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Create the Perfect Custom Home Theater In Houston

4K Video and Immersive Sound Will Make Every Movie Unforgettable

There is something special about the cinema experience. The large screen, the big, enveloping sound, and the viewing in a darkened theater create an engaging experience. For years, the death of the movie theater has been loudly predicted, yet they are still thriving. Why? Because it is an experience.

However, some parts of the movie theater experience are not so likable. Occasionally uncomfortable seats, expensive concessions, sticky floors, and people who insist on using their cell phones during the show can mar the cinema experience.  Of course, you can duplicate all the good parts of the commercial theater — the picture and the sound — while eliminating all the negative aspects. That’s what building your own custom home theater is all about.

Whether you have a current media space or even a theater, why not turn every viewing into a memorable experience? Not only can your theater be a movie emporium, but it can be your private sports bar for watching the Texans, Astros, or Rockets.

In this blog, we want to focus on two big technologies that can make your home theater even more special — the high resolution and superb contrast of a 4K picture and the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Read on to learn more about creating the perfect custom home theater for your Houston home.

SEE ALSO: Are You Designing a Home Theater?

Going 4K

If you haven't experienced the sharpness and color depth of a 4K picture, you have been missing out. 4K technology is now mainstream, and flat-panel TVs with 4K are commonplace. But did you know there are 100-inch models available too? They can make a viable home theater display, especially in mixed-use media rooms and rooms with lots of windows and ambient light. OLED flat panels have the inky black levels needed for watching movies, and the HDR (high dynamic range) contrast capabilities make scenes almost pop off the screen.

If you have a larger space for a home theatre, a projector offers the large screen experience of the commercial movie theater. 4K projectors, like those from the ES line of our partner Sony, can throw an image up to 300 inches on your screen! The more typical size for a projection screen is 100-150 inches, and the latest models also feature the same HDR high contrast capabilities as the best flat-panel TVs. Projectors screen sizes can get larger than flat panels, and they are more cost-effective at the larger sizes. Another option we should mention is the short-throw projector. These models can be installed very close to the screen wall on attractive media consoles (we recommend customized consoles) and are excellent for spaces where a ceiling-mounted projector is not a good fit.

Three Dimensional Surround Sound

On the audio side, the biggest thing to happen to home theater sound is Dolby Atmos. The main difference of Atmos compared to other Dolby and DTS sound formats is that it employs what they call object-based surround. Dolby Atmos (and its competitor DTS:X) provides an unprecedented amount of flexibility for professional sound mixers to place film sounds in an almost 3D sound field, with up to 128 discrete sound objects in a scene. The result? In a scene with a helicopter whirring overhead, and bullets flying from different directions, you will hear a realism as you have never heard it before. The latest receivers and surround processors from our partner Arcam, as well as additional height speakers, can make your home theater sound even better than the local movie theater.

What Can You Watch in 4K and Dolby Atmos?

The good news is that with these technologies becoming mainstream, the amount of content taking advantage of them has grown exponentially. You can watch movies on Ultra HD Blu-ray, which will provide the best quality in both audio and video. Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, and Vudu have ever-increasing amounts of content in 4K, HDR, and increasingly Dolby Atmos. The convenience of streaming movies and shows in 4K is hard to beat. But if you like your own curated movie library with the best picture and sound quality, a Kaleidescape movie server might be your preference, where you can store all your movies and access more at the touch of a button.

Although sports and cable are generally not available in 4K or the more immersive sound formats like Atmos, today's equipment can improve both the picture and the sound. Upscaling capabilities in projectors, displays, and AV receivers can make lower resolution sources much sharper and approach near-4K quality. Similarly, sound processing in Atmos and DTS:X capable receiver can simulate the more immersive height and surround capabilities from stereo and standard surround formats. The result is that you will see and hear a difference in audio and video quality regardless of the source.

Refined Systems can make the custom home theater you’ve always wanted a reality. To learn more, just click below to connect with one of our experts, or contact us today!