How They Did It: The Oracle Cinema

Ed Wenck | Mar 18, 2021

The client who commissioned The Oracle Cinema had a pretty straightforward list of priorities: Aesthetics were paramount, followed closely by audio performance, and finally, video quality.

McCormick Concepts brought the goods, achieving THX reference-level audio for both rows of seats (85db with 105db peaks). The team says, “With the room, speaker and seating positions being engineered by Wavetrain’s David Moseley, we knew the audio would be amazing but we wanted to make sure we had the right tools to further tune the space and customize to the client’s personal needs and wants. A Trinnov preamplier was selected with 3D room equalization capabilities to ne-tune the room and further increase the audio performance and detail.” Carefully calibrated Pro Audio Technology speakers, subwoofers, and amplification round out the outstanding immersive sound.

McCormick then turned their attention to the display. According to the integrator, “While video performance wasn’t the primary consideration we still wanted to make sure the image would impress. A 4K Cinewave Severston projector screen was matched with a Sony 4K projector and Lumagen video processor. The Sony 360ES performed well in the space with its 1500 ANSI lumens output, however, lacked any functionality for the 2:35:1 content.

“The Lumagen processor was selected primarily to provide a greater toolset for video calibration and also had the benefit of enabling scaling and cropping options for the 2.35:1 screen. While the Sony projector and Sat4K screen wouldn’t be able to provide the recommended 16 foot-lamberts, the Lumagen’s fine black level adjusted helped with perceived brightness and overall the image was quite stunning.

“To ensure the best experience, an Oppo 4K Blu-ray player was selected to enable 4K HDR content along with Dolby ATMOS (as this was the only source at the time to enable the ATMOS experience). An Apple TV was incorporated so the client’s children and grandchildren could access their favorite streaming services. A digital set-top box was added for access to free to air channels for sporting events.


The Finer Points

The McCormick team was given the following requirements when it came to the finished product. The theater had to be:

  • Simple to use,
  • Simple to reset/reboot should the need ever arise, and,
  • Outfitted with good sound isolation so as not to disturb the neighbors.

In order to keep the sound of the Hollywood effects inside the room – and to help mitigate any sound from the outside of the room cinema – McCormick Concepts took great care: “Where cabling was brought into the room, the hole was sealed with acoustic filler from both inside the room and up in the roof space to ensure no was sound could enter or leave the space. In other locations cabling was brought into the false reverse coffered ceiling to add another level of protection to ensure the room remains sealed.

“HVAC was designed to be independent from the main house system and be on its own zone. A temperature sensor was placed in the room out of view. A full AC design was completed and a fresh air feed was installed as part of the inlet to ensure the room has fresh air when sealed to avoid people getting sleepy from lack of oxygen and enable a more comfortable viewing experience.”

The adjacent room that contains the equipment racks (which are stashed in a ventilated cabinet) does double-duty: It’s also a well-stocked bar. CEDIA’s judges were duly impressed with the attention to detail here, and awarded McCormick Concepts Best Home Cinema, Level III (Asia Pacific) in the 2020 CEDIA Awards.

For a complete equipment list for this project, check out their page at the CEDIA Awards site.