Home cinema technology moves at a very rapid rate with video systems such as TV’s and projectors moving most quickly followed by surround sound electronics with the speakers themselves being the most future proofed as speaker technology has not changed dramatically for many years. Given this we typically advise clients who are looking to invest in a home cinema system but are concerned about equipment quickly becoming of of date to invest larger proportions of their budget in future-proof cabling, speakers systems and amplification which will not go out of date with smaller spend going in to the projection or TV side of the system thus allowing more freedom to upgrade these systems over time as new formats become available.
Key facts to be aware of when investing in a home cinema room and home cinema technology would be as follows:
- 1080p, 4k Ultra HD and HDR – If your screen is smaller than 55” don’t worry too much about 4k as you will struggle to see the difference. A HDR ready display though is a must as the colour and contrast boost is huge and will make all your compatible content look brighter and more lifelike.
- Dolby Atmos – The latest and greatest sound format is a completely new technology from previous formats such a Dolby Digital where instead of having just 5 or 7 speakers to select from the sound designers at movie studios can now place a sound object anywhere in the room and speakers available in any given system then recreate that sound in the appropriate position within a room – the more speakers you add the better the quality of the experience. Dolby Atmos also add heights channel speakers to systems meaning sound now travels all around and above you for the most enveloping surround sound experience to date. Any new cinema installation should be using this technology and correctly installed and calibrated the results are a huge improvement over previous systems.
- Room Acoustics – If you are thinking of installing a high-quality cinema or media room you must consider the acoustics as even the best sound system will sound terrible when installed in a room with hard plaster walls, wooden or tiled floors and vast expanses of glass as the sound will bounce around of all the hard surfaces and make for a muddled and unclear sound. Any good cinema room design will involve the creation of a 3d model and simple calculations as to the acoustic properties of the room and will then work out how to place the correct acoustic materials in each area to be aesthetically pleasing whilst ensure the equipment performs to its optimum. Post-installation calibration is also very important to make the final performance as good as possible and we are yet to come across a system which does this better than DIRAC supported by Arca