Play-Fi versus Sonos: What You Need to Know

sonos speakersSonos has long been the king of the wireless whole house music hill, but Play-Fi enabled devices may actually offer some decent competition to this well-established brand.  One of the biggest things going for Play-Fi is that it uses a lossless transmission, unlike bluetooth which uses significant compression.  So should you start looking at Sonos alternatives? (more…)

Should You Inuslate Your Home Theater?

soundproofing materialsAcoustics are an area that gets a lot of attention in the world of home theater and with good reason.  A poorly designed room can make an incredible audio system sound terrible.  But is it worth using insulation to dampen the sound coming from your home theater?

There are several factors you should consider when deciding whether or not to spend the money on insulating your home theater from the rest of your house.  First and foremost is the location of the room itself.  Many home theaters end up in basements.  This is a big advantage since it only requires you to insulate the ceilings and walls. (more…)

The Best Birmingham Home Theater Installation Team

birmingham home automationFor those in the home theater industry, there is very little that is as satisfying as wining awards for excellence from the top magazines and trade associations.  A custom high end theater is often something that can often require hundreds of hours and a great deal of work to pull off.  And when the results are then featured in a magazine and selected as the best of the year, it can be a very gratifying feeling.  One Birmingham home automation and theater company has the process down pat.  Let’s take a look at Twist Technology’s process for designing and building out some of the best systems in the world.

Theater Design

Designing a home theater starts with figuring out exactly what a client wants.  This stage can often be very challenging since a client might know that they want a themed media room, but might have no idea where to start looking for ideas.  Often inspiration can be found in their favorite movies.  There are countless theaters themed with looks from popular movies such as Star Wars, The Matrix, Indiana Jones, and more.  The only limits to this part of the process is the imagination of your client.

Once a theme has been selected, the dimensions of the finished room can be determined.  This is a crucial step in the overall performance of the system.  Room dimensions and proportions play an important part in making sure the system sounds it’s best.  Things such as standing waves, from bass, and reflections can make even the best equipment sound terrible.  An experienced design company should be able to provide their client and builder with the exact dimensions of the room.

Home Theater Installation

The installation phase of the project is another crucial part. This is when technicians install all of the required hardware for the system.  This involves placing and hooking up speakers, surround sound components, video displays such as projectors or TVs, and subwoofers.  Having a highly trained team is a must during this phase as technicians are often dealing with very expensive equipment.  They are also working with finished wood, plaster, and other finishes in the room itself.   Proper care is necessary to ensure that neither the equipment itself or the room are damaged in any way during the installation.

Once all of the components have been properly installed and connected, the technicians will move on to the calibration phase. During this part of the project the equipment is dialed into the specifics of the room.  The technicians will calibrate the listening experience based on the ‘sweet spot’ of the room.  This is the one or two seats that will be used most frequently by the homeowner.

Video calibration is also performed at this time.  Projectors and TVs are shipped from the factory with settings that are designed for competing on big showroom floors.  This means that their brightness and contrast levels are jacked way up.  This makes for a very poor picture.  Using video calibration equipment the technicians will bring the display within specific parameters that are used by producers and directors to capture the perfect image.  The before and after difference between a display that has been calibrated is often night and day.  They often take on a three dimensional appearance.

Programming and Control

Most theater systems are a combination of equipment from a wide variety of manufacturers.  They are often controlled with several different remotes.  This particular theater installation team uses an all in one remote to simplify control for their clients.  With a single button press they are able to turn the entire system on or off.  Making technology behave in this manner can be challenging.  But there is no more important part since not being able to easily use a system is a surefire way to an unhappy client.  Twist Technology utilizes equipment from Control4, Crestron, and RTI to make even complex systems easy to operate.

Putting It All Together

All of these things properly designed and executed are necessary for an award winning theater.  Judges look at the finished product, neatness, and creativity when deciding overall winners.  Doing these things well pays off in winning these coveted awards, but it also pays off in consistently happy clients.  And this is what keeps a business going year in and year out.  Offering a great product with incredible service to back it up is how this company has managed to stay at the top of their game for so long.  This is also what earned them the Best Home Theater Birmingham AL award.