The Ultimate High End Home Theater Installation

Building a high end home theater can be extremely expensive.  But those that want the best of everything including sound, picture, and the overall experience understand they’re going to have to shell out some pretty big bucks to make it a reality.  If you’re considering an ultra high end theater room here are a few things you should think of before getting started.

high end audio ampIf you want to achieve the best set up of a home theater with all the cinematic effects, worry no more because they can be possibly installed right at your very home. And the good news is that you have a wider of choices in the equipment that you will be using. This is because many types of those audio and video system equipment are already available in the market in different price and of course, in different quality. With today’s very effective technology, you can exhaust all means and ways in there that can let you download unlimited number of music, videos, movies and even those games. With that, it would be very helpful and more optimal if your home theater comes with a reliable internet connection.

The Basic Equipment

The basic requirements that you need to have in order to get a cinematic entertainment experience is just simple. Experts say that a 5.1 channels of surround sound is already tolerable. Add in a television in high definition or a projector which can function like HDTV with a white screen. And lastly, an internet connection to achieve a simply perfect home theater. So let us discuss these three basic stuffs one by one.

The audio effects will contribute a lot to your entire home theater system. That is why investing on it should be done wisely and with much assurance that you will get a real good experience. What’s in a 5.1 channel system is just a minimum requirement. It only takes this 5.1. Version of sound system to experience to get an optimal audio output, especially for those common file formats being used these days. When you have enough time and budget, you can go with an upgrade to 7.1 then 9.1. That is what makes up most of the high end sound system these days.  For more information on basic equipment setup check out http://www.pickeringaudio.com/

The Setup and Calibration

A high definition television is today’s trend. Thank goodness that this has become of high demand. With that reason, most of these come in affordable or if not, affordable price. Having a good quality of image projection resonates the real good entertainment that you could get. Before these high definition televisions sets their noise in the entertainment market, only those colored pictures satisfy us. But technology found a way to get into human’s heart and so comes these high definition television that definitely captured our attention. The development of HDTV technology is becoming fast and yet, those obsolete versions can still guarantee to achieve satisfactory effects in being able to entertain people.

Putting It All Together

And as what we said before, a broadband connection is definitely a plus in a home theater. But actually, it is more than a plus because this time, we recommend it to be a requirement to have a completely functional home theater system. What you should highly consider is to choose a reliable internet service provider which can continuously provide your entertainment needs in terms of music, news, television show online streaming and even those games made really alive and interactive online. Truly, there is nothing boring with today’s technology.

Elegant Home Theater Control

universal remote controlNo home theater is complete without an easy and elegant way with which to control it.  So many integrators focus on providing high performance systems, but then fall short on delivering a system that is easy for the entire family to use.

Budget for Control

When you’re designing a home theater system it is easy to get caught up in blowing all of your budget on high end speakers, amplifiers and source equipment.  Obviously these components are what make home theater and high end audio so desirable in the first place.  But if you’re clients don’t have an easy way to turn their system on and off then it can become a service nightmare.

In most of our installations the man of the house is the driving force behind building a home theater or listening room in the first place.  Ensuring their satisfaction is obviously of primary importance.  But it’s also important to make sure that the man’s better half is also happy with the system.  This is often a precondition of signing the check to start the process in the first place.

Most women’s hesitation with technology is that it can often be very difficult to control.  This has been true for decades.  And it can put a serious damper on what you’re clients budget if his wife thinks that she won’t be able to enjoy the system.

For this reason it’s important to budget for easy to use controls.  This can be anything from an automation system like Crestron or Control4 to a programmable remote such as a Logitech Harmony or any one of the Universal Remote controls.  Controls don’t necessarily have to make up a significant portion of the overall budget, but they most certainly should be included with every installation.

Elegant But Simple

One of the most important rules when designing a control system for home theater or AV is the KISS method.  That stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.  Those that love technology have a tendency to over-complicate their controls in an attempt to provide as many bells and whistles as possible.  But clients rarely use all of these controls, so they usually just cause confusion and dissatisfaction.

