Sometimes we spend so much of our time researching the best deals and trying to get the best bang for our buck that we forget it can be a lot of fun to dream big. For this list, we decided to set aside any notion of practicality or budget, and shoot for the moon (or, you know, another galaxy) when picking components and accessories for our no-holds-barred, cost-no-object home theater. We’re pretty happy with how it came out. In fact, we think that, in many ways, it could rival the most insane home theater we’ve ever seen. Let us know what you think in the comments, and tell us about what you might put into your ultimate home theater.
Special thanks to John Sciacca for consulting on this article.
Anthem’s flagship processor offers the perfect combination of professional-grade audio and video processing, more inputs than you can shake an HDMI cable at, and balanced outputs on each channel for ultra-clean signal transmission. It’s also rack mountable, and it’ll have to be because it needs to stick close to the seven perfectly-matched amplifiers it will be feeding.
Anthem M1 amplifier ($24,500)
For some applications, 1,000 watts of power is plenty; but not for this insane home theater. Nope, we’ll be needing seven times that, thanks. Each M1 amplifier can deliver 1,000 watts into 8 ohms; more for lower impedance speakers. More power means better dynamics and less distortion, so why not go for broke and build in some headroom?
Revel Ultima Salon 2 ($77,0000)
Picking a speaker was the toughest part of compiling this list. There are so many excellent candidates from the likes of Sonus Faber, Moon Audio, Steinway Lyngdorf, Genesis … we could go on and on. But we picked seven of Revel’s Ultima Salon 2 because it is beautiful enough to be showcased, yet modest enough that it won’t absolutely dominate a room with its presence. More importantly, the Salon2 sounds both superbly musical and heart-stoppingly dynamic, making it the perfect solution for music and movies in our ultimate home theater.
REL Gibralter G-1 ($9,000)
When it came to picking a subwoofer, we could have gone with any of these fine 11 choices. But we ended up settling on the REL Gibralter G-1 for its sleek, modern appearance and incredible ability to deliver bass that goes extremely deep and loud without sacrificing musicality. The sub packs a hard-core 12-inch driver and a conservative 600 watts of power. Also, you can stack them, and since we’ll be using two, that could come in handy.
Sim2 Cinema Quattro 4K projector ($158,000)
4K/Ultra HD content may be hard to come by now, but it is coming, and possibly sooner than most folks expect. With that in mind, we wanted the best 4K projector we could get … and we found it. The Cinema Quattro could easily handle a 100-seat theater, so we think it will be fine for our fun little project.
Stewart Filmscreen DC-100 projection screen (appox. $40,000)
The ultimate projector demands the ultimate screen, and our pick is the Director’s Choice from Stewart Filmscreen. Available in widths up to 14-feet, this screen comes with fully closing motorized horizontal masking which allows quick adaptation to any aspect ratio at the touch of a button. Prices vary based on options, so we just shot for the biggest and baddest version available.
Prima Cinema ($35,000)
Prima Cinema is the only technology available which can bring first-run theatrical releases into the home. Movies are available for download the day they come out in theaters and run $500 a pop. The only downside to owning a Prima Cinema is that your friends and family will never want to leave.
Kaleidescape system ($43,500)
Kaleidescape makes digital movie storage and playback beautiful and easy … and legal. Users can add movies from their DVD or Blu-ray collection, or download directly from Kaleidescape. But its Kaleidescap’s user interface that really sells the experience. It has to be seen to be appreciated, but we assure you it is worthy of placement in our ultimate home theater.
Oppo BDP-105 Universal disc player ($1,200)
Sure, we’ve got two stellar sources already, but there will be times when our ultimate home theater owner will want to instant gratification from their disc-based media. For those times, we’ve included the Oppo BDP-105, arguably the finest Universal Disc Player available. It also packs in a nice selection of video-on-demand apps for streaming if you feel like slumming it with Netflix.
Seatcraft theater seats with D-Box motion system (D-Box 4400-I actuators and Series IV-BD motion controller ($25,000)
A fancy home theater isn’t fully fancified unless it has awesome seating. We decided to outfit our theater with attractive Seatcraft theater seating, then trick them out with D-Box motion hardware, meaning theater guests will literally get rocked by this theater. Motion control is synced with movie action to provide a more immersive (and perhaps jarring?) experience. Hey, go big or go home, right? Oh wait, we ARE home!
Art Deco popcorn machine ($1,300)
We love convenience as much as anyone, but when you have a home theater this extreme, microwave popcorn is an insult. For proper movie-time snacking, we offer the Art Deco Popcorn maker. When it’s movie time, just crank this thing up and watch ‘em come running.