6th February 2024
It isn’t often that one can genuinely say that they have played a part in creating something that is truly at the cutting edge of performance. But when it comes to the new demonstration home theatre installation at Cyberhomes in Oxfordshire, we think we can safely say that this is definitely the case!
Created in cooperation with Cyberhomes to showcase our forward-thinking Ci-Fi philosophy, where custom installations perform to the same exceptional standard as the finest stereo systems, we worked with the team to create something truly wonderful, that will act as a dream immersive theatre for potential customers looking for the most fine-tuned experience imaginable. From bespoke design and hand-crafted build, combined with class leading electronics and speaker systems, the Cyberhomes experience sits firmly amongst the world’s most technologically advanced and experientially impressive home theatre systems.
Let’s go back to the beginning, and outline how the project came together. Cyberhomes was founded in 2004, and has since established a reputation as one of the leading experts in custom installation and bespoke home cinema - boasting a revered demonstration cinema at its base in Thame, Oxfordshire. Since the beginning, the company has built a global customer base, yet finds that many of its potential customers like to visit the business in-person, to gain a better understanding of the level of bespoke projects the company can undertake. Therefore, it has always had a high-quality, custom-built cinema system available for demonstration. The cinema has gone through various transformations over the years - but recently, the company felt the time was right to give it greater attention so that the space better reflects how the company has progressed. The brief was simple: to showcase class leading audio and video equipment, with particular emphasis on the company’s design, construction, and fabrication processes.
When looking for the right equipment partner, the Cyberhomes team was particularly impressed with the Sonus faber Arena series, which first premiered at ISE 2023. Having already had a great experience with the power and finesse of McIntosh Lab’s amplification, they felt the combination delivered the required high-end experience, whilst showcasing Ci-Fi in the perfect way – a high end audio experience that remains hidden out of sight.
Once agreed, the team swung into action, creating a cinema that is unrivalled, not only by its performance but also by the luxurious fit and finish of the space. To achieve this, the Cyberhomes team utilised advanced design and fabrication techniques to incorporate subtle curves and angles that are rarely attempted in cinema design, due to their difficulty to create and fabricate. Attention to detail was the top priority, with various curves in the steps and seating tiers, as well as the stepped curved ceiling feature at the front and back of the room, which is designed to create the signature Cyberhomes logo colours using DMX lighting.
But how do you begin to create a truly cutting-edge cinema space? An obvious start point is the equipment used - but this is only as good as the design and attention to detail of how that kit is installed. Cyberhomes is well known for this, but a key aspect is how it treats the room that houses the cinema system. Yes, the fit and the finish are exquisite, but it is also how the audio and visual elements are treated within the room that makes the difference. No two rooms are the same, so each room is acoustically measured and built up via CAD design, which allows the engineers to apply the appropriate amount of acoustic treatment in the areas that require it. This is a process that relies on many years of experience in creating such environments, as the wrong material used in the wrong location can have significant detrimental effects on the performance. The balance between acoustic treatment and the overall interior design of the space is carefully calibrated - a delicate process that Cyberhomes has perfected over the years, and one that its customers trust the company implicitly to deploy.
In addition to the carefully chosen, acoustically transparent fabric on the walls, which allowed them to install hidden acoustic panels with the Arena speakers behind, there are two windows on the right wall that conceal dual Lutron electric sheer and blackout blinds.
The opposite wall showcases the stunning Mcintosh and Trinnov-filled AV rack behind electrochromic glass. This can hide the rack with a frosted-out effect at the touch of a button - a seriously slick feature that allows clients to see where the magic happens, but to also minimise the impact of those lovely VU metres, when watching a movie.
The back of the room features a small bar that is accessible by opening two curved, wooden-slatted doors. This custom wooden-slatted effect also surrounds the existing Fortress seating, which, while being functional and comfortable, needed a bit more "wow factor" to match with the rest of the room. To balance the back of the room, they constructed two custom pillars housed in the front corners.
For visual presentation, a Sony VPL-VW790 Laser projector and Lumagen processor project a 12ft width image onto a Screen Research acoustically transparent electric side masking (CIH) 2.40:1 Ratio screen. The front three Sonus faber Arena 20 in-wall speakers are set in a subtle position behind. The left and right speakers are toed in towards the main listening position, delivering a carefully optimised centre stage.
Crystal clear images are provided by a number of different sources - with the primary source coming from Kaleidescape, the high end digital provider of movies with lossless audio and full reference video quality. Kaleidescape’s Terra movie server and Strato-C movie player are both employed into the system setup - delivering 4K UHD images and Dolby Atmos sound. Cyberhomes, in fact, share a dynamic and active partnership with Kaleidescape. Kaleidescape are specified into many Cyberhomes projects, as well as operating as the primary source for Cyberhome demos.
Of course, no high-end movie and music experience would be complete without smooth, deep, and clear bass. To achieve this, six Sonus faber in-wall Arena 15 subwoofers were installed - four on the front wall, and two on the rear. This delivers the necessary bass headroom for fine-tuning with effective bass distribution across all seating areas.
Finally, the room has a full control system using Control 4. This system controls the audiovisual, climate, blinds, and lighting. It includes some very clever programmed events sequences to make sure that the experience is as enjoyable as possible at every opportunity.
To get the most out of the system, Cyberhomes’ highly skilled engineers reached out to Sonus faber’s Roberto Gamba, who played an instrumental role in designing the Arena speaker range. As a leading home theatre calibration expert, Roberto was able to aid in designing and calibrating the stunning sound experience. The projector and scaler were also calibrated to achieve optimum video quality, thanks to Gordon Fraser from Convergent AV.
So what is the result? As stated at the beginning, this is genuinely amongst the most advanced home cinemas systems in the world. Not only is the performance breath-taking across a wide range of movies, it is also a stellar music playback system. Not only does it present a gutsy dynamic performance for the most demanding action and bass hungry scene possible, but the system can also finely resolve every subtle detail and nuance in a natural, pure and unforced way, which can really bring out the emotion and feel of a scene.
Cyberhomes demo cinema room is testament to its commitment to delivering a truly high-end experience to its clients, while showcasing the company’s passion for designing bespoke solutions tailored to its customers’ needs. The facility enables Cyberhomes to guide clients through the whole design process, demonstrating how it will approach their project with a focus on technical and aesthetic requirements. The design team, including interior design, lighting design, and technical experts, are available at its premises to answer questions and explore the client’s ideas and how it brings them to life. The cinema demo room showcases a completed, dream home theatre - and provides its clients with a taste of what their own cinema room could potentially look and sound like
From our point of view, the Cyberhomes cinema is the perfect demonstration of our Ci-Fi philosophy, and we are delighted to work with the team to deliver a truly stunning demonstration facility that looks as good as it performs. For customers, they can’t be anything other than impressed. The only decision they need to make is which film or piece of music to play, because we are sure that once they start using a system of this magnitude, the hardest thing to do is to take a break!
AV Processor: Trinnov Altitude 16
Amplification: 5 x Mcintosh MI502 Power amps
Front speakers: 3 x Sonus Faber Arena 20
Rear/Surround speakers: 4 x Sonus Faber Arena 10
Subwoofers: 6 x Sonus Faber Arena S15
More info: www.cyberhomes.co.uk/cyber-lounge
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