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Dream Home Features Megawatt Theater

By Rebecca Day
A 8,000-watt home theater, multi-room A/V, and personalized control for each family member make this house an entertainment dream.

Anakin Skywalker is in the dune race of his life. His pod is dipping and twisting and when he’s bumped by a Tusken Raider, so am I. The announcer shouts, “Skywalker is spinning out of control,” and I whirl right along with him in front of a 13-foot screen. A shot ricochets off the pod’s windshield, and the headrest of my chair pops. Anakin steers over rocky terrain and my seat rumbles. Now this is how you go to the movies.

Most people pay $10 a head or more for this kind of big-screen experience—even without the rock ’n roll. At this St. Louis-area home theater, this is how four lucky children and their parents are able to watch movies any day of the week. D-Box motion simulator chairs, with their built-in actuators, respond to motion codes sent by a controller working in sync with the DVD player. You don’t just watch a movie; you feel it.

A Crestron touchpanel controller is the ticket to this multisensory delight. The homeowners press on to start the show, and the Crestron system dims the lights and powers up the Runco projector, source equipment, and 14 Classe Audio amplifiers churning out 5,600 watts to seven B&W speakers. As if that’s not enough, five B&W subs are powered by dedicated 500-watt Rotel amplifiers.

An 8,100-watt home theater may seem overpowering, but its designer says every watt is accounted for. “The more power you have, the less chance of blowing something when you crank up the volume,” says Stephen Cole, systems designer at custom electronics company The Sound Room in Chesterfield, MO.

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