complications. The basement location meant the ceiling dipped for the first ten metres at the entrance, before lifting to a higher level. The narrow width of the room also meant fitting more than eight seats comfortably would prove challenging. Video sight lines, audio quality, and allowing enough room between the seats and surrounding walls had to be carefully considered to get this cinema as technically close to reference level as possible.
Working closely with a team of architects and site managers, it was decided to lift the height of the ceiling entrance. This would allow for an even surface to align the screen, projections, and audio and visual positions to the exact millimetre, delivering an exceptional movie viewing experience.
Whilst increasing the height of the room was possible, the width of the space remained problematic. It allowed for three rows of four seats, taking into account the reclining positions and the proximity of the walls. When this proved disappointing to the client, Macbee redesigned the custom seating five times, decreasing the size of the seating to allow for three rows of five viewing positions until the homeowner was happy with the shape, size and number of seats. With supplementary room between the front row seats and the screen, Macbee placed four bean bags to reach a grand total of 19 viewing positions.
Next, Macbee turned its focus to the home cinema screen. Opting for a motorised masking Vutec screen, as per the clients brief, this covered the entire width of the room, leaving just one finger space between the edges of the screen and the wall.
With limited space now available, the positioning of subwoofers had to be meticulously planned. The hunt for an audio solution commenced; one that could deliver reference level quality performance and seat to seat consistency.
MacBee designed a 7.1 system, including eight JBL Synthesis S4S subwoofers, eight surround sound speakers and left, centre, right (LCR) positions at the front. Avoiding the common interior design pet hate of “wall acne”, all subwoofers and speakers needed to be camouflaged. The surround sound speakers were placed strategically within the wall and into the ceiling to cater for the three rows of seating. The LCR audio was achieved using Synthesis Everest Speakers which are easy to drive and could effortlessly manage the depth of the 35ft room.
The company used its own in-house software to provide a custom graphical user interface, which is easy to use and minimalist, as the client requested. Great care was taken to provide a robust system which met all performance standards, including ISF and THX Video Calibration to allow for both DCI and alternate content.
As a result, Macbee has successfully implemented an aesthetically pleasing solution which provides top quality AV, and has enough seating for nineteen viewers. The high-quality standards of this room remained a priority from start to completion. Refusing to compromise the problem of seating, room infrastructure or audio challenges with the overall performance of this home cinema, a commercial-worthy, classic and luxurious cinema room has been born.
“Sometimes our efforts as custom integrators and system designers make a big difference in a customer’s life, sometimes they don’t. The realisation of this project would not have been possible without the passion and drive of the Macbee team to do things perfect and according to industry standards, whilst meeting almost all of client’s custom requirements,” says Sawan Nichani, Owner of Macbee. “Not only did we create a great looking room, but we put in almost two years work to make it perform impeccably despite the number of challenges we faced. This project will be a story which will help us share our experiences and the outcome with other industry professionals, and receiving a CEDIA Award is a sign that we are heading in the right direction to do so.”