by Theatron | Dec 23, 2015 | Home Theater
The party this New Year’s is at your house — in your home theater. A movie party is super fun to plan and host, and the best part is that you don’t even have to brave the cold or travel anywhere to have a great time!
Your first order of business is to decide what movies you’re going to show. Sure, you could choose New Year’s Eve, but that might be a bit too obvious. You might want to choose 200 Cigarettes instead, but if there’s a chance children might be wandering in and out of your party, mmmaybe not. If you’re looking for something G-rated, you could always turn on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Select a Genre
It’s fun to choose a theme independent of the holiday — horror, science fiction, action. Once you decide, you can ask guests to dress up as their favorite characters from the movies on your list. You might get Freddy Kruger, Darth Vader or the Terminator!
Your guest list may depend on your seating arrangement. If you have theater-style seating, you’ll be limited by the number of chairs you have. If you have more space, you can use the floor for seating, or set up folding chairs once you’re ready to start the screening. Unless your chairs are affixed to the floor, you can push them to the perimeter before or after the movies to make more room for mingling.
Don’t forget to plan your menu ahead of time. Of course you have to have popcorn. Consider renting a commercial popcorn maker, and get some red-and-white-striped bags for authenticity. Have boxes of Mike and Ike’s and huge candy bars on hand too (but don’t charge your guests $4 apiece for them — that’s too authentic).
Hard and Soft Drinks
Of course you’ll want champagne, but also get some 44-ounce plastic cups for servings of soda so large they’d outlaw them in New York! If you look online, you might be able to find cups to match your movie choices, providing they’re recent and/or really popular (read: Hunger Games, Star Wars, etc.).
Go all out with the invitations. If it’s possible to snail mail them, make up cards that look like movie tickets and tell your guests they must bring them for admission. Don’t use cardstock that’s too heavy, though, or you won’t be able to tear them in half easily.
Home theaters are great for parties, small get-togethers, children’s sleepovers and date nights with your sweetheart. To learn more, contact the experts at Theatron Home Theater and Smart Home Automation . Stop in for a free consultation — we can help you with all aspects of your home theater — setup, seating, installation, upgrading and more.
by Theatron | Sep 24, 2015 | Home Theater, What's New
Imagine experiencing a movie at home that sounds so realistic, it feels as though the jet onscreen is flying through your home theater. The details are amazing – you can pinpoint a mosquito hovering near your ear! This is the type of ultra-realistic sound that Dolby Atmos technology provides at home, surpassing what traditional 5.1- and 7.1-channel surround sound available today. It’s the kind of effect that will make your friends’ jaws drop and envelop you in the ultimate theater experience at home.
A different approach
Dolby Atmos goes beyond the “channel” approach of these traditional surround sound systems by freeing the sound stage and allowing audio elements to be placed anywhere in the room, even above the audience. Dolby refers to this technology as “object-based” audio because any sound can be mixed as a single audio element—an object—that’s independently placed in three-dimensional space. Sounds are choreographed along with the onscreen action for an über-precise soundstage that makes you feel like you are truly there. The resulting home cinema experience becomes that much more rich, immersive and lifelike as the picture and sound are more closely woven together. With the ability to support up to 128 simultaneous objects, Dolby Atmos, lets you experience a soundtrack as you would in a real-world environment. While Dolby Atmos was first to the object-based audio arena, competing surround sound technology company DTS followed suit in April with the announcement of its version, DTS:X object-based surround.
The right equipment
To enjoy the technology in your home theater, in addition to a Blu-ray and/or streaming media player, you’ll need a Dolby Atmos A/V receiver (or preamp/processor), which will handle all of the necessary signal processing to reproduce the audible objects where they need to be in your home theater room. You will want overhead sound capabilities, which means standard overhead speakers or new Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, which are engineered to direct sound upward, where it reflects sound off the ceiling to produce lifelike sound effects. Whether you choose to add to your existing speaker system or opt for a completely new system is up to you, thanks to Dolby Atmos’ backward compatibility.
Call Theatron Home Theater and Smart Home today to hear for yourself how exciting, how moving, and how utterly cool this technology can be in your own living room or media room. You won’t believe your ears as your home theater is rocked by explosions, soaked in rain or trampled by dinosaurs.
Call Us Today:
Mclean VA: 703-883-0970
Purcellville VA: 540-882-9613
by Theatron | Sep 23, 2015 | Home Automation, Home Theater
Do you have a jumble of remotes on your coffee table? Would your speakers look great at the
Brady Bunch estate? Are you watching video that looks like something from the VCR era? If
you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you are due for an A/V upgrade. And there
is no better time to do it than summer—before back to school and the upcoming holidays
require your undivided attention. Plus, major advancements in video quality, wireless
technology, surround sound and sources mean that even swapping out one or two components
can make a world of difference in performance. Here are a few ways we recommend stepping
up your A/V game.
