CI Brings Joy

posted on Friday, 27th January 2012 by David Slater

home cinema  Installs 


When the pro AV and CI industries announced an initiative to use their unique skills to help build home cinemas for children's hospices, there was an immediate and generous response. This is the story of one resulting project, an installation at Rachel House, one of two children's hospices run by the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

The project begun when Rachel House reached out to program organiser Ian Morrish, for help with a custom installation.He contacted local CI operation Loud and Clear. Says Morrish: "About 12-14 years ago I worked with Allan Boyd, from Loud and Clear, helping him publish the Show Guide for the Scottish Hi-Fi show that he organised." He says when he contacted Boyd his response was "immediate and very positive."

The site was duly surveyed and the team quickly put together a wish list.  Says Boyd: "The original brief was for a multi-functional room for young adults visiting the centre for respite care. The idea was to create the ultimate recreation room." To make sure their ideas were in tune with what the kids might actually want, Boyd arranged a visit for some of the young adults to visit Loud & Clear's Glasgow showroom, to get some hands on product evaluation.

"On the back of this, we designed and installed a full high performance home cinema system comprising a JVC hi-def 3D projector along with a high gain projector screen suited for use in high ambient light, and a full 7.1 surround sound system. In addition, a multi zone music system was installed to provide a range of streamed music both outside and in from a music library stored on an external NAS."

Environmental control came from a Rako electric blind interface and Lutron lighting controller with overall control via Control 4 running on an Ipad.

Morrish says that with tight installation deadlines, they had little time to generate all the products required. "However, we were able to approach those companies that we felt were most likely to support a project of this nature, and the support was, bearing in mind the time scale, excellent."

Alison Blair, the Activities Coordinator at Rachel House says: "We're so grateful to Ian, Allan and their teams for their help with this project. They've provided a professional, coordinated service for the build and installation and we're delighted with the result. The home cinema system is a fantastic addition to our newly opened young adult space, a specially-designed area for youngsters to spend time independently from members of the care team or their families where they can simply hang out in with friends in a private area, to get away from it all with the latest high-tech equipment and games."

Rachel says that the area has proved so popular that before 3pm every day Rachel House has now opened it up to all family members. "We'll often find a Dad relaxing in the luxury massage chair watching a film! The home cinema has got a wide-ranging appeal for all ages and is a much-loved item in the house."

Says Loud and Clear 's Allan Boyd: "The really interesting and challenging part of this project was in the area of control - ideally the system needed to be able to be operated by a changing stream of visitors to the facility with a wide range of physical abilities.The ideal scenario was to be able to control the cinema system, the streaming music system outside and inside, the blinds and the lights from a range of control devices including a laptop, iTouch, Ipad and dedicated remote. The answer came from Control 4 - a flexible, cost effective home control system, which could be easily understood by a wide range of users."

Thanks to donations, subsidies and waived fees, the entire project ended up saving Rachel House around £18,000 on a previously quoted commercial installation - monies it now says it can use in other ways to look after the children and their families that visit or stay at the hospice.

Morrish says; "being able to save Rachel House this amount of money is a huge achievement and thanks goes to Allan Boyd and his team at the Loud and Clear Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, and all the manufacturers and distributors that have helped make this happen. This installation will bring joy and excitement to many children and their families for years to come, and is something that will genuinely 'make a difference'..."


Not all products were able to be donated or subsidized. The following kit list includes only those companies that were able to supply donated or subsidised products. 

The following products were all kindly donated:

  • CONTROL4: Control4 Control System (direct from Control4)
  • CURRENT AUDIO: In Ceiling Speakers, FIT651 (supplied via Habitech Ltd)
  • LUTRON: Lighting Control (direct from Lutron)
  • MIDDLE ATLANTIC: Equipment Rack (donated by RGB Communications)
  • RAKO: Blind Controls (direct from Rako)
  • SPEAKERCRAFT: Outdoor Speakers (donated by Aldous Systems)
  • VELODYNE: Subwoofer (donated by Redline Distribution)

The following products were all kindly supplied at a subsidised cost:

  • JVC: Projector, X3 Dila (supplied by Marata Vision)
  • PIONEER: BluRay Player, LX54 (supplied by AWE Distribution)
  • PIONEER: AVR Cinema Amplifier, LX75 (supplied by AWE Distribution)
  • VUTEC: Screen, 1.8m Fixed Frame (supplied by Marata Vision)


David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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Posted by James Middleton on 29th January 2012, 6:00 PM
Great to see this type of support from our industry
Posted by Ian Morrish on 23rd February 2012, 3:04 PM
To get involved please contact me at, or call 01372 454366. We need time and product donations... Thank you... Ian

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