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Can We Recreate the Cinema Experience at Home?

March 2, 2021

It’s been a strange 12 months for cinema. Once again, the much-anticipated James Bond: No Time to Die has been pushed back. The latest release date is 2nd April 2021, almost a year after its original date.

While Tenet managed to slip through the net and make the transient summer period for UK cinemas, not everybody has been so lucky. Even the awards have taken a hit – the 92nd Academy Awards have been moved from their traditional February date to April.

What’s the alternative?

Keen not to see their directorial efforts go to waste, filmmakers are turning to streaming sites instead. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown took centre stage in Enola Holmes, only for the title to go straight to Netflix.

Likewise, Disney+ has welcome many new children’s releases including 2020’s Onward, produced by Pixar. Meanwhile, many movies scheduled for 2021 releases may suffer the same fate as James Bond: Mission Impossible 8 has had its July release pushed back to November.

With ongoing uncertainty over lockdown restrictions, will filmmakers have to accept that their movies are going straight to video? And what does this mean for viewers?

A diminished viewing experience

Despite growing advancements in smart televisions, the cinema experience cannot be emulated on the small screen. This comes down to a number of factors:

  • Speaker sound quality
  • Aspect ratio
  • Distribution of sound.

When it comes to sound quality, smart TVs are missing the mark. For that cinematic sound quality, televisions need to be a certain size – the large variety of sounds requires a ‘driver’. Smaller televisions can support higher sounds, but they cannot reproduce deeper, bass-like sounds – particularly if they’re flat screen.

Similarly, the viewing experience is affected by aspect ratios. This means the ratio of the width and height of an image or screen. With many movies being shot in widescreen, specifically for cinema screens, the result is a stretched image on smaller screens. Worse still, there are distracting black bars above and below the shot – hardly immersive viewing!

Finally, we have to think about not only sound quality, but how we hear it. Think about the last time you were in a cinema. Sound effects would reverberate around the room, whether they’re an impending stampede in the distance or hushed dialogue. A single speaker cannot recreate that – so we turn to alternatives.

Why invest in a home cinema or media room?

First things first – let’s clear up some definitions. A media room is more relaxed than a home cinema, comprising flexible seating, in-wall speakers and versatile lighting. These are ideal for gatherings from your favourite box sets to sporting events.

Home cinemas are there to make your viewing extraordinary. They offer specialised acoustic treatment, which means there’s no risk of sound ‘leaking out’. Speakers are strategically placed around the room to recreate that immersive sound, and seating is placed to offer optimum comfort.

Of course, the screens are more likely to be larger, too – often taking up a whole wall, and negating those awkward aspect ratio problems.

Taking it one step further with content

For the best at home cinema experience, Kaleidescape offers tailor-made content. These movies and series have been filmed especially for home cinemas, meaning the images are crystal clear and the sound is razor sharp. There’s no need to worry about buffering issues, either. All content can be downloaded fully as soon as it becomes available, making it a great alternative to Netflix.

Thankfully, home cinemas offer you the benefits of viewing all kinds of mediums – from live sports games to streaming your favourite movies. With organisations like CEDIA pushing these tech advancements forward, we’re likely to see a huge increase in demand for years to come.

Speak to the SONA team about how a cinema can enhance your home >