A good rule of thumb is that it should take no more than 2 button presses to turn an audio video system on.  For a remote that is only controlling one room, this should be only a single button press.  So when the client wants to turn on the theater for watching a TV program they would press a button labeled “Watch TV” or “TV On”.  From there the macro within the remote should handle turning on all of the components in the system in the proper order and making sure they are on the correct inputs.  Companies like Twist Technology in Birmingham won’t even sell a system that doesn’t have some sort of automated control.

IR vs RF

When considering which type of remotes to use in your systems you will need to decide on either infrared or radio frequency.  IR remotes are generally cheaper, are not 100% foolproof.  One client of ours was known for pressing the “Watch TV” button and then throwing the remote onto the sofa where half of the IR commands fired into the cushions instead of at the equipment.  An RF system doesn’t have to be pointed in any particular direction so you’re less likely to encounter situations where certain commands are missed.

Some RF systems are more susceptible to interference from other devices such as phones or wireless networks, but for the most part they should operate very reliably.

Leverage Your Simple Controls

During the sales process it’s important that you give your client a good understanding of how easy your system is to use.  Those that are intimidated by technology will be willing to spend a great deal more if they know they will be able to enjoy their system without struggling with a remote control every time they use it.

So while you don’t need to budget a significant portion of your AV budget to control, it should always be included to ensure a happy and satisfied customer.

 

A Very Unique Los Angeles Home Theater

lord of the ringsOne of our favorite projects to date has been one that was wrapped up June of this year.  While the overall budget wasn’t as big as some of the projects we’ve been involved with, the client’s personal connections helped make for an unbelievable result.  He was able to bring in some of the most talented interior artists we’ve yet had the pleasure of working with.  When it was all said and done, a truly unique theater was born.

A World of Fantasy

This particular clients love is the world of fantasy.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy played a large part in the overall theme of the room.  Borrowing landscapes from many of the parts of Middle Earth, this theater makes you feel as though you are a part of this exciting world of magic and mayhem.

While the overall look of the room is fantastic, the challenges from an acoustical perspective were actually fairly unusual.  Because there are many hard surfaces in the theater room we ran into quite a few issues with reflections of high frequency sounds.  We were able to work around these issues by adding decor that broke up the surface area of these problematic spots.

One of the design features is life-size models of some of the Lord of the Rings Characters.  In the end we had to do some rearranging of their placement as we found that Gandalf’s robes were much better at absorbing sounds and Aragorn’s armor was much better at diffusing.  You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but it took us the better part of 3 days to manipulate these characters into the proper position to ensure the proper sound response from the room.

Unique Features

One of the more unique features of the room is a fountain that runs whenever the theater system itself is turned off.  It basically makes the room look and sound as though there is a stream running through it.  There is also a forest soundtrack that plays.  It literally makes you feel as though you are in the Shire.  Even the lighting system adjust for the different times of day.

The ceiling has to be one of the more incredible features I’ve seen to date.  It contains a starlight system that you can control via the Control4 touch panel.  But throughout the course of the day sunlight is simulated behind the ceiling.  This gives the impression of the sun traveling across the sky.  It’s incredibly lifelike.

Even with the challenges presented by the unusual decor this was an incredibly satisfying project on which to work.  The end result was a truly unique high performance theater that the homeowner absolutely loves.

This project involved quite a few different professionals.  But the ones we want to recognize the most are Elizabeth Dinkel Design who created all of the interiors.  While this was a different type of project for them, they provided their client with exactly what he wanted.

The home theater and automation system were installed by Audio Video Experts of Los Angeles.  They executed our plans to perfection.  Throughout the entire process they were extremely helpful and willing to quickly go onsite to answer any questions or issues that arose on the project.

If you are interested in discussing your dream theater, please contact us here.

Luxury Home Theater in Atlanta Georgia

high end home theaterUpdated 6/2/15:  Many thanks to the Atlanta home theater installation team we worked with on this project.  A few times each year we have the privilege of working on a truly world class project.  Certain customers are willing to spare no expense when designing the home theater of their dreams.  They allow us to take full control of the project and ensure that every detail is done exactly as it should be.  And while these systems do tend to be expensive, the performance is often far and away better than anything most consumers have ever experienced.

