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Audio News for June 4, 2013

CinemaScope Home Theater Setup; How to Build Your First Home Theater From Nothing; Digital Room Correction (DRC)

Published on June 4, 2013

CinemaScope Home Theater Setup – The Connecticut homeowners were no strangers to home theaters and wanted theirs to be truly unique this time. Advanced Home Audio of Shelton delivered them a home theater room that dazzles at every turn. The screen has motorized masking panels to adjust from 16:9 aspect ratio to 2.35:1 CinemaScope super-wide image. The screen size, speakers and curtain in the front proscenium were carefully balanced to maintain a “floating” ceiling, while still providing superior performance. It has a SIM2 C3X Lumis projector with a 130-inch curved Stewart Filmscreen taking up most of the front wall in the narrow room. The homeowners’ vast movie collection is stored and served up via a Kaleidescape digital system. The rear wall for the video projector is aided by an Acoustic Smart interior acoustic panel treatment system. At the front an Acoustic Smart theater curtain sets the stage for a dramatic beginning to any movie. The AMX control system and Vantage lighting system allow the homeowners easy operation to set the ambiance for entertaining and for the show. The narrower space and somewhat limited ceiling height due to pre-existing mechanical systems provided a number of challenges. All mechanical obstructions had to be moved and re-routed to gain the additional ceiling height need for a requested third row of seating. The entryway also had to be architecturally centered from the stairwell to maintain the design. The surround sound system features an array of Bay Audio speakers fed by McIntosh electronics.

How to Build Your First Home Theater From Nothing – This useful advice comes from Lifehacker.com:  1. Get a new HDTV. New models are thin and light, and have built-in Internet stream, Wi-Fi and other features. You may not need a huge screen, and you may not use the “Smart TV” features; there are third-party boxes which can do more now. (And don’t forget OTA reception (Over-The-Air). 2. Get a new receiver and connect all your gear to it. 3. Get at least a pair of decent speakers, which come at all sizes and price points. 4. Or get an good soundbar at a fraction of the cost of surround speaker systems. 5. Pick the proper cables, labels and power for your system. No need to get the most expensive cables—plain old speaker cable works well. 6. Find a way to darken the viewing area and turn down the brightness of your HDTV — that always results in a much better screen image. 7. Don’t be afraid to sit closer to your speakers; most people sit too far back, and they sound better closer.

Digital Room Correction (DRC) – may be the solution to poor sound in your home theater/audio system.  Don’t forget to carefully measure the distance of each speaker from your listening position and entering that in your component’s memory.  If you have tried adjusting speaker locations and levels, furniture and acoustic treatments and it still sounds bad, you may need a receiver or preamp with a DRC-capable package built in or get one as software for your computer. Audyssey is one of the best, but there are proprietary ones from various component makers. The Trifanov process has been getting acclaim from audiophiles. DRCs come with a special small mic that you plug in and place at your “sweet spot.” Then it does an automatic EQ process from menu options that might take from five to 20 minutes. It plays test tones thru each speaker and records the output using the mic. The unit then compares those with a target magnitude and makes adjustments until the measured value for each speaker matches the desired value, giving you a custom EQ specific to your speakers and room. Some DRCs will let you move the mic around the address more issues thruout your room.  They can be a useful tool to improve the sound quality of your home theater or surround system. But sometimes they fail and setting it up manually is your only recourse.




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