Reference Family Movie Room

London, SW15

We have a modest space for a comfy family cinema room, begins the client, but I am inclined towards the highest quality experience. So long as it's as quick and simple to use as my old telly


  • Sony VPL-VW870ES 4K Laser Projection
  • Sony VPLL-Z7008 Short Throw Lens
  • Lumagen RadiancePro 4446 Video Processing
  • Future Automation Ceiling Lift
  • DT Screens Frontier 270cm wide projection screen
  • Meridian DSP750 Front Main Speakers (3)
  • Meridian DSP640.2 Rear Speakers (2)
  • Meridian DSP320.2 Ceiling Height Speakers (2)
  • Triad InWall Bronze/6 Subwoofer (2)
  • Triad RackAmp 700 DSP Amplifier
  • Trinnov Altitude 32 Audio Processing
  • Lutron Homeworks Shades and Lighting
  • Crestron HR-310 Remote Control
  • Crestron TSW-760 Touchscreen
  • Oppo BDP-203 4K Blu-Ray Player
  • Kaleidescape Strato 12Tb 4K Movie Server

Project Brief

When you are asked to build a reference audio system the job is made both easier and harder at the same time. Easier because only so many products can achieve the performance you need, but harder because choosing between those few can be just about impossible. For this project we were given a helping hand by the limitation of the room size – we did not have much room to play with so big speakers were out. Meridian’s in-wall speaker range has featured in several of our builds based on their incredible performance, and rather handily they are only 10cm deep. So we were delighted to offer our customer the world’s first installation of the new DSP750 speakers. These active powerhouses feature five drive units and ten amplifiers in each speaker! The amplifiers are digital, with built in Meridian Digital Signal Processing, and a totally lossless digital connection back to the rack. Performance guaranteed.

Matching an audio processor was a no brainer with Trinnov, the world leader in immersive audio and digital room correction. The Altitude 32’s digital output can run directly to Meridian’s speaker system, and the result is glorious immersion of clarity and grace not achievable by many other setups

On the display choice we knew we wanted projection, it meant we could hide the speakers inside the walls and project the image over the top of them using a woven screen fabric. This would take up none of the room space and from a performance perspective it would bring the sound through the image like a proper cinema should. The projector itself was a problem as our room was not long enough for a typical projector to work and projecting in from the room behind was out due to space and ventilation requirements. So we reached out to Future Automation for a mechanism to drop a specially adapted Sony laser projector down into the room from the tall ceilings above. Coupling this with a Lumagen video processor and the gifted touch of our ISF calibrator made for an eye wateringly good image

The rest of the room pretty much started to make itself once we had the high-performance AV decided. Thick block walls with soundproofing treatment on both sides keep the cinema sounds inside the room and working with the interior design company we integrated Lutron blackout shades to the window and door to adjacent lightwells. The lighting in the room was already part of a Lutron Homeworks system and it really brought out the engineering beauty of the Meridian speakers on the back wall such that we changed our plans and left the totally unhidden.

All that was left to do was sit down and watch. The Kaleidescape movie server was prepopulated with the client’s entire movie collection, upgrading as many as were available from DVD to HD or 4K quality. One click of the movie button on the wireless Crestron remote and the projector drops, the screen glows, the sound draws you into the picture as the lights slowly dim down to off, and the spectacle begins

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