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How to Enhance Your Home Theater with Smart Lighting

Home theater design is all about adapting your room to enhance your new speakers, projector, and screen. Every aspect of the space can be adjusted to give you the best audio and video quality possible. For the latter, much of the focus is on creating the right lighting environment. Through blackout shades, stylistic adjustments, and smart control, we help you design a movie-watching experience in your Wilmette, IL home that mimics the one in a commercial theater.

SEE MORE: 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

Eliminate Ambient Lighting

A big part of your home theater design is making the room as dark as possible. We recommend installing your system in a room with no windows, but if that's not feasible you can install blackout shades to reduce light coming in from the outside. You can also modify your décor to keep light from bouncing around the room. Use darker colors for your walls, ceilings, and carpeting and avoid using decorations that include glass enclosures.

Centralize Control of Lights

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How to Resolve Common Home Theater Design Mistakes

Home theater design is all about creating the perfect environment for the images and sounds from your favorite movies to flourish. Every little corner of the room is taken into account to make sure your speakers, screens, and projector are given the necessary space to shine. When we're brought in on retrofit jobs to fix old DIY home theaters, we often come upon the same design mistakes that can result in blurred images, muffled sound and an uncomfortable viewing experience. Below we go over some of these common challenges and how we can help you overcome them.

SEE MORE: 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

1. Uncomfortable Seating Arrangements

As you begin work on your home theater system, you need to figure out how you want to use it. Will it be primarily used by the family? Then a communal couch where everyone can huddle together under a blanket may be the best option. If you’re going to use it with friends, it may be more comfortable if everyone has their own leather recliner. If you don’t consider this from the start, you may end up with an awkward arrangement that ruins the viewing experience.

2. Fitting All the Necessary Speakers

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What is the Best Location for Your Home Theater?

What is the Best Location for Your Home Theater?

When it comes to home theater design, like in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. All of your high-end equipment needs the right environment to thrive in your Barrington, IL home. From the type of flooring to the room dimensions, the space you choose will all affect the quality of the sound and images as well as the kind of equipment you’ll need. Read on to see the room characteristics that could affect your theater’s performance: 

SEE MORE: What is the Best Surround Sound Setup for Your Home Theater?

Size:  There's no rule as to how big a room has to be. As with most entertainment spaces, you want to strike a delicate balance: if a room is too big it may be hard to hear well and see images clearly while a small one will be cluttered and likely lead to muffled sound.

Room Dimensions: Your room’s dimensions are much more important than its size. You want to make sure you’re not placing your theater in a square room as that will lead to distorted sound and an awkward home theater design. For one, choosing the size of your screen will not only come down to whether it fits in the room. You also have to be able to sit far enough from it to view the screen comfortably while leaving space for all the rows of seats that you want.

Windows: Ideally, you want your theater in a room that has no windows to eliminate ambient lighting. If you have no choice, we can install blackout shades that can reduce the amount of light entering the room. We can also give you smart control of those shades, so you can use your universal remote to open and close them instead of having to get up from your seat.

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What Are Some Ways to Enhance Your Home Theater Design?

Your home theater is only going to be as good as the equipment in it. Which is why a big focus of your installation will be on finding the right speakers, screens, and projectors. But a lot more than that goes into crafting a comprehensive home theater design. Check out some features you should consider when upgrading the entertainment in your Winnetka, Illinois home.

SEE MORE 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater

Enhance Your Style With Hidden Technology

When you’re purchasing equipment, focus not just on its performance but also how it will fit into your overall design. Most AV manufacturers offer ‘hidden technology’ options that provide a discreet approach to your home theater. This way you can show off your style without losing any of the quality.

When it comes to your speakers, you can go with KEF in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. Get all the benefits of a Dolby Atmos surround sound setup while keeping your equipment hidden. Your screen is also easy to conceal. If you don't want it to be seen when your theater is not in use, invest in a retractable screen that disappears into the ceiling at the press of a button.

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Home Theater Design Guide: Choosing the Perfect Screen

To get the traditional movie theater experience in your Kenilworth, Illinois home, you’ll need more than a popcorn machine and great acoustics. The size, shape, and type of theater screen will have a huge impact on movie quality. In this home theater design guide, we’ll teach you what to look for in a home theater screen as well as what factors may impact the installation process.

