Custom Torus Power All-in-One isolation transformer converts 480V 3-phase industrial power into 120V and protects high-performance gear in the new CEDIA Reference Theater.

When CEDIA decides to put a reference home theater inside their new headquarters, which also houses a state-of-the-art experience center and training facility, the association knew it must meet high expectations. After all, the professional organization that represents the custom electronics industry has an obligation to create a best-in-class cinema, with every detail meticulously designed, and an exceptional experience delivered. It stands to reason then, that the integrator on the project should be a renowned industry name with extensive knowledge of the best solutions to meet any challenge.

The Erskine Group was chosen to design and install the 9-seat Reference Cinema Home Theater in CEDIA’s new headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. “We were able to provide a turnkey project, completing the construction, design, installation, and calibration,” says Dennis Erskine, president of The Erskine Group.

The cinema includes leading high-performance brands, including Procella loudspeakers, Trinnov Audio Altitude32 AV preamplifier, QSC amplifiers, Barco Loki Cinemascope projector, and a Stewart Filmscreen masking screen, all powered and protected by a custom Torus Power All-in-One Series wall-mount power isolation unit. CinemaTech seating and Quest Acoustical Interiors round out the installation.

“We were not going to do this room without a Torus Power unit, or its equivalent. And there is no equivalent to what the Torus Power isolation transformers can accomplish in any size installation,” Erskine says.

Custom Torus Power Unit Meets Highly Specialized Requirements

Installing a reference-grade home theater within a commercial building posed several challenges, as you might expect. One of the biggest challenges was stepping-down the power to accommodate the residential gear being used.

“Originally, we planned to step the power down from 240 volts to 120 volts,” Erskine explains. “But then, the engineers who were working on the mechanical systems told us they were instead bringing 480V three-phase power into the building so we needed to drop that down to 120 volts.”

Erskine called Torus Power’s Kevin Main and asked about possible solutions for this part of the project. From this conversation, a custom All-in-One (AIO) Series 11.8K-480V to 120V step-down wall-mount isolation transformer was developed. The Torus Power unit includes 24 x 20Amp breakers, enough to accommodate all the high-end AV components within the theater.

The audio system includes Procella P815 left-center-right speakers, four Procella P18 subwoofers, and 16 additional Procella speakers for 3D surround sound, processed by a Trinnov Audio Altitude32 AV preamplifier rendering 30 channels of Dolby Atmos. The Torus Power AIO unit delivers clean power to ensure the top-of-the-line system can perform at its best. The AIO unit decouples and isolates electronic components from the power source, eliminating transients and improving audio quality. The result is a dramatically reduced noise floor with better dynamics, imaging, and base attack.

“By combining advanced room isolation design with high-performance components and clean power delivered by the Torus Power AIO unit we have been able to achieve a dynamic experience that is second to none and worthy of being an industry showcase,” says Erskine.

Similarly, the Torus Power unit is designed to power and protect the Barco Loki projector, eliciting brighter colors, deeper blacks, better contrast, and a more captivating overall image from what is already one of the industry’s best projectors.

“Providing a steady stream of ample, clean power allows the projector to perform at its very best and prevents it from being compromised. The Torus Power AIO absolutely fits the bill.”

The Barco Loki projector is paired with a 206-inch by 96-inch motorized masking screen from Stewart Filmscreen that brings the theater experience to life.

Creating a Space to Showcase the Best of the Custom Installation Industry

The Torus Power AIO unit is big and heavy, requiring six people to carry it to its permanent location, and it was custom-designed to power and protect one of the most culturally significant reference home theaters in operation today.

“When CEDIA decided to build a new headquarters, the organization knew it wanted expanded training space and something that CEDIA has never had – which is an experience center,” Erskine says.

CEDIA members can take prospective customers on a tour of the 3,000-square-foot environment to showcase state-of-the-art smart home and AV systems in a living room, bedroom, and the home theater. More importantly, dealers and consumers, alike, can see what is possible with today’s technology, observing best practices that should be employed in luxury home installations.

The Experience Center is only one-tenth of the new CEDIA headquarters. The organization occupies 30,000 square feet on the first and third floors of the building. CEDIA rents out the rest of the office space, turning the headquarters into a revenue stream instead of an added expense.

The presence of additional office space in the building, however, created soundproofing challenges within the theater. To ensure the 3D surround sound, designed to create an immersive theater experience, didn’t disturb CEDIA workers or other tenants in the building, the theater was constructed within a concrete shell. The Erskine Group added engineered acoustic treatments from Quest Acoustical Interiors to help keep sound within the room while providing smooth, even coverage in every seat.  

The final result was an isolated room with a noise floor measuring less than 19 decibels. Considering the softest sound recorded is 22 decibels and akin to that of leaves rustling, you can easily get a sense of how quiet this room is. “When the door closes you can literally feel how quiet the room is!” says Erskine.

Meeting Commercial Code Regulations in a Residential Space

To meet commercial building code requirements, an “Exit” sign hangs over the door next to the screen – just as in a commercial theater – and one of the seats in the first row was eliminated to preserve space for handicapped seating.

As a safety measure and as an example of what’s possible, The Erskine Group tied the smoke and fire alarm system to the theater’s audio system. In case of emergency, theater occupants will hear alarms and notifications. The room also includes its own wireless access point to ensure a strong Wi-Fi signal for guests in the theater.

Erskine also had safety in mind when he specified commercial-grade Socapex cables to connect AV components to the Torus Power AIO unit. The cables carry six circuits, enabling The Erskine Group to reduce the number of electrical wires running from the wall across the floor to the rack from 18 to just three.

Normally used in professional applications like performance halls and Broadway theaters, the Socapex cables minimize the possibility of someone tripping over a wire and either unplugging the systems in the middle of a movie or hurting themselves. The cables lock together for added stability and security.

Erskine says he would recommend Socapex cables “for half a million-dollar rooms and above,” as they are cost-prohibitive for most installations. But, as with the other components, the CEDIA reference-grade home theater required the best the industry could provide.

A Movie Experience Like No Other

The much-anticipated CEDIA Reference Theater showcases what is possible with today’s technology. Delivering clean, stable power at a consistent 120 volts, the Torus Power AIO unit maximizes the performance capabilities of the best-in-class equipment to achieve what some may call the most immersive home theater experience available anywhere.

Barco Loki Cinemascope P3/DCI projector
Stewart Filmscreen VistaScope masking screen
Torus Power All-in-One 11.8K-480 to 120 stepdown wall-mount isolation transformer

Trinnov Altitude32 16-32 AV preamplifier

QSC Digital Cinema Amplifiers

Procella P815 LCR speakers (3)

Procella P18 subwoofers (4)

Procella P6V side effect speakers (8)

Procella P8IW height speakers (8)
Socapex cables

CinemaTech LaGrande and Valentino seating

Quest Acoustical Interiors acoustic treatments