by Theatron | Dec 23, 2015 | Control4, Home Automation, Home Security, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Our Blog, Security Cameras, Smart Thermostat, Touch Panels, Whole House Audio
With the holiday decorating, shopping, and cooking in full swing, there has never been a better time to automate your home. Home automation can help you manage the wonderful chaos, entertaining your family when they come to visit, setting that special ambiance that inspires the holiday spirit, and keeping your valuables and loved ones more secure than ever. Control4 can help you custom design your smart home to sync with your existing products and spread the holiday cheer.
Light Up Your Home
Home automation allows you to step up your game when it comes to holiday decorating and setting the vibe for the season. You can sync your lights to your holiday playlist, customize your holiday tunes to play at certain times of day, and completely control the light patterns and colors to fit your decorating visions. Home automation can help you make all of your holiday decorating dreams come true.
Share the Classics
An automated home theater system helps you share the classics like never before. With the push of a button on the Control4 Touch Screen, your living room sets itself up for prime viewing. The shades lower, the lights dim or turn off, and the movie begins. If cooking and other activities are going on throughout the home, no one has to be left out of the viewing-you can stream the classics to all of the rooms. If you prefer newer movies, you can also stream the latest hits or newest holiday releases.
Spend More Time with Loved Ones
With smart timers, alerts, and synced appliances, you can spend less time turning things on and off and more time enjoying the company of your loved ones. With the right oven, you can keep an eye on what’s cooking, control your oven and stove settings, and receive alerts about the food right from your phone. You can also control all of the lights in the house from your Control4 Touch Screen and set up timers to lock doors, change the temperature, raise or lower blinds, and many other functions.
Sleep in Peace
When it is time for bed, an automated home can set security systems, lower blinds, and lock doors with the push of a “Goodnight” button. With compatible cameras tied to the Control4 system, you can look at security views or check in on the baby, right from the Control4 App. You can also adjust fans and make sure all lights are off from the comfort of your bed.
If you are interested in finding out how a personalized Control4 smart home can make the holidays more enjoyable—along with every other day of the year—give us a call at 703-883-0970 or contact us.
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 | Dec 11, 2015 | Home Theater
What’s the perfect gift this season? A home theater, of course! It’s way better than a sweater or another pair of slippers.
Of course you can’t wrap a home theater up for the holidays. But try this clever substitute: Wrap the projector — or better yet, just the bulb! — and a box of popcorn separately and wait for your recipients’ faces to light up when they figure out what you’ve gotten them. If you’ve got kids, put everyone’s names on the boxes — then you won’t have to buy as many presents!
Take it Seriously
A home theater purchase shouldn’t be made lightly, however. It’s an investment, not just for the personal enjoyment of you and your family, but for your home’s value.
Your first step in making any big purchase usually is to do some research on your own so you have an idea of what you want before you talk to a salesperson. If, however, movies are exciting to look at for you but high-tech electronics make your eyes glaze over, you may want to flip the order.
Starting your search with a knowledgeable salesperson can be a good idea — just don’t make the mistake of assuming you will find anyone like this in a big-box chain store. It’s possible, but it isn’t likely.
Isn’t That Special?
Specialty stores are called that partly because they are so special, and also because they specialize in one area rather than trying to spread themselves too thinly. Think about it: The stores that sell the cheapest products are the ones that are selling snow tires, frozen ravioli, bathing suits and haircuts — too much diversification.
One-stop shopping is fine if you need Scotch tape, socks, a greeting card and some lunch, but if you’re dropping a few grand on a home theater system, you want knowledgeable professionals who can guide you through your purchase.
When you head in for your consultation, bring some basic info with you.
Where do you plan to set up your home theater? Basement? Garage? Spare room? Do these rooms have windows? Carpeting? What type of lighting? What are the dimensions of the room? What do you plan to watch in your new home theater? Basketball? Movies? Game of Thrones? Will you use it to play video games?
How many people will use your home theater? Different combinations call for different types of seating. Do you have toddlers who like to lay on the floor with blankets? Teenagers who want to have their friends over? Will it primarily be just you and your spouse?
Bring your lists of questions and answers in to the experts at Theatron Home Theater & Smart Home Automation. We’ve been installing the best in home theaters for years throughout Northern Virginia , DC and Maryland and beyond. If you want to surprise that special someone with a home theater this year, come in and see what is new in home theater techonology.
