Garage Cinema Room

Garage Cinema Room
Cedia 2014 Best Cinema
Under £40,000 Winner

This has to be one of our favourite home cinemas and has been a challenging and fulfilling installation. The client had a spare room about the size of a single garage and wanted photo-12a bespoke, stylish cinema room which would both look stunning but also deliver on sound and picture. It needed to cater for the family so would need seating for five people. The room is not that large and their was a fear of it feeling quite claustrophobic once all the equipment and seating was installed. After looking at a number  of different designs we created a design based around curves this creates a stylish look but also helps make the room feel and look larger. The client loved the design and was happy for us to proceed. The entire room is controlled via iPad using control4 providing full lighting control.

cediaawards2014-Best Home Cinema under 40K-WINNER (1)



A well designed control system should allow anyone in the household to easily interact and control various audio/video devices and should seamlessly integrate with lighting, security and home automation devices.

We had already installed a Control4 system for other areas in the client’s house . All the family are familiar and comfortable using the Control4 interfaces from either in- wall touchscreens or iPad and iPhones. It was therefore an obvious choice for control of the Cinema room to add an additional Control4 processor. As well as iPad control and an additional Control4 Sr250 remote control was specified , this sleek controller complete with charging cradle is ideal for one handed operation similar to using a Sky remote control.

The Control4 Lighting system was designed to integrate with various interfaces such as Ipad, in -wall 6 button keypad and C4 dedicated SR250 remote control. In addition a conventional 3 way light switch located at the entrance is programmed to the customers exact requirements enabling various lighting scenes at the flick of a switch.

We have previously installed RGB led lighting in other parts of the clients home which they particular enjoy for mood setting and so for the initial brief this was an important part of the design for the cinema room. With this in mind ,we installed RGB led tape lighting underneath the screen stage area and behind the acoustic panels on each side of the room.

The “in-wall” 6 button keypad has each button programmed with a different colour which corresponds with the desired room colour for the RGB Leds.

Starscape fibre optics combine with dimmable LED downlighters to create a fantastic night sky effect on the ceiling . Mini led spots in the screen and step areas provide the finishing touches to create an amazing lighting experience.

An iPad is one of the interfaces used to control all the audio,video and lighting in the room and with some clever Control4 programming the lighting can respond to audio and video commands selected on the Ipad. For instance when a movie is selected from the Ipad an appropriate lighting scene is executed with downlighters dimming over 40secs to create a true cinema experience. If the movie is paused the downlighters raise the lighting level by 30% and when the movie resumes the lights return to their previous light level.

When music is selected a party lighting scene can be executed which strobes the RGB led lighting creating a nightclub feel to the room.


Projector Housing and Rack

At the initial design stage it was decided to incorporate a bulkhead structure and rack area at the entrance of the cinema room. As well as creating a stunning focal point the bulkhead housed the projector , CFX ceiling speakers and Led downlighters.

Due to relatively narrow width of the room (3.4m),the bulkhead was curved in an arc from each side wall which creates the illusion of the room being wider than it actually is. The curves complement the wall panels and ceiling centre panel and with just the projector lens visible the room has a real cinema feel to it.

The Rack area which also included a bespoke near silent running fridge was cleverly linked to the bulkhead area . This then enabled a passive ventilation system to be encorporated for both the projector and audio/video equipment with venting to an outside wall within the bulkhead and under the seating area . The cinema room rack area is linked back to the main rack for the whole house.

Audio / Video Considerations

In a relatively small cinema room there can be more challenges when trying to create the perfect surround sound experience.

One of the issues was the location of the rear seats relative to the projector, fridge and the rear speakers.

Locating the projector in the bulkhead minimised any fan noise so increasing the overall dynamic range , thus ensuring quiet scenes in a film are not spoilt by ambient background noise.

A fridge located in the room was an important requirement by the client , so with that in mind a near silent running fridge was specified.

Rear speakers should create an enveloping surround experience which can sometimes be difficult if the seating positions are close. With this in mind we specified Monitor Audio CFX speakers configured in Dipole mode. In this mode the rear speakers are out of phase with each other which creates a null in the seating positions .The surround sound appears to come from behind and the sides of the seating positions and not directly above, therefore creating a more immersive experience.

Acoustic panels on the side walls and ceiling with absorption and diffusion characteristics ensure an even frequency room response

A Velodyne subwoofer set with the recommended THX crossover of 80Hz provides a consistent smooth bass level in the seating positions.

A full audio analysis and calibration using a Real Time Analyser and Audio Tools software allows for adjusting any frequency peaks or dips to ensures the audio system is optimised .

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Customer Comments

ET Home Cinema exceeded are expectations . Professional from start to finish , we have already recommended their services to several of our friends. Keep up the good work.

– Jason Sprenger


Audio + Video:
JVC DLA-X35 2D & 3D projector
Draper 3.0 m Fixed Frame Screen with 80mmVelvet Surround
Onkyo 818 ( THX ) AV Amplifier
Monitor Audio In wall Gold series
Monitor Audio In ceiling FX in Dipole mode
Velodyne 800 Subwoofer
Draytek Ap800 Access Point
Sky HD Receiver
Kaleidescape Server
Panasonic BD120 3d Blu Ray Player
Apple TV
Sonos Connect Amplifier
Xbox 360
Purpose Built 20u Rack Unit with shelving, power and ventilation
Passive ventilation for Projector
Starscape RGB led strip lighting
Starscape Fibre Optic ceiling kit
Control 4 8 way Lighting Dimmer
Control4 8 way Contact I/O
Control4 HC300 processor
Control4 SR250 Remote Control
Control4 iPad App Control4 6 way Zigbee keypad
Signature Seating LoveSeat
Signature Seating 3 Seater modular
Acoustic Treatment:
Bespoke wall and ceiling panels
Video and Audio Calibration
Calman calibration software and Colorimeter
THX Calibration Test disc used in conjunction with Real Time Analyser and Audio Tools Studio6 software.