How They Did It: The Bunker

Ed Wenck | Feb 25, 2021


The Digital Picture had a pretty clear mission with this project, the second one they’d done for this particular client: Make it loud. This client loves to rock – and the concert-level sound that this room produces when the speakers and screens are full of old music videos is something. The firms says, “The main goal for this room was to produce an audio-visual package that could completely rock the room and play at high SPL levels for extended periods of time for bothmovies and music. The main use for the room is entertaining guests in the bar and poker table plus playing old rock music videos and sporting events, with the occasional movie to be watched. Krix speakers and subwoofers are pushed hard by the Emotiva and Yamaha amps, and the room is able to stay loud for long periods without distortion. Trinnov processing makes the room really sing.

The Digital Picture notes that the discovery process led to an upgrade. “During our initial consultation the requirement for watching movies was quite low, however during demonstration of the latest technologies we were tasked with including a full Dolby Atmos immersive audio system into the room so that movies could be viewed with maximum impact.”

The volume won’t bother the neighbors as the sound isolation here is second to none – hence the name.


Reflective Art

There was an issue with the room’s layout, however: “The client had four large, framed artworks that were to be on display in this room. After much discussion, the locations of the artworks were not negotiable -- so it was our job to work around them. We would have preferred to have first-reflection absorption on the side walls at the front of the room, but two of the artworks occupied this space and for aesthetics it was decided not to install absorber panels directly surrounding them. For these two pieces we had some heavy black fabric covers made up to go over the art while watching movies. These covers are attached to the top rear of the frames and roll up and sit behind the top of the frame when not in use." This solution prevents both sound and light from reflecting off the glass that covers the works. Additionally, "This treatment coupled with the absorption behind the screen and any diffusion created by the bar and poker table, when coupled with the power of the Trinnov room correction, was able to make the room sound amazing."

With audio solutions in place, the client then wanted the widest screen possible. “Due to the short throw distance for the screen size, a Lumagen video processor was required to handle the aspect ratio controls and it has a mode which allows for all 16:9 HDTV content to be viewed at full Cinemascope width. This allowed for the selection of a bright BenQ 4K DLP projector.” The need for a big, bright image led the team to ask Severtson Screens to manufacture a custom-sized deluxe screen -- clocking in at a massive 174-inches wide -- using high-performance material.


Power Up

All that gear needed careful power consideration, according to the firm: “We requested a dedicated 20A circuit for this room which runs the rack power for the media room components and the projector. A discussion was had with each amplifier manufacturer and the speaker manufacturer to investigate the type of load that this system would put on the power circuit and our figures were calculated based on these discussions.

“We were advised to upgrade the subwoofer amplifier to the next model up in the range to ensure that there was plenty of headroom for extended periods of loud playback. The proof is in the performance as the client has been able to run the system at our highest preset limits for extended periods without a problem.”

CEDIA’s judges were impressed by this audio system’s “heavy artillery,” noting that this project is one that other integrators should look to as “instructional” – it’s a great example of getting maximum performance out of a fairly modest budget. The project netted a 2020 CEDIA Award for Best Media Room, Level I (Asia Pacific).

For a complete list of the gear used in this project, check out their CEDIA Awards page.