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 | May 20, 2015 | Home Theater
Home Theater Design
The true home theater design experience can take you away to another place. You become so immersed in the film you feel like you are part of the movie. This is what happens when you create a real home theater room, dedicated to surround sound and great video!
The Film Experience
The goal is to create exactly what happens in a movie theater, with the image from a high quality projector reflecting to your eyes from a large film screen. In our blog on screen size, you will learn how to choose the right size screen for your room. Your screen size, its height off the floor, and how many rows of seats you have are factors to account for in your theater room design. The key is getting the sight lines right. You want all viewers to enjoy the entire picture without having to look over or around someone’s head, and you don’t want viewers to have to stretch their necks to see the screen. Theatron’s experts can help with this, laying out in CAD format almost all of our dedicated front projection home theatres. Line of sight is a tricky subject and can make or break a room where more than a couple of people will enjoy the film experience.
In designing a dedicated home theater room, you should not have to worry about anything other than making things perfect for sight and sound. (That’s why you made it a dedicated room!) We can help you with screen layout, plus projector, speaker and component placement. Other important considerations are how it will look and how the room can be treated for acoustics. Many magazines and web sites can give you ideas for the architectural look of your theater. Theatron also has decorators and designers we work with on theater appointments. We cannot stress enough how big a difference the proper acoustics approach will make in the enjoyment of your theater.
Acoustics and Soundproofing
In designing a dedicated home theater, speaker placement is extremely important. By far, the most important track in a film is the dialogue track. This is produced through the center channel speaker. If you cannot understand dialogue, the impact of the movie is greatly reduced. In theater rooms with multiple rows of seats, hearing dialogue clearly can be a challenge.
In designing a dedicated home theater, speaker placement is extremely important. By far, the most important track in a film is the dialogue track. This is produced through the center channel speaker. If you cannot understand dialogue, the impact of the movie is greatly reduced. In theater rooms with multiple rows of seats, hearing dialogue clearly can be a challenge. Not only should your family and guests be able to see all of the screen, they need to hear all of the speakers. No speaker is more important than the center channel. It’s fairly easy to get sound right when there is only one row of home theater seating, but with two or more rows, the location of the center channel becomes critical. Our experts will help you with your design to optimize the center speaker position.
There is a good rule to follow for the best separation of the left and right speakers. We like to see them at about a 45 to 60 degree angle with the main seating position. Use a 45 degree position if the main use of the room is movies, spread the speakers further apart if you will also be enjoying concert videos or audio. Our staff can help you plot this out.
The subwoofer (the speaker providing deep bass effects) can usually be hidden under the screen. Again, we can help with design options. Remember that the worst spot for a subwoofer is in the middle of your room, the best, close to a corner. And the more subs the better – four is ideal!
Surround Speaker Placement
Finally, surround speakers can be positioned to your sides and on the rear wall. You should have one or more pairs of side speakers and one pair of rear speakers. Their placement will be related to how your seating arrangement works out. We can offer lots of advice here.
In most dedicated home theater rooms, equipment is housed outside the room to minimize noise. It is critical for the life expectancy of components that they have adequate ventilation. Your amplifier or receiver will put out some heat, but the cable box, satellite box, or video game radiate a great deal of heat. If you use an existing cabinet, passive ventilation by drilling holes is not sufficient to exhaust hot air. Synergy typically installs a ventilation fan in the cabinet to exhaust the hot air, and using a remote mounted thermostat controlled fan is even better. We can mount one of these in your crawl space so you never hear the fan noise.
Controlling All The Equipment
If no one can figure out how to turn the system on and make selections, its obvious the enjoyment factor will drop! A well thought out remote control can make all of the difference! Reliable options now exist so you can hide all your components and get signals to them perfectly. We offer you a wide range of options.
Theatron The Ultimate Home Theater
Imagine an area of your home decorated with a cinema theme, perhaps with a vintage popcorn machine and concession area setting off the area outside the screening room. Your invited guests gather here for wine and conversation before the movie begins. At the scheduled time for your film, your lighting control system automatically dims your lights as programmed, signaling when you and your guests should move to your theater to enjoy this week’s latest Blu-ray movie release. When everyone is seated, a single touch to your personalized touch screen controller dims the lights to viewing level, activates your projector and starts the movie.
During the film, images have almost three-dimensional vividness, and you are enveloped in the music and effects of the soundtrack, clearly understanding everything that is said. When the movie ends, your friends comment that the experience is so much better than a movie theater, they can’t imagine why you would ever leave home! Is this your ultimate home theater dream? Whatever yours happens to be, our design team can help your dream come true.