With new technology and home theater becoming a more prominent fixture in homes, the industry is looking for ways to maximize both the quality and style of residential media rooms. Creating a space that is both high tech and beautiful is a relatively new item on homeowners’ priority lists, but we are here to help get your home set up for movie nights, prime-time fall television and the big game.
Ravi Macha, president of TechArt Home Theater, Inc., says there is a lot more to a media room than a big picture and loud sound. His philosophy is that the purpose of home theater is to create a system that will reproduce a movie (or another production) as closely as possible to the director’s intent for consumption.
“This is the premise of the development of digital video and audio (DVD format),” Macha says. “Digital format allows for easy calibration of the system to match the performance of the standard reference setup used by the Director to create the DVD. The advent of HD and Blu-Ray has simply raised the bar for the home theater experience.”
David Pigeon, of Starpower Home Theater, says that the new technologies being offered in home theater are creating a more impressive display. Among that technology is the new development of 3-D television.
“Clearly, 3-D is dominating the excitement in new home media rooms right now,” Pigeon says. “Watching a movie or sporting event where the action is literally jumping off the screen is an incredibly exciting experience.”
Samsung is among the first to market this new technology to consumers, and they appear to be having a lot of success in doing so. They have created televisions with built-in 3-D processors that are able to convert 2-D content into 3-D in real time, potentially making a great movie or game into a much more exciting experience.
Another must-have for your media room? All access! Pigeon says the ability to control everything with the touch of a button is an important part of the upgrade you may be looking for and is a way to stay connected.
“The hottest media rooms include lots of gadgets that allow easy access to tons of media and content from the never ending choices of the internet,” he said. “Media rooms are now seamlessly-connected to the internet and get even more exciting when you add multiple screens and high performance gear and speakers to really create the “multimedia” experience. Being able to access all of your social media, email and entertainment easily through your media room touch panel creates an amazing experience that will get you fully immersed into your own electronic world.”
There are a lot of ways to use your new and existing gadgets to enhance your technology. Macha suggests getting your phone, computer and media room tech all on the same page.
“A programmed universal remote which operates all equipment and macros that automates turning on, off or switching the system to different sources is a must,” Macha says. “Other options include touch screens and iPhone and iPad apps. An automated lighting control dimmer, which works with remote, would add a nice touch to the home theater. A remote can be programmed to turn off the lights gradually as the system is turned on and the other way around when you are done watching the movie. It also allows turning on the lights without getting up from your seat.”
Setting up a media room by maximizing the technology available to you is the best way to recreate the ease and experience of the cinema.
Pigeon says that buyers will be seeing less and less of a hit on their wallets when purchasing new technology and electronics. This may be the time to invest in the larger screen you’ve always wanted!
“Prices have really dropped in recent years, so larger screens are now much more affordable,” he said. “Media rooms have evolved into what everyone dreamed they would be when they were first introduced as an essential part of any new home. Finally, pricing has become very reasonable for anyone dreaming of a truly interactive media room.”
So what are the questions you should ask yourself before investing in a media room? Pigeon offers a few things to consider.
“A media room has so much potential,” Pigeon says. “Prior to shopping, you should consider: How many hours a week will I spend in this room? How many movies a week will I be watching in there? How many people should it be able to seat? Do I want one large screen or several screens? Who will need to be able to use the room? How important is the quality of sound? How many different things do I want to experience in the room? Once you have this information, a professional will want to take into consideration: lighting, walls, accessibility of ceiling, size, ceiling height, location of room, desired uses, wiring needs and other factors to guide you properly.”
Another thing to consider is the design and décor of your media room. The way you design your space will affect your experience, so it’s important to take the time and do the research to ensure you have a space that is maximizing the potential of your system.
Macha offers some advice about color and design. He warns that even the choice between flat and glossy paint can make a difference.
“[Your] room plays a significant role in a home theater,” he says. “A dark room enhances the contrast ratio and the color saturation. [The] room should be painted with a dark color – although not necessarily black – that has low reflectivity. A flat paint is preferred and glossy paints should be avoided. Based on the room size and what is in the room, different frequencies of sound reflect back to your seating differently. Certain frequencies sound louder and certain frequencies will be toned down. Some soft treatments as opposed to hard walls in the room will help in achieving better sound.”
Seating in your media room is perhaps the most important part of your experience. Uncomfortable or misplaced seating can make or break your room. Zuri Contemporary Furniture offers many pieces to finish out your space, like the ZaZa, a double chaise extending to more than 11 feet. And, of course, choosing the right media room unit is very important as well. Zuri also offers units that are both sleek and practical. Make sure to assess your personal expectations and determine a realistic picture of how you will use your media room, how often you will use it and how many people you will have in the room.
These questions will help to create a design of what will be the most beneficial and comfortable pieces and technologies.
–By Addison Magazine