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Time for an Upgrade? Supercharge Your Home Cinema With New Tech

June 23, 2020

Like the blockbusters in the theatres themselves, home cinemas are changing all the time. 2020 looks set to be an exciting decade for home viewing, following on from a relatively stale few years on the innovation front.

With the advent of high-definition viewing, there was something of a plateau in the years leading up to 2020. Tech developers experimented with 3D televisions in the mid-2010s, but the innovation was a damp squib. By 2016, all production of 3D televisions had ceased.

So, what should we expect from this new era of cinema? Thanks to 4K, plus ground-breaking developments in audio, it’s a whole new experience.

Make way for 4K

No longer a novelty, 4K is making its way into the mainstream with films and series shot in this crisp definition, available to view right now on streaming sites like Netflix. Thanks to these new developments, 4K is no longer the dominion of the super-rich alone. 

 

The modern-day 4K projector relies on a few ‘tricks’ to achieve this unrivalled definition. For example, Epson 4K Enhancement Technology uses a combination of lower-resolution imaging chips and pixel shifting to double the vertical and horizontal resolution. The result is an affordable ‘4K effect’ which is compatible with 4K inputs, such as Blu Ray or streaming.

 

Seeing is believing

The latest range of projector screens are going beyond the imagery alone – you can now also play sound through the screen itself, creating a more organic, immersive experience. For example, the LG Display OK OLED TV screen is also a Dolby Atmos speaker. 

 

It works with two transducers at the top of the display, with three more along the sides and middle. The result is a truly life-like viewing session. The sound originates from wherever it is on the screen, for example, a character speaking on the right-hand side.

 

We also have light-blocking MaxWhite Fiberglass screens with 180° viewing angles, and even inflatable screens for outdoor viewing!

Speakers are going wireless

Some viewers prefer to have a surround sound setup whereby they have speakers in every corner of the room, or subtly installed in areas like the ceilings. Others prefer to distribute the sound via a soundbar.

 

But for the ultimate in non-intrusive, convenient and clear sound, we’re turning towards wireless speakers. During CES 2019, LG unveiled WiSA. While not technically a new development, its innovative use for home cinemas offers a wireless setup, making installation easy and aesthetically pleasing. 

 

Wireless Speaker and Audio is now a certification standard, using a chipset that transmits sound wirelessly, supporting stereo, surround sound and Dolby Atmos speakers. The best news is, like us, it’s brand agnostic!

 

More is more when it comes to multi-screens

Sport is back and it’s here to stay. Playing to the desires of sports fans everywhere, multiple screens are now making their way into the mainstream. The idea is that viewers can keep up with many sports games at once, using projector screens alongside flat screen displays. Viewers can simply change the audio source depending on what they want to listen to at the time.


The power is yours with voice control

Automated technology is bringing voice tech to the fore. Consider upgrading your home cinema system with a voice-activated control panel. You can use this to dim the lights, adjust blinds, turn up the air conditioning or play your media. Change the entire atmosphere using your voice alone – no more losing the remote.

 

Don’t be baffled by bad sound

It’s easy to forget the architectural structure of a room if you’re building a home cinema. But with the wrong walls, or badly positioned speakers, your sound can become staggered or distorted. A ‘baffle wall’ helps to alleviate this problem.

 

Approximately the same size as the screen, it provides a smooth surface to distribute sound evenly across the auditorium. This is perfect for large theatres – there’s no diffraction as the speaker is flush with the wall. Baffle walls also prevent frequency issues.

 

Choosing the right upgrade for your home cinema

While all of these will enhance the viewing experience, you need to consider how you’ll use the room, and what your key priorities are. For example:

 

  • Versatility – an entertainment and sports viewing experience
  • Compatibility – with streaming services at Blu Ray media
  • Sound – booming and dramatic or immersive and lifelike
  • Picture – 4K versus ‘projector 4K’, and curved screens
  • Subtlety – multi-screens versus hidden, wireless speakers.

 

Not sure where to start? Contact the SONA team today.