The house features a built-in rear projection home
theater system. The biggest plus is the stunning picture and audio the
system delivers. This I can't describe, so you'll just have to see and
hear it for yourself. I can however describe the setup:
is a lot of high end audio and video gear that stays with the house, as
well as the home theater recliners. They are listed in detail: CLICK HERE.
A rear projection screen is built into the wall of the family room. On
the other side of the screen is the garage, and the projector is
installed on the garage ceiling. This arrangement has many advantages.
One is the projector is not in the same room with the viewer. This is
an aesthetic advantage, as there is no projector hanging from the
ceiling of the theater room. It's also an audio advantage. Projectors
can be quite noisy, especially when they're right above or right behind
your head. In this setup, the projector is on the other side of the
screen, hidden from view, and many feet away from you, making it barely
audible (you have to listen hard to hear it).
Another advantage to a rear projection setup is it's performance in
ambient light. Front projection setups require total darkness. That's
why home theater rooms generally have no windows. Rear projection on
the other hand, works just like a rear projection TV. It still performs
well with some light on the room. In fact, it performs so well that I
ALWAYS watch it with a light on. I find that it's easier on my eyes.
it doesn't feel like you're in a dungeon, which is how some dedicated
home theater rooms feel.
And the main reason I opted to go this route: To have the home theater
in the family room. The family room has an 18' tall ceiling and is open
to the rest of the house, giving it a very wide open, spacious feel.
The kitchen is right behind where you sit, and the restroom is right
down the hall. It's central to the whole house and is by
far my favorite room. I decided this is where I wanted to spend my
leisure time, and not in some windowless, closed in home theater room.
This is especially true since high definition TV is becoming so
established. HDTV is great on the big screen, so I brought the big
screen out of the home theater room and put it in the room you normally
watch TV - the family room.
I have friends with home theater rooms that rarely get used. Instead,
they watch TV and DVDs on a normal size TV in the family room, because
it's too inconvenient to drag everything upstairs (food and drinks) to
the home theater room. In this house, the projection setup gets put to
The screen measures about 98" diagonally. The in-wall cabinets below
the screen have doors on the back side (in the garage) to facilitate
connecting everything. This is a major convenience compared how you
have to normally hook everything up without rear access. There are AC
outlets and speaker jacks built into the the base of the cabinets to
easily and neatly connect the main speakers. There are also AC outlets
and speaker jacks in the wall behind the center channel and subs for
the same purpose.
Here's the view as you enter the home
theater room from the entry.
A head-on view from the kitchen.
Looking down from the 2nd story.
This pic was taken standing in the back door.
A tall pic to better show the 18 foot ceiling.
tall photo. Nice view of the arches.
A view of the back side of the screen from the garage. Note projector
on the ceiling.
A side view of the projector.
Looking up at the projector. The pull-down attic stairs to the garage
storage are directly to the right of the projector.
up from the back side of the projector.