It Starts with Room Design

While most people think of extraordinarily expensive equipment as being the primary cost in building out a truly high end home theater, this isn’t always the case.  Designing a room from the ground up can also be expensive.  Our process involves building a room within a room.

This means that the dimensions of the theater room itself are determined.  Then an air gap is created by building another room around the theater that is about 6″ larger on all sides.  This gap is partially filled with insulation and the rest is left empty.  The air gap blocks low frequency sound waves and the insulation helps block high frequencies.  All of this is done to isolate the room from the rest of the house.

Within the room itself every detail is predetermined for optimal sound.  The shape and dimensions of the room ensure that no standing waves interfere with bass performance.  Carpet, seating, and wall decor ensure that reflections of high frequency sounds are kept to the bare minimum.

Speaker and Seating Placement

The next step is determining speaker and seating placement.  Most theaters are designed with a ‘sweet spot’.  This is the chair in which the sound is at it’s absolute best.  But the sound should be nearly perfect from every seat within the theater.  Once the room is built, a great deal of testing is done to ensure that frequency responses are as they should be from every location.

Much of this work is done before the room is built as wiring must obviously be in place well before the seating is installed.  All of these measurements are determined using historical data.

For this particular project the speakers are all hidden behind decor within the room.  All materials used in the process are as acoustically transparent as possible.  A screen across the front of the room hides the center, left, and right speakers and their associated amplifiers.  In this particular case Wilson Audio speakers were used, so it was truly a shame that they are hidden.

Screens were also built around the housings for the side and surround speakers.  All placements were designed to put the tweeters of the speakers just above ear level from the ‘sweet spot’ in the room.

Coordinating it All

A project like this isn’t without it’s difficulties.  Coordinating between builders, interior designers, and A/V integrators can often be challenging.  On this particular project we worked with Atlanta Home Theater.  They were a top notch group.  They stayed on top of all of the crucial design details.  For home theater installation Atlanta, there is no one better with which to work.

The Crestron control system they implemented on this project was both elegant and flawless in it’s design and operation.  This is a crucial step that should not be overlooked when implementing a system such as this.  To see some impressive video of these systems check out this home theater installation Youtube channel.

The Finished Product

After it was all said and done, the client was overwhelmed by the results of the project.  Upon walk-through there were nothing more than minute details that had to be changed.  The performance of the room is superb.  And the look is absolutely stunning.  It’s jobs like these that give us the greatest satisfaction.

Reliability is Key In Choosing Your Home Automation System

control 4 and crestron logoHome automation systems are becoming more and more popular in recent years. But they are still a relatively large investment. For this reason it is important to choose a system that has a history of reliability for your next home project.

The Big Three of Home Automation

There are several leading players in the world of home automation. The big three right now are Crestron, Control4, and Savant. Each one of these systems offer ease of control and beautiful hardware.

Crestron is one of the most popular home automation brands around. They’ve been in business for over 20 years. They have a vast number of products and parts available for just about any automation purpose. They have beautiful display panels that can display HD video or interface graphics for controlling your home. Of the 3, Crestron offers the most flexibility in terms of setup and programming. But there is a downside to this flexibility. Each system is programmed on-site by a specialist, and they all do things a little differently. This means that there is no set way of doing things. It often leads to problematic installs and flaky systems.

Control4 has approached home automation from a different direction. They saw no reason why systems should be exorbitantly expensive. So they designed a line of equipment that is literally a fraction of the cost of Crestron. To find a Tampa Control4 dealer near you, simply go to their website.

Savant is a relative newcomer in the game of home automation. They have been around for about 10 years now. They have based most of their hardware off of existing Apple products. This has enabled them to spend much less money getting products to market. This also means that you get the reliability of a Mac processor in your home automation system.

Their systems use iPads and iPhones to control everything in your home. It is by far the most stable and elegant of the three systems. A typical Savant system will control house music, climate, lighting, security system, and more. It literally gives you complete control of your entire house from one device. So if you are in your office and want to make sure that you turned on the alarm, you simply load your Savant app, and you can see every detail of your home remotely.

If you are interested in a home automation system from Savant you can contact a dealer in your area. For more information about smart home technologies visit Innovative Sight and Sound.