Electronic House, May 2005

There was nothing particularly wrong with Carl Tatz’s living room. The Space already had a 5.1 surround-sound system that Carl used to listen to music. That same system could also have been used to play movie soundtracks, but not without a TV in the room.

So after years of gazing at the city skyline from his 11th-floor condo, Carl decided to add an 11-foot-wide video screen. A video projector was mounted to the ceiling, and electronically controlled shades were added to prevent sunlight from washing out the picture.

Because the old speakers would have a hard time living up to the video arrangement, Carl replaced them with a suite of seven concealed specialty theater speakers and four subwoofers. Still, the room wasn’t ready to rock quite yet. “In a condo you share walls with your neighbors, so isolating the sound is important so that you don’t disturb them every time you playa movie,” Carl explains. The back and front walls were partially reconstructed and beefed up with several layers of sheetrock and special isolation materials. Two inches of fiberglass were applied to the surface of the ceiling and then covered in white fabric.

Now that the transformation is complete, Carl has hosted several get-togethers, including an Academy Awards party. “People can’t get over the fact that you can have a system like this in a condo,” says Carl “It’s been a big hit with everybody-even the neighbors.”