The walls are part of the FabriTrak system - an acoustic treatment easy enough for an accomplished do-it-yourselfer to handle. Mount moldings on the walls, put fiberglass panels within them to help tame the room's sound reflections, cover the panels with fabric, and you're done. However - and this is a big "however" - while the treatment is relatively simple to install, if you don't know how to evaluate your room's acoustics, you could seriously screw up the sound. So if you have any doubts about your abilities here, go with a pro. (The cost of using FabriTrak depends on the materials and the room, but it begins at $25 a square foot.)
HOME THEATER GEAR
|Yamaha DPX-1300 DLP projector ($12,495)
•Screen Innovations 108-inch screen ($1,500)
•5 Sonance Cinema Ultra II in-wall speakers ($950 each)
•Sonance The Sub 12-inch subwoofer ($825)
•Yamaha DVD-S2500 universal DVD player ($750)
•DirecTV HD satellite receiver/DVR
•Sony SLV-N900 VCR ($125)
•Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver ($1,100)
•Furman M-8 power conditioner ($60)
•Elan Via! Valet touchscreen controller ($1,999)
•Middle Atlantic equipment rack ($950)
There are no speakers in sight. The Sonance Cinema Ultra II in-wall models for the front left, center, and right positions sit behind the fixed 108-inch (diagonal) Screen Innovations perforated screen; the Ultra II surrounds are behind the wall fabric in the back corners of the room; and Sonance's The Sub, with its 12-inch driver, is tucked under the Middle Atlantic equipment rack in the front left corner. The rack isn't hyper high-end (see the gear list at right), but the Yamaha receiver is more than up to filling the room with sound. High-def 720p images are provided by a Yamaha DPX-1300 DLP projector.
The theater has been a huge hit with the whole family. "The kids love it," marvels Geri. "Someone's in there every night, and it's a great reason to have the kids' friends gathering at our house. We really need to post a schedule just to make sure Mike and I get some time to use it." Even though they can see satellite TV on the family-room system, everyone gets a kick out of watching shows on the theater's bigger screen. "We're already hosting Laguna Beach and O.C. nights for the girls," says Michael. "But we had to draw the line at letting Mickey hook up the Xbox to the big screen."
Altogether, there are surround sound setups in the home theater, family room, and a second-floor sitting room. Elan MM650W in-wall ($399) and MM650C ceiling speakers are used throughout the house, and four Elan OM650W speakers ($550 each) are mounted under the eaves to provide music out back. The kids have simple Elan LSWP wall-plate jacks ($125) in their rooms for plugging in their iPods for playback over the ceiling speakers. All of the audio is handled by the massive Elan System 12 controller in the family room.
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