Home Entertainment Solutions

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My love of music and movies motivated me to start a small HIFI business back in 1975. I have been on the scene from the time the home electronics world revolved around the vinyl LP and the vacuum tube, through today’s digital revolution. I’ll present fun, useful facts and information about home electronics in plain English, hot techno-babble, on topics ranging from the nostalgic past to the latest technologies, and everything in between.

Q. I want a new home theater for my our family room, but my spouse doesn’t like the way the equipment looks. How can we both get what we want?

There are many new solutions that allow everyone in the household to enjoy a new home entertainment system when they desire, and then watch the system disappear when they hit the off button.

Several manufacturers have perfected designs that combine decorative mirrors and high definition flat screen TVs. Seura is one of the first companies to develop this technology and they make it available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The mirror TV can be utilized in bathroom and bedroom suites or even be sized larger to be installed over the fireplace mantel in your family room. Many frame styles are also available. Upon installation all that is visible in your room is a beautiful and appropriately placed mirror – until you push the power on button and your TV appears as part of the mirror.

hes-roomMany homeowners object to the “eyesore” of the numerous speakers that are required for all home theaters. There’s good news on that front. Thanks to Stealth Acoustics, the speakers that are required for all high performance home theaters can now be completely invisible! The three front speakers, the two surround speakers, and the subwoofer can all installed behind the walls and ceilings of the room. The best part of these “invisible” speaker installations is that there are absolutely no ugly grills needed to disguise the speakers. That’s right, the speakers are designed to use sheet rock or plaster walls and ceilings to reproduce music and movie soundtracks with excellent clarity and realism.

What about the rest of the audio and video components? The typical stack of three or more components can also be installed completely out of view. I recommend cabinets with solid wood doors, nearby closets, or even the basement mechanical room. Thanks to the latest generation of universal remotes, the stack of components can be totally hidden out of sight, away from the location of the actual system. A single easy to use remote can be programmed to operate the system without aiming directly at the system. One of my favorite brands, Creston, has designed all of their remotes to broadcast RF signals thru any solid object. And the broadcast range is impressive; controlling any brand and any model under the sun is possible and there is no need to worry about perfect aiming of the remote.

The final part of the formula to achieve an invisible home entertainment system is to conceal the cable and wire connections. If you need help, hire a professional residential systems installer. A professional has the experience and technical expertise to conceal every wire and cable throughout your room. Domestic harmony is well within reach!

Q. I want a new home theater for my our family room, but my spouse doesn’t like the way the equipment looks. How can we both get what we want?

The latest generations of flat panel TVs are less than one inch deep, therefore, there is almost no room left for the speakers. For cosmetic reasons most manufacturers have chosen to locate the speakers in the rear of the TV chassis, causing the sound to bounce off the wall behind the TV, before it reaches your ear. Additionally, the speakers that are included inside the TV are almost always tiny and generic. These are the primary reasons that we are all dissatisfied with the sound quality.

The best remedy for these problems is an after market speaker system that can attach to the bottom of your new TV. There are several options available from a number of different speaker manufacturers.

hes-systemThe one that I like best is available from the Leon speaker company. Leon offers several levels of quality to choose from. All of them match the depth measurement of your new flat screen TV, but as an added bonus they also match the exact width of every TV size and brand currently available. Even the color will match perfectly. Mounting brackets are included with the speaker. Best of all the sound quality is nothing short of phenomenal.

Leon offers basic two channel stereo models or units that have all three channels for those looking for a home theater viewing experience. For the basic two-channel version you will also need a stereo amp to drive the upgraded Leon speakers; sixty watts per channel will be plenty of power to provide crisp, and realistic sound in most rooms. For home theater use you should purchase a decent quality a/v receiver, surround speakers and a subwoofer. The net result will be amazing sound to match the great picture delivered by your new High Definition flat panel television.