Home Theatre Audio / Video
Home Theater Audio Systems
While most people are initially wowed by the big, enveloping picture of our home theaters, the sound quality is just as important. Great home theater sound creates the feeling that you're actually in the environment shown on the screen.
In addition to the usual front left and right speakers, a surround system adds a front center speaker, rear left and right speakers, and one or more subwoofers. The front speakers reproduce the on-screen action: dialog, music, and sound effects like left to right motion. The rear speakers create the illusion of ambient space. They're also needed for recreating front to back motion effects. And finally, subwoofers are used to reproduce very low sounds, like explosions or earthquakes. The placement of the speakers in your room is very important to the overall effect. So is the character of your floors, walls and ceiling. Our professional system designers will ensure that your home theater is engineered for the best possible sound.
A high-quality multichannel audio system surrounds the listener with realistic, lifelike sounds from all directions. A well-designed system will perform equally well for all of the following:
Playback of movie and surround TV soundtracks, at a quality level that exceeds commercial cinemas
Convincingly recreate the acoustic space of the room or hall in which music was recorded
Create musical experiences where the listener is at the center of the performance, with musicians all around
Our experts will help you determine the best multichannel audio system, depending upon your priorities:
If you will listen to 2-channel stereo music on this system, and if this listening is most important to you, then invest in the best front left and right speakers, even if this means compromising elsewhere
If home theater or multi-channel audio listening is most important, then invest in a high-quality center speaker
If stereo and home theater listening are equally important, then invest in excellent front left and right speakers and an excellent center channel speaker
The acoustics of the room will also greatly affect the performance of the surround system. If you are in the process of building a room, we suggest that you consider acoustics when you decide on the size of the room and the listening position. Our system designers will be happy to assist you in creating the ideal acoustic environment for your movies and music.
The heart of our high performance multi-channel audio systems is a high-end receiver, or a surround-sound processor. The surround-sound processor or receiver performs the following functions:
Controls which source you're listening to (CD, DVD, VCR, FM Radio, etc.)
Controls the sound levels and other electrical characteristics (delay, crossover point, etc.) of each channel
Performs the surround decoding (Dolby Digital, DTS, or others)
Converts the digital signal to analog for output to the amplifiers and speakers
Converts analog inputs to digital for further processing
Surround sound processors vary greatly in sound quality and capabilities. In addition to the sonic merits of the equipment, you may wish to consider ergonomics; some processors are easier to use than others.
Home Theater Video Systems
We'll design your home theater with the best video system for your lifestyle and budget. The video system begins with a high-quality source like HDTV, DVD, or digital satellite.
Today, video display technologies offer a spectrum of choices, each with a unique set of advantages. The best pictures are created through a combination of high resolution, high brightness, and professional setup and calibration. Our experts will assist you in choosing the best technology, taking your priorities into consideration:
Some technologies are quite a bit more expensive than others.
The largest direct-view CRT (i.e. television) is at most about 30" wide, whereas a projection system can be 8 feet wide, or more.
Brightness, black level, color saturation, color accuracy, grayscale accuracy, uniformity, correct geometry, freedom from artifacts, freedom from visible scan lines or pixels, smoothness of motion, and others.
Your room and lifestyle.
Some displays require a completely dark room with special light control, while others can be used with some ambient room light.
Choosing the best product for your needs requires a familiarity with all the available technologies and the latest product models. We recommend that you consult us early in your project. As a general guide, we've outlined some of the options below.
Very bright, great blacks, great color, good price/performance, good in high ambient light. Available in 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Cons: Small image size, only about 30" wide maximum; not all provide full HDTV resolution
Work well with ambient light, very bright, good blacks, good color . Flat and stylish; only a few inches deep. When custom installed, they look great even when turned off. Cons: More expensive than direct-view or rear-projection sets for size & picture quality; some do not have full HDTV resolution.
Front Projection - CRT
Large image size; 60"-84" wide. Fairly bright, good blacks, great resolution, good color. Excellent overall picture quality; compatible with all HDTV resolutions. Takes no floor space. Cons: Needs complete light control, preferably with dark walls. Projector is physically big; requires initial calibration and periodic calibration touch-ups.
Front Projection - DLP
Large image size; 72"-100" wide. Very bright, good blacks, good color. Projector is compact and setup is easy. Takes no floor space. Cons: Fixed resolution, overall picture not as detailed as the best CRTs. Complete light control preferred, preferably with dark walls
Front Projection - D-ILA
Very large image size; 96"-144" wide. Very bright; high resolution capable of fully-resolving all HDTV formats. Projector is compact and setup is easy. Takes no floor space. Cons: Blacks not as good as CRT; more expensive than LCD. Complete light control preferred, preferably with dark walls.
Rear Projection CRT
Moderately large image size; 32"-60" wide. Very bright; some room ambient light is OK. Good resolution, many are capable of resolving all HDTV formats. Cons: Television is large; often involves integration into a custom cabinet. Setup is required to adjust convergence and color balance.
Because of the current transition to high-definition television, we recommend choosing a product that can display HDTV signals. Any other choice today would be obsolete in a few years. We'll be happy to help you find the HD-ready display that's right for you.