Cinemas of every caliber, designed to be enjoyed for years to come.
Amp AV specializes in home theater design and installation, and will provide the system to fit your entertainment space perfectly. Rooms of any size can benefit tremendously from a quality media system, and Amp AV will help you determine what's right for you application and budget.
Yes, but only for rooms that require displays to be 100" or less, and if the budget allows for a TV of that size. However, most dedicated theater rooms that we install have screens ranging from 110" to 150" in size, and they can be much larger.
For very small, intimate media rooms, large format TV's are a practical choice. Almost always this will require the room to be oriented wider than deeper, and only one row of seating, such as a sectional or semicircular row of theater-style seats.
As soon as the room is of sufficient size to merit platformed seating in multiple tiers/rows, a large TV is already too small and projection is the correct method of attaining a sufficiently large image to view enjoyably.
A white screen is a good choice if the projector is not particularly bright, and the room will be completely dark, including the walls/ceiling being dark in color.
White screens are also good for corporate or classroom applications when lots of text, websites, and spreadsheets will be displayed, but this requires a very bright commercial projector.
Any ambient light in the room will immediately and significantly wash out the projected image on a white screen.
Similarly to a white screen, a gray screen is a good choice if the room will be completely dark. The projector brightness will need to be sufficient to compensate for the darker screen material, so not a low-lumen projector.
Also like with a white screen, ambient light that is introduced to the room will significantly wash out the image, although to a slightly lesser degree than with a white screen.
A silver screen is best—one with ALR (ambient light rejection).
A silver ALR screen, such as Screen Innovations Slate, is designed to allow for some ambient light in the room (sufficient to see where you are stepping or perhaps to enjoy a meal with your movie) while providing excellent black levels and color contrast. These screens are pricier than standard white or gray screens, but are absolutely necessary for the overall enjoyment factor of the projection system and image quality.
ALR screens have a dark gray or silver base. Different from a normal gray screen, however, the darker material does not necessarily require a brighter projector. The angularly reflective properties of the screen combined with the dark base color can enhance the overall contrast of the image. The image itself will be darker than a white or gray screen image, but the detail will be more visible and defined, making the image more usable.
Depending on the budget, it may be more beneficial to invest in a better screen even if it means compromising on the caliber of projector. For example, an entry-level theater room would have a more enjoyable image with a $3,500 projector and $4,000 ALR screen, versus a $6,000 projector coupled with a $1,500 white screen. This all depends on the properties of the room itself and how much ambient light will play a part in the room configuration.
Amp AV has several sample projection screen materials in the showroom to demonstrate the effects of ambient light rejection and the importance of selecting a good projection screen material.
There are multiple types of ALR (ambient light rejection) technologies built into the screen materials of multiple manufacturers. Different materials have more or less light rejection from above, or from the sides of the screen. This is achieved through multiple layers of material in the screen, including layers that work like blinders to block off-axis light, thus preventing it from washing out the image.
Different materials have varying values of ambient light rejection, and are better for particular scenarios. For instance, in a bright room, a high ALR value blocking off-axis light from the sides of the screen will cause the viewing angle to be very narrow. This would result in either a smaller screen, or longer minimum viewing distance.
Amp AV sill help design the theater system with the optimal screen material to fit the space, application, and budget.
For a dedicated theater room, definitely standard throw projectors that are ceiling-mounted.
For projection systems in living or family rooms, UST projectors avoid the eyesore of a ceiling-mounted projector, and many UST projection screens have awesome ambient light rejection (ALR) capabilities to maximize image brightness and contrast.
Both UST and standard-throw projectors are great options, and the choice really depends on the room they are intended for.
For one, UST projectors require special furniture. Yes, in theory you can just set it on top of a credenza or media console, but that's not practical. It looks ugly, and it will get bumped, requiring repositioning. Typically a UST projector will be housed in a specialty UST media console where it can avoid being tampered with.
For many luxury homes, having a media console is already a dealbreaker. Often times when the theater room features architectural speakers, there will not be any console or media cabinet, so as to maintain a minimalistic appearance. The headend equipment is located elsewhere, such as a media closet with a rack tower.
Specialty UST furniture is expensive. It provides tremendous value to the system and is indispensable when UST is required, but will tip the scale of making standard throw projection more practical from a budget standpoint.
The biggest downside is the eyesore of the projector itself mounted to the ceiling. This is not so consequential in a dedicated theater room, but simply doesn't belong in a heavily-trafficked area like a family room or great room.
Another consequence of mounting the projector to the ceiling is that the projected light shoots over the top of the seating area or walkway in front of the screen. If there is any foot traffic in the front of the room , it will cast a shadow on the image.
