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Beyond Home Theater Uses D-Tools to Nail Every Design, Every Time

beyond-home-theater-logoWhen it comes to creating happy clients every time, Beyond Home Theater, located in Santa Monica, California, knows what it’s doing.



In fact, that’s why this particular client is on his third high-tech abode with Beyond Home Theater, who he contracted this time to remodel a top-floor office into a state-of-the-art home theater. The client had worked with Beyond Home Theater’s president Terry Mulholland (shown), extensively in the past, so he knew the drill. Yet for this home, he wanted to take performance to a new level. In fact, Mulholland and his team had just signed on Meridian to fill a hole in its speaker range, and this was to be its first Meridian project.

From a technology standpoint, the home was updated throughout, complete with six new TVs, a new network with Wi-Fi, and more. But it’s the stately home cinema that is the home’s crown jewel. The former study was a traditional room, with exquisite cherry wood cabinetry. Mulholland and the client agreed that they wanted to keep as much of that cabinetry as possible, paring it back slightly to accommodate the technology. “We kept the side theater wall with the fireplace, but redid the cabinetry to hide a 7-foot-tall equipment rack,” says Mulholland.

The front screen wall itself is an exercise in creative and on-the-fly engineering with an innovative false wall that elegantly hides the screens and speakers in the front of the room. “Tolerances between the real and false wall were extremely tight, so we had to make sure that all our measurements were absolutely correct down to a quarter of an inch.”

This is where D-Tools came in. “D-Tools is a deeply ingrained part of our process,” says Mulholland. “Every job we do is done with D-Tools System Integrator (SI) platform. It’s a major part of our company process, from the sales guy creating original proposals through to completion, all of it gets done in D-Tools.”

For this job, D-Tools’ ability to generate room drawings including screen elevations and cross sections was crucial to make sure everything in the screen wall was going to fit perfectly, down to half-inch to quarter-inch tolerances. “Otherwise it wouldn’t have worked. If the last piece doesn’t fit together, well, that’s really not good,” says Mulholland.

D-Tools drawing features are becoming more important than ever as third-party manufacturers begin to offer their own design services. Just take the case of Meridian, for example, who recently launched its Design & Specification Service. Beyond Home Theater wanted to take full advantage of Meridian’s service for this project, but needed to provide room layouts and drawings. “We gave Meridian the D-Tools drawings and they used those floor plans to design their speaker system, including more performance-related specifications like acoustics, SPL, and specific speaker locations,” says Mulholland. “Of course, we used D-Tools in every stage of the job, from prewire to finish, rack elevations, wall elevations, electrical plans, screen layout, speaker locations, schematics, line drawings, and when it is all designed, we used D-Tools installation scheduling. We’ve been using D-Tools for 12 years.”

The result for this high-performance theater was just that—a theater that went BEYOND a home theater that was simply a collection of components in a room to a room that performs at another level. “With these drawings in hand we knew exactly what we were looking at in terms of performance,” says Mulholland.

In the end, Terry Mulholland and Beyond Home Theater were able to create a Meridian room that again, goes beyond what the homeowner expected. And when it’s time to upgrade the room to 3D object-based surround sound, D-Tools SI software solution will be there to help make the process smoother, more efficient, and more profitable.