SEE MORE: 4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

Size
When it comes to home theater design, bigger does not always equal better. The size and shape of the room, the seating arrangements, and the type of projector will all impact the size of your home theater screen. Here are some tips to keep in mind when calculating size:

  •  Leave room for speakers: You may think you have an 180-inch space to house your home theater screen, but don’t forget about the components that may need to go next to it: speakers. While you can get away with placing speakers behind the screen (we’ll cover that more in the Materials section), you may need to budget for space below or to the sides of the screen, which will require a smaller screen size.
  •  Accommodate for seating locations: When you go to a conventional theater, the first row of seats isn’t likely your ideal choice. Sitting so close to a large screen strains the neck and eyes, and the image may show up slightly pixelated. For a 120-inch home theater screen, you’ll want a minimum distance of 12 feet between the screen and the first row of seats. If you have more space to work with, you can pursue a larger screen.
  • Verify Your Projector’s Capabilities: Is your projector a high enough quality to handle a large screen size? If your projector isn’t powerful enough to cover the size of your screen, your movies will look washed out and dull. If you haven’t chosen a projector yet, your home theater installer will be able to calculate the needed specifications and choose the best projector for the job.

Material
There are many materials available for home theater screens, each designed to optimize viewing quality for different environments. The two biggest factors that will impact what type of material you choose for your screen will be where you place your speakers and whether you want a fixed placement screen or a retractable one.

For home theater designs where the speakers are behind the screen, you’ll want to choose a perforated or woven screen. These screens have pinprick holes that let sound pass through without visually compromising the picture.

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What’s the Best Surround Sound Setup for Your Home Theater?

What’s the Best Surround Sound Setup for Your Home Theater?

The reason watching movies in a theater is such a memorable experience is not only the larger-than-life motion pictures but also the sound that engages you from all sides. As you prepare the perfect home theater design for your Lake Forest, Illinois property, it's important that you consider which surround sound setup you want to install. Having the right audio in place could make all the difference.


SEE MORE:
4 Steps to Designing the Ultimate Home Theater System

Upgrade to the Dolby Atmos Experience

Dolby Atmos has taken the surround sound experience to the next level in both commercial theaters and at home. The new technology aims at creating a three-dimensional sound so you can follow the action. Hear a plane flying over you from the front of the room all the way past you.  Every little detail is heard crisply and precisely where it should be.

Traditionally, surround sound systems would break sound up between two or more channels (each corresponding to a different speaker). This meant sounds in a specific channel could only be heard from that angle. In a Dolby Atmos system, sounds are treated as individual ‘objects' that can be moved throughout the room without being confined to one channel. This allows sounds to move around freely for truly realistic audio in your home theater.

 

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Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Product Spotlight: A Look at Control4’s EA Series

Figuring out which technology is the best fit for your Highland Park, Illinois home can be an intimidating task. Whether you’re looking for a full smart home solution or an upgrade to your family room, you want an impressive system that’s reliable while still falling within your family’s budget. As the premier Control4 dealers in the area, one of our primary roles is to be your technology advisers. As part of that role, we'd like to introduce you to Control4's new EA series which gives you intuitive control of your favorite technology and entertainment. Check out our latest review to see some of the series’ best features.

SEE MORE: How to Extend the Reach of Your Favorite Entertainment


Control of All Your Home’s Technology

The new EA series (which stands for Entertainment Automation) is focused on creating a unique entertainment experience while making your home smarter. It can control products capable of high-resolution audio and 4K video while managing your lights, thermostat, security and more from the same system. Your entire home can be controlled from a smart remote, touchpad or the Control4 mobile app.

Easy Access to All Your Favorite Entertainment

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Should You Use a Screen or Television in Your Home Theater Design?

Should You Use a Screen or Television in Your Home Theater Design?

Selecting the type and size of your video display is one of the first steps of home theater design. While many people are adamant that a theater is not complete without a screen-and-projector combination, there are also benefits to going with a large flat-panel television instead. Below we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each option to see which one works best for your Glencoe, Illinois home.

SEE MORE: What Are the Best Uses for Your Home Theater System?

 

Screen

Pros: A screen-and-projector setup gives a home theater design more authenticity. It helps viewers feel like they’re really in a theater environment. One reason has to do with is aspect ratio. The preferred ratio for studio productions is 2.35:1 which is not available on any TVs on the market. So if you want to perfectly recreate the images from a commercial theater at home, a screen is the way to go.

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Office:
655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200

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Office:
655 Academy Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
p:  (847) 868-9200


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