In retrofit theater room installations, running wires to the ceiling-mounted projector can be difficult, requiring sufficient attic space or extensive drywall cutting.
This is simply not done for the following reasons:
5.1 surround is the most common format for a living space. It primarily depends on ceiling height. If the ceilings are lower relative to the viewing distance of the TV, then a 7.1 channel system may also be practical. Anything more than a 7.1 system in a living space is almost never done, and not something we would recommend.
Atmos surround configurations such as 7.1.2 or greater should be reserved for dedicated media or theater rooms. Living spaces are too open to adequately allow for the proper surround effects beyond a 5.1 or 7. 1 system, especially because of the challenges that they present in regards to speaker placement.
Amp AV generally wires and installs 5.1 surround sound systems in great rooms and other open-concept living spaces. Sometimes a 7.1 format works well in a room with lower ceilings.
Our philosophy regarding soundbars is that they are a great compromise between the aesthetics and performance of the system.
In-wall speakers and cabinet speakers can both be an eyesore, and placement can be difficult.
In-ceiling speakers are less offensive to look at, but require low ceilings (less than 10ft) to be used effectively as front left, center, or right speakers.
Soundbars are an excellent option for TV's installed in living spaces with high ceilings, such as a great room above a fireplace. All three front speakers (left, center, and right) are contained within the soundbar. The sound is also then directionally coming from the TV location for a better listening experience.
In rooms where sound performance is a higher priority than the room aesthetics, cabinet or in-wall speakers are recommended over a soundbar.
The term "cabinet speaker" refers to any speaker that is self-contained in its own acoustic enclosure. Such speakers include bookshelf speakers and tower speakers. Floor-standing subwoofers would also be considered cabinet speakers.
Architectural speakers are flush-mount in-wall or in-ceiling speakers.
Sometimes these speakers are designed to work will with little to no are pressure behind them, and therefore do not require any sort of sealed back box. This is the case for most multi-room in-ceiling speakers.
Architectural speakers designed for theater rooms often do require special back boxes, which are "roughed in" before drywall. These enclosures help to achieve the correct level of compression for the drivers to operate at peak performance, and they help to avoid noise bleeding into adjacent rooms.
Cabinet speakers will generally sound better. Why? Because they are built with the precise shape and amount of airspace within the cabinet for the speaker to sound its best.
That, and there is less noise bleed or vibration affecting other spaces of the home.
Architectural speakers can still perform just as good as cabinets speakers in many cases, and they provide the best overall appearance. Architectural speakers can be hidden behind projection screens or wall treatments, providing a designer look and feel to the space. They add value to the home as a built-in fixture, whereas a cabinet speaker depreciates with time.
It is very common for a theater room to include a combination of architectural and cabinet speakers, especially now that Dolby Atmos is the standard in surround sound audio decoding. In-ceiling "presence" speakers are now commonplace.
Up until the late 2010's, 7.1 or 7.2 surround systems were the most common for home theaters.
For a dedicated home theater today, 7.1.2 format is a great starting point. This provides an excellent experience, and it takes full advantage of all of the latest available movie content.
7.1.2 means that there are 9 speaker channels and 1 subwoofer channel.
A Dolby 7.1.2 system is where the effect of Atmos-enabled content really comes into play with two "presence" speakers firing downward. These speakers create an additional vertical axis of sound in the room.
The next step up from the 7.1.2 would be a 7.2.2, which introduces the use of a second subwoofer. From there, a 7.1.4 or 7.2.4 would increase the number of ceiling presence speakers to four.
7.2.4 is the largest commonly-used surround sound format in homes today. Going beyond 11 speaker channels is very doable, but requires advanced surround sound processing equipment.
Adding a second subwoofer in the room serves three primary purposes:
Don't stop there, you can add a third or fourth subwoofer as well! An advanced theater room configuration can support a subwoofer dedicated to the center channel or any pair of speakers, whether that means the surrounds, surround backs, or presence speakers. It is amazing to hear the nuances that would otherwise be lost when dedicating a subwoofer to a pair of surround channels.
Check out this example by REL Acoustics.
From entry-level to fully custom designer seating, we have a range of options available to fit the room and budget.
2451 West Birchwood Ave. Ste 104, Mesa, AZ 85202
Amp AV is a registered trade name of ARCHITECTURAL MEDIA PROJECTS LLC
Amp AV is a registered CR-67 Residential/Commercial Low Voltage Systems Contractor in the State of Arizona - ROC 323739
Copyright © 2022 Amp AV - All Rights Reserved.