Up your resolution
4K Ultra HD is the latest in video, at four times the resolution of HDTV. With larger TV sizes,
the image look so good, you feel like you can reach out and touch it. Anything you watch—
whether it is Blu-ray discs or HDTV content—will look better on a 4K Ultra HD set thanks to
their internal video processors.
Bigger really is better
Perhaps it’s not the resolution you’re concerned about in your media room, but the size of
your set. The old adage “Bigger Is better” has never been more true, and—thanks to enhanced
HD and Ultra HD resolution—you can sit closer to the screen than ever before and still get a
great image. If you are ready to go really big, consider a two-piece projection system (a
projector and screen). The industrial design on screens these days is phenomenal, with some
manufacturers producing edgeless rigid screens that look great when not in use, and look
even better fired up, with a gorgeous ‘floating image’ effect that will impress friends and
family. Dark, ambient-light-rejecting screens even look great in media room with less than
ideal lighting situations. You really don’t have to sit in a pitch-dark room anymore to have an
immersive home theater experience.
Get ready for bone-shaking surround
Have two speakers and want a more enveloping, cinematic experience? Then consider upping
your audio game with true surround sound. Come in or call us to experience the latest
formats that offer an über-realistic 3D sound field. The most important speaker in any sound
system is the center channel. The center channel reproduces all of the dialogue or vocals and
up to 60% of the audio signal. We also have an array of subwoofers that will literally rock
your world. You won’t believe your ears.
New audio options for all
If you have a smaller room where a full surround system isn’t feasible, there are many
fantastic sound bars that simulate surround sound and offer audio much better than what you
can get from your TV’s speakers. Flat panel TVs, due to their elegant slim design, are not able
to house speaker elements that can deliver the audio quality George Lucas or Neil Young
intended you to hear. Sound bars don’t necessarily require a receiver because many can
perform the HDMI switching needed for all your high-definition sources. Wireless speakers are
also extremely popular, and some sound great, allowing you to inexpensively outfit your home
with wireless multi-room audio without having to run cables. Come in for a demo to see if
wireless is right for you home.
Whether you need audio or video upgrades or want to see how Theatron Home Theater and Smart Homes can subtly enhance your
system with content options like on-demand streaming sources. We’ll show you how to make your system the envy of the neighborhood!
Call today 703-883-0970
by Theatron | Jun 2, 2015 | Control4, Home Automation, Savant, What's New
What is Video Distribution? In your typical home, you have a TV with a handful of video components plugged into it. You probably have a Blu-ray player, a Direct TV receiver, maybe an Apple TV and a game console. Hopefully you’ve got some kind of media cabinet to store all these items in, but there’s a good chance they’re all sitting out in plain site, and all the cables are out and attractive looking on the walls.
With Video Distribution, you centralize all the Video components; usually in some kind of media rack or closet. From there, you distribute the different Video content out to the different TV’s in the home. So instead of having all your components under each TV, and cables dangling everywhere, you conceal all the components out of site. The TV sits flush and clean on the wall, and there are no visible cables. An added convenience, is that you don’t need a Blu-ray player, or Apple TV for every TV anymore. You can feed all the TV’s in the home with the same Blu-ray.
In most instances, we run Cat5e, and preferably 2 Cat5e from the media rack out to every TV in the home. There’s a piece of hardware called a HDMI Matrix, or Video Matrix. It’s a fancy name for a switch. It’s kind of like a router for your internet, but it’s for the video components. It has a number of video inputs, and a number of video outputs. So lets say we have a 4×4 Video Matrix. That means you can pug in 4 Video Sources, and out put them to 4 TV’s or displays, including a projector. There’s a very small device that sticks to the back of the TV called a balun. These baluns convert the Cat5e coming from the Video Matrix, into HDMI. So you’re able to send HD content from the Video Matrix over Cat5e to every TV in the home.
A couple of tips on Video distribution. Most people want to have at least 2 satellite/cable receivers, and at least 2 Blu-ray players. If the kids want to watch the Disney channel, and you want to watch the news, you’re going to want two different receivers. The same is true for you Blu-ray players. Next, most people find they want 6-8 video sources. You can save money by buying a 4×4 matrix, but in our experience customers are always disappointed they can’t have 6 video sources. Pay the extra, and get a minimum 6 sources. You’ll use 2 receivers, 2 Blu-rays, and Apple TV or Roku, and a DVR for your surveillance system. Lastly, buy the Video Matrix that supports the number of TV’s you think you might use someday. If you’re only going to use 4 TV’s initially, but know you’ll have 8 TV’s down the road, then buy the 8×8 Video Matrix. It’s cheaper than upgrading later.The Video Matrix, allows you to select the TV you want to watch, and the Video source you want played to that TV. It does the rest of the switching and sourcing to give you the desired content. Now, if you have a Video Matrix, you have to have some kind of Controller like Savant’s Smart Host or Pro Host. This allows you to use a remote, or a smart phone to control the Matrix.