When it comes to home theater, the trends can be a bit slippery. Time and technology are generally calling the shots. However, these things can pass just as quickly as animal rock fad. To prevent your home theater from becoming obsolete before your next attractions are over, you need to: Consider trends that can take a long time to go out of style.
Current home theater trends include giant screens, multiple screens, multitasking rooms, and hidden equipment. How can you go wrong with something in this range? Let’s take a closer look at some of the current trends in home theater design.
Multiple screens. While some home enthusiasts want to focus on a really good (or very big) screen, others like to have options. This could mean you have an HDTV for daytime viewing, with the option of having a larger projection screen coming down from the ceiling for nighttime movies and sporting events. It could also mean using the split screen feature on a large HDTV, which many TVs offer as an option these days. This allows you to use one side of the big screen to watch sports and the other to browse the web for stats and other information. Others prefer to have multiple screens on at all times. This is where a video wall could come in handy. Video wall solutions available for the home: Â¬ Homeowners today are stylish, stunning and easy to use. Plus, they’re capable of supporting apps that go beyond traditional home entertainment, providing enough viewing options to keep your whole family happy.
As with any advanced technology, multi-screen video wall systems don’t come cheap, ranging from around $ 4,000 to $ 20,000 or more. However, they will take your entertainment pleasure to a whole new level, where you can watch the news, stock reports and the big game at the same time. Or, you can use a system to keep an eye on the baby, the front door, and The Weather Channel while you watch a movie. Avid gamers will appreciate the ability to play one-on-one in the same room, each on their own screen, while seeing the trends on Twitter. It’s the ultimate entertainment experience that lets you take full advantage of the incredible assortment of viewing options available today.
There are two basic methods of setting up a video wall system. The first is to arrange several individual screens together on a wall surface; the second is to split a large screen (usually a projection screen, although large screen TVs are also possible) into individual viewing windows, also known as tiles or quadrants. Each solution will require the addition of sophisticated audio / video switches, processors, a custom programmed remote control and, of course, the A / V components of your choice, such as cable and satellite receivers, media servers, computers, Blu-ray players and surveillance cameras (eight sources is usually the maximum). These media sources connect to mixers and processors which, in turn, direct each video stream to a particular display or quadrant on a large screen and resize each frame to perfectly fit the allotted space.
In addition to providing a variety of content for your family room, a video wall system gives you the freedom to change the viewing arrangement on a whim. For example, with a custom-programmed tablet or touchscreen, you can quickly move ESPN programming from the left-most display to the large: middle-most screen when the sporting action gets intense, or make a window larger. on the projection screen to get closer watch the children, captured by a video camera directed towards the backyard.
Directing multiple video streams to various screens and windows increases the risk of being extremely complicated and confusing. However, most systems take this into account by providing customizable software that a professional home systems integrator can use to create a navigation menu that makes the process simple and straightforward. A menu commonly used by professional integrators would display on a tablet or touchscreen a graphical replica of the actual video wall. Just touch a particular screen in the menu and drag the icon of the component you want it to display and voila: – that image appears on the appropriate screen or quadrant of the video wall. The other screens and quadrants are configured in the same way. The menu also allows users to choose the audio they want to hear, whether it’s from the larger screen in the middle or a smaller screen to the side.
Become stealthy. It was cool to see how much A / V equipment someone could put in a room, as well as to watch this technology at work. Now the owners are choosing to run the technology behind the scenes. After all, a bunch of flashing lights doesn’t really enhance the realism of a romance or action scene. According to Brian Farley, vice president of Crescendo Designs, Ltd., an installation company in Southampton, NY, the home theater experience comes down to when the lights are out, which is 95% of the time the room is in use. . âThere is no benefit to seeing the equipment,â he says. âMost of these systems are not very attractive, even for a gearbox. “
However, it’s not just black boxes like a Blu-ray player or receiver that can be hidden. Many people opt for in-wall speakers and drop-down projection screens to help preserve the aesthetics of the room. Some even choose to disguise a big screen TV as a work of art using fabric, a frame, or just rotating pretty pictures on the screen using a dedicated PC or the background feature. ‘TV screen.
The most important aspect to consider when hiding equipment, whether in or out of the room, is how you are going to control it. Remember that infrared-based components need line-of-sight to be controlled. Otherwise, you will need to add a sensor, blaster, or extension cord to operate the system. Consider opting for RF (radio frequency) or Wi-Fi controllers, such as your smartphone or tablet, which can tap into components from almost anywhere.
Bigger is better. Farley says having a dedicated home theater isn’t just hotter than ever, it’s bigger than ever. Not only are people interested in building dedicated home theaters, but they also want it to accommodate the most advanced screens, speakers, and sound formats (such as Dolby Atmos) available.
âThe biggest trend is in the form of the theater. Movie theaters are getting bigger and bigger to accommodate the dispersion required to take advantage of new surround sound formats, âhe says. âWe are undergoing a paradigm shift in the way movie soundtracks are designed and played. Theaters that had seven speakers and one or two subwoofers were the pinnacle. We now have over 34 speaker / subwoofer combinations. Ultimately, the size of the room dictates how many speakers it will support.
Frank Karp, COO of New York’s Audio Video Systems, Inc., agrees. âWe went through a period where we were looking for more multi-purpose halls than dedicated theaters,â he says. âNow we’re starting to see dedicated theaters come back into fashion. Karp says multi-purpose rooms haven’t really gone away either, and in some cases customers will be installing both a dedicated home theater and a multi-purpose theater (see below).
Multipurpose rooms. Not everyone has the desire, need, or know-how to build a large, dedicated home theater. That doesn’t mean you should do without it. Multipurpose multimedia rooms are still in vogue. Often times, these rooms are disguised as casual viewing spaces, where you can entertain friends or sit on a comfortable sofa to watch the evening news. Then when it’s time to watch a movie, you can mount the wall speakers and trigger a screen that slowly descends from a hiding place in the ceiling.
âHome theaters used only for watching movies are the anomaly now. People use these spaces more as function rooms, âsays Sheri Griffin, president of Home Theater Design Group, a home technology company in Addison, Texas. She says in her experience, owners opt for multimedia spaces that can include a bar or playground, making the room more of a social space.
âWe work in very high-end homes that still have a dedicated media room, but I think what has happened is that a lot of people have built stand-alone media rooms and found that they weren’t using them as much as they thought. would be, âGriffin says. âWhat they use them now is really to bring the family together. The media are still the centerpiece of homes. It’s just used differently.
Secondary theaters. If you don’t have the option of having a king-size room that can accommodate a multitude of speakers and a larger-than-life screen, why not just have two entertainment areas? Having a second cinema in a house isn’t as far-fetched as it used to be. After all, once you get used to having a home theater room, going to a small screen in the bedroom or playroom seems so mundane: ful and a little lame. However, with a few extra amenities, these are perfect locations for a secondary theater. And you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional to create this piece. (Although that’s certainly not a bad idea.) A second home theater can be as simple as a big screen TV and surround sound system.
It’s important to note that if you want a smaller system, you may be able to power yourself from the cable / satellite box in the main home theater, as well as the A / V receiver. Several receivers have an option for a second zone, which can place two audio channels in a different zone of the house. If you are planning to install a pair of speakers or a few walls in a room with a large screen, this could be a great opportunity to use the equipment that is already in the main viewing area.
Are you looking to create an impressive home theater system? In the Complete Guide to Home Theaters: You’ll receive tips and advice on how to turn any room into a sensational home theater.