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Installation of the Year Awards 2009 - Best Innovation Installation

November 5, 2009 By Dennis Burger

Click the images below for bigger versions:
The theater’s crisscrossed wall treatment creates a playful divertissement in an otherwise monochromatic room.
Each navy wall panel is topped with cotton rope piping to form a diamond pattern.
Installation of the Year Awards 2009 - Best Innovation Installation
The owner enjoys relaxing with his family on the Italian-made Turkish divan which lines the back wall.
The CinemaTech chairs are bathed in Grade A leather.

Best Innovation Installation

Cineramax of Miami, Fla.

Reinventing the Wheel

Commercial cinema and home theater come together like never before in this amazing private screening room.

Installation of the Year Awards 2009 - Best Innovation InstallationThis magazine has featured many dual-purpose home theaters through the years—rooms that are capable of screening first-run Hollywood films, as well as the latest high-definition home video formats.

In that respect this home theater, which is owned by a Miami-based Hollywood financier, and bears the audacious nickname “Prometheus,” does not appear to break new ground.

However, most of the so-called “Bel Air Circuit” theaters we’ve seen are comprised of two disparate A/V systems—usually one 35mm film-based and the other videobased, with as many as three different sound processors—all crammed into one room, and tied together tenuously with extremely complicated control systems.

This amazing and innovative private home cinema, designed by custom installer Peter Montoulieu of Cineramax, does it all with one integrated digital system. Montoulieu basically re-created the wheel by combining two incredibly complex systems into one. And he did so masterfully.

The theater’s crisscrossed wall treatment creates a playful divertissement in an otherwise monochromatic room.

Starting from the top, the room boasts a modified Barco DP-1500 2K Digital Cinema DLP Projector. “No matter how good a consumer projector is, whether it costs $100,000 or $150,000, the level of image quality delivered by a true digital cinema project is going to be far and away better—especially in terms of the contrast in the details in the high frequencies,” Montoulieu says, adding that he modified the theater’s amazing—and amazingly huge—Barco projector extensively to achieve the above-mentioned two-in-one goal.

To take advantage of the projector’s superior performance while increasing the overall contrast ratio to levels more appropriate for home theater, Montoulieu’s team joined forces with Moving Image Technologies in Fountain Valley, Calif., to develop a series of modifications and filters that boost contrast to 5000:1 without voiding the projector’s warranty.

Each navy wall panel is topped with cotton rope piping to form a diamond pattern.

But dealing with the dissimilar sound formats output by the cinema and video systems necessitated another collaboration: “The room has a Dolby [Show Store DSS100] server—which is the equivalent of having all of those big 35mm rolls of film—but it’s only one unit, three rack spaces high,” Montoulieu says. “It puts out eight channels of AES/ EBU digital audio, uncompressed—not a format that anybody can handle, except for Dolby equipment made specifically for movie theaters, [which] won’t do DTS and doesn’t have HDMI.”

With TacT Audio, Montoulieu developed a custom digital cinema sound processor based on the company’s TCS MKIII surround-sound decoder—one of three in the world—which can handle sound from the Dolby cinema server as well as the room’s DirecTV tuner, Xbox 360, and Denon DVD-A1UDCI Universal Blu-ray Disc Player. “It’s a very complicated piece of equipment,” Montoulieu says. “One thing I love about it, [which] I want to take advantage of one day, is that it allows you to have five audio channels behind the screen, like SDDS.


Thank you very much for this honor, again.

There are some professionals that unwillingly were not credited.

The acoustician of record Steve Haas from SH acoustics.

Mike Chafee for the system tuning and calibration of sound system and last but not least Don Stewart of Stewartfilm for the many hours spent ray tracing the Torus screen from his home office and Stewart film for supplying the screen surface and the vacumm/sensor kit for the TORUS SCREEN (which they call the ME unit).



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