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Transforming Space & Time: Building Your Dream Home Theater




Time is precious! Time is arguably the most precious gift we have as human beings. Finding moments of enjoyment and relaxation in this fast-paced modern world is tough. Enter stage left, the Home Theater: a never ending supply of entertainment and delight right at your fingertips. Oh yeah, did I mention you don’t even have to leave your house! This week we will explore the appeal of home theaters, the basics for creating your own, and why they’ve become a criterion for today’s luxury homes.

 

In The Beginning Was The Word: The Latest in Sound Platforms


Sound is the heartbeat of all cinematic experiences. Here are some of the most notable sound platforms that have taken immersive sound to unprecedented levels.

 

Dolby Atmos

Surfacing as the gold standard in immersive sound, Dolby’s traditional channel-based audio takes new form with the introduction of object-based audio. With Atmos, speakers are placed within a three-dimensional space giving the viewer an envelope of sound that emanates from all directions. Where channel-based audio was limited to left, right, front and back movements, Dolby’s Atmos adds a number of height channels which allows the sound to additionally move up and down, creating more of a 360 degree immersion of sound.

 

DTS:X

Built upon the concepts of object-based audio, DTS:X dynamically renders sound based upon the capabilities of the speakers and system to deliver the optimal feel of immersion irrespective of the number or configuration of speakers. In other words, it’s a good option if Dolby Atmos placement isn’t feasible.

 

Auro-3D

Auro-3D focuses more on the physical height channels to create the three-dimensional soundstage. Much Like DTS:X, Auro is a great option when true Atmos placement is just not possible.

 

Let There Be Light: Unlocking Visual Splendor

 

Brightness: Light it Up

Measured in lumens, brightness plays a critical role in a projectors ability to create a dynamic and vibrant image. For rooms that are completely blacked out, a lumens anywhere from 1500-3000 will be sufficient to create the desired level of illumination, also known as “foot lamberts”. For rooms that are prone to ambient light, you’ll want to look for a projector that has 3000 lumens or higher.

 

Contrast Ratio: The Life Force of Images

Simply named, the contrast ratio is the measured difference between the brightest and darkest points of the image that a projector or T.V. is able to generate. This contributes to the richness of color, and  the detail of blacks. It’s typical to see an advertised contrast ratio of 2000:1 or 3000:1. This means that the brightest white the projector can create is 2000 or 3000 times brighter than the darkest black. In my experience, the higher the better. So long as the number is actually true and not an inflated sales tactic. Higher end manufacturers tend to be more truthful with this number.

 

Throw Ratio: Location Location Location

The throw ratio, often written as 1.60:1, or some variation thereof, will determine a projectors image size relative to the distance between the projectors lens and the screen.  Calculating a throw distance can be a bit confusing so click the link here for a simple throw distance calculator https://www.projectorcentral.com/projection-calculator-pro.cfm

 

 

How to Build a Home Theater

 

Whether you want to make your own Home Theater or hire a professional to do it for you, it is a very exciting journey!

 

Budget

All projects come to fruition with a clear budget. First you will want to determine how much you are willing to invest in your new home theater. Some things to consider are: soundproofing, wall fabric, lighting fixtures, risers and stages, audio video equipment, seating and finish décor.


Choose Your Space

Nature abhors a vacuum so choose your space and make room for your vision to become a reality. Dedicated rooms or basements are ideal but a well designed living or family room can be just as impactful if you're limited on real estate.


Design

Once you have a general budget and have a space picked out, you’ll want to begin putting your vision on paper. Start off with seating placement. Once you know where your chairs, sofas etc. will be placed you can move on to speaker placement. Afterwards you will want to determine the size of your screen which will dictate where the projector will be placed. Sometimes space is limited so your projector placement may not have any flexibility which will then dictate the size of screen you will be able to project onto. After all of that is figured out you will be able to design the lighting and finish décor to finalize the room.


Select Your Equipment

Choosing which equipment you will be able to use is sometimes dictated by the design phase and where you have constraints or flexibility. If you’re hiring a professional, you will likely have more to infinite flexibility so they will be able to design a theater that will support the best video and sound capabilities the market has to offer.


Display:

Laser projectors and  Led projectors will be best. If space is limited you may have to go with a television. Then you’re looking at LED, OLED, or QLED.

Audio: Go for Dolby Atmos if your room will support the layout. Auro-3D next, and DTS:X if you must Most audio video receivers and processors are able to support these formats, just make sure you pick a model that supports the amount of speakers your space will require and has ample power to drive the speakers.


Sources and Other Components:

Streaming devices such as an Apple TV or Roku albeit very popular, are not the best options available. If you have room in the budget, look into Blu-ray Players and high end movie servers such as Kaleidescape. If you’re truly into the video experience you will want to look into video processors like Lumagen, MadVR etc.


Control:

Nothing kills the home theater experience more than fumbling around with a drawer full of remotes. I recommend investing in a universal remote control system. Properly programmed they can turn on every component in the system, select the right inputs, set lighting to appropriate viewing levels, lower shades and drapes, and even set the temperature to something a little more cozy. All of which can be can be done with the single press of a button.


 

Creating a home theater can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. One that allows you to transport yourself into another world of breathtaking experiences and unforgettable adventures. All, of course, without ever having to leave home.  Click the button below to get a free consultation.


-Almond Audio Video



 

 

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