Tag Archives: home theater

You’ve just stepped out of the movie theater having watched the summer’s blockbuster and are blown away. Your chest is pounding, your head is reeling. For the past 2+ hours you were completely immersed, enveloped in every sight and every sound of the film, all perfectly orchestrated to put you at the center of the action. So, aside from being a large-scale commercial theater and having the volume cranked up, how did they do it and, better yet, how can you replicate this immersive experience in your home theater?

While you might have been drawn into the action through its stunning image quality, seeing details previously unseen, the same holds true for the audio. Whether DTS:X technology, Auro 3D or Dolby Atmos, 3D sound systems are bringing a new dimension to movies, gaming, television and music by adding a multi-dimensional level of realism.

The evolution of immersive audio

Listen for a moment to all the sounds surrounding you: a curtain blowing in the breeze of an open window, a car whizzing by, a text alert on your phone. You can visualize the exact location of each. For a movie or game to simulate this real-life experience, it must recreate the same 3D experience.  Having made a comeback in 1976 with the introduction of Dolby Stereo, surround sound systems ushered in a new era for audio. In 1977 popularity exploded with the release of Star Wars and its engaging rear-channel effects. The early ‘90’s brought us 5.1 surround systems and who can forget closing out the millennium with the famous Matrix Lobby shootout in 5.1 HDR? 7.1 surround brought audio to the rear of the room and by 2004 technology had gained such precision that we watched in awe as the blind dancer in House of Flying Daggers meticulously replicated the strike of each surrounding drum with her scarves. And do you remember the endless anticipation of watching the Star Ship Enterprise navigate to the space dock in 2009 or being charmed as Wall-E catapulted himself through space using a fire extinguisher? Audio places a dimension to the event.

In the center of it all

There are distinct differences between DTS and Dolby Atmos technologies, but each accomplishes an immersive audio experience by routing sounds to the exact spots from which they originate.  DTS:X adds a height element to a surround sound system which improves sound accuracy. Without the need for additional speakers, and regardless of the channel assignment or speaker placement, a compatible receiver can interpret and isolate an object’s location on-the-go and direct its movement and volume.

With Dolby Atmos however, this is done using 64 speakers in a commercial movie theater! To replicate that experience in your home theater requires only 14. Essentially, Dolby Atmos avoids the constraints of sounds being routed to specific channels. Instead, they are routed to particular speakers.  Here’s how it works: Dlby Atmos Demo Sound Test.

Legendary performance

The sensational movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” took full advantage of the Atmos technology. In addition to a stunning 4K image, the film provides a number of scenes showcasing Dolby Atmos on its UltraHD Blu-ray. The clearly defined sounds take you in and out of a recording studio and have you immersed in the 1985 Live Aid concert singing “We are the Champions.”

According to Dolby, manufacturers can embed Atmos in both hardware and software, so that your game console, laptop, soundbar and even your smartphone, can support the technology. Are you ready to make immersive audio part of your home theater? Call La Scala for a demo or in-home consultation and we’ll make your theater legendary!

Additional Resources:

Dolby Atmos Explained: What It Is, How It Works and Where to Get It

Surround Sound – The Audio Side of Home Theater

Top 10 Most Cliché Home Theater Demos

What is Dolby Atmos? All you need to know

The Immersive Audio You’ve Never Heard that could Revolutionize Virtual Reality

The History of Surround Sound

The quality of content these days is unprecedented, as are the vast number of options we have in accessing digital entertainment. Is your home theater or media room making the most of the high definition audio and video available? With summer blockbusters now available for streaming and the holidays just around the corner, now is a great time to add the home theater you’ve dreamed of or to upgrade your existing theater so that you may enjoy the very best audio and visual experience!

Whether you’re a movie lover, serious gamer or avid sports fan, a dedicated home theater is an exceptional space for home entertainment. And with technologies like Dolby Atmos and 4K, enjoying the sights and sounds in a room specifically designed for hi-performance audio and video create the ultimate entertainment experience!

What’s the right choice for you? Home Theater vs. Home Media Room

Your home media room offers a great space for enjoying some family-time movie-watching and for hosting your friends on game day. It can boast stunning OLED or 4K display quality along with Smart TV streaming and social media features. A well-designed and outfitted media room can also take advantage of exceptional audio through a surround sound or Dolby Atmos system. One potential downside however, is its central location; today’s open floor plans often place the media room adjacent to the kitchen. While this is great for engaging conversation, it is not ideal for either sound or picture quality as the room is open to the back and likely flooded with natural light. These features distract viewers from enjoying a truly immersive movie-watching experience.

