A focus on great picture and sound resulted in an outstanding upgrade for this home theater on the Jersey Shore. Our client had long been enjoying the dedicated theater room our company had done 14 years ago in their summer beach retreat. Right from the start, the modest 15 x 20 feet room was intended for one purpose only: complete immersion in a great movie experience. Fancy trim work and art-deco details were spared in favor of high performance gear, straightforward acoustical design, and dark room décor that would maximize image contrast and minimize stray light off the screen. With the passage of time, however, the client expressed interest in changing the seating. That led to discussion about other upgrades. Eventually, the project became a near-total renovation, with only the Lutron lighting processor and some wall sconce lights remaining from the original theater. The revised 8-seat theater boasts a Sony VPL-VW200 SXRD projector that replaced a large and aging Sony 1252 CRT model. It projects onto a 110-inch diagonal Stewart screen from 11.5-feet back. Along with the pre-existing HD cable-box, new sources were added in a Sony Blu-ray player and Vudo XL on-demand movie server. All signals are processed and upconverted as needed to 1080p by a DVDO iScan VP50 Pro video processor, insuring the highest image quality for both standard-definition and HD sources. The surround sound system also got a boost with a new Lexicon MC-8 controller and Audyssey 8-channel equalizer feeding a Lexicon RX-7 multichannel amplifier. B&W speakers The 7.1-channel sound is delivered through B&W in-wall speakers hidden behind the screen up front and on-wall/in-ceiling surrounds in the rear. A pair of Triad in-wall subwoofers hidden behind fabric below the screen are joined by a Sunfire mini-sub behind the second row of seats to provide extra kick at the back of the room. Eight plush Jaymar theater loungers provide the seating, with the rear four situated on a new 12-inch riser with built-in footlights. RPG Diffusor Systems was called in to analyze the room and supplied room treatments used behind the black acoustical fabric that wraps the new room. The equipment rack, including all the local sources, is built into the left-front corner of the theater and is accessible from behind through a utility closet. A handheld Crestron remote provides theater and lighting control, offering several lighting scenes via the Lutron system. The remote also controls a blackout shade with side channels covering a picture window at the back of the room, thus allowing the homeowners to enjoy an ocean view or render the room pitch black with the push of a button. In the end, what started out as an excellent theater became a truly outstanding one, thanks to a strong focus on what is seen (and heard) after the lights go down.