Ideas to Make Your Entertainment More Fun in Greenwich
The term home theater brings to mind the dedicated room with plush seating designed to mimic that darkened, large screen experience in a commercial cinema. While that is still something we do and often asked for, today’s lifestyles often dictate some different approaches to that. Many clients want to enjoy food and games in their theater rooms, and traditional theater seating and layouts may not be optimal for their entertainment.
Fortunately, today’s home theater is not just a dedicated room with the seats, the big screen, and the projector that must be watched in the dark. With the incredible amount of technology available now, you have free reign to design the home theater or media room that’s right for you.
We’ve put together four trends in technology and design that can help you rethink what you want out of a home theater system in Greenwich. Ready to learn more? Just keep reading.
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A typical home theater setup might have been a projector and screen to get the size of screen necessary to achieve the cinematic effect. While the projector is still an excellent option and typically the best for the dedicated theater, other quality choices abound.
The newest flat panel technologies — OLED at the high end, and zone dimming LED panels at a variety of price points — zoom up to 85 inches in size, making an excellent option for an immersive experience in smaller rooms. 4K resolution (four times the amount in high definition sets) and HDR (high dynamic range) capability are the latest technologies which make the picture much more natural and three dimensional.
Ultra-short-throw projectors are an option for rooms that are short on space or where you want the size of a projected screen, but it’s challenging to mount one. These projectors are also coming in at various price points to fit many budgets. They are easier to set up than traditional projectors and can display screens up to 120 inches onto regular walls or, ideally, on a mounted screen.
The latest trend in theaters and media rooms is a combination of screens, which may involve one or more flat panels for casual viewing, and a drop-down screen paired with a projector for movies and sports when you want to entertain or have the more focused experience.
Sound Bars and Immersive Audio
The idea of the sound bars began as a way to offer a better sound experience to accompany flat screen TVs, whose speakers generally have poor sound. Sound bars are easy to set up and are designed to go with flat panel screens, usually being a more integrated approach to multichannel without having to install multiple speakers. They have evolved to the point where the highest end models can rival some home theater systems with separate speakers. For some multipurpose media rooms, it may be the right fit from a design and simplicity standpoint.
Immersive audio is used today to describe the latest surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos and its competitor DTS:X. Introduced in 2015, Dolby Atmos is a surround sound format that adds increased height and breadth to movie sound. It allowed movie sound engineers to precisely position audio effects in the sound field, making you feel like you were in the center of the action. The optimal Dolby Atmos setup involves ceiling mounted speakers for the height effects, but there are other options with speakers (and even soundbars) that fire up at the ceiling to simulate the height sound. With more movie soundtracks and content taking advantage of this technology, you would be wise to incorporate it into your home theater or media room audio system.
Perhaps your preference doesn’t lean to the theater-type experience with the darkened room for focused watching. You may want a centrally located, entirely media capable room that is also a game room or entertainment area for family and friends. More than movies might be on tap for entertainment — sports, live music events, or major news, for example, may be watched or simply be on in the background — in conjunction with food, drinks, and conversation. A multipurpose space may have different seating with comfortable sofas and chairs, there may be a pool table or other games, and there might be a kitchen area. You might design a space with multiple screens and an extended audio system to cover the entire area with clear audio. The choice is yours; no one says your home theater system is just for movies. With today’s video and audio options, it’s easier than ever to put it together.
Speaking to computers was once a science fiction dream right out of Star Trek and 2001 — A Space Odyssey. Whether it’s Siri on Apple products, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, or other variants, voice control has arrived and is now even part of our popular culture. While you can still use traditional remote controls and touchscreens in your home theater, voice control is adding a new dimension to making everything easier to manage. The latest streaming devices from Apple, Google, Amazon, and Roku — as well as smart TVs from Samsung and Sony — have varying degrees of voice capability for content search and control functions. More exciting, smart home systems like Savant can extend voice control over a variety of other devices like lights, window treatments, and thermostats through voice assistants like Alexa and Siri. Just say “Alexa, it’s showtime” and your motorized shades lower, your projector screen comes down from the ceiling, the lights dim, and your AV system fires up, ready for you to cue up the game or movie.
Want to get the most out of your home theater system in Greenwich? Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with our team. We’d love to hear from you!