Creating an immersive cinematic experience

A dedicated home theater includes technologies specifically designed to perform in the controlled space. Acoustic issues have been addressed for optimal sound as well as for noise-control from adjacent spaces. Custom seating is ideally positioned for comfort and viewing enjoyment rather than based on window placement or conversation. Speaker systems, like Bowers & Wilkins flagship custom theater series, can be positioned and calibrated in the defined space as designed.  This space is generally free of glare as it will rarely feature windows. If there are any windows, they will have been treated with black-out shades to maintain the perfect environment to soak in an afternoon football game or to binge-watch your favorite streamed series.

In a purpose-built space, décor doesn’t depend on the rest of the house, so the sky is the limit (actually, it’s not; you can add a custom fiber-optic constellation mural on the ceiling!). A home theater is also a place that reflects your personality and style– from mid-century modern to transitional or something all “you” like the Millennium Falcon, Batman’s lair or a wine cellar reminiscent of the south of France. Here’s a little inspiration: CinemaTech Gallery.

The set up can be one or multiple screens, or a hybrid of multiple screens for watching sports with a large projection screen that drops down for serious movie watching. Integrated controls allow the user to choose from a variety of streamed or local content. The content may be exclusive to the theater or shared across the home’s systems from a movie server.

Theater Trends

Aside from mind-blowing imagery and sound, what’s trending in custom theaters now?

Where will you be hosting holiday game-watching and cozy mid-winter movie nights? Give us a call and let’s get started planning the best seat in the house! Oh yeah, Josh, please start the movie!

Why go out to the sports bar, when you could build one in your own home?

 What comes to mind when you think of college football in Canada? Does the image of a crowded sports bar, or your friends and family struggling to view the same television screen come to mind? What about the ultimate in-home sports bar? Now, finding the best seat for the University of British Columbia game means never leaving the comfort of your own home.

When it comes to designing the ultimate in-home experience for game day viewing, a personal sports bar, with comfy furniture and lots of space to entertain, is highly sought-after. But what really matters is creating an immersive experience, complete with a large projection screen and high-definition projector or a huge flat screen television, and a complete surround sound system to bring the sights and sounds of the stadium into your home.

With your own in-home football zone, you never have to worry if the bar will be playing the right game, or if you’ll be entering into enemy territory. Your space can be designed around your team’s colors and memorabilia. Just think: acoustic paneling, comfy theater seating and wall art tailored for the ultimate UBC fan. Integrating your memorabilia and colors with the best audio and video can transform game day into an ultra-engaging sports experience.

Are fantasy sports more than just a hobby for you? Consider opting for multiple screens and watch multiple games at once, so you never have to miss a play. The ability to view multiple games and toggle between audio at the touch of a button gives any fantasy player an advantage on tracking stats.

And the options aren’t just limited to your home. Consider taking your dedication on the road with you, and deck out a mobile home like these Auburn football fans did, so that you always have the home-team advantage. Regardless of where you wish to create your personal “home team advantage,” give us a call and we’ll get your project kicked-off!

Gone are the days of home automation and luxury being two separate conversations and design concepts. More and more, luxury living is embracing home automation in order to provide optimal comfort solutions.

Imagine walking into your home, and the first thing your eye is drawn to is the artwork in your foyer – highlighted using experienced lighting design. Entertain guests with your high-tech wine cellar, complete with automated climate control and inventory management system. Even more, control the quality of the air inside your home.

And the options don’t end on the inside. Control luxury water features, audio and video entertainment systems, even operate a summer kitchen by the pool.

Home automation technology provides the epitome of luxury when combined with your own design style. The right technology will allow you to personalize your system to suit your lifestyle, giving you control of everything in your home – from the window shades, to the temperature and air quality, to your lights and even your security system. Advances in this technology provide you easy access to your entire home from your phone or tablet, and some systems can even operate via voice-activation.

With today’s trends in home automation luxury, nothing is off-limits. Whether you want a top-of-the-line smart kitchen, an all-encompassing security system, or an over-the-top outdoor movie theatre – there is a right mix of home automation technology for you that can be designed to suit your individual home design style.