Australia’s best smart homes

Best home theatre over $150,000

Why it won: There’s still a place in our hearts for plush, extravagant dedicated home theatre rooms, and this 60sqm build went beyond the call of duty, not just installing 15 custom-made cinema-style seats surrounded by a Cary Audio Cinema-powered 7.2 surround cinema, but two separate staircases and the lounge area too. Significant work went into ensuring the in-room air conditioning system – placed directly under the seats and in the floor – operated silently. The interior design brief from the clients, inspired by the ‘Hemisphere’ bar in Sydney that they had visited, was to create a comfortable, bohemian atmosphere. The result is a lavish tableau of velvety earthen textures and colours that would make any occupant feel like royalty.

Installer: Wavetrain Cinemas, NSW

Best home theatre $75,000 – 150,000

Why it won: This decidedly ‘blokey’ home theatre hangout features a 7.2 JBL Synthesis sound system and Infocus In-83 full HD DLP projector,

playing to nine brightly-coloured leather cinema seats arranged in two rows. The lights in the theatre room are linked to the remote control, dimming gradually over three seconds when ‘play’ is pressed in movie mode and coming up again when the system is paused or stopped, for example. A Media Center PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Blu-ray player round out the source list, each with distinct light scenes programmed into the Zigbee Pro Remote Control and launched as they’re each activated.

Installer: Zene Privarte Theater, China

Best home theatre under $75,000

Why it won: A large rear window in this room promoted installation of an automated blind that completely blacks out the space, allowing full appreciation of the true Cinemascope picture from the JVC DLAHD950 when thrown up onto a 117 inch Stewart Cinecurve anamorphic projection screen. Most effort went into achieving full acoustic insulation in the room, especially after relocating the control equipment to a side room, which made for better access and ventilation but then needed to extrude into the theatre room itself; remedied with a clever Middle Atlantic slide-and-rotate rack enclosed by an acoustic barrier.

Installer: Electronic Living, QLD