well the article is based on an unfinished install so it appears (or at least I hope so), plus I'm assuming that budget wasn't just for what we see in the article. Given the picture of the flat screen, I'm assuming that was the overall renovation budget. The list of items used seems to clearly imply this was the budget of an overall install. And I agree, this was an unprofessional and poorly written article. The big negative in things like internet taking over mainstream publishing duties is any hack can publish.
Motorization is very expensive. The Stewart screens are excellent, I won't deny that. After playing around with DIY screens for a long while and finally biting the bullet, the higher end screens like Stewart and SI are really well worth the money, but Stewarts motorized products are really expensive. The Screen appears to be the stealth trapdoor, so I'm fairly certain we are looking at a 10-15,000 dollar screen. The motorized projector mount is, I believe, around half of that cost, and then they seem to have motorized speakers too. Those are from Speaker craft and the overall system is around 3,000 or so. I can see 20-30,000 dollars worth of motorization in that room alone. I can understand the desire to want everything to hide when not needed in these mixed rooms, but I just can't see spending that can't of extra money to do so. Especially given the compromises made in performance. With a mixed room like that, my preference is to the SI Black Diamond Screen over the Stewart Firehawk . The projector choice is fine, you really need a bright projector for those mixed media rooms, and if you have the budget, Runco makes a great one. The LS-5 is the continuation of the Planar 8150, and everyone I've talked to said that when Planar bought Runco and remarketed the unit through them, they spent time using Runco's expertise to improve the 8150. It's supposed to be a lot better now, and given that it already was one of the best for the money, and that the price didn't change, thats a good deal. The speakers are junk, they are fine for hiding speakers used for background music, but in my opinion, they are not useful as home theater speakers. Even in a mixed use room like that I would have gone a very different route. I just can't see spending 3000 dollars on HT speakers that would be easily outperformed by many HTIB's at 1/3 the cost. I've heard that system in a dealers showroom setup, and while I thought the concept was very cool, and the price reasonable for what I thought was it's purpose, I was somewhat shocked and annoyed that it was being marketed as a replacement for inwall home theater speakers. Proper sound imaging is a debatable topic, and I'll give the installers that yes, they are placed in generally the right horizontal locations, but they are not going to give the right imaging. They each use a 2.5" full range driver with poor dispersion characteristics. They are placed too high for proper imaging, so that part is lost. And the overall inefficient design of those speakers (admittedly each of my speaker cost what that whole system did) means they won't be able to reproduce even remotely realistic levels.